Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Assess... and Re-assess

Thank you to both my sister and my friend for the nice comments last night... I didn't eat a single one of those things... in fact I ate a roasted chicken breast with sundried tomatoes on it over a salad of mixed greens and a bit of avocado, tomato and mushrooms.
Then I took two Advil Cold and Sinus and told the cat 'lets go lay on the bed for a minute until mommy's headache goes away'. Well, two guesses how that turned out!
I think I've figured out what the problem is... or what A problem is.
I'm bored.  I've never been a good cook or chef altho I can whip up yummy things to eat.  I'm not imaginative or inspired in the kitchen... Pattypan squashes stuffed with bacon and spinach? Sounds divine... probably wouldn't make it.
Butter Chicken over Spagetti squash?  LOOKS divine and yet, there's a good chance I'm not making that either... altho it has a better chance cause it's two of my favorite foods.
I'm bored of putting stuff on salad... I'm bored of trying to think up things to make for dinner... I'm bored of smoothies for breakfast... altho every morning they are my favorite thing, I'm bored of making them and buying the ingredients for them and thinking about them.
I know what I need to do... I need to nest... I need to pull out the crockpot and make things... Mexican Pasta Sauce (it's basically chili without the beans), chunky pasta sauce for pouring over squash.  Cabbage roll soup and Curry Chicken Soup.
I need to be able to pull something out of the freezer and not have to think about it.  I want to go back to a time when I didn't constantly think about food.  That was one of the biggest reasons why I didn't want to join the Zone or Weight Watchers... I don't like to be and don't want to be obsessed with food...even so far as not wanting to have to 'dream up' dinner.
The last sentance in my last post was And I want to not care when I eat it....
I do not want to care... Not in the way that I don't care what I eat and how I feel... just that I don't want to give food so much attention.  Giving it this much attention for me gives it an awful lot of power... and that power turns into obsession...
So, now that I know what A PART of the problem is, how do I fix it?
I go back to that which I know... if food is easy, I stop caring about it in an active way.  A bagel and cheddar cheese was the easiest meal I ever made.  Not the best or most healthy, but I knew what I was having when I was on the bus on the way home, I knew it took little effort, it tasted good and when I was done, I was done.  I believe I should be able to translate those requirements to actual food and putting a bunch of stuff in the freezer will be very helpful.
I also think that even with all the stuff in the freezer, I'm going to start making a weekly meal plan. That way I only need to think about food the one time.
I hope this helps... any suggestions in this vein of not wanting to have to think about food are welcome!
And I won't be eating cupcakes anytime soon... I promise!


Shannon said...

I think that’s a fairly good plan….but I think you’re avoiding what the real issue seems to be and that’s that you said you’ve done the grain free thing for two months with little results and that you’re having carb cravings. I suspect you definitely had a massive carb craving so again I highly suggest you phase out/wean off any sugar, starch, booze etc for awhile.

The menu planning thing. Hahaha…the absolute bain of my fucking existence! I HATE Sunday mornings. Sunday is when I sit down with Ray and we figure out what our meals are going to be for Sunday through Thursday (I don’t cook Fridays and we wing it on Saturdays). Since we tend to rotate pork, chicken, fish, beef, pork, chicken, fish, beef and on and on, when I ask him for suggestions and he says “How about chicken?”, I want to punch him. Yes, obviously we’ll be having chicken, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH IT?! It definitely gets hard to be creative week after week of eating meat and vegetables. Hence the stuffed squashes the other day!

I prefer to make my menu a week in advance because at that time I also know what the weather is going to be like, any other appointments or commitments that we have, what shift Ray is on and in general how I’ll be feeling. And then I plan the easiest meals for the busy or hot days and the more complex ones for when I have extra time on my hands. I fully advise spending some time making yourself a recipe book with various achievable recipes that you’ve printed off from online as well as the ones you’ve come up with. People post recipes with the full intention that other people are going to steal them! Flip through it on a Sunday and decide what you want to make then make your week’s shopping list (leftover dinner for lunch the next day) and then post your planned menu on the fridge. Each night when you’re cleaning up dinner you check the map and take out to defrost whatever is up for the next day.

