Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dinner, and a New Way

Romaine
Baby spinach
Grape tomatoes
Low fat blue cheese
Hard boiled eggs
Avocado

I am done with sodas. I finished my last bottle of coffee creamer, too. I am done with that sugar free hydrogenated poison. I just can't do that to myself anymore. Trans fats are bad, bad stuff, and even if it is a small enough amount for the label to claim "zero" trans fats, which could be anything up to a half gram per serving. I need to become a better label reader; instead of focusing only on calories and fat grams and carbs and fiber, I need to read the *ingredients.* Better yet, eat food without a label. The Farmer's Market will be reopening with fresh local produce this spring. That's where most of my food will be coming from during the growing season. Until then, the produce section will have to do.

I would like to get better at making things like salad dressings and simple condiments and sauces. No more bottled crap. I have a goal to eat as local, fresh, and natural as possible. I am ditching the artificial sweeteners, the Egg Beaters (as much as I love using them, I do believe real fresh eggs are healthier),  the processed garbage cookies and all the other things that contain huge ingredient lists of chemicals and artificials and who knows what else.

I thought for a long time today about why I struggle to eat. Not in an anorexic way, but in an oddly confused, not-sure-what-to-put-on-my-plate way. Growing up, we did not eat a lot of *food.* Maybe we did and I have forgotten. My Dad was a great cook. I do remember his turkey soup and sometimes he'd make pork chops or steak or chicken. But for the most part what I recall is my mother's inability to cook and her adoration for crap foods. The freezer was packed with ice cream and Weight Watcher frozen dinners. In the fridge was chip dip and cheese spreads and hot dogs and Velveeta along with beer and sodas and Kool-Aid. The pantry was full of chips and cheese puffs, crackers and cookies, Tastycakes and pretzels. There were boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, always. Oh, and Ramen. Lots of Ramen. My favorite fruit as a kid was a lemon sliced in wedges and dredged in a bowl of sugar. I kid you not.

That was my normal. And to go from breakfasts of chocolate ice cream or Fruity Pebbles to eating *real foods* was daunting for me. I didn't know how at first. My first attempts at healthy breakfasts included toasted Wonder bread and eggs scrambled in margarine. It has taken me a long time to even comprehend what I *should* be eating for my health, and then on top of understanding and learning to prepare the foods, I've had to fight those deeply ingrained habits I was raised with that still drive me to want a fried bologna sandwich on white bread with ketchup. In times of stress or even just when I am tired, my brain goes there first. So easy to grab a donut or a frozen sausage biscuit for breakfast rather than *think* and *prep* something healthy. So convenient to grab a drive-thru burger and fries or nuke some Pizza Rolls than to create a nourishing meal. But the price of convenience, paid from my health is too steep. That's why I am learning a new way.

16 comments:

carol said...

Lyn I am so glad you are looking at these changes, I am trying to make changes like this too. I am sending you a link for a blog from Australia that you may enjoy, Take care. Carol http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/
This blog brings back the basic's as you discribed in your early married life.

Forty Pound Sack said...

You've come so far, Lyn! I hope you feel very, very proud.

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Cathy said...

I think bottled dressings are terrible, and I agree they should be given up. Here is one my favorites : 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with a pinch of salt. I do watch calories, but I use a splash (less than 1 tbsp) real 1/2 and 1/2 in my morning coffee. The only fake food I really eat is 1 protein bar daily.

Lori said...

I agree the best way to eat is fresh, prepared at home food. Even at that, there is so much conflicting information out there. It is hard to know what is accurate.

For the longest time eggs were bad, then only the yolks were bad. Now eggs are health food. ??? It makes my head spin sometimes.
Lori

Low Carb Daily said...

This reminds me of a joke I heard, "but the label does not say paleo!!"

teehee

Anonymous said...

There are so many great recipes for dressings out there, and they are really easy to make! Plus, they're so much cheaper than the bottled stuff.

Shelley said...

Love that you are getting away from chemicals and instead focusing on regular food...I like your "without a label" phrase. That works for so much (although my Greek yogurt has a label, so not for everything...). Good plan!

Crystal said...

I'm going through the same thing now - trying to get rid of all the processed junk and just eat clean foods and raw fruits and veggies. It's definitely not easy, but planning in advance is CRUCIAL! Cut up all your fruits and veggies and have a meal plan - it helps so much. Good Luck!!

HaLaG said...

Fully agree with skimming over the labels just focussing on calories and fats - well done to you for making these changes and i hope i can do as well as you have :)

beverly said...

Good stuff - also think about all the packaging that is involved in pre-packaged foods and how eating whole foods eliminates that.

I am wondering if you have ever read "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. I am reading that big now and for all kinds of reasons it is helping me get my head straight and deal with my addiction to food.

Because you are haunted by your upbringing, I think it would be very valuable to you, as it has been to me, to be aware of how it is important to be present in the moment.

Anonymous said...

Agree, when I'm tired and low-energy I want "easy." That's why I try to have prepared "good" meals in the freezer, ready and available for nuking. Things like sausage-and-pepper (no rice), white chili, meat sauce on top of spaghetti squash, stew (no taters), coq au vin, beef stroganoff (no noodles), you get the idea. Stuff that's full of flavor and freezes well that I can put in individual servings. I even do that for my breakfasts - make up cottage cheese, greek yogurt, blueberries, and SF Torani syrup, five at a time, and keep em in the fridge for a quick b/f at home or to take to work.
-KathyA

Vanessa Joy said...

Now THAT sounds like a plan! And there are so many wonderful blogs to give inspriation and help for those of us who have to learn the new way.

Jane said...

I totally know what you mean -- I never even thought about my weight when I was growing up(even though I was overweight), and it was when I was in my mid 20s I even first thought about calories and what was actually was in the food I was eating! My mom made the same hamburgers night after night. It can be so confusing learning what is "healthy"!

Dinahsoar said...

Lyn--when I decided to get rid of the food police living in my head and rid myself of all the diets my approach became (at each meal) to first choose a protein...then choose my fat, and then some carbs--usually one or two serving of high carbs--like potato, bread, rice, fruit and one or two servings of lower carb vegetables. This method gears a person toward using and choosing whole foods. And no food is off limits.


For the times I eat 'mixed' foods, like casseroles, etc, I eat one level cup or less and I analyse it--if I haven't prepared it myself. Is it protein heavy, carb heavy, fat heavy?...and with that information I am better able to balance the rest of my meal accordingly. When I make casseroles at home I try to use more protein and fewer carbs in them than standard recipes suggest.

Even with this method --which helps control portions-- when I am in the losing mode I still count calories. I've been in maintenance over a year now and have not needed to count my calories generally. If I find the scale up 2-3 pounds for more than 2 or 3 days I go back to calorie counting until the scale is back down to my goal weight.

I alloted myself 1350 calories in weight loss mode.

Lyn said...

Dinah~

That is very helpful, thank you for sharing that. I like your method!