Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The food, not the country.
As to be expected, since Thanksgiving in May, I have been eating turkey with about every meal. Once, even with breakfast. I gave some to friends and have been trying to incorporate it into something different.
I have successfully used the Spark Recipes site and tweaked some user recipes and have made turkey and black bean enchiladas, turkey lettuce cups, turkey fried rice, and curried turkey salad.
I'm down to about a pound of turkey left and realized that the one thing I haven't made is a good old turkey sandwich with mayo.
We'll see if that fits into the calorie range for tomorrow.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
So, I'm a self described cheapskate. I like to think of it as frugal living-- but call a spade a spade.
After Thanksgiving last year, all the turkeys went on sale for some ridiculously cheap amount like 39c a pound or something like that. So, naturally I had to buy one and shove it in the back of the freezer.
I have been cooking the majority of my meals for a long time, but since I started Spark People, I am freezing a lot more since I now eat ONE serving at each meal instead of THREE servings at each meal. I would say this alone has saved me $50 to $60 per month on groceries. I'm not kidding.
Anyway, I've been trying to fit all sorts of nonsense into the freezer and have been having the hardest time... so I finally went in there and did a clean up. Oh, no wonder I can't fit anything in there. There's a 18 pound turkey in it! So, I decided it was time to cook the thing. I told my good friend, Rob, and we decided to have Thanksgiving in May (he says it's a spin-off of Christmas in July).
Since it's not REALLY a holiday, I knew I didn't have any excuse to overindulge. So, I set out to challenge myself to have "Thanksgiving Dinner" and still stay within my calorie range for the day. Rob is not a big fan of green veggies, or healthy food in general, so I also set out to show him that veggies and good for you foods could be tasty and delicious.
I scoured Spark Recipes and found recipes for Italian Green Beans and Roasted Green Beans, and combined the two recipes for Italian Roasted Green Beans. I also cut some of the lettuce from my garden and made a salad with garden lettuce, sliced pears, almonds, manchego cheese and dressed it with a homemade vinaigrette.
A big challenge was the dessert. What Thanksgiving is complete without dessert? But this might prove to be a foil to my good intentions. I discussed it with Rob and we came to a compromise. I could make a lower calorie, sweet potato casserole and that would be a stand in for dessert, as many times, that dish is as sweet as any dessert. So, back to Spark Recipes where I (by some miracle) found the perfect Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. As the recipe suggested, I made the casserole in little ramekins and they were just the right amount of sweet treat at the end.
Though it was a pretty big meal compared to what I've been eating the last 3 weeks, I still managed to stay within my caloric range for the day. Dinner was just over 500 calories, but I had planned for it by eating light earlier in the day and (this is key) not sampling during dinner. The only thing I sampled was a bite of the turkey to make sure of the seasonings.
I'm glad I did this. First, I learned a lot about cooking a turkey (save for another post), and I also found Spark Recipes as a big resource. I think when actual Thanksgiving rolls around, my biggest challenge will be to convince my family members to make healthful side dishes. If they opt not to, I will simply make enough for myself!
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I had a nice conversation with my wonderful sleep doctor yesterday. We talked about being on the Remeron and the side effects. I told him I was becoming obsessed with food. I can't think of anything else... just sit there starving, waiting for my next meal time. Ridiculous. Obviously, I can't live my life this way. I read online a bit, and found that some people had such severe food cravings, that they were eating entire loaves of bread with jam on them. Whole boxes of Triscuits. I have always been someone who could trust my biology to tell me when I'm full, that that has always kept my weight manageable, even when I knew I was at my heaviest. As it stands now, I'll eat an entire plate of dinner, and want another plate. It's horrible.
He told me that frequently people have to cycle through several medications before they find the right fit. So, we're going to try Wellbutrin. I have to ween off the Remeron for the next week, before I start the Wellbutrin. This medication is marketed as appetite neutral, but it is also supposed to be sleep-neutral, so we'll have to see if helps my insomnia.
We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I read an article yesterday about obesity rates in the US. Here it is: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/0
uld-hit-50-by-2030.html. Even better news is my hometown, Richmond, VA, is #2 in the nation for obesity. Yay.
While standing in line at the grocery store today, I noticed 5 magazines that had weight loss as their cover story. WTH? This whole thing has turned into a money making business. Everyone is so unhappy, so out of touch with what is real and important, removed from our food sources, that we over eat to the point of health risk, not to mention the damage we're causing the environment and the impact this behavior has on developing nations. Yet, we're also obsessed with losing this weight have gained. The Diet Industry is certainly a multi billion dollar industry-- programs, magazines, books, videos--aimed at trimming us back down.
What would happen if we saved all the money in the first place, grew and produced what we could to feed our bodies, and just ate enough of everything else to make our bodies strong and whole?
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
I decided on Spark People because I can eat whatever I want, as long as I stay within my caloric range, It teaches me that some foods are nutrient dense, and some are just empty calories. So if I have 1000 calories to spend, and I want a huge slice of chocolate cake, I can make an informed choice of either eating that cake or eating 3 normal meals. Right.
Yesterday I took an assessment of my current sugar habits. It came back that my "sweet tooth is out of control." Disturbing, but not not necessarily a huge surprise. I love sweets! I love chocolate! I love cake and cookies... mmmm... cookies. You know the chocolate chip ones straight out of the oven that are soft and still glistening with melted butter. ... mmm... cookies.
Wha? Huh? Oh, back to my cravings. Since the assessment returned, I've been thinking about how much I want to eat sweets all day long. So, I decided to take the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, just to see if I could do it.
Now I'm supposed to List the Reasons I Want to Cut Back... how about "I don't want to be a fat ass anymore." Ok, that's step 1 & 2 down.
Next, I'm supposed to record my habits all week long on my blog or personal journal. I figure I'll do it here, so that while I'm suffering and whining, you can all suffer with me. See what a good friend I am?
Right now, there are little choclate mini donuts in the break room. The prepackaged ones that are stale yellow cake on the inside and hard waxy chocolate on the outside. I KNOW how horrible these are for me. Yet, before Spark People I wouldn't think twice about eating 3 of those tiny chocolate doughnuts. I have a stressful job, and am surrounded by anger and misery all day long... I DESERVE those doughnuts, don't I? I DESERVE happiness, don't I? I've walked past the break room 3 times now and I haven't eaten the doughnuts. But now I will avoid that entire side of the office in order to avoid the break room and seeing the doughnuts. I only have so much self restraint.
Of course, when I was under 25, I could eat said sweets to my hearts content without any real consequence. I was always thin and apparently had a very high metabolism. Of course, that's all changed. ... except for my love of sweets!
Every day, I save 50 calories to have 2 squares of dark chocolate at night after my shower and while I'm relaxing before bed. And all day long, I look forwrad to those two squares of chocolate.... but I am I looking forward to those 2 squares or am I just thinking about sweets all day long?
I have replaced a lot of the "sugar" in my diet with Splenda or some other sugar substitute... but that's not really retraining my palate, is it? I put splenda (or sugar free Vanilla) in my lattes now and I have Rasberry Zinger iced tea with splenda in it (to me, it tastes like Kool-Aid). I ate 3 bananas yesterday. Yes, fruit is good for you, but am I just replacing glucose and HFCS with fructose? Fruit is not as bad for you because it has other nutrients and fiber... but once again, it doesn't help me retrain my palate to not want sweets contantly.
Just sitting here and writing about it is making my hungry. I want some sweets NOW.
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