Sunday, March 29, 2009

Me and my triumphant (?) return - the whole food and juice plan.

(For those of you who weren't following along on my food blog, this might be slightly confusing. Suffice it to say that for February and part of March I was trying to revamp my eating habits. But a succession of obstacles led me to take a bit of a break to regroup and come up with a new plan. And now, I'm back! Or something. I'll be posting my weekly updates in both places, but my trials and tribulations will likely only get posted over there.)

As promised, I'm back. Not that I ever went away; I've been here and ranting at you. But I'm back to talk about my sugar/general food addiction, the fact that I've gained back a couple of the pounds that I managed to lose in February, and my new approach.

You may have some theories, based on the title of this post, as to what direction I'm heading in. Yes, that's right, I'm going on an all coconut ice cream and Newman's O's diet! Wait, no. Sorry, the sugar addict got hold of the keyboard for a minute. What I'm *actually* doing is shifting toward how I would like to be eating all the time forever, with one major difference at lunchtime because I do need to lose somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 pounds.

It breaks down like so.

*I will concentrate on real, whole foods: fruits and vegetables, unprocessed whole grains (the grains themselves here - brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, etc.), raw nuts, and legumes. Fresh, local, in season, and organic are of course always better, but I can do some frozen and canned because many things retain the vast majority of their nutritional value with these treatments - beans are a good example.

*I will eat limited amounts of tofu, miso, and seitan, whole grain products (like bread and pasta), potato foods (like perogi and gnocci - and of course potatoes themselves), processed foods (only those with ingredients I recognize), and less refined sugars such as turbinado sugar and agave nectar. My goal is to only have one meal a day that really features any of these foods.

*I will, for the time being, completely eliminate deep-fried foods (sorry veg tempura!), refined sugars, and processed foods with ingredients I don't recognize or with overly long ingredient lists comprised of things other than vegetables or spices. You know what I'm talking about. So, no more Tofurkey deli meat and sausages, no more ground meat for my fake sloppy joes, and so on. It's mainly fake meat that's out the door, which is OK because I don't eat much of it anyway. Once I've got myself under control, in a couple of months maybe, these might move from "never" foods to "once every month or two" foods. Maybe. I have a real problem with self control, so I have to be careful. If I give the addict an inch, she takes a mile. (Four servings in a pint of ice cream? Are they serious???)

And the big lunch plan? Juice! That's right, Sam the juice cart man is gonna get a whole boatload of my business this month. My favorite juices are all vegetable with just a little fruit - Carrot orange celery is a good example. There are all veg juices that are great too, like carrot celery beet. I like to base things in carrot, since it's creamy and sweet while having very little actual sugar. And every now and then I like to throw in a bit of cleansing parsley or lemon. Really, it's fun coming up with juice combos. The only real downside is that, it being April, I'll more than likely be going out in the rain a few times to get my juice fix.

If you're thinking I'm going to starve to death just having juice for lunch, fear not. I have a plan, and it goes like so:

Breakfast
-whole grains (not a whole grain cereal, mind you) like oats or a muesli
-hot tea - I'm on a chai kick lately, real chai - black tea with all kinds of wonderful spices, yeah.

11am Snack
-likely yogurt or nuts, or possibly some fruit - around 150 to 200 calories

Lunch
-24 ounces of wonderful fresh juice! It actually fills the stomach rather nicely.

5pm snack
-a little something to hold me until real dinner - again probably nuts or fruit

Dinner
-whatever Jonathan or I whip up that match the above-stated parameters. Hopefully salads pretty often - I got some good stuff last night at the grocery.

In the proper framework, I think I can avoid being unbearably hungry. I've found that at work I can stave off hunger pains with tea - not that I'm skipping meals or anything, but when you get in the habit of eating too much, your stomach expects you to keep doing it and complains if you don't. I have good tea at work - loose leaf oolong. It's my afternoon ritual. Not only does it keep me from getting hungry, but it's also a nice stress reliever and gets me away from my damn computer for a minute.

My breakfast this morning? Bob's red mill oatmeal with cinnamon and agave nectar (just a smidge) and my trusty cup of chai.

My weight this morning? 176.8.

So, that's my story. Wish me luck. And as always, keep your fingers crossed for me.

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