***Quick update*** 2 years ago I made the most expensive single clothing item purchase of my life: a pair of distressed Italian made skinny jeans from Diesel. As of today (first day of week 4 on 4hb) they actually fit me. When I purchased them I thought they seemed small and uncomfortable, but they’re skinny jeans so it seemed acceptable. However, now my butt/hips/thighs suddenly fit into them. Hello, European size 26.
We’ve made it through week 3… And it seems like both Chris and I have decided we’ll keep eating this way forever. We may cheat now and again over a dinner other then cheat day, but we certainly feel like this is a healthy way of getting nutrition.
I’ll include our stats down below, but I want to dedicate this post to showing you a few of the meals we’ve really enjoyed this week. Also, I fixed an INCREDIBLY delicious stew and have included the recipe so you can enjoy it too.
Every single breakfast we have consists of the same thing: 2 eggs (per person), spinach, beans/lentils and black coffee (Chris consumes 3 brazil nuts in the am and before bed). Some learning has happened along the way… I know how to rinse, dry and package the spinach so it lasts through out the week (we go through approximately 2lbs per week); we’ve learned an egg-buying schedule that has us purchasing 2 dozen eggs each Sunday and Chris has mastered an egg-preparation-tactic that he calls “Mambles.” Mamble-ing eggs involves partially making over medium eggs and then scrambling them a bit, still keeping the over-medium cooking in tact. I’ve come to rely on a very simple selection of seasonings/herbs: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, herbs de provance (if needed) and Cholula (if needed)… Salt and pepper are really all we’re using.
Lunch is interesting — for me (working form home) I just try to use any beans left over from that mornings breakfast, add in whatever veggies I can find and throw in some meat (usually left over from the previous nights dinner). Below is a ground turkey burrito bowl: ground turkey (seasoned with cumin), pinto beans and stir fry’d carrots/pepper/onion. Chris has a few more lunch options working downtown: Chipotle, sushi, etc. We’ve also been careful to consume avocado regularly.
I often find myself needing a second lunch on this diet. Which is not something I can complain about, I love eating, but the dishes… OH THE DISHES!! I have a feeling that cooking 3-4 meals a day is going to bump our water bill up significantly. For second lunch I usually mimic breakfast. Yes, more eggs. Chris is a big fan of having hard boiled eggs around 4pm.
This week involved a few really really delicious dinners — we’re getting better at this! Below on the left you’ll see Chris preparing a Kielbasa sausage dish that included: cashews, pinto beans, bok choy, carrot and onion. On the right was my favorite meal of the week: tilapia (I know, farmed), mashed cauliflower and brussel spouts with pancetta (this entire meal cooked in under 10 minutes).
Below are the Chianti Beef Stew photos. Recipe follows.
I used Giada De Laurentiis’ Chianti Beef Stew recipe as a starting point and made adjustments according to the 4HB way of eating (original recipe here).
Beef Stew Ingredients
* 2 pound beef brisket
* 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 (4-ounce) piece pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled
* 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) kalamata olives, halved
* 6 ounces green beans, halved
* 1 onion
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 2 sage leaves
* 4 plum tomatoes, diced (dont ever eat canned tomatoes)
* 2 cups beef broth
* 2 cups portobello mushroom broth
Place the beef in a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish. Pour 1/2 bottle of the wine over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat over and marinate for another 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the meat from the wine and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the wine.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Using tongs, place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat and add the remaining oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, olives, green beans, onion, rosemary, and sage. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour the reserved wine, tomatoes, and beef and mushroom broth into the pan, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the meat to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Remove the meat and the rosemary sprigs from the stew. Place the meat on a cutting board and cut into quarters. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Add the shredded meat to the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining wine, enjoy!
Week 3 Stats
You’ll notice our weight hasn’t changed in 2 weeks. All of our weight loss happened the first week — but our body compositions are certainly changing. Same weights, different measurements. Chris and I are both excited to get into the gym — we did a bit of hiking, yard work, walking, etc. but want to add in weights and swimming for week 4. Bring it.
weight: 168 (down 7lb from start, same weight as last week).
chest: 38 7/8 (down 1/2 in from start)
waist: 33 1/8 (down 1.5 in from start)
weight: 105 (down 4lb from start, same weight as last week)
waist: 23.5 (down 2 in from start)
hips 35 (down 1 7/8 in from start)
thigh: 20 (down 1/2 in from start)