Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Fajitas

When I step on the scale every morning, I am amazed that I am seeing the numbers get smaller and smaller. Why? Mostly because I can't believe I can eat as much as I am and still be losing weight. I have never been this excited about a diet before and I have tried lots of them. I'm sure it isn't just the diet, I have changed my attitude regarding diets and wanting to be healthy. I feel great and I want to sing it from the roof tops!

I know that many people are struggling though and I did too the first 3 days so I want to tell you about a few things that have helped me. On PINK you can have all the vegis you want, so I add them to everything. I use them as a filler in everything to make my portion bigger. I like to eat and I want to fill satisfied when I eat don't you? Don't be a slave to the suggested meals in the book, they are just suggestions, you can also follow the blueprint for reset of 1 LP (low calorie protein) + LCV (low calorie vegetable) and come up with so many more satisfying meals that you will be amazed just like I am.

The other secret I will share with you that has helped is I make a double portion of everything so that I don't have to be constantly in the kitchen. When I make dinner I measure out 8 ounces of protein and double whatever it is I am making so that I will have lunch on hand the next day. If it is right at hand, you a less likely to grab something unhealthy. I know kind of a no brainier tip but it helps.

So onto what I had for dinner last night and lunch today.

Chicken Fajitas
Boneless skinless chicken breast
Vegetables and kind you want
   - I used zucchini, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and mixed bell peppers

Salsa (as natural as possible)
   - I use the Trader Joe's brand, ingredients are tomatoes, yellow chile, vinegar, salt, onion and spices)
   - I know it as added salt but I didn't use a whole lot so I didn't worry to much about it.
Head Lettuce/Iceberg Lettuce
   -This is what we will wrap our fajitas in.

Really easy to make saute you chicken in a little Pam. I like to cook my chicken until it has bits of brown on it, it adds so much flavor.

Once the chicken is browned, add in your vegetables and cook until softened and starting to brown.

Add in your salsa, just enough to coat everything and mix together.

Tear off whole leafs of lettuce for your shell and wash.

Fill with your lettuce leaf or leafs with the fajita mixture.

Wrap your lettuce around the filling just as you would a burrito and enjoy.

This can be a family friendly meal. My kids and hubby ate them like you would normal fajitas, flour tortilla, re-fried beans, cheese, sour cream etc. I did however have to just pick out the chicken for the kids. They prefer their vegetables raw. So they had a side of fresh carrots, snap peas and cucumbers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chunky Chili has been cold here the last few days. We got a little bit of snow which was fun but snow always sends me into play then hibernation mode. I want play outside with the kids and then stay inside to cook and eat. I want to soups, stew, chowders, basically anything that will warm my to the core. Most of my typical recipes are out so I had to come up with something that will meet the PINK reset guidelines. Chunky Chili fit the bill for me but the rest of the family, my kids specifically won't eat chili with lots of chunky vegetables in it so here is how you can make Chunky Chili for those following PINK and regular chili for the rest of the family.

Items needed for both types of chili
1 20 ounce package of ground turkey
1 28 ounce can of diced or whole tomatoes no salt added
1 can of tomato paste (no sugar or salt added)
2 cans of beans,  (use any variety or mix you like, I used pinto and kidney)
diced onions
shredded carrots
shredded zucchini (for the Chunky Chili, I cut my zucchini into chunks, the regular chili got it shredded)

Vegetables to add to the Chunky Chili
green peppers

Chili Seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions for Chunky Chili
Start out by browning the ground turkey until it is cooked through. I add a little bit of garlic powder and pepper to the meat for added flavor. When it is done, get out you handy scale and measure out 2 ounces of meat. 

Next open and rinse your beans I used pinto and kidney beans. To your 2 ounces of ground turkey add 6 ounces of beans. I am making a double batch so that I have enough for lunch the next day On reset we are allowed 4 ounces of meat for lunch and 4 ounces for dinner, beans and meat are allowed but only 4 ounces thus I have a total of 8 ounces measured, enough protein for two meals, got it? 

