Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cooking steel cut oats

Anytime I cook a new thing I like to follow the instructions on the package. If I'm only cooking it for me, I figure out how many servings their directions are cooking for and divide the portions by that much so there are no leftovers. When I followed this for the oats, it made them so thick that the spoon could probably stand up in them, even after adding additional milk. 

So, I adjusted the portions so that I got a consistency that suited my tastes better. That's what cooking is all about-adjusting recipes to your preferences, after all, they've been developed by one person, or a team of persons, and no two people are ever alike.

Take a spaghetti casserole that my MIL used to make that was a favorite of Hub's. She would put the cooked spaghetti on top of the sauce and then put cheese on top before baking. This would result in some of the spaghetti being dried out, so I reversed that-I put the cooked spaghetti on the bottom and the sauce on top-still tasted the same, but the spaghetti wouldn't dry out.

And like another favorite of his-the recipe called for raw hamburger meat to be pressed into a pie pan, baked, then filled with a mixture of mashed potatoes and cubed Velveeta cheese. I adjusted that to forming the hamburger meat into patties, placing them on a cookie sheet and baking. Then I would spoon mashed potatoes-seasoned however I felt like-then shredded cheddar on top, pop back into hot oven to let cheese melt. Hub will eat two of them and would eat it every day of the week if I made it. I usually ate one to keep from eating too many potatoes at one sitting. how many potatoes do you spoon on? Well, use your own judgment, I hardly ever measure unless measuring is imperative-such as with hot cereal like oats, wheat or grits.

One other thing-if you're in a hurry for breakfast and still like steel cut oats-try something a lot of people I've read about do-cook them in the crock pot the night before. They say that you can store it in the fridge in serving-size portions and it microwaves great. I haven't tried this yet, but I might sometime.


I know I'm not posting in this every day and I don't intend to. Not like anyone is actually reading it but me anyway.

I don't know that I've lost any weight, and I haven't been sticking to any kind of diet. Actually, I've fallen pretty hard-eating mountains of powdered sugar doughnuts and other stuff. It's like my body is fighting my attempts and I'm in a war with it. Well, I'm not going to worry with it, every time I do, I start eating. It's like I'm saying 'you can't have that.' and my body says 'oh yes you can' and eats it anyway.

My strategy will have to change after the new year. I'll have to figure out how to give my body what it wants without splurging on a whole bag.

I think I'm holding steady. I won't know until I get a battery for my scales.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Same as yesterday-steel-cut oats/peaches/mini moos and sweet/low
Two cups coffee

Lunch will be leftover chicken/rice with some kind of veggie side. One chicken thigh, about a 1/4c rice/sauce and about 1/2c mustard greens.

Supper will be leftover roast, mustard greens (cornbread for Hub).

Likely I'll have to leave my treat for after I get home if Hub keeps baking cookie dough, I just can't resist warm chocolate chip cookies, I'll just have to restrict it to just one instead of three.

I'll be taking in more water too, I've filled an empty nestle water bottle and a quart bottle and refrigerated them. That's what I'll drink today.

I'm out of mini moos now, so I'll likely get some half/half to have with my oats. Two mini moos are only 20 cals so I think I can afford that much. I think a serving is a tablespoon, I'll see what the carton of half/half says.

Yeah, I know, 40 extra cals in the morning from the oats and two coffees, but hey, it's better than full cream and I dislike skim milk in my coffee. The half/half has the same cals as Coffee-Mate, so it's either that or half/half

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Notice in my previous post that I'm big on portions. It's because, in our advanced society we've advanced from sensible portions to mega portions and now more than half of America is either overweight or morbidly obese.

Now, I'm not ragging on everyone here. I know some Americans have thyroid problems that make it almost impossible to shed weight, but the majority of fat people are fat because they consume so many processed carbs. Not all carbs are bad, just the ones that your body digests so fast that it can't use them all and is forced to store the excess as fat. I'm talking about white potatoes, white rice, white sugar, all that stuff that's much cheaper than their more fiber-rich counterparts-namely sweet potatoes and brown rice. Steel-cut oats for rolled, whole wheat bread for white. This is a twofold problem-

One: Your body digests the carbs so fast that you get hungry sooner and eat more of the same stuff.

Two: Your body digests the carbs so fast that it can't use them all and stores the excess as fat and therefore when you eat more of the same it's forced to keep storing the excess and you end up obese.

These two problems can be solved by some simple substitutions as I sort of laid out in my first paragraph...

Whole wheat bread for white
Brown rice for white
Steel-cut oats for rolled

Of course, cutting the amounts of these at the same time as you also substitute them will also go a long way to helping you lose weight, plus you get the added benefit of more fiber in your diet, which your intestines will thank you for.

Adding more whole fibers to your diet will result in a feeling of fullness for longer, resulting in not eating as much or as much between meals, which will result in your body starting to shed all that excess fat that it stored. No, it won't drop off like a stone hitting the bottom of a pool of water, but it will happen.

