Happy October! A new month brings new goals. I am especially excited because this month marks the one year anniversary of an amazing group of ladies which formed as a result a challenge last October. To celebrate we have decided to challenge ourselves again. As a result of getting to know each other we have come to realize each person has their own unique personality and needs different approaches to achieve success. Instead, of one specific challenge goal, each person has identified her own nutritional goals for the month.
Here is what I have decided for mine:
1) Track calories. Tracking has worked well for me in the past, but for some reason I have struggled with getting back in the tracking groove. I have decided to take a little inspiration from WW this time. I will not count fruits and veggies towards my daily calories. I want to encourage myself to eat them.
2) 3 "treats" per week. This may be a nice dinner out, a decadent dessert or snacks at game night. This might put me over my daily calorie goal. I am thinking this again may be more like WW flex points - you can use them how you like throughout the week in addition to your daily points. (At least that is the way it was when I did WW and it worked for me). Outside of those three "treats" I will eat within my calorie range - and it may include a cookie.
The point is, I am working toward balance. I am not going to give up "treats" for the rest of my life. I am embracing more of an 80/20 approach. I am hoping to improve my ability to treat treats as treats and not the basis of my diet (diet - meaning what I eat). In the past, I have found myself just throwing in the towel because having treats made me feel like I was failing. I want take away that guilt by incorporating it into my actual plan.
An issue I have with tracking is eating out is that I really don't know the ingredients and end up stressing over an accurate calorie count. I know the basics of what makes a dish high/low in calories. I can make judgements about what I order based on the basics and not the legalism of every single calorie.
3) No eating out by myself - i.e. bakery treat in the car on the way to work, take out at lunch, husband is not home, so I'll grab dinner on my way home. As expensive as it is to eat out, I would like it to be more of an experience to be enjoyed. Not a grab and go I am ashamed of later.
I think, these three goals are tied together in that they will "force" me to plan and make choices. At the beginning of the week, I can get a sense of when I might want to have my "treat". For example, this Saturday is our game night and I will call that one of my 3 treats for the week. Additionally, what can I take that will help me balance out some of the other snacks that I plan to have? Fruit is always a hit.
I am hopeful this challenge will help me refocus on better eating habits. I may have to do a little tweaking, but I now have a jumping off point.
And since we are talking about food. One of my unofficial goals has been to try new things. Last weekend while my husband was working I decided to test a couple recipes. Apparently, I am on a bit of a Cooking Light trend. Mary at Runs to Get Waisted raves about her subscription and has shared her experiences with the magazine. I think she has me on the verge of subscribing :)
Like so many soups/stews the onions get a head start in the cooking process. The recipe said to put the onion and garlic in at the same time, which I am reluctant to do because garlic can turn on you in a heartbeat and become bitter or burnt. I added it about 30 seconds before the chicken stock. That first 30 seconds of garlic cooking has to be one of my all time favorite smells.The rainbow chard from my garden was so beautiful and I was super excited to use it.
So this whole experiment ended up in the trash :( I will say I would make this recipe again using the baby spinach instead of the chard. I would also omit the tomatoes - just not big hunks of cooked tomatoes kinda girl. Live and learn. Check out Mary's review here.
Thankfully, my second dish turned out much better.
chilis rellenos are normally dipped and fried in.
And of course, because it is a casserole it is delicious reheated and I am eating it this week for lunches at work :)