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Monday, November 23, 2009

If It's Lifelong, Then It Better Fit; If it's Forever, It Better Taste Good...

I've tried various diets over the last 4 decades. When I was younger, it was out of a magazine or from some book. I think you know what I mean? This time, I'm trying to figure out what to eat myself.

I figure if this is forevver (or however long forever is in a finite/mortal frame about to hit fifty in a couple months), then I better enjoy it or I won't do it. I am not a martyr. I cannot eat a plan that I can't actually get some pleasure from.

So, while Sparking my nutrition and trying to fill voids, I'm trying to gauge how much pleasure I'm getting from what I eat.

I don't like spinach and egg whites as much as I like garlic and tomato and egg whites. One feels virtuous. The other makes me ridiculously happy.

I like swiss or mozzarella or parmesan cheese in omelettes, even reduced fat. I like reduced fat american or cheddar or feta a lot better.

I like strawberries. I love raspberries.

I like dried fruit. I really like freeze-dried fruit.

I like turkey and veggies in a hoagie. I much prefer flatbread. I had been having Subway's turkey and veggies on whole wheat. I switched to flatbread and raised my enjoyment 100%. Today, trying to make it even BETTER, I switched my post-Pilates order (the Subway is one floor below my Pilates studio) to a turkey and veggie salad and, when I got home, I used a low-carb Joseph's Flatbread (shoving the turkey and salad into it). I liked it, too, with 100 fewer calories than Subway's and more fiber. Ya see, experimenting.

I am okay with WW lite bread. I like Nature's Own whole wheat. I much, much prefer Ezekiel bread. It has more flavor and mouth texture.

I like green tea iced to hot. I prefer black tea and coffee, iced or hot.

I like skim milk in my lattes, but I love 2%, and I feel bouncier.

So, today, I nixed the skinny latte at Starbucks and had a sugarfree one in grande (not venti, as I had for two years prior to this month), and went for low-fat. It tastes a lot better, so I can drink a smaller one and feel really satisfied. I might even notch it back to tall and go whole milk. Let's see. :)

I'm gonna work with what to bring Thanksgiving. I want to have big taste and satisfaction with lower calorie/lower-fat/lower-additives and crap/higher health.

I've found in the last two weeks that I'm a bit calmer (for now). This weekend brought a lot of challenges, and each of the three times I was in trouble, I made compromises. I thought it through.

Like at my family's for a birthday party. I asked for the teeniest bit of chocolate birthday cake--cut off the top with the frosting, left myself a 3 in by 1.5 inch rectangle of only the chocolate cake part. Why? Frosting is fine, but it doesn't do it for me like chocolate cake. So, I had the part that gave me smiles and left what only was "okay." And I made it a smaller serving.

Also at the party we had assorted Cuban pastries and appetizers on the table. I only allowed myself to sample one of the savory ones. Avoided the dip and crackers and the sweet pastries. However, part of the lunch included special Puerto Rican meat pies, homemade, stuffed with seasoned ground beef. These are a specialty of my SIL, and she only makes them a couple times a year. They're FRIED. But they're relatively small. So, I weighed it and decided to have one. Context: Just about everyone else had from 3 to a half-dozen. I had one, and made the best of it.

I didn't have the noodles. I had the low-salt, lower-fat chicken breast and rice with creole red bean soup (one of my favoritest things on earth, Puerto Rican or Cuban style red bean soup. I could eat it every day.)

Because the party had been pretty devoid of veggies, I had for supper a big bowl of berries and watermelon, and a bigger bowl of arugula with minimal dressing. :)

I ended up 100 calories over my limit, cake, ham croquette, alcapurria and all.

Today, I'm doing great. Did the egg white-tomato-garlic omelette and was happy. Did the Subway substitution and was fine. And I'm planning to have lots of veggies with some leftover low-carb, high-fiber pasta for supper. My energy is really, really good and got me through Pilates fine. I'm not missing the venti-ness of latte, cause killer yummy grande is perfect.

And for dessert tonight, I'm thinking of leaving calories (60) for a sugar-free vanilla pudding. After decades of sticking mostly to chocolate (with slight deviations to butterscotch now and then), I realized this past month I really love the vanilla one. It makes me happier than the chocolate one.

I know I have to find a way to shove as much food and beverage pleasure into 1700 to 1800 calories. For life. Or I may as well just stay fat, cause I won't be happy settling for "Oh, well, this has few calories, so I'll settle for it." (And some stuff of what I've sampled at Hungry Girl is really "settling". And those Progresso soups suck. And Stevia makes me gag. But Amazing Grass is nice! And some of those WW concoctions you hear about at meetings are icky. But Just Strawberries rule!)

I was reading that people need to find what fits, whether it's low-carb, low-fat, flex, low-cal with splurges, etc. We don't all like brussel sprouts or kiwi or broccoli or tofu. I think forcing ourselves to eat what we hate backfires.

So, in your dieting explorations, what have you discovered you love?

(Oh, and I really love raw cacao powder on bananas. Ooh. Who needs drugstore candy bars!?)


Joanne said...

Hi there - thanks for stopping by and leaving the note about the soy and thyroid. Turns out there are a few things that are supposed to be good and react badly with our not so healthy thyroid - green tea is another misery.

I loved this post today - I remember now that I meant to follow and was upset that I hadn't flagged your blog - now I am set up and all should be great. You have so much great information - thanks for sharing. I must remember the cake and frosting tip - I really don't care for frosting and not sure why I bother - this really hit home.

My pleasure at night is the International Coffee Swiss Mocha - its a 50 calorie treat that just finishes off my evening nicely.


Anonymous said...

I have limited my food choices to veggies, fruits, white meat, and water. However, I do not deny myself red meat, sweets, soda, and juices when I find myself wanting them. I find that if I allow myself the freedom to choose what I eat without feeling guilty, then I feel better about myself and my "diet".


All Women Stalker said...

I have limited my food choices to veggies, fruits, white meat, and water. However, I do not deny myself red meat, sweets, soda, and juices when I find myself wanting them. I find that if I allow myself the freedom to choose what I eat without feeling guilty, then I feel better about myself and my "diet".