The Garden…and Other Things I Haven’t Written About

This morning I spent about 3 hours working in the garden. And I thought about taking pictures, but it just seemed like the garden is in that in-between stage when there’s nothing particularly interesting to show. Hopefully, in a few weeks, my work will be rewarded with lots of pretty flowers to share with you.

But while I worked, I thought about all the things I HAVEN’T written about lately. And how, just like the garden, even though I haven’t written about those things, it doesn’t mean the work is not being done.

Just because I haven’t written much about weight loss/maintenance DOESN’T MEAN I AM FAT. GIVE ME A BREAK. Maybe I have already said everything I could possibly think to say about the subject. Maybe I am busy living my life, and going to the computer to repeat my thoughts about what is necessary to lose and maintain weight has been usurped by much more interesting creative impulses.

Every day of my life I work on maintaining my weight loss. Some days it seems absolutely effortless. And some days it seems like a full time job. When I mention to people that I used to weigh a lot more, and we’re discussing keeping the weight off, I almost always say the same thing–”Its hard work.”

Just because I am not writing about food or recipes or low-cal cooking DOESN’T mean I have gone off the rails. FAR FROM IT. I’ve tried some really excellent new recipes lately. They were other people’s recipes, and they were tasty and healthy and low calorie. I didn’t even have to adjust them. They’re all out there on the web. I just didn’t feel the need to share them. And sometimes food tastes better than it looks. That’s the case with my latest try.

Just because I haven’t mentioned the gym lately, doesn’t mean I sit for hours in my Lazy Boy in front of the boob tube. How many times and in how many different ways can I say “I went to the gym. I did my weights workouts. The same exercises at the same weights. I got on the exercise bike, and I rode for the same distance in the same amount of minutes.” And on the other days, “I took Noah for a walk, and I came home and did my PT exercises.” And in case anybody’s wondering–yes, I am in an exercise rut. Its a rut I like very much. Which means that I will keep exercising consistently. Which is one of the most important factors in weight loss maintenance.

Oh, and one more thing. Just because I do not post pictures of myself that often, it does not mean I have gained a ton of weight and am embarrassed by my appearance. I live alone. My arms are short. You do the math.

Maybe, just maybe, if I am ever really healed of the chronic condition of WEIGHT, there will be no more need to write ad nauseam about the daily vagaries of my LIFE WITH FOOD.

I love you guys and I love blogging. I love the comments and “conversations” we have on this blog and some of my other friends’ blogs.

But sometimes the drama and the judgmental attitudes expressed by other bloggers just gets to me. Their opinions are arrogant and mean-spirited, and they are saying those things about people they don’t even really know. If you want to write about your own shortcomings, that’s fine. But don’t drag all the rest of us in with your irresponsible blanket statements.

 

 

Out of Town

Yes, that’s right. I am going out of town again. I am leaving this week on a trip to Haiti, which I am combining with a pleasure trip to visit a friend.

But what I want to write about was “how I ate” on my most recent trip to a quilt event. Yes, again. I am writing about how I eat when I travel. This time I tried a few new things, and so thought my experiences were worth talking about.

The event was the Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar. This is a very good, very organized event. The hours run long, but they put plenty of breaks between sessions–time to move around and yes, eat. For those of you who aren’t quilters, this is a “no sew” event. It is all demonstration and information, and you don’t have to bring your machine or supplies with you. I really liked that, since I usually end up making something I don’t like in most of the workshops I attend! Plus, easy peasy!

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Ricky does a concert and inspirational talk on one of the evenings. He plays a grand piano, but I couldn’t get a good shot of that. This is one of his Indian flutes.

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Alex Anderson and Pam Holland also presented informative and inspirational talks.

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Back to our food discussion! That last trip I took out of town I ate a little too much sugar and wheat, and I didn’t like how I felt. So I left determined to not eat (much) sugar or wheat on this trip.

Here’s a few of the things I did. I took my own yogurt and granola with me. I took some of my low calorie baked goods with me for breakfasts. I took some of my favorite Quest protein bars. And I grabbed my bag of Skinny Pop popcorn for snacks in the evening.

