Tag Archives: salad

Life: A Bowlful of Salad?

IMAG2309

Here I sit, munching salad and pondering the Benew journey. The salad surprised me.

As I made it a few minutes ago thoughts like boring filled my mind.

Sabotage along the lines of, “Really? For the rest of your life you’re going to mindful of how you eat? Avoid unhealthy, high calorie foods? Eat salad?”

But here I sit. The red and green grapes add sweet freshness to the spinach and the handful of mixed nuts a nice protein crunch. I’m super glad I didn’t give into the nagging negativity, the voice that tried to talk me out of getting my greens.

It seems all good things will be confronted.

It’s a strange place to be, this new phase where I am content with my body. I could lose a few more pounds, but I feel “normal.” I’m not counting calories anymore. I’m taking my BENew metabolism booster, but I only do a meal replacement shake when I want to, not daily like I did when I was serious about dropping weight. Sometimes I crave my BEfull shake, blended with frozen fruit. Other times I don’t. Sometimes, like today, I want left-overs and try to balance whatever they are by having a reasonable portion and a big salad. And sometimes I just want to blow off this whole journey. On those days I lie awake at night wondering if the bad choices I made will result in going backwards.

A good writer wouldn’t use the word “sometimes” repeatedly like I just did. But that’s where I’m living.

Sometimes. 

It comes from seeking a new normal, trying to sustain the healthier lifestyle I’ve chosen even when I’m not intentionally fighting to drop pounds. Before I was motivated by a goal. Now my only motivation is not to return to go backwards. (That and to look good in my friend Megan’s dress for the Carol Awards* in a few weeks.)

The never-never land of maintenance isn’t cut and dry. I no longer try to hit 12 or 1300 calories a day. I just try to eat smart and move. The lack of a calorie counter’s accountability is scary sometimes, and sometimes I abuse the freedom. Other times it’s freeing, and I do just fine. There’s that word again.

Sometimes.

I want to avoid extremes. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life obsessing about calories; I also don’t want to throw caution to the wind. Thus this struggle of finding a new normal.

A friend told me her method for maintenance is to weigh every few days. If she’s gained a pound or two, she cuts back to 1200 again until she returns to her target weight.  It sounds reasonable. What about you? Anybody have good advice on the end of the weight loss journey, those days when you could lose a pound or two, but mostly want to maintain?

I want my eating life to be more than a bowlful of salad–but I also want to be healthy and sustain the better habits I’ve developed.

Invite a friend to the discuss on maintenance:

Is life a bowlful of salad?

*The Carol Awards, sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers, honor a book ofHeartsongChristm.indd the year in multiple genres. My novella, “You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch,” included in the Christmas collection, Postmark: Christmas, is a finalist for best novella of 2012. Winners will be announced in September.

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An Idea from the Veggie Challeged

salsa peanutsYup. Been on the health journey since October 24th. Nope. Still don’t love vegetables. I have improved slightly. I now eat cucumber. I had a slice of zucchini (but I’m not sure it counts because it was baked with cheese on top.) And I eat actually like cantaloupe. (Yes, I know it isn’t a veggie, but it’s healthy, okay?)

So here’s my latest tip for getting a salad down when you don’t like veggies. It wasn’t quite as good as last week’s green grape and cashews, but it’ll do in a pinch. It’s also a tip for digging around your house when you don’t want to go to the grocery store and just trying something a little different based on what you find. (Consider that a money saving tip, too. It’s amazing what you can come up with by saving your $$ and shopping your cupboards.)

This fabulous salad is spinach, honey roasted peanuts, and raisins. (The other serving on the plate is  lasagna. And that’s a praise report ’cause I was super stressed the day we had this, and a friend “happened” to hand me a lasagna so I wouldn’t have to cook that night. I got so much done with the “what to make for dinner” issue solved with no effort!)

I’m enjoying the simple pleasures–like not cooking or a salad with honey roasted peanuts–one day at a time. How about you? What is your simple pleasure today?

