Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tonight is New Year's Eve. Will you end it in a food coma? You know the feeling -- bloated, tired, not quite sure what you ate but you know it was way more than you should have.
Do you have a plan in place? Do you know where you're going, or what you're serving if you're ringing in the new year at home? What healthy snacks will you eat to keep hunger at bay, which foods can you pass up, and which foods you really want to eat? Do you have a plan to get in some exercise today to counterbalance that extra food? Maybe push yourself a little harder?
If you haven't considered all this yet, now is the time to start! When you're starving and faced with a plate of appetizers is no time to just throw caution to the winds, especially if you're planning to drink, too.
A food coma is when you inhale food without tasting it. And what's the point of that? Isn't the point of good food to savor it? Another nugget from the book I'm currently reading: we shouldn't be spending our time thinking about the food we want to eat, we need to be enjoying the foods we love -- in moderation.
I think that's part of why I am usually satisfied. I don't give up anything. There's a time and a place for everything. We are staying in tonight (heck, there's no way I stay up to midnight anyway, and Lola's afraid of the inevitable firecrackers in the neighborhood). Still, we're having a special dinner. So I've made sure that there's been precious little unconscious snacking the last few days. No eating a few chocolate chips when I make my chocolate banana peanut butter wrap in the morning (it's on Cookbook Maven, btw). No soy whipped cream in my hot chocolate. Yogurt with granola for dessert.
I've also made a conscious effort to get at least my 10,000 steps in this week. I fell short more often than usual last week. I went with my husband on the afternoon dogwalk Monday, because I was coming up short. I went to the mall yesterday, and made sure I did plenty of walking in the 2 hours I was there. Today will be a little difficult, since I have to take Chester to the vet for his annual, and their morning walk needs to be later. But we'll do it, because I need my 10,000 steps.
I've got tonight covered. No chips in the house. No candies. A decadent dinner, but planned for. No drinking. I don't drink anyway. I gave up drinking long ago, because I'd rather eat my calories than drink them. I've never missed it. If you do drink tonight, know that it makes it way easier to overeat -- but SP already has plenty of articles for you. Find them. Read them. Use them.
But tomorrow, tomorrow is a different story. We're getting together with friends for dinner. They chose a restaurant I've always wanted to go to, one known for its desserts. Since we're moving in a few months and this is my only chance, I plan to order what I want, including dessert (I'm not planning on dessert other than maybe yogurt with granola tonight -- or maybe apple crumble).
I also plan to savor every bite. Here's a trick for savoring: close your eyes while you eat. It's amazing how you can slow down and really taste what you're eating when you close out all distractions. I probably won't be closing my eyes tomorrow night, but I've been using that a lot this week. I bought some challah to make some baked french toast for tomorrow (get ready today, refrigerate it, then just pop it in the oven tomorrow). I love challah. I've been known to eat one in about 3 days. A bite here, a bite there, and it's all gone.
I had a small piece of challah with my soup for lunch yesterday. I closed my eyes while I ate it. And I was totally satisfied with that small piece, not to mention full for hours afterwards. In the past, I would have gone back for more challah.
And if you do fall into a coma tonight? Tomorrow is another day. Heck, it's a new year! No more excuses. No more I'll start tomorrow. Start with your next snack or meal. Where would Dara Torres or Michael Phelps be if they quit after one bad race?
Most of all, enjoy yourself, and have a healthy, happy New Year!
On Cookbook Maven today:
The Vegan's 100
How many odd foods have you eaten? Share on your blog and let me know!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It's that time of the year again. SP, the gyms, WW, etc. are all about to be innudated with people looking to drop a few (or a lot) of pounds. Some will be successful, but more will fall by the wayside -- yet again -- because they want it off yesterday.
I wish it worked that way. I get a bit annoyed when I see the ad on SP "I lost 43 pounds in 2 weeks". I know all about advertising supporting this site, because I used to work for an advertising-supported Website myself, but c'mon -- they can police the ads better than that. 43 pounds in 2 weeks is totally, utterly unrealistic (not to mention unhealthy).
Even expecting to lose 2 pounds a week every single week is unrealistic. Yes, your average weigth loss will be about 1-2 pounds a week, but there will be weeks when you gain; weeks when you maintain; weeks when you lose only a fraction of a pound.
The truth is it isn't about numbers. We'd like to think it is, and numbers can certainly be motivating -- but they can devastate us, too. A number is just a number. It doesn't tell you if you can now walk around the block without getting winded, instead of only being able to walk to the end of your driveway. It doesn't tell you if you can actually lace up your shoes from a sitting position for the first time in years.
There are truly no quick fixes because this isn't something you do for a while and then go back to all your old habits. This is your life. Right here, right now. If you're looking for a pot of chocolate at the end of that candy-colored rainbow, you're not in the right frame of mind yet to lose weight. If you can't picture yourself eating this way and exercising this much for the rest of your life, you've only set yourself up for another failure.
If you're in it for the long haul, though, you will succeed. Maybe not in the time frame you think you ought to, but you're a winner. And you've definitely come to the right place!
