Weight Loss & Being Frugal

A nice bowl of stoup!

This isn’t about comparing the relative costs of grass-fed beef against factory-farmed meat. Nor is it comparing the merits and pricing of organic veggies to those herbicide and pesticide-laden choices we sometimes make. This is about the challenge of sticking to a diet when you’ve been endowed with the frugality gene. And I am so endowed with the frugality gene!

Being raised in a household where “clean your plate” was a dinner time mantra, I learned my lessons well. Perhaps too well. I struggle to leave that token amount on the plate. What a waste of good food, I just can’t do it! My habits are more to the contrary, and I’ll mop up whatever residue remains on the plate with just one more bread roll. Buttered, heavily, of course. Now that I mostly don’t eat bread, I have nothing to mop up my plate with. And I haven’t reached the point of licking the plate yet! But I have transferred the expression of my frugality gene to the fridge.

As we approach garbage day, I start surveying any foods that are likely to wind up in the garbage. Or that I know will not be consumed by other members of the household. I feel obliged to consume such foods. And I often do it in the form of a stoup. A dish that is too thin to be stew. Yet too thick to be soup.

My latest stoup was an Irish-German-Mexican-Thai fusion! Garlic & onion, sauteed in the bottom of a large pot starts the process. Add a liter of (organic, as it happens!) chicken broth to the pot. One large, peeled & sliced, potato as a thickener for the broth. Then I go hunting through the fridge. A full head of cabbage, excellent! A bunch of ignored cilantro. Half a dozen wieners that somehow survived a barbecue. Oh look, a little bowl of leftover mashed potato! And another chicken broth container, with a little less than half the contents remaining. A quick smell … yep, that’s good too. Good job I had that extra mashed potato to thicken up all that extra liquid! A couple of slices of cooked bacon. Wash the inside of that German mustard jar with a little broth & in that goes to the pot. Another half an onion in a container. And … wait for it … half a tub of sour cream! Season that pot with some salt, pepper, some other weird condiment mixes & then … a spoon of curry powder. Absolutely essential that.
Oops, now I’m short some liquid. Can’t spoil the pot by adding water, can I? But a can of coconut milk will do the trick!

I can tell you that this was quite delicious. And I should also admit that that one cute little bowl of stoup in the pic wasn’t all I ate!

It probably wasn’t the perfect dish to have on what should have been a low-carb day. Though I’m sure I’ve done worse. But, being frugal, I’m forced to eat all those leftover foods that others (all of them skinny!) won’t eat. It’s just not fair!

But … with all the money I’ve saved … we’re going out & I’m going to treat myself to a nice steak dinner now! ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Make Skinny People Fat

How to Make Skinny People Fat

Haggis & Chips

Comfort Food! Aaahhh!!!

You have no idea how difficult my life can be sometimes. I have a lot of expertise in how to get fat. I’m lucky enough to share my life with someone who doesn’t get fat. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that: I am lucky enough to share my life with someone who is even luckier, not because she’s get to share her life with me, but simply because she doesn’t get fat! Indeed, every now & again, she’ll come to me & say something totally & utterly excruciating, like …

“I’m down a few pounds & I don’t think it suits me, what should I eat?”, with that look of total innocence on her face.

Is she just trying to torment me or what!?!

But of course, ever dutiful when called upon, I will immediately try to help her out. Yesterday, & I’m still in my flu-season-comfort-food mindset, I thought I’d marry my own desire for comfort food with her desire to add a few pounds. I’d just have to eat a bit less of whatever pound-padding creation I concocted.

It’s no surprise that our favourite comfort foods come from our younger years, but choices were limited. We were busy yesterday & didn’t have time to hit the grocery store, so the cupboards were pretty bare. There was a decent selection of healthy choices but that wasn’t what either of us was looking for. I unearthed a can of haggis and, wonder of wonders, a can of baked beans! There are always frozen fries in the freezer so that was it: the complete fattening meal. A can of fatty meaty bits, loaded with oats to soak up & disguise the sheer volume of fat. A can of potentially healthy beans that are swimming in a sugary tomato sauce. And spuds so finely slivered so as to maximise the grease-attracting surface area of a veggie that might otherwise be healthy.

Now I must admit to enjoying my combo platter of sugar, fat & starch. Unfortunately, the Skinny One wasn’t enjoying hers. She’s not a big fan of haggis. The beans weren’t like the ones she had as a child. And there were too many fries on the plate. OMG!!!

While she went off to boil an egg, to accompany the single slice of Jarlsberg cheese she placed on a small plate, I finished off her leftovers. Only about 90% of the original meal! I know, I’m weak. What can I say. Other than I enjoyed her’s too.

After that amazing little keto-friendly “dinner” she had prepared for herself, she then went to prepare dessert. It was some kind of upside-down pineapple cake. With ice cream.

“Would you like one too?”, she inquired. More of that innocence in play!!!

I should have pulled the battery out of the scale last night, but I didn’t. So this morning: I’m up, she’s not. And we might have to go through this exercise all over again today. Aaarrrrghhhh!

Good thing we’re all out of haggis & baked beans! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lazy Dieter

The Lazy Dieter

taco fries

Save Me From Myself!

You know how some skinny people stereotype us fat folk? We’re fat because we’re lazy, right? Now if I’m honest, I’d have to admit that I would rather lie than sit, and sit than stand. When it comes to getting anywhere, I’d probably drive around the block, rather than walk across the back yard. So are they right?

When I was younger, trimmer, and far fitter, I played sports. A lot. I liked soccer, handball, basketball, cycling, running and just about anything that got me out of the house. I didn’t suddenly wake up one day and decide to be lazy. Lazy came after I got fat!

