Saturday, October 9, 2010

Feel Like Cooking

When the weather changes to fall, it always seems to trigger in me a desire to bake. I used to be a baking queen. I am telling you, I can bake the most fabulous cakes, pies, pastries and cookies you can imagine! I used to whip up several batches every weekend and enjoy them with my kids. I still miss the aromas of banana bread and cinnamon rolls wafting through the house, but I don't miss having an entire loaf sitting in my stomach. I'd usually make 2 loaves, and somehow by the end of the day both would be gone. Maybe two slices per kid, and the rest for me. I'd use about 3/4 of a stick of butter on my slices. Crazy. I can't do that anymore, even though part of me still wants to.

I am also a pretty decent cook. I like making stews and soups (cream, of course) and carby stuff like pasta bakes and au gratin potatoes in the cold weather. And the one food I would make pans of and eat until I was nearly sick was macaroni and cheese. I'd make 2 huge pans for dinner, eat seconds and thirds on my plate until I was actually in pain from my stomach being so full, and then I'd go wait an hour so I could eat some more. It was truly awful. I can hardly believe I used to do that to myself, but I did. And it hurt me in a lot of ways.

This morning the urge to bake and cook got hold of me. I have been 100% on plan all month so far, and I knew that there was a risk if I chose to bake some zucchini bread or a cake "for the kids." So instead, I worked it into my plan.

For breakfast, I made some spice muffins out of Medifast oatmeal, eggs, and Chai latte mix. (I got the recipe off a Medifast message board). They baked up nicely in the oven and I enjoyed the aroma in the house. Then I had one with a nice hot cup of English breakfast tea. It was lovely.

Midmorning, I whipped up a bowl of warm chocolate custard made in the microwave from Medifast chocolate pudding and a little Egg Beaters. So rich, creamy, and soothing.

Then I got out a local, grass fed (leaner than usual) beef brisket to thaw. I will make up a spice rub and wrap it up to absorb the flavors overnight, and then bake it in the oven all day tomorrow until it is tender and flavorful. The kids will get mashed potatoes, whole wheat bread, and green beans with theirs, while I enjoy mashed cauliflower "potatoes" and green beans. I have a sugar free BBQ sauce I will use as a condiment.

For my lunch, I made some rich and creamy Cauliflower Mac n Cheese, a recipe I created and posted on my blog earlier this year. It is almost done baking now, and I am looking forward to the bubbly cheese and delicious flavor without the fat, the guilt, the carbs and the endless "I-want-more" cravings that regular macaroni & cheese triggers. Prepping, steaming, and chopping the cauliflower... shredding the cheese... making the sauce... those things all help me feel the old comfort and peace of cooking, without ending up with a bunch of food I really cannot enjoy.

Whatever plan you're on, when you feel like cooking, make it work for you. Work it into your plan. There are plenty of low carb, low cal, low fat, etc. recipe websites out there for you to try! If you like to cook, you don't have to stop just because you're trying to lose weight. Just figure out what you can cook without triggering a binge. Braised celery isn't half bad :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

How do you afford all of this quality food? You do not talk about your job much- I find myself too tired after work to cook sometimes

Lyn said...


There's a blog post in the archives about eating healthy on a budget. Usually, you can buy up whatever produce is on sale and then freeze some for later. Cauliflower is pretty cheap! Shop the sales, use coupons, etc.

I am very blessed to have a good source for local grass fed beef that does actually go on sale for me to stock up, as well. And beause I get the Medifast for free, I am not spending a ton on my own food.

A good plan for meals after work is to cook a batch or two of healthy stuff on the weekends... maybe some soup or chili, and roast some lean meat. Then you can portion it out and eat it all week. Tuna and eggs are high quality, easy protein that I eat often as well.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your posts. They are so much what I think along this journey. I enjoy the food ideas too. I tried the Cauliflower Pizza last weekend and it was pretty good. I've been working on my "healthy" foods cookbook and trying to revise some of our almost healthy favorites. I found a fabulous steamed fish packet recipe, made a yummy turkey/cabbage stew, and am now eating up a big pot of chicken/minestrone type veggie soup. Very yummy!

I have a Medifast question for you?? Do you think it could be used just for a month or two to get past a plateau. I'm a good 10 mos and 40 lbs into this. I know what I'm doing and how to work my plan, but occasionally I do stall out. I don't think Medifast is for me long-term, but could see using it in this way....if it would work. Curious what your thoughts are on that?

Thanks for posting almost daily. I look forward to your posts.


Lyn said...


I do think it would be fine to use for a month (preferably two, because if you go off Medifast and back to whatever higher carb eating plan you may be on, you WILL regain a few pounds). There is a transition plan you might want to try when switching back, or use the 1-2 months on Medifast to formulate a new plan to lose the rest of the weight. I do highly recommend low carb, high protein, and eating every 2-3 hours. South Beach Phase 1 is another good alternative. Hope you find what helps you through your plateau :)

spunkysuzi said...

I agree looking for deals and stocking up when they are available means that we can eat very well indeed!
I still love to cooks but i am trying to stay healthy as well ;)

debby said...

That is exactly what I learned to do, Lyn. Transferred my love of baking and cooking to learning new ways to make healthy recipes out of old favorites, trying new foods and food combos that have become new favorites, etc.

Becky said...

I know what you mean! Fall = Apple Crisp! There are great ways to make Apple Crisp not-so-bad. When the weather goes wet (here in Seattle), I just need me some baked apples!

Faith said...

I love to bake and cook as well. Lately I haven't baked anything. I am not a sweets person, but I LOVE homemade. In the past I'll bake a cake or make some dessert, eat a serving, and give it away. My husband and I have decided that if we don't want it going in our bodies, it shouldn't go in our kids' bodies.

By the way, you have done an EXCELLENT job - truly inspirational.

Mind Over Fatter said...

Way to go Lyn, I'm going to try your cauliflower mac'n cheese. It's so gratifying to choose the right direction and then savor the flavor of the weight loss or "health" victory!

Amanda said...

Lyn, you hit the nail on the head with this post for me! I have always loved to cook and bake, and am able to maintain usually pretty well if I concentrate on moderation. But I'm trying to lose a bit again right now and am trying to incorporate healthier recipes into my kitchen endeavors in any way I can to still satisfy the need to bake/cook while not sabotaging my efforts. It's an ongoing process, but one that I think is worthwhile for good health and happiness in the long and short term. Thanks for this post!!