What Not To Eat

What Not To Eat

I’ve been MIA from blogging for a while. Lots of changes at work, which includes a stint on nights for me. That… will mess you up! The schedule flip, that is. Everything has gotten out of whack. My routines. Eating. Just living in general.

Take a look at the picture to the right. This… is what I had for dinner a few nights ago. And, as I was chewing a bite of the burger, I started thinking about the food I was taking in. Sure, we all know that McD’s ain’t the greatest choice. Lots of the wrong kinds of fat. Sodium. Sugar. Questionable ingredients. I chose it because I didn’t get up in time to pack a lunch and, at 2:00 in the AM, McDonald’s is one of the few readily available choices in Topeka. It was fast and cheap. But it wasn’t tasty. So often, when I’ve had fast food, I eat it without thinking. The fat, sodium and sugar sets off some happy places in my brain… but it just doesn’t taste good. Why did I never notice that before?

So I got to thinking about food, health and weight loss. Getting a routine going again. Obviously, I need to avoid fast food but I want to eat foods that I look forward to having. I want to get to a healthy weight and I’m convinced that I can do it while eating kick-ass foods.

In other words, I want to diet without being on a diet. Diet food is boring. Food should be awesome, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.

I challenged myself the next night to stop at the grocery store to put together something for myself and the work dudes. Something quick and healthy that could be put together in the kitchen in our office. The office kitchen doesn’t have a stove but does have a microwave, toaster oven and a few crock pots.

Taco Soup to the rescue!

Taco Soup

Taco Soup has been one of my Go To soups for many a year. It is crazy easy, pretty healthy and is usually a crowd pleaser. (The work dudes really like it!) It is also incredibly versatile. I’ll give you the basic recipe before and also some notes for modifications.

Taco Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: a lot!
Ingredients
  • 1 large bottle of V8
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
  • 1 15 oz can corn
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz petite diced tomato
  • 1 lb brown ground beef
  • Taco seasoning to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer for a while. Eat it.
Notes
This is really a versatile soup. you can mix and match ingredients. My favorite variation is to use shoe peg corn and black beans instead of kidney beans. Sometimes I'll use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. The soup in the picture above used chicken breast stewed in tomatoes and chiles instead of ground beef. (The grocery store had it ready to go in their deli.) And, of course, you don't have to use canned ingredients. You can use veggies straight from the garden and dried beans, if you like.

If you're using packets of taco seasoning, plan on 2 or 3 packets of seasoning. I typically use a blend from Pendery's and just add seasoning to taste.

The soup is pretty much ready to go as soon as you mix it up and heat it. It does taste a little better if you simmer it for a while, though. In the instance at work described above, I put all the ingredients in a large crock pot and let it go on high for a few hours.

When serving others, I usually put out some corn chips, sour cream and shredded cheese to garnish.

While I was nomming on my taco soup, I decided I was going to get serious about getting my health under control and the first step was to get a plan together.

This is what I came up with:

  • YES to: lots of veggies, moderate amounts of fruit, good sources of protein, eggs, healthy sources of fat and fresh water. My day-to-day food planning will basically be a Paleo plan, which I tend to do well with.
  • NO to: fast food, processed food, sugar/sugar substitutes, grains, dairy and alcohol.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day.
  • 1 splurge meal out a week. (Note that splurge does not mean a binge or eating excessively. It means eating an excellently prepared meal made with good quality ingredients. Splurge means a momentary relaxing of the sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and alcohol rule and, for just one meal, giving into the pleasures of eating a wonderful meal prepared by someone else.)

And… I’m off and running! Wish me luck!