Don’t be afraid of change

When you are carrying some extra weight there might come a point in time when you finally decide enough is enough. It might be when you see yourself in a photograph from a friend’s wedding, it might be when you have to make another whole in your belt to make it fit around your waist again, or it might be in clothes store, in  a change room realizing that the sizes you pick out no longer fit. Whenever that moment happens you will decide right then and there that change is needed, because you no longer feel like yourself. At that moment you will feel like you have just stepped out of your body and started looking at yourself from the side and not recognizing what you see. I know, I have been there.

At that particular moment your will is going to be so strong that nothing will be able to break it until you feel like yourself again. When you get to that breaking point you somehow are going to be able to find it in yourself to change. You will turn bad habits into good ones. You will ditch the bad foods and replace them healthy choices. Your plate will look more colourful and you will move more. You will start to see your body change. Eventually, though, you might want to indulge again. After all, you don’t want to have to say good-bye to all the yummy foods forever. You want to feel like they are available to you in moderation. The good news is, they are and better yet, if you can truly change your thinking about food, they might be available every day! Here is how.

Pasta is one of those foods that we all love to hate. We love it for its yummy, starchy qualities, but we really hate what too much pasta can do to our love-handles. Let’s face it, it’s not pretty and most of us women want to have  slender backs that are a pleasure to look at. Pasta won’t get you there. However, if you are willing to change your understanding and appreciation for pasta there is another way to enjoy it. It’s called NuPasta!

Yes, its name implies that it’s pasta we are taking about but you really need an open mind and a willingness to try NU-kind-of-PASTA to be able to enjoy it. So, what’s so special about it and why should you swap the regular stuff for NuPasta? What’s special is that a package of this pasta is 210g and will fill you up to the brim and only worth 25 calories! Let’s compare a standard wheat pasta to NuPasta:

NuPasta Wheat Pasta
210g serving 100g serving
25 calories 130 calories
1g fat 1.7g fat
6g carbs 24g carbs
1g protein 5g protein

The problem with regular pasta is that it is very carb dense and we all know if you want to lose weight you will need to get those starchy carbs under control. So, even though it’s tasty, regular wheat pasta will not make your love handles go away. NuPasta, at double the cooked weight can be enjoyed daily at no harm to your slender physique, because it is very low in carbs, only 6g.

Now, here is where your open-mind needs to open real wide, because if you are expecting the texture, taste and palatability of regular wheat pasta, you will be very disappointed and will most definitely get turned off and not like NuPasta. This product only resembles wheat pasta in its appearance and name. It does not taste like regular pasta and it does not behave like regular pasta. First of all, when you buy it, you will notice that it is already cooked and is sitting in a liquid. All you need to do is remove it from the liquid and rinse it and of course dress it however you want to dress it. If you are used to cooking pasta in heavy cream sauces you will be disappointed because this pasta does not absorb liquids well. I would say that it has zero absorbability. So what can you do with it? I keep it very simple. Usually use some hot sauce and spices and of course add protein to it. Sometimes I use it as a “volumizer” for my high carb day when I add rice to it.

IMG_20160715_124339449_HDR-01
This is my typical lunch during workday. This particular one features 1 package of Nupasta, 100g rice, 3oz of baked chicken and some mushrooms and onions. You might be asking yourself why am I using a low carb product on a high carb day… Well, 100g of rice is not very much food in terms of volume, but already packs 23g of carbohydrates and – depending on your goals – this might be as much as you can afford per meal. However, I like to eat big, so by adding 210g of NuPasta I’m creating quite a bit of volume at only 6g of carbs.

 

Because I favour my baked chicken with all sorts of spices I feel that this meal does not require any type of heavy cream sauces to make it palatable. In fact, all I did with the rice and the pasta is added some smoked paprika, pepper, salt and a good splash of hot sauce. The secret here is to enjoy the natural flavours of food and nothing makes a meal taste like a million bucks the way caramelized onions and mushrooms!

Here is another use of NuPasta in a lunch of 2 sunny-side-ups:

IMG_20150820_161806
I believe this dish actually got some low-fat cream cheese as a coating for the pasta. Just a tiny bit, probably 10-20g of cream cheese is all that it took to make it slightly different and a bit creamy. I also used some cherry tomatoes to give it tartness. Once you dig into those egg yolks and let them coat the pasta you might decide this is heaven and you no longer need any wheat pasta in your life!
Here is another take, more of a traditional use of NuPasta:
IMG_20160723_145437684_HDR-01
As you can see, still no sauce! Tons of herbs, as always and radish for healthy crunch.

If I was to describe the taste and texture of NuPasta I would have to say it’s one of a kind. It has a springy quality. You can’t overcook it and I usually don’t cook it, per say. I might reheat it by tossing it in some coconut oil in a frying pan , but it does not require any amount of cooking.

Even though a package of this pasta is not very light – the actual pasta weighs 210g and it is immersed in liquid, so I would say between 300 and 400g for one meal –  I have taken it with me hiking. Now, granted it was car camping, so weight was not of big concern, but still I immensely enjoyed it in its most basic, simple form accompanied by smoked salmon, cashews, coleslaw and generous squeeze of ketchup and mustard :

IMG_20150831_115855~2
The feeling of being able to eat a homemade real food while camping was very comforting to me. This meal could have been as easily prepared at home, on a ceramic plate instead of a plastic bowl. However, eating it at a campsite made it so much more delicious!

Granted, if you are undertaking long distance, thru-hiking where lightness of your load is of the essence you probably will be better off with dry wheat pasta or any of the Uncle Ben’s type of pasta dishes. For one, they will be light and two you will need all the carbs you can get 🙂 However, if I ever decide to join in a hike again, I am sure going to pack at least one of these babies with me, even if I have to smuggle it in! Or I might finally break down and order a dry version of this pasta from Candra International – their site is still under construction and currently only taking orders over the phone (I know, I can’t wait either!)

So, that’s a wrap for a New type of pasta that’s here to stay on my menu!

Leave a Reply