Friday, February 26, 2010

No-Brainer Fruit Smoothie

Phase II  |  Day Thirty-three
Weight Loss: 36.8 lbs

It appears I have caught the cold I had a few weeks ago so I am not feeling very well today.  I think we are passing it back and forth at the office.  So to combat it, I have concentrated on getting a bit more fruits and vegetables and lowered my protein slightly to compensate.

To help get some of the extra fruits down I decided to make myself a strawberry smoothie.  I start with 4 oz. of fresh strawberries.  I pulse it quickly and then add two cups of ice cubes.

Then as it is whirling away I add a bit of water to loosen up the ice and strawberries and it really starts to spin!

Next I add drops of liquid Stevia - Chocolate Stevia if you're feeling really sparky.
Viola! The No-Brainer Strawberry Smoothie!  Now if only I could convince myself there was some rum in it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spice Up Your Life!

Phase II | Day Thirty-one
Weight Loss: 34.6 lbs

They say variety is the spice of life however because of the ease of preparation I often find myself having the ground turkey tacos for lunch. While making a batch of chicken stock that complies with the HCG Plan, I thought of a nice variation and something to do with all of the left over chicken.

Instead of cubing the chicken or leaving it in full breasts to warm up (which tends to be a little dry), I decided to shred the chicken in the way we did when I was growing up making chicken enchiladas.
Then I took  6 oz. of tomato paste and four tablespoons of chicken stock and mixed it in a skillet.
As it starts to simmer you fold in the chicken
Cover and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes
Add a few dashes of salt and some tabasco sauce and serve it up in a bowl or as chicken tacos! Talk about the SPICE of life!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus

Phase II  |  Day Twenty-six
Weight Loss: 31.4 lbs

Although Cocktail Shrimp is one of favorite things in the world, instead of tackling making my own cocktail sauce, I thought I would take shrimp in a new direction.

I weighed out four ounces of shrimp, removed their shells and tossed them with paprika, chili powder and italian seasoning.
Next I took two cloves of minced garlic and browned it in a skillet with four table spoons of our homemade chicken stock.
Toss in the shrimp, mix and then add the juice of half a lemon.

Cover and let the shrimp simmer for five minutes.  If the liquid evaporates too quickly you can add another tablespoon of chicken stock.
Steam some asparagus and you have a restaurant-worthy meal!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fancy Chicken and Asparagus

Phase II  |  Day Twenty-four
Weight Loss: 30 lbs

So my beloved is on a business trip this week and instead of getting gloomy and possibly cheating I have decided to experiment a bit.

I figured I would start out by pounding out a little work-related stress.  I pulled out an individually packaged chicken breasts.  Then I took my trusty meat tenderizer and pounded it nice and flat.
Next I trimmed and rinsed 3 ounces of asparagus.
I lined up the chicken breast and asparagus and tossed some of my favorite spices: garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, and lemon pepper - don't forget to FLIP and season the other side!
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Roll the chicken around the asparagus and stick a toothpick through the edges of the chicken; making sure you run the toothpick through the asparagus.
Pour two ounces of your homemade chicken stock into the bottom of the baking pan and add the juice from one half of a lemon.
Place the pan into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.  About halfway through baking you can temporarily take it out of the oven and use the silicone baster to keep it nice and moist. The trick is to just tip the baking pan, squeeze and then baste!
Pair it with some delicious mandarin oranges and all the delicious citrus flavors really pop!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Waist-Slimming Turkey Burger Sliders

Phase II | Day Twenty-two
Weight Loss: 28.8 lbs

Today is a GREAT day! It is almost time to buy a new belt - I am on the last hole! The progress I am making is so exciting!

For tonight's dinner I decided to make Turkey Sliders. I weighed 5 ounces of 99% lean ground turkey meat per person  and set that aside. Then I took two garlic flavored Melba Toasts (per person) and crushed them into crumbs.
Next step, I added the crumbs to some spices - onion powder, cracked black pepper, sea salt and celery salt.
Then I added ¼ teaspoon of egg whites.
I separated the turkey meat into four small patties and tossed them on the grill. To keep them nice and moist, I use this silicone baster filled with chicken stock (home made).
Serve it up on a bed of Romaine Lettuce with a dollop of mustard and a side of lovely strawberries and it is a healthy alternative to the usual high fat meal. 
I have never been so excited to buy a new belt!!! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Skinny Salsa

Phase II | Day Twenty-one
Weight Lost = 28.2 lbs

Today's challenge is to make "skinny salsa". In many store bought salsas there is hidden sugar and preservatives. While this probably won't last as long, it is going to be much better for us in the long run.

