August 1, 2011
(The post is all over the place… sorry)
“You’re just tall.” is the response given to me when I complain about being fat. You can’t blame a person for tip-toeing around someone’s feelings, though. It really is my own fault. “You’re just tall” was true 10 years ago when all of my friends were a size zero and I was a size 10 and it was physically impossible for me to be a size 0, 2 or even 4. But now? Now It’s not true.
This is reality:
Me: Gosh, I really need to lose weight. I am so fat. Bla Bla Bla
Random HONEST Friend: Yes, you do need to lose weight. You are getting a little on the hefty side.
I do have honest friends, but even they have good manners and don’t want to seem down right rude! Besides, even if someone was honest with me, it would just hurt my feelings and we all know I love to eat my emotions.. so I would. I would say to myself, “That girl was a brat to me, I deserve some chocolate!” So then I would go eat an entire bag of peanut butter m&m’s and watch Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy would like me.
I swear I sound like a broken record. I’m sorry… but I think a lot of women battle with their weight and I’m here to make you feel better about that. (I know it would me feel better to know I’m not the only one!)
I was talking to my brother today and mentioned trying low-carb again. It was one of the only diets that I didn’t go hungry on. I also had plenty of energy. Well, as I was talking about it, Matt, my oh-so-wise husband, said, “It’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle.” (Which, is true.. but honestly, I’m tired of hearing that cliché’) To which I replied, “Maybe my “lifestyle” is dieting for 3 months, eating badly for 3 months until I gain my weight back and start over again.” My brother laughed. So far, that is my lifestyle. I kind of want to change.
The truth is, nothing is going to change until you CHANGE YOUR MIND. Your way of thinking about food. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about this, because CLEARLY I don’t… but I do know that when I talk about starting a diet again, or a “life-style” change, I have to get that mindset or it won’t work. I really have to get into the “zone”. It’s like I must have a “parent/teacher” conference inside my head before I commit to… “making straight A’s”. But.. in the end I want to “talk” to my “friends”, Krispy and Kreme too much and then I become a failure! I have to start the 9th grade all over again! Here we are! School is now in session! (Sorry, not sure where that school analogy came from)
I think me confessing my short-comings helps me start over. I haven’t blogged about anything because, well, I haven’t wanted to. I’ve been embarrassed. I keep SCREWING up… but… we all gotta dust ourselves off and try again. A COONA MA TA TA.
I’m also going to commit running again. I’m going to start Couch to a 5-K. I did it last year and it gets you on the perfect track. It really does work and it gives you a plan… and I like to be told what to do when it comes to exercise. I haven’t run since January… I know I can do it, though and am even excited about it. I’ll let you know how that goes.
So here’s to starting over… again.
May 31, 2011
West Mobile is an area of Mobile that is experiencing rapid growth. This is great for westerners because we can drive less to reach a few good dives. A recent restaurant that Matt and I finally decided to try is Wemo’s. I can’t believe we ever waited so long to try it! It is a westside’s wing treasury! With their generous portions, flavorful sauces and lowwwww prices, this places is a wing connoisseur’s dream!
Wemo’s is located at the intersection of Schillinger’s and Air Port Blvd in the same shopping center as Dirt Cheap. When you walk into wings, you are greeted by a friendly staff. There is plenty of seating but many people order their wings to go. I think this is because when most people eat wemo’s wings, they don’t want to hold back. Their wings are so delicious that you just want to scarf them down, getting sauce all over your face, fingers and down to your elbows! So, most patrons just eat them in the comfort of their own home so they can get eat with reckless abandon. Matt and I have great manners, so we eat them in the store. Which is convenient if you need extra dipping sauce.
