My weight loss has been a long, hard journey, but I am getting there. When I started I was obese according to the chart on my doctor’s wall. Now, with 25 pounds left to lose, I am merely overweight. (Imagine being happy to be “merely overweight”!) The rough spots in the road have not been entirely due to failures on my part to faithfully record my every calorie or to stay under my daily calorie limit: sometimes, for largely unknown reasons, you hit a plateau. Your body just says, “Nah, you go on without me. I’ll stay here at this weight where I’m comfortable.” And you can’t budge. Your routine is the same as it has been — a routine that has been working for weeks, maybe even months — and now you’re stuck at an arbitrary weight for no discernible reason. So what you have to so is make a (sometimes drastic, usually brief) change to your routine: cut 200-500 more calories a day, add more time or reps to your workout, something like that. When I plateaued at 180 I added exercise, which had been missing from my program until then. A week later I started losing again. When I hit another plateau at 160 I disappeared my beloved fried egg on toast breakfast and switched to oatmeal. And to further cut calories — but keep my oatmeal tasting rich — I prepared it with almond milk instead of cow milk. (1% cow milk has 102 calories per cup and unsweetened almond milk has just 40.)
A book I read recently to review here inspired me to try making my own almond milk. I don’t have a blender or a juicer or a soy milk maker but I do have a tiny little 2 cup capacity food processor. Following directions on StyleThatFood (directions which were very similar to the ones in the book but included sweetening tips and nutrition data) I managed to make a batch.
Because I don’t have a blender I put half the nuts and a cup of water in my little chopper, pour the chopped stuff and the rest of the water into a quart mason jar, repeat, and let it stew overnight in the fridge. In the morning I strain through a jelly bag into another quart jar and sweeten with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (1 tsp was way too much for me) and 2 tablespoons of regular sugar. By my calculations that makes my almond milk 67 calories per cup, which is still “cheaper” than the moo milk. (But even buying my almonds from the bulk bins I’m only saving $0.01 per cup!)
Homemade almond milk tastes and acts just like the real thing, but it is much thinner due to the lack of thickening agents. But its also fun and easy to make. And, depending on your water to almonds ratio and the price of almonds in your area you could save a lot more than me!