Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Getting Healthy for the Summer

Low-Cal Tuna Wrap with Mexican Rice and Grilled Corn
Not that long ago, Seth and I upgraded our phones to those slick new Galaxy S5 phones that everyone's so keen about and let me tell you. They're truly awesome. To begin with, they're equipped with excellent cameras that have allowed us to take even better pictures of our food. I've been working on my photographer's eye a little and even if I do say so myself, I think I've made some real progress for someone that doesn't consider themselves to be much of a photographer.

The phones also came with a fantastic app called S Health. After letting it stare us in the face unused every day for a couple of months on end, we finally decided to bite the bullet and do something about it. We know we could both stand to be healthier and to lose a few pounds. We both want to feel better. What we hadn't done yet was get started, but I'm proud to say that that's no longer the case. At this point, we've been using S Health for about a week -- since last Monday -- to create and track data related to our weights, our calorie intakes, and our calorie expenditures. 

Baked Red Potato with Veggies and Soy Sauce
We've both also lost weight so far. I've lost a little over six pounds and Seth's lost seven. We feel extremely proud of ourselves and each other. We're also really looking forward to getting closer to our fighting weights by the time Labor Day rolls around. The fair will be in town and we'd like to take pictures without feeling like we look bloated and fat in them. Then a couple of months later, my 20-year high school reunion will be in full effect. I'm still not sure if I want to attend, as the tickets are really quite expensive for two people on a tight budget, but let's just say that I'd like to at least have the option. I know I won't want to be there if I have to show up looking heavier than I'd like.

As you can see, we've still been our creative selves in the kitchen. We've just been cutting the calories considerably and making some smarter choices when it comes to what we eat. When we want to lose weight, we go really heavy on the veggies and really light on the carbs and the fats. Veggies are a great way to make yourself feel full without adding a ton of unnecessary calories. We also watch our portions really carefully. All of the dishes you see here on this post were under 500 calories each. The potato and the pizza were well under, actually. It really is amazing what you can come up with when you do your homework and put your mind to it.

Flatbread Pizza with Grilled Sausage and Veggies
On Food Network Star, the mentors are always telling the contestants that they need to find their culinary point of view. I've never been sure what mine would be if I were an actual contestant on that show in some alternate universe where I actually do things like enter competitions. I like everything. Plus, I don't come from a distinct cultural heritage or favor any one particular type of cooking. However, the more I think about it, the more I think my culinary point of view would be wanting to show people that making really inexpensive or really healthy food that still looks and tastes great is easier than they think it's going to be.

Thousands of businesses make millions of dollars every day convincing people that they can't do things on their own. "Cooking at home is hard and time-consuming. Just order take-out or swoop through a drive-thru on your way home." "You can't lose weight unless you buy our special diet foods or purchase one of our expensive gym memberships." "There's no way to make healthy food taste good. Plus, it's too expensive for people on a budget to afford." Honestly, that's all bullshit, but so many people don't seem to ever stop and question it.

I've personally always been a curious person and one that doesn't like to be told "no" at that, so I've always found it fun to find my own ways around obstacles real and imagined. Seth is the same way and we've found that that's something we like doing together in regards to the foods we make and eat. We also love sharing the process with our friends and loved ones. We do that quite a lot on Facebook in particular, as well as Twitter and Instagram already, but I'd like to start posting more about our thoughts and adventures in that arena for those interested as well.

That said, in upcoming posts for the near future, I'd like to showcase some of our favorite healthy eating hacks. I'd like to talk more about ways we like to elevate ingredients and make meal times special as well. We have so much fun with our meals and I'd like to show more people how they can do the same, even if they're busy or don't have a lot of extra money to spend.