Tuesday, 18 December 2012

self.reduce()

Triggered largely by shopping for jeans yesterday, I am once again undertaking to seriously pursue losing weight.

I have been losing steadily, if somewhat irregularly, this last year. I'm down about 10kgs or thereabouts from my starting weight.

As Steve of Nerdfitness.com frequently states, 90% of the battle is food. This is, in fact, what's tripping me up the most.

It's an energy problem. It is profoundly hard for me to cook and eat food. The cooking more than the eating, but there are many days where most foods are too hard to eat. For example, doing fried eggs and bacon in the morning is usually beyond my capabilities. That's a pretty easy 5 minutes at a stove.

Something that's been suggested in the past is to prepare a great quantity of food on a high-energy day, to be eaten on low energy days. In theory, that sounds great. In practice, I've just never been able to make it work. Usually I have too many important/urgent things to do on high energy days to spend them cooking. Sometimes I have prior commitments. Frequently, I just don't have all the ingredients on hand to make a week's worth of food straight up. Even without all the other factors - that kind of effort seems to trigger a low energy period lasting longer than the prepared food. I have fairly specific dietary requirements, based on intolerances and also what I've found suits my body best.

There's also a problem of storage. I have limited storage for both ingredients and prepared food. More than most Londoners, this is true. Less than what I'm used to in Australia, despite having the largest kitchen I've ever had (in terms of floor area).

And last, but far from least, I'm picky. Especially when I'm tired and hungry. A lot of foods I would normally enjoy start making me feel ill. And the ones that don't make me feel ill are frequently not amenable to being prepared and stored. Or are outside my dietary restrictions.

Leftovers are an option I utilise with gusto and enthusiasm ... when I have leftovers. Which is unfortunately currently not quite that often. This is due to both not cooking leftover-producing recipes and not cooking dinner sufficiently frequently (2-3 nights a week). I have acquired a slowcooker, and this is helping somewhat. I now at least make most of my own stock.

I realise that I've painted myself into a corner a bit. "Just suck it up and deal" is not a helpful response to this dilemma. I have tried, failed miserably, and have decided not to beat myself up about it anymore.

Summary of Requirements:
  • No diary, no gluten, mostly paleo.
  • Will not eat even if starving: most fruit, salads, most cold foods.
  • More often than not, only enough energy to press buttons on microwave.
  • Sensitive teeth, raw veg (such as carrot/celery) is too painful to eat most of the time. As are a lot of spicy foods. And cold food.

Current non-dinner meals:
  • Sliced ham
  • Premade egg fried rice (this is not paleo, especially not when eaten with soy sauce)
  • Leftovers
  • Premade fish balls with mayonnaise
  • Oven-baked chips with gravy
  • Mashed potato (made with duck fat and stock)
  • Eggs (poached or fried or scrambled) with hash browns (oven cooked), optional bacon and mushrooms

Standard dinners:
  • Tuna bake
  • Roast dinner
  • Colcannon
  • Chicken and pasta
  • Beef and Beer stew with dumplings
  • Sausage bake
  • Sausage and mash
  • Bolognaise

Some of these meals don't produce leftovers, which is not useful for my ongoing nutrition. Most of what I eat is at least okay, if a little light on leafy green vegetables. Unfortunately, most of the leftover-producing meals are also high-effort, and the effort increases with quantity.

So ... I dunno. More husband help with making leftover-producing meals, and larger ones of those? Maybe that's a way forward. Suggestions welcome, because frankly, I'm out of ideas.