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Cooking Just For Me

My homemade chicken with curry stew. It wasn't bad.

About six weeks ago I wrote here about hating my fat body. That post and the responses to it, negative and positive broke something in me. While for years I’ve been an advocate of Health at Every Size and Body/Size Acceptance and have been fiercely opposed to dieting for weight loss I finally realized I really did want to lose weight and confessed on my blog to changing the way I ate with the goal of having a smaller body.

What I’ve done to change my diet is adopt a food plan that has a nod to the hot new diet trend, eating Paleo. This works for me because I really love meat (take that however you like, you dirty-minded people), and in the past I’ve really liked eating low-carb (although, I can’t sustain it because of crazy abdominal pain that happens about ten days into eating low-carb). So Paleo — with its emphasis on lean meats and veggies — also includes many fruits and simple carbs, such as root vegetables and rice, and it has been working for me for nearly a month now. And yes, I’ve lost about 15 pounds. Really.

The reason I say my food plan is a “nod’ to Paleo is that I haven’t fully cut out sugar (although I restrict it mightily), and I’m not giving up dairy. I’m not a huge dairy eater as it is, but I do love my Greek yogurt for breakfast (used to be with granola, but now I just eat it with blueberries) and eating the occasional good cheese. So while I might not be a true Paleo dieter, it’s certainly given me some guidance.

And some inspiration. One of the big changes in my food plan is deciding to make family time a priority OTHER than as a “family dinner.” Trying to cook for four people that all like different things (me, my husband, my mother and my daughter) had become a major stress point in our life, and resulted in us ordering take-out WAY too often to make sure we were all sitting around the table together. Not only was I eating crappy take-out food, but I was eating dinner hours before my body wanted to, leaving me hungry and craving munchies late in the evenings.

Worst of all, I wasn’t cooking and eating the foods I love. Like salmon! I LOVE SALMON. But my husband hates it. So, for years now, I’ve only had it out a few times, and never the way I like to cook it. I love soups, but again, my husband hates them, so… yep, no homemade soups for me.

But once we decided to trash the family dinner (instead we do family games, and family story time, and a bunch of other things together that make us all much happier), I started cooking for myself again. As luck would have it, my mother and I like many of the same things (except eggs; she hates eggs, which I don’t get. SORRY MOM!), so often when I cook for myself I also cook for her, and she doesn’t mine eating later (both my husband and daughter like dinner at six o’clock on the dot).

So far in the last month I’ve cooked:

• Chicken Curry Stew

• Peanut Chicken (um, don’t use Skippy, is all I’m gonna say about that)

• Salmon with sweet potatoes

• Steak with mushrooms and peas with butter

Just to name a few. This week I went shopping and am planning to make marinated Buffalo London Broil, cream of chicken and mushroom soup, more salmon (I LOVE SALMON!), butternut squash with pumpkin spice, and that peanut chicken again (this time with all natural, 100% peanut butter).

I cannot tell you how HAPPY this makes me. I mean, I look forward to meals every day. I keep things simple and delicious, limit carbs to 2-3 pieces of fruit and either a half potato or sweet potato or a small serving of rice. It’s working; I’ve had zero stomach pain and I’m immensely satisfied with my food.

And I cannot remember the last time that I enjoyed cooking this much. Best of all? I feel like I’m cherishing myself. Do you know what I mean? I’m taking care of myself and giving myself a little bit of time each day when I cook myself great, healthy food.

It’s been amazing. So tell me, do you get to cook for yourself?

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More Uppercase Lowdown…

The Problem with Pink

Doctor Who Helped Me Embrace My Inner Geek

On Life With A Broken Brain

writes here and  MomCrunch,  as well as at her own blog, Uppercase Woman. She is an utter social media geek.

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