Saturday, October 27, 2012

Beanless Chili (and low carb diets)

Sometimes you gotta grab life by the horns and really focus on shedding some pounds. I'm not doing anyone any favors by kicking the bucket at 40 (except maybe J, if he is looking for an easy out of our marriage, lol). After talking with a pal of mine, I was able to confirm what I know is true. Carbs in excess just aren't a good idea. Duh. I've been on every low carb diet on the planet, but typically fall off the wagon (I think that happens to a lot of people). Anyway, the reason my talk with this pal was so awesome is that she mentioned WHY she was so successful was a change in her mindset about dieting in general. She no longer has a "cheat" and considers her diet wrecked, followed by a day (or days) of further cheating before she gets back on track. She now looks at it as more of a "ohwell, I wanted that cake... but I'm going to keep on eating lowcarb and not go on a bender. My diet isn't ruined by that piece of cake!" Uhm, those weren't her words exactly. In fact - here are her words exactly:

My biggest failing with diets was the mentality that oh man, I ate that, now my entire diet is ruined, I might as well give up. Nope. I ate what I wanted and continued locarbing it the rest of the day.
You know, this isn't exactly rocket surgery, but SERIOUSLY such an amazing way to look at things. A liberating way! I'm determined to embrace it. I don't know why, but knowing that I'm not forbidding myself from certain food groups for the rest of my life makes my "normal" diet so much more tolerable --- enjoyable even!

With that in mind, I decided that I was going to once again try a low-carb approach, but a less stringent one. Diets can be stressful, and I tend to be all in or all out. On Atkins specifically I would agonize over quantities on carrots or tomatoes. Serious. This time around I've decided to drastically reduce the "no-brainer" carbs. So, duh, bread and cereal and potatoes shouldn't be a regular staple of my diet. But - I'm not freaking out over a bowl of baby carrots any more. Nor will I beat myself up over too many tomatoes.

The other thing - I always felt like I had to start my diets on Monday morning. Is that some sort of rule? I mean, if it wasn't January 1st, that is. Since I was going to be going at this in a whole new way, I decided the perfect time to start this diet would be a Thursday night. 'Cuz why not? I began my new, enlightened and sane approach to dieting with this meal. Beanless chili. Yep, I just cut out the "no duh" carbs. Everything else is standard protocol.

{I used a pound each of ground chuck and ground italian sausage. It really makes the chili taste great! You can really use whatever you have --- chicken, pork, heck, why not throw in a pound of bacon?}

{Aren't these mini sweet peppers adorable? They taste yummy AND make my chili beautiful!}

{Another ingredient I'm not going to worry about. Onions aren't the enemy!}

{This is probably 10 cloves of garlic. I love garlic.}

{I used about 1.5 tsp of the Chili Powder, 1/2 a tsp of the cumin and Chipotle, and 1/4 a tsp of the Cayenne}

{Saute and soften your peppers and onions - i do this in the dish I intend to cook the chili in}

{Brown your meat - I do this in a separate dish so it is easier to drain the excess fat}

{Add your browned meat to the vegetables}

{Season! I use a tsp each of basil, thyme and oregano, and threw in 2 bay leaves}

{The canned goods - 2 cans of fire roasted diced, 1 29oz can of tomato sauce, and 2 cans of diced green chilis}

{Throw in your canned stuff. This step is actually a lot easier because you aren't draining canned beans}

{Cook for awhile - I would say let it simmer at least 45 minutes to an hour to let all your flavors gel}

{Consume! It is seriously the best chili I have ever made! We devoured the whole pot in less than 24 hours, ha ha ha}

Will track my weightloss progress here, but expect it to be slow and easy going!