Tweet it and spread the word about healthier living and simple pleasures:

A salad idea from the veggie challenged

Real Time Post

“Taste buds, you aren’t the boss of me!”

I read that quote in the Made to Crave devotional, and my back got a little straighter.

Last night my taste buds were the boss of me, and today I still have a tummy-ache 21 hours later.

I loved the thought in the devotional that the WHOLE of me should make my eating decisions, not just my tastebuds. After all, my tummy didn’t want me to over-eat on heavy food like I did last night; it wanted a nice, big salad to balance that sesame chicken and rice. Those few extra pounds left around my middle were hoping for self-control ’cause they really want to be gone. And my mind wanted to continue the journey to looking really great for my daughter’s wedding.

So today as I nurse my bloated stomach I’m reminding those taste buds who is in control!

How about you?

Is a part of you running the whole of you?

Let’s take control!

Note: Still haven’t had time to dig into my weight loss journal so we can return to the daily chronicling, but didn’t want to leave you neglected too long, so I thought I’d share briefly what I’m thinking today. Hope to get back on track with the journal soon.

No Problem! (Day 104)

pizza portion salad tangelo 3A party? No problem!

It’s pretty cool that the Super Bowl celebration at my house yesterday didn’t freak me out. I’ve learned that if I attend a special event I can choose to eat more moderately, but have foods I don’t typically have, and it won’t be a problem as long as I stay to my habits of lower calories, healthier foods, and exercise the rest of the week.

Since I had some food I’m not used to during the Superbowl game yesterday, I focused on really healthy eating today. I started with my BEFull shake with some papaya (which helps digestion) and strawberries in it. At lunch I had a small piece of left-over homemade whole wheat pizza with a huge salad with Walnuts and pomegranates, a tangelo, and some strawberries. I also walked almost 4 miles. It felt good to return to these habits.                                     ~ Feb. 4, 2013

Real Time Update:

I think the best trick to having healthy eating habits and decent calorie counts without tracking every bite is to simple fill half or more of the plate with salad. Then if I’m having meat, the next biggest portion is my protein, and the smallest portion is a starch or carb if I’m having that.

What About You?

Any tricks for eating healthy and low calorie without tracking every bite?

Balance: Days 63 and 64

Who’s thinking about weight loss today?

Shaped-Crust-Pecan-Pie

Picture taken from the Karo Syrup recipe page: http://karosyrup.com I alter my pecan pies slightly from this recipe. A great trick for better pecan pie is to allow your eggs to come to room temperature before baking.

I probably ate 2500 calories, at least, with the cheesy potato breakfast casserole, homemade cinnamon rolls, buttery mashed potatoes, and homemade pecan pie! It was the best I ever baked. Mmmmm . . . but the good news is, I don’t think I ever felt that “too full” sick feeling everyone else complained of. Even though I ate high calorie foods, I somehow didn’t eat past full—quite an accomplishment for me, and not even a conscious one, just what happened. I suspect my metabolism is also better from walking, and that the BeLean I took before breakfast and lunch also helped burn away the food. Yay!                                                  ~December 25, 2012

The good news is I was actually under calorie count today. I walked just over 45 minutes, which was tricky because people didn’t shovel their sidewalks. I want to have a good attitude, but seriously! Those icy patches are scary. After the two car accidents I fear taking a hard fall. I want to be strong and stay strong!

I almost didn’t walk. It was 21 degrees when I took off. Thankfully, a friend gave me an ear warmer for Christmas. Only I forgot to put it in my pocket, so I didn’t have it with me. I went back after about a mile, grabbed the ear warmer, and walked another two.

I skipped my shake today because I knew I’d get none of the left-overs if I waited. With three teenage boys in the house, you have to grab the turkey when it is available because it will be gone in a heart-beat!                                                ~December 26, 2012

Real Time Update:

Balance. That’s why I put those two days of posts together. I’m learning that a successful weight loss journey isn’t about perfection or self-deprivation or never again putting anything high calorie into my mouth. It’s about balance. A day of celebration doesn’t blow weight loss goals. Christmas Day was about family, food, joy, and worship. Not losing weight. But the next day needed to be business as usual.

