Wednesday, October 27, 2010
So one of my all time favorite foods to eat ever is a bacon, tomato and avocado sandwich. Of course it needs a ton of bacon and a ton of mayo. I decided I would try to make something with those same flavors, to tame the cravings, but that would also be satisfying.
As a disclaimer, I am not much of a salad eater because they don't really fill me up. But when I decided to recreate my favorite thing, I know I coudln't put it on bread. Well, actually I'm lying. I did try that first. I made a baconless version last week on Whole Wheat Berry bread from Trader Joes. It was not good. The problem was that the bread isn't pliable and started falling apart after 1 bite. Note to self: That bread is great for toast, but not for sandwiches.
Anyways, I figured that a salad might work. I chopped up a bunch of romaine, diced some tomatoes really small, ditto for the bacon avocado and I added 4 oz. chopped chicken breast (for a good dose of protein). Then I added some Trader Joes FF Balsmaic Vinaigrette. I ate some for dinner last night. . . . Oh My God!!! It was amazing!!! I hate to say that about food, but I was so giddy while I was eating it. I (almost) felt bad that hubby had to eat leftovers. I made some more today for lunch and I couldn't be happier with it. I will say that it works best with ripe avocados, but I only had an under ripe one for lunch today and it's still good.
I did Jillian Michales 30 day shred, level 2 today at lunch. It kicked my butt! I feel great though. I've done level 2 before, maybe 3 or 4 months ago. I remember how awful I felt then - I would have to psych myself up to do it. Half way through I wanted to give up. My body just didn't want to do it. Well today I did the whole thing and never once 'told' myself to quite. It felt great! I really can see the changes in my endurance now versus just last week.
I have really been craving coffee the last couple days. I think I might try this coffee alternative called Teecino. I tried it many years ago and didn't like it, but I thought that this time might be different since I'm already getting used to Tea and Teecino is a bit like tea. I emailed them and asked for a sample - I hope it comes soon!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Well, I am still doing really good. I really wanted to post this weekend and yesterday, but just couldn't find the time.
So last week I realized that my biggest challenge over a weekend is boredom. I used to spend my weekends mostly sitting on the couch. Sure I went grocery shopping and did a little laundry, but that was pretty much it. So when I would get bored, which was a lot, I would eat. On my first weekend that was a challenge because I knew that I was bored and I wasn't really hungry. It was hard to sit there bored and not eat.
That made me realize that I definately need to keep myself busy. Keeping myself busy is great to keep myself from not eating out of boredom but also to get things done that have been nagging me - I have a never ending to-do list it seems.
This past weekend, I did just that, stayed really busy. On Saturday I did my grocery shopping, cleaned out the pantry and the fridge, took the kids for a walk and I worked out! I had an amazing workout BTW.
On Sunday I pretty much cooked and cleaned all day. It sounds pretty awful, at least it would have to me a couple weeks ago, but it really was nice. I made a committment to myself and my family last week that my new way of eating is not just for me. Let me rephrase that, healthy eating is not just for me. That would be selfish. My kids and husband deserve to feel good and be healthy too. Now, I cannot make my husband eat anything healthy for sure, but I can darn sure only buy and cook healthy foods. So Sunday was spent making some new healthy foods for my family and me. I won't deprive them of all sugar and wheat, but I definately want to make sure each meal has a good vegetable, whole grain and lean protein.
I felt so good at the end of the day Sunday, I was litterally on my feet all day but I didn't mind. I had way more energy than on former Sundays when I would lounge on the couch most of the day. I stayed up until Midnight! This may not seem like a major accomplishment, but for me it's great. My previous bedtime was always 9 - 10pm. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I literally had so much energy on Sunday that I had to make myself go to sleep.
I want to make a list this week of a bunch of things that I can get done on the weekends. Saturdays will probably be more for household and personal chores because my hubby is home all day with me. Since it's football season, Sundays I am all on my own most of the day with the kids. So I will make Sundays my "Funday" with the kids. I'll try not to have to many household chores like I had this past Sunday, but more active things that we can do together. This will keep me busy, but also help me spend more time with the kids. Working full-time I hardly get quality time with them during the week.
I am amazed at how great I feel after 2 weeks of cutting out sugar, wheat and coffee. I can't lie, I do miss sweets and coffee sometimes, but when I think about how much more energy I have, how my attitude has improved, I don't miss them nearly as much. I hate to say it, but I was extremely moody and not very nice to be around before. I had my good days, but most days I was just so down and sad. I just didn't have energy for anything - not even a good mood. I had the shortest temper and was not doing a good job with the kids. I can honestly say that now it's really hard for me to lose my temper, I just feel happy and energized. I smile way more. I am thinking much more clearly. It kind of feels like I woke up from a coma or something, like I'm living for the first time in a long time.
The eating has definately gotten easier. I am making myself a larger variety of things to keep from being bored. This weekend I went to the farmers market and got a whole trunk full of veggies and fruit. I made a Mexican styl chicken, brown rice and vegetable soup last night. It's really filling and tastes so good. I am going to make a Chicken, Bacon, Avocado and Tomato salad tonight. I definatley am not feeling deprived.
