All posts by Niyaz

Week 4: Breakfast for dinner

One of my absolute favorite things (well, other than sandwiches) is breakfast for dinner.

Partly because the rush of cheating on dinner with breakfast is kinda hot, but also because French toast kicks ass no matter what time of day it is.

It didn’t take much convincing on my part when I asked Chef Brian to whip up a menu featuring morning favorites and he’s come through with some yummy (and quick!) dishes for Week 4:

Meal 1: Frittata with spinach, mushroom, tomato and feta

Meal 2: Cinnamon French toast with blueberry compote

Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros

While we’re on the subject, are there any other “theme weeks” you’d like to see on Fat Dude on a Diet? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.

Anyhoo … our list is good for two portions of each meal. I double mine so I always have leftovers for the next day.

The shopping list is after the jump. Continue reading Week 4: Breakfast for dinner

I eat to be healthy, not because I’m on a diet

I think the reason I’ve failed to successfully keep weight off in my previous (multiple) attempts at slimming down is because my approach to dieting has always been to deprive myself of the things that bring me the most joy (chocolate, burgers, etc.) and fill my time with things that I hate (eating salads, going to the gym).

This time feels different. Because I’m only dedicated to healthy eating six days a week, I’ve gotten in the habit of reminding myself that the best things in life can wait until Saturday when I’m free to eat anything I want.

On the other six days, I beat hunger with simple foods that keep me full and are great nutritionally. Take today’s food for example: apple, cereal with 1 cup of milk, banana, 1 serving of whole wheat pasta with leftover turkey and broccoli, 1 oz. of almonds, carrot and celery sticks with hummus, Chef Brian’s dinner (which tonight will be huevos rancheros — more on Week 4: Breakfast for Dinner later today), and a 100 calorie dark chocolate bar with 1/2 cup of milk.

People kept asking how I’d hold up on Thanksgiving — a few seemed more excited at my possible failure — but I got through Turkey Day fairly well, except for that extra serving of cheesy potatoes and a few more caramel pecan cookies than I should have had.

But that’s okay. Because I’m eating for different reasons these days. I’m not shoving down greasy fast food all week just because it tastes good.

I’m eating six times a day so that I don’t get hungry as much. I eat fruit like it’s dessert and treat dessert like it’s a special treat, because it should be. I was concerned I wouldn’t lose any weight this week because I was a bit too indulgent on Thursday (and Friday), and then had my free day on Saturday. I also missed a couple of walks because of rain, etc.

I was prepared to beat myself up over it until I realized that it doesn’t matter if I have small losses or gains from week to week. In then end it’s about the bigger picture. None of this is easy (especially with so much pumpkin pie floating around) but it will be worth the eventual payoff: a longer, healthier life.

One not full of — but occasionally sprinkled with — a greasy burger or two.

As for the scale: Today I weigh 249.1. I weighed 250.8 last Monday, my third week of blogging. I started this blog weighing 258. That’s a total loss of 8.9 lbs.

I haven’t been under 250 lbs. in about four years. It feels better to be closer to 200 lbs. than 300 lbs. At my heaviest I was 267. It was starting to get scary for a while there, but it feels good to see it start turning around.

Week 3, Meal 3: Grilled chicken caprese panini

Counting this morning, I’ve had pesto four days in a row with lunch and dinner (and breakfast today).

I’m not tired of it one bit. Not because it has plenty of salty Parmesan in there, but because the bright basil adds so much freshness to each dish.

For Week 3, Meal 3 Chef Brian succeeds with simplicity with a flavorful grilled chicken caprese panini. Continue reading Week 3, Meal 3: Grilled chicken caprese panini

Week 3, Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic-marinated skirt steak, portobello mushroom, cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella

I love love love beef and since we started this here blog I haven’t had any.

Surprisingly, I don’t quite feel like this guy, but I was very excited when I saw not only beef, but skirt steak — MY FAVORITE CUT OF BEEF — on the menu.

Meet Week 3, Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic marinated skirt steak, portobello mushroom, cherry tomatoe and fresh mozzarella.