Now there are some advantages to being lazy. A lazy person can get very creative when it comes to reducing workload. There’s an old industrial engineering saying about when you want to figure out the most efficient way to do anything, just give the job to the laziest person in the room! When it comes to dieting, there may be some advantages to laziness too.

While I love food, and I love the taste of food that I prepare at home, I not a big fan of the chores that surround cooking. I particularly despise cleanup. And it’s not easy to find willing volunteers to do the things I don’t like to do! There are two strategies that I use to help reduce the workload that surrounds the creation of my culinary masterpieces. The first thing I do is try to prepare the entire meal in a single pot or pan. The second thing is that I try to use the biggest pot I can find. I like having leftovers that save me cooking some future meals. Eating your own awesome fare, while not having to cook at all, is the best!

For the dieter, this carries another plus. Preparing a large batch of say, a curry or a chili, with good ingredients, allows us to have on hand, for immediate consumption, a healthy option that can win out over hitting the drive through. I guess the real reason I’m writing this post is to remind myself of this advantage! I’m feeling a little challenged at the moment and I need to curb my penchant for dashing out to the local eateries. I haven’t ordered pizza for delivery yet, so I guess I haven’t totally lost it! ๐Ÿ™‚

While you can’t beat a big old fashioned frying pan, I also have a number of small appliances that pander to this one-pot cooking strategy. I’m enjoying playing around with my new Instant Pot at the moment. We’ll maybe take a look at the pros and cons of some of these gadgets down the road.

Meantime, if you’ve already broken your new year dietary resolutions, give the one-pot or one-pan strategy a try.

Just try to limit your ingredients to whole and real foods. I’m desperately trying to follow this advice myself at the moment!

How Your Skinny Partner Can Help You Lose Weight!

Spice Up Your Diet

Spice Up Your Diet!

We are, of course, delighted that our skinny spouses & partners are not suffering the weight problems that torment us, aren’t we? However, most of them don’t realise how much they torture us sometimes. I go to great lengths when I’m test driving a new diet. I buy all the right foods. I have all my tools at the ready. I write up a menu plan, a schedule, & who know what else, so that I don’t have to think about anything. I plan the work & work the plan, no deliberation required. I’ll be three days into it, doing really well, when my better, & far-lighter, half will open a new bag of chocolate truffles!

“These are delicious, Paul!”, she’ll say.

“You can probably have just one, can’t you?”, she’ll say. Looking at me, all wide-eyed & innocent, eyebrows raised, waiting for me to capitulate.

It feels like everyone we know wants to conspire against us when we’re trying to lose weight. What on earth is going through their minds? The people at work bring boxes of doughnuts, with exhortations that we simply must have just one. We can’t only have a salad when everyone goes out to the local burger joint for lunch on Friday. And family gatherings are a total nightmare.

“Ah, go on, one slice won’t hurt you!”

My only advice is that when you’re trying out a diet, don’t take advice from anyone that isn’t on the same diet. Neither should we take advice from any skinny people. And we especially shouldn’t take advice from the skinny people that are closest to us!

It’s time to turn the tables on these skinny people in our lives. If they really want to help us, they should do something that we want them to do. And something that will work in favour of what we’re trying to achieve.

I’m going to ask my better half to try suggesting sex next time she is overcome with a desire to help me with my diet!ย ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

Let Them Eat Plastic!

Steel Water Bottle

Let Them Eat Plastic!

I watched a CBC Marketplace show the other day. It might have been a rerun of an older one, but it was all about plastic water bottles. We’ve all heard the horrible stories about plastic in the ocean impacting fish, whales, and so on but this one was about their potential impact on us. The show folk ran around buying brand name water from four cities across Canada and they brought them all to McGill University, in Montreal. Here, they ran tests on them to see if there were tiny plastic particles in the water we like to drink.

There were! It turned out these particles, though to a lesser extent, were in some glass bottled waters too.

For the most part, I choose to drink tap water. It runs through the filter on my fridge. Though I often hit the reset button on the change light when it comes up, rather than change the filter right away. As it turns out, some of these commercial water bottles are filled with tap water too. Sure, it’s filtered while being bottle but, sometimes, we’re just paying a silly price for tap water. And the environmentally unfriendly plastic bottle comes along for the ride. Who knew!

It seems that there’s so much of this stuff going around these days, & not just from water bottles, that it shows up in our oceans, lakes and rivers. And they can detect them in the fish we eat. So are we now eating and drinking micro-plastic particles?

Now nobody really knew if these plastic particles were doing us any harm. But that’s sometimes the case with such things, often for years, and then all hell breaks lose. While they figure all that out, we might be better off not drinking water coming in plastic bottles. It’s not that I have 100% faith in the water quality coming from our municipalities either. But if the bottled water is coming from the same source, but with added plastic particles, I think I’ll stick with the regular tap water for the most part.

I guess I’m a bit of a closet tree-hugger. I’m far too macho to be going around openly trying to save the planet. I want to pillage it and get rich! Butย while I do that, I’m going to dig out my stainless steel water bottle to remain hydrated! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I’m worried about the poor folk at the water bottling plant being out of work. Modern living is way too complex sometimes.

Note from yesterday’s post … the debreceni sausage wasn’t to my taste. I’ve had really good debreceni before, it’s just this one that I didn’t like. The recipe, however, was good so I’ll try it again with another sausage. Regardless, and in retribution, I behaved really badly afterwards. I ate lots of sea salt & caramel chocolate bark with my cherry ice cream. Twice! Oops!!!