Vegetarian vs. Eating Chicken for Weight Loss

img_9128A couple of things I want to discuss today has to do with chicken vs. vegetarian diets, weight loss, and a sale at Macy’s. Actually, there’s a tie-in. Really!

I’m excited because I just bought a new George Foreman grill online at Macy’s for $30. It’s large enough for me (4 servings) and has removable plates. I wanted red, but hey, for $30, I’ll be OK with white. Anyway, now I’ll be able to quickly grill chicken breasts for that added zap of protein. My favorite method is to sprinkle Cajun spices on a chicken breast and grill. It’s that simple.

The sale ends February 26. If you’ve been thinking about buying a GF grill, now’s your chance. The same grill costs about $60 at Kohl’s and $47 at KMart. So it’s a fantastic deal!

My next point has to do with a great article in My Fitness Pal, which gives some terrific information about eating healthy, satisfying foods. Be sure to check out the recipes, too. But boy, I’m telling ya, this next paragraph made so much sense to me:

“Lean proteins, like chicken, aid in satiety by affecting the hormones that control hunger and how quickly food empties from our stomachs,” says Keri Glassman, MS, RD. “Chicken also has the highest thermal effect of food, meaning it burns the most calories during digestion, versus carbs and fat.”

See? I KNEW I was losing weight faster when I was eating chicken as opposed to when I was sticking to a vegetarian diet! I’m making lovely, healthy vegetable and split peas or bean soups, but they’re carb-heavy. It would be more filling and would enable a more efficient weight loss to eat four ounces of grilled chicken, a cup of vegetable soup, and black forbidden rice (or brown jasmine rice), rather than a big bowl of soup and rice for dinner.

Plus, if I’m eating a chicken breast with the meal, I can halve the amount of split peas or beans in the soup and double up on the veggies. It would result in soups that have less carbs but are still healthy and delicious.

This subject has been a huge bone of contention between me and a vegan I know. I had told him that I seemed to have lost weight much faster when I had incorporated chicken into my diet. It was driving me nuts that my weight loss had slowed to a crawl.

In fact, my simple musings about this caused him to stop talking to me for two weeks. (He hates having his beliefs challenged.) This vegan was sure that his diet was healthier than mine, even though his diet is low on variety and he hasn’t gone to the doctor in over ten years. He has no idea what his blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, or CBC is.

He’s assuming he’s healthy, but since he’s 52 years old, the only way to know if his lifestyle is working well for him is to go to the doctor and get a physical. He has health insurance, but he refuses to go to the doctor for a checkup.

The guy is a vegan because he believes certain studies that I, frankly, discount as junk science. He believes eating vegan is healthier than being a vegetarian or omnivore. He also subscribes to the theory that people are not omnivorous, which is something I heartily discount.

I ate vegetarian for a year because I’m a huge animal lover and factory farming distresses me. I hate the thought of killing animals. I also can’t afford to eat chicken or salmon daily.

But I’m recovering from my second surgery in less than a year, plus I need to kickstart my weight loss program again. I got off track for the first time in over a year after this last surgery, so if I add chicken and salmon back to my diet for now, it will help kick my desire for sweets and butter.

I’d like to try this way of eating for awhile and compare it to my weight loss results just prior to surgery. Yes, there will be variables to take into consideration, but the fun of trying this experiment will have the added bonus of motivating me to lose weight. Oddly enough, I had felt like giving up the fight recently, but today, I’m finally feeling galvanized.

Being able to build muscle again is having a positive effect on my outlook, too. I went back to the gym a few days ago after my enforced, post-surgical six-week hiatus, and I’m in physical therapy for my shoulder. I’ll be feeling stronger soon—I can’t wait!

Another motivator that I plan to use is to set short-term goals. I use my Chūze Fitness app to set exercise goals for which I garner points. I’ve already earned a free month at the gym! My previous goal was to exercise three times/week, but now I’ll up it to five. And I’m setting my next weight loss goal to 30 lbs. But believe me, I’ll celebrate each ten lb. weight loss, perhaps with a new outfit. That will be fun!

But I digress—back to discussing the article.

Quinoa is on this list of foods that provide satiety, but I never felt satisfied after eating it. In fact, I usually feel hungrier. Strange, but for me, it’s true. Maybe I need to add other ingredients to it, like as pictured in the article. That dish looks yummy!

