Feelin' Chalky

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fitting In

I did it!  Another 3 miles under my belt!  I walked in first "official" race today for the Haynes Apperson Festival - number 673 - with my buddy by my side.  And can I just say that I love that girl?  She literally left a 12-hour shift at work and came straight to the race to walk with me and cheer her husband on.  That's serious stuff there...she's an example of a true cheerleader, friend, and selfless spirit.  I am so glad we're in this together, Jaim!  :)

My goal today was not to win the race, I really just wanted to continue to build on to the success I've had so far...and to continue on my journey to healthy living for life.  Plus I wanted my kids to see me doing something good for myself so that hopefully they will follow suit.  One of my fav people in the world, Dave Ramsey, always says something to this effect: if you want to be rich - do what rich people do - if poor people are making fun of your financial plan, then you are on the right track!  That's what I keep thinking through this process...if I want to be healthy, I should do what healthy people do.  Healthy people MOVE their butts.  They don't sit and watch TV all day.  They don't lay around and daydream.  They get up and get busy.  So...that's where I'm at!

This week I lost 4.8 pounds!!!  That puts me up over 50 pounds lost and gone forever.  My total loss is 51.8 pounds...just 8.2 away from my August goal!  :)

Since this is a holiday weekend and a lot of people are getting together with family and friends (and also because m my aunt gave me the great idea) I thought I would talk a little about how you can fit into the cookout/picnic picture as a WW member, dieter, health-nut, vegetarian/vegan, or someone who has special dietary needs.  On the other side of that, also, how you can be an accommodating hostess if one of your guests is in one of the categories above!

First of all - for both sides - it can be a real challenge when you live in a world of burgers, chips, potato salad, and pie.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with those things, believe me, I love them too, but when you are trying to do something better for yourself how can you cope without feeling completely isolated?  Here are my top 5 things to do as a guest when you have "special" dietary needs.

Research - Call your hostess and just simply ask what they are planning to have for dinner.  Don't feel embarrassed.  It's good to be informed.  Once you have the information, you can take action.  You can decide what exactly you will and won't eat AHEAD OF TIME and you can also plan your day/week around that event.

Offer - Offer to bring something that is fair game for you - something that you love and fits into your lifestyle...and preferably something that might appeal to others! ;)

Portion - Bring measuring cups, spoons, what-not or ask to use some.  Don't be shy!  You are doing something good for yourself by placing limits on your food intake.  That's a good and healthy thing.  So what if you look like a crazy-person?  If you don't want to go to that extreme, just err on the side of caution.  It's better to go small and  be safe than go crazy and hate yourself in the morning.

Indulge - Give yourself permission to really enjoy one specific thing...but again portion it out.  If there is potato salad, cole slaw, and macaroni salad - pick one and eat it, but be reasonable.  If your thing is dessert...either bring a healthy-fied version or pick one dessert and eat a small amount.

Ratio - remember math class?  Well, me neither, but try to stick with this kind of plan: 1/2 veggies and whole grains, 1/4 meat, 1/4 fruit/dessert or if you don't eat meat: 1/4 whole grains, 1/2 veggies, 1/4 fruit/dessert...that way most of your points are going to low-point and filling foods (about 3/4) and less to fatty foods with less nutritional value...or in the case of vegetarians/vegans...try to make 3/4 of your total intake whole foods and whole grains and skip the quick carbs like breads, white pastas, and white sugars.  Here is a good visual.  You know the little kid plates that have two small sections and one large section?  Try to put your veggies/grains in the big section and the meat and dessert/fruit in the small ones.  Make sense?

OK, that covers the bases if you are attending a get-together, but what about if you are hosting?  I think similar rules apply.  So here are my top things to do as a hostess if you are hosting someone with "special" dietary needs:

Research - Find out what your guests' needs are.  Does someone have a wheat or dairy issue, is someone counting calories or points, or does someone have a lifestyle that needs to be addressed when preparing the food?  Find out.  Don't assume you know.  Look up information about their needs.  Find out what a gluten-free diet is or what exactly being a vegan means.  Know your dinner guests.

Offer - Offer an alternative.  If you're having beef burgers and someone is trying to eat things lower in calories and saturated fat, also serve turkey burgers.  Ask your guest what they might like...chances are if there is something out of the ordinary that they need such as soy cheese or gluten/wheat-free hamburger buns or meat-free products (burgers, hot dogs, chik'n, riblets, Italian sausages - yes they make meat-free alternatives for all of these things) they will be more than willing to bring it.  Try to offer a neutral dish.  A great neutral dish that is always a crowd pleaser is the Haricots verts with garlic and mushrooms that I talked about a few posts back.  It's simple, cheap, and accommodates anyone - really.  Or you can just have a veggie tray and/or a fresh fruit platter...again...it accommodates everyone and you can get a great one at Sam's Club for like $10.  You can't beat that!

Relax - It's OK if your guest isn't babied or catered to.  Chances are they will be more than happy you even made an effort to please them.  Most people on specific diets are good at piecing together meals on their own and also are used to being the odd one out and bringing something familiar along.

Ratio - If 5 people you invite have typical dietary needs and only one person has specific dietary needs...go with the majority.  Again, offer alternatives when possible, but don't stress.  Ask the person to bring something (or two) that they love.  Salads, also, are very neutral and appeal to most everyone.  Put all of the "toppings" (like tomatoes, peppers, onions, sunflower seeds, berries, cheeses, croutons) on the side so that people can pick and choose what they want.

OK, that was only four, but I ran out of ideas!  :)  To top off this post, here are a couple of things I am exploding (tried to think of something that would go with the 4th) for this week:

Cilantro - you either love or hate it.  I love it!  I have been using it in quite a few recipes this week some of which I have already posted, some that I will post next week (hint: I am working on making Chipotle burritos at home).  It has such a distinct flavor and smell...a little goes a long way!

Homemade Guacamole - Great with chips, as a topper to a veggie burger (thanks, Jaim), or on a burrito.  So simple - 1 ripe avocado, red onion, garlic, lime juice and salt.  Smoosh it all together...voila!

Happy 4th to everyone!

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