Dieting is Hard

Well, last week was not as successful as the previous ones have been. It wasn’t necessarily unsuccessful, I don’t think I gained weight, specifically, but I certainly didn’t make any progress either. I don’t think I ate more calories than normal, I wasn’t going crazy on my portions or snacking all day, but I also wasn’t as conscious of grains, dairy and sugar as I am supposed to be.

It all started with my bad mood and subsequent pity pizza on Monday. Well, the bad mood really never ended, and neither did the pizza. I still had six pieces left after lunch on Monday, and I felt obligated to eat it. I paid for it, after all. Thus, pizza everyday during the week. The first night, I made a really nice green smoothie for dinner, because I was so unsatisfied with eating pizza during the day. The other days, there was a noticeable decline in my ratio of vegetables to non-veggies. For instance, Friday night I used a curry that came from a jar (granted a locally produced jar but, still it’s not homemade) and even though I paired it with a huge pile of fruit and vegetables, I also paired it with mahi that had been rolled in coconut that I bought from the Fresh Market counter (delicious, but not the point!). I’m not sure what they used to make the coconut stick but I’d wager it wasn’t spinach juice. Is spinach juice even sticky? The point is, my goal was to try hard to avoid processed or complex foods. I want things basic. Vegetables, fruits, the occasional beans and nuts, less occasional fish. Essentially I want to be able to survive in the Hunger Games if I ever end up a teenager in the post-apocalyptic future.

Maybe my goal is too lofty, but I don’t think it is. First of all, it’s been working. People are commenting on my visible weight loss. Second, the fact is, it’s a goal and I want to continue to try to reach it, even if it isn’t exactly possible. Right now I think I have gotten too complacent. The first few weeks were so exciting. I was making big changes and exploring this change in lifestyle was so fun and new. But now the thrill is largely gone, and the lifestyle is less new and more monotonous. Things like taking a half hour to chop fruit for a juice in the morning, where I used to grab a sugar-filled yogurt and granola bar, are less invigorating than they were in the beginning.

Part of the problem is that I was feeling really down in the dumps this week. Without getting into it too much, I’ve been job hunting , which is a terrible process always. But at the same time, maybe that’s not really it. I’m not sure. Am I feeling low because I’m not eating as well, or am I eating worse because I’m feeling low? I’m inclined to think they feed off of each other. (Pun absolutely intended.)

Thus, a solution. I need to find a reason to stop with complacency. I need to re-rev. Maybe just writing this blog entry will do the trick. Maybe trying on some jeans that still don’t fit but fit better than they did two months ago. I have been thinking about doing another 10 day cleanse. I was planning on waiting until I hit the 60 day mark, but maybe I should do it sooner.

Or maybe I can just change my attitude. Part of the reason I’m here in the first place is that I have always used eating as a way to make myself feel better. But, isn’t that exactly what I’ve been doing by eating healthy? I’ve felt my most lively and clear-headed in years the last few weeks. Maybe I just need to hold onto that. Maybe the lifestyle change isn’t as complete as I thought it was, because stress-binging on junk food is still my default first response. But a good healthy concoction is always going to make me feel better because it is what my body needs, physically. But also, making it is an accomplishment. Pressing “order now” at nachosandpizza.com is not.

So that’s what I’ll try first. Will power and the possibility of self-satisfaction. Plus, honestly I really do still like juice.

-lj

PS: The smoothie I made Monday night was quite successful. I didn’t have a lot of groceries left, so I just threw whatever into it. Turns out my leftovers go well together!

Also, we still don’t have a blender, but we broke out the food processor. A blender would be better, because it would be smoother, but the FP worked in a pinch.

Green Tea Green Smoothie

Fair warning: This recipe makes a ton of smoothie so either be starving or share it. Or cut the recipe in half, but I hate using less than a whole avocado because they turn so quickly once opened.

