Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finding joy in food / 183.6

I've been following this young lady's blog for the last couple of years. She follows a vegan diet and eats very healthy. She maintains her prefect healthy weight through eating natural whole foods.

What amazes me is when you look at the food she prepares it doesn't look at all like "diet" food. She uses wholesome ingredients and never mentions calories. She eats real food.

Since obviously what I've been doing isn't really working for me lately (like the last year or more), I thought it's time I take a different approach to my eating. Instead of constantly going for the totally non-fat, sugar-free, lowest calories food, I'm going to try eating more whole foods and fewer processed foods.

I'm going to stay with Weight Watchers and will still count Points and track my food, but I want to eat different food. A woman (or man) cannot live by chicken breasts and Brussels sprouts forever.

I attended two Weight Watcher meetings this week, one on Wednesday (at-work meeting) and one today. The topic for both was the same, about having a variety in your food. If you eat the same thing you'll get bored and start overeating, trying to compensate for the boredom. I'm living proof of this statement.

This is exactly where I've been for the past year. I couldn't even remember the last time I tried a new food. My breakfast for the last three years has been the same almost every single day. A couple of times I'd try oatmeal (yuk!), and immediately would go back to my same boring (although delicious) breakfast.

In case you're wondering, my breakfast was a healthy egg McMuffin type meal: one egg, 28 grams 2% sharp cheddar cheese, 4 thin slices Canadian bacon, 1 sandwich thin. PointsPlus = 8. Full of protein and cheesy goodness, but after three years, extremely boring.

After Wednesday's Weight Watcher meeting, I tried Fiber One pancakes. Thursday and Friday I had a mashed banana added to the Fiber One pancake mix and sugar-free pancake syrup (Smuckers). It was okay, but not fantastic. I didn't like the sugar-free syrup, although it tasted okay, I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners and usually have Stevia if I must have something sweet. It just didn't seem healthy. Processed Fiber One mix and sugar-free syrup, not exactly natural or a whole food.

Today I decided to break away from my usual practice of figuring out the Points before I eat. I know, scary idea isn't it? Breakfast today was really breakfast/lunch at 12:30 p.m. so I knew I had a lot of Points to play with (I get 29 a day and still have 44 of weeklies to use this week, plus all my activity Points).

I saw a recipe on Angela's blog that looked and sounded wonderful. Spiced-up Stacked Pumpkin Butter Pancakes For One.

I couldn't make them exactly as she said because I couldn't find the Kamut flour at the nutrition center of my local Fred Meyers. Instead, I used Bob's Red Mill Organic High Fiber Pancake and Waffle (a combination of several different types of organic whole grains). I added only a teaspoon of baking powder to make them fluffier, but not as much as Angela added since the mix already contained some baking powder.

I purchased my first jar of Nature's Way EfaGold Coconut Oil, pure extra virgin. I cringed when I looked at the calories, but I was determined to make the recipe as close to Angela's as I could. You can read about the benefits of coconut oil here. I've been reading about it on several blogs but sort of blew it off. I mean, it's an oil and very high in calories. However, I eat olive oil since it's healthy and it's high in calories too. I think it's time I try something different in the oil department.

Angela has a Pumpkin Butter recipe that I'm going to try, but this morning I didn't want to take the time. Instead I purchased R.W. Knudsen's Organic Apple Butter (one PointsPlus per tablespoon).

I made the pancakes using the Bob's Pancake mix and substituted the store-bought apple butter for the pumpkin butter as the topping. I added one tablespoon pecans on top of the apple butter and had one egg on the side (for extra protein and I'm a big egg lover).

This meal was fit for a king. I'm not kidding you when I say this was the best pancake I've ever eaten in my entire life. The total PointsPlus for everything was 14. That's a lot for one meal, but it was my breakfast and lunch together, and it was delightful. Worth every Point.

I'm going to stop by the health food store and pick up some Kamut flour, but I doubt it can beat the pancake I had today. I also plan to whip up the Pumpkin Butter. I'm not sure if the Points will be that much different than the store-bough Apple Butter, but I'd like to try it anyway.

Since I put away the book by she-who-shall-not-be-named I feel 100% better about myself and my life. Looking back at the past and dwelling on unpleasant situations really doesn't work for me. I'd rather look towards the future. I'm feeling very positive and happy today (it helps that the sun is shining).

Taking joy in our food isn't a bad thing. In fact, I think it's a much  healthier way to look at food, rather than think of it as the enemy. We need to grab our joy where we can find it, as long as it's good for us and healthy. I really believe it's okay if that joy is in our food.


Picture from this morning, on my way to Weight Watchers

 Beautiful sky

Close up of the flowers that are just starting to pop out on our tree int he front yard.


Ron said...

It's amazing, after eating the way I have for the past few years, I am now trying to eat more..... still trying to eat natural foods, but more of them... I will try it for a few weeks or until my pants bust open.

Joy said...

I have so many things I want to focus on, I have found that I run out of time. So my food suffers. I usually eat the same things every day. It makes it easy to count calories....But I too get bored. I really need to work on this!!

Keep focused!

Grace said...

Yes, the sun is shining, hurray!

I'm still learning that food is not the enemy, and that alone has helped a lot with my ED tendencies. Good food is wonderful and is our friend. It is one of God's many gifts to us. We shouldn't hate it. Glad you are on that path.

Enjoy the weather, I'm going to spend the day working outside.

HopefulandFree said...

Beautiful blossoms, and fruit to come, let's hope! I love what you say about enjoying food. It is one of life's great pleasures. I eat a diet that is quite high in fat because it satisfies me and sustains me.

I eat coconut oil in one form or another almost every day. I mix it with cream cheese, whey protein, cocoa, and a bit of splenda for homemade breakfast bars. Yum! Also I make a lime-lemon version that is mouth watering.

Glad to hear that you are feeling optimistic! I agree, retracing the past keeps me from enjoying today. Today is what matters.

bbubblyb said...

I too agree we should enjoy our food. Though I am the type that eats the same thing most days for breakfast, since I make my bars different often I'm never bored.

As for remembering past things that affect me I have to say I think getting them out and done with isn't a bad thing but if you feel you've done that enough then looking to the future is definitely the way to go. I think being positive no matter what is always a good thing too.

Ida said...

That is why windshields are bigger than rear view mirrors.

Helen said...

One of my personal problems with WW is how the points system encourages eating of "totally non-fat, sugar-free, lowest calories food" a lot of which has been processed to death.

I think you're going to find that whole foods are going to satisfy you in ways that the low/no calorie foods cannot. In the end, you'll use the same amount of points but be satisfied with less food. I'll even venture to say you'll see weight loss again!

Calina Jane said...

Many people enjoy eating lots of food and that food also contains lots of calories. But they do not bother about that and they continuously keep on eating those foods. There are many types of those animals.