Sunday, March 27, 2011
I have so much fun measuring my food at this point. I feel bad scolding my hubby when he does not measure, but sometimes he makes it hard to track (but I DO really appreciate that he like to help in the kitchen.) I caught him 'measuring' with a plain 'ole kitchen 'table spoon' the other day. That made me chuckle... I had to explain that tableware and measuring spoons are NOT created equal. It reminded me that my mom used to give up cough syrup, etc. from the same tableware we are using today. It's not even close.
I'm just going to put some measurements here for my own recording and to help others who may be just starting on their SparkJourney. It has taken me a while to get some of these down.
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint
4 cups = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 U.S. gallon
8 quarts = 1 peck (dry)
16 ounces = 1 pound
I had no idea how much an extra tablespoon here and there added up!! I used to pile low-fat sour cream on everything, probably a quarter cup at a time!! I am living proof that switching to lower-fat versions of food does not mean that you can eat an unlimited amount of it. Not long ago, one of the questions on a SparkQuiz was "what is the first thing you should look at on the nutritional information." The answer was SERVING SIZE!! I still eat some foods that aren't 'whole' or particularly good for you, but 1 teaspoon of hot sauce isn't going to ruin my world. (ZERO cals, but 200 mg of sodium!)
So happy to be heading in the right direction while feeling well fed!
On an unrelated note: I never would have thought that I would see that day that our kitchen was filled with so many healthy foods. Quinoa, steel cut oats, bulgur wheat, flax seeds, beans, chickpeas, greek yogurt, copious amounts of fruits and veggies... I didn't even know what some of those things were until two months ago. (lol) Be healthy, be adventurous and don't forget to have fun along the journey. Mindset DOES have a lot to do with your success! When I used to think of it as dieting, I was setting myself up for failure. Since considering this a lifestyle change to maintain the rest of my days, I have given myself the focus to succeed. It's not about the scale as much as it is getting healthier. NO DIETS!!
I hope everyone has had a great weekend!!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Not sure why, but I am starting this week feeling like I am in a fog. I am a bit overwhelmed with freelance work right now and have some time planned off coming up, but the weeks leading up to the time off will be hectic, unfortunately. I can't seem to focus at the moment and I really NEED to be focused now... I think I'm just feeling a pulled in too many directions ans not sure how to fix it. ("I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread." for any LOTR fans out there.) I wanted to get a lunch blog in to dust the cobwebs out of my brain.
Trying to stay positive. It is a beautiful day, I can hear the birds singing outside my open window and just caught an error in my breakfast tracking (in my favor!)
I have been trying to ween myself off of the constant food tracking in the past week. I still track everything, but am trying to learn to fly on my own. It's working! I typically eat a meal, then track after to see how I did. I was disappointed in myself for not doing well at breakfast, until I noticed an extra item added in ERROR - once removed I was perfectly on track to where I thought I should be! Proud of myself again.
I did have a couple meals that I ate processed foods recently, but nothing horrible when portioned carefully. I've always cooked fresh foods quite a bit but used processed foods when in a time crunch. (Who doesn't love Mrs. T's pierogis?!?) We've cut back significantly. We still have some 'convenience' foods left that I refuse to just waste. All in moderation... if I use something up once a week, it won't hurt me. (Except that little box of Steak-Umms!) I can't believe how gross most processed food tastes to me now. What I had on Sunday for lunch almost turned my stomach. It coated the inside of my mouth with a greasy texture even though it didn't technically have much fat in it at all. I couldn't finish it! lol
What I have been the most pleasantly surprised about is how awesome I have become at eyeballing portions. I put what I think is one tablespoon of an ingredient into my palm, then measure it. I want to be able to function outside of the home better - eating out occasionally EEK! Multiple times I have cut meat into what I see as a certain weight in ounces, weighed it to check myself and been SPOT ON!! Literally, I cut a piece of chicken that looks like 3 oz and it weighed EXACTLY 3.0 oz. It's become a dorky little game for me. My husband occasionally joins in on the fun. I know a fraction of an ounce isn't the end of the world (we don't take it too seriously), but this has been instrumental in retraining my brain on portions. That was where I needed major improvement.
I am still struggling with people around me not taking me seriously. They are poking fun at me and my healthier lifestyle. I had hoped that at least one friend would partake on this journey with me so we could support each other. I don't expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon, but be more respectful at least. I try not to judge others, make fun of them, or force feed food to them. I went out to eat at a Irish pub-style restaurant with one of my besties last week for St. Patty's Day. I had carefully portioned grilled chicken, steamed veggies and a bit of rice pilaf. Lots of water with lemon, of course. She ate a sandwich without the bread in order to ingest a mountain of seasoned french fries (and the chicken sandwich was smothered in spinach artichoke dip.) That's her "diet!" She's the one friend I thought would totally do this with me as she is trying to lose weight before a friends wedding... Not planning to take any diet tips from her! (chuckle) I wish her all the best. She's lost a lot of weight before (maybe not in the healthiest way) but always gains it back and then some. I wanted to lose weight together so we could KEEP the weight off and KEEP UP a healthy lifestyle together. Disappointed that I haven't been able to spread the Spark... yet.
I hope everyone has a great week filled with beautiful weather worthy of outdoor adventures and singing birds!!
It looks like the fog is lifting.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I have to open this with I'm a HUGE salad fan. I always have been and eat them rather often. I started tracking my fiber a couple weeks ago and was floored that I was having single digit days. (far from 25-35!) So I have been trying to still have my salads regularly, but try to add more fiber into them - chick peas, broccoli and everything but the kitchen sink.
After I carefully measured, chopped and dressed my salad today, I picked it up off the counter to go dig in... It was soooo heavy! I thought to myself, "This has to be a pound and a half of salad." So out of curiosity, I weighed it: 1 pound 5 ounces in the bowl!! I should have taken a picture of it - it was beautiful and colorful. It was a bit higher in calories than it should have been because I caved and added an extra tablespoon of gorgonzola crumbles and a full 1/2 cup of chick peas. (I was a bit under my fiber yesterday and wanted to make sure I did better today.) But it is well within all my nutritional goals for the day.
I'm just curious if anyone else is having this 'problem' of ending up with MONSTER-SIZED salads? Should I feel this guilt over making a 21 ounce salad? Even though I know it's healthy and I'm keeping on track with my daily goals and have been losing a steady pound a week all year so far eating like this... I feel like such a HOG some days!! I have been trying to add FULL serving of each kind of veggie, and when I do, I end up with well over a pound of salad. I guess a pound of salad is way better than eating a pound of pizza! ;)
And yes... I ate the whole darn thing!!
Any other folks with big honkin' salads out there? lol
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