To begin, I skipped weighing the tomatoes (figuring I would weigh it out at each serving) and just grabbed five beautiful, plump Roma tomatoes.

I sliced the tops and bottoms off and cut then into quarters.  To make it a little chunkier I recommend de-seeding the tomatoes. It helps to take a lot of the liquid out.

Then I tossed them into the food processor adding a garlic clove, sea salt, onion powder, chives and good ol' cracked black pepper.

Then I added the final key ingredient - Hatch, New Mexico Green Chili to taste.  Sometimes this is powerful so add slowly!

Viola!  Skinny Salsa!
Add it to an egg white omelet and it adds a nice kick to brunch. Delish!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Whip It ... Whip It Good

Phase II | Day Twenty
Weight Loss: 27.6 lbs

Tonight was our first official dinner party while on the HCG VLCDiet - Phase II. Since our diet is so limited this was going to pose quite a challenge.  How can I entertain without the usuals: delicious hors d'oeuvres, wine, decadent desserts?

We talked with our guests and made sure to clear the food selections with them first. On the menu:
Filet Mignon
Steamed Spinach
Israeli Cous Cous (for our guests only)

The preparation for the filets was a easy breezy - simple is always best; just a little cracked pepper and sea salt. Then onto the spinach! If steaming the spinach, I find that about 4-5 ounces of spinach is a good healthy serving.
The biggest challenge of the night was what to do to finish. I needed to find a dessert that would satisfy even the sweetest tooth and stay within our budgeted amount of calories. Regular strawberries would just not cut it for guests so I decided to kick it up a notch and make my own meringue with the an approved ingredient - egg whites!  

To begin, I tossed about 4oz of sliced strawberries for each guest in some chocolate Stevia and placed them in martini glasses. Then for the meringue, I measured two ounces of egg whites and added eight drops of regular liquid Stevia. Normally meringue calls for cream of tartar, however I left it out this time and instead decided to whip it...whip it good.

I grabbed my whisk and went to town. WOW, talk about working out those biceps! Gym? I don't need no stinkin' gym!
Note: I got so excited I forgot to take a photo until I had already served three so what is show here is about enough for one dessert.

So here is the finished product!
Who says being healthy equals complete sacrifice?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Finger Lickin' Good!

Phase II | Day Eighteen
Weight Loss = 26.8 lbs

"What's for dinner?...Ah, no, CHICKEN AGAIN?" The cry we all know too well.  Even the best chicken can get very boring and ordinary. You can bake it, boil it or grill it with different spices but after a while it all just starts to, well...taste just like chicken.

As I have mentioned, we have been experimenting with some creative uses of the items on the approved list. Being that Melba Toast is the only "crunch" item on the list, we thought we would give it a go.

The first step was easy:
Two Melba toasts + fancy food chopper = instant bread crumbs

The next step would prove a little more challenging. How to make the bread crumbs "stick" to the chicken breast?  Egg yokes are a no-no and even though egg whites are approved, mixing proteins would either not be approved or, with the small amount that would be used, at best be a grey area that could effect weight loss.

Previously I used chicken stock to get spices to attach to the asparagus by basting it lightly. Using the same logic we decided to baste the breast in chicken stock, rolled it in the Melba crumbs and then baked it at 360° F.

The results were crunchy and delicious! I can't wait to try different flavors of Melba toasts mixed with various spices.

Not too shabby for not one ounce of oil being used! Who says the Colonel has the corner on the "fried" chicken market?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Leftovers Smeftovers!

Phase II | Day Fourteen
Weight Loss: 24.4 lbs

As anyone on this VLCDiet will tell you, when weighing out your protein it is sometimes hard to get it exact and in a one whole piece. We have solved this challenge with the chicken breasts by weighing each chicken breast, putting it into an individual plastic bag and then taking a Sharpie to write the exact raw weight. When it comes to steak there just always seems to be a small piece left over.

Fillet being as expensive as it is there is no way I am going to toss that little bit out! So instead I weigh the remaining pieces, slice them up into bite-sized portions and then toss them on the grill along with the fillets for the night. Then for lunch the next day I add it to my spinach, toss on some lemon pepper and squeeze one half of a lemon and make myself a delicious spinach and steak salad!
I usually end up with about 2-3 oz of beef which is too small for a fillet, but perfect for adding to salad!