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I knew there was a Costco just down the road from the hotel I was staying in. So after I made sure there was a little fridge in the room, I headed over to Costco for a bag of my favorite salad mix–the Kale Superfoods salad. This salad still seems like a treat to me. While I was there, I got a box of their cherries. I was set! I had food for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and would only eat out for dinner.

My favorite department at Costco!

My favorite department at Costco!

In the morning, I checked out the breakfast buffet, and got a few eggs to try (yuck–discarded.) I ate my own muffin and had some coffee. But look! I had a container for my salad!

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Here’s how to pack your yogurt and granola for lunch, if you forgot your little container with the ice in the lid… (file under: where there’s a will, there’s a way.)

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Every afternoon they had a 45 minute break about 3pm. Ahhh, just the right time for my coffee break! (and mandatory Quest bar.)

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Now, in the interest of full disclosure on “how I eat when I travel,” let me fill in the blanks. The first night I had dinner with some old friends. I made a good choice for my dinner, and for whatever reason, they did not serve bread with dinner!! Weird. But good for me, because if it was there, I would have eaten it.

The second night the hotel had given me a free entree coupon for my favorite restaurant–Texas Roadhouse. And oh yes, I certainly did eat their bread. And the third night I went with some new friends to a local hamburger joint! That was really delicious. We split an order of garlic fries three ways, and the burger was really normal sized. I really enjoyed that meal.

Oh, and one day I had time to drive around the town a bit, and happened upon a See’s Candy store. Ruh roh. But I have a new plan. If I do go in, I only buy 2 pieces. So much better than going in and buying half a pound and then trying to NOT eat it all at once!

The event ended at 5:30 on Saturday night, and I thought that I would stop for dinner on the way home. But I decided that I really wanted to get home and could wait until then to eat. Only thing was, I needed to go to the bathroom. Okay, perhaps I could have found a bathroom somewhere besides in the Coldstone Creamery… That was probably my poorest decision all weekend. But I enjoyed my small serving, and even left a bit of it uneaten. And that was dinner.

So even though I did not stick completely with my plan of no sugar/no wheat, my food amounts and choices were quite reasonable, and I did not gain an ounce. I kept in mind some very good advice from my friend, Cammy:

Adaptability – It’s good to have a plan, but sometimes life interferes and the plan gets fuzzy. In the past I had an ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset and generally caved into the chaos. I still do that sometimes, but more often than not, I’ve learned to adjust and adapt and do the best I can in a given situation.

Back home, the little dogs were happy to see me. Speaking of adapting to a given situation, they seem to adjust quite easily to all the changes around here.

The living room awaits new floors,windows, and wall paint.

The living room awaits new floors,windows, and wall paint.

The "dining room" aka furniture storage receptacle.

The “dining room” aka furniture storage receptacle.

As long as they have a soft bed and a heater, they are happy.

Monk and Bess share the bed next to the wood stove.

Monk and Bess share the bed next to the wood stove.

The queen on her dirty laundry throne.

The queen on her dirty laundry throne.

Monk and Sophie share a little bed in the studio (do you see the theme here?)

Monk and Sophie share a little bed in the studio (do you see the theme here?)

And now I must end and pack my bags (and do a million other last minute things! Eek!) I will have lots of adventures to tell you about when I return!

A Peachy Keen Summer

After grousing about the poor harvest of peaches last summer, it seems I have been rewarded with a banner crop of peaches this year! I have gotten peaches from three different places, and all of them have been wonderful. My latest purchase was from Costco! They traditionally have had great peaches for sale each summer. But really, what is a single person to do with a DOZEN peaches? Time to get creative!!

While I was at Costco, they were promoting their organic products. The lady in the quinoa booth caught my attention, and we had a brief conversation about how we used our quinoa. I still have a lot of quinoa because I bought a SEVEN POUND BAG at Costco. Ahem…moving on. Anyway, she mentioned that she uses it with peaches to thicken them. Ooh, that sounds yummy.

