Friday, October 8, 2010


Ugh. Well.

The whole week went well... kind of. It was tough, I won't deny. Being in the middle of PMS doesn't help at all when I am trying to avoid what amounts to all my favorite comfort foods, you know? Today was the last straw, and I gave in big time. It involved pizza (which only violated my terms of the doctor's directive by the crust and some pepperoni, but I had quite a lot), and ice cream (which wasn't explicitly banned, but I was trying to avoid stuff like that as a bonus), and some fried items (onion rings, to be exact). Blech. I really just wanted to let loose, and did I ever.

It's not something I ever want to go back to on a regular basis, though -- holy cow, now I know why I felt so crummy all the time before. Seriously. And I was eating that way almost all the time, that's the scary thing!

Anyway. I am not beating myself up. I made a very deliberate decision about doing this today. I still have a bunch of delectable fresh veggies in the fridge to whip up into yummy, healthy meals, and I plan to do just that. I've made some positive changes in my life that I'm not just going to throw away.

How was your week?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Scratch that: What a GREAT day!

Well, well. Did I ever turn my frown upside down, so to speak. :)

My partner, C., has also been eating better overall (he loves having salads with meals, for instance), but is not following the same way of eating as I. Sometimes, the things that I want to eat (and can eat) are also things that he would like to eat, but not always. He's not so into vegetarian fare, for instance, and doesn't like to eat seafood as often as I do. So sometimes, I'll just go ahead and get some takeout for him if that's what he wants.

Today, he did get pizza and some hot wings. And I was totally OK with it.

Seriously! It was fine. I truly feel that despite some of the feelings I might have here and there are very real and palpable, I still feel that taking care of my health is way more important. I can't believe that I am saying it, but my health concerns are finally trumping my taste buds and cravings for the first time ever — and I didn't even have a "scare", except for worrying that I might develop diabetes. I finally seem to understand fully that it is up to me to make the choice to take care of my body, or not, and that if I don't, in ten years (maybe sooner!), I'll be in real trouble.

I don't want to be in real trouble if I can help it. Would you?

So while I enjoyed the smell of the food my partner ate, and even looking at that gorgeous pizza, I went on to make a delicious stew for myself from the recipe in Moosewood's Cooking for Health: Mushroom, Peanut, Tofu Stew with Greens. It was one of those recipes that had a bunch of stuff in it that I like, but it also sounded a little funky (read: hippie) for my tastes. The peanut butter and cilantro clinched it for me, though, so I gave it a try. Turns out that it is really, really good! Of course I felt the need to add a diced Island Hellfire chile, as well a healthy dose of Marie Sharp's hot habanero sauce. Yep, I like my food spicy. :) I also made myself a lovely little salad made of mixed greens, cucumber, home grown tomato, sweet pepper sticks, scallions, green olives, and the secret ingredients: sticks of just underripe pear (perfect crunch and slight sweetness in a salad!) and feta cheese. Topped with the usual extra virgin olive oil and balsamic, of course. So tasty.

For dessert, I had a delicious Empire apple, cut in quarters and each piece spread with either peanut butter or (even better, I now know) crunchy almond butter! Holy cow, the latter is delectable indeed. I'd never had it before and bought some on sale at the local gourmet foods shop where we often buy the microbrews we love so much. It's organic, too, which is great; I'm still eating Peter Pan peanut butter, I am sorry to say. In the future, I'll likely get organic, natural PB for myself, too. What a discovery!

One thing I'm realizing is that whenever I cook for myself now, it's a really pleasurable thing. It's a kind of meditation for me — I wonder if I can make it a more formal meditation at that, now that I am really thinking about it? So many times when I've cooked in the past, I've felt anxious or tired, or resentful about having to cook, etc. A lot of negativity surrounded the activity. How wonderful it is to look at it from a different perspective — one of taking care of myself and nourishing my body. What a gift to be able to do that, isn't it? It makes me realize how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm also enjoying making a conscious effort not to waste food. How many times have I (have you?) purchased fresh fruits and vegetables with the best intentions, only to find them rotting in the crisper drawer a week or two (or more) later? Since I've been eating in this new way, I'm also paying better attention to what I have immediately available to me and finding ways to use what's there before heading out to the store again. A very old zine and online pal of mine, Jeannette Ordas, wrote adeptly about this very topic for ReadyMade Online recently.

Finally, I would like to declare how frickin' awesome it is to not weigh myself every day, or even every week. Even though I know that everyone's different, and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another, I'd truly like to recommend to folks starting out on a new regimen to avoid the scale at all costs.

I know, I know! This is exactly the opposite of what I have in the past — that when you're trying to lose weight, weighing every day and logging the number as part of a set of data where you can track the "trend" is totally awesome (see Physics Diet). But dude, I've never tried this before. I have never not weighed before while changing my eating habits. In the past, it's always been about the number on the scale. But now? I know that I am probably losing weight still, but the focus instead is on the very important thing right now: Developing a new way of eating that is more healthy overall, not to mention sustainable. I think that is why my doctor told me not to weigh, not to look at myself critically, not to think about my weight if I could manage it. Because that is just not the point. I don't think so, anyway. I guess I really won't know until I see doc again in November.

Go figure. I have to remember that if I am having a hard morning, it doesn't mean that the whole day is doomed. It just means that I need to refocus and keep the big goals in mind.

And in my heart.

Another tough day

Ugh, can I tell you how badly I'd like to have something... that I'm not supposed to have during my experiment?

Oh gosh, big time.

I'm pretty hungry right now, too, so that is not helping. I'd like to cook a nice meal I've been planning on, but I don't know. *sigh*

I know that all of this is worth it to my health. I've been thinking about the fact that the COBRA plan I am on, while more affordable than many, is going to really strain my budget. I'm considering dropping it, to be honest. But the only way I can do that and feel good about it is if I really make the effort to take excellent care of my health.

