Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Food Rules

Even though I wasn't given any specific dietary restrictions after my surgery, I took it upon myself to make sure I didn't set myself up for trouble by feeding my body stuff that my digestive system - recently missing an organ - wouldn't like. I haven't exactly put myself on a diet, per say, but I have made some small changes that I can really tell are paying off. I have lost some weight (not a lot, but every pound counts!) and I can definitely tell when I eat something I shouldn't have because my body does NOT let me get away with it anymore. :)

1. No deep fried foods - None, nada, zero. I decided the one thing I would give up entirely would be this kind of food. Let's face it - it's bad for you. Period. Here we are on January 20th and I have not cheated even once. Since the surgery, I have not eaten a single french fry nor anything else that is deep fried. This has been a tough one a couple of times, especially at work, but for the most part it has been an easy change to make that has made a big difference.

2. Smarter dessert choices - I love sweets and there is absolutely no way I'm in a place to give them up entirely. Baby steps, people. Instead, I have been making a concentrated effort to make smarter choices in the dessert category. I would literally have a piece of pie every time I worked at the restaurant. I don't do that anymore. I think I have only had two bites of pie since the surgery. If I get a wicked bad sweet craving at work, I have a spoonful of ice cream. At home, I indulge in a JELL-O chocolate mousse cup - only 60 calories each! Do I still get custard at Culver's from time to time? Absolutely. Do I get it every time? Nope. Oh, and it helps that I'm not eating the french fries, deep fried chicken sandwich, or the chicken tenders anymore. I'm also a big fan of the dessert Shooters at Applebee's (see photo)- only $1.99 and way smaller than the crazy huge desserts restaurants typically tempt you with.

3. Cut back on big-time fatty foods - It used to be that nothing would make me happier than a Culver's Double Deluxe value basket paired with either a chocolate malt or a sundae afterwards. Now I stick to the grilled chicken sandwich, a salad, or some other choice not quite as loaded up on fat.

4. Control my snacking - I eat when I get bored, upset, or for no reason at all. Nowhere is this more difficult than when I'm working at the restaurant. When we're slow, I much on anything I can get my hands on: french fries, cookies, malts, onion rings, etc. No longer. I choose sensible meals when I am there and if I start to feel the urge to snack coming on, I grab a glass of ice water and carry it around with me - seriously. I drink that ice water mostly just to keep my hands and mouth occupied so I don't go snacking on something I shouldn't. It works!

5. Reduce portion sizes - We had pizza for dinner the other night and I chose to have a large salad before the oven beeped. By the time I actually ate pizza, I was completely satisfied with two pieces. I probably should have stuck to just one, but baby steps, right? I was really proud of myself for not going back to eat that third piece an hour later!

6. Pack a lunch - This has been awesome! I grilled up two large chicken breasts on the Foreman grill, chopped them up, and put them in a Tupperware. If I am teaching that day, I assemble a little salad kit and bring it with me. I can only imagine how many calories this has saved me versus eating school lunch!

Wow, that became a much longer post than I planned on. Give yourself a pat on the back if you're still reading! Anyway, that's the rundown on the new food rules that are helping me eat better post-surgery.

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