One of the troubles of quinoa is that it is kind of dry. It seems like it needs something to make it stick together. So I came up with this idea. Its more an idea than a recipe, although I guess I’ll write the idea down on my recipe site, if only for myself. I cooked one serving of quinoa–1/4 cup of quinoa in 1 cup of water. While that was cooking, I peeled and chopped 2 peaches. I put them in a separate pan with just a bit of water to keep them from sticking. After they cooked for a bit, I added a slurry (don’t you love these fancy new cooking terms I pick up from my cooking shows) of 1 1/2 tsp corn starch, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 cup water. And I continued to cook for about 3 minutes. By this time the quinoa was cooked and I added the quinoa to the peaches–Voila! Peachy Quinoa Compote. Remove from heat and add sweetener of choice. This made 3 servings at 95 calories per serving.

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Now, here is another recipe I tried at the same time, because I thought they would taste good together, kinda like peaches and cream. Well, its peaches and cream for the weirdly healthy food addict LOL.

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It is Chia Pudding. Couldn’t be simpler. I got the original idea here. All you do is put 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk and 4 Tbsp chia seeds, along with sweetener of choice into a container with a lid. Give it a shake. 15 minutes later give it another shake and then put it in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. I really enjoyed this. Only 50 calories for 1/2 cup.

I think there are a lot of ways you could eat the Peachy Quinoa Compote. Warm, with some granola on top, for a dessert. Maybe as a topping for french toast or protein pancakes?

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(French toast made with whole grain bread, about 230 calories for this plate.)

And I plan to have the rest of the Chia Pudding with some blueberries tomorrow morning. The Fun with Food never stops!

Oh, as long as I mentioned fun with food, I have to share a picture I took of my dinner the other night. I really eat like this.

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( 4 oz. turkey burger with tomatoes and lettuce.)

Recipes and Ideas

Another post full of recipe and food ideas! What can I say? Eating is something I do every day all day. I enjoy it.

Everyone knows about overnight oats, right? A couple weeks ago I had pre-planned my meals (as usual,) and I had written down steel cut oats for breakfast (because, hello, I bought SEVEN POUNDS of the stuff at Costco…) But I realized that it was going to be 110 degrees in the morning, and cooking oatmeal did not appeal. So I remembered the overnight oats. Kinda like breakfast pudding. And I came up with the idea of almond joy overnight oats. This was sooo yummy, and not too costly, calorie-wise. I made the basic overnight oats recipe (oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and yogurt,) and added about 1/2 Tbsp each of shredded unsweetened coconut, sugar free chocolate chips, and sliced almonds, and 1/4 tsp of coconut extract and some splenda to sweeten.

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Single Lady Lasagne–alas, no picture! I ate it too quickly. This was a recipe I came up with a while ago, and actually used it for one of my columns in The Quilt Life magazine. I wrote the column last winter, and the magazine just came out so I tried the recipe again. Quite delicious. I’ll post the recipe and you can read it there. Its very simple to assemble, and includes slices of zucchini, which makes it a nice big serving. The best part is no pre-cooking the lasagne noodle. Yes, for one serving, you only use one lasagne noodle!

I watch cooking shows ALL THE TIME. At the gym on the bike, and at home in the evening, if I can find something on the computer, its usually a cooking show. I really can’t eat anything those people cook. (example: the Barefoot Contessa, “Just a bit of butter to bring out the flavor” as she puts a whole cube in the pot LOL.)

Anyway, I was watching Giada (anyone else find it irritating that she is so thin and pretty and cooks like that and seems to actually eat the food, but then she’s so nice you can’t really be mad at her?) She was making some Strawberry-Rosemary Scones. Mmmm. What a nice flavor combination. I already have my low-cal scone recipe perfected, and just needed to add the strawberries and rosemary. I used Lori’s recipe for thickening fruit (adding just a bit of corn-starch) and made my own quick strawberry jam. These are fun and tasty. And a nice breakfast or dessert treat at about 150 calories. My recipe is here.

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I sprayed them with a bit of ‘butter’ and sprinkled my cinnamon splenda on top before putting them in the freezer.

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The other day I mentioned getting a little pizza at the farmer’s market, and how I liked Trader Joe’s whole wheat crust better. I finally got to a TJ’s, and I made a pizza over the weekend. I still haven’t mastered the art of making a nice round pizza crust, but it tastes just fine. A little leftover spaghetti sauce, chopped spinach, some fresh mozzarella, and tomatoes went on this one. Cut into 6 big pieces, each one is just 250 calories. And its funny, when you KNOW the calorie count, that is more than enough pizza to satisfy. But when you’re eating out and you *don’t know* the calorie count, you just keep eating and eating. Anyway, that’s what I usually do.

