Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turning Over a New Leaf.

For about two years now, I've been promising myself that I would get in better shape and lose some weight. I did DVD workout programs, dieted, and tried to go to the gym/pool more often. What I found was that most of the time I'd lose focus once, and that would ruin it for me permanently. You know what I mean? Like those evenings when you're exhausted and you say to yourself "I'll go tomorrow." Or "Just this once." In the end, I quit. I don't like that I'm a quitter, but the reality is that it was easier for me to quit than to continue. So that's what I did. 

Now I'm at a point in my life where I have a constant daily routine and I have an income that can allow me to join a gym and dieting program. So, on Wednesday I will be attending my first Weight Watchers meeting. On top of that, I have been going to the pool every Sunday to do between 1 and 2 km in lengths (minus this past Sunday - congrats to whoever won the swim meet that took up the time block that is adult lengths). I have done Weight Watchers in the past when I was in high school with my mother. We both were quite successful and I think that this program will work for me again. I think the biggest difference for me between joining Weight Watchers and dieting on my own is the fact that I will have someone to report to once a week. They will be there to weigh me in and to view my point totaling for the week. They will know when I've cheated, and I will be focused on not letting them down, and subsequently, not letting myself down.

So, in preparation for my new routine, I went out this weekend and bought a cookbook at a used book store that is full of Weight Watcher recipes and their point totals. Like my mother, I'm not a sandwich person. I like one here and there, but not every day. So what ends up happening is that I eat out for lunch or just eat little snacky things to tie me over until supper time. I need to have stuff pre-prepared that are quick and easy to reheat that I can eat for lunch. My first recipe: Chicken and Rice Soup with Vegetables. I posted pictures on Instagram and had a lot of people asking me for the recipe and commenting on how delicious it looked. I'll tell you right now - it's AMAZING! So for those of you who are interested, here's the recipe. Super easy to make, and done in under an hour. 

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups fat-free lower-sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/3 cup quick-cooking brown rice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme; cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften (about 5-6 min). Add the broth and chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a cutting board; cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the saucepan and return to a simmer.

3. With 2 forks, shred the chicken. Add the chicken and rice to the saucepan and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and salt. 

If you make this recipe, let me know what you think! I portioned it into 4 containers (1.5 cups in each) and put them in the freezer. The book says that if you microwave them on high for 5 minutes, they'll be hot and ready to eat. 

Wish me luck!

Recipe originally from the book by Weight Watchers entitled "From Pantry to Plate - Easy Meals from Foods You Keep on Hand"

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