Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dare I say

Diet? I have never wanted to blog about this a lot. I find it a strange combination of personal and boring, at least when it's a constant topic. Nonetheless ...

I have lost 14 pounds since we moved. Part of it is that I have been very consistent about going to the YMCA and have even joined a class, something I never thought I would be into. I am famously uncoordinated and not much of a joiner. Plus, the group fitness room at my gym in Merced was really a fishbowl. No, thanks.

But I like exercise now. The gym is my kid-free time, what with my husband working lots of hours in a new job, with living in a town where we have not yet figured out a good babysitter, and with not having any spare money for that babysitter anyway as we pay off our move and our last several months of living in California. And when I don't have a class (where I will, in fact, work a little harder just because Holly the teacher is there asking me to!) I have an MP3 player and an outstanding list of tunes to motivate me through 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 on the elliptical. (Those are the really good days!)

See, I'm avoiding the food topic. But in fact I have improved a bit on food, too, and the change has certainly helped.

Our bedroom and TV room are now not on the same floor as the refrigerator. So once we put the kids to bed and head downstairs for the evening, it's not so tempting to climb the stairs for a snack.

And I've been sticking pretty religiously with a no-seconds rule. Hard. I love good food. I cook pretty good food. It's really easy for me to keep eating after I should be done, when the food tastes good.

In January and February, the fam and I went on a no-sweets fast and donated what I felt we saved to a couple of different Haiti recovery efforts. This was a big help, no lie. I have a severe sweet tooth. It's better for me sometimes to just go cold turkey. After Easter, I think I need to do it again. Cursed Cadbury mini-eggs. Lucky for me they are seasonal.

I have a few other food principles, too. I will call them principles, not rules. Because there are always exceptions. If I start a plan with no exceptions, pretty soon I want to rebel. And that never turns out well. But at this point I think it is good for me to state them, to help myself stick to them.

First, eating lots and lots and lots of fresh produce. Mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and cabbage are all great roasted in the oven with a little olive oil. Fabulous for lunch on a baked potato or a bed of greens. And just every once in a while I am buying veggies I don't normally get - radishes are great with salt! Most often I am avoiding animal products for lunch in this way - a great tip from my sister Mary. This does mean actually cooking myself something for lunch instead of grabbing whatever is easy. It takes more effort and I know I am very lucky to be able to do it right now.

Second, making sure I get good fats and antioxidant stuff to make me feel un-deprived: good olive oil, raw almonds, avocados, pomegranates, dark chocolate, strawberries, just yummy foods that are good for me and make me feel like I am having treats.

Third, using whole grain everything when it comes to carbs. Tortillas, breads, pasta, rice. When I make pancakes or cookies or anything I use half and half white and wheat flour.

Fourth, keeping a selection of herbal teas and agave syrup for sweetener on hand in the cupboard.

Fifth, I have been substituting coconut oil for butter in a lot baked goods. My mom gave me a big bucket of it. It is expensive but yummy and much better for you than butter. If you google it there are all kinds of crazy claims - who knows what's true about that. At Christmas I made sugar cookies with coconut oil in the dough and rum flavoring in the icing. They were awesome!

Sixth, I finally got a stainless steel water bottle. I love this. You all need one!

I generally do not like low fat and diet foods. I far, far prefer just eating good and natural foods, and if I am going to have something like butter or cheese or dessert, I just want the real thing in small amounts. But I do buy light salad dressings. The Newman's Own light dressings are fantastic - the lime one is my all time favorite! Hidden Valley's light ranch is good. I can't even remember the difference anymore; it's been so long since I had regular ranch. And I do buy light mayo also (BestFoods) when I buy mayo, although right now we are using homemade mayo made with olive oil that is delicious!

That's all for now. Here's hoping to hit 15 pounds down this week.


D said...

Looks like staying active and eating healthy is paying off. I'm so happy for your weight lost thus far. Can't wait to see pictures of the new skinny. Keep up the good work for you and your family.

Ben said...

I appreciate your post. Congrats!

I have been debating on whether or not to post my "diet" experience this year. I've lost 12 pounds so far. Most of it has been because of food choices.

Marta said...

Yay! Congratulations!

Angela said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing them! I had never thought of putting grilled veggies on a baked potato, great idea! Keep the recipes coming, I know you have some awesome ones :o)

mim said...

I want your exercise playlist. Working out to Yo La Tengo doesn't really get the heart pumping so fast.

Crysty said...

Please do tell how to make homemade mayo.

Ana said...

Crysty, here is the recipe I have most recently used.

I still flub may up with embarrassing frequency. It's much more common for me to buy it. But Easter Sunday I wanted to devil a few of our five dozen boiled eggs and was out of mayo, so that's what I did.

Ana said...

Thanks for your comments and support, everbody :)

Jeannine said...

Good job Ana! No easy task. I thought of you the other day. The strawberry stand on McKee opened and I missed all my friends who have moved on. I'm glad you guys are doing well.

Ana said...

I miss that strawberry stand! I have been eating sour grocery-store strawberries all week! Wah!

But I miss you more!

wendy said...

Good for you! :-) That is terrific.