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Lent...I'm such a carnivore!

Friday, February 24, 2012

So usually when lent rolls around I tend not to be very particular about giving something up, since I wasn't really raised with that tradition. However, this year I've really been needing a spiritual kick in the pants, and my church challenged us to go on a "Daniel Fast", which is essentially a vegan diet without processed foods (including things like pasta or bread). That's just way too hard core for me! Instead, I decided to go pescatarian--vegetarian but I'm still going to eat seafood.

it's day 2 and this alone has been hard enough! Yesterday my dad and I ate smashed potatoes with parsley from the garden, garlic, lemon, and parmesan cheese, and then mushroom ravioli. Delish! Today, I spent all day thinking about what we were going to eat for dinner. For some reason salads or veggie stirfries just don't sound appealing to me, even though I love the veggie stirfries from the food trucks at school. Most meals that I came up with just sounded so bare...because meat was missing. Mind you, I probably wasn't very creative, but I'd think of something, and my brain would go..."huh. That doesn't sound satisfying. I wonder why....oh! it's because it's missing meat, mm, MEAT!"

I've grown up as a meat and potatoes (more like meat and rice) kinda girl all my life. Meat was the star of the show. Sure, we had vegetables at every meal, but they were like the sidekick that comes along for the ride, or the little sister that you have to include at your birthday party because it's the right thing to do. I know I've had vegetarian meals in the past, salads, soups, quiches, omelettes, stirfries, summer rolls, and seafood for crying out loud, but for some reason looking forward into 40 days of meatless meals just feels like I need a ticker to count down to that last meal. To be honest, it feels a little crazy! And in my head, I don't really think it should be that hard, but my stomach keeps muttering and complaining about how difficult this will be.

After just TWO DAYS in to this challenge, I'm finding out just how meat-centric my diet really is. Even sandwiches for lunch have to be revamped since turkey is out of the picture. And no bacon and eggs for breakfast anymore! (I don't even eat bacon and eggs that often, but just the knowledge that I CANT have it makes it feel so much more like deprivation!)

My brain is so disturbing and strange! haha But I'm glad I'm doing this--I'm already learning a lot about how I see food and sustenance, and I can't wait for a healthier outlook where veggies and fruits (not beef) are what's for dinner.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEEEYBOOBOO 3/5/2012 12:47PM

  Good luck! This is a great challenge not just for your physical health but for your spiritual health as well.

Three of my fav meatless options:

- Mashed black beans with salsa spread on a tortilla with shredded chese
- Goat cheese and walnuts w/ spring mix in sandwich or wrap
- Sweet potato and lentil curry - I made this recipe here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci
I know you can do it!!

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HOPE541 2/27/2012 6:45PM

    Try meat substitutes, if cooked well, they actually taste good. The university I went to, didn't have meat except fish but they cooked the substitutes well (sometimes), lol. You can do it!

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TEGOCHU 2/26/2012 3:23PM

    Omg, tell me about it! I would absolutely love to go vegetarian or pescatarian one day, but it's sooooo hard to think about not having meat in my life! The thought of never having a hamburger or grilled chicken ever again... D: I think I've come to the point where I really want to try to limit the amount of meat I eat, maybe try for a couple vegetarian meals a week, but I think that's all I can do! Good luck with the process, I know you can do it! Just think of all the yummy seafood that you have the choice of eating.. shrimp goes great in stirfry! :)

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    I love the Morningstar products. The breakfast sausage patties and mini corn dogs are my favorite! I've also made chickpea "burgers." They were good, but the recipe could use some tweaking. I also like meatless chili and white bean chili.

I'm going to try tofu at some point. My brother-in-law is a vegetarian, so when we visit my hubby's parents for holidays, there's always something for him. He (and his wife) both eat a lot of organic products as well. I really would like to clean up my diet some!

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RUSSIANMERMAID 2/24/2012 11:21AM

    Try the meat substitutes! They might make it a bit easier since it's kind of like meat.

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AUBRAZILLA 2/24/2012 8:49AM

    Four sandwich ideas: 1) Sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, sardines with mustard on rye
2) Sliced beets, bleu cheese, soft lettuce, horseradish on pumpernickel
3) Grilled/sauteed eggplant, tomato, smoked mozzarella, chopped fresh basil on italian or a hero roll
4) Mixed greens, creamy vinaigrette, avocado, monterey jack on sourdough or wheat.

