Who doesn’t love fried chicken?? I know you love it–even if you don’t eat it very often. How is it possible that such greasy deliciousness makes your thighs so sad, but your taste buds jump for joy? I guess the same reason that salad does a body good, but chocolate layers on the pounds. As my father used to tell me, “Kitten, who said life was fair?” It seems the things that are good for us are not nearly as enticing as the things that are not. But sometimes the universe gives us loopholes. Yay loopholes! And I am not talking about the cauliflower mashed potato kind of loopholes. Seriously–that one is a bit far-fetched. I like cauliflower more than the next guy, and even I can’t buy into that one! So here is a for real food loophole that will have both your thighs AND taste buds hip-hip-hooraying– A fantastic Jorge Cruise recipe. Take a peek at this video for instructions on how to make Jorge Cruise approved FRIED CHICKEN! This recipe is approved for The Belly Fat Cure and 100 Sugar Calories diets. I’ve tried this (a whole bunch of times) and the entire family loves it. And when Dad and the kids co-sign on a recipe, it makes sticking to your diet 100% easier. Enjoy!
One thing I learned, loud and clear, is that I am an emotional eater. I never knew that about myself—and never considered emotions to be my trigger. But since there was the obvious connection between my out of control weekend and the emotional situations involving my children, I thought I should pay attention. As a result, I was able to see that in the past few weeks, I would gravitate toward food when things felt oookey. And when I say food, what I really mean is junk. I mean, would being an emotional eater really be a problem if I were driven to cauliflower and not Twinkies? I also noticed some situations triggered poor food choices that I would not have identified as “emotional”, but as it turns out, they are. For example, seeing a small increase on the scale, or a pair of shorts that felt looser the last time I wore them would send me right into the pantry! Other times I would find myself in the pantry and not know why I was there. I realized that my perception of emotional eating was kinda narrow. I figured emotional responses only came from big things like Relationships, Work, and Money and that the response was always immediate; as in, I just had a fight with my husband so I march to the freezer to grab the Ben and Jerry’s. I definitely wasn’t wrong about those things, but I failed to recognize all the little things in between. Things like personal disappointments or missed expectations that had absolutely nothing to do with the big 3 (relationships, work, money). Things that sabotaged my efforts to lose weight because I wasn’t aware they were happening, let alone why they were happening. But now I know. So when I hop on the scale and it doesn’t reflect what I felt I worked hard for–or expected, I immediately recognize that I am disappointed–an emotion–and that emotion of disappointment could be a trigger. Likewise, when I find myself in the pantry reaching for those tasty Cheetos, I ask myself “how do you feel?”. You got it– the answer is usually “lousy”. So then I ask myself, “girl, why you feeling lousy?” and think back until I get to the thing that happened that made me feel oookie in the first place. It’s usually not a big thing– or else, perhaps, the trigger would have been immediate. I’ve found sometimes the issue is as trivial as my husband forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning. Silly, I know. But in the wrong frame of mind that could translate into something like, “he forgot because he doesn’t listen to me. He doesn’t listen to me because he doesn’t care about what is important to me”….blah, blah, blah. Logically it doesn’t make a lot of sense–but the emotional trigger is still there, albeit quietly. And it’s the quiet, sneaky triggers you have to learn to identify.
The not so funny thing is—I don’t feel better after eating my emotions. Actually,I usually feel kinda gross afterwards. How odd then that I would continue to do it. So I started to break it down a bit and realized this:
I act on the FEELINGS of doing something I THINK will make me feel better
WHEN IN REALITY
actually doing it doesn’t make me feel any better at all. It makes me feel worse. Worse physically because I just ate junk. Worse emotionally because I beat myself up for being weak.
And often this starts a pattern of dropping completely off my plan of getting healthier and losing weight, because I feel like such a failure and feel so emotionally low that I just continue to emotionally eat. All the while not realizing that it’s my emotions that are the trigger and not,as I have mistakenly assumed in the past, that I am weak. Its an ugly cycle– but I’ve got eyes on it now.
Being aware of these weight loss saboteurs has made it 100% easier for me to put the Twinkies down and walk away. I’ll bet they will help you out too. Have you noticed little things undermining your best efforts to get healthy? What are they? Are they as trivial as your husband forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning?