Greek yogurt and eggs: I absolutely eat them daily. Plain Greek yogurt is marvelous with fresh berries and cinnamon. If I want something to satisfy my sweet tooth and make me think I’m eating dessert, I’ll eat Triple Zero Greek yogurt (the black label). I particularly enjoy the coffee and salted caramel flavors.

Don’t buy cottage cheese if it has carrageenan added to it. Carrageenan is nasty and is believed to cause inflammation. If you find a small curd cottage cheese with NO carrageenan in it, please LMK. Frankly, I doubt there is such a product.

Steel cut oatmeal for breakfast? Absolutely! But I add no sugar or any sweetener at all. Who needs that extra jolt of carbs? Not me. I was pre-diabetic and so I worry about back sliding. For added flavor, I recommend sprinkling in ground cinnamon to the oatmeal while cooking. To keep you feeling fuller longer and to add healthy fats to your diet, mix in a tablespoon of chia seeds to your oatmeal when served.

I usually eat oatmeal with a hard boiled egg for extra protein and satiety. Tossing in some blackberries, strawberries and/or blueberries not only adds flavor and sweetness, but also provides powerful antioxidants and vitamin C.

It’s a fantastic breakfast. Not only is steel cut oatmeal with fresh berries and chia seeds fairly economical, it doesn’t spike my blood sugar. I’m benefiting in a myriad of other ways, too. I’m including whole grains in my diet, and lowering my blood pressure and cholesterol levels at the same time. Another huge plus is that this breakfast will help my skin to retain its suppleness and elasticity. Berries are loaded with vitamin C, which is necessary to produce collagen. This means I’m fighting the ravages of aging, all in one meal. Not bad, huh?

What tips do you have for weight loss and to stay motivated? I’d be very interested in reading your comments.

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Videoblog: Wild Weather

Amazingly crazy weather in SoCal today! Had a flash flood alert on my cell phone, so I hurried downstairs to tape the rain coming down. Just then, my roomie came home so got him on video. Watch the video…  The poor guy was totally soaked.

Except for the earlier power outage, I am fine. I made a yummy salmon dinner, and yes, I finished off my meal with strawberries. (Need clarification? Read today’s earlier post, An Odd Red-Letter Day, about the power outage and my jonesing for junk food, yet finally deciding that I really wanted nothing more than to sit by a cozy fireplace and celebrate a milestone with an elegant treat.)

But some poor souls are still stuck on freeways. There’s mandatory evacuations in some areas, mudslides, hurricane-force winds, flooding, and tragically, two fatalities. So sad.

#NBC4you

Wild Weather in SoCal!

 

High winds today, at least 22 mph. Gusts are expected to be about 35-50 mph. The wind was so much noisier than what you can hear on the video. At least it’s not raining as hard (yet) as had been expected. Be careful driving out there, though! Watch for debris, falling power lines and trees on the road. I’ve already had a 3-hour power outage mid-morning, apparently due to equipment failure. Don’t believe it was weather-related, but who knows?

Hey, Orange County has just been issued a severe thunderstorm alert! 😳

#NBC4you

An Odd Red-Letter Day

Today has been interesting so far. First, I had a power outage that lasted three hours. Couldn’t do anything! Couldn’t make coffee… the gas stove wouldn’t work so couldn’t heat water for tea… Cell was almost dead, then it died. Couldn’t access internet on my iPad, which meant I was cut off entirely from the world. Couldn’t open the garage door, so couldn’t drive anywhere.

No real rain yet, but lots of high winds. Probably good for everyone to stay off the roads if you can.

So what’s all this about a red-letter day, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

Now that the power is back on, I’m happily celebrating my six-week aprés-surgery. No more sling! 🎉🎉 So in honor of that, I’m kicking back drinking espresso-ground coffee with half n’ half and a dash of cinnamon. ☕️☕️☕️

I feel like doing something really fun though. Hmmm… what if I order an overpriced, fattening, artery-clogging pizza to be delivered? I wouldn’t have to brave driving in inclement weather, yet some poor guy would have to slog through flooded streets to bring me a hot pizza. Would eating pizza be satisfying though? Would it feel decadent enough? 😜

Probably not.