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Froyo. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I have an ice cream freezer (had to have one of those cuisine-art things) but it usually freezes some of the ice cream to the sides of the freezer, which is frustrating, and then when I make a batch and freeze the leftovers, its as hard as ice. This is probably because of the low fat content of what I’m making. Anyway, I tried this. And I do think this is the way to go for a single person. All I need to do is freeze the froyo solution in ice cube trays, and then process the cubes in my mini food processor for instant frozen yogurt at just the right consistency.  This was just a mix of some homemade yogurt with a little of that leftover ‘strawberry jam’ from the scone recipe. It was just right!

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And topped with three walnut halves and some SF mini chocolate chips–165 calories:

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In case you think all of my food experiments come out perfect every time, this morning I ate half of a serving of some chocolate overnight breakfast pudding that I came up with and made last night. It wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t like it. So I only ate half, and had one of my very light banana muffins on the side. Now that’s yumm! Did I tell you I came up with that recipe as a way to use up the leftover egg/milk solution from my french toast?

New Food

I was going to title this “That Darn Costco,” because most of the new foods I’ve gotten were from Costco. You know how they always have those sample carts out? Well, yes, I have to admit that I do try some of those products. Some of them are most worthy. And some are not.

A few weeks ago I was there with a friend. And there were some people there promoting their JERKY. I have never ever tried jerky. But I’d actually been wanting to try it for a few years. So I practically ran to their booth. Okay, what’s NOT to like? I think its got that combo of fat, sugar, and salt that makes cookies so enjoyable! Anyway, since I’ve never tasted other jerky, I can’t really tell you this brand was better, but I think it might be. For one thing, I think its softer than most jerkies. I bought the Teriyaki. When I went back last week, I got the lemon garlic turkey one to try–also delicious! 70 calories for one ounce, and there are 7 grams of protein in that. My BF pointed out that this could be a trigger food for me, and I think she’s right. But so far I’ve only eaten it when I planned it.

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Periodically Costco has a booth offering sugar free “belgium” chocolates. I usually try the samples and move on. The other day I decided to get a box of the individually wrapped dark chocolates. About 50 calories (SF chocolate isn’t really a calorie savings) and very enjoyable. One is definitely enough to satisfy.

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Last week when I went to Costco, there were some nice young men promoting their product–”Bolani Spinach Bread.” The label says it is an Afghanistan bread. It has a thin delicate layer of bread and quite a bit of spinach in the middle. OH MY GOSH. This stuff is unbelievably delicious. The ingredient lists are simple and straightforward. There is nothing I didn’t recognize in them. And the calorie count is really a bargain, as far as I am concerned. 103 calories for this large piece.

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Not only is the bread delicious, but the toppings they sold to go along with it are equally as good. They are all low fat. In fact, NONE of them have any added oil. So to have the bread with the three toppings on it (that’s how they served it) is about 135 calories.

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I have been thinking that these toppings would be good for other things. I had two of them on top of my baked potato the other day.

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(That’s a four ounce tilapia filet on the plate. I eat small baked potatoes.)

Sunday I finally tried rutabaga fries! Oh my goodness, I really really loved these. Their texture reminded me of sweet potato fries. When they were cooking they did have a different smell, maybe like cauliflower. They are pretty low in calories. I will definitely be having these again.

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I had them for dinner with a bowl of strawberries and cottage cheese. Perfection!

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I guess that’s about it for my new foods reviews. When you’re trying to be very careful about what you eat, its really fun to find delicious new foods that will fit into your diet plan.

Weekend Doings!

Just a bit of this and that. I’ll get around to writing about the trip eventually. I had some different meals lately, and enjoyed them very much. I finally remembered to pick up a package of spinach and have been enjoying it in various forms, both in my smoothies, and also cooked. Here it is in a breakfast scramble with some red potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. Oh, and an egg and some egg beaters mixed in. Quite yummy. Adding potatoes definitely ups the allure of eggs for me (I’m not a big egg lover.)

