Daily Archives: June 11, 2012

Stewy Chicken

So, since I have been cooking at home more and eating out a lot less, I have been experimenting with different recipes.  Here is one I like to call Stewy Chicken.  It’s not quite a full-on stew, but more of a braised chicken and vegetables.

So to start, I want to share a funny story.  When my family asked me what I wanted for Christmas last year, I said I needed new pots and pans.  So, my brother and his wife bought me this ginormous frying pan. I guess you really cannot tell from this picture, but it is huge.


I have used it several times, but I do not use it as often as I would like.  I am single and cook only for myself.  While it would be good for frying up a lot of chicken or something, it’s hard to use for a single serving meal. Seems kind of silly to make one egg in it.  It would be kind of like using a roasting pan to cook one chicken breast.

So, one thing I like to make is this stewy chicken dish.

Stewy Chicken


olive oil

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

3 sage leaves

1 cup chicken broth

splash of red wine

2 carrots

2 potatoes

2 celery stalks

3-5 random pieces of chicken

1 table spoon of flour or gluten-free Bisquick

Salt & Pepper

1 ginormous frying pan

1 knife

1 cutting board

1 spatula

Saute celery, onions, carrots, sage in olive oil.  Once soft, add a splash of red wine.  Then pour in chicken broth and add potatoes. Add pieces of chicken.  Add salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and cover.  Cook on low-medium heat for 2-3 hours.

Add flour or Bisquick to 1/4 cup of water.  Wisk until smooth.  Pour into pan and stir.  Cook another 15 minutes or so until it thickens a little.

Put in bowl and eat.  Yum!

For me, this meal lasts for a couple of days, which means I can still eat a home cooked meal, use my awesome giant pan, and not cook every day.  Win.

Making Plans

Just a quick update and a note about future plans…

I saw my nutritionist this on Thursday.  I had to do a weigh-in and an update on my eating behavior changes.  No weight-loss, but I wasn’t really trying for that specifically yet.  We talked a lot about my experience with some of the new changes in my eating patterns.  I have been better about eating nearly every meal at home with a couple of small exceptions.  I am practicing the no water before, during, and after meals rule.  I am practicing my chewing routine.  And I am nearly off of caffeine.  Two cups per day, 1/2 caffe.

She was pleased to hear this update.  I was very honest with her about my struggles with the no drinking around meals and the chewing exercises.  I am doing OK with the chewing…I think i’m about 60% of he way there.  I really suck at the no fluids around meals rule.  I’m maybe 25% of the way there.    She wasn’t too worried.  She wants me to just keep improving each month until I get to the surgery.  After that, I’ll have no choice but the follow the rules.

The other subject I wanted to talking about is making plans for the future.  Of course, I’m making plans in my head about the clothes I will wear, how I will look and, more importantly, how I will feel after losing weight.  I’m planning things like learning how to kayak.  Taking long walks and bike riding.  Swimming.  And some of he mundane daily things I used to take for granted.  Grocery shopping without pain.  Walking through my neighborhood without struggling with pain and breathing difficulties.  A part of me cannot wait for these things and wishes it could all happen now.

Another part of me can hardly believe I will be able to do some of these things some day.  I have struggled with my weight, with pain, with breathing, and other health problems for so long, it is hard for me to visualize a life without these things.  It sort of feels like a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream that is too good to be true.  

I was not always so inactive.  I used to be very active.  I used to walk everywhere.  People often could not keep up with me.  I used to walk from one end of the Washington, DC Mall to the other and back.  I used to go canoeing.  Roller skating.  Swimming.  I played tennis and danced.  Both tap and ballet.  It feels like a dream to think that I may be able to do even a quarter of these activities again.

I know this next year is going to be very hard.  A lot of hard work and determination.  I know this is not a quick fix, but a total life change.  I know that if I can live with the pain, the health problems, and the embarrassment that comes with being morbidly obese, I can live through anything.  

It’s just been hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea of being significantly thinner.  To walk without gasping for air.  To stand without excruciating pain in my back and feet.  To wear nice clothes that fit well. To feel comfortable in my own skin. 

I know it can happen.  I know other people who have had the gastric by-pass surgery.  I have seen their transformation.  I know that it is possible.  I’m just in awe at the thought that it will happen for me.