So, determined to get back on track, yet failing to really “plan” for eating, this is what I had today. And by today, I mean yesterday—because it was all I could do to stay on track with food and remember all I ate. Posting to the blog completely slipped my mind! :
Jay Robb Vanilla protein shake made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk = 0 sugar calories
Jay Robb Vanilla protein shake with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, coffee and cinnamon, YUM =0 sugar calories
¼ cup pine nuts= 0 sugar calories
Chicken Parmesian the 100 Sugar Calories way with a side serving of french cut green beans (about a cup) = 24 sugar calories
2 squares of Lindt85% chocolate = 30 sugar calories (YIKES)
Water– I didnt track exactly but I came in at about 48-50 oz
Total Sugar Calories 54
It’s probably worth noting that I ate all my sugar calories for the day in the same general time span, and we ate pretty late, like well after 7pm. It was just one of those days– I totally forgot that someone had soccer practice until dad showed up from work! I put dinner on hold until they got home so we could eat as a family.
Well, one thing I know for certain is that I always seem to find a way to justify breaking the rules. I deserved that beach weekend! I DID! And since then, I’ve deserved eating all kinds of treats. There was the year end festivities at school–It’s the year end festivities for chrisssssssssssake, and it was a really long year! You have kids. You know what I am talking about! And then there was a good friends birthday party, and date night, etc., ect., all events in which I deserved to participate in and have a good time eating all that delicious food. Right?Wrong, and what I am coming to realize is that,
I do deserve all good things that come my way, AND so do you! But that doesn’t mean I have to partake in every good thing that happens to be yummy and unhealthy. Its ok to pass on the cupcakes and find a better way to reward myself. Actually, it’s a better idea to learn how to love rewarding myself with non-food treats, AND learning that participation in fun events like pot-lucks, birthday parties and date nights doesnt have to mean falling off the wagon, face first.
2. there is ALWAYS going to be a reason to cheat. I mean, life is happening all around us. The festivities don’t stop because we are on a darn diet. How easy would it be if the whole world dieted with us, huh? If I only cheat when there is an event, or because I deserve it—I’m pretty much going to always be cheating. I have lots of family and friends. That means lots of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, nights out, etc. I need to learn that celebrating should not equal cheating. I can celebrate and eat healthy. Its not an excuse to load up on my favorite, unhealthy snacks.
Yeah… that’s going to be hard. ButI am committed to success–one party at a time. What are your big stumbling blocks when it comes to staying the course? Do you struggle or cave in at events? Or is your issue the call whisper of your pantry and fridge in the solitude of your home? We all have our problem spots–what’s yours?
Where did it all go wrong? Well, it certainly started with a decision to spend the weekend at the beach. Fraught with a laundry sack of emotionally charged circumstances, such as my oldest leaving home the very same day, and my estranged “middle child” deciding she wanted to pop in to say hello– out of the blue–after no communication for a year. I felt a strong need to just get away from it all. I needed to nurture myself and put myself first for change. So off to the beach we went. I packed up food and snacks for the family and was mindful to pack things for myself too. A bag of jerky, carefully measured nuts placed into individual bags, string cheese—even grilled chicken breast, measured salad dressing and a whole bag of lettuce to complete a low sugar calorie Chicken Ceasar Salad. I fully intended to stick as closely as possible to the diet over the weekend (ok—maybe I lied to myself). I thought, “I will be happy with my 2 glasses of wine at night.” But then that idea slowly became, “as long as I eat everything right, I can have a couple margarita’s at night”. And then that turned into, “I only live once, I’m gonna drink all the margaritas I want. I’m on vacation for chrisssssaaaake”. And once the margaritas started going down—All. Day. Long, the resolve to at least eat right went right out the window too! Yes please, pizza does sound perfect for dinner. Another Oreo? Sure! Why not? I mean, this is how it went down for a full 3 days. And let me tell you, I lied to myself reaaaal good over those three days. I didn’t feel a bit of guilt about it—I just reassured myself that I deserved this and I would get it all back on track the second we got home. I was suffering for goodness sake, and if a little bit of pizza (4 slices) and margaritas (I lost count…..) made me feel a little better about losing my oldest and intentionally avoiding the “middle child”, than by gosh—I’m gonna do it and not beat myself up over it. But the problem was that I didn’t come right back home and get back on track. Its been weeks since I returned from the beach—and while I haven’t eaten quite like I did on that weekend, I’ve certainly not gotten back on track and I’ve not lost a solitary pound. As you might suspect, I’ve actually gained. I truly don’t know what I weigh right now—today. I am too afraid to hop on the scale. So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, first I learned that I was not nearly as committed to losing weight and getting healthy as I thought I was. Second, I realized I am truly an emotional eater. I didnt know that about myself before. I guess that little tidbit is the silver lining I take away from the situation. I am aware of triggers that lead me face first into a bag of Oreos. That’s valuable– at least now I know what to look for.
