Friday, January 22, 2010

Ten Weeks to Healthy in 2010 - Week 3.

One of the key methods we are using to lose weight is to correctly portion our food at meal time. I have a feeling that how much we eat is more important than what we eat.
Portion size seems to be a big issue for people. I hear criticisms of restaurants that serve smaller portions, fast food restaurants super-size everything,  even the restaurant critic for our local newspaper rates restaurants on the amount of food he is served – a lot is good, reasonable portions are bad.
It seems to hold true in the world of recipes as well. I was reading a recipe from Martha Stewart  for macaroni and cheese the other day that included instructions to package and freeze it in individual portions of 1 ½ to 2 cups. That seemed like a lot. And it got me to thinking – how big should a serving size be?
So I checked Canada’s Food Guide. A serving of pasta should be ½ cup  – so if I packaged macaroni in 2 cup containers that would be the equivalent of 4 grain servings –  I should have 6 servings per day so that leaves only 2 servings for other grain products including bread (1 slice per serving) and cereal  (30 g cold cereal).
Our goal is to create a way of eating that we can live with for a long time so I don’t want to eliminate the foods we love.  That includes pasta, bread, ice cream, granola, pancakes with maple syrup, wine with special dinners, meals out with friends, etc., etc. So we are continuing to eat and do these things. I measure portions when we eat at home. When we are out we simply eat carefully.
We are eliminating what we feel we can do without long term – candy, butter, sugar, salt, processed and canned foods, snacks, store-bought bread, fast foods, etc.  If we go out to restaurants we pick good ones that serve reasonable portions and will accommodate special requests.
So far it is working. The big challenge has been to get over the idea that we need a lot to eat. Another was to eliminate canned and processed foods from the pantry shelf – they have too much added salt and corn syrup. I’ve learned to make granola and bread, cook dried beans & make soups with home made stock.

Instead of buying canned pasta sauce, today I am making this simple Pomodoro Sauce to use on pizzas I'm taking to a party tomorrow night.
Pomodoro Sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
5 - 28 oz. cans no added salt whole tomatoes
1/2 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pepper
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add onions and saute until very soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant - 1 to 2 minutes -do not let it brown.

Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add basil and cook 5 minutes more.  
Season with salt and pepper. Place in food processor and process until almost smooth but still chunky.

Makes 4  quarts. Freezes well.
 The results so far:
Arch is down 8 pounds in just 3 weeks (goal 20 lbs in total over 10 weeks).  He is now walking 6 kms each day. He signed up for the health club but did not like it so has just added more distance to his walk.
Anne is down 8 pounds as well. I am walking about 20 km per week and 3 hours of yoga per week
So we are happy.

Sunrise Over the Bay - photo taken during my morning walk 


  1. Congrats Anne & Arch

  2. Good job! It is true that most people's portions are too large. I find it hard to eat only a half cup of pasta so I add a very large salad to the meal.

    Nova Scotia is so beautidul -- my husband and I visited in 2004

  3. Hi Pat. Nice to hear from you. We also add a salad to our pasta and do have 1 cup and count it as 2 grain servings. Anne

    PS Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to Nova Scotia - we love New York and visit once a year. So easy to fly direct to Kennedy and LaGuardia from Halifax.

  4. Anne, love the photo of sunrise over the bay. Beautiful.