JLITT62   52,035
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Stuck in a rut?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I think our bodies become accustomed not only to exercise, but to food, too. It's easy to get really comfortable with the same meals all the time. After all, they worked in the beginning, didn't they?

But when things slow down or get stuck, it's time to regroup. I change up my exercise routine every month or so -- why not what I eat?

It's not that I don't eat a lot of variety; I do. I have just never been able to cook the same thing over and over again. Occasionally I'll like something so much that I'll eat it over and over again, but mostly, I'm making new things all the time.

Still, I reach for the same breakfasts all the time. Pretty much the same snacks. My weight progress chart is flat lining though, so it's time to try some new stuff. I have a tendency to enjoy sweet things for breakfast, and even though I'm now enjoying pretty healthy sweet things, it's time to look for some more savory breakfasts. At least once or twice a week.

I actually made a good start on that plan, because we went out to brunch yesterday and I got a fajita omelette with red potatoes and avocado -- and I have half for another breakfast. I also came across a recipe for oatcakes with oats & ricotta & banana that sound really yummy -- gotta try me some of that -- it's still sweet, but a better sweet than a teaspoon of chocolate chips (although I'm quite sure they'd taste divine with a few chocolate chips in there).

I've planned savory breakfasts in the past, and then always fallen back on my old friend sugar when push comes to shove (well, a few chocolate chips, anyway). It's time to break out of the rut and see if I can get my chart to take a nosedive.

It's time to rethink snacks, too, as I mentioned the other day. I've already begun, actually, choosing grapes or an apple with some almonds on occasion. I'm pretty sure I do better with that than the days I choose my light chocolate soymilk -- but I'm trying to get my calcium in, too, so it can be a struggle!

I've also started to try to make sure that I get some greens in about 4 times a week (also for their calcium benefits, not to mention I happen to like them). I'm rotating through the greens I like, too: kale one week, swiss chard another, seaweed another. It's all about balance over time.

What are your favorite savory power breakfasts and snacks?

Sometimes it just takes a week or so of trying new things to shake yourself out of your rut.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITABRIA 2/24/2009 8:44PM

    I'm a big fan of omelettes when I have time to make them. Some of my favorite combos are:
* sauteed orange and yellow pepper and onion, goat cheese and thyme
* asparagus and fontina cheese
* onion, broccoli, grape tomato and soy cheddar

I'll usually cook a 3-egg omelette bursting with fillings, refrigerating half for the next day.

I've also made crustless quiches with sauteed onion, pureed spinach, soy cheddar, ff milk and eggs -- they worked well (baked them in muffin tins). I refrigerate them, microwaving 2 of them for a minute or so for breakfast -- it can't get any easier!

I've been intending to try some other crustless combinations but still haven't:
* sauteed leek
* onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper and soy cheddar
* broccoli

I hope that helps!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/22/2009 1:46PM

    So true, I am admitted creature of habit but it is good to switch it up every now and again - seems to kick start the body - wakes it up so to speak.

For breakfast, I normally eat my Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (recipe is on my SparkPage), which is savoury and sweet, but when I want to switch it up I'll add different fruit or different spices. It's portable, has loads of fibre and is filling - so is great to take to work during the week.

On the weekends, if I want a savoury breakfast, I'll make a greek style omelette with 1 egg, 2 egg whites; filling it with mushrooms, onions, olives, spinach, tomatoes, lowfat feta. I actually had it last night for dinner with 2 pieces of toast and no sugar blueberry jam. Very filling and it tasted great. Somedays you just got to eat breakfast for dinner.

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GETDONE 2/22/2009 8:02AM


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What will it be like to be a couple again?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I wonder, sometimes, what the effects of living together again will be. Is it coincidence that I've managed to lose 20 lbs as we've been living apart? Altho I didn't start losing weight right away.

I eat out much less by myself. I really don't enjoy eating out by myself -- some people actually do, but I really don't. I eat out occasionally with friends, but it's not even weekly.

We don't eat out a whole lot when we're together, either, but I want to more -- because I find it's more work to cook for two than for one. Not to mention there's just more housework when there's two people instead of one.

As much as there are parts of living alone I enjoy, I also know that after a year, it's not what I prefer. It's nice to have a witness to your life, even if he does drive you nuts most days. Then he goes and says the sweetest thing. He tells me how skinny I feel, when I know I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I'm really proud of all the hard work I've done, but I still have a ways to go. Heck, I only weight about 10 lbs less than him, and he's 4 inches taller than me!

