Saturday, January 14, 2012

What's for Dinner?

Food and I have a new relationship.  We haven't really had "the talk" where we define exactly what we are, how serious it is, or if we really see this going somewhere, but I have a good feeling about how we're doing together.  Things are still rather fresh and it's going to take some time and experience to feel completely comfortable with one another, but I'm learning more every day.

You see, Food and I go way back and it isn't all pretty.  In fact, until very recently, Food could just as easily have been classified as an enemy than an ally.  I would indulge in my favorites, relishing the flavor party and enjoying the experience, only to hang my head and wallow in guilt as I did the walk of shame to go put my PJ pants on because my jeans were just too uncomfortable to actually sit in after eating.  Of course, the guilt and disgust I felt over my illicit affair with Food would only drive me right back into the arms I had just fled from, back into the bottom of a bowl of ice cream smothered in hot fudge and whipped cream.

Ok, I have to stop writing about all this food because I can feel a sweet craving coming on.  Thank goodness I have the points available for today to go snag a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich from the freezer.  Guilt free.  No walk of shame. 

Love it.

Since starting Weight Watchers, I now think of food in terms of its point value and its ability to nourish me.  For instance, I'm much more likely to "spend" 9 points on a protein-packed meal like a breakfast burrito with ground turkey, a side of egg whites, and a banana than I am to waste those points on hashbrowns that will only turn to sugar in my body. 

My friend Sarah Jo asked me to write a post about the major diet changes I have made to help me drop 11.6 pounds in two weeks (can I get a WOOT! WOOT!!).  So here goes. 

The Big Changes:
  • No deep fried foods.  At all.  Ever. 
  • Amped up the fruit and veggie intake a ton!  If I'm craving a snack, I grab an apple, banana, or carrot sticks.  I also eat a LOT more salad now and I throw spinach into every smoothie I make.
  • Tons and tons and tons of water.  I carry a Camelbak water bottle around with me practically everywhere and I am sucking down water constantly.  Again, if the snack craving hits, I clutch that thing like it's going to save my life and I just drink water until the craving passes.  Cut out soda entirely.
  • Cut out the butter and "bad fats" as much as possible.  Not once in the last two weeks have I added butter to any of my food, cooked in butter, or put butter in a single recipe.  I use non-fat cooking spray at home and ask the kitchen at the restaurant where I work to do the same when they make my food.  Instead of butter on a baked potato, use fat free salsa. 
  • Switch out eggs for egg whites most of the time.  Instead of a regular three egg omelet, order it with 2 whites and 1 regular egg.  It quickly goes from a 6 point omelet to a 3 pointer! 
  • Adjust portion sizes!!  This has been a big adjustment for both myself and for Evan.  Things we always thought were a single serving have actually turned out to be three!  In order to know what you're eating, you have to really pay attention to how much you're eating.  This was most difficult for me to adjust to with pasta.  I was used to eating a plateful of pasta, usually drenched in sauce.  Now I eat a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta as a side item. 
  • Beware the sneaky things that can add fat and calories to your food without you even thinking about it.  Cheese, salad dressings, condiments, and bread can quickly jack up my point count so I have to really be careful with how I use them. 
  • Enjoy the foods you love...just in a different way.  We have this amazing breakfast at Leystra's Venture Restaurant called the Ham & Cheese Skillet.  It's made with hash browns, three eggs, cheese, diced ham, toast or pancakes, and your choice of bacon or sausage.  Yikes.  Delicious, but yikes.  Well, I was craving one pretty hardcore today.  So you know what?  I had one.  Except I created Sarah's Skinny Girl Skillet!  This 8 point wonder consisted of a half sized hashbrown (cooked without butter) with grilled onion and green pepper added, egg whites only, half the ham, no cheese, no bacon or sausage and no toast.  I enjoyed it with a side of salsa and found it very satisfying.  Later, I indulged in "Sweet Saturday" by having a half a slice of pumpkin pie!  No need to cut out all the fun stuff!
Obviously, I am no expert on this stuff.  Heck, half the time I end up eating a Lean Cuisine meal for lunch simply because I'm stumped on what to eat and I just can't bring myself to eat yet another grilled chicken salad. It's only been two weeks, after all.

I do have a whole stack of Weight Watchers recipes on my counter I've printed out that I can't wait to try out.  It's just a matter of getting organized and starting to meal plan, something I've always wanted to learn how to do anyway. 

So, I guess it boils down to trial and error.  I have yet to experience the challenge of eating out at a restaurant on a date night, enjoying a night out with girlfriends and cocktails, or a football party with nothing but pizza, wings and beer on the menu. 

It will all be worth it when I hit that goal weight and I get to take a vacation for my 10th anniversary that involves a bathing suit and a beach.  Right, honey?  Honey??

Hope this helps. 

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