On the VB6: Week 3, Challenges and Cooking Fits

Looking over last week’s blog (BTW, I have no idea how long this VB6 thing will last, just saying) one concrete improvement I didn’t do was start a food diary.  I even have a bloody app for such a thing, tracks my sodium and exercise no less.  If it doesn’t happen this week, I think low-tech is the way to go.  When I initially dialed the weight down, got serious about fitness and all of that, I just used a recycled spiral note book to track the day’s food; worked perfectly well.

The last of the holidays wrapped up for us this past week and while that is enough of a challenge the workplace is the real killer.  I didn’t particularly help my own cause by bringing cookies to work, which I ate the majority of I’m sure.  Other people were of the same mind as well, get the sweets out of my house! Let’s face it, when it comes to a choice between a snicker doodle and an apple or a clementine, the cookie is winning every time.

The other challenge is coming up with a lunch that is not only filling and satisfying but also tasty.  That last bit really is a challenge for me when meat is off the mid-day menu (as well as chips and such things.) I did ok this past week, eating some left overs, a couple of salads and a bowl of brown rice one day.  if I’m going to keep up with this sort of thing, however, I need to do something more.

That “something more” was accomplished this weekend.  On both Saturday and Sunday I spent a great deal of time cooking.  I tend to at least cook something big on Sundays, pasta with sauce being the biggest, but I cooked a family favorite, popovers on Saturday.  Along with those meals for the gang, I managed to try a Lebanese lentil soup, whipped up a quick and easy black beans and rice, some delicious hummus and a pretty good potatoes Faux Brien (didn’t have the peppers, so just onion and garlic.)

The biggest fail was the lentil soup.  I know, I know, “how the hell do you screw up lentil soup?”  To start, use the wrong lentils.  I didn’t have a couple components that the recipe called for, including red lentils.  In addition, I didn’t have the six cups of chicken stock handy either, so I went with the lentils I had (green I think) and instant chicken bouillon.  Instead of that great golden, silky soup you get in middle eastern restaurants, I produced a weird greenish gray mush.  I tried to “yellow” it up with the chicken bouillon, and some curry, and some saffron.  No luck, just something akin to wet concrete.  It still tasted pretty good, but presentation matters folks.

On the other hand, the hummus was picture-perfect.  Kind of like lentil soup, it should be pretty easy.  In this case it was, chick peas, lemon juice, tahini, some olive oil and garlic.  A couple of zaps in the food processor and boom, a tasty appetizer, main course or side dish.  Thankfully, I have yet to reach my fill on hummus and can eat it on a pretty regular basis.

As far as the black beans and rice, kind of the same as the hummus really, at least on how much I can tolerate.  Love rice, love beans, so far I can eat this and its variations quite a bit.  This particular batch kind of went against some of the VB6 ideas, namely no white rice (or white pasta, white bread, kind of an OA diet.)  I did keep with my principles though, not throwing away perfectly good food.  I had about 3/4 of a cup of dry rice left, not enough for a full batch, but too much for one serving too.  So, I boiled it off, put a little of the liquid from the beans and rinsed the beans otherwise, some onion, some garlic, some cumin and some cilantro and mixed it all in the same pot I boiled the rice.  I kept it on medium to low burner, pretty much just waiting for the onion to soften.  Pretty much gave me a quick lunch and enough for lunch later this week.

Thinking about this week, I feel much more empowered than I think I ever have on a diet, especially with all of the cooking.  Kind of like last week and the feeling that I’m doing something socially responsible (I still do BTW) I feel good about doing s much in my own kitchen.  I always enjoy cooking as well, so that is an added bonus.  Also like last week, I pretty much know there will be days and weekends where cooking batches of stuff will be the furthest things on my mind.  I mean come on, there are video games to be played and other things to do.  But to steal from another regular topic on this blog, I’m on a bit of a pink cloud three weeks in and I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

The socks really helped!
The socks really helped!

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