Towards a Longer, Healthier Life

A couple of weeks ago I began Weight Watchers.  Deborah and I agreed to join together and support each other in our bid to live a longer, healthier life.  A noble goal, for sure but painful as all heck.

But I’m not writing this to gripe about hunger pangs but to share my good experiences so far.

As of this morning, I’ve lost eight pounds.  I’m far from being a slight man – but closer to my immediate goal of my last known football playing weight, circa 1994.

Weight Watchers is pretty simple plan.  Upon checking in at the tao of badass our weekly Weight Watchers meeting, we are given a weekly allotment of points to manage our daily food intake.  It’s important to track your food intake and stay within your daily points allowance.

“Points Plus” values are assigned to all foods based on their fat, protein, carbohydrate and fibre content.  The handy guidebook they provide has all the essentials.  The online “E-tools” has a fairly significant database of foods, restaurants and recipes and is a great way to keep track of your points consumption.  If you are unable to find the Points Plus value – you can always calculate it manually using e-tools.

Each and every food you buy at the grocery store has a mandatory nutritional facts label.  It’s good to know – even if you’re not on a diet – how much fat and other nutrients are in the foods you are eating.

I’ve had a couple of issues though.  For the last two nights, I’ve awoken to low-blood sugar.  As a diabetic, I’m used to regulating my blood sugar according to my old, less-than-healthy diet.  In a bid to accelerate my weight loss, I’ve been attempting to cope with eating less than my daily Weight Watchers point allowance.  Probably not the best idea.

Despite my recent blood sugar issues, it’s actually been a fairly easy ride for me.  Because of my weight, height, age and body mass index – I’ve been assigned the task of eating 62 points per day.  I feel bad for my Honey, who has to graze on a meagre 34 points.  But we are also given 49 weekly points as a supplement, or to use for treats and dining out, while I also tried to exercise a little more to help with this and even get some supplements online to improve my performance, go to the Quinnova site so you can find more about this.

I have had to give up the high-fat foods.  We have resorted to packing a lunch, mostly leftovers and low-point snacks, instead of dining out everyday.  It really requires a change of attitude but it’s still quite as fulfilling.

The best part of the diet so far are the new recipes.  Deborah has been cooking up a storm for the past two weeks, trying new things, fresh ingredients and new recipes.  I think she’s enjoying it as much as I am.  Deborah is an amazing cook, much like her mom, Wendy.  The incredible taste is second only to the Love that she puts into her cooking for the girls and I.

Last night, Deb prepared roasted chicken with fennel.  To be honest, I was sceptical of the onion-like look and texture of the cooked fennel.  (I appreciate the taste that an onion adds to cooking, but dislike actually eating them.)  However, I quickly got past the look and texture and rather enjoyed this new dish.  I’ve included the recipe below.

I can do without the potatoes on consecutive days though.

One of the best recipes Deb made was the 0-point vegetable soup.  When I first started Weight Watchers I lived on that stuff.  Not only was the soup delicious, it was hardy.  Full of cabbage, carrots, zucchini and all matter of assorted veggies.  It was what really filled me up, long after the single-cup portions of brown rice or whole-wheat pasta had disappeared.

Portion control is something that I’m learning.  Along with keeping track of the food and points you consume.  Thus far, these have been the keys to success.

This week I’m going to add regular exercise into my plan.  I’m going to start with some cardio, three times per week.  Just 20 or 30 minutes at a time.  Eventually, I’ll add some strength training – which I really enjoy anyway.

It’s been well over a year since I hit the gym.  It was so much easier when I was on the road and was able to use hotel fitness facilities.  These days, the challenge is going to be to fit exercise into our work and commuting schedule.  I think that’ll be the toughest challenge.


Roasted Chicken and Fennel

Chicken and fennel is a fresh, flavourful combination. Put some potatoes in the oven on another rack and you’ve got a delicious roasted meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp table salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 large red onion(s), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb(s), (reserve greens for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup(s) white wine
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Rub 1/2 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes on both sides of chicken.

Place onion and fennel on bottom of a roasting pan; place chicken on top. Add wine and roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; stir vegetables and place back in oven. Reduce oven to 325ºF; roast vegetables, uncovered, until completely caramelized, about 35 to 40 minutes more.

Roughly shred chicken with two forks.

When vegetables are done, remove pan from oven and add chicken; toss well to coat. Drizzle with oil and season to taste with remaining salt; toss to coat. Garnish with fennel greens.

Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

For a more colourful meal, add 4 julienned carrots with the fennel and onions. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of minced parsley.

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One Comment

  1. Phyllis Anderson says:

    Sounds great Bob! I’ve gone back to Curves too – excuse was to “get my golf swing in order” (LOL) It’s that portion control thing for me that I have trouble with. I’ve copied the recipe – sounds good.
    Anyway – I’ve ordered a “sugar free cake” for this Sat as a lot of the family is diabetic. See you there – safe travels!