Thursday, January 7, 2010

All about control -- and a scallop recipe

I understand that restricting foods from your diet is not the way to eat, that eventually you will get tired of eating that way, and once again start gaining weight.

My problem is that I don't lose weight unless I go on a very restrictive diet. And because we have a wedding coming up, I have to lose weight, or I am not going to be happy with myself. And the only way for me to do that is to restrict everything I eat.

I also know that I have lost and gained more weight than I would ever want to admit, so I do know that when I lose the weight this time, I really need to figure out how to keep it off. Which is when Heather Pierce, my nutrition and lifestyles coach, will be an even more invaluable part of my life. She motivates me to eat only healthy foods, and right now, although I am being very restrictive, I am incorporating her suggestions into my food plan. (In case anyone is wondering, I avoided seeing Heather during the holidays, which is when I needed her most!)

But the last three days of my restrictive eating have felt terrific. I feel as if I am in total control, and since I am limiting my food choices, I'm not thinking about food all the time. And thanks to the Wii, I am exercising more than I have in ages.

I also have to admit that when I am truly being careful about every bite that goes into my mouth, we eat better. Last night I made a wonderful dinner -- scallops -- that is just about one of the easiest meals to make. I had a salad with my scallops. Jack had brown rice and corn. At the end of the meal, I felt sated and happy, not bloated and lethargic, the way I felt all during the holidays.

Now back to the scallops. I will only buy dry sea scallops -- fresh caught not farm-raised -- that have not been soaked in a sodium solution, which are called wet scallops. Wet scallops are easy to spot: They are milky white and very plumped up with water (sort of like me during the holidays). Dry scallops are a vanilla color and not uniform in color. The dry scallops also sear and brown nicely, something that is hard to achieve with wet scallops.

The first step is to remove the tiny muscle that is attached to each scallop -- just pull it off with your fingers. I then lightly dusted the scallops with Mrs. Dash's herb/garlic mixture, sprayed my skillet with Pam, and placed it over high to get really hot. The scallops cooked 3 minutes on each side, which meant that by the time I had placed the pound of scallops in the skillet, it was just about time to start turning. And that was it.

My only advice is to avoid the temptation to overcook scallops, which makes them rubbery. I'm convinced most people have never enjoyed a perfectly cooked scallop. If they have, there would be a lot more scallop lovers among us.

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