Last night I made baked meatballs…a pound each of gr turkey and beef, two eggs, garlic & onion pwdr, paprika & cayenne. Rolled and placed in a greased baking dish. Covered with jarred sauce (not Whole30 but then I’m not) and baked it for around 40 minutes. Served it over riced cauli that I had leftover in the fridge. Made 30 large meatballs, you could definitely freeze that! That’s around 7-8 meals. Change it up with a shrimp cocktail from Costco every now and then or scrambled eggs or a can of oysters and an apple or make chicken wings with approved ingredients (bread in parm and spices and bake). You could declare one day a week No Cooking Day and either fast or go somewhere that you know is on the approved list.

Making a long list of interesting but easy recipes is definitely a key to the success over in the Pilon-Canaday house. I can help you make your list anytime, just let me know. I have quite a few 20 minute or less prep dinners.

P'cess said...

I realize that it sounded like I was having a carb craving... what I was having was an 'easy food' craving. When I got home I had no interest in carbs, I didn't sit and think about them, I didn't wish I was having them... Once I came up with my meal and cooked and ate it, I was perfectly fine again... I let myself get too hungry and then irritable and wanted easy food... well easy food is also carb food... I wanted to go back to the days where I would eat cupcakes or grilled cheese and not give a shit...

I am not doing the Whole30 thing right now because I need to figure out a proper breakfast first that doesn't include my smoothie and I don't think undertaking something like that while I'm in this irritable state of food obsession is a good idea... talk about making a bad situation worse... I have given up booze for the time being (altho I drink very very little most of the time) and I've given up my dark chocolate and ice cream... the only thing I have left is the dairy in my morning ritual... So hopefully that helps a bit until I can figure out a smoothie replacement.

I think your idea of compiling a list and recipe book of things I like to eat/make is a good idea... and the recipe planning... I have tons of frozen fish, chicken, pork and ground beef in the freezer and not a single idea of what to make with any of it... It's like I have a mental block... I've made yummy things before and now I can't think of anything... a list may help!

The other part of my problem is sides... I really deep down in my core hate cooking and the more things I have to cook the crankier I get, so sides is a real issue, but I can't see continuing to eat this much salad...

Your meatballs sound yummy! Also the chicken wings sound yummy too! These are things I could make!

Shannon said...

You wanted to go back to the days where you just ate cupcakes and grilled cheese and not care. But those days got you to where you are now and clearly that didn’t work. There is definitely a certain amount of time commitment involved when you choose to take a healthier approach, there’s not a lot you can do to get away from that. For sure there are things that can help though. Rice a big head of cauli on Sunday and eat for your sides all week. Par-steam some green beans and keep in the fridge. Douse in boiling water to revive them and eat for sides. Buy the $4 bag of prechopped broccoli from Costco and chuck that into a pot with a smidge of water in the bottom and steam them. Roast an entire butternut squash (in wheel slices) one night and eat that for the week. Pierce a yam and chuck it into your oven and roast it (tinned foil underneath though or you’ll have a sticky mess!). Or don’t eat sides. Make the meatballs and have 6 instead of 4 with a quarter avocado. Throw a can of spicy tuna into some cottage cheese with ¼ avocado and eat.

Spend some time thinking of the things that you like to eat and then coming up with a quick and easy pre-prep way to cook them or have a cooking day during the week/weekend.

Grain free is not a miracle cure for weight loss nor is it easy. The simplest way of eating (whole, clean) is not necessarily the easiest, not at all. Commit some time every night to feeding yourself properly.

Oh…and get some exercise, that changes everything! ;)

P'cess said...

See, all your ideas sound like good ones and ones I can get behind... with a list and a plan... I will spend some time this weekend making a plan and a weekly recipe meal plan so that I know what I want to eat and what I have to do to prepare it.

Tarable said...

If I had to figure out what I was going to have for dinner every day on the way home from work I'd never make it. I do as much as I can when I have a bit of extra time on the weekends. Usually Sundays I designate some time to shopping and prepping - although I don't do a solid meal plan for the week. I just make sure I have lots on hand and try to wing it the best I can.

A spaghetti squash cooked on Sunday will stay good in your fridge for over a week. Shred a cabbage and put it in ziploc bags. Pull one out anytime and sauté it up quickly (only takes a few mins) in some coconut oil.

Leftovers are great too. Cook up a double batch of whatever you're having for dinner (it's no extra work) and have the leftovers the next night.

If you do a bit of extra work when you have a bit of extra time, the meals through the week can be a bit easier.

Hope this helps. You can do this. You totally can.