Add in other vegetables along with your meat and beans. Add in about a third of your 28 ounce can of tomatoes and a third of your can of tomato paste and a third of your chili seasoning. Add in a little water to make it soupy and let it simmer until the vegetables soften and the liquid thickens and enjoy. Remember this is enough for 2 meals so save half for lunch tomorrow.

Directions for family friendly Chili
To the remaining ground turkey after you have removed your 2 ounces, add in some diced onions and saute until soft. 

To the meat and onion mixture add in what is remaining from your 2 cans of beans, your tomatoes and your tomato paste, chili spices, your shredded carrots and zucchini and a little bit of water to make it soupy. This is really just dumping in what is remaining after you have made your Chunky Chili. I shred the vegetables in this chili just to give a little hidden vegi's to the kids. They are pretty good about eating fruits and vegi's but a few more won't hurt them, plus they virtually disappear when they are cooked into the chili.

Cook until the chili has thickened and let your family enjoy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Take Control of the Diet, Don't Let the Diet Take Control of You

I want to take a minute to jot down my thoughts on my experience during the first week of reset on the PINK Method. I hope that it may help those of you just starting out to know that others went through what you are going through or to know what to expect though I am sure everyone's experience will be slightly different.

Day 1
I was very excited to start PINK but I was hungry all day long. I followed the meals suggested in the book but all I could think about was food, I was hungry but I stayed the course snacked on vegetables and tried to drink water which I hate. I made it through day one and only managed to drink about 50 ounces of water but that is 100% more than I usually drink so I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Off to bed only to wake up and face day 2.
Day 2
Today I woke up and saw some weight loss, yippy but I was hungry and craving sweets like nobodies business. I am guessing that since my body was essentially detoxing from all the CRAP I usually put into it, this is a fairly normal response but it sucked. I stuck with the plan though and suffered through the cravings and hunger. Six o'clock hit I ate my dinner, put my fork down and thought great, I am still hungry, this diet just isn't going to work. I was feeling like the food was bland and boring and I thought, I can't live on a diet being hungry and craving things all the time. On a positive note, I managed to drink a little more water today maybe 75 ounces. I did have to force it down though. I went to bed discouraged and in a bad mood.

Day 3
I  woke up and weighed myself, more weight loss. I was excited by what I was seeing and I realized I had a little more energy, not so sluggish however I did have a slight headache. I drank my shake and about 3/4 of the way through I felt full. This was a new feeling, I hadn't felt full since I started this diet. I thought if I could figure out a way to make the food a little more enjoyable with more flavor, maybe I could do this. So my brain started turning and for dinner tonight, I decided to make a meal that fit the PINK blueprint rather than eat the suggested meal. I made turkey meatballs in a homemade marinara sauce served over a bed of roasted vegetables. Recipe found here. It was good, I was able to eat a lot of food and I felt satisfied. Satisfied on a diet? Yes it is possible. I had a renewed excitement about this diet now that I was taking control of it rather than letting it take control of me. I also managed to drink my entire 100 ounces of water, a huge accomplishment but the headache, oh the headache, it was a constant all day long.

Day 4
I woke up and even more weight loss, not just a few ounces, the scale was going down like I have never experienced before. I have said before that I am not going to make my daily loss public only because I don't want other people comparing their loss to mine and getting discouraged, your journey is your journey, own it. The headache remained, it wasn't unbearable but noticeable. I had my shake, had left over meatballs for lunch and began to think about what would be for dinner that night and thought I need to share this journey with people, for the first time in my life, I was excited about a diet and I decided to blog my journey here on Losin' it with PINK. For dinner I modified the normal stuffed bell peppers I make and came up with Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers, recipe here. They were filling, I was satisfied, I got my water down, and I felt like I had turned a corner with this diet.

