Day 10: Keto Reset Day – Lowering Stress With Food Prepping

Feeling like I’m over the worst part of this blasted cold, yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a long time. Food prepping for the week. Granted, it happened on Hump Day, but that’s neither here nor there. Doing something so simple felt great. It’s an habit I started when I went low carb and it’s been MIA for too many months.

What To Do With All These Tomatoes?
I deviated from my grocery list slightly by picking 2 pounds of tomatoes – Campari, heirloom and San Marzanos. Why? Oven-dried tomatoes of course! Great for salads, pesto, quiches. Nice add-ons to the dishes I’m making this week.

Of course, they take 8 hours or so to dry out, but they do taste spectacular. Frankly the taste is even better when they sit in a delicious extra virgin olive oil (frankly, the amazing oil coming out of California is replacing Greek and Italian olive oils in my home).

Rinse, Chop, Make Ahead, Repeat
While the tomatoes took hours to make, the rest of my food prep took just 2. I quickly dispensed with the veggies: washing, chopping and storing – about 30 minutes total.

Next up, the cooking portion of my prep work: whipping up hard-boiled eggs, testing my Instapot (that poor spaghetti squash!), and preparing a make ahead meatloaf to pop in the oven for dinner.

The nice thing about all this prep work was how relaxing it is to work in the kitchen. Just turn on some music and focus on the simple task at hand. No worries. No melt downs. Heck, even when I knocked over my big tumbler of water, I just laughed as I cleaned up (and played a little ice cube soccer with the pup).

Food Prep Takes Stress Away…It Really Does
Two hours of my time to save me hours during the week. So simple. Yet it’s too easy to fall back into that bad habit of mine — sitting on the couch scrolling through a Twitter feed.

Not only is that bad habit a waste of time, but it added to my stress. How many times I felt rushed to try to cook meals for my family. A little bit of food prep yesterday and I saved 20 minutes this morning making a Swiss and mushroom omelet for my mom. My husband just reached in the fridge and quickly put his lunch together (my meatloaf the day after is awesome!).

No fuss, no muss…or stress eating!


Reinventing Deviled Eggs

deviled eggs

These devilish eggs include more than a few drops of Frank’s Hot Sauce between the egg white and the creamy, bacon-infused yolks. Yum!

After a fun grocery expedition with mom yesterday morning, my plan was to spend the afternoon food prepping and cooking a few meals. Well that went up in smoke when I got home. I felt exhausted…that happens when you wake up at 3:00 a.m. because a cat is walking on your head.

The husband suggest I take a little catnap. That little nap turned into 3 hours of solid sleep.

So I spent the evening in the kitchen, fixing dinner, chopping veggies and making snacks for the week.

Deviled eggs are one of my favorite go to snacks. Not only can you whip them up in no time, you can really get creative in your toppings — bacon, olives, fresh herbs, jalapenos, chorizo sausage, horseradish, smoked paprika, crab…

Ugh, I’m drooling all over my keyboard.

Devilish Eggs
Last night I made The Domestic Man’s devilish egg recipe. He adds a few drops of Tabasco sauce between the egg white and the yolk.

Well I love everything hot, so I had to make it. I just added some chives and my new sugar-free bacon. Yum!  Now I have to admit my hand got a little heavy when I was adding the hot sauce. But in my defense, that’s the way I roll.

I’m not expecting these to last the weekend. So that means guacamole deviled eggs are up next!

Fun With Deviled Egg Toppings
Not sure what you can do to add some zip to your deviled eggs? Not to fear, there are lots of great recipes online to inspire you. Here’s a few of my go to recipe sites.

 

 


Lazy Day In The Kitchen

Winter Storm Titan is starting to pile up on our deck. A day indoors means it's time to cook lots of comfort food for the week.

Winter Storm Titan is starting to pile up on our deck. A day indoors means it’s time to cook lots of comfort food for the week.

Today is for staying indoors, thanks to Titan. We’re expecting at least a foot of snow (some ice mixed in for good measure) when this storm blows over. So I’m not going to make my physical today or meet up with my trainer either.  I’ll be in the kitchen making lots of healthy comfort foods for the week.

I’m on my feet most of the day, but I still consider days like this “lazy.” I pretty much work at my pace. No rush. Just take my time making awesome dishes. The fun part comes if I’m out of an ingredient. Oh well. I just make do with what’s available — I’m not going out in this mess.

At some point the shoveling will start. But my guess is the hubby will try to hog that workout.

