New Year= New Love with Food
A Two Month Free For All
So the last two months of 2017 I decided I was going to let myself go on a foodie free-for-all. Basically I could eat what I wanted and however much I wanted and I promised myself when the new year hit I was going to join millions of others and beginning eating healthy again. It's sad that I let myself just go nuts, but let me tell you a little background of how I came to this decision. For the past three years I have been on a weight loss journey from my gastric sleeve. I was sleeved December 8th, 2014 and I really embraced it and just moved myself forward because I wanted to be healthier and have a happier life. Well about a year after my gastric sleeve I became pregnant with my daughter. During my pregnancy I actually lost more weight because of course my mini me was eating everything.
Well fast forward to a couple months after she was born and I made the decision to take the Depo Provera as a form of birth control. Within the first three months of this shot I gained weight like it was nothing. Now considering I had lost 150lbs by that point and now I was putting it back on like it was nothing... well was extremely depressing. So I went back to healthy eating and sometimes not eating at all because this weight gain was really effecting me. So finally I losted the depo weight but I still wasn't happy I felt like I was depriving myself plus my relationship with food was on the rocks. Finally I made a decision around the end of October knowing the holidays were coming up and I didn't feel like depriving myself any longer. Thus I made myself a promise that I could go nuts for two months and then once the two months were up it was back to healthy eating. Now during these two months I did some thinking, some research and some soul searching.
One of the reasons my relationship with food was on the rocks was because I was not truely using food in the way it is suppose to be used. Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Thus while chomping down on fatting, comfort foods I started doing research on what I love to eat, what others love to eat, and what I need to start changing in my diet to meet my needs. For instance, I am a single mom to a wonderful daughter and I need to show her healthy eating habits, which is going to make her said because my little skinny chick loves french fries.
I am a working chef, but one of the problems is I suffer from chronic back pain, achilles tendonitis, depression, and anxiety. However, when I step into a kitchen that is where my therapy begins and now I am rejoining back with my therapist and hoping to help others in the process. So I will include what my meal plan for the week is and how ingredients in there will truly help you in weight loss.
Caramelize Your Onions
Meal Prep...A Key Ingredient
So one of the big, big, BIG things that is needed to make your week even half way successful is meal prepping. So me knowing my cravings and how my body works I planned out my meals a head of time. I knew I was going to be having swordfish a bunch this week because I got a 10lb loin for $30 at Sysco. Also I know that I am one of those people who loves sweets. I can blame my daughter for that because honestly I was not big on the whole sweet treat thing until I got pregnant with her. So one of my snacks for this week I am making a play on an apple pie a la mode. Now when I do plan these meals I use the 21 day fix guidelines, not because I am promoting the product, but because it is best for my body and my lifestyle as a busy mom. Now if you are a weight watchers, Whole30, 21 day fix, paleo, gluten free dietary person, whatever you are this advice and these recipes can always be tailored to your needs.
For me I have to have a protein heavy diet because of my gastric sleeve and because it is good for me overall. So for instance my snack this week definitely includes protein, actually almost every meal includes protein. This is for the most part what my week looks like and once I lay it down I will break it down why I choose what I choose.
Breakfast: 2 eggs (overeasy) sauteed onions and mushrooms
Lunch: Swordfish with sauteed zucchini or squash
Dinner: Southwest or Asian Salad with Chicken
Snack 1: Apple Pie a la mode (Parfait Style)
Snack 2: Cotton Candy Grapes
One of the first things I did in my meal prep was caramelize my onions to go with my breakfast. The reason why I spent time really caramelizing them was because I wanted them to really have this great flavor because caramelizing means to bring out the natural sugars in something. Now a traditional, good way to caramelize onions is to cook them low and slow with butter to bring out their flavors. However, we want this to be healthy. One of my favorite companies I buy from is Olivelle Fine Foods. I used there Sweet Cream Butter olive oil, only about 2 tsp with my onion to bring out the flavor I needed. So I placed these onions on low heat with the olive oil and just let them cook down. Now if you don't think you have time for it, you're wrong. I walked around the house, cleaned, played with my daughter all while cooking these onions down. Now of I made enough to last me a couple of days so I can just throw them in the pan in the morning with my mushrooms that are sautéing and really let them absorb there flavors.
When I make my eggs in the morning I tend to make them overeasy. The reason for that is because egg yolks are basically mother natures gravy. So once I place the mushrooms and onions in my bowl and pop those egg yolk over these veggies it is so amazing and something yummy and comforting to start off the day with.
Wakey, Wakey, Healthy Brekkie
Time to break down why this breakfast is amazingly healthy for you as well as comforting. To me the taste of the buttery, caramelized onions is savory and hearty, something this time of year when it's really cold outside I want inside of me and something I know while stick with me during the day.
Eggs first and foremost are an amazing source of protein. Plus like I mentioned before the yolk of the egg is like mother natures gravy. Eggs contain an amazing source of B2, vitamin D, B6, B12, zinc, iron, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K. What ultimately does this mean in basic human language? Basically it means that eggs are good for heart health, bone growth and protection, its good for breast feeding mothers, eye health, depression, anxiety, weight loss, and can reduce risk of stroke.
Next for the onions...yellow onions which is what I used for this are great for cooking because they have an amazing natural sugar complex that come out when cooked. The longer and slower you cook the onions the more you bring out the natural sugars and really ultimately flavor. Onions also have amazing health benefits. Onions are a part of the allium family, which means they have been cultivated over time because of their medicinal properties. Onions have a lot of nutrients. They contain calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Onions are great in fighting cancer. Primarily, they fight tumor growth and prevent free radicals from forming. Also with the folate in the onions it is good for fighting depression and regulating sleep and your appetite. Another amazing side effect of the onion is the vitamin C helps with the building of collagen which is needed for healthy skin and hair. So for healthy skin and shiny hair I would carry an extra mint to keep that onion breath away.
Finally mushrooms and their health benefits are another added benefit to this amazing breakfast. Mushrooms contain selenium, copper, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamin D. The best way to bring out these nutrients is to cook them, so I sautéed them with a little bit of worchestershire sauce to give the mushrooms a little added steakhouse flavor. Mushrooms also are a good vegetable to add to dishes because they absorb other flavors, so during this dish it absorbed the onion, butter, and egg flavor and really brought the dish to another amazingly savory level. Mushrooms are good for heart health and for fighting cancer properties that can enter the body.
So later on this week I will break down more of these meals so we can really take an adventure into a healthy, educated and wholesome year.