February 3, 2012

Real Foods Challenge: Day 3

I tried so hard to sleep in this morning, because my boys spent the night at my parents' house last night. I was up bright and early at 6, however, so I ended up just catching up on e-mail. I was contemplating going for a run before Eli got home, but my mom ended up bringing him home at 8:30. So I decided to put my run off until Jerry woke up in the afternoon.

I took Eli to the library so he could pick out a couple of movies and books (he's completely bored being out of school right now). I ended up getting a couple of books, too. Because I'm doing this "real foods" challenge, I got In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and The Eat Clean Diet Stripped by Tosca Reno.

When I got home, I spent some time flipping through the Tosca Reno book, and I wasn't a big fan. I was picturing it to be more of a health book than a diet book (basically, I thought it would be about WHY eating clean is good for your body); and it was definitely a diet book, with rules and everything. I quit doing those kinds of diets in 2009. But I know a lot of people really like her, so maybe I should have read the first book she wrote instead of this "Stripped" one (about losing the last 10 pounds). This was the only one they had at the library.

I decided to quit reading that and switched to In Defense of Food. I could tell I was going to like this book from the very first page, where he starts, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." You can't get more basic than that! I got the book version and audio version, so that I would have something to listen to on my run today. I put it on my iPod and headed out for an "easy four" miles.

I won't comment on the book itself just yet, because I only made it through the introduction on my run. But I'm going to read some more of it tonight. I really like SIMPLE things, and I hate that the diet industry makes everything so complicated with so many rules. That seems to be a lot of what this book is about, so I think I'm going to enjoy it.

It was pretty warm today, enough so that I just wore a very light long-sleeved tech shirt and my thin, cool running tights. I kind of wished I'd worn gloves for the first mile or so, because my hands were frozen. But after that, I felt pretty good. And by the fourth mile, I was pretty warm.
When I got home, I wanted a snack. And peanut butter was calling my name...
Banana with peanut butter and toasted walnuts
I used to eat that combo a lot when I was training for my half-marathon last year. I have a feeling you'll be seeing it again (and again...)

My food log for today (again, not much change--sorry)
Breakfast--oats cooked in milk with dates, walnuts, and pure maple syrup
Lunch--salad with chicken breast, almonds, raisins, and balsamic vinaigrette
Dinner--leftover vegetarian fried rice
Snacks--banana with peanut butter and walnuts, spoonful of peanut butter, tea, popcorn with oil and salt


Oh, so last night the kids spent the night at my parents' house, and Jerry was off work. We decided to watch a movie, and I wanted to try out making popcorn in a brown paper bag. I did it once before YEARS ago, and remember it being a disaster, but I wanted to give it a try again. And good thing I did, because my house smelled like THIS the rest of the night:
There is nothing less appetizing than the smell of burnt popcorn. I don't understand it! Half of the kernels didn't even pop, and most of what did pop was burnt. What am I doing wrong? I didn't add anything to bag at all--just the kernels (about 2 Tbsp). I think I'll just give it up and stick with my Presto thing that goes in the microwave.


And I'll leave you with a couple of random thoughts...

I think I figured out why I seem to have changed my mind about salad. I love live for the last little bits in the bowl, once all the lettuce is gone.
Almonds, raisins, chicken, and my dressing
Finally, I managed to get a quick photo of Estelle when she was playing fetch. Here she is carrying her favorite straw:

31 comments:

  1. Hi Katie, I've been following your blog for a while, and thought I'd finally chime in with a comment. I like your blog because you're pretty much in the same spot I am. Lost the weight, trying to learn to maintain. I thought I'd share with you my favorite method of popcorn, and I consider it 'clean' eating. Get one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Wabash-Valley-Farms-25008-Whirley-Pop/dp/B00004SU35/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328312764&sr=8-1

    We use a little bit of olive oil, and all we flavor with is the cheddar flavored popcorn seasoning from Target. No calories there. It may not be on your clean list, so just plain salt is tasty, too. It's amazing. Not loaded and waxy like microwave pocorn, and not funky texture like I think air-popped is. The tiny bit of oil gives it flavor, and my husband and I have never felt the need to put butter on it.

