Trying something new: Eating Clean

My mom and I hiking in Malibu

This week, I’m trying something new. After a somewhat bad-eating weekend (a cupcake here and movie popcorn there), I decided I wanted to do a re-set. I wanted to eat clean.
So since Tuesday morning, I haven’t eaten a single processed thing. NOT ONE PROCESSED THING. Nary a processed “convenience” item has passed my lips. I realized I eat a lot of packaged crap on Weight Watchers – the frozen SmartOnes baked Ziti, little Weight Watchers chocolate cream cakes, peeps, crystal light, fiber one bars… My Yo-Yoing has made me realize it doesn’t matter if it keeps me on plan or within my points. It’s still crap, and it’s stuff I wouldn’t want my future children eating daily, so why am I? It’s easy to pop a SmartOne into the microwave on days when I’m heading to class or stuck in a lunch meeting, but I’m kind of over them. Sure, they’re tasty and low points, but they’re also filled with salt and preservatives. I’m not raggin’ on them, because it works, but I think I’m relying on them too much. Crap is crap is crap no matter how it’s packaged, marketed or prepared.

I’ve stayed in my points allotment but I’m doing it a little differently. Here’s how: tons of vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, seeds, lean protein and water and tea. LOTS OF IT. Here’s what I ate yesterday (and stayed within my points allotment on):

1 Apricot Mango Greek Yogurt, Organic (8 points – I mistakenly bought the full fat version and wondered why it was so damn delicious and tasted like icecream. Then I calculated the points. Haha!)
1 Mug of Green Mint Tea (0 points)
1 Banana (0 points)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in shell (4 points)
2 cups vegetable beef soup, homemade (packed with spinach, zucchini, carrots, celery, onions, cabbage, peas and tomatoes) 5 points
4 prunes (2 points)
Water

1/2 Cup Cantaloupe (0 points)
1/2 Cup Pineapple (0 points)

Grilled chicken breast (boneless, skinless) 4 points
1 cup asparagus, sauteed (1 point)
1 small baked potato with butter (5 points)
Water

4 slices dried mango (3 points)
3 squares 85% dark chocolate (2 points)
Water

I’m actually somewhat under points on this, but I don’t feel hungry. I’m not even craving diet pepsi, which is weird because I usually have one at every lunch. This is probably TMI for you so close your eyes and skip to the next line if you’re squeamish, but I’m also like….regular. Haha! I have no idea what this little plan of mine will result in tomorrow on the scale, but I’m hoping it’s good. If it’s not, I’ll decide what to do then. I also have been walking at least a mile on breaks at work every day, and yesterday I did an hour of dance class. On Sunday, I hiked for two hours with Matt and my mom. I’m trying, and like Thomas the train, I’m chugging along saying to myself, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….”.

Have you ever tried to do a “detox” of sorts by eating clean? How did it go?

Weekly Weigh In #5

Well, folks – Weigh in was today – and let’s get right to it- I’m happy to report this week that  I

lost 2.6 pounds

I worked really hard this past week to correct some of my previous mistakes. I drank way more water, put the kibosh on the junk eating, and got some activity. One night when I as feeling bingey, I had hot tea instead of a salty, crunchy snack – and I also had a terrible cold, so that probably helped keep my appetite from going all nutty. I also had motivation on my side, because there was no way I wanted to come back on here today and report that I had gained weight (again).

I’m enjoying the 0-point fruit and keeping our fruit man in business at work – it’s only $3 for a giant container of fresh pineapple with chili and lime. I’m also trying to limit my nighttime eating, and save my “extra” points for weekends, because that’s when I struggle. I even managed to fit in homemade popcorn and still lose- a splurge at 10 points for a big bowl with real butter.

I really want to stay on track this week, because I’m 1.8 pounds away from losing 5 pounds total – and it’d be really nice to reach that goal next week. It’s funny because this week I lost EXACTLY what I gained last week. Heh. I guess my body, like myself, is a little bit neurotic about symmetry 😉

How are you doing this week?

