I have decided that if I intend to maintain my weight, I’m going to have to set some new health and fitness goals. Goals are easy enough to set when you’re losing weight, and to measure: When I was dropping pounds, I aimed for about a pound a week and not more than five pounds a month. Each week, as I stepped on the scale and saw the results I wanted, I was joyous and even more motivated to continue the lifestyle I began in January 2007.
Now that the weight is off and has been off for 15 months, I find I need to redirect my energies as I feel myself falling back into bad habits: eating past the point of fullness, having lunch out three times a week, skimping on the amount of fruit I eat each day. One day last week, I even had a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, fries and a Coke for the first time in more than two years. It was good, but not worth the way I felt afterward – sluggish, sleepy, greasy, out of control.
Even with these poor food choices, the scales aren’t showing a gain, but some Bermuda shorts I bought last summer are a bit tighter in the waist than I remembered (they must have shrunk in the dryer). So I’ve come up with a plan that includes very concrete, measurable goals.
First, I’m aiming to walk 15 miles a week. For the past couple of years, I’ve walked probably about eight or maybe 10 miles a week. Setting this new goal will be a challenge, but one I’m looking forward to.
The second thing I’m going to do is include at least one fruit with my breakfast. That seems the most logical – and easiest – time of day to work that in. As time goes by, I may try to add another fruit at lunch. That would give me four a day, because I already eat two fruits as snacks during the day.
Here’s a breakfast recipe that includes some fresh fruit and has 287 calories and less than 10 grams of fat per serving. I plan to make it for breakfast Easter morning.
Blueberry Coffee Cake
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
11⁄3 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Add vanilla, egg and egg white and beat well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Spoon half the batter into a 9-inch round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup blueberries. Spoon remaining batter over blueberries; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup blueberries. Sprinkle top evenly with turbinado sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely. Cut into 8 wedges.
* Turbinado sugar is raw sugar in a crystal form that has a slight molasses flavor. Substitute brown sugar if desired.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/Daily Journal