Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The P100-A-Day Challenge Part 4: Dinner

Continued from The P100-A-Day Challenge: Merienda.
You can also read the previous parts of this challenge here: Breakfast & Lunch.

We've finally gotten to the last part of the series after many digressions. Yay!!

When I was still working for Anino games, there was a weight loss challenge going on in the company. And during the earlier part of this "Poverty Diet", I wanted to lose weight along with my officemates because it seemed like such a fun idea. I was about 120lbs. Little did I know that I was not going to need it in a month.

I actually dropped to 115lbs within the first couple of days and then down to 112lbs in the second week. I was 110lbs within the month and tried to keep it there, but to my horror, I started dropping further. I'll discuss about that bizarre weight loss after enumerating what I ate for dinner.

Vegetarian siopao from Spring in Benavidez Street. Benavidez Street is parallel to Arnaiz Ave. (formerly Pasay Road). This costs about P40 and is filling but only for an hour.

Spring's signature fresh lumpia. For me, this is one of the best ones I've tasted out there. I used to eat fresh lumpia at Waltermart and it ain't quite as filling as this. Surprisingly enough, they were priced the same at P40.

There's Go Greek in Glorietta's Food Choices and much as I loved a full meal from this place, the lamb platter I used to order goes waaaaay past the P100/day limit. So with my tipidity mode on, I would have pita bread with yogurt cucumber sauce (tzatziki). This costs about P65.


The catch...
Thing is, my stomach was made to eat several times a day. It was not meant to go on a weight loss diet. Friends would sometimes joke that I am like a cow, which is known for having 5 stomachs (this isn't actually true but that's for a nerdier  discussion).

Because I'd have finished off my P100 for the day by the time I gobble up my dinner, there was nothing else left for me to do but drink soy milk (later almond milk) when my stomach started complaining late at night.

Needless to say, acid attacks began on the second month and I found myself in the emergency room again, just like in 2010, except I was now being threatened with surgery. Surgery!! Thank goodness, I felt empowered enough to say no and waited for my internal medicine doctor to help me out. (I swear, ERs are so obsessed with surgery!!) In the end, all that saved up money was used on buying meds again, just to keep me off the surgeon's table.


Cooking to gain a portion of my weight back:
At this point I was down to 106lbs, trying to bring my weight back up to 112lbs (am still at 110lbs as of this writing) and been struggling since. You think December eating would at least help me gain? Oh, yeah it did. For about a week. Then I lost it all again when acid attacks kept me from eating properly for three days, telling me that my body did not like the fat I bombarded it with.

So now I'm cooking dinner. Still within the P100/day limit, considering I spend roughly 1K every two weeks on groceries (and that already includes non-food stuff).

Ok, so I wanted to do my own version of Go Greek's pita with plain yogurt and cucumber sauce but I couldn't find pita bread at the time so I made do with tortillas. These are actually slightly browned, looking burned but not really. My ugly Tab camera had to use Vignette to darken the edges of the photo (just to minimize the ugliness hehe).

This one, toasted tortillas with home-made salsa and plain yogurt.

As I became desperate to gain weight, I started making heavier dinners, knowing that I would be awakened by hunger the next day. I still wait for 2 hours after dinner before sleeping, as the doctor ordered.

These are what I came up with:

Steamed cream dory in ponzu sauce (Japanese citrus-based sauce) on top of brown rice. Lots of spring onions and garlic, garlic, garlic!!!

My usual siding of plain lettuce salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. I sprinkled some leftover spring onions on it, too!

I think I've posted this photo before in Part 3 of this challenge, but this is so heavy that it ended up being dinner. Again, this is smoked chicken, melted cheddar cheese and organic lettuce on wheat bread. By the way, I bought the loaves of bread on a buy-one-take-on basis at Shopwise for around P40. So that's about P20/loaf.

The loaves last me for an entire week, and I am especially thankful for the bread during Hell Thursdays, when my day would be so packed that it's difficult to sit down and eat a full meal.

Herb's Best Amori's oven-baked carrot+squash pasta topped with slices of baked cream dory marinated in olive oil, thyme, rosemary, sage and basil. Sprinkled lots of toasted garlic because toasted garlic is <3.

Pepper rice. I used some leftover "Post-Valentine's Beef". Most of the ingredients here are leftovers anyway, though I had to cook a fresh batch of brown rice to give this a layered texture.

More leftover "Post-Valentine's Beef".  I don't usually eat meat (and I detest pork, except for bacon). So I really had to think of ways to make use of beef. This is beef stroganoff.

10 years ago, beef stroganoff and chicken ala king were the only things I knew how to make. This was originally based on a creamy recipe given to me by my friend Nix Cruz. My Tita Judith also suggested I use mustard (around 10 years ago).

To soften the beef, I immersed it in Bragg's, salt and pepper for about 30 minutes before cooking. I'm thanking Michelle Cu-Martinez for this discovery because I had been thinking of a healthier alternative for soy sauce. This is it!

Oh and the pasta is a combination of two Herb's Best Amori variants: Moringa+Spinach and Squash+Carrot. Anyhoo, you can read about the entire set of ingredients for this on my Facebook page.

That's about it! This is the last of my P100-A-Day Challenge. I still have not gained the weight I'm trying to achieve, but I'm probably going to blame my ultra active lifestyle (of running from one school to the next) for that now.

Oh and guess what? I'm no longer on meds. =^.^=



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