Homemade Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam

Now that I am starting to eat healthy (and I hope it sticks this time), I am starting to open my eyes to something that never even occurred to me before.  Why am I so fat?  I mean, when I was a kid, I ate the same things that I eat today and I wasn’t fat then, so why now?  It’s not an overeating issue because I can eat a healthy portion and yet I can’t lose weight easily.  Well, now that I am eating healthy non processed foods, I am finally starting to lose weight.  Why is that?

Here’s the thing.  We’re all hearing all this stuff in the news about what they (food producers) use to make and preserve all of the food that they sell and all of the pesticides that go into the plants (corn) that they use to preserve and sweeten our food.  What is a pesticide?  It’s a poison.  We are knowingly or unknowingly putting poison into our bodies.  Have you seen the size of chickens today compared to chickens 20 to 50 years ago?  They were very tiny back then, now they are fat and they grow really fast.  Why is that?  Because they are injecting growth hormones into them to make them bigger.  We are knowingly or unknowingly putting growth hormones into our bodies by eating those chickens.  They are injecting those into the cows and turkeys too.  Nothing is safe.

I haven’t really done any research so I can’t verify everything I just said because I don’t know for a fact that that is what is happening.  But it’s a good question as to why we are getting so fat all of a sudden compared to so many decades ago.

Pardon me, let me adjust my tin foil hat… there, that’s better.

What does that have to do with homemade peanut butter and strawberry jam?  Here’s what.  Look at the list of ingredients that are in a jar of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter and Knott’s Berry Farm Strawberry Preserves.

pbj jars

I apologize that the Jif label is ripped conveniently on the part that I wanted you to read lol.  It was already like that when I bought it and I have no idea what it says, but it doesn’t matter because it already has too many ingredients which proves my point.

Let’s look at the ingredients though.  Roasted peanuts, hydrogenated vegetable oil, mono and diglycerides, molasses, sugar and salt.  What problem do I have with those ingredients?  Well, for one, you can make your own homemade peanut butter if you have a food processor or a blender by simply blending a jar of unsalted planters peanuts until they are in chunks, then add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of molasses or brown sugar or whatever sweetener you want, or you don’t even need to add any sweetener if you don’t want to or if you are diabetic..  That’s all you need.  You can add some cinnamon if you want, but that is totally up to you, but at least you know what you are eating.  Watch this video for a tutorial on how to make it.

Take a look at the ingredients in the strawberry jam.  Strawberries, high fructose corn syrup, more corn syrup, sugar, fruit pectin and citric acid.  You can make your own strawberry jam and even store some in your pantry if you follow the instructions in the video below.  All she uses is strawberries, sugar, pectin and lemon juice which is your citric acid.  That’s it.  No high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup.  That is just so unnecessary.

 

I am going to start making our own peanut butter and strawberry jam from now on.  Have you seen the prices on those at the store?  We don’t buy them too often because of how expensive they are.  It only just occurred to me that I could probably make these things a lot cheaper, and now I see that is true.  Of course I don’t plan on going crazy jarring food, but it doesn’t hurt to make a few jars of this and that every few months or whenever you run out of things.

One of the homemade things I made recently is homemade applesauce.  All I did was peeled an apple, chopped it up, put it in a little pan with a little bit of water and let it boil until the apple was soft.  I crushed it and mixed some cinnamon and a tiny bit of brown sugar and viola, applesauce.  You don’t even need to add the brown sugar because it’s sweet enough on its own, I just wanted the extra sweetness of the brown sugar.  I am seriously considering buying a bag of apples so I can make many jars of applesauce to keep in the pantry.  I don’t eat enough apples because I don’t particularly care for them in their solid form, but I do love applesauce.

So there you have it.  You can make your own healthy PB&J and it’s way cheaper than buying jars at the grocery store.  Not only will you save a lot of money, but you know exactly what you are eating.

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My Weight Loss Journey – Week 2

On January 5th, 2013, I was looking through the Google Play app store on my Android phone for an app to help me lose weight.  I had downloaded a few apps that would help record my walking and bike rides with GPS and would tell me everything my bicycle computer tells me and more, but they didn’t help me record my eating habits or tell me what to eat.  The front page of the app store had a featured app called Noom Coach.  I downloaded it and checked it out and it was way more than I was expecting in an app.  I had the free version with limitations and after only a few days decided that I had to purchase the pro version.  Yes, I was that confident in this app after only a few days.

I am only in my 2nd week with this app and I have already lost 8.4lbs.  I only expected to lose 2lbs a week, so this is quite surprising that I have lost more than double my goal each week.  Then again the first week or two are the easiest, I won’t count my chickens until the 3rd or 4th week.

week 2-1week 2-2

I am over 100lbs overweight and my goal is to just get down to 200lbs which means losing 63lbs.  I have tried to set goals to lose all of the weight before and becoming disappointed when it failed because my goal was set too high.  I have been told to set smaller goals because you reach smaller goals faster.  When the small goal is finished, then I can set another small goal.  Although, setting my goal for more than half of what I need to lose is not quite a small goal, I think that I can reach it because this app is motivating me to.  If it doesn’t then I will adjust my goal to make it easier.

