Friday, March 9, 2012

A Girl's Gotta Eat...

While I really believe that exercise is important to weight loss, I think the most important factor is diet.  I am a calorie counter. I use a handy little computer program called MyFitnessPal, and of course, they have an App for that.  It's made a huge difference in my weight loss journey.  I love this program because it not only tracks calories, but nutrients.  I love knowing how much protein I've had, how many carbs, sugars, how much fiber, calcium and so on.  It really helps me eat well.

I like to cook almost as much as I like to eat.  I love the whole process.  Searching for recipes, doing the shopping, talking about what I was going to make, making it and eating it.  The only thing I don't like is the clean up, but who does?

I used to plan out the week's meals and every night was something different.  I was spending hours involved with dinner.  I liked it- but I didn't like the result.  No time left for the gym and too much food being eaten.

Recently, I read that people who eat the same thing over and over gain less weight.  At first I thought "yeah, because they don't like food", but then I really began to think about it.  If I took out all that planning, the detailed shopping, the hours of prep- I would have a lot more free time. Free time = work out time. 

I decided to re-evaluate how I handle my meals and started with breakfast and lunch.  Today, I'm going to talk about breakfast.

I love breakfast.  I used to skip it or eat something full of carbs, but when I started having a lot of protein in the morning, I saw and felt the difference.  The problem is, I have to be at work at 6 am and this is just too early for me to eat.

I was looking at Hungry Girl and was intrigued my her "Egg Mugs".  I'm nor the biggest HG fan, but scramblers made in the microwave? I was skeptical, but tried it- and it worked.  I had a hot, high protein solution, but I needed to make it still more time friendly. Enter- assembly line cooking.

I bought five 3 cup rectangle glass pyrex containers,  one for each work day (and because that's all they had at the store). Once a week I pick a different type of scrambler, make up all 5 at once, place 2 in the fridge and the other 3 in the freezer.  I take the fridge ones to work on day 1 and 2, then the night before work I pull one from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge.  By the time I throw it in the microwave at work the next morning, it's mostly thawed.

I decided to really be "bloggy" (like crafty- but for a blog- I'm sure it will catch on) and took pictures of the process.  Here is this week's breakfast: Egg Whites with Turkey Sausage and Salsa.

Tools: 5 pyrex containers apx 3 cups (I rec. the square/rectangle shapes, and the store better)
measuring cups and spoons

Liquid Egg Whites-1 container
Turkey sausage links-15
Laughing Cow-Queso Fresco and Chipolte- 5 wedges
Here's what you need

Start with 1/2 cup of egg whites
Add 3 links of sausage cut up, 2 TB salsa and one wedge of cheese.  Don't forget to add some pepper too.
Cover and stack.  All this took me about 5 minutes and dirtied a measuring cup, a knife and a spoon. 

Now, doesn't that look tasty? No? Yes, I agree, it looks awful! And it will continue to look less than pretty- but it will taste fantastic!

How to cook: I'm still figuring this out.  I think I "stop and stir" too often and I am working on it.  It seems like microwaving it on high in 90 second intervals, stirring between intervals seems to work well.  I take the lid off for the last 30 seconds or so, it helps that last bit of liquid to disappear. It's still taking close to five minutes to cook, so I am thinking maybe I need to up that first interval to 2:00 or even 2:30.

As I mentioned, it won't look great.  How could it? Egg whites plus salsa plus sausage all mixed up- it's really... beige.  But I promise, it tastes great.  

I take along a piece of Trader Joe's Sprouted 7 grain and toast it in my hello kitty toaster. YUM. 

Now the really good part- nutrition:
Without the toast:
Calories: 235
Fat: 9
Cholesterol: 60
Carbs: 4
Protein: 30g
Calcium: 10%

The bread adds 60 calories, 1 g fat, 7 carbs, 3 fiber and 5 g of protein. 

I think that is a great start to the day.  Try it and let me know what you think! 

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