I’m viewing September as a new month, a new season and a new opportunity to make some changes and progress. My goals of increasing my activity; clearing some clutter; shedding a couple of unwanted pounds; and making some in-roads into realising some much cherished dreams, starts TODAY!
Your new goals won’t be the same as mine for sure …
but I think I won’t be too far wide of the mark if I guess they are about improvement in health, weight and lifestyle.
First on my list is a commitment to get those walking shoes and bathing suit suit on more often, and I’m being specific and measurable here – twice a week swimming and at least 20 minutes every day walking. There, I have said it, and by doing so making it a SMART decision. Hopefully by doing this and keeping a firm eye on food choice and portion size I’ll realise the couple of pounds loss I would like too. In order to realise some of my work and lifestyle dreams I’m going to have to be a tad more focussed, organised and determined. I think I can do this if I organise my time better, sleep well and use my tracker not just to record my weight, movement etc but also my workload. I have some ambitious plans so this has to be equally as driven. Wish me luck and do tell me about any plans you have!
Finally, I’m jettisoning my excuses for keeping things, hoarding too much and generally hanging onto things – I’m talking clothes, food, books and emotions or diktats that I am sure sometimes hold me back. Too many clothes mean I can’t find what I want quickly (so opt for the same old ‘uniform’ each day rather than something new); too much food in the freezer is silly for me when I prefer to eat fresh and seasonally (although some frozen bits and pieces and prepared favourites can be a God-send, just NOT 3 freezers full); my piles of books threaten to engulf me and need to be shared and therefore enjoyed with and by others; and finally I need to move on from learned behaviour of yesteryear that holds me back from sometimes living in the moment. I’m guilty sometimes of not taking risks for fear of failure so I’ve made some small and big plans to challenge this bad habit. I also procrastinate and have a sometimes a too optimistic belief that things will sort themselves out. Tomorrow might well be better but I need to concentrate on today, and also bite the bullet on the adage I was brought up with which says ‘be the best’ rather than ‘do your best’. So, lots to work on … and I am sure these will extend far beyond September.
I’ve made a start today (a work-at-home day) by already sorting through some clothes and accessories that are heading to e-bay, the charity shop, my support group and the clothing bank. I’ve filled a bag of books for my local women’s shelter – specially chosen to be light, encouraging and escapist fun. I’ve also defrosted some chicken from the bottom of the freezer and allocated it for a recipe dish to eat tonight (which is given below), and placed my trainers near the door so that I can trip over them frequently, or they can stare at me accusingly, every time I pass to remind me to venture out before the day is through. I have also said ‘I’ll walk the dog today’ so Bertie the pooch keeps looking at me expectantly every time I move from the chair, so it will happen he’ll ensure that!
So, back to the recipe, it’s a sweet and sour dish that uses my defrosted chicken but also some store cupboard staples. I’ve used some canned pineapple in the mixture (canned in juice rather than in a light syrup) but you could use fresh if you have a pineapple ripe for using in the fruit bowl. We’ll have it with a quinoa and grain mix and some salad picked from the kitchen garden here, but it can also be served in pitta breads as you can see below with rocket or arugula leaves. Bariatrics can opt to eat the pitta or not depending upon tolerability.
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN PITTA
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
1-2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp lemon pepper or freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (about 350 g/12 oz in total weight), cut into chunks
low-fat cooking spray or mist
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp granulated Splenda sweetener
2 canned pineapple rings in fruit juice, cut into small pieces
2 spring onions/scallions, sliced
handful of rocket or arugula leaves
4 wholemeal pitta breads, warmed and halved
1. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with the chillies (if used), pepper and garlic powder. Coat the chicken chunks in the flour mixture.
2. Generously spritz a non-stick frying or saute pan with the low-fat oil or mist. Heat, add the chicken and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until browned.
3. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce with the lemon juice, sweetener, pineapple and spring onions/scallions. Add to the chicken in the pan and cook for a few minutes longer until the chicken is fully cooked. Add a couple of teaspoons of water if the mixture begins to stick.
4. To serve, fill the warmed and halved pittas with the rocket or arugula leaves and sweet and sour chicken. Serve at once.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
CALORIES PER PORTION: 305
Image courtesy of www.splenda.co.uk