Tag: weight loss journey

Beets, Beets Baby. Enjoy!

Roasted Beets
Growing up, the only thing I knew about beets was that they came pickled in a jar, and I didn’t like them then. Although I have developed an appreciation for the pickled beet, I much prefer them roasted. I hope you enjoy these beets and the salad that you can make with them.

The beets can be eaten as is, or incorporated into a salad. One of my favorite ways to do that is to nestle a spoonful or two of beets on a bed of arugula or spinach and top with roasted and salted pumpkin seeds and feta or boursin cheese. You can use the beet juice mixed with vinegar in the bowl as your dressing. The salad would be excellent topped with green onion as well. Experiment with the flavors of vinegar for marinating the beets and your salad toppings!

In the video linked above, I mentioned Oliveto, my source in Roanoke, Virginia for high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Almost every city has a similar shop, but if not, Oliveto ships. http://www.olivetooliveoil.com/

Roasted Beets, serves 4 (0 WW SP)

  • 1 bunch fresh beets, 5 usually comes in a bunch
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cover a small baking pan with foil. Tear off a small piece of foil for each beet, large enough for each beet to be wrapped completely. Wash and dry beets thoroughly, just as you would if baking potatoes. Cut the root and stem ends off. Rub each beet with a small amount of olive oil and wrap in one of the pieces of foil. Place the wrapped beets on the foil lined pan, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You will know the beets are done when the thin blade of a knife can pierce the beet without resistance. Remove beets from the oven and allow to cool until they are still warm, but cool enough to handle. Rub the beets’ skins off with a paper towel, if desired. Roughly chop beets and place in any container with a lid. Stir in desired balsamic vinegar (lemon, for example) and marinate in the refrigerator until they are thoroughly cooled.

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Why People Give Up…

Why do people give up their weight loss journeys and ultimately fail? I do not claim to be any authority on the science of losing weight, nor am I a psychiatrist, psychologist, dietician, et. But, I’ve had lots of people ask me what I did to lose weight, and there are some common threads to what people share with me about their journeys. Check out the video linked above for more on each of these:

1. “Can’t” language is something I hear a lot. “I’m doing the XYZ program, so I “can’t have” or “can’t eat” whatever food anymore. Let’s be clear that I’m not talking here about people who have to avoid certain foods due to an allergy, sensitivity, intolerance, or other disorder. I’m talking about self-imposed plans!
2. Trying to make all the changes at once. It can be too much for some people.
3. Sustainability.

Leave a comment to this post about whether you agree with this list, disagree, or just share your experience with starting and stopping. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, but these are three things that have been on my mind lately due to actual conversations I’ve had with people about their weight loss journeys.

Paella Valenciana

Paella!
In my non-YouTube life, paella has been one of my most requested recipes. I’ve served it to guests in our home and I’ve taken the leftovers to lunch where I get a lot of questions about it. So here’s the “long-awaited” paella recipe. This is not a WW version of paella. It’s the real deal, but it happens to be very healthy and WW friendly. If this recipe serves 6, a serving would be 1 piece of the chicken and 1/5 of the rice. That’s a lot of rice! It still comes out to be 8 WW SP per serving, so if you cut back the rice on your plate and have leftovers, it might even be fewer.

Authentic paella valenciana started as a hunter’s dish, made out in the open field with the rice and spices they could carry with them, and the game, like rabbit, that they caught. I suppose this led to the tradition that in Spain, paella is a dish usually prepared in a large quantity outdoors over an open flame, primarily by men. When I had paella in Spain 20 years ago, it was overseen my my friend’s dad and uncle, but with her mom lending a hand and giving advice. The beautiful seafood paellas that you see in pictures bursting with shrimp and shellfish are great, and they have a place, but they are not authentic paella valenciana.

Paella Valenciana, serves 6 generous servings (8 WW SP per serving)

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (about 6)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 jarred piquillo peppers, patted dry and diced, or jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can flat green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups Calasparra or other non-long grain rice such as Arborio
  • 1/2 cup cups dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • saffron, generous pinch

Preheat your oven to 325F.

Add chicken broth and saffron to a small saucepan and warm on low heat until it’s time to add it.

Add oil to a hot paella pan or skillet and add chicken that has been salted and peppered generously, and let cook on medium heat 5-6 minutes and then flip to brown on the other side. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add onions to the pan and cook until they turn translucent. Add tomatoes and combine well, being careful to scrape up the flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the tomatoes cook. Add peppers and garlic and allow to cook down for about 10 minutes. This step has created the sofrito base of the dish.

Add paprika and rice and make sure the rice is coated in the paprika and sofrito. Add the wine and broth and stir to combine. Allow the contents of the pan to come to a soft boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice does not stick. Add the green beans and stir to evenly distribute them throughout the mixture. Allow the paella to simmer until it is no longer soupy, continuing to monitor so that it does not stick.

Add the chicken back to the pan and place in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with foil or the lid of your pan for an additional 10 minutes to allow it to finish cooking. Serve and enjoy!

 

So You’ve Lost Some Weight, Now What to Wear?

I recently uploaded to videos about clothing retailers who helped me find my way when I found myself with a baggy, uncomfortable wardrobe and not much to wear. Discount retailers TJ Maxx and thrifting and consignment played a role, but when I needed professional help from a stylist or sales associate, Stitch Fix and Talbots were a huge help! 

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What I Wish I Knew Before Starting WW… or any weight loss journey

Things I wish I knew before starting a WW, or any weight loss journey:

1. Plan! This is so obvious, but I wish I had learned to be more intentional about it. I was pretty good at tracking and keeping a food journal, but I was horrible at planning. I need to do a better job. Goals!

2. WW may change the plan, but it will be OK… Over the years that I’ve been in and out of Weight Watchers, or WW, they’ve revamped their plans and changed the points values on dairy, proteins. Some carbs like beans and corn are currently 0 Smart Points when they used to count. Even the name given to points has changed. I’ve seen plain old Points, Points Plus, and now Smart Points on Freestyle. It doesn’t matter what they call it, because they’ve changed the numbers of points that you can have in a day accordingly as they’ve adjusted the points values of food. Relax and trust the process. They know what they’re doing!

3. Food isn’t the most expensive part… it’s the clothes. The best I can tell you is to make thrift stores, consignment stores, and discount retailers your friend. Think Goodwill and TJ Maxx. As you lost weight you don’t want to look baggy, and clothes that are designed to be tailored and fitted are really uncomfortable when they don’t fit. When you wear something that fits after being baggy, people will notice and compliment you. Speaking of people expressing their opinions…

4. Well-meaning people will say things to you that hurt without it being intentional. For example, “You look so much better!” Better than what? Really? I didn’t think I looked horrendous before; losing weight was just as much about my health.

5. Find an exercise program that you love, but it does not need to be on day 1! I am not giving you an excuse NOT to exercise on this one. I’m just saying that it might make you feel less overwhelmed to implement change, and thus stick with your new plan, if you take a gradual approach. For example, if you eliminate sodas, eat less, eliminate foods you love (unnecessary self-imposed torture, by the way), and workout hard every day starting on Monday, you won’t last. Trust me.

Take it easy, don’t be too hard on yourself, but do something. Good luck!