Speaking of SAUCE… when you order, you will be faced with many decisions to make. 1) Whether or not you would like traditional wings (with bone) or boneless wings (without bone), 2) which side and 3) which sauce!? There are SO many delicious sauces to choose from:
Sweet & Sour
My favorite is Spicy BBQ. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The tantalizing spices mixed with the sweet barbecue sauce dipped in a cool homemade ranch sauce. It will change your life. The Spicy BBQ sauce is just that…spicy, but it’s also sweet. The sweetness complements the spicy in the BEST way! Of course, if you don’t like spice, they have plenty of other choices and NOW they are offering the Wemo Wing which is battered, dipped in the buffalo sauce, lightly battered again and then fried. BAM! I don’t usually like Buffalo sauce, but because this wing was re-breaded, the vinegar flavor that I usually taste in buffalo sauces, was not as prominent. The Wemo Wing had just enough bite to it and their chicken is just sooo tender! Matt LOVED them! They were very flavorful! The Wemo folks are so generous! They let us try some on the house! They are also very patient with Matt while he chooses a sauce to go with his wings. He never can decide, so they always let him try the sauce before he commits.
Wemo’s has many other offerings. They have great curly fries and I especially love their baked potato salad! If you are feeling extra naughty, try a milkshake! It would be the perfect complement to a Mo-Hot Wing, or any wing for that matter! If you are behaving yourself, they also offer salads. I’m sure they are delicious.
When I first tried Wemo’s, I was under the impression that the boneless wings (I don’t like bones in my chicken) would be like boneless chicken nuggets. Thinking this, I went ahead and got the combo that came with 10 boneless wings and an order of fries. When it came out I was shocked! The size of a Wemo’s wing is more like a chicken finger. They are HUGE! One Wemo’s Boneless wing would be equivalent to 3 and sometimes 4 of it’s competitors boneless wings. Not only that, but they are constantly having great deals! For example, Tonight is 2 for Tuesday! Matt and I sometimes go on Tuesdays and get 20 boneless wings for 7.99. Wemo’s allows you to split them and get two different sauces, too! I usually have leftovers so that’s lunch for the next day! Tonight would be a perfect night for you and your honey to try Wemo’s! DO IT! Support Local business! The quality service, and delicious food will not return void.. it might return heart burn, though.Happy Eating!
May 26, 2011
The Mississippi Delta graces Alabama’s Eastern Shore and the combination is DELICIOUS! It comes in the form of “Champy’s” whose slogan is “Blues, Brews, and Birds”. There’s no doubt I couldn’t wait to try what was described to me as “the best friends chicken in town… HANDS DOWN”. Now, I write to you each week about eating healthy and let’s not assume I’ve fallen off the deep end here. But I also remind you that cheat days and cheat meals are important as long they are spread out over the span of a week and as long as you’re comfortable with how you fit into your favorite pair of jeans. (That is the only healthy eating disclaimer I’ll give you –I promise) Something I didn’t know until my visit to Champy’s is that tamales were originated in the Mississippi Delta. So if you’re a stranger in a foreign-non tamale land, you have to try Champy’s!
The outside of the restaurant looks casual and family friendly which I would say is the perfect description for this restaurant. And notice the hours listed on the sign shown below. On Friday’s and Saturday’s they are open until the last person leaves. So if you’re not an early bird (no pun intended), this is good news for you.
I love that half of their seating is outside on their patio. They have fans and its covered well, so on a breezy day it’s perfect. If you are not an “eat-outside” kind of person, they have plenty of seating inside as well.
I must confess that I didn’t really read the menu at all. As I told you before, I was so excited to try the best fried chicken in town that I was sure it would somehow find its way to my plate. Although, this is one of those restaurant that leaves you with very little choice other than delicious fried chicken!
We were starving when we arrived so we ordered three appetizers between the six of us, well seven including 3 year old Evan. Not to be left off the list were those famous-from the Delta tamales and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! They were spicy and delicious. The waiter said he like to eat them with crackers and coleslaw so I took his advice, minus the crackers, and was not disappointed.