Oh, I almost forgot - I am down a total of 6 lbs now in 2 weeks! The best part about that is that I can fit my wedding rings on my fingers for the first time in 4 years! I haven't been this light since nearly 6 months before getting pregnant with my 3 yr old.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Last night I had a fight with my hubby, and this morning I'm feeling sad. It wasn't the worst fight ever, but it just stirred things that have been bothering me about him for a while. I really wish I could just go workout now to clear my head, but I can't until later. This would be the time where I would drown my sorrow in food - donuts, coffee, bagels, anything sweet and rich. I'm not going to because for one it's not going to help my problem and two I will surely feel worse afterwards. I'm isntead going to go eat my eggs and raisin oatmeal. I know I'll feel better later.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
So today is officially day 8 (or day 1 of week 2 ). I am so proud of myself for continuing this lifestyle change. I don't want to call it a diet, even though it kind of is, because I would like this to be in some form or another the way I eat forever. I keep replaying in my mind how bad I felt just 9 days ago. How every day I felt so hungry all day, sometimes lightheaded and sometimes enraged. I don't ever want to feel that way again because of something I ate.
Don't think it's been easy though - it has been really hard sometimes. I thought work would be the hardest because I work for an ice cream company and there's free ice cream at my disposal all 9 hours that I'm here. It's not though, it's home. This past weekend was my first weekend on this new path. Saturday was pretty good, I stayed busy with errands so I didn't have much time to think about what I wasn't eating. Then Sunday came around and it was a totally different story. I fought with myself all day trying not to give in to coffee cravings and cereal cravings, and just about anything that I saw that I wasn't supposed to eat. Looking back, I really think the problem wasn't the food, it was that I was bored. I was sitting on the couch most of the day.
My strategy on handling this going forward is to make sure on the weekends I have a list of to-do's and I actually do them! No more boredom!! I have 5 kids in the house on the weekend so there's PLENTY to do . . . . . you hear that Crystal . . . You Will Never Be Bored Again!!
Besides the weekends, my other challenge has been variety. Since I do have kids and a husband who are not joining me in this path (and I'm okay with that for now) I have to make myself separate meals for the most part. Since I also work full-time and commute 2 hours a day, that doesn't leave a lot of time for creativity. I've been eating the same thing most days out of convenience and necessity.
I've been cooking a meal, say chili, one night to last for 5 - 8 meals that week. It just means that for 3 or more days in a row I'm eating the exact same meals. Oh well, it's a little boring but I am trying to make up for that by making things that I normally don't eat much because the kids or hubby wont eat them. Case in point, beets and goat cheese. I LOVE LOVE LOVE beets and goat cheese together. I went to the farmers market and got a bunch of beets and had enough for 4 lunches this week. YUMMMY! I will be sad when they are gone.
The other thing I've noticed is that, while not on purpose, I haven't eaten any read meat this past week. I have a tendency to be anemic, so I added some extra iron to my daily vitamins. I was feeling a little run down late last week and I think that was why. I love being able to track my nutrients on Spark.
Overall, I am still happy with my decision to cut out sugar, flour, wheat and caffeine. I really can see the difference in my mental clarity, energy, mood and workouts. Oh, I didn't mention that I run and do the Jillian Michael's 30 day shred several times a week. I do them on my lunch hour at work. Before I started this, my workouts were so hard to get through. I just felt beat down and lethargic half way through. Since maybe day 3 or 4 though my workouts have been enjoyable. They are still hard, don't get me wrong, but I just feel more mental toughness I guess. I don't feel like giving up halfway through and I think that has to do with the mental clarity and energy. Like right now, I am almost done with my workday and usually that would mean sleepy, hungry and ready for the door. I feel pretty good, not tired at all, if I had to work late I don't think I would mind. (don't tell my boss though)
So much for a shorter post . . I am a blabber.
Monday, October 18, 2010
So this is my first blog entry, but not my first day on this new journey. Last week I took inventory of my eating habits and realized that I was a sugar addict. I just couldn't stop my self from eating anything sweet when under stress. I tried one of those Food Addicts Anonymous meetings, but it wasn't for me. I did realize that part of their program might help me. They tell their members that they have to abstain from sugar and flour (wheat) becuase they trigger the sensation of hunger even when you're not. I have long though that sugar was doing something weird to my body. I decided last week that I would try removing those two things from my diet to see if that helped minimize my cravings.
While thinking all this through last week, I also realized that I always have coffee in the morning with Splenda. (Part of giving up sugar is giving up artificial sweeteners too because they make you crave sweets also) Then there's the daily or twice daily diet soda that I was drinking. I thought that if I was going to do this, I should do it right. I decided to cut out all sugar (natural or artificial), all wheat products (especially processed wheat products) and coffee and diet sodas.
The caffeine withdrawal has been the hardest for sure. I am on day 7 today and finally am headache free. Yay! I had a few bad ones Fri, Sat and Sun.
Amazingly, after just 1 day of eating this way (see my food tracker) I didn't have any more cravings for sugar.
There's something else you have to know about me to understand why this way of eating is really exciting for me. For the past year I have been suffering with sometimes intense feelings of light-headedness and feeling like I am starving and will pass out. This would happen even after eating a full meal sometimes. I thought that it might be hypoglycemia - after lab tests my dr. said it wasn't. This also accompanied irradic mood swings. I mean my mood swings were so bad that sometimes I didn't want to be alone with the kids. My dr. then thought it might be PMDD. I started taking anti-depressants. They helped somewhat.
I know it's only been a week, but I feel transformed. Several things that would normally trigger these attacks happened over the weekend, and never once did I have the same physical or pyschological symptoms. This alone is enough for me to keep up this new way of eating.
Also, some icing on the cake, I lost over 3 lbs. in less than a week of this new eating. I know it's probably a bit of water weight, but it's still nice to see that scale go down.
This has been so long. I'll write some more tomorrow about my challenges with food on this new eating path.
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