Potato Hack Diet, Day 4

Posted in Exercise, Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Dena

This one was intentionally only semi-potato hack, since I was running out of potatoes.

Basically, I did a similar thing as yesterday. Had a normal breakfast, potatoes for lunch and dinner, plus half a chicken breast for dinner.

Unfortunately, I cheated big time and had some Cheeto’s, but it didn’t screw up my numbers too badly other than calories. I didn’t do as well with the fat either–couldn’t keep from adding a little butter to my potatoes. I think I could pull this off for maybe 2 days, but 4 is too many. I did get the cravings mostly under control, but by the end of the day, I was just dying for something different and the Cheeto’s were calling to me. But I did, at least, get my 15 minutes of walking in.

This isn’t something I could do regularly, but if I ever decide to do the “carb refeed” thing one day a week or something, like some low-carbers do, this might be a good way to do it.

If I get a chance to weigh tomorrow, I’ll post the progress on that (or lack thereof).

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Potato Hack Diet, Day 3

Posted in Exercise, Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2014 by Dena

I messed up and ate half a chicken breast. I had just gotten back from going to the doctor with my husband (he’d been having panic attacks for two weeks), and after eating a potato’s worth of fries I’d made earlier … it just didn’t feel like enough. I was stressed and not feeling satiated so I ate the other half of the chicken breast I’d cooked for him.

I did do much better on the fat, tho. Only about 29 grams, where yesterday I had more like 50.

I also finally got around to taking a walk around the buildings–15 minutes of walking. I also did the PB exercises (squats, push-ups, and planks) for the first time in ages.

I’ve only got about 2 servings of potatoes left, so tomorrow will be my last day, plus I’ll probably have a little chicken with dinner again because it won’t be enough, otherwise. So I’ll do one more semi-day.

Potato Hack Diet, Day 2

Posted in Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by Dena

Day 2 went well, I guess. I’m having a hard time not getting hungry a couple of hours after eating potatoes, so I think I’ve proven that I can’t pull off a nearly-vegetarian diet, if nothing else =P This is definitely not a long-term thing for me.

Slight change in how I’m handling it–I was trying to add fat, but the MDA forum users convinced me to stop (tho I will continue having eggs and sausage for breakfast, but starting tomorrow, I’m only gonna have 1 egg, and add a bit of some form of potato), so I’m no longer adding butter to the potatoes. I’m probably still using too much fat, since I’m still eating the mashed potatoes I made a few days ago, but I had less than yesterday.

I think I’m gonna run out of potatoes at the end of either tomorrow or the next day, so I’ll probably just end it then.

I’ll see if I can weigh after it’s over–of course I didn’t weight when it started, but I think I have an idea of what my weight was then, since it’s been pretty consistent lately.

Oh yeah, I’m craving sweets a lot–I think it’s probably just because I’m using this diet as an excuse to ween myself off of them, so I haven’t had any junk food for the last 2 days after having it daily. Instead of junk food, I’m substituting coffee, tea, or lemonade made with Truvia whenever I get a craving for sweets.

Again, we’ll see how this goes.

Potato Hack Diet, Day 1 (plus recipe)

Posted in Musings, Recipes/Food, Weight with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by Dena

So, I’m doing it.

I’m still having sausage and eggs for breakfast, but after that, it’s potatoes whenever I get hungry, tho I’m not being super strict even with that part, as I’ll explain below.

First, here’s what I made in advance for the next couple days …

Paleo Mashed Potatoes

Not much of a recipe, and I forgot to take any pics, but here’s what I threw together.

Ingredients:

  • 4 red potatoes (they were the cheapest)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3T of coconut milk
  • Spoonful or so of minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder to taste

Peel and chop potatoes.

Boil water and/or bone broth. I started with bone broth, then added water until it looked like enough to cover the potatoes. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender enough that they almost fall apart when speared with a fork.

Drain, then add butter and coconut milk. At this point, I used a stick blender to mash potatoes and mix everything.

Add salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste–seriously, I just eyeballed it.

.

Back to the diet–traditionally, it’s supposed to be just potatoes, according to the info I read, but I have to put something on them. Also, I don’t want this to be a starvation diet (tho it’s near the end of the day, and I’ve only gotten about half my normal amount of calories in–not sure if that’s such a good thing, but I’ll see how I feel after doing this for awhile. I’ll quit if I end up feeling low on energy), plus I don’t want to suffer too much. Did that in spades with the Cabbage Soup Diet–never again! Anyway, in addition to potatoes, you can have only water, coffee, and tea to drink–that part I am sticking with. No sugar in my coffee, either, but I will continue to use Truvia.

