Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, Monday through Friday: two whole wheat waffles with a tablespoon each of peanut butter and homemade jam, with a cup of coffee and sugar-free vanilla caramel creamer. I try to eat nearly the same thing every day for lunch. Lately, it's been one of those pre-washed, shrink-wrapped microwave sweet potatoes with a quarter cup of ricotta, yogurt (Greek or Dannon Light n' Fit), and a piece of fruit. As an afternoon snack, I have a banana and a Kashi granola bar. In the evening, I have certain go-to meals which don't take much time to prepare and made with ingredients I always have on hand. On the weekends, I put either lots more time or lots less time into thinking about what I'm eating. It might be a big, carefully thought-out production, or it might be catch-as-catch-can (I'm often busy with projects and events on weekends). Weekends are a trouble spot right now. I am striving to stick to my goals 90% of the time.
Basically, I try to take thinking out of meal prep as much as possible. I can pop the waffles in the toaster oven and assemble my lunch and snack in my lunch bag while they toast. I can come home late from the gym, work or choir practice and have dinner ready in not much more than the amount of time it takes to feed my cat. Is it the most exciting way to eat? No. But it works for me.
Here's what happens when I don't stick to my plan:
- If I'm out of waffles (God forbid!), I might end up with a fast food breakfast that's easy to eat while I'm driving. At the low end, that's 680 calories for an Egg McMuffin, hashbrowns and a medium nonfat caramel latte. And that's if I'm good and don't opt for the sausage mcmuffin. At the high end, it's a visit to Tim Horton's. I'm not even going to try parsing that one, because I can never seem to stop myself from ordering a ten pack of Timbits, and that's at least 500 calories just for that part, so I'll skip calculating hashbrowns, a ham and egg muffin sandwich and a large mocha latte. (Note to self- you're NEVER going to Tim Horton's again!!!)
- For lunch, I might get soup and a salad from the cafe downstairs. I might go to Target to shop at lunch and end up with a personal pepperoni pizza and breadsticks. I might lose track of time and end up foraging from the snack machine in the break room (a 3.5 serving bag of Kar's Sweet and Salty Mix always seems to appeal to me there). Whatever the result, it ain't pretty. Even the soup and salad aren't as good an option as that "boring" lunch.
- And dinner? If I don't have a plan in place, I might give in to the siren song of Taco Bell and their seductive Mexican pizza, which you can bet I always order as a value meal. Or maybe it will be Arby's Beef and Cheddar, and I'll just have to get an order of mozzarella sticks. Because the cat loves them, of course.
I'm not good at menu planning. I get the best of intentions and will make a two week menu. I might even stick to it for the full two weeks. But I can't keep it up. The way I figure, my "same old, same old" way of eating is also menu planning, just menu planning where you really only have to plan one or two days. For some people it might be like a culinary version of the movie "Groundhog Day." I prefer to think of it as an efficient re-use of resources. It also makes it really easy to enter in the SP nutrition tracker! I use "copy meal to another day" constantly.
I'm rarely feeding anyone else, so I never have to worry about "stir fry again?" type griping. And let me tell you, I've been eating a baked sweet potato for lunch nearly every day for the past two weeks, and every single time I open the microwave door I say, "That smells so good!" I never used to like eating leftovers when I was a kid. Now that I decide what's for dinner, I am perfectly happy eating the same favorite dishes every day. I once had hoppin' John for dinner every day for a week and had to fight with myself not to make another batch that Sunday!
I started doing this two years ago and lost over 50 pounds. I let myself go off the rails last year and I gained 33 pounds of it back. So I'm back on my dietary Chessie System, chugging along and I plan to drop off all of my excess "freight" along the way. No more derailments for me!
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Apparently, Girl Scouts are like my own personal Khan.
So, eating an entire box of Savvanah Smiles last night was not the absolute worst thing I have ever done, nutrition-wise. But clearly it cannot happen again. I have one box of Thin Mints and one box of Trefoils remaining, and they are going to get packaged up into individual portions (and half of those portions are going into the freezer. The *downstairs* freezer. Or maybe the garage freezer at my parents' house, 250 miles from my house. Nah, that's a little too extreme.
Anyway, I'm having certain... issues with eating lately. The obvious solution is to stop buying the sorts of snacks that cause binge eating. Another obvious solution: don't sweep it under the rug. Which is what I'm doing right now. I'm shining a light on my fat tooth and my sweet tooth and exposing them to the world. I'm hoping it will sort of cauterize them.
