Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dietary dilemma

A couple of years ago, I remember watching Suze Orman tell Americans that they needed to get their heads out of the sand.  She said that most of us deceive ourselves about our actual debt.  During that discussion, she was encouraging people to take charge of their money and their lives. 

Following that philosophy.... guess who decided to get on the bathroom scales over the weekend?   Oh, God.  What was I thinking?  Ignorance WAS bliss. 

Hmmmph.  {Insert appropriate curse word.}

Yes, I'm a stress snacker.  And, good food decisions are not my strong suit when tired and overworked.  But, dammit... Have I really gained 12 lbs since being in Europe last May?????

Guess that I was trying to color coordinate my scarf with the flowers in Paris.  May 2011.

Ok, there were a few options.  Bitch about it.  Get my jaws wired together and superglue my mouth shut.  Or.... get off of my fat a$$ and do something.

In attempts to be proactive (no.... not the acne medicine), I decided to keep a food diary.  But not the normal food diary; rather, food photographs.  Forget counting those pesky Weight Watchers points.  I wanted to SEE what I had eaten and then make an informed decision about my next meal!


Well, I'm a bit tired of diet food looking like the dog's breakfast.  Many times, when people are trying to watch their calorie intake, the food looks like something fit for a rabbit.  I'm a grown man and like to eat; as a result, there is absolutely NO way that I'm going to drink protein shakes for meal replacement.... and most of them are absolutely awful.   And, if I'm drinking dinner, it is going to be bourbon.  Just sayin'! 

This is what I decided:
1.  Since we eat with our eyes first, the food needs to be placed on a plate.  No cardboard boxes, here.  And, when appropriate, make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.  These efforts should take minimal time and effort (less than a minute or two).
2.  When getting take out, make good decisions.  High protein, high fiber, and low fat.  Sorry fast food industry.
3.  This dietary modification will not contain cottage cheese, iceberg lettuce, or anything that resembles tree bark. 
4.  Alcohol will be kept to a minimum.  Hard work doesn't "entitle" me to drink a bottle of wine on a random Tuesday night.  Grumble.
5.  Decisions must be sensible, but no foods are completely off limits.  A feeling of being "deprived" doesn't work well for my dietary headspace.  Ergo, if french fries are calling my name for lunch, then tofu may be the consequence at dinner.  You get the idea. 
6.  Eat the rainbow.   Foods need to be brightly COLORED -- not beige and fried.  Attempts will be made to eat something everyday that is:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple, white, black, and pink.  And, NO...white doesn't refer to bread or sugar. 

One final clarification.  Since my tendency is to fall of the caloric modification wagon, I decided:  If and when that happens, then just hop back on and start again!  Don't make it a capital offence; just get over it and re-focus. 
That "Caution" sign on the wagon seemed rather poetic.

Here is a sample of my diet during the past wk... photos were taken with my phone on either the kitchen or dining room table.  Some days I managed to set the table; other days, not so much.  Many times, the food was purchased, and I assembled it onto the plate.  Fresh fruit, fresh veggies, lean meats and protein, and lots of herbs and spices.  Nothing fancy or exciting; just a few ideas to ponder.

 Wheat toast with peanut butter... dried cherries and golden raisins; banana, honey, and salted almonds.  I never claimed that my "diet" was glamorous!  Ha

 Steel cut oatmeal with currants, sauteed banana with cinnamon, and pecans.  This IS one of my favorite weekend foods... the idea was stolen from the Corner Cafe in Chicago.

 Greek yogurt with granola, honey, and blueberries... it does look a bit like tree bark.  Fortunately, it tasted better!

 Vegetarian chili with cilantro and red onions; corn muffin... all straight from the grocery store deli.

 Low sodium canned chicken soup with edamame and spinach; side salad.  Sometimes, my inner Sandra Lee comes out... I'm in semi-homemade hell. 

 Chicken stuffed with sundried tomatoes, broccoli and almonds, steamed veggies, and curried couscous with cranberries

 Lemon pepper salmon and mache salad

 Notice a few repeat items.  Yep... left overs.  Grilled salmon salad.  Left overs might as well look good. 

 Jack Daniels and diet coke for dinner... I never claimed to be perfect.  Someone call the wagon... lol

Chicken and black bean veggie salad with lime/BBQ vinagrette and roasted butternut squash

Since starting this insanity last Friday, I've lost 5 lbs and don't feel deprived.  Will keep you informed of the progress. 

Time for a snack! 

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