Day 5
I woke up and found out I lost weight again, my headache had dulled and I felt good. I had my shake, leftover peppers for lunch and then dinner hit. At our house, Fridays are mom's night off from cooking which usually means pizza delivery, my kid's favorite meal. I ate a Chinese chicken salad for dinner but the pizza was calling me, it was saying, "ooey gooey melted cheese, eat me" I gave in and ate a few bites of cheese pizza and immediately felt guilty. However, I normally would have thought well, I messed up already so I might as well just give up and have another. This time however, I thought oh well, I can choose to wallow in guilt and have more or I can choose to move on and continue with my diet. I chose to move on, plus I drank extra water to help flush my system.

This is not my burger, I had mine without cheese, cheese is a no no on reset.
Day 6
Feeling guilty about the pizza I figured I might not see weight loss on the scale today and I was prepared and okay with that but much to my surprise, I lost more weight, imagine my excitement. Today I knew would be a struggle though, I was going out to dinner with a friend that night and was nervous about eating out and sticking with the plan. I had a salad for lunch and thought that is probably what I would have for dinner also. We ended up at Red Robin and I thought ugh, burgers and fries, my weakness, I will never be able to eat according to plan. As I was looking over the menu I saw that they have a lettuce wrap burger, I also saw that they had grill chicken breast burgers/sandwiches, a light went off in my head and I thought what if I could get the grilled chicken breast burger and have it lettuce wrapped, that would totally fit within the reset blueprint. I asked the server and he said they would make any burger wrapped in lettuce so I was set. For my sides I chose steamed carrots and broccoli which I dipped in a tiny bit of Honey Dijon dressing, less than a tablespoon which I thought was fine. I left the restaurant feeling excited, I had found a place that I could go to eat out and stick with the plan. I took control!

Day 7
Even more weight loss = excitement! Water is now easily consumed, I have energy, not really any cravings and I am excited to continue coming up with foods that fit my eating requirements. I no longer have the headache and think I might be over the detox phase. I have never felt this way with a diet before, I am excited and feeling like I can do this. The beginning was a little rough but I encourage you all to take control, make the diet your own and I hope you will feel the same as I do.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cheesy Kale Chips and "Lemonade"

Many of us following the PINK Method know about Kale chips. They certainly have saved me a few times when all I wanted to do was snack, but I must admit I found them a little boring. Well, that just changed. I was wasting time over on Pinterest yesterday when I came across a recipe for cheesy kale chips. I thought "cheesy kale chips, what are those?" When looking at the recipe, it called for something called nutritional yeast which it said gave the chips a cheesy flavor. Boy was I intrigued so off to the PINK book I went to see if it was allowed. Low and behold it is allowed, yippy! Off the Fred Meyer to see if they had it in their health food section. They did and I was home in no time making cheesy kale chips. Here is how you can too.

Wash your and dry your kale

Prepare your yeast paste, the original recipe called for you to make a paste out of the yeast, raw cashews, red pepper and water. While, nuts are allowed while in reset, I opted not to use them as I wanted this to be a "free" snack and I was all out of red peppers so I just chose to mix the yeast with a little water until a thin paste was formed.

Pour the paste on the kale and mix like you were dressing a salad.

Spread the kale out on the cookie sheet, sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt and bake at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes. I turned my kale over about half way through to get even crispness.

Take out of oven, let cool a few minutes and enjoy all the "cheesy" goodness.

So my review, I enjoyed these and will make again. The cheesy flavor isn't really cheesy like a Doritos is cheesy but it added a little more interest to my kale chips which I appreciated.

As a bonus, I wanted to share a product with you that I have been enjoying. I picked up some herbal Meyer Lemon tea at the store and while good warm, it is excellent chilled with a tiny bit of stevia as a faux "lemonade" I enjoyed it with my cheesy kale chips today as a fun little snack while watching the NY Giants/Packers game with my hubby.

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