Sorry I have been so quiet. It's been crazy. I started YMCA Boot Camp and a new spinning class this week. Last week I wasn't feeling motivated, and had too much on my plate. Enough excuses! I am feeling good again now. Boot camp is really kicking my butt. Like, OMG, dying, barely making it through class burning a billion calories dying. I love every second of it. But, I will talk more about that later! Today I want to talk about FOOD!
Yes, I love food. Hello, have you seen my before pictures, of course I love food. I love to cook. I love to eat. I love to eat out. I used to love complicated dishes with heavy sauces, Alfredo and hollandaise being my favorites. I loved ketchup and mayo. NUMMY! Oh, and steak sauce? My other fav! And cocktail sauce. And cheese. Oh Lord. I used to put cheese on everything because I thought it tasted better. My husband would cringe when he would grill a steak to perfection (he is an EXCELENT cook) and then I would slob sauce all over it. He'd say, "Don't drown your food." I always thought he was a poooper head as my daughter would say. It made it nummier. How could he not understand that?
Well, here we are years later, and I realize, he still weighs within a few pounds of when I met him 163 years ago. (It seems that long...LOL. Actually it's going on 18 years.) He looks amazing. He is not fat like me. And he DOESN'T DROWN HIS FOOD! Hmmm, maybe he is on to something here? He eats meat plain, he doesn't like sauces (except for occasional gravy - no one is perfect) he doesn't use condiments, and he doesn't like cheese on burgers, omelets or sandwiches. Hmmm. Then it hit me....
HE EATS CLEAN!!!!! Omg, it hit me one day when I was reading a little Tosca Reno. My husband eats clean and he doesn't even know it. He eats raw fruits and veggies, lean meat, and hardly any dairy, and yep, no white bread for this dude!
A few years ago, the idea of an omelet without cheese, or a sandwich without mayo would have gagged me. But I made SLOW changes. VERY slow. I went from full fat products to low fat to no fat to plain food that I could enjoy. (Watch your sugar content though. You must read labels!!) I went from regular cheese to low fat cheese to no cheese - it's just extra fat and calories. I went from piling on white sauces to sparingly using red sauces. Subtle changes over the last couple years. Now, I don't WANT cheese on my sandwich. I threw the mayo away because I was the only one that liked it before, and it's been so long since anyone used it, it's more of a science experiment than a condiment! And hummus and tomatoes make a sandwich much tastier than any cheese ever did. You can make changes too. And what's funny, is in the long run, you WILL like it better, and food actually tastes SO much better without all the sauces, creams and crap. And the calories and fat you save. It's insane!
Let's go through a typical meal to see what happens.
3 egg omelet with cheese cooked in butter
3-4 slices bacon or link sausage
2 slices white toast with real butter
Orange Juice (big glass)
Ugh, what was I thinking???? That lovely little meal adds up to 1240 calories, 77 grams of fat, (36 of them saturated) and 52 grams of protein. All by 8am. Well no wonder I weighed 235 jiggly pounds. I ate like that all the time!
Now I would have something more like this.
5 eggs white omelet with 1 tablespoon ground flax seed & 2 cups raw mushrooms cooked in a drizzle of olive oil.
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries or raspberries
1 slice Ezekiel bread with a teaspoon of sugar free preserves or honey
1 cup green tea
Notice, this is actually MORE food. But, it's only 360 calories. We saved 880 calories!!! It is also only 7 grams of fat, with only 1 gram saturated, it has 12 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of protein. (You should never have more than 25-30 grams of protein at a time - your body cannot process it and guess what happens to calories your body can't process? THEY TURN INTO FAT !!!!!)
Now, if I had the first breakfast one day, and the second the next, it probably wouldn't taste great. Eating clean can take time to adjust to. Maybe jumping full force works for some people, but making gradual changes not only allows you to adjust, but your family as well. I have stopped buying white bread for instance. It was VERY gradual. They survived. They didn't even notice when I bought sugar free jelly. And when the sugar bowl was replaced with Stevia packets, they didn't mind. Your family will adjust too. I hear a lot of people say "Oh my husband would freak if we ate like that." Well, if you change things slow, they won't really notice. By the time they figure it out, you will be able to point out to them how much healthier they are. I have seen my boys go from borderline chubby, to lean and trim athlete types! What a gift I have given them to not go into adulthood as an obese person! I feel like the best mom in the world! As Flylady would say, take baby steps! But, more about food.
Let's look at a poor drowned sandwich I used to love. Bologna, american cheese, white bread and mayo on one side, butter on the other. (It gags me to even think that I used to like that....)
643 freakin calories. Ewww. That's not to mention the cheetos or some other crap I would have eaten with it. And washed it down with a coke to boot. Barf. Easily a 1000 calorie lunch.
Now a typical lunch would be some tuna, some sprouts and some hummus tucked into a pita bread. An apple. A dish of some fresh veggie like 2 cups of cauliflower, and a large glass of water, plus a cup of tea with honey in it. (I can forgo desserts usually, but tea with honey in it is my treat now.)
305 little butty calories, and twice the food! And only 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of fiber! Again, start with skipping the mayo and adding a slice of tomato or hummus. Switch from white to wheat. Switch from bologna to chicken or turkey. Baby baby steps!
Over the course of time, you will not want the condiments. I just ate a piece of salmon that I grilled last might. No seasonings, no sauces, no anything. Just the smokey flavor of the grill. It was beyond decadent. I used to eat piles of potatoes with gravy and butter. Today I had a sweet potato I cooked in the microwave, just plain, mashed up. I reveled in the texture and taste with nothing to cover it up!
So, I could go on all day, but I leave you with this. Condiments are hidden calories that you are just globbing on your hips and thighs. Might as well just stick that package of jeans into the top of your jeans and let your muffin top flop because that is where it is going to go! Being aware of what goes into your mouth can be a real eye opener. Start reading those labels and start adding up those hidden calories! You'd be surprised at what a few little changes can add up to in your daily caloric intake!
Love, laughter and light,