Hey, in the middle of writing this short post, the rain finally started coming down pretty hard. Should I run around outside in the rain to celebrate-?? Nah, I’d just end up wet. And cold.

I’d really like to have ice cream delivered to the house. And chocolate. Pie? Should I have apple pie delivered too?

Wow. What lofty goals I have. Junk food. 😖

OK then. I choose… Champagne 🥂🥂, chocolate🍫🍫, and strawberries 🍓🍓🍓 to be delivered to the house. Far more elegant, decadent, and satisfying. 🥂🍫🍓And flowers 💐💐 to brighten a gloomy day.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll go back to sipping my coffee. ☕️☕️ Wish it was in front of this fireplace though. Now that would make it much better. 😊

#NBC4you

Ben on CNN.com: Stay engaged with Trump supporters

Good article that addresses several talking points… Interestingly  enough, I’ve been posting for over a year that DT is a conman who certainly didn’t give a rat’s a** about us and pleading with people to not get conned. It didn’t help. At all.

I didn’t call his supporters names or claimed that they were racist, although I admit to using colorful adjectives and monikers while describing DT himself. Yet all during the election, total strangers would leave comments on my Facebook posts, scolding me for being a liberal and a Democrat.

That really used to make me laugh when they labeled me a liberal Democrat because I was raised conservative. In fact, I had always voted Republican until DT. But in no way would I vote for a man whom I believed was a racist, sexist, morally corrupt, narcissistic, autocratic bully.

I’d explain to my dissenters that I was a conservative, but they didn’t believe me and dismissed me as a liberal.

The issues were discussed daily on Facebook. I pleaded with fellow Republicans to consider voting for another nominee (practically anyone but DT), but nothing I said led any of his supporters to open their minds to what I believed to be the truth.

His supporters refused to listen to one word against their hero. They ignored obvious signs that DT was sexist, racist, or narcissistic. Even during “P***ygate,” his supporters would ignore DT’s self-admitted incidents of sexual assault against women. Instead, they’d point their fingers at Bill Clinton and his extracurricular activities, even though he wasn’t the one running for office.

In fact, DT’s supporters were rarely able to defend his behavior, tweets, or expressed policies, even when challenged to do so. They’d attack Hillary or Bill Clinton instead.

I agree with the sentiments expressed here in Ben’s post. Don’t call someone a racist or an enabler of a sexual predator just because they’re a DT supporter. Well, unless they happen to belong to a hate group or something like that. But do I think these tactics will sway anyone?

No. I don’t. Sadly, most people won’t acknowledge DT’s failings until something he does affects them negatively. It will have to be a personal loss in order for any of his supporters to acknowledge that they were conned.

Another crucial aspect of this is Fox News coverage of DT. Evangelicals have told me that I shouldn’t trust the “liberal media,” such as CNN. They get their news from Fox News and other conservative media. If Fox News reported on this administration’s propensity to lie and spread propaganda, then perhaps there will be a chance for his supporters to see that they’ve been used, manipulated, and generally conned.

But even if Fox News and other conservative news media report on some of the more grievous offenses of this administration, they will always peddle the Republican agenda. So instead of presenting a balanced picture of DT, they will minimize his offenses. It will certainly be a cold day in hell before they turn on DT and expose him in the manner in which he deserves.

But the time for partisanship has passed. We must stand up together for what is right. We must defend our constitution and refuse to be motivated by fear and hatred. And we must take back our country; otherwise, democracy, as we know it, will be in tatters.

#nbc4you

The Roundabout

Published today on cnn.com, I argue that respect and engagement are our only path forward as a nation.  An excerpt:

I am firmly opposed to Donald Trump, but because of where I live, I know a lot of good and decent people who voted for him.  If I feel the urge to disparage Trump supporters as a group, I have to reconcile that urge with what I know about the Trump voters with whom I work, eat and pray.

There are unquestionably people who voted for Trump for ugly reasons, and those folks are probably beyond persuasion (at least by me), but I’ve decided I’m going to spend the next four years trying to persuade the good and decent people; to appeal to their reason and the “better angels of their nature.”

Persuading them means addressing the motivations they’ve expressed, not the motivations we might ascribe to them based on the…

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