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In the same day, I decided to make a big batch of marinara sauce because I wanted to try out the homemade noodles that the 86 year old lady whose farmhouse I stayed in in Ohio had gifted me with. You know I don’t eat pasta that often, but I had to try these. They really were very tasty noodles! And the marinara sauce was yummy. I roughly followed my directions for Darn Good Spaghetti Sauce (but started with a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of tomato sauce) and omitted the meat so I could use it in a variety of ways. Now I have lots of marinara sauce in the freezer!

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I added some turkey burger to some of the sauce for this meal.

On Thursday, MLG (master landscaping guy) came over to start on the new raised bed. He worked for 2 1/2 hours IN THE RAIN before giving up. He came over again on Saturday morning to finish the job, and then went to the nursery to get a truckload of dirt to fill it up! I helped out by moving the dirt around as he dumped in wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of the stuff. It doesn’t look like much, but that is actually very hard work. I love the way he did it in tiers.

This picture is taken from my front door, so you can see the first bed and where it is in perspective to that. Of course, MLG pointed out that it would look super cool if we were to continue the flagstone pavers up between the two beds. And he’s right, it would. I am going to price them at Home Depot this week.

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I woke up with a very sore back on Saturday morning. Later in the afternoon, I went to the gym for a nice long swim. I don’t know if that helped it or not, but for the time I was in the pool, nothing hurt. It sure was nice.

On Sunday morning I wanted to try a new recipe. I had bookmarked this original recipe for “giant breakfast cookies.” Of course, I had to try to lighten it up a bit. Plus, I didn’t have applesauce, so I sub’d pumpkin. Did you know that applesauce and pumpkin have the same amount of calories??

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These were quite tasty (and quite gigantic!) I put it on the plate that I usually plate my scones on for comparison. I think they are the same size as my scones. And I was very pleased with how long it kept me full. To make sure they were worthy, I had another one for breakfast this morning. I’ll post my recipe later today.

Before church, I hit the gym for a fairly long session on the bikes. I don’t really know what other people do on the bikes, but my mileage/time is pretty consistent. In 45 minutes I “rode” 9 1/2 miles.

And then Sunday afternoon I went to a potluck. Oh brother. I guess in hindsight I didn’t do too badly. A few too many dessert samples were consumed. (I took my go-to potluck dish of a ton of fresh fruit and a bowl of the Creamy Fruit Dip.) It was a potluck to benefit Second Chance Dogs. This is Noah’s trainer’s project. She takes dogs from the local humane societies that often times are unadoptable and keeps them on her ranch and works with them until they are perfect canine citizens and then finds homes for them. The transformations are amazing. She has re-homed over 250 dogs in the past 10 years.

And in between, I did some quilting. Lots and lots of quilting. It was a VGW (Very Good Weekend.) Hope yours was a good one too!

AIM–A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

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Its the first Monday of April and time for another AIM post. This time we’re answering a reader’s question about the “brass tacks” of our daily food plan–how, what, and why we eat what we eat. I write about that almost every day, so why am I finding this so hard? I think its because I don’t want to mislead anyone. I could just write about what I am eating now, how I plan for it, think about it, cook it, shop for it. But that is not how I’ve always eaten. When I thought about it, I decided there have been four main stages I have gone through. So far. I am pretty sure I will have to adjust my food plan again. Aging and all that, you know. So here goes.

Stage 1. When I first started losing weight, the majority of what I learned about food was from Weight Watchers. Sure, I investigated on my own. But the main focus was on counting calories (points) and paying more attention to the fiber content (high was good) and fat content (high was bad.) It did not matter a lot if the food was processed. In fact, I think it was easier to count the points if it was packaged with all that information already on the box. (This is probably unneeded information, but I was the QUEEN of Cool Whip Lite. I made sure that I never ran out of that stuff.) I did start to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. And the biggest change I think I made was having a good breakfast. I continued to eat this way when I reached my 100 pounds lost and started to maintain at that level. (Yes, I lost 100 pounds while ingesting Cool Whip Lite almost every day.)

Stage 2. I was struggling a bit with maintaining my weight loss, and a good friend recommended a personal trainer. Little did I know, the trainer was a foodie too! I learned so much about good food and nutrition from her. I started eliminating all processed foods from my diet. I learned that there were new foods that I actually enjoyed eating. Lentils, edemame, and quinoa come to mind. I also started exploring healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts–specifically walnuts.) It was during this time period that I read (among other things) The End of Overeating. The deadly combo of fat/sugar/salt really rang a bell with me. I decided to minimize wheat and sugar in my diet.

