Monday, November 14, 2011

Greetings from the Battle of the Bulge!

I try to avoid peeking at the scale, but sometimes curiosity gets the better of me

One month ago I posted that I was getting back on the proverbial horse, finally ready to do whatever it takes to reduce my waistline and improve my health.

I am proud to say, since then I have lost a total of . . . (drum roll please) . . .  5.5 pounds!

Ok, I know it is not that big of a number, but in weight loss it really is slow and steady that wins the race. As I keep reminding myself, I'm not on a diet. I'm changing my lifestyle and these changes are forever. Sometimes I still go overboard or just plain have a bad day, but I want to be around for as long as possible to enjoy my son and one day his children, too, and that keeps me motivated. When I fall off the wagon, I just climb back on on again and move on.

Thanksgiving is the first major holiday I'm facing in my new reality. As fate would have it, it is also the most  food-centric holiday of them all. I'm not worried, though. This is just the first of many holiday meals that I will have to navigate, so depriving myself, or binging and feeling guilty later, simply cannot be options. Instead, I've got a plan. I'm going to use portion control to enjoy everything without going nuts. My Mom, sister and I are lightening up some of our old favorites and working more veggies into the menu, too.

We ladies in the family are also trying something new this year. All three of us are going to walk in the Turkey Trot, an annual Thanksgiving Day Marathon here in town. Grandpa and the boys will be cheering us on from the sidelines. Aside from being a healthy thing to do for ourselves in the short term, it is also a great example for our kids for the long-term. And, you never know, maybe a new  family Thanksgiving tradition in the making.

My actual weight loss goal for this month is to lose three pounds and I intentionally left it for last. While seeing the number on the scale go down is a great motivator, I know the real victory is another week of healthier behavior.

I found this recipe online (I forget where, otherwise I would provide the link) and will be making it this Thanksgiving:

Mashed Sweet Potatos With Apples

5 pound(s) sweet potato(es), medium-size, scrubbed, pierced with a fork
1 Tbsp butter
2 medium apple(s), Golden Delicious, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup(s) orange juice
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling on final product
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 spray(s) cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until very soft, about 1 hour. Remove potatoes from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Let potatoes stand until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook, gently turning occasionally, until golden and tender, about 7 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.

Cut cooled potatoes in half and scrape out pulp into a large bowl; discard skins. Add juice, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper; mash with a potato masher. Or for a smoother texture, process in a food processor until smooth.

Lightly coat a 1 1/2- to 2-quart rectangular or round baking dish with cooking spray. Scrape potato mixture into baking dish; arrange sautéed apples over top in pretty pattern such as concentric circles. Bake until bubbly around edges, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and cut into 10 pieces.

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