First, I just want to say, I’m sorry that the website has been a bust. I am still optimistic that it will get sorted out soon, and I know it’s not “my fault,” but somehow I feel responsible for dragging y’all into this and making you deal with a less than perfect system. Mostly I feel bad about the reflections, because aside from it being the fun part, it also ended up being a really helpful part, for me anyway, getting people’s encouragement and tips on how to cope.
I’m very big on coping tips.
I feel like I’ve covered food here at length, but still I get a lot of questions about what I eat all day. (And I do…I eat ALL DAY.) In fact the other day, a friend stopped by on her way to the market and asked me exactly what she should buy. These are some of the things I have on hand all the time (I know this may be a repeat of earlier posts, but this is very specific, if you like that sort of thing):
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Portabello Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Onions, Asparagus - these are veggies that I oil and roast ALL THE TIME. Olive oil, salt, garlic powder. I either roast daily or I roast big batches and keep them in the fridge and heat them up for snacks.
Chicken Sausage and Chicken Breasts - I cook up batches and keep them in the fridge to throw into other things, like soups or veggie stews.
Eggplant, Peppers, Carrots, Zucchini, White Mushrooms - I keep these on hand and make ratatouille in big batches, or some cooked vegetable melange that I throw on brown rice or quinoa.
Cucumber, Calamata Olives, Grape Tomatoes, Celery, Avacado, Red Onion — I make Mediterranean salads, with or without chickpeas — just oil and lemon and salt, and eat it with hard boiled egg, or tuna or mixed in a batch of quinoa or brown rice.
Eggs — hard boiled or scrambled with sautéed veggies
Romaine lettuce that I top with tomatoes, red onion, hard boiled eggs, pumpkin seeds and avacado — often I put fruit on it, either mango or pear, which is unbearably delicious, and then oil/balsamic/mustard as dressing.
Plain Greek yogurt, banana, walnuts, chia seeds (I eat this once a day).
Frozen blueberries, almond milk, banana, yogurt smoothie (I make smoothies with anything; this is really good if you need something sweet. If you need it sweeter, add a stevia packet.)
Oatmeal and fresh berries and a few raw almonds (this is my breakfast every morning) (I like eating the same thing every day.) (I also sometimes have it at night if I’m hungry and need a filling snack.)
Lentils (to make soup) and cans of beans (to throw in everything). Once, someone on FB asked her crowd for a good lentil soup recipe and I "captured" five of them which I make in nearly constant rotation.
As you can see, there are very few things that come in a package. No one is more surprised by this than me. A year ago, if you told me I wouldn’t be eating anything from a package by September 2014, I would have laughed in your face. In fact, I probably would have laughed while ripping open a bag of Tostitos.
On Sunday, I cooked for a few hours to have things in the house and ready to eat all week. Doing this makes me unspeakably happy because then I know I have food available for many days. I am a reluctant cook and have discovered that the process is much more pleasurable with a great iTunes playlist or the Classic Rock station on Serius XM blaring in the kitchen. This Sunday, while hitting “repeat” on Heart’s “Crazy on You,” I made:
- Chana Masala (a chickpea and tomato stew)
- 5 different roasted vegetables (broccoli, cauli, mushrooms, squash, Brussels sprouts)
- Chicken Sausage
- Baked Chicken
- Baked Rice
- Red Lentil Soup
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
For my birthday last month, my son's girlfriend got me a Vegetarian cookbook from Anthropologie. I cook out of it all the time, omitting the cheese. I like eating vegetarian, so, again, this is not hard for me.
If you are craving sweets, I really urge you to try nuts. As a “Weight Watcher,” I used to mete out almonds, eating them 6 at a time, no more than 24 in a day. This will not do if you’re trying to get on top of a craving. My friend, Laura, believes that when our body is craving “chocolate,” what it really wants is “fat.” So, I mainline the nuts to get through a craving. I pour myself a small bowl (in a restaurant it would be called a Monkey Dish) of roasted salted almonds and salted sunflower seeds, and I eat the whole bowl. And if the craving is not gone, I have another bowl. I have adopted an ABC approach to the craving — Anything But Chocolate — and I give myself permission to eat ANY compliant food, and as much of it as I need to, in order to feel sated. This has worked for me consistently over the last 8 months.
Would it be easier to just eat some chocolate? Probably. But I know me. I’m not a person who will stop at one Ghirardelli square. I will eat them all and then eat more of them tomorrow. That’s possibly the only good thing about being a middle aged woman. You know exactly where you stand with chocolate.
If I need something truly sweet, I might add raisins to the nuts. Or I’ll put some frozen bananas (yes, I keep bananas frozen for emergencies) in the Cuisinart with a little coconut milk or almond milk — it tastes like soft-serve ice cream. Or I’ll have the sweetest fruit in the house (often mango). Or I’ll make a smoothie. Or, my favorite, is a cup of Chai tea with stevia and almond milk, which is sweet and soothing and allows you to still feel really good about yourself the next day.
Side note: If you all go buy up all the Greek yogurt in town, as seemed to have happened on Sunday, I'm not posting anymore. :-)
If you're new to the party, this series of posts started here: My Big Fat Whole Life Challenge Blog Post
NEXT WLC POST