When I saw on the menu the smoked sausage cheese and pickles appetizer, I’m going to be honest with you; it didn’t jump out and grab me. But, oh my! It was really good. I have no idea what kind of sausage this was but even with Chad’s spilled ice tea in the basket, it was so good! Our other appetizer was hot wings and I missed that picture. I also didn’t eat them since I was trying to save room for my finger lickin’ chicken.
Now for the main dish and the very reason to visit Champy’s, the FRIED CHICKEN! Consider this your warning that you might have to wait because every piece of chicken is marinated for 24 hours and cooked to order. So your chicken doesn’t hit the grease until the ticket hits the kitchen. But this guarantees fresh juicy chicken that is HOT when it arrives to your table. It has delicious flavor and it’s so tender and juicy. If you love fried chicken, please check it out.
Matthew ordered for us and a friend to share so we got the family platter with cole slaw and baked beans. We didn’t know until after we had ordered that you can substitute your sides and they are southern classics. The mashed potatoes and gravy are supposedly delicious so I’ll have to try that next time I visit. The cole slaw and beans were delicious but it’s just really hard to get past the goodness of that fried chicken. This picture really doesn’t do it justice. This plate was piled high and the sides were huge! I don’t think Matthew touched these sides but believe it or not, not a single piece of chicken was left on this plate. That’s got to tell you something!
Their chicken fingers are no exception to the “marinated 24 hours and made to order” rule. They are served hot and fresh and it’s full of good tender white meat. I particularly loved their French fries. I love a well seasoned-crispy on the outside-homemade style French fry! This is a picture of Evan’s kid’s meal. Their chicken fingers are pretty big so 2 are plenty for a child.
Not to be left off the list is a healthier choice and that is, a salad. Their salad’s are large and plenty of yummy toppings. It’s topped with those awesome chicken tenders I just told you about so in this dish, you kind of get the best of both worlds.
Champy’s is located off Hwy 98 in Daphne. Just type in 27080 Hwy 98 in your GPS and let it take you there. Take some friends to chat with while you wait on your cooked to order chicken and just enjoy the laid back atmosphere as the Blues music plays subtly in the background. You won’t be let down!
Make sure to like them on Facebook!
May 17, 2011
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? That’s how I feel! Sometimes I get so Ja Ja Ja Jaded. Ok. Enough with the (bad) song lyrics. Seriously, though. I am not perfect and I feel like I have been on a roller coaster when it comes to eating. I feel bad because I am writing a blog that is based on healthy eating but I’m not really eating as healthy as I should. During the week, I’ll eat perfectly but then the weekend rolls around and I splurge! I haven’t been exercising and last weekend I partook in about 5 cinnamon rolls (THEY WERE SO GOOD) Sometimes I feel like I’m just dieting for the weekend.
How do we (I) correct this problem? I hope that voicing my sturggles via Taste Buds may help with the accountability that I’ve been lacking. I need to be held accountable and I need be encouraged.
What I really want to know is why do we (I) fall off of the wagon so often? This year I have tried about 3 different diets. My own version (Low-Calorie) in which I was keeping count of my calories. Well, I ended up NOT eating enough calories (about 1200 or less a day), and I think my body began storing fat thus causing me to flat line in my weight loss. Then, I tried low-carb. I thought I was doing it correctly, but I guess not because I only lost 7 lbs in 6 weeks. SO I began Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers supposedly allows you to eat whatever you want and lose weight but because of that freedom, I find myself eating worse and worse! Something’s gotta give!
Do I need to just go to a nutritionist and have them give me some strict guildines? Do you think having stricter guidlines will better guide me into eating the right foods and not waver? Is there possibly another “diet” out there that would work better? I realize it’s not about a diet.. it’s about eating healthy. I say that over and over again, but lets face it: I LOVE FOOD and if I want a milk shake, I want a milk shake. I’m human and when I really think about it.. I realize that life is short, food is good so enjoy it.. but I guess it’s all about moderation.