Green Tea Green Smoothie

  • 1 Small Avocado
  • 1 handful Kale (maybe 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 handfuls Spinach (maybe 3/4-1 cup)
  • 1 Small Gala Apple
  • 1 Navel Orange
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 1 1/2 inches Ginger
  • 12 Ounces Kombucha Green Tea (with 1 Packet Stevia)

I recommend blending the kale, spinach, ginger and carrots a little on their own first, then adding the fruit and tea after. Make sure the Green Tea has cooled to room temperature. Give it a little longer to blend than you normally would. Of course, if you are using a real blender instead of my basic food processor it might not be as much of an issue. The whole thing tastes pretty good. The tea goes well with the greens and ginger, and the stevia and apple really are great for sweetening it up. The avocado is a perfect substitute for yogurt to make it creamy. I will definitely make this again.

(Un)Comfort Food

I’m having a bad day. Not the worst day ever, but it’s Monday and cloudy and I didn’t get any sleep because I was up all night working on a project for work. So, although today is a much needed day off, where I had a long list of things I needed to accomplish, literally zero sleep and stress and grouchiness have replaced motivation with self-pity.

On that long list of things to do was grocery shop. I’m not completely out of food, but all the good stuff is gone and most of the other stuff is wilty (or simply not edible without the aforementioned good stuff). I already had a rice cake with peanut butter, because I didn’t have enough produce for juice, so I didn’t want that again for lunch.

Basically the entire day was a spiral toward take-out comfort food for lunch (and dinner, let’s be real.) My ultimate comfort food also happens to be the most accessible food in the midwestern United States: the pizza. For particularly raucous pity parties I like to order a cheese pizza topped with extra mozzarella.  I mean, I seriously love this stuff. Sometimes when I am tired of salad and feeling blue I stare at this photo that I keep on my phone:

Image
I assume other people do this with pictures of say, pets or loved ones.

Luckily my favorite pizza joint in town delivers straight to my house, with the added bonus of online ordering so I could stay as clear of society as humanly possible. In a fit of guilt I amended my order to the healthy crust option, which is made from whole grains (I think mostly whole wheat). We’ll get to that in a minute.

I was pretty excited about it when it arrived, but immediately upon eating it I noticed three different evolutionary changes in my relationship with my closest ally, cheese pizza.

1. It is not as delicious anymore. I had an exact taste in my sense memory deposit, but for some reason when I bit into this reality, it just did not live up to expectations. I think, honestly, it is a combination of two things: 1. guilt. 2. I’m just not used to eating any of those foods anymore. Maybe I’m just not used to the taste of bread or cheese anymore. Or maybe the pizza place was having an off day? Today’s version did not look as vibrant as the picture above. But really I think that my heart is just not in it anymore.

2. I have a longstanding feud with my respiratory system. I am well known amongst my circle of friends for being sick almost once a month. I get sinus infections like no one’s business, probably 3 or 4 a year. Since my cleanse last month, I have been cautiously optimistic maybe I had alleviated a lot of these problems through my dietary changes. I don’t wake up congested or with a sore throat very often, whereas before this was literally a daily event. Last week my mom told me I didn’t sound like I had a cold on the phone for the first time in like 25 years. But today eating this thick whole wheat bread, my nose started running immediately. It was nuts! It could also have been exhaustion/outdoor allergies, but I think it was the bread.

3. I did not find comfort. I did not find solace in the warm tasty gooeyness of my lunch. Instead I felt even more tired, which I didn’t think possible, and bad about myself because it was a little early in the week for my cheat meal.

I only made it through 2 pieces, though. Which is a great testament to how well my diet is doing. Normally I could get through four or five of those within two commercial breaks. Now I am more conscious of what and when I am eating, and my stomach is just not prepared for a full capacity adventure like half a large pizza anymore.

So now, I have two obstacles: six pieces of leftover pizza in my fridge and a void where my old comfort food standards used to be. I tried the opposite approach at dinner, but my super green veggie smoothie did not really make me feel better either. (Although I did feel like it was a success getting through it!) So now, the important thing for days like today, is to find something that is delicious but will help my stress, not add to it.

Suggestions are welcome, by the way!

– lj