The Wednesday Weight Drop

I didn’t do a Monday book because I am plowing my way through one of Steven King’s doorstoppers. So, stay tuned for next week on that front.

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However, permit me to share some good news: since being diagnosed as pre-diabetic in 2018, I have lost 10% of my body mass index (BMI). That’s kinda the benchmark for getting out of the Type II diagnosis.

It was one of those non-decision decisions: limit myself to 90 carbs per day, or accept becoming diabetic. NO way, given the state of healthcare in 2018 (and what it was projected to look like even before 2020 flexed her evil muscles) was I going to wind up insulin dependent. The price of my glucometer sent me into sticker shock from the beginning. First plan: make it a lifestyle, not a diet, so it would stay off. Second plan: count carbs, not calories. That was my doctor’s advice (Thanks Doc Ashley!)

Where do the carbs hide? Bye-bye to flour, rice, corn, and potatoes (notice I did not eliminate sugar; I knows my limits, folks.) It’s REALLY ANNOYING that potatoes are so bad for us because they 1) are easy to grow 2) are cheap to buy 3) taste good and 4) can be made into a thousand different things. But also hi-carb, so I just made it a rule: no tatties, except as a treat equivalent to candy. (I am a sucker for tater tots with ketchup and did indeed pop them in place of M&Ms on special occasions.)

It is easier to cut out what triggers you than control eating it. Ask me about making nachos. “But they’re covered with vegetables!” Yeah, no. Every time, I ate too many, so, bye. It takes about three weeks to get something out of one’s system. And using your triggers as treats doesn’t work.

Rice was easy; I don’t care for rice. Cauliflower rice is a good lesson on why you shouldn’t try substituting one thing for another unless you LIKE the substitute. If you don’t like pasta made from chick peas, give up on spaghetti and find a different food entirely. Pick your substitutes and don’t try to accept the commercialization of things you COULD use instead.

Corn: well, after awhile, it moved to “processed corn.” I became an expert label reader. That sh– er, stuff is everywhere under a lot of “don’t mind me” names. You have to look carefully. But if you do, it’s not hard (or expensive!) to find processed foods that don’t have any corn fillers in them.

Flour: almond flour is expensive, so don’t bake as often. Using the tiny pieces of bread like one buys for party foods helped when I had to have it (and they are almost always found on the day-old baking cart). Peanut butter toast tapas is good stuff. (A word of warning: gluten free is very rarely low carb. Don’t be suckered.)

Last advice for those looking at their own weight journeys: pay attention to slow versus low carb. They’re your carbs and you can do what you want with them, but some of them make you hungrier and some of them fill you up. Think carefully.

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Filed under Hunger Games, Life reflections

An Indian Summer

Jack scrapes in under the wire again – –

Things have become a bit strange during the continued pandemic lock-down, to the extent that simply having a few friends meet with us on our back deck (suitably distanced of course) becomes an occasion for celebration. So it was last evening when Kirk, Nancy and Dawn joined us on a late October day when the temp was in the mid 70s (Jack is proud of not putting a possessive apostrophe before the plural ‘s’).

As well as enjoying the balmy night and the wide ranging conversation we also tucked into one of my curries. Wendy is a spice wimp so it’s always good to have others on hand who are into hot foods.

For some time now I’ve made big batches of basic Indian restaurant style sauce and then bagged and frozen it ready to bring out a bag as and when necessary. The recipe is easy and can be found on-line.

This sauce should be thought of as a blank canvas on which you will paint the finished picture. It’s fairly bland and I usually add onions, red and green peppers, and any other veggies going spare. I also decide what additional spices are needed to get to the desired heat (“hot or Indian hot, sir?”). I usually saute the chopped onions in some ghee, then minced garlic, ghost pepper powder and hot curry powder and finally add the sauce and veggies.

Then it’s time to decide what protein will go in, if any. I sometimes just leave it as a veggie curry, but also often add chicken or shrimp. I cut chicken breasts into bite sized chunks then marinade them overnight before grilling in the oven and adding to the curry. I use a chicken tikka spice blend in the marinade. Shrimp is easier but shouldn’t be added until late if it’s already cooked and pink or it will be tough and chewy – in fact I often serve it separately for folk to add if they want or not as they choose.

Just lately, instead of freezing the basic sauce we’ve been canning it – mainly because we have access to a pressure canner and Wendy has become skilled at the process. Personally I find the whole thing pretty scary, as I have never experienced it. In fact I don’t really understand why it’s called canning when it actually involves glass jars!

So now we have twenty eight jars of curry sauce, which should keep me going for a good long time. And Wendy will be eating something else.

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Filed under between books, crafting, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch