The Chef I Never Knew- (Eric Lupher)

By: Eric Lupher
By: Eric Lupher

It was just a week ago when thinking about cooking was as bad as going to the dentist. "Cooking? Ha," I would say. Boy have things changed!



It was just a week ago when thinking about cooking was as bad as going to the dentist. "Cooking? Ha," I would say. The closest to cooking I would get; boiling some water, throwing in some mac n’ cheese and calling it a day. Mostly, I would go out to eat: Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell or Chick Fil A. You name a fast food place, I’ve been there. Before a week ago, that was my diet. Not anymore.

Here’s a quick reminder. I’m seven days into my diet endeavor. For seven days I have stayed away from everything bad for me. I’ve eaten lean meats and I’ve avoided all the sugar and fat. For seven days I have been to the gym, spending 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, or running sprints on the treadmill with my workout buddy and co-worker Stacia Naquin. For three of those seven days I’ve done a full body workout consisting of balance and weight exercises. For seven days, I have stayed away from the mac n’ cheese and fast food restaurants.

My refrigerator has never been so full! I’ve piled the shelves with carrots, bell peppers, onions and every other vegetable you can think of. My pantry has really gone through a major shift. No more salty potato chips, or white bread. Instead, I have baked chips and whole wheat bread. Reduced fat peanut butter has replaced the "real" stuff, and I have plenty of whole wheat pasta. In other words, If I want to eat at my house, I have to cook.

The first thing I did was cook a big batch of whole wheat pasta and lean ground beef. That may sound like an easy meal to cook, but for me it was monumental! I was very proud of myself! After that, I made up three eight ounce servings of spaghetti with meat sauce by putting them in some portion control size plastic containers. Jerod Langness, a certified personal trainer with 24 Hour Fitness says, " planning out your meals is key to having successful weight loss." Planning I did. I ate them for lunch throughout the work week.

Then Friday came around. I was dreading the weekend. Usually, I would go all out on the weekend. "Eat, eat and eat again". That was my weekend motto. This time, I went to the store with a healthy cook book my roommate had. I was nervous for this one. I decided to make a chicken and peppers dish that I found on page 187 in the cook book. It took me entirely too long to find the ingredients. I had no idea where to find mushrooms, or olive oil. Usually I’m in the frozen aisle picking a Tombstone pizza. But when it was all said and done, and I had cooked the meal all on my own, (okay my roommate helped a little bit), I had a blast! That’s when I learned something about dieting I had never learned before. Having fun with it makes things so much easier. I really enjoyed following the recipe in the book. It was even cooler when the meal I cooked actually tasted good.

Martha Rosenau, a registered dietitian says, eating at home can mean big results when it comes to weight loss. " You have control over basic nutritional content of what you prepare," she said. " When you go out, you’ve lost it."

Knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body makes it a lot easier to control my calorie intake. My Bodybugg is supposed to help me count the calories but it’s up to me to be honest and precise about what it is I am eating.

I got through week one because I was having a good time. I continue to tell myself not to look at this as a diet, but a life change, for the better. If I keep that in mind, losing 14 pounds by March won’t be hard at all.

I’ll keep in touch!

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