On Tap Today

  • Sirloin Tip Roast (in the crock pot!)
  • Roasted BBQ Rubbed Chicken Breasts
  • Pepper Lime Chicken Thighs
  • Lentil Black Bean Chili
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Veggie Chopping

Photos and recipes to follow.  Stay warm my friends!

 


The Great Nut Caper

I wasn't aware of the danger I was in while dividing my almonds and walnuts into single serving size snack bags.

I wasn’t aware of the danger I was in while dividing my almonds and walnuts into single serving size snack bags.

Today was food prep day. Lots of vegetables and fruit got chopped in preparation for the week. It just makes life easier when whipping up delicious foods. If there’s a weight loss food habit that’s a must, it’s food prepping.

At the grocery store I picked up some walnuts and almonds, about a pound each. Sadly nuts are not on my Simple Start food list. While off-limits to me this week (my last week of the program), my husband can enjoy these terrific, healthy snacks, provided he can stop with one serving.

That’s where my mad food prep skills come in — and a lot of snack-size baggies.

I simply weigh or measure out the nuts per the recommended portion and seal them in a snack bag. Simple, and it ensures a single serving size. Plus, it’s super convenient when he needs to grab something on the go or pack his lunch in the morning.

The amount of nuts I get last for about 3-4 weeks. Not bad for about 10 minutes of my time.

A warning to those of you considering food prep.  I routinely run into a hazard when I break out the chopping board, food scale, measuring cups, food containers and snack bags.

My first hazard likes to sit to my left.

This thief waited in vane for an almond. Patience paid off when a big, juicy strawberry fell.

This thief waited in vain for an almond. Patience paid off when a big, juicy strawberry fell.

The second hazard likes to sit on my right.

Thief No. 2 and the ringleader. She likes to use her cuteness to hypnotize you into tossing her a morsel.

Thief No. 2 and the ringleader. She likes to use her cuteness to hypnotize you into tossing her a morsel.

This time around, they enlisted help. The helper’s job — constantly bat at my head and neck (I sat down during today’s food prep because my leg needed a break).

The thieves came with an enforcer this time. While he loved batting my ponytail, jumping on my shoulder and kneading my back (which was awesome!) he couldn't distract me from my task.

The thieves came with an enforcer this time. While he loved batting my ponytail, jumping on my shoulder and kneading my back (which was awesome!) he couldn’t distract me from my task. Although I spent a lot of time shooing him off the counter and disinfecting.

I’m not sure what they promised their little enforcer, as he hates both thieves (and barely tolerates his humans).

Overall I did good. None of the nuts fell on the floor. However, A rather large strawberry slipped out of my hands. Shadowfax, my little dog, was so fast, the Old English Sheepdog was still laying down before she realized she missed the big prize.

Poor puppy. Maybe next time.


Want To Lose Weight? Take Control Of The Fridge

While in Texas, my hubby actually ate what I prepared for him - and then some - rather than eat out.

While in Texas, my hubby actually ate what I prepared for him – and then some – and not eat out.

Weight Watchers stresses taking charge of your environment – removing foods that get in the way of weight loss and replacing them with healthy options.

I took this advice to heart. It’s hard to make smart choices if I have a pantry loaded with cookies. Once I decided to go low carb, my refrigerator and pantry felt my wrath. You won’t find any of my trigger foods. No sweets, crackers, pastas or breads. I trashed anything that tempted me.

By taking charge of my fridge I was in control, not the food.

While flying home on Sunday, I admit I worried what my kitchen would look like when I got back. My husband was alone for one week. It isn’t uncommon for him to add some of his favorite food groups – namely pies and cookies – to my kitchen space.

Before I left, I stocked up on protein and veggies and instructed him to eat only what’s in the fridge. However, I knew that listening isn’t one of his strengths. When I got home Sunday, I fully expected to find soft, furry vegetables and lots of high-carb treats. Boy was I wrong. He ate what I stocked up on and then some.

He did me proud.

Controlling my space! Food prepping helps me in making healthy choices.

Controlling my space! Food prepping helps me in making healthy choices.

Come Monday morning I took charge of my kitchen again. After grocery shopping, I spent the day chopping up lots of veggies.

Looking at my fridge now, all the healthy foods are within sight and quick to dish out.

Later tonight we’ll fire up the grill. So this afternoon, I’ll prep chicken, pork and beef with rubs and marinades.

My fridge now. Tonight, we grill all on the 3rd shelf! Healthy choices have never been so easy!

My fridge now. Healthy choices have never been so easy!

Another advantage that comes with controlling my space? The prep time for meals is less than 5 minutes.

Sweet.