I just want to know WHY! Why do I go on this roller coaster of food consumption? So when in doubt, I Google:
It’s nice to know that this has been googled before. Of course it has. Tons of people struggle with this! In fact, according to eHow.com, “It has been estimated that nearly 50 million Americans go on diets each year. More than 90% of those diets will fail. Dieters regularly admit that they have trouble losing weight because they can’t stop cheating on their diets.”
Ehow.com goes on to give you INSTRUCTIONS on how to prevent cheating on your diet and since they have all of the so-called experts, I think I’m going to include those here. I’m curious to know what they have to say:
1. Determine why you’ve cheated on diets in the past. In order to free yourself from the urge to cheat, you must determine the root of the urge. Write those things down in a journal, and then brainstorm about ways to overcome those hurdles in the future. For instance, if you determine that you are an emotional eater, you may enjoy reading books on how you can overcome the desire to eat for emotional reasons, or you may benefit from attending an emotional support group. If you’re a woman who cheats on her diet during her menstrual cycles, you might write about ways to cook low-calorie versions of the foods you crave.
(I guess I am currently participating in number 1. Am I an emotional eater? Yes. I guess I need to buy a book about that (har har).)
2. Excluding your favorite foods will leave you feeling deprived and will ultimately set you up for failure. In order to avoid feeling deprived, try a low calorie diet, which will allow you to enjoy starches, sugars, breads, milk, and even desserts in moderation. Low-carb diets are difficult for chronic cheaters to follow because they miss the foods they love. Diets demanding that their participants eat only their brands of food, (Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig) can be difficult to stick with because it’s hard to make choices when going to restaurants. If this has been the case for you, try Weight Watchers or another calorie-based diet. You’ll learn about portion control and your options will be more broad.
(Perhaps, TOO Broad? I find I’ve cheated more on Weight Watchers than low-carb. BUT WW has worked for SO many people!)
3. If portion control is a challenge for you, then divide your meals in half to help conquer the urge to eat extra food. Leave one half of the meal on your plate, and place the other half in a to-go box. You will be suprised at how easily the urge to eat the extra food will seem to fade away. If you feel hungry when your meal is complete, order a salad or an additional side of steamed vegetables. The food remaining in your to-go box will make a delicious lunch or dinner the next day.
(I know someone who did this and really did lose a lot of weight!)
4. Treat yourself to a decadent dessert once or twice a month. Dieters who binge on desserts do so because sweets are treated as forbidden foods. If you allow yourself to enjoy them every once in awhile, they won’t seem so taboo. When we remove the dangerous, forbidden elements from things, we don’t want them as badly. Take the time to slowly enjoy a small piece of cake or a scoop of your favorite ice cream every once in awhile. Subtract the calories for it from your daily allowance and continue on your journey to a healthier you without the guilt and cravings.
(I like this step!)
5. Find an accountability partner. Diets and exercise regimens are more fun when they’re shared with a friend. We are also less likely to cheat on our diets when we know a caring friend is rooting for us. Find someone to listen to you when you need to vent about your diet, or when you need someone to celebrate those important weight-loss milestones.
(This is VERY true and I have a friend like that. She just needs to yell at me when I cheat!)
6. Have fun! Dieting can be a wonderful, educational journey. Find ways to keep your diet and exercise journey both fun and interesting. If you need more variety in your food, go to your local bookstore or visit http://www.Amazon.com to search for low-calorie or low-fat cookbooks. If your exercise regimen is giving you the blues, then try something more daring like hiking or cardio striptease classes.
(Guilty. I do get bored and lazy when it comes to exercising but I DID try a crazy pole dancing class to mix it up a bit. It was fun but I wouldn’t do that on a regular basis)
So according to ehow.com, these steps will help you get out of your yo-yo dieting and stick to it and lose weight. I suppose these are all good recommendations, but I still feel like there is something more to the problem and I want to figure it out.
