Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Baby Steps

Yesterday, while I was in the middle of cutting some fabric for sewing, I had this overwhelming need to go to sleep. I haven't felt that way in several months, and after my nap (I slept soundly for 1 1/2 hours), I started to think about the possible reasons. I then joined a couple girlfriends at Red Robin, where I unwisely had a big burger and some fries.  While chatting with my friends after dinner, it hit me. I've been careless about my eating habits - I've been eating WAY too much sugar.  I've made lots of sweets - from cookies to candy to cakes - and even had half of a Texas Sheet Cake still sitting at home. I haven't checked my blood sugar for a while - and I bet if I did it would be extremely high.

So, I made a mental list of some things I needed to start to change my habits, and stopped at the grocery store on the way home for some fresh produce. I used to eat lots and lots of fresh vegetables, and we had only a head of romaine sitting in the refrigerator.

When I walked in the house with my bag of groceries, I was met by my husband, who informed me it was time for a change. Nice coincidence!  He'd stepped on the scales, and was heavier than he'd been in quite some time. We agreed to do this together - and the first thing we needed to do was get rid of that darn cake.  A quick phone call to Cindy and John across the street did the job - they were happy to take it off our hands.

Don doesn't have a blood sugar issue, and likes to eat something in the 45 minutes or so he's up before me, so I bought him some bagels.  When I got up, I made Kalyn's Cottage Cheese and Egg "Muffins" with Bacon and Green Onion - one of her early recipes on her blog. Kalyn focuses on South Beach Diet-friendly recipes, so I know I'll be using her as a resource as much as I can. Not only does she have her own recipes for her readers to use, she does monthly roundups of other bloggers' recipes.

Cottage Cheese and Egg "Muffins" with Bacon and Green Onion
from Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen

⅔ cup cottage cheese (I used low-fat)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
⅔ cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
4 eggs, beaten
3 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, fat blotted with paper towel, then crumbled
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion (scallions)

 Preheat oven to 400 F.  In mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, white whole wheat flour, almond meal, salt, water, and beaten egg. Mix well. Gently mix in crumbled bacon and green onion, until well distributed in batter.  Spray muffin tins or silicone muffin cups with nonstick spray, or use foil muffin liners Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 25 -30 minutes, until muffins are firm and lightly browned. Serve hot or room temperature.

Note from Cyndi:  Somehow this made enough for 12 muffins, not six, and I'm assuming my oven burns hot, because after 25 minutes these were almost overcooked.

Kalyn says:
Muffins can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave. (I cut in half crosswise before heating. Be very careful not to microwave more than about a minute, or they will become tough.) I haven't tried freezing them, but I would imagine they will freeze well.

These are great with a little salsa.

Lunch was a variation of Kalyn's Power Salad.  I didn't have any kale, but I did have some romaine and a head of white cabbage, and I had some walnuts to add a bit of protein.  I really like kidney beans on my salads, so I made some pickled kidney beans to go on top of my salad. They add some protein and fiber to an already fiber-rich salad.

Pickled Kidney Beans

1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Splenda granular
dash salt
dash pepper
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, water, Splenda, salt, and pepper.  Add kidney beans.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes before eating.  The flavor deepens with time.   Use about 1/4 cup beans on a salad.

My dressing, recommended by Kalyn, comes from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks. I had the correct ingredients on hand, and used my new salad dressing bottle to mix it up.

Lemon-Parmesan Vinaigrette 
from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup good grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Put all the ingredients in a glass mason jar or other container with a tight fitting lid. Cover tightly and shake all ingredients to combine. Store unused dressing in the refrigerator. Use within a few weeks. If it even lasts that long.

 Baby steps.  I can only do things one meal, one day at a time.  Getting rid of that cake was the first step. I've got to work on my sweet tooth - any tips will be appreciated.

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