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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Day 14 of the Spark Solution

Breakfast: Fruity French Toast with Greek Yogurt & milk. Tasted good, but seriously, 1 piece of French toast is hardly worth the bother. It does not satisfy me, it only makes me want more. If I can’t have 2-3 pieces, it is not worth all the work.

Lunch: Mexican Pizza & avocado. Loved this! It tasted great, did not take me too long to prepare, and was very filling. Another new favorite. I’m not sure why they didn’t just call it a bean & pepper tostada, but whatever.

Dinner: Carolina-Style Barbecue Chicken, Lemon Roasted Cauliflower, & baked potato. This was probably our favorite dinner yet. It tasted great. It was easy to prepare, and didn’t take too long to cook. Will definitely make this again soon. I really loved the cauliflower and could have eaten an entire meal just of that!

Exercise: Declared today a day of rest, other than some housework that needed to be done and a little bit of leisurely walking.

Overview of the 14 day Spark Solution: I cannot honestly claim to have lost any weight on this plan. The few days before I started, I had extremely high sodium counts, as we were eating out all the time. Therefore, on day 1, my weight was inflated due to all the salt in my system and water retention. So when I dropped my sodium levels back to a reasonable amount, that water weight came off, and I was right where I was before those days of eating out. That is where I am today. That is not to say that I did not find this system beneficial. I think I come away from it with a lot of positives.

1. I don’t think in my entire married life we have ever gone 14 days in a row without eating out.

2. I got out of my comfort zone in the kitchen and tried a lot of new herbs, spices, and cooking techniques that I had never tried before.

3. I tried 42 new recipes, and liked at least half of them.

4. My family was very supportive, and willing to try the new foods without too much complaining. We are all finicky eaters, so it was a real stretch for us.

5. I’m motivated to continue to try new foods and recipes, and try to increase my culinary skills, which are still sorely lacking.

6. While we did not save any money, because of the high cost of the ingredients, we did save travel time, and have more family time after meals.

7. I am motivated enough to continue with the basics of the plan, substituting the items that I don’t like with items that I do. There are still a lot of recipes in the back of the book that I have not tried, and I am actually eager to do so.

8. I have some new personal favorites, and some new family favorites that I will continue to use.

9. I now accept that I have been putting some unrealistic expectations on myself as far as exercise is concerned, and will work on finding a balance.

10. I have come to realize that I need to wean myself off of certain aspects of Spark, so that I am using my time in a more productive manner. For example, I will benefit more from an extra walk around my neighborhood with my hubby or my son, than I will from spending the same amount of time reading yet another article, or posting another message just to earn a few more points.

11. I am beginning to see the benefit of planning a week’s worth of menus in advance, before I go to the grocery store. Even though it takes me longer to plan and make my grocery list, it will save me both time and money in the long run.

12. Sometimes there are more important things to be acquired than a lower number on the scales.

I will continue with the Spark Solution plan for a while longer, learning to make swaps as the book suggests, and tailoring it to my family’s likes and dislikes. I still have a lot to learn about cooking, and I think this is really helping me. While I don’t like all the prep and clean-up time, that is more time on my feet and less on my bum.
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