 

 

 

 

Weekly Weigh In #2

Today was my second Weight Watchers weigh in, and I was feeling pretty confident. I tracked everything I ate, and only ate 29 of my flex points. I didn’t get much exercise and I probably could have done more water, but in total, the week went well and I was sure it would result in at least a pound lost. I stepped on the scale and I…

Gained .2

I believe the first thing out of my mouth was “What the f*ck?”, except without the little asterisk because I’m pretty much a sailor’s daughter.  The leader offered a few suggestions, like, “Did you use all of your flex points?” No, I didn’t. “Did you eat something salty for dinner last night?” No, I didn’t. “Are you near your monthly cycle?” Sorry if it’s TMI, but no. So WHAT THE FFFFF!! I moped through the rest of the meeting and felt sorry for myself (and may have tweeted a couple of pouting tweets), and then I got over it. Shit happens. So I didn’t lose this week when I feel like I really should have. Life will go on, and all I can do is keep on tracking, and try to identify why I didn’t lose this week.

Here’s a few thoughts – I was bad about drinking water. I’m back in school and my schedule is now in full-on crazy mode. I’ve felt thirsty a lot, and I know by the time I get to that point, I’m already dehydrated. So this week, more water. I also didn’t exercise much because of aforementioned bad schedule. This week I need to get movin’, even if it’s just walking a few laps around the campus at work. I also wonder if I’m eating too much fruit. Even though it’s 0 points, it still has calories, and yesterday I ate 3 clementines, a peach, a banana and a cup of pineapple. I struggled with this the last time around on PointsPlus, so I may need to see how the next couple of weeks go and re-evaluate my fling with fruit.

When was the last time you were expecting a good thing to happen and it didn’t? Are you the type of person that suffers a setback and bounces right back, or are you like me, and need to stew and pout about it for a bit before you move on?

Weight Watchers Recap, Week 1

Hey everybody! Tomorrow is my first weigh-in on Weight Watchers… and I’m here to report back on the week, so that tomorrow I can’t get a number and scratch my head in surprise. I have NO CLUE how it’s going to go. Here’s why: I tracked EVERYTHING I ate, from the handfuls of different marinated olives from Whole Foods to the five licks of orange cake batter to the Salami sandwich my boss brought me for lunch. (My boss just showed up today with a sandwich for my officemate and I – no rhyme or reason- isn’t that nice?! Matt also brought me home a beautiful mum plant last night after a rough day. I <3 thoughtful people.)

Salami, Mortadella and Capacolo Sandwich

So I tracked all week. That’s great, right? Weight Watchers is all about tracking. The reason why I don’t know this is going to go was that on Saturday I was at a memorial party for Matt’s grandfather, and I ate a 5-course Italian lunch – complete with chicken parmesan, antipasti, wine, bread and rigatoni. I tracked it all, but I’m worried that with restaurant tracking, you never know how accurate you’re really tracking. I earned several activity points throughout the week from exercise, but I used all of those and my weekly “flex” points (kind of like extra credit, for those not familiar with WW).

Orange Zest cake, made with greek yogurt!

Regardless of what the scale shows, I have a few “key learnings”, as we like to say in Marketing land.

1) Eating a small, low-point breakfast like greek yogurt and a piece of fruit is perfect to get me through to lunch and doesn’t destroy my points.

2) Eatings lots of fruit keeps me full and satisfied, and if it’s something super yummy like pineapple, it feels like a treat. (FRUIT is ZERO points!)

3) Keeping check on my emotions is worth more than any diet pill could ever be. I had a stressful day yesterday, and my first impulse was to eat. And not eat daintily – I wanted to stuff my piehole full of carbs and go all Cookie Monster. But I took a few deep breaths, drank some water, and moved on. Moved on to life without Ben and Jerry. And I was fine, and now I feel good about moving past that urge.

So – even if tomorrow isn’t very impressive, or worse, slightly disappointing, it was a thoughtful, conscientious week for me in terms of eating, tracking and Weight Watchers. This week is all about focusing on the positive – an activity that I like to do on a daily basis!

How was your week in terms of eating healthy?