That’s balance.

pecan, apples spinachI read a great quote in the Made to Crave Devotional: “Perseverance is just one choice away.” No matter the calorie count at any given moment one choice puts me back on the path to success. Whether my increased calorie intake is intentional, like on Christmas Day, or out of frustration and rebellion (I’ll admit it, that happened a few times over the last week), I’m always only one choice away from perseverance–the path to complete victory.

Speaking of victory, the scale moved that last couple of pounds this morning so I can officially say I’m down 40 pounds since October 24th! I think I’ll celebrate–with an lovely pecan, apple, and spinach SALAD.

Weight Loss Journey Day 49

steak

Photo courtesy of free-extras.com

I didn’t have time to exercise today and didn’t want to go way over calorie count like I did last Tuesday, so I was very intentional about eating. For breakfast I had my shake. At lunch I ate a huge salad and a little grilled chicken and fruit. I didn’t love it, but it was a lot of food, only 240 calories, and kept me full until supper.

The boys cooked, which meant spaghetti.

Carbs. UGH.

But I ate light. I felt the need for protein so found some leftover skillet steak. Even with all that I was only -7 at the end of the day. But . . . and here’s the surprise . . . I almost felt too full after supper!

I’m definitely changing.

Real Time Update:

My body is starting to help me make good choices instead of whining at me for more food than I need. But I have to listen carefully and stop just before I think I’m full. If I keep eating until full, then I’m usually too full within 30 minutes.

Listening to my body doesn’t mean listening to my emotions. Sometimes they still rear their silly little heads and cry out to be satisfied by food–which never works.

I want to be more intentional about eating slowly and waiting a while before thinking I need more food. I’m finding truth in the old saying that you feel more full as time goes by. When I eat too quickly I often eat more than I need, then feel too full within 30 minutes.

Something else that helps is making a meal about rest, atmosphere, and fellowship. There really is something to lighting a candle, sharing good conversation, and taking your time with a meal.

It is also really hard to resist mindless eating when there is a screen in front of me and snacks close by. At our small group on Sunday there were crackers and popcorn on the table in front of us. It was really hard not to mindlessly eat while I watched the speaker on the DVD. I didn’t totally blow off all my hard work to learn to eat right, but I did eat more popcorn than I should have. Next time I hope I can measure out a certain amount and stick with my plan!

What About You?

What does your eating time look like? Have you found that being intentional about enjoying the food and fellowship of a meal helps reduce calorie intake? How does eating in front of the TV affect caloric intake?

Weight Loss Journey Day 28

Since I’ve returned home I’m trying to live a little like I did at the beach. I splurged on salad stuff instead of waiting for the discount store to have some that looks fresh and make a point to fill at least a third of my plate with it at the dinner table. I try to add a little beauty to our family meals, like candles or a tablecloth or pretty food.

And best of all . . . sometimes I walk as the sun sets.

denver sunset walk

Or break from my rushing to slip into the backyard to watch it descend over the mountains

denver sunset mts

Or pause and gaze through my kitchen window as the orange filters through the tree branches

denver sunset tree branches

Real Time Update:

It’s hard to think about the important things in life–like sunsets or pretty food–when life gets busy. But I’m still looking for ways to embrace beauty, to pant after joy, to let peace envelop me. And I’m still eating salad!

This weekend was amazing. I attended a BeNew celebration in downtown Denver. I was asked to be a runway model for the product (not really as glamorous as it sounds, but super fun.) It’s been a long time since I had to find my inner ham while on stage. I have to admit having dropped 32 pounds helped me be willing to flounce across the stage! (Did you catch that? The plateau is over! Yay! The scale has started moving again!)

How About You?

What little every day pleasure are your purposeful about enjoying? As you’ve lost weight, where have you noticed more courage or confidence?