I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll probably mention it another fifty or so million times, but my office really enjoys a good potluck (or party for that matter) and will find any reason to have one or two every month. Usually it’s a birthday, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Let me tell you how notoriously difficult these potlucks are for me and staying on plan. There’s always some goodie or treat sitting out there calling my name: “Zan,” it calls, “have a cookie, have an enchilada, have some crackers and cheese, have some cake, eat me, eat me, EAT ME!!!!” (Okay, food does not actually talk to me, nor do I have conversations with it, but it feels that way sometimes). Despite my best intentions to just eat a salad or bring my own lunch (and feel like a party-pooper), I usually wind up with a plate piled high with junk.
New Game Plan Time obviously. About three months ago, I realized I don’t have to be a party pooper. There’s a pretty simple solution to the problem here: bring a healthy dish I can pile high on my plate (and everyone else will eat), then sit back and enjoy. And – can you believe it? – it works. Gone is the mad dash to pile my plate as high as possible with as much food as I can so I don’t have to go back and get seconds (and look like food-crazy madwoman?), and gone is the crazy sensation I’m denying myself some amazing food because – get this – everyone else is eating what I’m eating. Insane!
An unexpected benefit of my new game plan is that it seems to be catching. More than one person is scouring their recipe boxes for healthy dishes to bring each month, and I’m thrilled. Further, the food pusher got a new job so no more tempting cupcakes, cakes or cookies with which to contend.
When the office decided on a Mexican “Cinco de Mayo” Fiesta for this month’s potluck, I hopped onto my favorite resource – the WW app on my iPhone – to find something healthy and interesting to eat. The recipe that piqued my interest (my comments in italics):
Tropical Mango-Jicama Chicken Salad from WeightWatchers.com
POINTS® Value: 3
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This salad has great crunch thanks to jicama, a root vegetable with crisp, juicy, white flesh, that is widely available at most large supermarkets.
½ cup Red Onion, sliced
¼ cup Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Cumin seeds
¼ tsp Hot Sauce (I used Frank’s)
2¼ cups Jicama, cubed
½ pound Chicken breast, cooked and cubed (I haven’t tried a vegetarian version of this dish, but you could probably substitue seitan or Morningstar Farms chik’n strips)
1 medium Mango, cubed
½ cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
1. In a large bowl, combine onion, lime juice, oil, salt, cumin and hot pepper sauce; let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until onion starts to wilt.
2. Add jicama, chicken, mango and cilantro; toss to mix and coat. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving
Wow, what a winner! This was super tasty and refreshing, and everyone (except one crabby lady who doesn’t like trying new things) loved it. The combination of the crispy jicama, slightly sweet mango with chicken really hit the spot. It’s a perfect springtime/summer light meal. And I learned how to chop up mango and jicama (because I couldn’t find any pre-cut jicama spears! Grr). Bonus! Word of caution, however, looking at this in the fridge I’d say it doesn’t make the best of leftovers.
Oh, and here’s my weigh-in for the week. That weight I thought I should have lost last week? Went this week, and a little bit more. Go fig.
Week of 5/5/10 Stats
Starting Weight: 291.6
Previous Weight: 248.0 lbs
Current Weight: 245.0 lbs (!!!)
Difference: -3.0 lbs
Total Weight Removed: -46.6 lbs
Total Percentage of Weight Removed: 15.9%
Yeah, I lost more than a percent this week baby!!! And it pushed me over the 15% mark!!! Holy Cow. I’ve made it almost a 1/3rd of the way to goal!
Now there’s that whole 50 lb loss looming in front of me. I’d love to crank out a 3.4 lb loss this week, but somehow I don’t think it’s in the cards. That’s alright because I’m happy dancing right now.