The more I read, the more I realize that I have just got to get my thoughts together to get a handle on things. I know what I NEED to do…. I just need to DO it. Now I need to research “Making yourself do something”. Ha. Any advice would be appreciated. Maybe I’m just burnt out? But I don’t want to be burnt out on a way of living that should exist. LORDY!
I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress.
May 11, 2011
I made these tonight and It was hard to stop eating them! They are so fresh! The perfect summer treat. The cool avocado spread complements the blend of spices that the chicken was seasoned with. Annnnd lets not forget about the tangy lime-cilantro slaw! These little tacos are so flavorful and fresh that it’s hard to believe they are only 319 calories per serving. If you are like me and LOVE mexican but are also trying to eat healthy, try these. They are cheeseless, but you won’t even miss the cheese! Pair them with a side of fruit or black beans and you’ve got a great dinner! They are also quick! Enjoy!
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (I didn’t have Ancho so just used regular. Ancho is spicier, I think)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Cooking spray
- 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk (I didn’t have low-fat milk so used low-fat half & half)
- 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced
- 2 cups packaged angel hair slaw
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.
4. Heat tortillas according to directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup slaw mixture.
May 10, 2011
I’ve made it very clear that my diet is important to me. I fully believe that we should contemplate every decision for what goes into our body. While I love food, I also must understand it’s role in my life. We eat to live, we do not live to eat. It’s nutritional value gives us energy to sustain ourselves but it can also be a source of pain or sickness if allowed. However this does not mean that we can’t ENJOY it. But, we shouldn’t expect more out of food because it is just that.
I used to hear people talk about emotional eating and “the real meaning” behind being fat but I honestly wrote it off as being a load of crap. It wasn’t until I took a closer look at my own lifestyle that I understood the reality of this concept. I thought I was chubby because I liked to eat, because it was genetic, or because I was lazy. But requiring of myself to give up sugar, made me realize just how important a role it played in my life. Nobody has a bigger sweet tooth than I. I could eat an assortment of baked goods, chocolate truffles and, let us not forget, ICE CREAM every day. Seriously, when people say “that’s too rich” I hear “I’m trying to SOUND skinny”. The richer it tastes the more I want to eat. For this reason, giving up the freedom to eat every ounce of chocolate that came in plain sight was the hardest part about becoming healthier. I can’t tell you the number of times I tried to make an attempt and caved when I came within 10 feet of something sweet. But when I FINALLY made up my mind that it was going to happen it was one of the hardest weeks of my life. Looking back now, I’m very surprised my husband didn’t move out of our house or leave me all together. The scene of a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum on the toy isle in Walmart would describe me perfectly. I’ve always passed judgment on alcoholics or drug addicts as it’s something that I just couldn’t understand. But as silly as it sounds, removing sugar from my diet helped me to understand the uncontrollable need to put something in my body and achieve a certain sense of relief.
In the early stages of choosing a healthy diet, I gave up sugar completely. I went a full 7 days with no sugar. In case you haven’t already picked up on this, it was very hard. Very…. HARD! I didn’t think that I was an “emotional eater” until I was mad and whining but thought that ice cream would make it better…. Until I was super grouchy and wanted a doughnut…. Or until I was in tears and looking for a bag of double stuffed Oreos to make it all better. So after a few days of feeling that way, I realized what was happening. The “emotional eating” that I so frequently made fun of, had become a reality to me.
Working through that first week with zero sugar let me know that I could survive without it. Sure, the science behind it was greatly beneficial since my body began to burn my fat cells for energy and my blood sugar became more regulated. But the psychological benefits were, for me, enough to make all of that whining and complaining well worth it. I began to think about food differently and, while I still love good food, I realized that I CAN be in control of what goes into my body. What a powerfully freeing experience!
I said all of this to prove how big of a sweet tooth I have and to encourage you that if I can do it, you can too. Please understand that my message is not “in order to obtain a healthy lifestyle, you have to give up sweets all together.” Instead, I want to inform you of some tips that I use to ward away the sweet tooth without jumping ship on my diet plan all together.
Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate has some health benefits. It is lower in sugar than milk chocolate and has some good antioxidants. Now, 2 pounds of it at a time… bad for you! But in small doses it’s actually healthy and can easily be used to satisfy sweet cravings. Ghiradelli makes a bag of 72% cacao chocolate that they call “Twilight Delight”. I must warn you that it is DARK chocolate so it certainly has a bittersweet taste. But if you break yourself of sweets completely, for a period of time, you might be surprised to find that the bittersweet isn’t so bad after all. The good thing about these little bags is that the chocolate squares are individually wrapped. When I feel the need for something sweet, I eat one square slowly and find that it usually does the trick. Don’t allow yourself to scarf down more than 1 quickly because before you know it, you’ll have destroyed the entire bag. Usually, if I eat it slowly and wait a few minutes, the feeling will pass.
I love coffee. But I understand that overdosing on caffeine can be a real problem. I usually drink one cup in the mornings and one in the afternoon. I have realized that the time of day I usually want to binge on sugary goodness is in the afternoons as soon as I get home from work which for me is around 3:30/4:00. I see this as the perfect time to hit the gym because it distracts me from that craving for sweets. But on days when I can’t make it to the gym, I will have a cup of coffee when I get home. It helps me to relax after a long day and makes me feel full so I’m not digging in cabinets for anything sweet I can find. If I have already had my 2 cups for the day, I will drink decaf so that my caffeine intake isn’t extremely high. It may be only a distraction but it’s something I enjoy and leaves me without that longing to cry until someone shoves a cupcake in my face.
Okay, so fruit isn’t bad! It’s considered a healthy food and rightfully so because fresh fruit has tons of health benefits. But some of the most delicious fruits are very sweet and contain massive amounts of fructose. You determine your own restrictions and needs but if you’re trying to remain lean, you are going to want to monitor your sugar intake, especially fructose. This might mean that you limit the amount of fruit that you eat or for a period of time you might remove it all together. I love fruit but the truth is, I don’t eat it often. If we ever buy fruit, it will most likely sit in the refrigerator until it spoils because I forget about it and it’s just not something that I feel like I can’t live without. However if you are a fruit lover with a huge sweet tooth, you can save those few servings of fruit for the times in the day when you’re really craving something sweet. Of course you want to stay away from any added sugars so your best bet is fresh fruit that you cut yourself. But start with small servings and wait to see if the craving is satisfied before you eat too much and regret it later.
Yes, I said cheat days. But don’t get confused. This doesn’t mean that you eat something sweet whenever you want and call it a “cheat day”. Set small goals for yourself and then enjoy a cheat day or a cheat meal once you reach it. When I first began my quest for a healthy life, I had a lot of weight to lose before I could even be considered healthy. So I didn’t enjoy so much as a cheat meal until I had reached a weight that I was comfortable with calling healthy. But only you know what your long term goals are and where you want to be physically. You set the standards for yourself and you must hold yourself accountable. Make the decision to have a cheat meal or a cheat day and hold yourself to it. By reaching a goal in order to enjoy a cheat meal, you will decrease those feelings of guilt that soon follow indulgence. Occasionally overeating can actually be beneficial by increasing your bodies production of a hormone called leptin. Plus, I have a much easier time resisting something sweet if I can remind myself that a cheat day is coming. I never say or allow someone to tell me “I can never eat (fill in the blank) again…”. Talk about jumping ship! This statement will make you want to hoard up every little Debbie Cake on the shelf and eat it while you can. The truth is, you CAN eat whatever you want but it just might not be as much or as often as you have in the past. So keep in mind that something you love, but may not enjoy as often as before, is coming and the rewards are much greater. Eating healthy doesn’t give you gas, bloating, indigestion, love handles, muffin tops, or a wardrobe in a bigger size. I think we can all agree that tastes better than ice cream, cookies, candies and pizza everyday!
Thanks for reading!