Tips for overcoming a meat-centric diet: smoked fish and smoked cheeses give a great meaty flavor to meals. VARIETY! Try a mixture of beans (you can buy a 16 bean mix at the grocery store!) or a mixture of grains for soups, cold salads and casseroles. BULGAR! Adding bulgar to a soup or a tomato sauce gives it a meatiness, mushrooms can have a similar effect.

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MISSG180 2/24/2012 7:36AM

    This is why I can never diet. As soon as you tell me I can't have something, I completely obsess over it! Weight Watchers and their point system makse me freak out.

Good luck with your Lenten progress!

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Confessions of a Tastaholic.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

This past week I've been confused. Some days I feel hungry but not at the same time. (Hopefully some of you know what I mean by that.) It's this weird feeling of wanting to eat something, but yet you're not actually hungry. The other day I couldn't even tell if I was hungry or full! I'd just eaten, and I didn't even clean my plate (the food wasn't very tasty), and I was just trying to decipher what my body was telling me.

Eventually I realized that I was physically satisfied, but my tastebuds were crying out for something more. I wanted to taste something "worth it", something that was delicious. So yes, I wasn't actually hungry, but there was still this feeling of unsatisfaction. The need for something more. Not more food, but more taste. Does that make sense?

Through spark I've been realizing that one of my biggest weaknesses is when I have something sweet and something salty at the same time...then it becomes a never ending cycle as I go back and forth between the two! I love the differences between the sweet and savory.

As I've become more conscious of my eating habits and food, I also realized that I always make sure that my last bite is a delicious one. Whether that means saving the juiciest bite of chicken or making sure I have enough sauce for my last bite of pasta, the last bite I eat has to be the best, otherwise I feel unsatisfied.

So I'm learning more about myself--it's not about eating to feel full, I eat because I like flavors. I enjoy tastes, and if I really like the flavor of something, I'll continue to eat it just to experience it one more time. and then just one more time. last time, I promise. okay really now, I'm done. Ok I'm done, I'm done-- please take the plate away from me!

Have you guys ever felt the same? With a chef for a dad and a mom who cooked Chinese food with the best of them, I grew up with great flavors every night, and grew up with an appreciation for food. But now I'm realizing that this world is just too tasty for my own good! Now my challenge is to figure out how to be satisfied with flavor in only a few bites, instead of wanting juuust one more. Thankfully I've been finding better veggies that I LOVE and that taste wonderful (kale and swiss chard!) so maybe I just need to eat less meat and more tasty veggies. hmm.

Mantra: Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

The question is--Do I believe that?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INSHAPE2011 2/21/2012 1:29PM

    I have had that feeling, definitely! But usually it is because of emotional eating trigger. The truth is I enjoy food better when I am truly hungry and with every bite as my hunger diminishes so does the satisfaction that food gives me. The only thing that keeps me eating after I am full is emotional!

Comment edited on: 2/21/2012 1:30:10 PM

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PITTSBURGHLOVE 2/19/2012 11:35AM

    I agree with the need for one more bite. Sometimes I eat like it's the last time I will ever be able to eat my favorite item. This is something I have to work through, also!

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JENNIFER2578 2/9/2012 2:23PM

    Your blog totally makes sense!! You are not alone. I am a saucy, spicy, dip kinda girl and if the food is bland or plain I do not feel as satisfied when I am really full.


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    You read my mind!! I could have posted this pretty much word for word! I can totally relate. I also try to keep the best most flavourful bite for last!

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    YESS!!!! I can totally relate to you! The other day, my taste buds weren't satisfied although my body was. Great blog!!

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TEGOCHU 2/8/2012 1:15PM

    Ugh, I can totallyyyyy relate! My hugest weakness is chips.. I can down those suckers like nobody's business! Sometimes after a savory meal I really crave something sweet, so I usually just allow myself one chocolate. :)

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AUBRAZILLA 2/8/2012 8:42AM

    I have the exact same problem! If I have something meh then I need a shot of YEAH! I have a few stand-bys to try and take the edge off of an unsatisfying meal: craisins, rich hot cocoa (90 cal per packet is pretty good!), pecans (they are spicy and very flavorful) and dark/semi-sweet chocolate.

Thanks for naming that feeling I get when I'm not hungry but I still have an alarm blaring in my mouth saying MORE MORE MORE! I'll think to myself, "But I'm not hungry. I'm not even emotional!" and my tongue is like "OHMIGODGIVEMESOMETHING"

I like strong flavors, too: black coffee, neat whisky, sloppy-ripe peaches, tart apples. How about you?

