So now the holidays are over, the prime rib, mashed potatoes, pies, cookies, candy and fruitcake have been eaten. Clothes are feeling a little tight. Don’t panic! Some studies show that the average weight gain over the holidays is in fact only about two pounds. But the bad news is that most people do not lose that pound or two. And many of us have gained more than that one or two pounds, it is after all an average. What to do?
There are many approaches to dieting. Here are some facts you should know. Increasing your exercise level, while it may be healthy overall, will not cause weight loss. You must eat less. How much less depends on how fast you want to loose. For each pound you want to loose, you must eat 1000 calories less than your body uses. For a very good explanation of this process see NerdFitness.com. “Is a Calorie really just a Calorie?” Another helpful site is caloriecontrol.org. They have a really good calculator which will help you decide how many calories you should aim for each day.
It has been shown that the real decider in weight loss is how many carbohydrates you eat each day, especially if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. You should probably try to distribute the carbs throughout the day, not consume them all at one meal. Another great tool is My Fitness Pal an APP which you can get for your smart phone, or computer, which will help you keep track of the number of calories and types of foods you are eating. You could also keep a food diary, but of course it will take more time. If you are running it on a smart phone it will also track the number of steps you take each day.
Keto and Paleo diets are popular right now, an online search will turn up many sites devoted to each and many very low carb recipes. But whatever you decide to do, you are probably aware that loosing the weight is usually the easy part. Keeping it off is the hard part, and this is where exercise can be very helpful. Muscle burns fat when you use it, so increasing muscle mass can be useful. Exercise can also help with the stress which causes many people to eat more. In the spirit of reducing weight and eating healthy food, the recipes this week are low carb but easily prepared.
Remember that Wednesday January 4 is Senior Discount Day at Fry’s and Safeway—Seniors get an extra 10% off their entire order. Also you will need a card to get the sale prices at both stores. Sprouts requires no card and every Wednesday is double ad day, you get all the prices from this week’s ad and from last week’s too.
Whole chicken and parts
Wild Caught, previously frozen
Wild Caught, previously frozen
Other Good Deals
Meat and Seafood
Buy One Get Two Free—Boneless Petite Sirloin
$2.99/lb—Beef Brisket, whole in bag
$1.77/lb—Pork half loin
Buy 5 get $5 back (prices are after discount)
$1.49/each—Sara Lee Bread, 20 oz, select varieties
$1.49/each—Bertolli pasta sauce, select varieties
$2.49/each—Kroger brand string cheese, 10-12oz
other good prices
$.99/each—Fry’s Milk, half gallon
$1.68/each—Lean Cuisine entrees
$1.67/each—Kroger cheese, select varieties
$.99/each—English Cucumbers, Eggplant
$.99/lb—Yellow onions or Russet potatoes
$.99/1lb box—Strawberries, limit 2
Meat and Seafood
$2.97/lb—Beef, London broil
Buy One Get Two Free—Beef, Petite Sirloin Steak, Regular Retail $12.99/lb
$2.50/each—Clorox Wipes, 35 ct
$1.88/each—Refreshe purified drinking water, 24 ct. Limit 4
Safeway has a number of special programs this week including a buy 4 get $.50 off each item, a special on Unilever products if you but $15 worth of selected items, a special game which will enter you in a drawing if you buy $15 worth of selected items, a $5/item sale all week instead of just Friday, and a deal on select Proctor and Gamble products which will give you $5 off instantly and Movie Tickets too, if you can figure out what the rules are and buy $30 worth of their products. The prices given below are those that apply after the discounts have been given.
Buy 4 get $4 off
$.88/ each—Oikos yogurt
$4.99/each—Viva paper towels and Cottonelle bathroom tissue, select varieties only
$1.99/each—Deli-shaved lunch meat, 9 oz
$5/item all week sale
$5/each—Hillshire Farms lunchmeat tubs, 15-16 oz
$5/each—Hormel Bacon, Cherrywood or Pecanwood, stack pack
$5/each—Pepsi cubes, 24 pk, 12oz cans, select varieties
$5/5 lb box—Cuties California mandarin oranges
$.50/bunch—Curly Kale, organic, green
$.88/lb—Squash, Italian or Yellow
$.50/lb—Potatoes, red or russet
$.50/each—Cucumbers, Green Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Red Texas Grapefruit
$.88/bunch—Organic Red Bunched Beets or Organic Celery
$.98/each—Organic Red Mangoes
Meat and Seafood
$2.99/lb—Ground Fresh Chicken or Marinated Pollo Asado (chicken)
$3.99/lb—Ground Beef, all natural, super lean (93%), never frozen
25% off Orca Bay frozen seafood, select varieties
$1.50/each—So Delicious non dairy beverages, 32 oz., select varieties
50%off—Horizon crackers, single serve milk, fruit snacks
$9.99/each—Sprouts brand virgin organic coconut oil
35% off—A wide variety of organic snacks, honey and other products
2.99/lb—Quinoa—white or tricolor (bulk)
$1/each—Siggi’s yogurt, select varieties and sizes
$4.99/each—Sprouts string cheese, 12 oz
$4.99/lb—Swiss Cheese, imported (deli)
Low Carb Chicken Soup
2 lb chicken boneless skinless chicken cut into 1 inch chunks. (or 3 cups cubed cooked chicken.)
32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
1 lb yellow squash, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 oz. mushrooms, quartered (crimini are especially good)
1 red bell pepper, diced to 1 inch
3 Tablespoons fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, oregano, flat leafed parsley (or 3 teaspoons dried)
1 bunch chard (rainbow or green), remove thick veins and tear into bite size pieces
1 cup onion, diced 1/2 inch
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 strips good quality bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces (easier to do if it is frozen)
In a large pot, fry the bacon on low heat until cooked but not crisp. Do not remove bacon grease. Add the onions and mushrooms. Cook on low heat until onion is softened.
Increase heat to medium, add stock, bring to a low boil. Add bell pepper, squash, and herbs. Cook about 5 minutes.
Add chicken (if using cooked chicken, add chicken and chard together.) Cook at a simmer until chicken is no longer pink on the inside. Add chard and simmer a few minutes longer. This soup should be brothy, not thick so add extra liquid, water, stock or wine, if necessary. Serve with spoonful of plain greek yogurt on top and maybe a few breadsticks.
Very Low Carb Egg Muffins
8 large eggs
3 Tablespoons milk, half and half, or cream
1/2 lb fresh sausage (any flavor)
1 cup cheese, feta (crumbled) or cheddar (grated)
1/2 cup finely minced onions
1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper (any color)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh herb of your choice, or 1/2 teaspoon dried herb
In a skillet, fry sausage, remove all but 1 Tablespoon of grease. Add onions and peppers. Cook on low heat until softened. Add fresh herbs. Stir well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and cream well. Add grated or crumbled cheese. Add Sausage mixture, mix well.
Either grease well or spray with cooking spray a 12 hole muffin tin. Spoon mixture into muffin tin, filling cups no more than 3/4 full and distributing evenly. Cook at 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes.
This dish is open to many variations. The internet is full of suggestions, both simple and elaborate. It is ideal for a breakfast buffet. Once cooked the muffins are quite portable and keep well refrigerated. They make a great grab and go breakfast or lunch.