My kitchen scares me. . . . and not for the reason you may think. No, I am not afraid of the pressure cooker, nor of trying new recipes or using spices. To my knowledge, there are no spiders. I am pretty adept at finding my way around the kitchen. So, what is so scary?
As you'll know from previous posts, I "kon-maried" my house over the last year or so and then sold the place and moved into an apartment. I drastically reduced my. . .well, my everything. My kitchen has been purged of the useless, the less-than-ideal, the i-can-do-that-with-this. Yet I still struggle to deal with all the STUFF in my new, smaller kitchen in the apartment. True, it's about half the size of my kitchen in the house I just sold. . . but, it's WAY bigger. . . .like triple the size. . . of the kitchen that I will end up with on Vera Louise.
I have made some realizations in the two months since moving.
Join me in what I hope will be an inspiring journey, as I try various minimalist approaches and work at ways to reduce not only the STUFF in my kitchen, but also my TIME spent there (and at the store!).
One look at my Instagram account and you can tell I am a foodie. I love the variety, tastes, textures, aromas. . . I love food. Eating the same thing for several days in a row works for me, as long as it's a good meal, like African Chicken Stew with Spaghetti Squash or Butternut Cottage Pie. But even cooking these staples meals once a week causes a tornado of dirty dishes and clean-up.
I eat a (mostly) Paleo menu, with the occasional 21 Day Sugar Detox or Whole30 thrown in for good measure and course correcting. All three of these are typically labor intensive ways of eating. I will not utilize conveniences/packaged food that is not within my eating values So, I need to figure out how to be more efficient, do more with less, and develop SIMPLE meal plans.
Follow this blog, category: Minimalist Foodie, as I undertake this exciting and scary journey.
Let's get cooking,
So I did it. I started the 21 Day Sugar Detox on Monday. This is probably the fifth or sixth time I have done this detox since I first tried it in 2012. I love this detox because it helps me reboot my expectations and cravings around food. Between some personal goings-on and moving, I lost track of my eating goals. I am not fully back in the swing of weekly cook-ups since moving into the apartment. I have learned that when I start to veer off course, it's time for a detox. I like to get ahead of any impending long-term changes in habits before they become problems.
The teenager left for her dad's on Monday. So I figured now is the perfect time to get the 21 days in. . . and have time to finish before July 4th weekend.
I'll admit, I haven't planned very well this week, but I have managed to keep it between the navigational beacons. There have been more salads consumed than I cared for. . .and butter chicken for breakfast once. ;) But I am happy to say I have stayed on track. I plan to spend some time this weekend preparing for next week.
Here's a little of this week's fare. To see more, check me out on Instagram.
Last night I need something different. . .a bit of a treat without getting too crazy. I opted to concoct an apple "pie". I tried finding something inspiring on Pinterest and failed. So, I created this one.
I even thought ahead and wrote down what I put in it so that I could share it here. ;)
The instructions are really simple:
I hope you enjoy it! I sure did. And I have two jars ready-made for the weekend. ;)
Please let me know if you try it.
Today is my last day of HCG protocol (Phase Two). I finished the injections on Monday. As I reflect back over the past 44 days; it went by really fast. There were a few days when I was sick and really wanted something other than my protocol food. I was definitely more lackadaisical about the food than I ever have been in the past. I honestly ate chicken and cucumbers (or pickles) pretty much every day. Expediency and ease took precedence over taste and variety. Turns out it worked for me, because I can report 100% compliance! That's right. No cheats. No off days. No beer. I am, however, ready for some new tastes, and a beer!
My goal was to lose 40 pounds. . . I lost 39.4!! I will take it. Here is a before and after. It isn't that obvious in the pictures maybe, but in my wardrobe, you can't miss it. Almost all of my work clothes are making their way into the garage sale pile. Every time I do laundry I have to re-sort because I ended up wearing pants that were falling down that week!
Now that I look at these two pictures side by side, they don't do the changes justice. I will post something more illustrative over the weekend.
As I said, I mostly ate the same things. My basic strategy was to cook up batches of chicken, seal them up in Food Saver bags, and grab one for each meal. For veggies I did mostly cucumbers, some tomatoes, radish and cabbage. Fruit consisted entirely of apples for the first half of the protocol, until I found a love for frozen strawberries warmed up in the microwave. YUM!.
Now What? Phase Three - Maintenance
Phase Three starts tomorrow. I will add more of the foods I am already eating, as well as a few things I haven't been eating (like eggs & watermelon! - not together). No simple sugars and limited simple carbs are allowed on P3. This is the scary part for me. I can lose weight like a champ! It's the maintaining where the hard part happens.
Most recently before starting HCG, I was eating based on a plan that my trainer put together for me. I haven't planned my own full menu since April. As much as I am looking forward to the variety, I am a little apprehensive about the freedom. My food plan is below. My weight plan is to weigh every day, and do a Steak Day (more on that in another post) or Apple Day any time I have a +/-2# variance. I know that sounds intense, but it's only a few weeks. After such rapid weight loss the body needs to be carefully monitored while adjusting to the new you. . . . or weight gain creeps up fast!
Today is shopping day, with at least a little cooking required tonight. Ultimately, I will end up with a menu that starts on Monday and do my cooking on Sunday. This week is a little peculiar with the mid-week start, but maybe that's best. I can warm up my cooking muscles slowly.
I am off to Costco!
Have a brilliant week!
Jules Warner - Author
Thanks for reading my ramblings.