On Cookbook Maven today:
Baked potato skins
Look good for New Year's? Although I eat these as lunch or a dinner, not an appetizer.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Not just looking good in your jeans. Though of course looking good in your jeans is a side benefit.
I read this in a book this weekend. And it's so true! I think this is a big difference for me. When you're young, often the reason you want to lose weight is to look good. Sure, there are other benefits, but the bottom line is often how you look.
And the problem is that looks fade, no matter how good you take care of yourself. Which isn't to say you're doomed to a life of looking frumpy, so why bother, just that time waits for no man (or woman).
How you feel, though, that's different. Sure, you get mysterious aches and pains as you get older. But you get far fewer of them if you keep at a healthy weight. You have more energy. You can keep up with the hubby, the kids, the animals. How you feel is what is going to keep you moving through the tough times.
Loose to feel good, and you're already a winner.
Today on Cookbook Maven:
Crockpot baked potatoes
And maybe you need some baked pita chips or tortilla chips for New Year's?
One final word . . . did you know you now get 1 point per day for blogging? Seems those of us that blog get more support, so they want to encourage blogging. Works for me!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Last night we went out to eat at Romano's Macaroni Grill. I love Italian food; and unfortunately, I love all the rich stuff. I didn't plan out my meal beforehand, but I did remember looking up what I was going to have several months ago (something I often get there, and was curious just what was in it), and seemed to remember that of the choices, it really wasn't so bad.
And it isn't -- if you consider what else is on the menu. I have tried almost all the desserts there, for instance, and even if I share them with my husband (which I almost always do), they're still my entire WW points for a day!
I had the mushroom ravioli. This is not a low fat entree, and I know that. I must admit I was still pretty shocked when I looked up the points afterwards at www.dwlz.com/restaurants.html (a wonderful resource, btw) to see that the full entree is more than my entire points allotment for a day.
Only I didn't eat the entire thing. I only ate half. I had a salad with low fat Caesar dressing on the side (more on that later), and I did have 2 small slices of bread dipped in olive oil. I do think it was worth it, with one exception: I was not full afterwards. I adore their mushroom ravioli, but eating the whole thing is too much (and not just in fat grams), but half isn't quite enough. I probably should have thought about ordering some veggies as a side, but I didn't. Next time, maybe. I went home and had home made (fairly healthy) apple crumble for dessert.
Here's an interesting note: half this dish, which is what I ate, is about half my points for the day. Yet calorie-wise, it's really not that bad: about 450 calories (plus the bread and salad, of course). Still, not really devastating. The reason it's so many points is the amount of fat in it: 30 grams in half the entree -- probably as much fat as I ought to eat in the entire day.
I don't regret it. We haven't eaten there in months, and most of the time when we go out we get sushi, which is pretty healthy (and I also adore sushi -- funny how you can love both healthy food and absolutely unhealthy food at the same time). I enjoyed every single morsel. I ate slowly, and I savored every bite. If I'd added a side order of veggies, I probably wouldn't even think twice about it, because I probably would have felt full and wouldn't have missed dessert.
Oh, and the salad dressing I mentioned? I ordered it on the side; I always do. Most of my family does, then they go ahead and pour pretty much all that is brought to them on top of their salad, deluding themselves into thinking they have been virtuous. I dip my fork into the dressing before every bite. You'd be surprised how little you use that way, but you'll still enjoy the flavor.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
What a great question! It's not actually something I've given a whole lot of thought to. But other people are already coming out with their resolutions, and I read somewhere about having a goal for each month of the year.
So here goes (off the top of my head, in no particular order):
1. I want to be more positive. I keep trying; I used to think of myself as a positive person, but somehow I've become more negative than I'd like to be. I can't just talk the talk, I've got to walk the walk. Sometimes it's hard. My husband tends to be very negative, and that gets me going -- but it shouldn't. The more positive I am, the more positive he will be (someday!).
2. I hope to change my goal weight for WW to the high end of my range, and I hope that I get there this year. That won't be my personal goal, but I can stop paying if I reach my GW. If I can change it to what I want to change it to, that means I can stop paying in 14 - 16 lbs. I lost roughly 20 lbs this year, but that was just since April. Altho I joined SP in Feb., like many, I didn't get serious about it at first.
3. I want to go back to work for WW once I reach my GW. Except I became a leader after reaching my GW all those years ago. At the time, I was actually still struggling, although I didn't realize I was. In retrospect, I think I should have waited. Which begs the question, how long do I wait once I get down to GW before exploring going back to work for WW?
4. Maintain my weight when we move to NY. I really have to work for every pound gone, and I know I just won't have the time I have right now during the move.
5. Really make www.cookbookmaven.com a community. It isn't easy to find an audience, but I used to be a Guide for about.com -- so this really ought to be right up my alley. Only this time I call the shots.
5 seems like a nice, round number. None of them are easy goals. I need to think on month-by-month goals.
What do you want to happen in 2009?
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