Stage 3. During an especially stressful three year period, I regained some weight (25 pounds.) I never stopped my healthy eating lifestyle. I continued to explore healthy recipes. I developed new recipes myself as I went along. I just ate too much.

And this has led to Stage 4. Through all the reading and investigating I have done, I tried one more thing. And it seems to be working. I am losing weight slowly and steadily. I am eating a little more protein, and a little less grain and fruit. As I think about it, these are the most significant changes I have made:

  • My breakfast is consistently smaller–200 calories instead of 300-350 calories.
  • Walnuts have gone on the back burner. Yes, they are a super food. But for me, they are almost as much of a trigger food as chocolate chip cookies were when I first started. I still have walnuts, but they are a much smaller portion, and I NEVER grab a big handful to eat.
  • And I have taken to eating whey protein in various forms (smoothies and Quest protein bars.) I am finding it quite enjoyable. So that is a new tool in my arsenal. I love the convenience. I love the taste. And I especially love the way that I feel filled but not stuffed for a long time after.

So on to the day to day stuff. These are the habits that have lasted through all four stages:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. When I started out I had to force myself to eat a piece of fruit instead of a cookie. Then I got a little obsessive about keeping all kinds of fruits and vegetables available at all times. This led to either a) overeating, or b) wastage. Now I am still careful that I ALWAYS have plenty of fresh vegetables available. And I keep enough fruilt on hand. But not too much. I am keeping a little more frozen fruit–good for smoothies and convenient for baking. Fresh fruit is still my first choice. I probably shop twice a week.
  • Batch cooking of meat. Even though cooking is something I truly enjoy, I don’t always want to spend the time it takes to cook at mealtime. So I LOVE batch cooking. I routinely buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut them into approximately 4 ounce pieces, and season and cook them and then freeze the majority of them. They are ready for a big salad or just to add to some veggies for dinner.
  • Low calorie baked goods. This might be where some people think they cannot change their tastes. But once you decide that having brownies and cookies on a daily basis are no longer an option, the low calorie healthy treats start to look (and taste) pretty darn good. I really enjoy baking, so that is another part of the enjoyment. As soon as my baked goods cool down, they are wrapped individually in tin foil (makes it convenient to re-heat,) and placed in the freezer. If I start to have too many baked goods in the freezer, I put a moratorium on my baking until I need some more. These days most of my baked goods are healthy breakfast options.
  • Tracking. Its second nature to me now. A few times I toyed with not tracking or journaling my food. But I am more comfortable keeping track. It does two things. If I am feeling deprived, I can look and see what I have already eaten, or look forward to a meal or snack that is coming. And if I get anxious that I am “eating too much” I can look and be reassured that I am eating a perfectly normal amount of food. I just heard something recently. John Ortberg was talking about a book called The Power of Habit. In it the author describes keystone habits. A keystone habit is one that will set off a chain reaction to other habits.  In terms of physical health, food journaling is a keystone habit. Once people start keeping a food journal, they start to plan menus differently. Then they start to exercise, just as a result of keeping a food journal. Almost every night I write out the next day’s menu. I write down the food and the calories. I am careful to get enough protein throughout the day and make sure there are several servings of vegetables. There is usually at least one fruit and one grain, and I really like to have 200 calories left at the end of the day for a snack of my choice. I can change the menu if the mood strikes (most often it is sub’ing hot food for cold,) but I stick pretty close to the plan.

These are the main day-to-day habits that seem to come almost naturally to me now. It doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge, or make poor choices sometimes. But it is my Intention to continue to eat healthfully for the rest of my life. I have a Vision of what that life is: healthy cardiac, endocrine, immune, and musculoskeletal systems. The Means are all the practical habits I listed above. (I wrote about V.I.M. here.)

I love food. That’s not gonna change. But I can still love food, enjoy its endless variety and tastes, and live a healthy life. I hope that this might provide some inspiration for those food lovers out there who think its not possible to truly enjoy food AND live a healthy life. I’m living proof that it is.

To read more about what “a girl’s gotta eat!” be sure to check out my friends and maintaining experts:

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!

