Looking for Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

While on Twitter yesterday, I asked for favorite healthy Slow Cooker recipes.  Since I work full time, it’s often hard to make healthy meals when I get home (I swear the quicker the meal, the more unhealthy it is). But I love my CrockPot and would love to have some new recipes to try.

One of my favorite healthy recipes is White Chicken Chili.  Huzzy loves it. It takes a while to do and has a lot of ingredients, but it’s worth it.

What are your favorite healthy Slow Cooker recipes? I would love to to try some of your favorites!

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Change of [Diet] Plans

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. 
~Author Unknown

So in a previous post, I talked about how Huzzy and I were going on the Dukan Diet.  Well, we did for the last 2 1/2 weeks and we lost a really good amount of weight (like I lost 7 pounds and Huzzy lost 11). However, my body does not like the diet. I need carbs or by the afternoon, I’m feeling exhausted and like I’m “disconnected.”

I realized it was the diet doing this when I was on the USS Nimitz last week and forgot my lunch one day. Because I was only on the ship for a week, I didn’t have a ship debit card and they didn’t take cash. So I had to buy something from one of the carts on the pier. I had a whole wheat sandwich… and wow did the rest of my day go well! I had energy and I felt normal! From two little slices of whole wheat bread.

So I began to re-think the diet and really realized that while lean protein and low fat are absolutely some of the best things for you… your body does need carbs to function. Good carbs, though, not just any carbs.

So I looked into the second diet I was considering along with the Dukan… the South Beach diet. It is very similar in the fact that you are only allowed to eat lean protein and lowfat (nonfat in the case of Dukan) dairy in the first phase, which also lasts two weeks. However, in the second phase, you bring in GOOD carbs (just a few of them) and fruits (low-carb and high fiber ones). I live for fruits. While I won’t be able to eat bowls of them, I’m glad I’ll be able to eat some. And my favorite fruits are on the list.

(as a side note, Huzzy and I TOTALLY blew our diet for the last four days. As in, eating out a lot. Olive Garden, a steakhouse, Japanese, etc… and I only gained 1.2 pounds. My body just needed the carbs!)

It also helps that my friend over at One Guy in a House of Girls is on the diet and her doctor actually recommended this diet for her since she has diabetes AND runs marathons. She actually has the energy to on this diet! Not only that, but she can actually make food that fits her diet and her children… get this… EAT IT AND ENJOY IT. Wow!

So, we are switching to the South Beach Diet. I’m sure we won’t lose weight as quickly as the Dukan, but I think it’s no only better for me personally, but is a more well-rounded diet. I’m not saying the Dukan is bad… I know a few people who have done really well on it! But for me, I just couldn’t deal with the tiredness and discombobulation I felt.

Dukan Diet

I keep trying to lose weight… but it keeps finding me! 
~Author Unknown

I made mention in a previous post that I’m starting a diet in Operation: Prep For Starting to Try To Get Pregnant. The diet I started is the Dukan Diet, recommended to me by my friend Megan Dubyah.

Now, normally I would recommend to anyone the tried-and-true basic “counting calories” diet. Meaning a normal woman needs about 1,700 calories a day to maintain weight (give or take depending on size and activity level). Calories in – calories out (including the 1,700) = net calories. You need to lose about 3,500 calories overall to lose one pound. So if you eat 1500 calories, work out and burn 200 in one day, then that means you have gained a total of -300. Yes, that’s a negative 300. So with that, it should take you about 8.75 days to lose one pound.

When I count calories, I never restrict myself on what I can eat… however, the more fat/carbs/sugar that is in something generally results in more calories… so you can eat less during the day.

Now, with my shoulder injury, I’m very restricted on working out. Even walking for too long starts really hurting. So I needed to find something that would help me lose the steroid/estrogen pill/etc weight I’ve gained over the last couple years. And that’s where the Dukan Diet comes in.  Basically you start off in a protein-only diet for a week or less and then transition over to a protein and then protein and vegetable diet (every other day with each) until you lose your weight. Then you start adding in fruits and carbs until you reach point where you can eat anything you want for the rest of your life… except one day a week when you do pure protein.

So far I’ve lost just over 7 pounds and it hasn’t quite been two weeks. I’ve done some yo-yoing where I’ll gain some and then lose it, but apparently that’s quite normal. You can see my ticker on the right hand side of the page near the bottom.

If you are interested in it, I would recommend checking out the Dukan Diet website. If that sounds like something you might like, I would definitely buy the book. It has great recipes and really explains the ins and outs of the diet.

However, since there are at least a few MilSpouses out there who are on this diet with me, I will be posting recipes for it in my recipe page.

Time to Get Down To Business

In the Middle Ages, they had guillotines, stretch racks, whips and cahins.  Nowadays, we have a much more effective torture device called the bathroom scale. 
~Stephen Phillips

So part of our decision I blogged about two days ago was to lose the weight I need to be where I want to be. While I’m (barely) within Navy standards, I still want to lose 35 pounds. That’s where I feel most comfortable and where I look the best. I’m not too skinny and I’m generally a perfect size 6 when I’m there. At 5’5″ I think a size 6 isn’t too skinny. If I lose another 5-10 pounds beyond that, I do start looking too skinny for my liking.

I’ve only been on a “diet” once. I did quite well with it, but I do have to admit that half the weight I lost was because my dad died and, well… I just forgot to eat for about two weeks. I counted calories religiously and worked out at least an hour a day, five to six times a week. I think this is the best thing to do ever. It’s basic calorie in vs calorie out.

However, counting calories gets really tough/monotonous sometimes. And while my stomach was getting used to NOT getting the sweets and stuff… I was hungry all the time and I don’t like that feeling.

So I’m trying a diet (my first “diet” that wasn’t just calorie counting) that my friend Megan Dub-Yuh is doing very well with. It’s called the Dukan Diet and it’s apparently popular in Europe and is rumored to be what Kate Middleton–excuse me, the Duchess of Cambridge–used to slim down before her wedding. Not that I care what she did because I don’t follow that stuff.

But this diet is about eating protein so you don’t lose muscle. It’s not like the Atkin’s diet because it advocates LOW FAT/FAT FREE proteins. The first five to seven days is the most restrictive but then you can add in vegetables and once you hit your goal weight, I like that it allows you to slowly start adding in everything else– fruits, starchy vegetables, breads and sweets– until you can eat anything you want (in moderation of course) for the rest of your life because you’ll have learned the value of eating the stuff that is best for you. The one caveat is that you are supposed to have one “protein only” day each week for the rest of your life. Other than that, you aren’t “dieting” then.

Of course, you are supposed to still work out (though they only say to walk briskly for 20-30 minutes a day) so it’s not just a “no work” thing.

We’ll see how it works. Because I want to lose 35 pounds, according to the website, I should reach my goal around October 24th. That’s two pounds a week, which is within the recommended guidelines by most doctors for safe and effective weight loss. You can find out how I’m doing by the ticker on the right column under all the blog lists.

If anyone is truly interested in this journey and want to know how it goes (not just overall but loves/hates/good/bad stuff that is more frequent), let me know and I’ll add a tab at the top for my weight loss journey and put it there.

I will say… OMG am I going to miss my fruits and breads and carbs!