Weight loss, or more specifically my need to lose weight has been a challenge of mine for over 10 years. Like most, I begin with gusto only to sputter out after a few months of intense exercise and dieting.

I have high blood pressure, so the challenge for me has not only been my weight, but also my sodium intake. So far, I manage the sodium part pretty good. Enough so that I have lost some pounds, but not enough to satisfy my target weight or my goal.

However, as I stand looking in the mirror at myself, there are definitely areas in which I can improve.

Instead of waiting until after the holidays when I might look like a stuffed pig, I am going to begin now. Today, right now, I am changing things. Mark this day on your calendar as well. Write me, comment whatever you need to do to help me help myself. It's not easy for a 46 year old black female to lose the excess baggage she has been carrying around for over 10 years.

In my mind it's all about being complacent. You see, I am too darned comfortable with my saddlebag hips and my outrageous rear end. It ends today. Today I am turning the table.

Here is my strategy.

First, I vow to increase my water intake while decreasing my caffeine drinking. I love coffee, and usually drink 2-3 mugs per day. It isn't easy to go cold turkey on the coffee, as doing this will cause severe headaches (I know, I tried to quit before.) However, I will reduce the amount of coffee to one per day beginning November 28th.

My water intake will be 64-96 ounces per day.

I don't eat red meat, so that is not a problem. But, pizza and chicken nachos are a favorite. They have to go. I'll have to make my own pizza or chicken nachos from now on if I want them. This way I can control my caloric as well as fat intake.

Sodas are not a problem. I only drink sodas or pop a few times a year.

Candy and eating unhealthy snacks between meals are a problem. Beginning tomorrow, I am going to write down everything that passes my lips. This way I can see the damage I am doing to myself and correct my ways.

To get me started, here is a recipe I am going to try. Tomorrow, I will include a workout plan.

Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy

Makes 6 servings


1 large clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 3 ½-pound chicken, giblets removed
1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil
2 teaspoons butter, softened, divided
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Mash garlic and salt into a paste in a small bowl, using the back of a spoon. Stir in pepper and thyme.
3. With a sharp knife, remove any excess fat from chicken. Dry the inside with a paper towel. With your fingers, loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs to make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin. Rub the garlic mixture over the breast and thigh meat.
4. Heat oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning often, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
5. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the chicken until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board; tent with foil.
6. Meanwhile, mash the remaining 1 teaspoon butter and flour in a small bowl until a paste forms. Place the pan (use caution, the handle will be hot) over medium-high heat. Add broth and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Gradually whisk in the butter-flour paste a few bits at a time, until the gravy thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, allowing any fat to rise to the top. Skim off the fat with a spoon. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 223 calories; 10 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 95 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 0 g fiber; 216 mg sodium; 253 mg potassium.
0 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 4 lean meat

(recipe courtesy of Eating Well)


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