Sunday, February 24, 2008

Makeover Your Kitchen!!

WW Magazine had this great article last month (their Jan/Feb issue) about the top ten things you can do to keep your weight loss going. I've decided to make it a theme over the next few postings. It's not as easy to come up with themes each day, people! Especially on the weekends :)

Their first had to do with changing your attitude towards weight loss. I think y'all have witnessed that over the course of the past six weeks. We all have our ups and downs, but as long as we maintain a positive attitude towards weight loss, we CAN do it. I know that one thing that has really helped me is focusing on small parts of my weight loss, 25 pounds at a time.

WW's second piece of advice is a kitchen makeover.... making it over to be a healthy kitchen. I've been doing this little by little. I started by not buying junk food that I like and can't control my portions. For instance, I looooove Pringles. I especially love Pringles when they are only $1. You might be thinking, hey, you can count out 17 Pringles (which is one serving).... BUT reality is that I pop open the tube and eat and eat and eat until I say, Oh, there are only 10 Pringles left. I might as well just finish them off. Not having junk food at home helps. I've allowed myself to buy one bag of psuedo-junk a week: Soy Chips. They are fantastic. I like the cheddar flavor and the barbeque flavor (seriously, they taste just like BBQ chips!). They go well on those nights were I just make sandwiches or if I'm feeling a bit snacky. Count out a serving, and munch munch munch!

Another part of my kitchen renovations is building my spice rack. When I lived with X, I used to have a TON of spices... but didn't bring anything with me. For the past six months, I've been the proud owner of four or five spices: onion and garlic powder (I'm Italian, it comes with the territory), dried parsley, lemon pepper for my tilapia, and salt and pepper (does that count?). Wow... pathetic. On my shopping list for today are a bunch of other spices that have been popping up in healthy recipes that look great to me, but then end up being put aside because I think "Well, I can't make that because I don't have X Y and Z spices." Not anymore :) Well, at least, not anymore after I visit Giant Eagle today!

Finally, explore new recipes. I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to food, so if I see a recipe in a magazine that I like, I rip it out. If I see something online, or if a friend sends me a recipe, I print it out. I actually have a pile of untested recipes sitting on my bookshelf right now, waiting to be tried out. I also have a three ring binder with clear plastic page holders where I put recipes that I've tried out and really like and want to make again. Therefore, all these loose papers that can be floating around are all in one place. Granted, it's not as organize as it could be, but it's only a matter of seconds flipping through the binder to find my new favorite recipe rather than searching for a loose page of paper.

I tried a new recipe out last night that I found on 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet ( thanks for the suggestion R!). It's for garlic shrimp, which almost tastes like a scampi, but without all the buttery fat associated with it. For you WWs out there, one serving is only 3 points. Since yesterday was my treat day (Saturdays after weigh in usually are), I made some risotto along with it... another four points. I love that I can eat what I want as long as I pay attention to portions :) Anyway, here's the recipe courtesy of 3fatchicks:

MEGAN'S GARLIC SHRIMP (makes four servings, 3 points a piece)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Directions: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepper, garlic, and bay leaf; saute for a few seconds (I sauted it until my garlic started to *lightly* brown). Add shrimp and salt; saute for about 3-4 minutes (until shrimp are pink and cooked). Remove shrimp from skillet. Add wine, parsley, and thyme; bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 1 minute-- It didn't take that long for me at all!). Return shrimp to skillet; toss to coat. Discard bay leaf and serve.

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