    Good luck with your clean eating month!
    Cindy

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  2. I've never tried using a paper bag...I use an air popper. I know exactly what you mean about the salad. I love scraping up the last few bites when all that's left are the add ins and dressing...yummy!

    I went out and bought some old fashioned oats and have been trying them for the past couple days. I've been mixing it with milk, which makes it almost too creamy (I know...what's wrong with me)! I tried it with just peanut butter mixed in one day, and today I had it with peanut butter and cocoa powder mixed in...yum! I also add a packet of truvia...which I bought to try because I had a coupon...doesn't have an aftertaste like splenda and some other no calorie sweeteners. I may have to try mixing it with water, because its been so rich that I can't even finish the 1/2 cup (before cooking) serving!

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    1. "Too creamy"? "So rich that I can't finish"? Girl, you're crazy! ;) I love the peanut butter and cocoa combo--that's one of my favorites!

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    2. I know...that's not normally me at all!!! lol

      I'm sure if I find a add in combo that I absolutely love I won't have a problem finishing it. I actually want to make some of that coconut butter...I LOVE coconut! I tried to make it with sweetened coconut (before I read your post where you said that kind doesn't work) and had no luck. I'm thinking coconut butter and either fresh or dried pineapple would be oh so yummy!

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    3. I'm with Ernie!! I'm making coconut butter this weekend for my oats and I'm adding some pineapple bits! It'll be a tropical breakfast for sure! :P

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  3. That is my favorite part of a salad too. The little bit left at the end with all the goodness. Usually the cheese falls to bottom and the last bit is always all covered in dressing.

    I hate the smell of burnt popcorn. One office I worked at people burnt it ALL the time, finally my boss made it a rule not to cook popcorn. We have an air popper and LOVE it for those few times a year I want popcorn topped with hot sauce. My husband and kids love popcorn though.

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  4. Hi Katie! Target has Sweet Coconut Thai tea for $2.64. Hopefully there is Target near you!

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    1. A lot of people seem to be finding it at Target! Unfortunately, the Target near me stocks about three different types of tea: Lipton black, Lipton green, and Lipton decaf... lol

      Yes, I live in a small area!

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  5. Okay, for the popcorn...it looks like you just cooked it too long. When I do mine, I use 1/4 cup popcorn kernels and I set the microwave for 3 minutes, although I usually stop it with about 50 seconds left. Of course, it all depends on the wattage of your microwave.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Tosca Reno book. I almost ordered that last night, but I ended up getting her cookbook instead.

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  6. Your kitty cat has a silly mustache. ;)

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  7. I loved In Defense of Food when I listened to it this summer (as well as The Omnivore's Dilemma). Great books!

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  8. I LOVE Michael Pollan! I read a couple of his books after seeing "Food Inc" - a VERY eye opening movie. And, great minds thinks alike. Today, for the first time in almost 2 years, I made microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag. lol. My son was so pleased because I made two treats today - popcorn and chocolate mini muffins (I used a lower sugar, whole-wheat, pumpkin muffin recipe, but swapped out the spices and 1/4 cup of flour for cocoa powder). I love Pollan's concept that if you want a treat, have it, provided you are going to go through the effort to make it. It's no harder to make these muffins from scratch, for example, than it is from a mix. But all the mainstream mixes have hydrogenated fat in it. And I do NOT bring that stuff into my house. Anyhow, I'm please for you that you are eating clean. =-) Good luck with it!
    Cheers- Bridget

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    1. The muffins sound fantastic!! Could you e-mail me the recipe (or just post it here, in case someone else wants to try them too)? I'd love to try them.

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  9. Loved "In Defense of Food" - I too read it after I watched Food, Inc. My clean eating starts Monday!

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  10. Sorry about the popcorn! I love making it in brown bag. Here's the site I used for directions: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/11/brown-paper-bag-microwave-popcorn/ Good luck!

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    1. that link didn't work for me so I searched the site and here is a working link : )
      http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/10/brown-paper-bag-microwave-popcorn/

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    2. Ahhh... I think I see what the problem was. I didn't lay my bag flat--I put it in the microwave upright. I will try again!