Then there's the fact that I enjoy vegetarian & vegan food, and he's all meat and potatoes. I did manage to get him to eat about 2 brussel sprouts last night, and even that took a lot of wheedling -- even after he said they were good (and then promptly left them in the stove overnight! Argh!).

I believe right down to my toes, though, that I will lose the weight. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow or this year . . . but I will be healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 2/22/2009 4:40AM

    I hear ya. Man laundry. Man food pickiness. It will definitely be an adjustment for you both to go from being "singles" to being a couple again. I think you are committed enough to what you are doing that having him around will not set you back much. Hopefully, he will learn to love all the healthy changes you have made, not just because you feel skinny to him, but because he will learn to love to eat that way and be active himself!

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STARTSPARKING 2/21/2009 3:30PM

    I bet it's very hard to share meals with someone everyday whose preferences are very different than yours. Eating those two brussel sprouts is a good start for him. Hopefully he will continue to take on more of your healthful eating habits. Even if he doesn't, I am quite certain you will continue to hold your own because you are one of the most determined and diligent Spark friends I have.

Enjoy your time with your husband, and keep up your great work! emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/21/2009 1:40PM

    It will be nice to have someone always there on a daily basis to share your journies. After a year of living on your own, I would think that it may be an adjustment for both of you. Probably with compromises - give and take - until you both adjust. It may be close to being newly weds again and won't that be fun!

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Rethinking my eating habits

Friday, February 20, 2009

The truth is I'm constantly rethinking my eating habits. It's a process that I'm continually learning about. And my blog the other day about sneaky sugars got me thinking -- which is usually a good thing.

I started to think about the light chocolate soymilk I enjoy after exercising sometimes. It's got a lot of sugar in it, and it doesn't have the excuse that regular milk does -- that some of the sugar is from the lactose in the milk. I think it was something like 17 grams of sugar; whereas the high fiber soymilk I drink most of the time only has something like 9 grams of sugar.

I started drinking the chocolate soymilk after reading an article about how something like that is almost the perfect mix of carbs and protein to refuel with after a workout. I don't need much encouragement to add something chocolate to my day!

But that's an awful lot of sugar. About 4 teaspoons. Would I be satisfied with a simple glass of regular soymilk? Probably not. Cocoa needs some sugar to be palatable. But does it really need 4 teaspoons? Will I be better off by making my own chocolate soymilk, when I can just add the amount of sweetner I think is right -- and even choose what sort of sweetner to add?

Where else is sugar sneaking into my day? I don't eat a lot of processed foods, so most of it comes from my own baked goods. But how about those small teaspoons of chocolate chips I add to yogurt or my peanut butter banana wrap? And just how much sugar is too much sugar?

Don't get me wrong, I think the occasional glass of light chocolate soymilk is just fine. I think anything is fine in moderation. But I'm always reevaluating the way I'm eating, especially when I've been stuck for a while, like now. Maybe it's time for more fruit smoothies after exercise.

Speaking of being stuck, we went out to dinner last night -- my belated birthday dinner. It was at a noveau-type Japanese restaurant, one I've been wanting to go to for a long time. It was wonderful. Probably a good think we haven't gone to it before. I actually was just a little hungry after we were done, still, considering my WI is today, I'm not holding my breath for a loss this week. No regrets, though. Well, except I do regret not ordering a seaweed salad. In fact, if I could afford it, we'd go back tonight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/20/2009 1:04PM

    Good for you for constantly evaluating your nutritional needs and making adjustments to your food. That's smart. I bet your homemade chocolate soymilk would be even tastier than the commercial kind.

I'm glad you enjoyed such a wonderful belated birthday dinner. It sounds fancy and nutritious! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. emoticon

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Add, don't subtract

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I read this somewhere recently. None of us likes to feel deprived, and here's a simple solution: focus on what you can add to your healthy eating plan that will help you be successful, rather than focusing on the things you can't have.

I really do love veggies, for instance; always have. So focusing on getting in more veggies is always a win-win for me.