It's worth a shot.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I noticed something interesting when preparing to enter my lunch foods today. I rely pretty heavily on the nutritional information that others have entered in the food search and often take it for granted that people will enter the correct info or that the info will be up-to-date. I couldn't remember which yogurt I had packed for my lunch today, so I checked the label and incidentally, looked at the calorie info. It was lemon and I suspected it might be less than strawberry. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was 100 calories. Stonyfield Organic yogurts often get dinged for being higher calorie because they have a much higher sugar content compared to other sweetened yogurts.
When I searched for Stonyfield Organic lemon yogurt, I found entry after entry showing 140 and 130 calories, but none for 100 calories. Turns out that all of the Stonyfield 0% Fat Smooth and Creamy yogurt flavors now are 100 calories because they have replaced some of the sugar with stevia. (Fruit on the Bottom flavors do not contain stevia and are still higher calorie and their plain yogurt is still 80 calories per 6 ounce cup.)
Personally, I don't have any complaint about stevia. I prefer it to the aspartame and fructose in other flavored fat free yogurts. I know some people don't like any kind of artificial sweetener, even when that sweetener is "natural." What made me post about this is that if I hadn't checked the label, I would have entered 30-40 calories that I didn't actually consume. This is a fairly recent change (they swapped for stevia about 6 months ago), so most of the info in the food search database is out-of-date.
I think it's important to remember that food manufacturers often change things like ingredients and serving sizes and that foods that appear to be packaged as single servings often contain more than one serving. I once saw a packet of hot fudge sauce that said "Single Serving Size" on the front and "Number of servings per container: 2" on the back. So double check those labels before eating and entering foods, folks!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I crossed my second forbidden watershed weight recently. I remember when I got to my lowest weight in ten years. I said I'd never be over 200 pounds again. I also expressed how happy I was to no longer be part of the obesity epidemic.
Then I lost sight of my goals. I started eating whatever I wanted. I stopped working out regularly. Before I knew it, I was inching over 200 pounds again. I could make excuses and say, "Well, it's not that much. I can lose it again with no problems." But the other day I stepped on the scale and it said 220. There's no way that even I- master of making excuses that I am- can try to explain that one or be anything even approaching casual about it.
I'm not happy about this. It's one of only a very small handful of things I don't like about me and my life. (Despite the weight gain, I still have extremely high self-esteem.) So I'm trying again, and this time I'm determined to make it stick. I'm still working on a plan, so I'm not making any grand pronouncements yet. I do know that I don't have as many roadblocks concerning my schedule as I used to have, so it should be easier to manage. Whether that ends up being true or not is entirely up in the air.
I can say that I am all steely determination. However, if intentions were all it took, we would all be slender and healthy, right?
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The past couple of days, I've done really well with my planned eating. I'm able to stay in bounds without too much trouble. It's what happens when I finish dinner that's the problem. I keep hitting the snack foods. Last night, I even said, "I'm full" out loud and meant it. (Lots of veggies and leftover chicken for dinner.) And then I ate an entire bag of 99% Fat Free microwave popcorn and chased it with a glass of sangria. Grr! I'm not hungry. I'm not bored. I'm just... graze-y. And food is there. Ugh. I suspect it was mainly a lack of salt driving the urge to eat. The only snack foods I considered were salty.
I think I need to start a new knitting project to keep my hands busy after dinner.
Anyway, today I'm faced with my third consecutive night of leftover chicken. I made a beer can chicken on Saturday and have been working my way through the leftovers since then. I have two more nights remaining, including tonight. But what to do with the chicken? Last night and the night before, I ate it plain and had vegetable leftovers on the side. Today, I feel like being a bit zestier. I'm just not sure what to do. I have this vague notion of chicken nachos, but I'm a bit stymied by a lack of traditional nacho ingredients. I have Garden Fresh salsa and chips. I have no nacho-ish cheese (I have sliced swiss and some fresh goat cheese), no tomatoes, no sour cream and no beans. I also have a cucumber and some salad greens (I think they're still good). Is it weird that I can see putting a cucumber on nachos? Not until after heating, of course. I mean, I get them on everything I order from Moe's, so why not?
I think I may have just talked myself into eating chicken and goat cheese nachos with cucumber and salsa. And when you put it that way, it sounds so much better than it did when it was just a bunch of random ingredients. Oh! And I just realized that I have a can of black beans! YAY! I think dinner is a go.
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