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SPARKLE1908 2/7/2012 12:09PM

    I understand what you mean because it happens to me as well...I'm trying to use more spices so that "less is more" in the taste department...it's a process but at least you are aware of what needs to be done...you'll do fine!!!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/7/2012 11:03AM

    Lol hmm great point
I haven't been eating that healthy but my body is more efficient now.
and I have an auto stop button now.

My body says STOP to salty sweet Carb overload lol
And I pay it later. Lol

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Officially I joined SP Jan 17th of 2011, but I didn't start sparking until Feb 1st, so here's to ONE YEAR! I definitely disappeared for a few months, particularly around the holidays-ish until now, and I've had a few fake comebacks that I'm not proud of, but I'm very hopeful this time! Here's why:

1. Nothing happens without Spark! The combination of awesome people, wonderful inspiration from blogs and you guys, and tracking food and exercise...there's nothing like it! And I am SO much healthier than I was a year ago! I still have a long way to go though, I'm not totally satisfied yet.

2. I just got a gym buddy here! At least for a couple days out of the week. (and possibly 2 more gym buddies too!)

3. There's a lot of outdoor activities that I haven't taken full advantage of here in Hawaii--snorkeling, swimming, hiking, kayaking, etc. And I can't wait to do them!

4. I gained 7 pounds since moving here only 6months ago. I was 3 pounds away from my halfway mark, and then I just stopped tracking after I moved. So now I'm 10 pounds away from my halfway goal, and I haven't worked out since the end of November.

5. And last small motivation--my old roommate is getting married this summer! I'm not in the wedding, but I would love to go back home to Chicago with a healthier (yes, slimmer) version of me.

Sooooo I'm back! And I'm so proud and inspired by you guys who have been sparking and getting healthy! I'm seriously so impressed.

It's been an interesting year looking back on it all...the first six months were the easiest, and these last six have not been so good. But overall I lost 25 pounds last year (all in the first half of the year), and I'm looking forward to the next 25. No--more than 25!!!

I can do this.

For myself, my health, my happiness, and my life. I want this. I WANT THIS. I'M GONNA DO THIS. I WILL DO THIS. Welcome to my 2nd year of SP 2012.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBRAZILLA 2/2/2012 3:13PM

    So glad to see you are back!! Congratulations for staying at a steady weight for 6 months, even if you went up a few pounds your body is still shifting around! You are getting used to being your new weight, and from this new base you can really kick-start the weightloss again!

Remember to trust the process: exercising regularly, eating tasty nutritious food, paying attention to your energy levels--these can only be GOOD for you! Even if the numbers are slow to match, pay attention to how you feel physically.

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HOPE541 2/1/2012 10:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I'm so glad you're back! You did such a great job during your first year. I know you will do an amazing job this year, too. I can't wait to see your achievements! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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so much lost time! but I'm not giving up!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

oh sparkpeople,

it has been too long. thanks so much for those of you who checked in on me (and friended me!) while I was MIA!! You are the reason spark is so amazing!!

At first, in August, I made excuses because I had just moved, was organizing life, trying to meet people, getting used to being in school again, and getting used to living at home with my dad after being an independent adult.

But now...4 months later, there's no excuse!! I've finally settled, made my friends, AM DONE WITH FIRST SEMESTER and I'm still where I started when I moved here!

I just went to the dr.'s office yesterday, and officially weigh in at 195. The last time I was in the dr's office was June 20th, officially 6mo ago, and I weighed in at 193. I'm 2 pounds heavier than 6 months ago, and I should be down 30 pounds! ahh!! I checked the weight tracker, and I should be 40 pounds down & at my goal weight by now according to that little red line :(

I can't believe how much time I've lost!! I'm definitely happy that I haven't gained more than 2 pounds, but I'm sad that I squandered all that time. I started this journey in Feb, and by June had lost 27 pounds. Since June I worked out consistently up until around November (go figure...), but since August I made good decisions about what I ate, but I haven't really cared how MUCH I ate.

Goodness! Okay, I have 2 months before my 1 year sparkiversary--so I AM BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!!! I need to get back into the daily habit of tracking and exercising...I let myself slip and stop exercising as much the past 1.5 months. (hence no fitness awards! :((( )

Commitment. Daily commitment. Because I'm worth it. I WILL see a change in that scale by February 15th. that's a promise to myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASKILLMAN 1/8/2012 10:00AM

    I know it would have been nice to lose weight over the last 6 months, but you basically maintained. That's fabulous! I'm in the same boat as you, except overall you lost more weight than I did. I'm hoping to kick it into high gear and drop at least 5 pounds before my Sparkversary at the end of Feb.