Of course I love chocolate, too, so I work it into most days: a few chocolate chips in my banana peanut butter wrap; a few chocolate chips on my yogurt with granola; chocolate dipped strawberries; hot chocolate; light chocolate soymilk; chocolate pudding. Yes, all these things can be part of a healthy eating plan -- in moderation. And if I loved dark chocolate more, it would even be healthy -- while I do enjoy dark chocolate, I still prefer milk or semisweet.

What are some of the ways you add healthy foods to your day?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 2/19/2009 8:49PM

    I try to eat fruit as my afternoon snacks instead of chips and crackers. When I sit down to eat my lunch or dinner, I usually eat all my veggies before I start eating the protein or starch.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/19/2009 7:51AM

    I make a wicked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal that I eat every morning. I have so many apples, cranberries and spices in it, it tastes like dessert - but is low calories and high fibre - lol. I also eat no fat no sugar yogurt - the dessert flavours are especially good (lemon chiffon). I have made a promise to myself to try a new fruit or veggie every month - this month it was papaya (the jury is still out on that one).

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Sneaky sugars

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We're having an interesting discussion on my Clean Eating sparkteam about protein bars. A lot of them are glorified candy bars. And even some of the good ones, that have decent ingredients, still have a lot of sugar in them.

I like Luna Bars, for instance. But they do have 12 grams of sugar -- about 3 teaspoons. It's probably why I like them; I do have a sweet tooth. I actually do use them as a semi-healthy dessert -- if I eat them by themselves, they make me crave more sweets.

The Today show did an interesting segment on how sugar is sneaking into our meals yesterday. You might be surprised -- www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29182841/ .

It's one of the reasons I try to eat very little processed foods, but it can be very difficult to make all your own food. Sometimes you really do need convenience food.

In a perfect world, we'd all make all our food (and we'd probably grow it, too). But I don't know anyone who's perfect, myself included. The next best thing we can do is to educate ourselves, and make informed decisions.

It's amazing how much weight you can lose simply by eliminating most of those sneaky sugars, but it isn't easy. I've been planning to make some home made granola bars for a while, and I think today is the day --it's drizzly outside, we've done our walk -- talk about wet little dogs! -- a good time to warm up the house with some baking.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PANDORASBOX820 2/21/2009 6:28AM

    have you ever tried Larabars? i get them at Whole Foods (and i'm sure you mightve seen them mentioned on the clean-eating blogs... larabars are the one of the few clean convenience bars you can find).

don't get me wrong, they're not as palatable as larabars or powerbars, but their ingredients are seriously a simple combination of the following: a nut, dates, and some other fruit, depending what "flavor" bar you get.

i don't LOVE them, but they definitely hold me over and provide a GREAT pre-workout snack. and they have chocolate flavors, too!!

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MTER67 2/18/2009 3:41AM

    My favorite is the Kashi "TLC" crunchy bars. They nearly break my teeth, but I love the crunch of them and I can eat one right before a run and it won't upset my stomach. I checked the label after reading this blog and 2 bars (1 serving) have 8 grams of sugar, 9% total fat, and 18% fiber. I don't like the chewy ones. They are all waaaay too sweet for me, but I really enjoy these Kashi ones.

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JLITT62 2/17/2009 8:57PM

    I've stayed away from Fiber One products & Kellog bars, too, because they have HFCS in them. Altho surprisingly, they have less sugar in them than say a Luna bar.

I did make my granola bars today . . . they're very tasty, but not very filling. The search goes on.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 2/17/2009 7:10PM

    Very informative post - thank you for sharing. So that's why I like those Fibre One bars so much......hmmmmm.

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STARTSPARKING 2/17/2009 4:34PM

    I love Fiber One bars and eat them regularly. Each bar contains 10 grams of sugar, so it's not much better off than Luna Bars. I followed your link and watched the video segment. That was quite eye-opening. A "diet" frozen meal has 3 teaspoons of added sugar? A fruit smoothie drink has more than 10 teaspoons of sugar? Oatmeal crisp cereal has 5 teaspoons of sugar, which is 2 teaspoons more than a kiddie cereal like Cocoa Puffs? Yikes!

Thanks for the informative blog entry, my friend! emoticon

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INGODSLOVE 2/17/2009 1:29PM

    Great blog! I never really thought about the protein bars being unhealthy! emoticon

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JRIESSEL 2/17/2009 12:48PM

    I have been wanting to make my own granola bars also. Let us know how they come out and what recipe you use!

Good luck!

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