Day 3 – Losing 6 Pounds in 2 Weeks

We are never so much disposed to quarrel with others as when we are dissatisfied with ourselves.”  ~ William Hazlitt

We are always our toughest critics.  When starting any weightloss endeavor you must have a goal and a timeline that are reasonable and you must cut yourself some slack in the middle.  Day 3 has not been my best day, but I am not going to sweat it.  I was thrown off of my game by a snow day – the 7th snow day this season – and I had a fun day with the kids and got to try out a new recipe.  Not the best day for moving me towards my goal, but still a fantastic day.

Here are my measurements using the 4 Keys to Successful Weight Management

Day 3

Sustenance – fuel

Breakfast -2 pecan waffles
Snack       -6 dried apricots
Lunch      -Starbuck’s reduced fat coffee cake
                  Grande non-fat latte
Snack      -CT’s spicy V8
Dinner     –Chicken Thighs with Harissa Chick Peas
                  Couscous (1/2 cup)
                 Roasted asparagus (6 stalks)  

Sweat – exercise

mall walking

Sip – hydration

16 ounces water
16 ounces coffee (bad)

Slumber – sleep

8 hours, well rested

Chicken Thighs with Harissa Chickpeas

 

Usually, when I get my hair done is the only time I allow myself to indulge in tabloids.  They are there.  I am there.  Why not?  At my last appointment the January 2014 edition of Bon Appetit was sitting in the processing room and caught my eye.  I found page after page of tempting recipes that I couldn’t wait to try our for my family and since it was the January version most of the recipes were healthy.  This one was at the top of the list.  I love that one pan goes from the stovetop, to the oven, to the table and I couldn’t wait to see how tolerable my family would be to the heat of this dish.  They did not disappoint. The entertainment I hoped for was pricesless.  When you try it make sure to make sides that double as extinguishers.

 

Chicken Thighs with Harissa Chickpeas

                                                             Printable version
1  Tbs olive oil
skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (I had 2 packs of 5 thighs so I used 1 1/2 times everything else)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
small onion, finely chopped
cloves garlic, minced
2  Tbs tomato paste
15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed
¼ cup harissa paste
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
 
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
 
Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.
 
Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
 
Our 9 year old son is a very picky eater so I spared his thighs from any garnish and served his chickpeas on the side. For the rest of us I served this dish on top of couscous with a side of roasted asparagus with lemon and olive oil (which I threw in the oven with the chicken and took out at the same time – presto, easy breezy).
 
Note: there are no specialty grocery stores near me so I had to improvise for the harissa.  I used sriracha chili sauce.  When I can get out to a market I will try this recipe again with harissa and compare the two.

Day 2 – Losing 6 Pounds In 2 Weeks

Feeling good after day 1.  Celebrating the small successes help motivate you to stay the course.
There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery“. ~ Enrico Fermi
Here are my measurements for Day 2 of my 14 day weight loss journey using the 4 Keys to Successful Weight Management

DAY 2

Sustenance – fuel

Breakfast -1 Greek yogurt, Fage 0% peach
Snack -2 chocolate chip cookies (I gave blood. They were my reward ?)
Lunch –mujadara (2 cup serving)
Snack -veggie sticks (2 cups carrots, celery, cucumbers)
Dinner -1 slice Hungry Howie’s cheese pizza
Snack -2 pieces dark chocolate

Sweat – exercise

30 minutes running (speed intervals)

30 Minute Run – LT’s Speed Intervals
Time
Tempo
Comments
5 min.
Casual run         (I start at 6 mph or a 10 min. mile)
This should be a comfortable pace.  You are jogging, but you can breathe easily through your nose.
2 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace B
2 min.
Starting pace
Recover
2 min.
Pace B
 
1 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace C
2 min.
Pace B
 
2 min.
Starting pace
 
2 min.
Pace B
 
1 min.
Pace C
 
1 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace D
1 min.
Pace C
 
2 min.
Pace B
 
2 min.
Starting Pace
 
1 min
Pace B
 
1 min
Pace C
 
1 min
Pace D
 
2 min
Starting Pace
 
Cool down at a comfortable pace and then stretch

Sip – hydration

16  ounces green tea
8    ounces water
16 ounces coffee (bad)

Slumber – sleep

8 hours, pretty sound

Day 1 – Losing 6 Pounds in 2 Weeks

They say to new moms that “it took you 9 months to put on the weight, give yourself at least that much time to take it off”.  Not many women whom I know bought into that.  Most of us thinking of a much nearer birthday, or formal event that would require a slinky black dress and setting our sights on that date as the target.

I am going to use that rule to take off weight gained during business travel and log measurements that I feel are important to achieving this goal, The 4 Keys of Successful Weight Management.  2 weeks to put on the weight, 2 weeks to take it off.

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”  ~  H. James Harrington

DAY 1

Sustenance – fuel

Breakfast     -1 granola bar
                    -1 large green apple
Snack          -1 oz almonds
Lunch          -salad (3 cups mixed veggies no dressing)

Snack          -1 clementine
Dinner         –mujadara (2 cup serving)
                    -1/2 pita

Sweat – exercise

30 minutes elliptical machine

Sip – hydration

32 ounces water
16 ounces coffee (bad)

Slumber – sleep

8 hours, restless (darn those hot flashes)

Mujadara, Rice and Lentils Recipe

Middle Eastern food is one of my favorite food groups.  I can eat it every day.  Although I enjoy cooking, I find that many of the recipes either require too many ingredients that I do not have or require way too much labor (chopping parsley for days).  Mujadara, however, is one of my favorites to make at home.  The ingredients and the instructions are basic and you can cook it once and eat many times.

Mujadara is a low calorie, low cost meal packed with health benefits.  This recipe is super easy to make (except that I have a tendency to burn instead of caramelize the onions). I love to make it as a side dish for dinner and then enjoy the left-overs as a main course for lunch.  Dr. Oz lists lentils as one of the best anti-aging super foods and here’s more on the 7 Health Benefits of Lentils.

 

Printable Version
3 onions
1 bag lentils
1 c long grain brown rice
6 cups low sodium veggie or chicken stock
1/2 Tbs. cumin
salt
pepper
olive oil

cut 1 onion into 1/2 inch pieces
heat olive oil in frying pan
caramelize onion (cook until dark brown, but careful not to burn)
remove from pan and set aside

Dice remaining 2 onions
Cook diced onion in olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat until soft, 2-3 minutes
Add lentils, salt and pepper to taste
Add stock and cumin
Cook for 35- 40 minutes covered
Let stand for 5 minutes and stir with fork
Top with caramelized onion and serve

Tips:
If using a quick cook rice (not recommended), simmer the beans for the first part of the 35-40 minutes and then add the rice for the amount of cooking time according to the directions on the rice package.

History:
Lentils are one of the oldest foods dating back to prehistoric times.  Archaeologists have found lentils in ancient ruins dating over 8,000 years old.  The legumes were a very common food among ancient Greek and Roman civilizations and the health benefits from eating them was also known at this time. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed lentils to his patients.  Aristophanes, from ancient Greek times proclaimed of soup made of lentils “You, who dare insult lentil soup, sweetest of delicacies.”  On Wikipedia I even found that there is even reference to them in the Bible, in Genesis 25:30-34, Esau is prepared to give up his birthright for a pot of fragrant red lentil soup being cooked by his brother, Jacob.

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