Glad to see you back! emoticon

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HOPE541 12/21/2011 6:56AM

    So good to have you back!
Trust me, you aren't the only one who has slipped. I have too and that's why I hadn't even posted an update to WMS because I didn't want to waste anyone's time (too embarrassed, lol). Let's nip this in the bud and come back stronger than ever. Fighting!

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HEEEYBOOBOO 12/19/2011 10:37AM

  Welcome back! You can get there! I've been in that boat (several times) where I drop off the face of SP. :) But it's always here for us in the end. LOL

Good luck!

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2GETFIT7 12/18/2011 9:57PM

  I know how you feel, I was in a similar situation when I moved in August too. I just decided a month ago that I need to get back on track full force with Spark People and it has been a great month!

emoticon Let's keep moving forward towards our goals! You are definitely worth it!

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SPARKLE1908 12/17/2011 9:22PM

    You can do this...we BOTH can!!!

Good luck!

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PRAIRIESMOKE72 12/17/2011 3:06AM

    You can do it!

Remember yes you could have already been at goal, but you also could have been heavier as well.

I am sure you will see progress by February!

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Wanted: fat girl. in a food rut.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I am in a rut. Pretty much have been since I moved! I've been working out consistantly and varying it up between swimming and working out at the gym, but my eating habits suck! And I can't wrap my mind around why I keep making poor decisions. It's not like I'm eating pizza and fried chicken, but I eat more than I know I should!

I'm a big fan of how things taste, so if I have something that tastes good, I'll keep eating it even if I'm satisfied, because I enjoy the flavors. Any tips for how to cut back on the amount of food you eat??

On a sidenote, a friend shared a great blog with me entitled: Wanted: fat girl.


I highly recommend it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPE541 11/17/2011 6:52AM

    Many people have an issue with food, including myself. Sometimes you need the variety but too much of it is the problem. A strategy I've started to use is to look at the food and say to myself (in my head or out loud...) This food is either going to help me with my goals or keep me fat. If THAT doesn't work......eat it. Not the entire thing but a 1/4 or even 1/2. Hope that helps... emoticon

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ASKILLMAN 11/13/2011 10:07PM

    Food is also my biggest issue. I will get in the workout, but continue to make poor choices.

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LIZZIE561 11/8/2011 7:09PM

    I can completely relate. I have been stuck in a rut lately. I want to get back on track, but I am struggling. Just take it a step at a time and ease back in to things. You can do this! We both can. :)

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AVAANTARES 11/8/2011 3:16PM

    "I'm a big fan of how things taste, so if I have something that tastes good, I'll keep eating it even if I'm satisfied, because I enjoy the flavors. Any tips for how to cut back on the amount of food you eat??"

I totally understand this! I love the taste of many foods, so I've had to fight the same inclination.

What I often do is figure out how many calories I will "spend" on the meal/snack before I even get the food out, which helps me determine my portion size. That way I don't dish up more than I need and have it left on my plate, tempting me.

I live alone, and cooking for one can be a problem because there's a temptation to just finish off what's left in the pot so I can do the dishes. So when I cook (which isn't as often as it should be; I eat out a lot) I make HUGE batches of everything instead of trying to make single servings. I measure out my meal, then portion out the rest into little plastic boxes and refrigerate or freeze them. (Predetermined portion control for the next meal!)

For snacks, I pull out a smaller plate (not a big dinner plate) and arrange a variety of snack foods around the outside, so I have several tastes/textures to munch on. That way I get to sample all my favorites, but I can't accidentally finish the package because it's not in front of me.

And of course there are times when I know I'm going to be mindlessly munching anyway, like when I'm watching a movie. Then I prepare something low-cal like popcorn or celery sticks so I have a lot more leeway in how much I consume. ^_^

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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TEGOCHU 11/8/2011 1:23PM

    I have the exact same problem as you! I hate when I'm out at a restaurant or even at home and I'm feeling soooo full but I just can't seem to control myself.. I find sometimes I just have to get the food away from myself as soon as I feel full. So if I'm at home, I just pack up the leftovers and if I'm at a restaurant, I'll just move my plate away from myself until the waiter can come and pack it for me. It really is tough though! Just gotta tell yourself that the more you save, the more deliciousness you have for later. :D

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SHELLB7 11/8/2011 12:24AM

    I thought you wrote a good blog, too! And you're right, it's rough to stop after a couple bites! I once read that the true enjoyment of flavor comes from the first or second bite, and after that you're only trying to recreate the initial taste. (I think that's how it went.) Anyway, I keep trying to tell myself that...

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