Once a cheater, always a cheater?

I knew this day would come…  I knew this weekend would happen sooner or later…  I did a little cheating this weekend.  Unfortunately this translated to no pounds lost for this week.  But it has been a month since I started this challenge, so the fact that I haven’t been unfaithful to my new lifestyle is a true testament to my determination.

But so many of you talk to me about how hard it is to lose the weight and work out regularly, so I feel I owe it to you to be honest with you.  I’m a cheater!  Well, I’ve always been a cheater.  It’s a big part of the reason I could never lose weight before.  I would lose a few pounds and “treat” myself to a binge weekend drink-a-thon or a whole pint (or two) of Ben & Jerrys.  Not healthy and not the way to “reward” myself.

I wasn’t “BAD” this weekend…  just off my chosen path a bit.  Friday night, my friend Karen & I, went up to boat night in Port Huron.  This was a great chance to visit one of my old favorites, The Raven Cafe.

http://www.ravencafeph.com/home.html

It’s a very unique cafe/bar/coffee shop.  It reminds you of a bi-level library but with food and drink and live music!  I had forgotten just how good their food was.  It’s all fairly healthy food, but I should have just stuck with my Annabelle Lee Gorgonzola Cherry Salad.  Instead I also had their delicious appetizer that is Gorgonzola cheese, red onions, scallions, pecans and a touch of brown sugar all on top of a warm and fluffy pita bread!  All topped off with a glass of reisling.  None of this is bad in moderation, but I am sure, way beyond my 1230 daily calorie allowance.  I followed this up with a mojito fest on Saturday, thanks to my Cuban roommate who has nearly perfected his mojito recipe.  Then again going out to eat Saturday, we went to Pronto’s in Royal Oak where I was pleasantly surprised by the plethora of healthy and vegetarian foods.  I stuck with a vegetarian roumalade  wrap sandwich and sweet potato fries.  This of course after sharing their hummus (you have to try it) and a roasted garlic with red peppers and chevre cheese appetizer.  Again, none unhealthy, but definitely in excess of my 1230 daily calorie allowance.  And I figured since I was cheating, I may as well top it all off with a Sasha dirty martini at Gracies, although I did refrain from eating my blue cheese olives.

Now I should mention that I busted my ass in the gym this weekend too.  I did 2 hours of spinning Thursday night, and hour of spinning Saturday morning, 1 hour boot-camp in Memorial Park on Sunday followed by a very active afternoon playing in my friends Ivana’s pool with her daughter (who I am convinced is part mermaid).  Had I not done all this work, I am sure this weekend’s outcome would have been pounds gained!

So what I took away from this weekend is that every so often I need to give myself a break and indulge in a few delicacies that I love.  But only after a good stretch of sticking to my plan.  I could be beating myself up over this right now (which would only send me reeling towards a 3 cheese pizza) or I can understand that I have lost 17 POUNDS IN ONE MONTH!!! So I took a break this weekend and as of Sunday, I was right back on track. It also puts the upcoming pub crawl into perspective for me…  Do I really want to drink a bunch of empty calories and negate all the hard effort I put in this week?  I guess we’ll see.  But I am still in this to win it!

Advertisements

Learning to be a chef as a vegetarian

I love to cook…  seriously.  Nothing brings me joy like creating something so delicious that your taste buds are watering before the first bite.  I enjoy feeding others and hearing the pounding of my flat mates feet coming upstairs to ask “What smells so good?”   But my old staples were not so healthy for the heart…  my two signature dishes are Penne ala Vodka Sauce and Beef Stroganoff.   Both could send my friends into a scurry to get to my house quicker than you can blink.  But both are loaded with really unhealthy stuff…  creams, bacon, starchy white pastas.  So I find myself perusing the internet looking for healthy, vegetarian dishes that fit into my new life style and are just as enjoyable for my meat eating friends as they are for me.

I did make this Warm & Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa for a birthday brunch on Sunday and though it was filling, I personally thought it was still a bit bland in the taste department.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html

I have begun to enjoy substituting portobello mushrooms for meat in my dinners, but I haven’t invested in a new grill, so I have to find ways to cook them besides grilling.  Yesterday I googled recipes including portobellos and came up with a great stuffed portobello recipe.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Stuffed-Portobello-Mushrooms-363381

These were so delicious and filling!  And using my home ingredients, they were only 303 calories for both of them! 40 carbs/10 fat/20 protein!  (See I am getting plenty of protein in my veggies!!)

I have been exploring some very helpful and interesting sites for vegetarians and just healthy eaters in general.  A few I like are:

http://www.101cookbooks.com/

http://www.thekindlife.com/  (Actress Alicia Silverstone’s site)

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/

http://theculturedcook.com/  (Local Michigan Health Food Blogger)

I have two more new discoveries I am dying to make this week.  The first is a warm beet salad:

http://www.lafujimama.com/2009/11/warm-beet-salad/

and the second is a tofu walnut burger:

http://mycozykitchen.blogspot.com/2010/02/tofu-walnut-burgers.html

I want to send a big thank you to my friends Karen, Susan and Angela who have been forwarding me some delicious vegetarian recipes.  KEEP EM COMIN!

Elations and Tribulations

The world is full of joys and happiness…  unfortunately it’s also full of people who can’t embrace the joy and happiness you are experiencing.

