Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week Two - Food glorious Food!

Commando Steve said: "Boredom is the dieter’s biggest enemy. So this week, Amy, I dare you to shake up your eating habits. You’ll need to eat like it’s all new, trying different recipes from The Biggest Loser Club and new healthy takeaway options. Sound easy? There’s a catch. I also want you to introduce at least one nutritious food that you specifically avoid. Liver? Lentils? Whatever it is I want you to post about it on Facebook."  (click here for BLC Challenge page)

Nom nom nom nom nom.... !!!
Ohhhh a challenge that revolves all around food - ohhhhh the humanity!  (yeah, I'm "really suffering" right?!  hahaha!)

Now, me being the "foodie" that I am - lately I've been delving into all sorts of culinary (and often comical) discoveries - some good, some not so good...  so this challenge has become an extention of my kitchen prowess of late...


Given how unnatural my presence in the kitchen used to be (aside from the constant fridge and cupboard raids of the old days) - and my lack of coordination, patience and 'creativity' on the food front, I gave up years ago thinking I was anything more than a "meat and veg" style cook (I could burn hard boiled eggs for crying out loud!).  Plus, add insult to injury with being dealt a hefty serve of serious laziness - "can't be bothered cooking for one - easier, cheaper and quicker to go get takeaway".  HA!  Who was I kidding?!  I mean seriously...  come on Amy!!!   Excuse Queen reigned supreme!

Given my "no fast food takeaway" stance when I started with the BLC three years ago, it meant I had to get back in the kitchen (ugh!) and learn how to prepare my meals. Also meant I had to learn how to shop, coordinate menu items and read labels... 

... and you know what - I totally SUCKED at it in the beginning!  A complete and utter novice when it came to understanding food and nutrition back then, and no idea how to "budget cook" for one....

I was off to a SHOCKING start - I was buying way too much, had no natural sense of ingredient styling (what goes with what) and because my tastebuds and eating style were "under construction" - half my menu items still came out of packets - I really had no clue!

Ofcourse, the more I used the diary and understood calorie values in foods, the more I could start adapting - and trying different brands, or reading the labels and discovering what worked better than what. Following the BLC's basic menu, and structuring my eating to accommodate "most of the food groups" with anything I actually recognised (hahaha... shouldn't really laugh at that, I was only game enough to eat what I knew about..!!)... I still struggled to get my head around FOOD in general. Juggling my work schedule, shopping and avoiding total laziness in the kitchen were still my biggest issues.  Frozen "healthy dinners" and easy-to-make sandwich lunches were a really big hit for ages while I was in that transition mode!!

... but then I'd fall into the trap of "eating out of habit" - I had my 'staple' items I'd buy all the time. I could whip around the supermarket IN MY MIND and know exactly what I'd be pulling off the shelf - because it fit in with my schedule, my calorie allocation and budget and I didn't have to think...

BUT - just as per the purpose of this weekly challenge - "habit eating" gets VERY VERY boring after a while.  You stop enjoying the food - you end up looking elsewhere for something different, and quite often, end up sabotaging yourself or falling off the wagon because you get hooked on the next "easy substitute" instead!  I had to remind myself, often, that part of my commitment to this new lifestyle was actually eating REAL FOOD and ensuring I ate my three meals a day (plus snacks) - irrespective of how tired or bored of it I was... "Don't complain Amy, just DO IT!"

Moroccan prawn pita
SO, three years later, and ALOT of 'habit retraining' in the meantime.... it was only a couple of months ago that I started to look at even more variety in the menu.  I needed to "revamp" the eating so I could really kick my body back into gear this year, and help get through the rest of my mission.

Let's face it, as soon as we start doing the same things over and over, the body gets FAR too used to it - food and exercise alike - and I've already sat through my fair share of plateaus through the years, I don't want to see another one anytime soon!!

Change is good...  BE THE CHANGE!  
('s not just my clever mantra for no reason, haha!)

This year I vowed to add much more freshies, drop bulk of the packaged, and add HEAPS more variety to the menu. ... and not to mention "spicing it all up" (I've never really used spices, aside from salt and pepper, haha!).

Crumpets with fried banana,
strawberries, ricotta and honey
The Commando's Challenge couldn't have hit at a better time - I'm SO ready to open up my kitchen repertoire and feed this body in lots of new ways - and getting to share all these crazy masterpieces is just FUN on top!

I created a new recipes page on my webby for those that want to try some of these healthy (yet super tasty) morsels... and inspire your inner MasterChef!!

This cooking business is NOT a hard thing to do (despite years of me thinking it was) and has actually become quite an integral part of staying in control.  What we eat plays a HUGE factor in weightloss - after all, you can run yourself ragged with butt-busting workouts til you pass out, but if you keep stuffing your face full of useless nutrition, you might as well not bother at all...    

FOOD IS NOT OUR ENEMY!  It's our fuel source - it keeps our bodies moving and deserves to be respected!  FRESH FOOD is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and nothing really quite compares to something cooked from scratch... and with love!!!   Nothing out of a packet really measures up?!

My shopping and eating behaviours now reflect the self-respect I have for my body and my attitude adjustment towards food - I've never been so in control of what goes in my mouth as I have been lately - and the scales are VERY much showing the effort!  (nearly 6kgs gone in the past month - awesome!!)  Eating CLEAN and MEAN will ALWAYS work in your favour!!

Here's to even more delicious discoveries over the course of the week...  I'll keep posting them up on the BLC FB page for your amusement and dribbly delight!

... and I WILL be testing out a few new ingredients I've avoided in the past.  It's lentils tonight... and as per Commando's cheeky inclusion, there MAY be a liver dish in there at some point.. if I actually get THAT brave, hahaha!



  1. Oh Amy - I have sent messages before (including to your Mum!) but I hadn't really looked at your amazing changes! OMG! I could almost cry with joy for you - and hold out hope for myself! I once got a message from someone special - stay strong! I pass the same on to you! Oh - and enjoy the rest of the journey!

  2. Amy, I am TOTALLY TRYING THAT BANANA CRUMPET THING! Ah! It's like you reached into my brain and pulled out HEAVEN. Lol. Awesome work, chica. :-D