For dinner tonight, I made Lemon Chicken with Potatoes, but I only ate the potatoes. Seriously craving something sweet right now, so maybe I’ll have some coffee in a bit.

Like I said, we’ll see how this goes. Unfortunately I don’t have a scale so I can’t really show my progress here, but I’m mostly hoping this’ll help with my junk food cravings.

EDIT – At around 10:15, I couldn’t decide if I was hungry or just wanting food. Came to the conclusion that I was slightly hungry and, since I had a very late breakfast and skipped lunch, decided to eat half a serving of mashed potatoes.

And now I’m craving sweets again. Had coffee earlier, think I’ll make some lemonade with Truvia this time.

ANOTHER EDIT – After midnight, and stomach is growling, so I’m eating the other half of that serving of mashed potatoes. I’ll probably be going to bed soon, but I HATE going to bed on an empty stomach.

Haven’t felt like updating / change in routine

Posted in Exercise, Musings, Recipes/Food, Weight with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by Dena

So, yeah … there hasn’t been much in the way of “Ever-changing” with Dena lately (can I just go on record as saying I hate the name of my own blog?  XD  But I digress …)

Still in a hotel room. I have had a string of temp jobs since about January, and we got a nice tax refund, so we’re okay for now. Unfortunately, I am jobless at the moment, but hopefully things will look up again soon. Anyway, enough about that.

There is one change I could talk about–it’s something I decided to start doing while unemployed and now that we have our own space: I shower and make breakfast first thing in the morning.

My routine used to go like this: Wake up, get coffee and drink it while going on the internet for about 30 minutes, then spend another 15-30 minutes getting ready, then leave, and still feel barely awake once I got to work.

Now, it’s: Wake up, shower for about 30 minutes, make breakfast (which also takes around 30 minutes), then eat while going online, etc., for about 30 minutes, then spend 15-30 minutes getting ready.

As you can probably guess, it adds something like an extra hour to my morning routine, but I think it’s worth it–I’m pretty much wide awake once I get out of the shower. I still drink coffee, but I don’t feel chained to it anymore.

On the downside, being unemployed and having my computer set up on the kitchen counter is having a really bad effect on my eating habits–being bored/depressed and with junk food within arms reach, I’m just eating way too much junk lately. But tomorrow, I’m going to try something different, known as the Potato Hack. I just feel like trying a mono-food diet (somewhat) might help get me back on track with eating more responsibly. But I’ll talk more about that in a later post.

I also haven’t been exercising, but with California weather being so nice lately, I think it’s time to change that, so I’m gonna try to start walking again.

I don’t have a scale, but my mom does, so I try to use hers when I’m at her house and I think about it–the good news is that while I haven’t lost anything, I at least haven’t gained either, so things could be worse.

I think that’s about it for now. It’s 2 AM and I don’t have it in me to come up with a snappy ending remark  XD

For what it’s worth, I will try to update more (in case anyone still even reads this).

Two Stove-top chicken “Recipes”

Posted in Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by Dena

Not really recipes, so much as stuff I threw together that turned out good, so figured I’d share  =P

So, as I said in a previous entry, we’re currently in a hotel, where my cooking is limited to a stove-top and microwave, so I’ve had to get a bit creative. Money is also extremely tight, since we’re (so far) jobless and living off of our savings, so I’m also limited when it comes to ingredients. So figuring out what to cook, so we don’t end up living on instant ramen, has been an interesting challenge. Oh, and my non-primal husband has to like it as well, which ups the challenge even more.

Here are two I’ve made recently that I was pretty happy with:

Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Potatoes

chicken

This one was adapted from a recipe from Barefoot Contessa that I saw her make on her show ages ago that I’d been wanting to try ever since (the one I linked to isn’t the exact one, but it’s pretty close, and the one I used as a guide for this one).

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 small white potatoes, roughly cut
  • half an onion, roughly cut
  • a few cloves of garlic, only cut into about 4 pieces each
  • one lemon, quartered
  • dried rosemary and basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter to cook the chicken in (this was mainly because the pan provided by the hotel sticks like crazy and I was hoping more grease would prevent it–you could technically leave it out if you have a non-stick pan, but I think it adds to the flavor)

So, after cutting everything up, I sauteed the onions and garlic in the butter until soft, then I removed them so they wouldn’t burn, and added the chicken, lemon, and spices. Then I covered it and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes on medium-ish heat before turning it over 1/4 of the way, plus I stirred the potatoes and lemons around so nothing would burn. After somewhere around 5-6 times the chicken was cooked through and the potatoes were fork tender, then I re-added the onions and garlic and gave them a chance to heat back up.

