My somewhat inchoate diet and my new fitbit badge.

My somewhat inchoate diet and my new fitbit badge.

I have type 2 diabetes and though I’ve been able to hold my current weight without gaining, my blood sugar has been slowly creeping upwards so I’ve been ramping up my diet strategy yet again.  I’m probably on version 42 of my diet (and a long ways to go) and I feel like by the time I get to version 100 there will be nothing left I can actually eat except maybe an avocado and celery both of which i want to like but currently find yucky.

Here are a couple of tricks I’ve learned recently to help eat healthier.  In the past, I’ve used these square containers like in the images below for two turkey sandwiches – one for lunch and one for supper.  I can’t consume two sandwiches in one meal and control my blood sugar or weight.  Even though I get pretty hungry throughout the day by just eating one sandwich I’ve learned that I have to get used to being hungry.

Instead of putting the turkey meat on bread, I put it in a salad and fill the sandwich container with salad.  Ingredients I typically use in the salad are lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, sweet onion and green onion, green pepper, two jalapeno slices (finely chopped), broccoli, cauliflower (both of which i cut up fairly small so it’s not big chunks), green or black olives, dill pickle slices, banana pepper rings, and a little bit of shredded cheese.  I put a small amount of salad dressing in a small container and keep it in the cooler with a salad.  I generally put black pepper on it when i prepare it but don’t salt it ahead of time or it’ll turn the lettuce to mush because salt leaches the moisture out of veggies in a short amount of time.   The green olives, banana peppers, and sliced dills from a jar typically have a lot of salt so I find that I don’t have to add more salt with those and those don’t turn the salad to mush.

I also like to experiment with other dry seasonings such as McCormick’s salad supreme or even Cajun spices such as Tony Cachere’s or Zatarain’s sometimes to keep from getting so bored with salads.  If the lettuce is pretty fresh I have been able to get away with preparing the salad in the container the night before but I usually prepare it the morning if I’m going to have it for lunch.  Since it can be a bit time consuming I try to have all the ingredients washed and chopped in containers in the fridge so I just have to combine them in the morning.

There are a lot of other ways to make a salad including using sliced or chopped boiled eggs or other sandwich meats.  Or if you’re worried about processed sandwich meats, I like boiling split chicken breast with seasonings and pulling the meat from the bone and putting it in a container in the fridge.  It can then be used as a topping on a salad, in chicken salad, chicken pasta, chicken chilli, chicken pizza, or home made chicken soup just to name a few.  Boiled chicken if done right can be very tasty and healthier than fried (but if you have fried chicken leftovers you can pull the meat from the bone on it and use it in same recipes i mentioned above).  I’ll post the seasonings and some other tricks I use for boiled chicken in another post.

Cashews in moderation from what I’ve read have a beneficial affect on blood sugar so I’ve been taking those in my lunch.  They can be eat as a snack or put in the salad.  I’ve also been eating a lot of oranges lately so I’m not sure if that’s why I haven’t caught the cold or flu bugs that everyone else keeps getting but I’m sure the vitamin C helps.  The halo brand oranges are easy to peel and they’re pretty tiny so just right for peeling at my office cube without making a mess.

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Salad, cashews, and an orange. Yummi.

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I put pickle slices and green olives in there which takes the place of salt.

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Instead of putting the turkey meat on bread I put it in a salad.

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This is what I’m not supposed to eat. 🙂  This was the first time I bought fresh seafood from Publix and brought it home and cooked.  The shrimp and catfish were on sale half off.  I make the shrimp scampi by drizzling it with olive oil and putting a small amount of butter in it.  Then I add garlic salt and some pepper and then bake or broil it for about 6 minutes.  The corn nuggets are just bad all the way around when it comes to health.  LOL.  This is at least 4 servings maybe more.   

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Yay. This is since January of 2017.  I’m still too heavy to run much so most of this is brisk walk.

I’ve experimented with a lot of containers for salads to take them to work and eat at lunch but the square plastic container above seems to work pretty good so far.  I’ve also thought about glass mason jars.  With the mason jars you put salad dressing on the bottom and then when you’re ready to eat it just pour it into a bowl.  You can find the book below on Amazon and other places.

Image result for 150 best meals in a mason jar book

Well good luck if you are trying to eat healthier and/or lose weight.  It’s a constant struggle for me but I’ve lost around 40lbs with many more to go but I’m getting there slowly but surely.  🙂

 

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straight out of the uh and into the frying pan – YAOR for teh internets

Wow – what a coincidence.  I had planned on writing a post about my chickens and an omelet I made with their eggs this morning and the word of the day is egg.  I also figured I’d take a moment to mention some of my kitchen hacks and recipe variations for omelets which I’m sure is not all that original.  I mean there are only so many ways to crack an egg huh.  So here goes for this episode of Yet Another Omelet Recipe for teh internets.

First for some pictures:

 

I used the 3 eggs on the cutting board to make the omelet – those are small to medium eggs (unlike that one giant egg in the corner of the egg carton photo).  This size omelet is really two servings so I cut it in half and only had half of for breakfast.  It actually keeps ok in the fridge so I had the other half for dinner with some grits.  As you may infer from multicolored eggs, my chickens are also multicolored.  I have some Rhode Island Reds, California Whites, and some Australorps which are black.  I’ll post some pictures of them another day – maybe when the word of the day is chicken.  🙂

Eggs used to be considered unhealthy but due to the healthy fats organic eggs have, I think expert opinion is shifting as long one doesn’t overdo it.  An omelet with salsa is fairly low carb for diabetics such as myself but they do have fat and calories.  I’ve been able to lose weight and keep my blood sugar down if I usually just eat one egg for breakfast.