Elations

I was discussing my weight loss with my good friend Karen last week and she made the comment that 10lbs was one dress size.  I didn’t feel like I lost enough to ditch my size 18s, but I was at Target to pick up a gift bag and thought…  why not try out my old jeans and a pair of 16s in the same style…  the 16s fit!!!  and comfortably!  Not tight!!  So I wore those out Saturday night with a cute pair of high heels (which I have been avoiding!) and I am starting to feel like the old me again!  Sassy Virg!  Just the motivation I needed to keep going!

(Disclaimer: This is NOT my Ass! But someday it will be!)

I am sitting here 4 days later and those size 16s are starting to feel baggy!  So I weighed myself mid-week and I am now 227.4!!!  That’s 14lbs since this all started about 3 1/2 weeks ago!

It’s been over a week without meat and again…  I feel great!  I eat a LOT of fruits and vegetables…  and a wide range of them.  I even ate out at Cliff Bells on Friday night and checked the menu before hand to pick out a nice salad and when I got there, the soup of the day was a chilled asparagus and banana soup…  no cream or animal broths…  Dinner was healthy and DELISH!

Tribulations

I am so happy but I am dreading the moment this all slows down to a normal loss of 1-2 pounds a week.  So I keep telling myself it’s all good, as long as I don’t have a no loss or a gain week.  I am considering a heart rate montior to be more efficient in my workouts, which are key to this whole process for four reasons:

1. The workouts help me get my body into a healthy shape to battle the heart disease that has taken so many of my loved family members.

2. Getting in shape helps me love the woman I see in the mirror even more which in turn boosts my self confidence!

3. Working out helps drop the bad weight quicker and replaces it with good, fat burning muscle.

4. Working out helps me release stress!

So this is something I am considering as a tool to know I am still giving it my all when the eventual slow down of the weight loss happens.

There are still people out there that can’t just be HAPPY for me in this journey I am on.  So I am trying to get to a place where other people’s opinions don’t affect me.   This is definitely something easier said than done.  Unfortunately, when other people affect me, I tend to want comfort food.  So even though I haven’t craved meat the last week and I am so NOT a hamburger girl, something set me off yesterday and all I could think about was how great a greasy, gross, totally bad for me fast food burger would taste…  that was my heart talking…  not my gut or head!  Thank God the other two over rode my heart…  I did not get the burger!

So I leave this blog happy and nervous.  Happy for my accomplishments thus far and nervous of what I am sure will be a struggle up ahead.  But with the great friends I have around me, I am sure they will be behind me rooting all the way!

I will be a Skinny Bitch… and a vegetarian?

So first things first… this weeks weight 233.4!! That’s another 2 lbs lost, 7.8 lbs in the first two weeks! I’ll take it!

I picked up Skinny Bitch at the advice of my therapist this weekend and began reading it… It was a little shocking and NOT because of the frank barrage of cuss words… I guess I never really stopped to think WHAT I was putting in my body. They talk about all the reasons that refined sugar and artificial sweeteners are bad for you, why meat (dead, rotting, decomposing flesh) and dairy are not designed to be consumed by modern man and many other things like how alcohol leads to fat-ass syndrome.

They really bash the shit out of the Atkins diet in this chapter!

So the book did exactly what my Dr. thought it would… It got me thinking. So I signed onto http://www.goveg.com and signed up to receive a free go vegetarian kit from PETA, and while I was there I watched a few videos… check out the one with Sir Paul McCartney when you get a chance. It opened my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I always knew that animals had to die to make my burger or chicken breast, I just never realized how terribly many of them are treated. I was made acutely aware of the practice of “force” feeding cows genetically manufactured corn thru a hole that is made in their sides, thanks to the documentary “Food Inc” (another thing I suggest you check out), but I didn’t realized that killing a cow isn’t as peaceful as just shooting it in the head and putting it down before beginning the butchering process.

After this rude awakening, I started wondering if I could go without meat forever? I like a well grilled blue cheese hamburger in the summer with grilled onions, bacon and tomatoes and lettuce . I also enjoy Mom’s standing Rib Roast at Christmas and her Turkey at Thanksgiving, but unless I win the lotto and buy my own farm, I have no guarantees of how the meat was raised, treated or processed before it went into my fat-ass. So I am giving vegetarianism a shot!

I haven’t had any meat since Sunday and I feel great! But being a HEALTHY vegetarian isn’t just about not eating meat. It’s about eating lots of leafy green veggies, plenty of wholesome (preferably organic) fruit and limiting the amount of processed foods and foods containing animal bi-products. I am switching to almond milk and going to eat cheese and eggs sparsely.

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the cost of organic fruits and vegetables, but think about it this way, how much money do you spend on meat?? If I cut meat out of my budget, I have no problem budgeting for safer and healthier organic products. I am really beginning to enjoy my morning carrot/swiss chard/apple juice and looked up a few more juicing recipes to try out. I am keeping my fatoosh salad staples in the fridge and I even tried out some tofu with my quinoa and peppers. (FYI… We as Americans eat entirely wayyyy too much protein!)

So I am going to give this a solid college try for 30 days… no meat… LOTS of veggies and fruits and beans… Can’t hurt, right?