Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fed Up Challenge – Day 3

Day 3. I wish I could say I’ve noticed intense cravings or great effects from this, but so far I feel normal. I definitely felt out of sorts over Christmas, bloated and just nasty, but I have been attempting to make healthy choices in my diet since late May so “normal” equates to that for me. Basically, I am irritated that so many food products that do not need sugar have sugar, but otherwise nothing remarkable.

Let’s talk about that for a moment. Most brands of peanut butter for instance, contain sugar. Peanut butter should have peanuts, oil, and salt. That’s it. Fortunately, if you’re willing to spend the time and money, there are options. It just takes a lot of label reading. Here’s a list of some of the ones to look out for. See, long-term, I plan on consuming foods that have added sugar once again and I don’t mind the natural ones so much, but it frustrates me when they’re added to practically everything out there.

Okay, off my soapbox. Today’s report!

Breakfast: Instant oatmeal (plain, no sugar added) mixed up with 1 tsp of Chinese Five Spice Powder, a tbsp of raisins, 1/4 cup of almonds, and hot water. Coffee and my multivitamin.

Lunch: Leftovers of the chicken, roast vegetable combination, and beet greens from last night. Yummy!

Snack: 2 Clementines

Dinner: Reader, I branched out. A colleague told me about making pizza with cauliflower and well, I tried it. Allow me to show you the finished product:

cauliflower pizza

Looks good, huh? Tasted good too.

So two slices of pizza with some homemade marinara, fresh mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, and basil, about 2 cups of lettuce, tomatoes, and radishes, and 1 tbsp of Annie’s Organic Lemon Chive dressing, followed by 2 Clementines

I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had actually followed the directions on the recipe and not dropped over a third of the cauliflower all over my kitchen floor. The recipe is here.

Basically you take a head of cauliflower, chop into the florets. Then you’re supposed to pulse it in batches in your food processor. Unless you’re foolish like me and try to fit it all in there at once and the thing gets clogged and your rice-like consistency is more like a paste-like consistency. I messed up the amount of water too and then when I was squeezing out the moisture with the tea towel, managed to lose a ton of it.

But it’s really good. It’s not at all like a flour crust, but it has great flavor and good texture. I will make this again.

Shall we look at the numbers?

  • Calories: 1267 – well under
  • Carbs: 126 – very much under
  • Fat: 60 – on the nose
  • Protein: 68 – under, but not unduly so
  • Sodium: 1012 – more than half under
  • Sugar: 51 – under
  • Cholesterol – higher than yesterday, but under
  • Potassium – over for the first time (cauliflower is loaded with it)
  • Fiber – under by a hair
  • Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A & C: over by a lot

Fed Up Challenge – Day 2

Day 2 and I’m still standing. I want sweet things, but I think it’s because they’re off limits rather than actual craving, but it’s frustrating. Today it’s absolutely freezing and the thought of a cup of hot tea with honey is enticing, but honey is off the table, but I can hold off till then.

Today I have food porn:

The picture isn’t stellar, but it made for a very tasty meal. Okay:

Breakfast:  Coffee, my multivitamin and 2 Clementines

Lunch: Strips of red, orange, and yellow raw pepper, some baby carrots, and some celery sticks with 1 tbsp of hummus. I also had an apple cut up into pieces with 2 tbsp of cashew butter (organic, no sugar added). Oh, and a sheet of whole wheat matzo, which was . . . nasty? I am not a big fan of matzo on a good day and the whole wheat variety is even more tasteless than the regular. Spread with the cashew butter, it wasn’t too bad, but yeah, not my favorite.

Dinner (pictured above):  3 oz of roast chicken breast, skin removed, with a medley of oven-roasted turnips, potatoes, and beets (I toss them in about a tsp of olive oil with some balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper). Beet greens were sauteed with olive oil and garlic.

Snacks: microwave popcorn (just popcorn, nothing added), 1 oz of fresh mozzarella, and 2 Clementines. Oh, and 2 ounces of bourbon* (mixed with hot water and some fresh lemon juice)

*Bourbon and other hard liquors have next-to-no added sugars so they are okay to drink!

Let’s run the numbers, shall we?

  • Calories: 1509 – higher than yesterday, but still within my limits
  • Carbs: 203 – still under the limit
  • Fat: 48 – under today, yay!
  • Protein: 60 – still some room there, but respectable
  • Sodium: 1009 – let’s keep that up
  • Sugar: 63 – squeaking in under the wire, but I’m under
  • Cholesterol – super under today, actually below what i should be getting, but I am guessing that’s not so worrisome
  • Potassium – much higher, but still under
  • Fiber – did just fine today
  • Calcium: Under
  • Iron: Over
  • Vitamins A & C: Over

And there we have it. I’ve been feeling kind of blah, but I wasn’t feeling too hot before I started this and I can’t really discern if anything substantial is happening or not. I did take the time to make my food pretty and I to make it colorful. That always seems to help with satiety.