Back to portion sizes. We've been brought up to believe that more is better, but our bodies know different. If you fill it with sensible portions of the right kinds of food, you'll get full on less. You eat more of the other stuff simply because it doesn't fill you up like whole grains and fresh vegetables. You'll also feel and look better.

Last but not least-water, lots of it. Though not so much that you drown yourself. It's a proven fact that if you drink too much water it can be fatal. But substitute water for most of the soda that you consume instead and your body will think you've had a brain transplant-to a more sensible brain, that is.

Food I've consumed today

This will be added to during the day anytime that I eat/drink anything.

I've had two cups of coffee, which translates to one, four-cup pot of coffee, each doctored with one container of Mini Moo-portion size container of half n half for coffee. My second cup was also doctored with some vanilla caramel Coffee Mate and both cups had one packet of pink stuff (you know what I mean.).

Breakfast: One bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. I used one cup of water to 1/3 cup oats. It was doctored with three chopped slices of lite peaches with a bit of the syrup, one packet of pink stuff and two Mini Moos. That was slightly more than what the oat package said was one serving, which is 1/4 cup oats to 3/4 cup water (Or a 1-3 ratio, oats to water) Simmer for about 20 minutes. Its texture is nothing like the rolled oats that you get from Quaker and I think I like it better, it seems to stick with you longer than the rolled oats and I heard steel-cut were better for you than the rolled because it takes longer to digest than rolled. They seem to be worth the pricey tab, but we'll see how long that small bag lasts me. I'll probably be the only one eating them anyway.

Supper will most definitely be roast. I have a roast cooking in my five quart crock pot with potatoes and onions. I left the jackets on the potatoes and just cut them up into rounds since they were on the skinny side. I seasoned them with some garlic pepper salt and coated them in 1/4 cup flour and one packet of onion soup mix in the bottom of the crock pot and poured in around a cup and a half of water. I then browned the top and bottom of a fairly large boneless chuck roast and placed it on top of the potatoes. It's cooking on low and should be ready by the time the husband and son get off work.

I know, potatoes are not the ideal diet food, but it's the overeating of them that's the problem. I intend to put more vegetables in my diet, but if I limit the potato portions I should be okay. I'll probably start substituting sweet potatoes for myself since they're better for me.

Lunch: Probably some chicken/rice. I have some chicken thighs and I feel like some chicken/rice. I know brown rice is better since it still has the bran and everything, but I'm going to use up the rice I have first, then start getting the brown. Same deal as with the potatoes-don't go overboard with portions.

I know chicken breasts are leaner than thighs, but chicken as a whole is much leaner than beef/pork, and breast portions cost more than thighs and I don't like drumsticks. I do like wings too, so it really depends on what I feel like having when I have chicken since I like both the dark and the light meat (with the exception of drumsticks, I'll only eat them if they're all that's available.).

Had the chicken/rice, along with a caffeine-free DP. I know it wasn't sugar-free, but that'll be my one indulgence today. That's what I'll be doing, allowing at least one small indulgence in the day to offset giving up a lot of what I love that isn't good for me.

After getting home I had a sausage/egg/cheese sandwich on honey wheat bread, about half a cup of ice cream-vanilla and three fresh-baked, medium cookies. Not the best way to end the day, so I'm gonna do better tomorrow. Only thing I can say is I didn't constantly eat between meals like I was doing.

Need to lose

Whether I do or not I don't know. I'm not one of those who will spend thousands of dollars on products advertised to help you 'lose weight fast', they don't work-unless you keep using them and their 'diet plans'. You can't lose weight any faster than you put it on, it just isn't healthy.

No, I don't want to be some Skinny Minnie either, I just need to get off of being slightly over 200 lbs. That on my 5'4" frame is a bit much even being big-boned. All my friends look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them I'm over 200 lbs, they tell me I don't look it, but the scales don't lie. All I want to do is get down to a healthy weight and maybe lose some of this belly, the rest of me isn't so bad, most of it appears to be there.

I'm not going on some famous diet, such as South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. because I don't think they work any better than just changing my eating habits. All I would be doing is throwing my money (which I don't have anyway) away just as much as if I'd start buying the latest pill that promises me I will lose 30 lbs in 3o days....hogwash. Hell, the before and after pictures don't even match, even if you could use the excuse "Well, they lost 68 lbs, they're not gonna look the same." Every single time you see a before and after in those ads the skin color and tone is different, the hair is different, everything is different and you can't explain away skin tone by saying they lost weight. It's like every one of them suddenly decided to visit a tanning salon once they lost weight.

Anyway, I'm going to post musings and things here once in awhile. I'm also going to post my weight ticker in each post, even if I'm not losing anything. I won't be able to weigh myself until I change the battery in my digital scale, it's gone out.