So, how strongly do you feel about your commitment to your health and weight loss? Do you feel you have the strength to stick to your guns when faced with a pitcher of margaritas? Are you aware of your triggers or weaknesses? If not, now is the time to give it some though and really pay attention. Be conscious of what is happening inside you–and around you when you reach for somethig you know you should not be eating. Is something triggering you– or are you simply having an uncontrollable, biological craving? FIgure this out and start making your weight loss journey a bit easier.
I love me some Chicken Parm–but the traditional way has more sugar carbs than I feel comfortable eating. My husband also loves him some Chicken Parm, even more so than I! So it was with kid gloves that I placed this dish in front of his face. The verdict? “MORE PLEASE”, “definitely make this again”. He even took it for lunch the very next day–and that is something he NEVER does. Another great thing about this recipe is that it freezes well, so think about making a double batch and tossing in the freezer (pre-cooking) to have on hand for another night (just be sure to seal up well to avoid freezer burn).
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 4 to 5 ounces each
1 ½ cup spaghetti sauce—check your labels for lowest carb count and no sugar added. I use Bella Vita or Classico Tomato Basil.
1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
1 TBS garlic salt/powder
1 TBS each dried basil, oregano
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Coat a 9×13 baking dish with no-stick cooking spray (I use the olive oil type for this recipe)
Mix together the garlic powder, basil, oregano and parsley.
Pound chicken to about ½ – ¾ inch thickness (pound to your preference or not all all)
Season each side of breast with seasoning mixture-( season only to your liking-no need to use it all if you don’t want.
Place seasoned chicken into baking dish
Top each breast with ¼ cup spaghetti sauce
Bake approx 45 minutes, or until chicken is done—check at 30 minutes (I find that sometimes thicker chicken takes longer—but I’m weird about cooking chicken)
Top chicken equally with both the parmesian (½ tbs each) and mozzarella(1/4 cup) cheeses and bake until melted, about 3 minutes
24 Sugar Calories per Serving, one breast per serving.
So, What Is, And How Do I Calculate A Sugar Calorie?
Scientifically, your body reacts to carbohydrates and sugar in the same way. In a nutshell, here’s why; carbohydrates break down into glucose in your body. Sugar also breaks down into glucose in your body. Therefore, both carbs and sugar cause the same chain reaction of events. Glucose determines insulin secretion, and insulin has a major impact on weight gain. Summing it up, its important to keep your insulin balanced and in check, and to do that you have to take into account both sugar and carbs in your diet. Because both carbs and sugar have the same impact on your body, it makes the most sense to consider them both as one entity rather than two. This is where “sugar calories” come into effect. Sugar calories are simply the combination of both the carbohydrates and sugars in a food item, and Jorge has created a formula that makes calculating, and keeping track of these sugar calories easy. The formula to calculate the “sugar calorie” of a food item is to take the carb count of an item and multiply it by 4. Its that simple. For example, the carb count of a slice of regular white bread is about 12 grams. 12 grams of carbohydrates X 4 = 48 sugar calories. There is no need to also figure out the sugar count, because its been accounted for in the sugar calorie calculation. So, rule of thumb– only read the carb count and multiply by 4. It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that you DO NOT have to count the sugar calories in NON-starchy veggies, and other protein and fat based items, of which Jorge has a comprehensive list in the book.