Oranges + volunteers = Fruitanthropy

Cute and Colorful Food Forward Van

On Saturday morning, thanks to the help of some volunteers and a great nonprofit called Food Forward, we experienced for the first time, the act of fruitanthropy. Fruitanthrophy is the picking, donating or distributing of fruit for humanitarian purposes. The house that Matt and I rent is graced with two huge, beautiful orange trees that have probably been growing there since the early 1950’s when the house was built. I love the springtime smell of orange blossoms heavily perfuming the air, and the cool, thick shade that their lush green foliage provides, but in our small 2 person family, sadly, most of the actual oranges go to waste.

Food Forward is a non-profit that picks unneeded fruit from people’s trees all over Southern California and donates them to local food banks. With our two massive trees, there’s no way Matt and I could even eat 1/10 of what the trees produce. They came out Saturday morning with their van and ladders, fruit picking tools (I have no idea what those are called!) and lots of empty boxes to collect our backyard bounty.

Helpful Volunteers go to work

It was so much fun watching the people ascend up into the trees and come back with a basket full of oranges. The harvest took about an hour, and talk about an easy way to give back to our community – those oranges were definitely not being used to their full potential, and now, the fruit of our trees can feed lots of hungry people.

Box 'em up!

 

At the end of the pick on Saturday, the team had harvested over 350 pounds of oranges! They separated the oranges from the stems and leaves and boxed them up for their journey to the food banks. 350 pounds goes a long way towards feeding hungry members of a community. Even though I wasn’t out there pulling the oranges from the trees, it felt so good to know that we were helping out, especially since food is such a near and dear part of my life.

Over 350 pounds of oranges!

If you have fruit trees in your yard that you aren’t “using”, I encourage you to research some organizations near your house that could help you harvest your fruit. Your trees will be healthy and happy, you’ll help feed hungry families, and you’ll help out a community in times of need. It’s a win win situation! To find out more about Food Forward and how you can help, visit their website at foodforward.org.

Thanks, Volunteers! (Can you spot a Matthew in there?)

Bye, Oranges! Go Forth and Nourish!

Independence Day Treats

Revolutionary Berries

I’ve got a little bit of Martha in me, because when I see cute food, I swoon, and immediately try to think of a reason why I need to make it. Such was the case for these darling Revolutionary Berries my friend Hilda found. My gracious friend Julie was having a 3rd of July party, so I thought they’d be perfect for a patriotic snack.

Party-goers enjoy berries. (Pic credit: Virginia)

They’re super simple and are made with only three ingredients – white chocolate chips, strawberries and blue decorating sugar. They were kind of a pain in the butt to dip in the melted white chocolate, but the result was super cute and happily, the berries were gone in SECONDS -the best compliment you can get as a chef.

Citrus Squishies

The other thing I just HAD to make after seeing them in Food Network Mag (sorry – no link, but “Not Martha” has something similar here.) were “Fake Fruit”. I have two massive orange trees in my backyard, so a reason to actually use the fruit on my tree was a good incentive for me to make these – and they looked like fab party food.

Some of the things you need

 

 

You need these things: Lemons, Oranges, Orange Jello, Lemon Jello, a sharp knife, a muffin tin, and a cutting board.

First, you slice your fruit in half and remove the pulp. I used a sharp knife to loosen the pulp and then a spoon to scoop it out.

Those aren't muffins!

Then you place the empty halves into a muffin tin to balance them. Prepare the jello according to the directions on the back of the box, and use a small measuring cup to fill the rinds up to the top. It’s ok if a little bit spills out because the jello will shrink as it sets. Carefully transfer to the fridge and then refrigerate until firm (let them set longer than recommended – they’re hard to cut). Place wiggly side down and use a very sharp knife to cut them into wedges.

So cool!

 

Next time, I’ll blot the rinds dry so that the jello sticks a little bit better, but I think for the first time making them, they came out great. Also next time? I’ll add limoncello and orange pucker. Mmmm. Boozy fake fruit – can’t get much better than that.

 

Scroll down to see some more pictures. I had a wonderful fourth of July – I hope you did too!

 

Matt and I enjoyed a lime shaved ice!

Yummy! Virginia tries out an orange slice!

Me and my Grad School Girlies - Hostess Julie and Virginia

Happy 4th of July!