Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My New Food Journey - 56 pounds and Another Inch Smaller

Yippee! Another 4 pounds smaller and an inch from most of my measurements!
My energy levels are higher, my knees aren't threatening to buckle anymore, and my lower legs don't feel heavy by the end of the day now. Stairs are no longer an obstacle to be negotiated one step at a time.

Carb counting is my happy spot!
Food is my friend and I can eat a lot of food in one day. Protein, dairy, grains, vegetables, and fruit fill my plate and my stomach. I love smoked sausage, pork sausage, bacon and beef. I can have a link of smoked sausage or a bratwurst, but not in a bun. I can have a couple of chocolate chunk chewy granola bars a day if I want and this curbs all of my chocolate cravings.
Breakfast was a breakfast biscuit minus the biscuit. Lunch was my chocolate fix. Dinner was a skinny version of chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. My husband had oven fried chicken, but the skinny mashed potatoes and gravy. I use chicken bouillon and 2% milk to make my white sauce and mashed potatoes. I still put 1-2 Tbsp. of butter in them. 


Pizza is another food I LOVE!
Carb counting lets me eat pizza just not in the amounts I was consuming before. Pizza is now 2 slices a meal from a medium pizza and I usually eat it for supper, 2 slices for breakfast the following morning, and 2 slices for lunch the following day. Pizza splurge over 3 meals!
Cheese is another food I LOVE!
I can have 1/3 cup of grated Colby Jack cheese or Mozzarella on salads, scrambled eggs, skillet scrambles, etc. Cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt are all things I can still eat.
Are you seeing the heavy cream and butter that I am still eating? Yes, I eat heavy cream and butter on or with my food. I cook with the butter and the cream, but I seldom go over 2 Tablespoons a day. Dinner was a skillet scramble that I love. Lots of veggies scrambled with a large egg and egg white. Then topped with picante sauce. 
When I started my food journey, I used the app LoseIt! and set my goal to lose 95 pounds at a rate of a pound and a half a week.
The app tracks calories, carbs, protein, etc. For myself, I watched the carbohydrates, but found that the calories I consumed seldom went over the calorie goal anyway. Fat and sodium intakes were two things I also tried to balance out. My weight was put on gradually and wanted to take it off gradually.
The initial plan was eating 135-180 carbs a day and almost 1900 calories a day.
As I logged my weight loss, the app gradually reduced the calorie count, but I continued to eat 135 - 180 carbs a day. Honestly, there are days I can't eat another bite because I am full and my carb count is at 80 to 125 carbs. See the food diary snip for January 29th. I ate 87 carbs and couldn't eat another bite!


Saturday, January 27, 2018

My New Food Journey Continues - Fifty Pounds Smaller

It has been awhile since I have posted here at SalleeB's Kitchen, but life happens doesn't it? My new food journey began in June 2017 when my blood work came back in the upper end of the prediabetic range. I immediately resolved to lose the extra pounds that I had slowly put on over the last seven years. However, this news just increased my resolve to follow through on a decision I had made in April 2017 after seeing the picture below. 
To date, I have lost 51.8 lbs. 
My original clothing size was a plus size 22/24. Now, I am wearing a plus size 16/18. How amazing is that? There have been several other benefits to losing this weight. The first one is that my November blood sugar, or A1C test, was at the lower end of the prediabetic scale. Another benefit is that my knees and lower legs no longer ache and cause me pain. No more one stepping up and down stairs while holding onto the banister. My energy level is much better too.
Exercising Much? 
One of the first questions I get asked is how often am I exercising. This is funny because I haven't exercised once. Yes, I have lost over fifty pounds and haven't intentionally exercised once. Instead, I have made a change in what and how I eat. This eating change is responsible for my weight loss.
My choice for dropping the extra pounds is a combination of counting carbohydrates and using the plate plan method
When I first started counting carbs, I decided to use an app to help me log my carbs. This has been a great way for me to track my calories, carbs, fat, sugar, sodium, and protein intake too. My daily carb goal is 135-180 carbs a day. As long as I don't eat a lot of pasta, cake, or food containing starches that turn into sugar, I can eat a lot of food and I do not feel hungry or food deprived.  A side benefit of counting carbs and using an app is that I find myself planning my meals most of the time. 
The plate plan is easy! 
I just imagine a line divides my plate in half horizontally. That top half of my plate is for non starch food like lettuce, salad olives, cucumbers, etc. The bottom half of my plate is for starches on the left and protein on the right. None of my food should be taller than a package of playing cards. How easy is that? 
Measuring My Food
In addition to carb counting and the plate plan, I started measuring and weighing the food that goes onto my plate at home. No more guesstimates for me. Now my kitchen scale is in use almost daily in contrast to before when it sat in the cabinet for weeks at a time. I also use 1/2 cup and 1 cup containers to use when I pack my lunch for work. 
A Label Reading Surprise
I have always been a label reader, but after I started counting carbohydrates, my first shopping trip to the grocery store took label reading to another level. That initial trip took much longer than usual because I had to read the ingredient list  and carbohydrate count on every prepackaged product I picked up and was surprised at how sugar hides as an ingredient in an amazing number of foods! 
One of the Changes in What I Buy
One of the biggest changes in my new food journey is that I stopped buying prepackaged pasta and pasta sauce. I can't eat prepackaged pasta mixes because of the carbs and pasta sauce has sugar hiding in it. Sugar equals lots of empty carbs. These two items are no longer found in my pantry. 

