Gifts for Dieters

Gifts for Dieters

Instant Pot Chicken Curry

First Pass with the Instant Pot

Many years ago, I took part in a diet contest. In fact I organised it. A group of folk got together to lose some weight, and we asked our family and friends to sponsor our losses with their hard-earned cash. The proceeds went towards a local hospital that was trying to finance a piece of new equipment. The first place prize, for the person who lost the most weight, was … wait for it … a food processor!

As a habitual, long-term dieter, that’s my kind of prize. Something to do with food. Things haven’t changed much, I’m still dieting. And I wanted an Instant Pot for Christmas this year.

Santa Claus delivered … Woohoo!

I carefully read the manuals, triple checked some recipes, and I read the manuals one more time before embarking on my first Instant Pot meal. NOT! What I actually did was wing it. After spending about two minutes flipping through the user manual and the recipe book.

There was a family pack of chicken breasts in the fridge that needed to be used so chicken curry immediately came to mind. It was a hodge-podge of whatever was available after that. Potatoes, onions, and a bag of frozen peas, along with a couple of large cans of diced tomatoes for the sauce. And a cup or two of heavy cream, of course. I did a pot of rice for the normal sized people that surround me. But then I had some of that too!

I had hardly started to cook when the “Burn” message came up on the screen. I pushed a bunch of buttons, turning the thing on and off several times in the process. I pried the hissing lid off once or twice, and stirred things around to see what I could see. Eventually some kind of cooking operation went ahead. I really will have to go back and read some more of that manual, won’t I! Despite my best efforts to defeat the thing, when I finally opened the Pot, the chicken was falling-apart tender. From a culinary perspective, the end result was at least good, if not great. But considering it was my first attempt, I’m cautiously optimistic about bending this thing to my culinary will with a little more practice. The great things I see so far are the ease of use, and how quick and easy it is for clean-up. It also makes it very easy to choose real, whole-food ingredients. And that alone is a good thing.

I’m looking forward to exploring this little cooker more. It makes a surprisingly large amount of food. And it’s right in the wheelhouse of my lazy philosophy of one-pot or one-pan cooking. Only without the splatter! I’ll update my progress with this thing along the way, I’m really hoping it makes it onto my top three small appliances list.

But what is it about dieting that has me looking at food-related things for gifts? Ah well, it’s better than looking at recipe books all the time, isn’t it!

Actually, now that I think on that, I have spent just about zero time looking at cookery books, or online recipes, during the course of this diet.

I had to read that last line again myself. There may well be something very important about that!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!Merry Christmas 2018

Not everyone celebrates Christmas but that shouldn’t stop us sharing the spirit of joy, giving, and celebration together. Of course, it can be a time of great challenge for those of us trying to lose weight! My diet has been terrible this month and I’ve written a letter to Santa Claus, asking for some magic diet dust to help me out as the year winds down. I haven’t checked under the tree yet but, fingers crossed, he has delivered.

I have very few excuses left for my lack of adherence over the course of this month. We have working appliances now so I can cook real food again. Yet I still find myself gravitating towards all the bad stuff. Cookies and dessert seem so much easier to grab as I pass through the kitchen. It’s time I gave myself a Christmas gift and went back to eating more whole, real food again.

I have learned one thing during the month though. And this isn’t the first time I’ve learned this particular lesson.

The longer you continue to eat poorly … the more difficult it is to stop.

Of course, I knew this already. It’s not like like this is a new “light bulb” moment or anything. I just didn’t want to say it out loud. Why I’m saying it out loud on Christmas morning is beyond my comprehension. Why couldn’t I have waited ’til after the Christmas dinner? And dessert!

The other big lesson I’ve learned over the past couple of months is one on the value of writing a daily entry in my journal. It doesn’t have to be a daily essay. Even a short entry, done each day, is a mental reset that can help steer a better dietary course. I have been very erratic in my journalling over the past six or eight weeks, to my detriment.

I think I’ll enjoy my Christmas dinner today. And I will have dessert. I may even behave badly on the following day. But I think I’ll make an extra effort to journal about it too. If you haven’t tried journalling before, give it a shot. I’m not talking about a detailed food journal, or anything like that. Just a little résumé of each day’s trials and tribulations can often provide a stabilizing influence that is quite remarkable. And it’s a great place to vent a little too!

Whatever the light that lights your way, I hope it shines brighter on this Christmas Day for you.

Merry Christmas!