And it ain’t even my birthday … Continue reading Week 3, Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic-marinated skirt steak, portobello mushroom, cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella

Week 3, Meal 1: Roasted Chilean sea bass with basil pesto in tomato broth with squash and cherry tomato

Chef Brian told me I could use tilapia or halibut for his first fish dish, roasted Chilean sea bass with basil pesto in tomato broth with squash and cherry tomato, but I decided to splurge and go for the expensive stuff.

Nearly $20 later, I was the proud new owner of 10 oz. of Chilean sea bass from Santa Monica Seafood.

I questioned the steep purchase, which sucked up nearly 1/5 of my weekly grocery budget, all the way until I tasted the oily, decadent fish, bright broth and crisp veggies.

This, friends, is a winner — made better by the fact that I cooked this incredible meal at at home.

Go me. Well, Wifey Nadia helped a lot, so, go us. Continue reading Week 3, Meal 1: Roasted Chilean sea bass with basil pesto in tomato broth with squash and cherry tomato

Week 3: Basil pesto

I’m excited for Week 3 because it’s the first week that we’re using different proteins each night.

Not that I’ve been bored with chicken the first week or pork the second, but I’m a big beef eater and I haven’t had much beefy deliciousness to speak of lately.

But beef comes on night two. There’s a fantastic meal before that (and one after for that matter, too):

Meal 1: Roasted Chilean sea bass topped with basil pesto in tomato broth with squash and cherry tomatoes

Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic marinated skirt steak and portobello mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

Meal 3: Chicken caprese panini with basil pesto, heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella

Our list is good for two portions of each meal. I double mine so I always have leftovers for the next day.

The shopping list is after the jump. Continue reading Week 3: Basil pesto

I just can’t eat like I used to

It’s been two weeks since I gave up my old diet of pizza, hamburgers, BBQ, etc. I stopped drinking soda and munching on sweets all the time too.

It’s been two weeks, and already when I eat that stuff on my free day, it just doesn’t taste as good.

I had pizza Saturday– albeit Chuck E. Cheese pizza (served at my sister’s seventh birthday party) — and it was over-oily and under-satisfying. The breakfast burrito I had earlier in the day wreaked havok on me. So chorizo, no go.

I can’t even touch sod-y pop. I used to drink Coke and now it tastes like chemicals. I don’t enjoy anything but water, milk juice or tea.

In August my wife bought me an orange polo for our anniversary that was too snug by October.

I wore it to work late last week for the first time in a month and a half. And I looked hella fly.

I felt even better than I looked.

As for the scale: Today I weigh 250.8. I weighed 252.6 last week, my second week of blogging. I started this blog weighing 258.

I have lost 7.2 lbs. in 2 weeks.

Week 2, Meal 3: Grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with a fig, port and balsamic reduction

Even though we’re using some of the same ingredients for three full meals, I don’t ever feel like I’m getting bored with what I’m eating.

Case in point is the lovely grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with a fig, port, and balsamic reduction I ate for dinner last night.

By simply reducing the balsamic fig jam in some port wine, I was able to further d-lish-ify something already in my fridge.

And yeah, I just made up a word. So, whatever. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 3: Grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with a fig, port and balsamic reduction

Week 2, Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon

If you didn’t notice by the headline, there’s bacon in that there sandwich. If that ain’t an advancement in healthy eating, I don’t know what to tell you.

But bacon is low in calories (40-50 per slice, though high in fat) and a little bit can totally be a part of a healthy diet.

For our second meal of week 2, we’re dressing that bacon with a bunch of great ingredients for our thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon.

BOOYAH. Keep readin’. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon

Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

One of my favorite things to eat is polenta (aka corn grits). It’s hearty, creamy and goes great with cheese, so really, what’s not to love?

Well, the cooking process, actually. I’ve always cooked polenta according to the directions on the package, but never ended up with anything as creamy and fulfilling as the results of Chef Brian’s recipe.

Here is Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce.

Grits gooey with nutty Gruyere, ginger-spiked pear chunks and juicy pork. Now that’s whassup. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

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