So how do you cook an omelet?  Here are the steps I use and some tricks I’ve learned:

  1. Before I turn the stove on, I prepare part of the veggies.  They are the ones in the small cup on the back of the cutting board in the photos.  One thing that I’ve found is I don’t use green or red peppers fast enough to leave them in the fridge but if you go ahead wash, de-seed and slice them right after you buy them, you can put them in a zip-lock bag or if you want a smaller carbon footprint and less waste then use a re-usable freezer container.  They wont be as crunchy and fresh out of the freezer but they are tasty in stir-fry and aren’t too soggy – just don’t cook them too long.
  2. So I take only as much out of the freezer as I need of the sliced red or green pepper and chop it frozen – it’s easier to do than you’d think.  I normally keep vidalia or sweet onion chopped up in the fridge – I use it more often than red or green pepper and it keeps pretty well in the fridge.  So I add the chopped onion to the pepper at about a 3 to 1 ratio since i like onion and it’s more mild than pepper.
  3. This is optional but to that small plastic cup of onion and pepper I take about 3 jalapeno slices out of a small jar i keep in the fridge.  I chop the 3 small rings of jalapeno up into small bits and add it the cup of onions and peppers.  It doesn’t seem to add too much heat for me.
  4. Another thing i keep in the fridge is green onions.  If I’m making one omelet, I’ll take one green onion stalk out and wash it and chop it up.  If it has that hairy root stem on the very end just cut that small piece off and throw it away but I’m sure you already knew to do that.  I add the chopped up green onion to the cup with the sweet onions, peppers and jalapenos.
  5. Now the veggies are sitting pretty in the plastic cup and raring to go, but I sit them aside for now.
  6. I use a separate small pan for cooking the filling and i add a teaspoon or two of olive oil and heat the pan on medium.  Once the oil heats up I add a teaspoon or two of minced garlic – I get the kind that is in the small jar you put in the fridge and is already minced. This flavors the oil with garlic but it’s not real strong.  If you don’t like garlic you can leave it out.
  7. If i have uncooked sausage I usually chop it up and add it to the frying pan at this point.  I don’t normally use the same cutting board for meat that I use for veggies.  I use the wooden cutting board in the picture mostly for veggies.  You can use precooked breakfast meat, or you can chop up sandwich meat such as ham or turkey.  If you have left over grilled pork chop you can also chop it up and add it.  Occasionally, I buy a slice of ready to serve ham steak and keep in the freezer and it can also be used in this step.  Oh and the precooked real bacon bits in the bag in the photo are also a convenient choice.
  8. While that is cooking I wash the fresh mushrooms and slice them and set them aside.  If the meat is mostly done (no longer pink), I go ahead and add the mushrooms and stir occasionally.  If you’re not using raw meat and you’ve chopped up already cooked meat or sandwich meat you can add the mushrooms immediately.
  9.   Once the mushrooms have cooked a little bit but aren’t cooked all the way, I add the cup of fresh veggies.  These will only need to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium until the sweet onions look a little shiny.  Once that is ready go ahead and remove it from the hot eye but you can leave it in the pan until you’re ready for it.
  10. if you notice the picture with the bacon bits bag, there is a large pancake spatula in it.  One challenge some people have with omelets is flipping the half cooked egg so that large spatula makes it easier to do without the egg falling apart.  I add about two teaspoons of olive oil to a medium sized fryer (it’s bigger than the one i cook the filling in) or you can use butter or spray oil.  Just crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork or wire whisk and add a dash of salt and pepper if desired.  You’ll want to cook the egg pretty slow on medium heat so it doesn’t brown too much.  If the egg cooks too fast just pick up the frying pan and shake it a little to move the egg around and turn the heat down some.  This part will take some practice but just cook it until there is just a thin layer of liquid on top.  Then use the large spatula to flip it over.  Now this only needs to cook for about one to two minutes usually.  I go ahead and add the filling from the other frying pan to the top of the cooking egg mixture in a line in the middle of the egg.  Then I add a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 3 pinches of shredded cheddar cheese – you could use american cheese also.  By now the other half of the egg will probably be done enough you can fold the omelet – i use a smaller spatula for this.  You probably won’t have to flip the folded omelet at this point as it’ll likely be cooked soon.  You can hold the skillet up and slide the omelet into the serving plate and eat by itself or with some salsa.
  11.  One thing to note is the bag of precooked bacon bits which i get from Sam’s club comes in handy for a lot of dishes.  I use it in egg scramble dishes, grits, and i use it when cooking a variety of veggies such as green beans, lima beans, turnips, collards, and black eyed peas, etc.  It works in canned, frozen, or dried beans etc.

Well good luck.  Cooking for yourself isn’t as bad as you may think if you’re not already doing it.  And you can better control what goes into your food – how much fat, salt, etc.  If you trying to eat healthier and don’t want to add meat just remove it from the recipe.  I use the veggie part of this recipe for several dishes including some Chinese dishes and some homemade soups.    The great thing about doing your own cooking is you are in control.