Week 5 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Normal Weight Fluctuations)

Weight fluctuations
Person weighs 67.9 kg (149.7 lbs) on Day 3 at breakfast. After supper, 69.55 kg (153.3 lbs). That’s a 1.65 kg (3.64 lb) gain the same day. Weight decreases notably by next day (Day 4) breakfast.

Graph Source:  Wikimedia Commons (click here to see source)

Last Friday, my scale showed a mini weight gain. I had stayed within my daily calorie allowances. The gain annoyed me for that reason, and because it undid my accomplishment of reaching an interim goal. However, I knew I lost fat. Just knew it! I coughed up the gain to “other factors”, meaning water weight, hormonal fluctuations, and/or something else. My weight can fluctuate greatly, even within a day. So, I put that behind me. I expected that I’d see a good result today. Did I? See below. Continue reading

Week 4 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Simplifying Meal Prep)

Leftovers
Leftovers simplify meal prep for future meals and help prevent rash food choices.

Even as an enthusiastic cook, I sometimes need a break. I don’t want to halt my weight loss journey, just ease up on some of the effort and time needed for meal planning and preparation. Fatigue and excess stress can lead to bad food choices, I know. I have to avoid this. Ways to simplify meal prep and planning is this week’s topic. But first things first – see my week’s weight change below. Continue reading

Lovage Soup (Libečková polévka)

Lovage soup in a bowl

lovage
Just coming up in the spring. More stalks to come.

The herb lovage (levisticum officinale) is much more commonly used in Europe than the United States, but I’m lucky to say that it is a part of my herb garden. My Czech husband and I found it at a garden center in New Jersey, several years back. This sturdy tall perennial herb has come up every spring since, and lasts into early autumn.

Lovage has a flavor reminiscent of celery and parsley, so goes extremely well in soups and many other recipes. The whole plant is edible, even down to the roots, but in this recipe I use the stalks and leaves. Lovage is the star ingredient of this soup, along with root vegetables that add additional flavors, thickness, and a bit of sweetness. It’s important to use stalks with younger leaves, otherwise it can be slightly bitter. The recipe can be made vegetarian, or even vegan, easily. Continue reading

Week 3 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Yummy food helps me lose)

Week 3 image diet food helps me lose

I would have been quite surprised if I didn’t lose weight this past week! I was determined to meet my interim goal of reaching the next lower 10 lb weight bracket, by today. Though my exercise did slightly dip, my daily food allowances were not exceeded. And yet, I think that some would not have thought all of my daily menus diet-like. Menu planning takes effort, but it’s more than worth it. Loving to cook and bake helps, too. Curious about my week’s weight change? It’s right below. Continue reading

Diet-Friendly Wild Blueberry Blintzes

Diet Friendly Wild Blueberry Blintz1 (3)
Each blintz is ~ 120 calories, excluding whipped topping and extra berries (as made below)

Fewer than 20 minutes drive from my house is a Polish food shop. Having a Czech husband, that store’s presence is valuable, since some products are the same or similar as ones he grew up with. They always have fresh blintzes for sale, which I especially enjoy eating. Since theirs are definitely not low calorie, I worked out a version that is diet-friendly, but still tastes plenty good. Continue reading

Week 2 – Friday Fitness & Weight Loss Restart (Cognitive Distortion?)

Hikers in woods
Exploring new paths ends boredom.

I continued to stick to my eating plan perfectly, this second week of my Fitness & Weight Loss journey. My large Week 1 weight loss kindled my zeal to continue, along with some nice hikes in new places. I’m happy to report good results again, and share some of my newest observations. But first, my weigh-in results: Continue reading

Malakov Trifle (Malakoff Trifle)

Malakov closeup profile view
“Mňam!” as Czechs say.

My Czech mother-in-law frequently made this trifle version of a Malakov (sometimes spelled “Malakoff”). Treasures of yumminess, like slivered almonds, banana slices, orange segments, and raspberry preserves filled vanilla wafer cookie sandwiches, reside in an intensely delicious thick chocolate mousse, which she called “Paris Cream”. It is best left to chill for at least 24 hours before final decorating and serving. Everyone I know that has tasted this has been overwhelmed with pleasure. For that reason, I sometimes call it “Chocolate Paris Cream Delight”. Continue reading

Czech and Slovak Flours in the US and UK (and substitutions)

Czech-Slovak flours
Hladká (smooth), polohrubá (semi-coarse), and hrubá (coarse) mouka

In the past, I have posted several Czech recipes on my blog. As an enthusiastic home cook and baker in the US, it is natural that I would make my native Czech husband foods that he grew up eating in Prague. My mother-in-law was an excellent home cook, and I’m lucky that she shared several recipes.

My husband and I have been together for almost 25 years now. Early in our marriage, I struggled to get some Czech dishes right, but have since mostly mastered them. In the early years, the flours I had access to in the US (or rather didn’t) were issues. In this post, I describe some of the most commonly used flours in Czech Republic – particularly wheat-based flours – and possible substitutions. The main wheat flours in Czech Republic are described according to coarseness, from smooth all the way to very coarse. Continue reading

Mazanec (Czech Easter Bread)

As a follow-up to my Christmas cookies of Czech Republic post, I decided to share my mother-in-law’s Easter bread recipe (“Mazanec”, in Czech). Mazanec is a slightly sweet bread with some fruit and nuts, and subtle vanilla and lemon flavor. My Czech husband has always preferred Mazanec over the similar, but differently shaped, Christmas bread, called “Vánočka”. Continue reading

10 Varieties of Czech Christmas Cookies (České Vánoční Cukroví) and more

Christmas cookie platter 2018 metal (2)
My 2018 Christmas cookie platter. Not all Czech cookies in this post are shown above.

This post marks the end of my Czech Christmas cookie countdown. Phew! On November 11th, I posted my first of 10 Czech Christmas cookie/confection recipes, with my last posted yesterday, along with a bonus Czech sweet bread. According to my husband, my mother-in-law would make as many as 13 different varieties for their platter. Frankly, I can’t manage all of that baking! Continue reading