Of course one meal of pizza (or whatever else) isn't going to make or break me, I know that. I don't know what's up with me. Sometimes I really miss the sensation of being completely and utterly satiated, a full stomach, I guess. Not that I have been starving myself — not at all, just that the feeling of full on things like the things I am not currently eating is a different kind of full, you know? It's hard to explain though I am sure many of you can relate to what I am saying.

On another note, one nice thing I did for myself today is sign up for The Token Fat Girl's Wear It Well e-course. Developing my personal style is something I've been wanting to do for a long time now, so I thought I'd give it a try. When I was in my 20s, I really enjoyed fashion on my own terms — kind of funky, arty, eclectic, vintage, thrift. Nice hairdos. Fun shoes. All that good stuff. In more recent years, that's taken a back seat to everything else, and as a large lady, I have a confession: I still kind of hate going into shops that cater to my size range. Certainly clothing choices have vastly improved, but honestly? I'm STILL displeased and just make due with the basics.

Anyway, it is my hope that Lorrie's e-course will jump start me into a new perspective on my style overall, to go along with my whole new life. It seems apropos. My first step toward that was back in August with some new glasses, which are vintage French, black chunky frames that look like they came out of a Fellini film — and now I've got to keep that momentum going beyond that.

And then walking, yoga, meditation, running... lots of things on the list. Baby steps, always.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What I ate today

Just a sample. This isn't necessarily a typical day, but I wanted to do this exercise because honestly? I couldn't remember what I ate today? So, without further adieu...

• A bowl of light yogurt with frozen raspberries and blueberries (SUPERFOOD for the win!)
• A bowl of microwave popcorn with the no-cal cheddar stuff on it (I know, it's my one regular indulgence)
• A few bite-sized pieces of Dove chocolate (literally, just a few — I don't do this regularly at all anymore)
• A banana
• Some Amazing Grass superfood stuff with water... more on that another time
• Out to dinner with my friend Ani for Thai food. I had some Tom Yum Goon soup with shrimp, and a tofu curry — no rice
• Some baby carrot sticks with garlic hummus
• Maybe another bowl of popcorn? Still hungry...

I'd also like to mention that for the past week or so, I've been experiencing something odd. I'm really itchy! It started off as a large tender, sore spot between my eyebrows along with itchy eyes. Since then, the soreness has dissipated but the itchiness has spread to the top of my head and occasionally elsewhere. It's mainly my head and my face from my eyes above, and it is the weirdest, most annoying thing. I have no idea if it relates to how I've been eating or what. I haven't changed anything about the products I use or what I am eating in the time since it started.

I may call the doc and see what he says... aside from that, things are going fine.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three Weeks

Well, I've been at my new way of eating now for three weeks with barely a slip, and it's been great. It's really given me a chance to decide what kinds of things I NEED to include in my diet, and which I can decidedly do without, and I am grateful for that.

Just a matter of course, I've been eating a lot of vegetables and fruit and because of that, many of my meals are vegetarian. I'm not a HUGE fan of meat in general. I do like a good cut of steak anytime, but ground beef, any type of pork or poultry I could really manage without just fine. I do really enjoy fish, though.

I'm not going to declare myself a vegetarian or anything, but it seems natural that much of my eating veers toward that, and at the very least pescetarianism. That I could live with.

The one thing that I am looking forward to after the eight weeks is reintroducing bread, rice, and pasta into my diet once in a while. However, from now on I will indeed choose whole grain versions all the time. All the things I've been reading really point to that being crucial — eliminating those refined grains altogether if I can. I'm also aiming to cut out most processed, refined foods as well. It may too early, but I have a feeling that you'll be able to call me a whole food convert sooner than later. At the grocery store again yesterday? Just about entirely the perimeter of the store, with my little cart packed to the gills with fresh vegetables. I was beaming with pride.

I'm now drinking water all the time. Sometimes with lemon or lime, sometimes plain with ice, sometimes as seltzer. It's been an easy transition, even more so than the last time I gave up soda.

Tonight for a late dinner I made myself a stunning meal: A curry that I Frankensteined from this recipe and this recipe. I wanted to avoid using white potatoes obviously, but in my research decided that yams were OK as merely distant relatives of the potato AND a true superfood, so there. (Incidentally, and good for me — I love every single food on that list! Yum!)

Rather than saute the cauliflower and potato on the stove, I decided that roasting them would be a better option. I cut up just over four cups of florets and just under two cups of sweet potato, tossed them in extra virgin olive oil, and roasted them on a pan for thirty minutes in a 400 degree oven. Then, I set them aside while I prepared the curry sauce as directed in the shrimp curry recipe. When time came to add the shrimp and cilantro, I also added the cauliflower/potato mixture and some finely diced hot chile peppers (I like it HOT and SPICY!), let simmer a bit more, and that's it. It was a relatively easy meal to make and it was absolutely delicious. To me, it was almost better than the Indian takeout you can get around here. First, cooking at home allows you to customize and use the freshest ingredients, and second, it is SO much cheaper! I am very excited. Tonight, though, maybe a bit too much, as I ended up eating the entire batch. Oops. Yes, I still need to work on portion control when I am eating something that I really enjoy. I definitely know how to get carried away, but I guess at least it's better, healthier food that I am indulging on. Baby steps.

The best thing is that I didn't even miss having rice as an accompaniment! This dish didn't need it at all and was very filling on its own.

I am still really curious to know what the weight loss tally is so far, but C. did me the favor of hiding the scale. Yep. It was definitely for the better as I was getting a bit obsessed, and this is also a behavior that I want to eliminate.

Things are going pretty darned well. I am very proud of myself, and I feel great.