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  11. Here is my adaptation of the chocolate muffin recipe -

    http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1977073

    And here is the original recipe that I adapted it from.

    http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=45462

    Next time I will use agave or honey instead of brown sugar, but I didn't want to make too many changes this first time making them chocolatey. I hope you enjoy them!

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  12. Three things:
    1) Thanks for your reply email a few weeks ago!! You're sweet to take the time to answer my questions!
    2) I tried your "fudge" tonight. SHUT UP! I wanted to lick the bowl (I didn't roll it into balls. I just stuck the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes and used a spoon!) YUM!!
    3) I just have to tell SOMEONE - I started on SparkPeople on your recommendation and have lost NINE POUNDS since 1/23!! I have a long way to go, but I'm just so excited to see progress!

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    1. Nine pounds is AMAZING progress in such a short time. Wow! So glad that you liked the "fudge" ;)

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  13. I have not read the other comments, but I make popcorn from scratch with just a little oil and the kernels. Just heat like 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet (You'll need a lid) then once it is really hot you put in like 3-4 kernels and wait for them to pop. Once those pop add 1/2 c. of kernels and put the lid on. Those suckers pop everywhere!! Wait for them to stop popping , you can shake the pan a little if you want. Then put in a bowl and enjoy.

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  14. I read Tosca's first book, and I definitely think (without having read "Stripped") that it's more about WHY and not so much specifics on HOW- although it does give menus and stuff.

    Also- I just started making my popcorn in a brown bag too... but I've been very pleased. I do 1/4C for 3min, sometimes stopping a little early. And I stand it up straight- top folded over a few times: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/06/17/recipe-the-popcorn-trick/
    Good luck! I love the simplicity of it.

    Also excited to try the banana snack. Yum!

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  15. The banana treat looks soooooo good. What kind of walnuts do you use?

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    1. Hmmm, I didn't know that there were different kinds of walnuts. They're just regular walnuts that I buy at Sam's Club (Diamond brand). I chop them and put them in the microwave for about 45 seconds to "toast" them.

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    2. LOL...I've never had walnuts so I wasn't sure if there were different kinds. I'm trying to TRY new things :-)

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  16. Nice run! And does peanut butter EVER stop calling our names? Last night was a chocolate graham cracker peanut butter sandwich for a snack!

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  17. Wow! those bananas look amazing. Yum!

    Your popcorn woes... I pop mine on the stovetop using coconut oil. We get our kernals from the organic market, and they pop much bigger and fluffier than the kernals from the grocery store. I can throw down some popcorn so I try to make it no more than once a week. :D

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  18. You're doing awesome on your diet! And oy, I loathe the smell of burnt popcorn. Could be because my first ever job was in concessions at a movie theater! And Michael Pollan books are great! Some rules work for me and some don't, but aren't all books/ diets like that?! Hope you enjoy, please feel free to provide us with a book review after :)

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  19. I do the paper bag for popcorn too! I just spray the kernels with some olive oil cooking spray, and stop popping them as soon as it slows down, usually about 2 minutes. Try again, it's my favorite quick snack. When I don't add oil it burns, and when I use butter it burns. If I'm out of spray I use a drop of olive oil.

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  20. A friend of mine just read in defense of food. He told me about it and it sounds very interesting. I hate rules too. I get confused cause everyone has different rules. lol. I will always have a sweet tooth and always like junk food. But I figure if I manage to avoid it most of the time and eat good "real" food the rest of the time I'm doing better than most. And better than my old self. My friend told me his take on the book was to "eat things that don't rot". LOL

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  21. LOVED 'In Defense of Food'. I checked it out from the library months ago as a audio book and always looked forward to getting in the car so I could listen. And yes, Tosca Reno's original book is much better than the 'Stripped' version. It explains clean eating far better. Her cookbooks are splendid too. Have you found "A Gracious Pantry" yet (a fellow blog). She has great clean recipes and I can vouch for them being tasty.

    Oh, HI! I'm Sarah and I am delurking. :-) Loving your blog.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)