Fed Up Challenge – Day 1

This is where I should probably post some mouthwatering picture of my meal. You’ll just have to imagine it because I woke up late, had errands, and well, forgot to do the food porn thing.

This is what I had:

Brunch: 2-egg omelette (no milk) filled and topped with bruschetta and about 2 ounces of fresh mozzarella. I also had coffee, my multivitamin and 2 Clementines

Dinner: 2/3 cup corn (frozen); fresh red tomato chopped with fresh basil, .05 ounces of fresh mozzarella, a tsp of balsamic vinegar, and a turkey patty with a tsp of Weber’s mustard, wrapped in a lettuce leaf

Snacks: red pepper slices with 2 tbsp hummus, 2 more Clementines, and about a half cup of cashews and pecans (mixed), and 3 pieces of fake crab

The last was a mistake as it is extremely processed and contains sorbitol which happens to be a type of sugar, but I am just going to keep going because if I stopped for every mistake, I would never get through any of these things. As it is, it only contains 1 gram of sugar so it’s not like I devoured the half bag of Hershey’s Almond Kisses that are in my tote bag and will be deposited with colleagues tomorrow.

So let’s look at my totals as calculated through MyFitnessPal.

  • Calories: 1300 (comfortably under my daily goal, but not unduly so)
  • Carbs: 94 (again way under)
  • Fat: 74 -16 over (and herein lies a problem with me. I knew I was way over on the nuts, but I kept on eating anyhow)
  • Protein: 68 (under, but not by much)
  • Sodium: 1194 (way under and that’s a good thing for me)
  • Sugar: 46 (only 1 g was not naturally occurring and it looks like I have 20 remaining)
  • Cholesterol: OVER. That is a problem. Will need to work at that
  • Potassium: Under by quite a lot. Also an issue, but I’ll work on it
  • Fiber: Under
  • Calcium: Under by only by a hair
  • Iron: Over
  • Vitamins A & C: Over

This is not news to me. I don’t think cutting out food groups is the answer, but I’m willing to see if the lack of processed food and added sugars helps in other ways.

Things I enjoyed: the lettuce-wrapped burger which was not nearly as messy as one might think and was surprisingly filling; my bruschetta omelette, and actually my meals as a whole.

Things I did not enjoy: you know, today hasn’t been as hard as I expected. This will probably change…

Is this madness? – Day 0

After countless years of dieting, weight loss and then the seemingly inevitable weight gain, about six months ago, I decided to try something different.

Rather then attempt to diet, I decided to try and change a few behaviors. These were the ones I have been tackling on a daily basis:

  1. Take my multivitamin
  2. Drink 64 ounces of water
  3. Walk 10,000 steps
  4. Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
  5. Track my food intake

And by and large, I’ve been successful. I bought a Fitbit and I started using MyFitnessPal. f I fall out of the habit of doing these things, I just chalk up the inevitable and start doing them again.

The results? Have largely been successful. I’ve lost about 30 pounds and several sizes. I feel a lot better and I’m sleeping better. One of the things I’ve noticed, though, is that my sodium, glucose, and fat intakes are usually on the high end of normal or over. Also, I’ve plateaued on the weight loss. And as we started into the holiday season, I could just feel the pounds being packed right back on.  After talking to a friend of mine, I decided to give something called the Fed Up Challenge a go. I did a little reading and then I came across this.

So here’s the thing. I don’t like exclusionary diets. To me, that is an exercise bound for failure. What I like about this is that I can still have sugar, just only in naturally occurring forms (like fruit). There is no way in hell I’m cutting out all gluten, but I think I could do the following:

  • No added sugar
  • No processed foods with added sugars (and I’m actually going to try and limit processed foods as much as possible),
  • Whole wheat flour and brown rice products, but not too much of them

And we’ll see. I start tomorrow. I’ve been making menus because I get the sense that this is a challenge that requires planning.

A couple of people have asked me why I want to do this. I want to  see if this helps me meet and not exceed the FDA guidelines for nutrients, minerals, etc. I usually feel better when I cook, but it’s always so painfully easy to fall back on takeout. This will keep me focused. And maybe it’s going to push me out of the plateau weight loss thing. Who knows? I may cave after day 2. I think it’s worth a go.