Early 20’s vs Late 20’s: Dieting

I never want to talk much about my attempts to lose a little weight on here, but as it’s on my project list and currently on my mind, I have come to the recent realization that I am not as young as I once was.

In the beginning of 2008, I was 23 and fresh out of college.  My last year of college had been rough – getting too little sleep, having too much stress, and eating far too much fast food in the middle of the night/early morning.  I finally gained my “Freshman 15” as a senior.  So I decided to do something about the 15 pounds I had gained + the 15 vanity pounds I wanted to lose on top of that; I joined Weight Watchers.

Now, 5 ½ years later, I am back in the same position, having gained back, over the last few years, that 30 pounds I lost in 2008.  I want to lose it again.  And again, I am trying Weight Watchers.

At 29, it’s different this time.  Maybe it’s unfair to just pinpoint the age difference, as several things have changed, such as my marital status, my social life, and my will-power. But age definitely has something to do with the change of my metabolism, eating habits, and “wisdom”.

When I was 23, the weight seemed to magically fall off.  It wasn’t quick, but it was steady.  Week after week, I’d see a smaller number on the scale  – 4 pounds lost, 2 pounds lost, 1 pound lost.  I wanted to lose the weight and that was enough then.  I took up running; I started tracking what I ate; I went to the weekly Weight Watchers meetings.  It worked.  From February to May, I lost 30 pounds, and I made Lifetime membership by staying at my goal weight for 6 weeks.

If it was so easy then, why is it so hard now?  Have I just suppressed the memories of wanting to shovel chocolate in my mouth or did I really not have that trouble then?

The good thing about WW is that you do track your food, and the good thing about being a pseudo-hoarder is that you keep those food journals.  I was looking over my old journal yesterday, and here’s one of the main differences:  I lived off of Progresso Soup and SmartOnes frozen dinners; now I cook.  I’m pretty sure my husband would have thrown an intervention for my former single self back in 2008 if he had known me; frozen dinners, full of who knows what, and canned soup, full of the same plus loads of sodium, are not healthy.  But they worked.

So I guess I’m labeling that one as with growing older comes wisdom disipline the desire to fuel my body with truly healthy food, not just low calories.  And that makes it a little more work for me and the will power.  Cursed by cooking?  Get ready for some new diet-friendly recipes.

Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Breast Recipe

This recipe is from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, 2007.  It’s one of my favorites, but takes so long to cook that I don’t make it very often.  In fact, I hadn’t made it in years until I decided to Sunday for dinner.

Picture from The Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, 2007.

Picture from The Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, 2007.

While mine never comes out as beautiful as the picture in the book, it does look lovely enough to present for entertaining.

Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Breast

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Onions, chopped

2 C sliced Mushrooms

2 Carrots, shredded

10 oz frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 Tbsp chopped fresh Parsley

1 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Basil (or ½ tsp dried)

1 slice bread, finely chopped

1 cup Chicken Stock

1Tbsp grated Lemon Zest

1 (3 lb) skinless boneless Turkey Breast

My notes:  I use fresh spinach, and I do not add the slice of bread.  I also can never find one turkey breast that is 3 pounds, so I usually buy two and make this into two rolls.

Directions:

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.

Sauté the onions 4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and carrots; sauté until the vegetables are tender- 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, parsley, cheese, and basil; cook until spinach is wilted (if using fresh spinach; about 2 minutes if using frozen).

Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, 2 Tbsp stock, and bread (if desired).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Spray a 9×13” baking dish with nonstick spray.

Place the turkey breast between two sheets of plastic wrap; with a meat mallet, pound turkey breast to even thickness.

Remove and discard plastic wrap.

Spread the spinach-mushroom mixture onto the flattened turkey breast, leaving a 2” border on all sides.

Starting with the short side, roll up the turkey breast and tie at 2” intervals with kitchen string.

Place the roll in the baking dish, seam side down.

Pour remaining chicken broth over turkey and loosely cover with foil.

Bake, basting frequently, until turkey reaches 180 degrees F (about 1 – 1.5 hours).

Transfer turkey to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes then remove string and carve into 12 slices.

Pairs well with roasted chestnuts, pearl onions, and Brussels sprouts.

More notes:  Usually takes 1.5 hours.  I pounded my turkey breast a little thin Sunday though and it did only take 1.