We haven’t been exercising as much as we should.  I could give 2 excuses as to why, but what’s the point?  I mean, I hate to make excuses for why I can’t do something because excuses are why I fail.  These are good ones though.  It’s cold outside and we both have bad backs and it hurts to walk.  There, I said it.  The cold part is a BS excuse, but the back pain is legitimate.  With that said, we have been walking 2 or 3 days a week for maybe 1 mile or more each time.

Arctic Cooling P311 Bluetooth Sports Headset I have way more weight to lose than my partner does.  I was at 263lbs and he was around 200, so I have to do double the work which is why I bought myself a new pair of Arctic Cooling P311 Bluetooth Headset for Sports from Amazon for my HTC One V android phone so that I can ride my bicycle when it starts to get warm outside.  I can keep my phone in my camelbak which will have the Noom app recording my exercise while letting me listen to my music, and the bluetooth will allow me to accept phone calls at the push of a button on the headphones.  Although I’m not sure if it will accept the call automatically or if I have to push the button, I will find out soon enough.  I thought I read in a review that it automatically shuts off the music when a call comes in and resumes when you hang up.

The headphones that I bought aren’t the best, I mean, they didn’t get the best reviews, but they were $30 which is way more than I could afford.  The headphones that are in the $60’s-$100’s range are the best, so I am getting what I paid for.  I saw in one video review that the mic sucks for taking calls while you are on your bike or walking, but are amazing indoors.  I don’t really have much of a choice in the matter, so it’s the best I can do with what money I have available to me.  But it has been my experience that people who do reviews are spoiled with the more expensive products they test, so to them it might be a horrible pair of headphones, but perhaps it will be fine for me.  I can say that because my phone got horrible reviews and it’s way better than they gave it credit for.

Cycling seems to be the best exercise for me because I am sitting which doesn’t hurt my back.  Walking is fine if I walk 1 or 2 miles, but I can ride 23 miles a day on my bicycle which means I can burn more than a quarter of my days meals on the bicycle which will help me lose more weight and will get me to my goal faster.  Not that I want or need to rush anything, but it will help.  It’s too cold now, so I will get to it when it starts warming up in the Spring.  I bought the headphones now so that I could afford to fix my bike next month.  I can’t afford to do both in the same month.  I would also like to buy some bicycle shorts and a bicycle shirt to make riding more comfortable.

I am finally eating healthy and enjoying it.  We have been buying the Weight Watchers frozen dinners at Food Maxx for $1.88 each with a $2 coupon for 10, so we’re saving money on that.  We’re also eating more fruits and vegetables than before, which is a very good thing.  I don’t drink soda (diet or otherwise) very often, so that’s not an issue.  The fruit seems to satisfy my sweet tooth, for now.  I have been looking up recipes for cookies that use bananas and apples so that I can make a very low calorie sweet treat without compromising our diet.  I found a good banana oatmeal cookie recipe that uses applesauce in place of sugar, they even tell you how to make it with real apples.  I think I might try to make those today for our late night snack.  I also bought some bottles of Slim Fast specifically for when we have a chocolate craving, but I have a feeling those won’t last the week.

I know that 8.4lbs isn’t a lot to be blogging about so soon, but it’s a good start and I feel confident that I will keep it up this time.  I will keep this blog updated on my progress every week when I do my weigh-ins too.  Not that anyone really cares, but it will help me to talk about it, even if I am just talking to myself.

Dunkin’ Cruelty?

I just read an update on Facebook by someone who is a comedian Carol Leifer and she is asking people to support this.  It’s called Dunkin’ Cruelty.  It’s a website that someone has created, most likely someone from PETA, to urge people to beg Dunkin’ Donuts to stop using eggs and dairy in their donuts.

You know, I am all for helping animals from animal cruelty and all but how exactly is this going to impact the egg and dairy industry?  First of all they are urging them to stop using eggs AND dairy yet they only talk about how cruel the chickens are treated, not about the cows.  And 2nd of all, what the hell do you think they serve at EVERY restaurant in the world?  Eggs and Dairy.  So why is it that out of all the restaurants in the whole world you are pickin’ on Dunkin’ Donuts?

How horrible are their donuts going to taste with no eggs in them?  I mean seriously.  Why not just boycott Dunkin’ Donuts and get it over with instead of begging them to bland up their donuts?  How exactly do you make a donut without eggs?

I guess I don’t see the point in this.  Human beings need eggs for protein and they need dairy to build strong bones.  Eggs are not fertile, they aren’t going to be a future chicken since they are not fertilized by a male and the milk is produced by cows daily anyway so why can’t all the carnivores enjoy their eggs and milk and leave us alone?