Feelin' Chalky

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Whining and Dining

I have decided this:
Eating healthy is not for the faint of heart, faint of stomach, or faint of wallet (if there is such a thing). 

Why?  Well, this post is dedicated (in a light-hearted and somewhat sarcastic way) to that VERY topic.  

After obsessing for two weeks about what in the world I would send for the girls' snack day at preschool I realized something.  Well, maybe two things.  One, I am a complete and total crackpot these days, and two, eating healthy is stinkin' hard.  No decision I make about food anymore is easy.  Everything seems like a complicated mathematical formula.  No more do I walk in the grocery store, grab a pack of "Ho-Ho's" and call it a day.  There is a thought process that starts the minute I step through the automatic doors.  

From time to time I mourn the "easy" and misleadingly "cheap" way of eating of my past.  I mean...hello...the dollar menu?!?  How simple and cheap is that?  When you really break it down...it's not all that cheap in the long-run really, but as Americans we tend to lean more heavily on instant gratification and less on our future.  I'm not sure how much triple bypass surgery costs, but I sure know it doesn't look fun...

In honor of whiners like me everywhere, I decided to compile a list of Top Ten Reasons Why Eating Healthy Is Hard just for fun...so here goes:

10. We all love food that could withstand a nuclear explosion.  I mean, the Twinkie is radioactive already, so why not consume it?  Maybe we'll have super powers too! (ps...this site is dedicated to experimentation that's been conducted on the Twinkie and it's hilarious - http://www.twinkiesproject.com/)

9. We're lazy. Plain and simple. It's easier to pop a pot pie in the micro than fix a healthy version from scratch.

8. It takes more time. Reading labels, keeping a food journal/log, cooking from scratch, planning ahead - these all take more time, and we are just too busy and mentally exhausted...it seems impossible.  (Come to think of it...pretty much ANY positive behavior change is difficult because of #9 and #8.  It takes more effort and more time to make a change for the better.) 

7. Carrots and Brussel Sprouts don't come in packaging that features a sea Captain or zealous tiger.

6. Frankly, the sound tofu makes as it is released from its packaging is enough of a reason in and of itself.

5. We're leary of eating any color with the exception of "golden brown" which is featured in some of our favorite food groups: the nugget, the fry, the fried Oreo, and the ring of onion.

4. Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is too much physical exertion.

3. Pizza. Ice Cream. Chocolate. Skittles. Need I say more?

2. You can't join in on the fun of "double coupon day" when you're buying a bunch of fruits and veggies.  And without coupons...is life really worth living?!?

And the number reason?

You dig?

All joking aside...it is hard.  It is a day-to-day, moment-to-moment decision.  If you really sit down and think about it, you are willing to pay more for the things that are important to you.  Apple computer, anyone?  ;)  YOU have to make the choice for yourself whether the benefits of eating healthy outweigh the extra dough, time, and effort.  I think they do.

This week I gained 0.6 pounds.  Boo.  BUT I'm still chugging along.  My total loss to date is 86 pounds. I'm pretty proud of that!  Looking forward to a GREAT week and a GREAT weigh-in!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meet PointsPlus!

Sorry for the delay! I have been adjusting to some new changes in the Weight Watchers universe.  Just last week WW launched its new program - PointsPlus!  This will be my second full week working the new program, and so far I love it!

You might be wondering why WW is changing things up, I mean, didn't the Points program work??  Of course it did!  I lost 80+ pounds following it...BUT...there is always room for tweaking!  One reason I love WW is because they are really science-based.  It's not a crash diet.  There is no magic bullet.  Ultimately it is designed to help people bridge the gap between weight loss and life-long behavior change.  The other reason I love WW?  They really try to lead you into a healthier way of eating...and that's why I Iove this new program even more than before.

It's always up to you.  WW can't force you to eat your veggies. You can lose weight using the Points program by eating less-than-healthy options and never even look at a fruit or vegetable.  If you are in your daily/weekly range, technically you will lose weight BUT chances are...you'll be back in a year or two with even more weight to lose the next time and you'll feel crummy...no one wants to feel crummy all of the time!  The PointsPlus program helps gently push you toward making better choices.  The biggest change? FREE fruits and veggies!!!  (HOORAY!) The other big change?  The formula with which the PointsPlus are figured by.

With the Points program a "point" was figured by the calories, fat, and fiber of the item you are eating.  Now, the formula is based on fat, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber - no more calorie counting - how's that for a Christmas present!?!  The result is a more accurate (in my opinion) view of what a healthy food vs. a non-healthy food rates.  What I have noticed these past couple of weeks is that the foods that are higher on the PointsPlus scale are ones that I should probably eat less of - with the exception of a few like the avocado (it has pretty high values, but completely worth it for the amount of nutrition you get in my opinion!).  I am reaching more for fruits than I have in a long time...and I love it!

I have to say that I am proud to be a part of a program that is constantly changing...it keeps things fun, fresh, and relevant.  I am also very proud to be a part of a movement toward health and wellness through eating more whole fruits and veg and less processed crap! ;)

Now for an update on my progress...last week I lost 2 pounds and this week I lost another 0.8 pounds.  That brings my total to 86.6 pounds!  I am getting so close to 100 - I can't believe it! :)  My current goal is to lose 100 pounds by the New Year.  I am thinking that I might have to push the time frame back slightly.  Not because of holiday eating just because I feel like it will be setting myself up for failure to try and lose 13.4 pounds in 3 weeks (that's like 5+ pounds a week).  So, my new goal is 100 pounds by the end of January (that's more like 2 pounds a week).  I think that is much more realistic and will help me maintain a steady, healthy rate of weight loss.

Here are some new, festive products that I am really "celebrating" this week:

Silk Nog - You can find this sweet treat by the soy milk in the organic/health-food section of the grocery.  I absolutely love it.  It fills me up with Holiday cheer without filling me up with guilt.  It is a dead-ringer for the real thing and would probably be even better with a little rum in it...haha...shhhh...

Endangered Species Drinking Chocolate with mint - I already love this company for their out-of-this-world delicious chocolate bars that boast unbleached, water-filtered beet sugar instead of HFCS/corn sugar or refined white sugar.  They are rich and decadent and have flavors ranging from chocolate with hazelnut toffee (yum) to chocolate with cranberries and almonds to chocolate with blueberries or raspberries.  Every one I try is just as good or even better than the others.  My favorite is the dark chocolate with mint.  Anyhoo...this drinking chocolate is a powder that you mix up with hot milk (I use unsweetened, organic Silk or unsweetened Almond Breeze).  It is SO warm and cozy.  You have to try it out.  The mix does have some sugar (unlike the bars) but I think it is an OK treat on occasion.  Oh, and by the way, it is an Indiana-based company and each purchase from Endangered Species benefits the planet (10% of all profits are donated).  Check out their website here:

Lentils - I guess this isn't technically "festive" really, but they are a wonderful comfort food for cold weather and they are packed with protein and fiber.  I made a WW Slow Cooker Lentil Soup this week that was so filling and delicious.  It has become a new family favorite!  Here is the recipe:


**Disclaimer - I am not being paid by WW to endorse their program.  These are solely my own opinions and experiences.  If you would like more information on the new PointsPlus program, please refer to www.weightwatchers.com - thanks!!