I could go on and on about the changes, but I don't want to overload you with information that I have acquired over a seven month period of time. My new food journey is continuing and I will tell you more about it in other posts. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream Topping

Yield: One 8" cheesecake
Ingredients
  • 1 no bake cheesecake mix
  • 1/2 cup 100% pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. of heavy cream
Directions
  • Follow the package directions on the cheesecake mix, but add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to the milk called for in the directions. 
  • After mixing the graham cracker crust, set 1 Tbsp. of crust aside in a small bowl. 
  • While the cheesecake is setting up in the refrigerator, pour 1 cup of cold heavy cream into a mixing bowl. 
  • Beat on high until the cream begins to thicken slightly. 
  • Gradually add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. 
  • Continue to beat on high until the cream thickens and forms creamy, stiff peaks. 
  • Spoon onto the cheesecake filling and spread evenly. 
  • Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of reserved graham cracker crust over the top. 
  • Refrigerate until time to serve. 

Enjoy a slice of homemade happiness on a plate!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Two going on twenty.: "Some Pig!" cupcakes for Charlotte's Web

Two going on twenty.: "Some Pig!" cupcakes for Charlotte's Web: The one thing I love baking for as much as preschool snack day are school bake sales! ESPECIALLY when there is a theme involved.  My bonus ...

Monday, July 31, 2017

SalleeB's Kitchen - Amish Ham Casserole


I love any dish that contains potatoes, ham, eggs, and cheese.
When I found this make and bake casserole recipe, I was thrilled to try a new recipe using four ingredients that I LOVE. Of course, I had to give it my own twist - cream cheese. 

Who doesn't like cream cheese? 
The addition of cream cheese makes this an indulgent and hearty version of a crust less breakfast pie that is not low calorie, but is low in carbs. It is perfectly suitable for breakfast or supper. 

I want to repeat what I already said though - This is not a low calorie dish.
However, I am tracking carbs AND staying below 2000 calories a day. I save calories to enable a calorie splurge that satisfies my craving for ham and potatoes surrounded by luscious, cheesy eggs without having them fried in oil, or butter. Baked is better, don't you agree?

An 8"x1" round cake pan yields four wedges of  hammy, cheesy goodness with 10.5 carbs and 387 calories a wedge.

Remember, I said it was low carb and the entire pan only has 42 grams of carbs

Two Tips to Use With This Recipe 
  1. Have a left over baked potato? Remove the skin, dice the potato, and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two.  Add the diced potato to a soup or casserole.
  2. Mix the casserole ingredients up to 24 hours ahead of time. After spooning the ingredients into the pan,  wrap it with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. When you want to bake the casserole, remove the plastic wrap, and pop the cold casserole into the cold oven and let it preheat with the oven. Set your timer for 25 minutes once the oven temperature reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

SalleeB's Kitchen - Amish Ham Casserole  Recipe                              Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of cooked ham, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 large eggs and 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 baked or microwaved potato, peeled and diced about 1 cup
  • 1/3 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • black pepper to taste
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease an 8"x1" round pan and set aside.
  • Put diced ham, onion, potato, shredded cheeses, and cottage cheese into a medium bowl.
  • Stir gently until the mixture is blended well.
  • Combine the beaten eggs and egg white with the cream cheese pieces and stir until the cream cheese pieces are well coated with the beaten eggs
  • Pour the eggs and cream cheese over the ham mixture
  • Add seasonings and stir gently until blended well
  • Spoon the mixture into greased 8' round pan and put the pan into the preheated oven
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the mixture is firm and bubbly.
  • Change the oven setting from bake to broil.
  • Broil the top of the casserole for 2-3 minutes, or until the top looks like the picture. 
  • Take the casserole out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before slicing into 4 wedges. 
Enjoy a slice of homemade happiness on a plate!