 

What I Ate

What I ate–I’m referring to last weekend, when I took a 4 day trip out of town to that quilt workshop. I was really looking forward to “getting away.” I put that in quotes because, why, exactly, does a person who lives alone need to get away? Exactly what was I getting away from? Four dogs?–don’t answer that question!

ANYWAY, that was my intent. It was a short trip, both in time and in distance, but I wanted to relax and enjoy myself. Hmmm. So just exactly how relaxed was I going to be with food?

Those of you who read often will know that I am very good at traveling with food. I always like to get a hotel room with a microwave and refrigerator, and I usually google directions to any restaurants that have good low-cal food (Baja Fresh!) and local grocery stores.

This time I decided I wanted to be a little more relaxed about my food. I took some pre-portioned homemade yogurt, and some of Shelley’s famous granola, some fruit, and I also took some of my low-cal baked goods for breakfast. I had one serving of that wonderful ‘tropical slaw’ left, and I couldn’t leave that behind, so I stuck it in the bag. I brought some of my Quest protein bars, and some dark chocolate and commercial microwave popcorn. That was way more food than I was going to need, but it gave me some choices.

I knew they were serving a delicious catered lunch at the workshop each day. And I knew I wanted to eat dinner out one or two nights. AND, I knew I would get frozen yogurt at least once. So yeah. For a person whose been consistently dieting for 3 months, I was definitely planning to be a little more relaxed about my food.

Added into the mix: this was the first time I would be “recognized” as “The Healthy Quilter.” The Quilt Life magazine had just come out, and Alex Anderson (co-creator of the magazine) was the workshop teacher. That was making me a wee bit nervous. Was everybody going to be looking at me and thinking “who made her the queen of quilt health?” or “LOOK at what SHE’s eating!” (answer: no. Not very many people paid any attention at all.)

So this trip was a mixed bag. I made some really great choices–the side by side salad at Baja Fresh the first night. They give you so much grilled chicken that I saved half of it. The next night I mixed it into that tropical slaw that I had brought along. Ooh, that was a very good idea.

I ate that microwave popcorn two nights, but I really don’t like it any more. I much prefer my own paper bag concoction. So I trashed the rest of it.

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This was my snack tonight–6 cups of the paper bag microwave popcorn, 1/2 a serving of M&M’s (110 calories) and a diet coke.

One day after the workshop I needed to stop at Safeway for something. And they had a Chinese food bar where you could get a bit of this and that. It looked so good, and I did get just a bit of this and that. Not too much of any one thing. It looked way better than it tasted. Oh well…

The lunches at the workshop were just delicious. They had wraps one day, and wonderful salads another day. The third day they had sandwiches, and they all had mayonnaise (yuck) on them. I ended up just picking out the meat and tomato and tossing the rest. They had some homemade potato chips that were quite tasty. I also trashed them just so I wouldn’t eat all of them. I did not, however, trash the desserts…

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Alex saw that I had a brownie on my plate and got out her iPhone to take a pic of the evidence and send to Ricky. So I obliged by posing with it.

One of the hardest things for me was that in the afternoons they had some of that dang trail crack (trail mix with nuts, raisins, and M&M’s) on the back table. It is so hard for me to resist that stuff. I did pretty well. But I wondered if my table mates (who all were fairly normal weights) had the constant ongoing inner conversation that I had. I don’t think that’s normal.

One day I got some frozen yogurt, and even though it was not very good, I ate it all :{{ The last day I was there I found another froyo place (Menchie’s) and it was TOTALLY WORTHY! Got one for the drive home.

Back home, and I went right back to my healthy diet. No problems. No lingering cravings. I was very happy to be eating food that I enjoy that makes me feel good. I did notice that eating that much sugar made me feel bad. I wish I could describe it better. And the weirdest thing is, (and I remember this from ‘the good ol’ days’) when you are feeling bad from eating the sugar, you think that eating a little more will make you feel better. Hmmm. Did I just describe the thought process of an addict???

So there you have it–the good, the bad, and the somewhat ugly. I realize that this is a long boring ramble about “what I ate.” But I wanted to share the real life of a person who is maintaining a large weight loss and is even currently losing weight. Some people still seem to want to know.