Thursday, April 13, 2017

Clutter, Clutter Everywhere

No, my kitchen usually does not look like this

We are doing some work in our house. As a result, the place is an absolute mess. The kitchen is full of the dining room stuff, my sewing stuff and who knows what else at this point. My office has the guest room furniture. And there is dust and dirt everywhere!

When this sort of disruption happens, I have no interest in cooking. It just seems to be enough stress just to make it through the day. The house is a bit of a maze between the drop cloths and the various pieces of equipment. Come the end of the day, I am ready to drop. It is just stressful to have everything in the wrong place or not have a place. As a result, last Saturday night we gave in and ordered a pizza. I think this is probably a violation to the “no bread” rule but we were just kind of done in from the mess. At least we stopped and thought about it before we ordered it. Before we started trying to behave again, I would have ordered the large pizza with the thought that we would have left overs. This time we ordered the small pizza and each had two pieces. Yes, that was still probably more than we should have had but it was an improvement. I will say that we hurried to put the leftovers in the refrigerator so that we would not be tempted by them.

With all this mess around us right now, I started thinking about how clutter affects our eating habits. Think about it. If your house is a mess, it adds stress to your life. As many of us can attest, stress eating is a real thing. Also, when there is stuff everywhere, you don’t feel like preparing a meal.

Of course, there is a study about this…

The name of the study is “Clutter, Chaos, and Over consumption” and it was published in 2016. The purpose of the study was to see how cluttered, chaotic environments – such as messy kitchens- influence snacking behavior. In case you don’t want to read the study, the results suggest that a chaotic environment can have an impact on food intake, particularly for sweet food. Amazingly, they didn’t find that a chaotic environment increased the consumption or carrots or crackers.

There is also a study that indicated that people in an orderly office would be more inclined to choose healthy snacks. You can read an article about both these studies.

                                     The first episode of Clean Sweep

Have you ever heard of Peter Walsh? He is the guru organizer. I saw him first on a TLC show named “Clean Sweep”. He has a book out entitled Does this Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat? The book talks about the relationship between lifestyle and eating. In the book,

 “Peter helps you address how the clutter in your kitchen, your pantry, and your home is directly related to the clutter n your body and negatively affects your ability to lead a full and healthy life.” 

Wow, that is a lot for a book to do…

While I have just mentioned a few references here, there are many that can be found. Does this sound like it could made a difference for you? I just wanted to give you something to think about. Do you think that by cleaning or straightening out your kitchen, desk or home, you might feel more empowered to take better control of your eating?

I’ll let you know next week if things are better around here.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Roasted Tomato and Basil Chicken


We have now completed four weeks of our no potatoes, no rice, no pasta, and no bread regime. I would like to tell you that it is getting easier but I am not sure that is the case. I do think that Mr. Carb (Silent Sam) is having a harder time than I am. To be honest, I just hate having to find new recipes. We are moving along and the scale is starting to budge so we can’t complain.

I am probably having the hardest time with the exercise. It doesn’t help that right now we had some work done in the room where the exercise bike is located and I can’t get to it. (No, I didn’t plan the work that way.)  I will get back on the bike in another day or so.

The thing about all these changes is how much head space they use. I am thinking about this much more than I ever did when I was eating everything in sight. Now I am thinking about what I can eat and drink. I have not yet ended my love affair with Coke but I can see it is coming soon. It just is not good for me, it uses a lot of Weight Watcher’s points, and there is the matter of my teeth. Did I tell you I went to the dentist? YIKES! We went to an absolutely lovely dentist in our former town. We went to the same dentist for 31 years. In that time, his equipment didn’t change. Okay, I just never thought about it. Well, our new dentist uses much more modern equipment and there is a lot of work to be done in my mouth. So perhaps chugging down that Coke every morning is not a great idea. If only hot tea was ready as fast as grabbing a Coke out of the fridge. Silent Sam is now scared to go to the dentist. He is worried about how much will need to be done in his mouth. Okay, I am not so worried about him – he has never had ANYTHING done. Not even a cavity. I suppose it might be more scary for him because he doesn’t know what it is like to have work done in your mouth.

This week, I do have a new recipe for you. I have made this one twice and it has been a hit. I hope you enjoy it.

Roasted Tomato and Basil Chicken            Serves 4


1 Tbs. olive oil
Cooking spray
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 plum tomatoes, quartered
3 garlic cloves minced
¼ cup fresh basil chopped

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2.      Add olive oil to a large oven safe skillet coated with cooking spray. Season the chicken with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Add chicken to pan and sear on high heat for 3 minutes on each side.
3.      Add tomatoes and garlic to pan on top of chicken breasts and toss. Place skillet in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
4.      Remove from oven and top with basil.

Calories 185, Total Fat 6g, Saturated fat 1.3 g, Cholesterol 65 mg, Sodium 65 mg, Total Carbohydrate 6 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 4 g, Protein 25g.

This recipe is from my old favorite diabetic cookbook.  You can buy a copy from the American Diabetes Association.  This cookbook has been great for us.  You might want to check your local library and look it over before you buy it but it has been worth the money for us.  

I do not usually add salt and pepper to recipes, I did add the pepper to this one.

I did not use the olive oil. I am sure it adds some taste but I didn’t see that I needed that.

I thought that the toss with the chicken breasts, tomatoes, and garlic was a little odd but I did it.

I thought this recipe was easy and we liked it. I might experiment by adding some spinach to get a little more vegetable involved but otherwise I would not change anything. And I am not completely sold that spinach would work but I think I will try it.

In case you are new or forgot – I am NOT a good cook. My cooking is generally very simple and I don’t often know enough to adjust recipes. Oh, that might not be really true. I do adjust but others might call it mistakes. When they work, I let you know so you will think I am brilliant.

Thanks for reading!