The juice from the chicken combined with the lemon juice and garlic forms a really nice sauce. Everything just goes together really well. I’d like to substitute the potato with something a little more healthy like cauliflower, but didn’t think my husband would like it. Maybe at some point I’ll give it a shot.

It made 4 somewhat scant servings–we tend to eat light. Would probably be 2 for most people =P

Home-Made “Ramen”

ramen

Okay, in NO way is this authentic or traditional ramen. My husband and I like instant ramen, which I make a specific way–while the noodles are boiling, I add a raw beaten egg during the last minute or so of cooking, then I drain most of the water before adding the flavor packet. Cheap and unhealthy, but we love it. But I was wondering if there was a way to make a healthier and semi-primal-friendly version from scratch. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 2 cups of home made bone broth (I should have used more, as I’ll mention below)
  • Chopped-up meat from 2 cooked chicken thighs
  • Rice noodles (I just threw some handfuls into the boiling water, but I think I ended up with 2 cups total)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Oriental-ish spices–whatever you like, but I went with ground ginger, onion powder, minced garlic, some chopped green onion left over from something else, and salt

Pretty simple. First, I cooked and rinsed the noodles, then I heated the broth, added the spices, then once it came to a boil, I added the rest of the ingredients.

It came out pretty good, but much less strong-tasting than the instant kind, so I added more salt to mine–in the future, I’d probably spend a little more time adjusting the spices, but it had come to a boil pretty quickly and I was worried it might start to burn or something if I messed with it for too long. The result reminds me a bit of chicken soup with the little chunks of chicken amongst the noodles, even though it definitely tastes oriental, probably because of the ginger. I definitely should have used more broth–probably 4 cups would have been better, as it practically evaporated by the end, as you can see in the pic.

I had never used rice noodles before, and I really liked the texture and it absorbed the flavor of the broth nicely. Of course, rice isn’t technically primal since it’s a grain, but it is one of the more benign grains, so some primal people eat it anyway. A more primal version would probably involve shredding a vegetable of some kind into long ribbons, but again, I didn’t think my husband would be up for that (he’s a total pasta addict, so this was intended as a compromise of sorts, since it’s at least gluten-free).

It made about 5 scant servings.

So there you go. My next experiment will likely be Chicken Vindaloo (file it under “You know you’re a fan of Red Dwarf, When …”).

In a New Place (Or an Old One, Depending How You Look at it)

Posted in Moving, Musings with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by Dena

Just wanted to say that we did make it to Sacramento safely (on October 30th), tho there was a bit of a snag getting the cat through the airport, then another snag getting picked up at the final airport, then yet another snag borrowing my mom’s car … but eh … the important thing is that we’re in Sacramento and things are beginning to settle down. Time for me to start being productive again.

I’m not doing great diet-wise. I think it’s partly because I have the laptop set up at what is really the kitchen counter, so I’m just too close to temptation most of the time. Also, I’ve kind of slipped into screw-my-heath-need-to-binge mode. Like I said, we hit a snag with borrowing my mom’s car and we were without transportation for a week. We are within walking distance from a liquor and food store, but it is a bit of a trek and there’s only so much you can carry when you’re on foot (not to mention, I don’t think they had any meat or produce). So we basically lived on delivery pizza and free Pop Tarts and oatmeal from the lobby during that time. At some point I had to just throw up my hands and not worry about the quality of food too much, if only to save my sanity, and I’m having a bit of a hard time letting go of that now. This is where being a creature of habit can really put a damper on things.

But, the good news is that we’re now borrowing my mom’s car (she doesn’t use it much), so we’re able to make trips to the grocery store. Therefor I’m making breakfast and dinner every day. Breakfast has been bacon and scrambled eggs (soon to change to sausage and scrambled eggs, since I got a bit tired of bacon).

As for dinner, I came up with a good recipe for chicken drumsticks (they’re cheap–it’s something like $5 for a dozen–I think it was Julie who drew my attention to that awhile back–thanks), which was adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I will try to post it soon–either way, it turned out awesome. Even Lee, who was really unenthusiastic about drumsticks, loved it.

I really need to start a job search, like really really soon. We’ve got no source of income, just some money saved up, and we’re living in a hotel room, which we’re only going to be able to afford for a little while. But, honestly, I’m having a hard time getting motivated. I’m so tired of office jobs, and I’m kind of into the domestic thing right now–I can’t think of anything more daunting than sitting at a desk all day just for the sole purpose of earning money to survive, and not having time to cook and such in the evening. It’s awful and selfish of me, but it’s just how I feel right now. Hopefully I’ll get over it soon.

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap up for now. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things and post more often. This blog is as much for me as anyone else–the soul-searching I do while writing this stuff can be pretty helpful with getting my thoughts in order.