Week 5 finished… we’re getting close!
Now I wouldn’t necessarily call this week a huge step backwards, as I did manage to avoid the sugar all week and ate pretty clean. But… I did eat enough of this ‘clean’ food to feed a small army… every single day. So while I ate the right things, I’m very aware that I ate waaaaay too much of it. So it’s not so great for my weight-loss goals, but it did remind me how careful I need to be and made me aware of how much I still mindlessly nibble.
As I showed my very precise and super-detailed food diary to Commando (my slightly insane PT) he really let me know that I overdid it. Now this tough-love approach isn’t for everyone, you need thick skin. I’m not sure mine is thick enough. “That 300grams of Greek yoghurt you had at 10pm is going straight to your ass”. That one hurt. “Where has your self control gone? You are going to undo all of the work from our sessions” Yep that hit a nerve too. “There’s no way you’ll lose any weight if you keep eating like this”. All I wanted at this stage was a cuddle and a big ‘congratulations’ for avoiding sugar when I was so hungry. But Commando offers no such love. Yes, he is a bit of a jerk and I don’t like him. But he is a bloody good trainer (I think I might finally get some ‘guns’) and for now, will keep me accountable.
So apart from upping my portion sizes for main meals, I also snacked like a food-deprived maniac. I was just so damn hungry! I was having toast with peanut butter mid-morning, veggie sticks with hommus in the arvo, nuts, seeds and shaved meat before dinner, nuts and yoghurt after dinner. MENTAL! I was also a grazer… constantly milling about the kitchen and nibbling on this and that. Due to the increase in my training over the last 2 weeks (I was doing something, weights, classes or cardio, every day), my metabolism got a huge kick up the butt and as a result my hunger was INSANE. Commando is telling me that this is a great place to be for weight loss as my metabolism is working over-time, as long as I find ways to avoid eating so much! So this week I‘m going to opt for better snacks (peanut butter on celery sticks is a winner) and attempt to stop eating like a large hungry hippo (so I don’t end up resembling one).
I also had a cheat… I made delicious chocolate coconut rough balls for a friend who was going through a tough time. And of course I ate some while preparing them, and then devoured a few more as we sat on her couch and had a cry together. These little delightful balls of goodness are very simply coconut butter, cacao and… rice malt syrup. Now we’re not supposed to have any sort of sweetener in weeks 3-5, and I haven’t been following this 100%. I never go over the top, but I have realised I’m yet to have a completely sweetness-free week. So, this is the week to start. It might mean I push back the reintroduction of fruit and natural sweeteners to Week 8 instead, which I think I can hack.
Now, I had some fun in the kitchen this week, and thought I’d share my fave new recipe. It is super simple, fast, and great for taking to lunch the next day. As this was during my gigantic eating-week, I also had a small piece of steak with this meal and it was delicious – although you probably don’t need it.
This is a super simple meal I prepare when I’m craving carbs for dinner but don’t want the bloat. The cauliflower feels like your eating fried rice and satisfies that need. And the parsnips… wow. Amazing. That’s all I can say… super sweet and feels like such a treat!
PEANUT BUTTER PARSNIPS (from Sarah Wilson's Book) AND BROCOLLI BLAST
Preheat oven to 200 degrees and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper. Peel 3 large parsnips and cut into large ‘chips’ – don’t make them too thin as sometimes they burn and shrivel at the ends. In a bowl combine 1 tbs olive oil, pinch of salt and 2-3 tbs peanut butter (natural and organic), then toss in the parsnips until fully covered. In a separate bowl toss 1 head of broccoli (cut into florets) in 1 tbs olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place veggies in a single layer on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
These peanut butter parsnips don't look pretty...
But my goodness they taste amazing! I had to limit myself to just a few 'chips' as I could have easily demolished the whole tray. Sarah Wilson also suggests you use almond butter, but I've been going nuts (pardon the pun) for peanut butter lately so thought I'd indulge. While the chips are in the oven, prepare the 'rice'.
Grate a head of cauliflower and dry-fry it for a few minutes to crisp it up, then put it aside. In the same pan, pop in 1-2 cubes of homemade chicken stock with 1/2 red onion, 1 small red capsicum, 1 small zucchini, and 1 clove garlic. Toss it around until veggies soften a bit, then add back in the cauliflower along with 1-2 tbs of Tamari and the juice of 1 lemon ( I love everything lemon - 1/2 may do if you're not a sour-sucker like me).
This 'rice' is so very satisfying... reminds me of eating a big bowl of salty fired rice without the guilt!
Then put it all together to make a beautifully filling and satisfying meal. Now... I was going through my crazy hunger stage last week so I added some rare steak to this dish (maybe 100g) - although you probably don't need it. It was a nice combination; the sweetness of the parsnips works so well with the saltiness of the peanut butter and broccoli. This one certainly curbed my salty cravings!
Now, back to the kitchen to make more zucchini pasta with my new spirooli. I've got another new 'zucchetti' recipe that I'll share next week that is packed full of delicious veggies. Zucchini is my new obsession!