Thursday, February 26, 2009

Food Fun and Frustrations

About two weeks in, I thought I'd give you an update on my New and Improved Me Regime, AKA the battle against cholesterol and triglycerides. I'm happy to report - So far, so good! Now, I have no idea if it's actually helping improve my lab results. But I am on track with meeting my self imposed goals.

1. I've been walking every day instead of the 3-4 days a week I had managed. I've only missed one day and that was a day of really wild and crazy wind and rain.

2. I haven't cheated on the types of food I've been eating.

3. I've kept to my calorie goals in order to lose weight, it being the third thing I could influence (the others being diet and exercise.)

Mostly, it's going well. In fact it's really kick jumped me into what I'd been trying to muddle towards with mixed results before having this new incentive. There has been a few frustrations.

I miss bread. Which I'm not eating much of mainly for calorie reasons. Whole grain breads are certainly a good food choice, but I'll eat them later. Ditto dark chocolate. Just to tempting to go from eating one one small square to eating two or eight or twenty seven small squares.

I hit a low point a few nights ago and went a wee bit too ballistic on Hubby for eating all the Cheerios. The next day both Hubby and I went out and bought a super huge box of Cheerios to avoid further bizarre battles.

My doctor recommended I add weight resistance exercises to the aerobic exercise I'm already doing. I'm thinking this will be boring. And will require more time out of my day that I'd prefer to use in other ways. Can I do this at home or will I have to sign up for the gym? Jury is out on whether this is really a negative.

Mostly, there's been a lot of plusses.

I'm cooking a lot, lot, lot more. Because eating out is just too complicated. I've started to consider eating out, at least as much as I used to, to be a triple bad idea. I look at the menus and think a) I can make that taste a lot better, b) I can make that a lot healthier, and c) I can make that for a lot less money!

Hubby and I have still stuck to our weekly lunch date though at our friends' French restaurant and Rita has managed to come up with something that fits my criteria and tastes so heavenly that it's worth every penny. I took photos today of our plates:

This was Hubby's tri tip on a bed of greens.

And my spicy grilled ling cod on the same greens with corn relish, hold the dressing. It was supposed to be served on a bed of lentils but I'd made a big pot of lentil chili at home and had been eating it off and on for a week, so she substituted the greens for me. Soooo delicious!

Back at home, I'm really enjoying all that cooking. It's not taking up as much time as I expected it to, probably because I remember cooking and cleaning up after SEVEN people, not two or three. It's become a meditative and centering part of my routine. And it's created more routine in my day, in a positive way.

Hubby says he can hardly wait to come home each night now to see what wonderful meal I'll have ready for him. A big difference from the last few years when coming home and asking "what's for dinner" would get him the response "I don't know. Maybe you can make yourself a tv dinner." or maybe simply "I don't know." Silence. Unfortunately, William hasn't been as inspired to enjoy all this healthy bounty. He's still opting out far too often. They were all like this at this age. Sigh.

I thought the hardest part would be giving up sugar in my tea and coffee. Au contraire, I quickly adjusted and am actually enjoying some of my teas a lot more now that I can taste the subtle differences that haven't been hidden under what I thought was a harmless small teaspoon of sugar.

Ditto oatmeal. I used to eat it with milk and a whopping tablespoon (or, *cough* maybe more) of brown sugar. I started out substituting applesauce and cinnamon. Then just the cinnamon. Now I'm just splashing it with soy milk and it tastes plenty sweet without anything at all.

I already knew a lot about nutrition before this but I've learned even more. Little snippets of information that I hadn't paid any attention to but that makes a big difference. Knowledge that will be helpful for the rest of my life.

I'm actually having trouble some days eating enough calories! I remember back in my later twenties, a few years after I'd stepped away from my years of being a health food "purist", looking back at photos from those days and being surprised at how thin I looked. Not that I wasn't still pretty thin, but there was a noticable difference. I'd never noticed at the time because I didn't have a scale and I was eating all the food I wanted, never paid attention to serving size or worrying about seconds (or even thirds). I wasn't dieting. I was eating lots of yummy food. I think that's what's happening now. Not the being thin part I mean, but the eating lots of food part. There's really only been one or two days where I felt hungry at one point and that was early in the first week and it was when I forgot to eat before I went out or something. I had a couple nights (about a half a week ago, when I was having that low point I mentioned earlier) when the late night munchies reared it's head again. But it wasn't out of hunger pains, it was out of boredom. I brought a sliced orange to bed a couple nights in a row and got over it.

I still wish my lab results had come back all peachy keen but since they didn't, I'm doing my best to enjoy the silver lining.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great! I have had a week, where we were "required" to eat out twice. The whole family was relieved to have home cooking last night. Of course since Mike cooked and did dishes, it was triplly great. Cooking and eating relatively healthy is not our problem as much as finding a variety of foods everyone likes. I suggested your idea of making a list of menu ideas, but Mike and Alex just said great, you go girl. We are going to Thai tonight--but I will have curried chicken with veggies and rice!

5:03 PM  
Blogger mz said...

Good job. I eat oatmeal everyday and usually cook it with either unsweetened applesauce or 1/2 of a banana. Your dinner out looked delicious.

7:58 PM  
Blogger JulieZS said...

Laume, I'm really glad that you're able to find the silver lining in all these changes you're making for your health. That's a *really* good sign that this is going to stick and work well for you. I'm rooting for you!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can add weight resistant exercise really easily. Get yourself two 3-5 lb weights and take them with you as you walk. It's what my mom does. You can also get those ankle weights. (or make them) and those will help too. Not boring, and you don't need a gym.

3:33 PM  

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