Thursday, March 22, 2012

Food: Fresh, Frozen and Forbidden

Updates on a couple of food-related things in my life.

NutriSystem:  Going very well.  I hesitate to use the word "easy" lest it conjure visions of Magic Weight Loss Fairy Dust.  That's not what NutriSystem is about at all.  What it IS about is learning portion control, a balanced diet, and a healthier attitude toward food.  So, as life without lemon cupcakes goes, this is easy.  After ten weeks, I've lost 27 lbs.

Eating It Real:  This is a challenge issued by Trish at Love, Laughter and a Hint of Insanity, in which we attempt to cut processed foods from our diet - focusing on more nutritious fresh and frozen foods, and avoiding chemicals and preservatives. Since a large portion of our diet right now is coming from NutriSystem, we adapted the challenge to cover the foods we add to the NS plan.  I have to admit, this has been a bigger challenge than I was expecting.

Switching to fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables was a snap. . . except for green beans.  I eat a lot of green beans and our small-town grocer doesn't stock fresh green beans out of season.  I have picked them up whenever I'm in a larger town, and I've used frozen, but I have slipped back to the canned ones on occasion for convenience. 

Dairy products - about the only dairy I'm consuming at the moment is yogurt - lots and lots of yogurt.  I haven't got a clue how to make yogurt from scratch and, frankly, the thought of making something that involves "live cultures" without a good handle on safety issues makes me a little squeamish.  

Breads and Grains - I'm not eating bread except hamburger buns and tortillas. Tried to make buns from a recipe I found on-line which included calorie info (unlike Grandma's proven recipe). Not successful.  I love making pasta, but I'm not eating it right now.  I did switch to brown rice (point for me).

Attempted homemade hummus from dried chickpeas cooked according to package directions. Evidently the package directions were approximate because they weren't cooked clear through so they didn't blend into the smooth hummus I've come to know and love.  I went back to buying my hummus.

Then there is pop (or soda, if you prefer).  Hello, my name is Tami, and I am a diet pop addict.  I've cut down, but just can't let it go.  

So basically, I stink at this challenge and would probably die of some disease caused by the many artificial ingredients in my food - if it weren't for the fact that I'm not eating much food any more - so I'm hoping it evens out.


  1. 27 pounds is very impressive!!! Good job!

  2. Good for you for the 27 pounds gone! Whatever works is great! That would be an interesting challenge to do. I usually always liked a diet pepsi/coke every afternoon around 3 o'clock (I'm sure it was the caffeine, LOL). When we moved a year ago, I decided to cut it out since I figured soda would be an extra expense we didn't need. Gave it up and haven't missed it (too) much. You can do it!!!

    wishing you continued success in your health goals!


  3. First, congrats on 27 pounds. That's a great achievement.

    And I'm sure in spite of your setbacks that you're doing fine with the non-processed foods. We didn't give up dairy for the challenge and I'm still using the already grated cheese because there wasn't enough cost difference to buy the block and grate myself (cost was same!). I haven't attempted hamburger buns--I'm planning on making pulled pork tomorrow so I'm not sure what we'll do for buns! :)

    definitely don't get discouraged! The challenge wasn't meant to make anyone feel bad. ;) Though I admit that I as I type this I'm eating Chicken Taco Salad from the cafe downstairs. Guess it's all natural except those dang tortilla chips. Oh well...

  4. I thought I would make homemade hummus and went trotting out to the store to buy tahini to do just that and just about died when I saw how much it cost! So over to the dairy Aisle i went and got Sabra hummus. But I did get a great recipe for home made granola bars that are easy and delish! I am going to post it this Saturday on my blog!

  5. Congratulations on your weight loss!! Although I didn't join Trish's challenge I know how hard it is to rid our tables of processed food. That became very apparent when Gage started eating solids and we were trying to find out what he was allrgic to. I love my D Coke & D Dr Pepper and go through spurts where I am drinking way too many and then I just stop buying them for the house. I'm almost to that point again!

  6. First, congratulations on your great progress!

    I often see bread machines in our local thrift store. You can find instruction/recipe books for all of them online - I know, I had to search for ours. You can make a lot of types of bread with bread machines.

    Homemade hummus is very easy with canned garbanzos, and you only need a little tahini per batch. It comes out so much better than the pre-made variety because you can adjust the salt/lemon etc to your taste.

    You can strain yogurt through coffee filters (or special filters made for that purpose) to make a Greek-style thicker yogurt spread. It's yummy as a vegetable dip or mayonnaise substitute.

  7. How fantastic! What made you try Nutri Systems? I've done WW and once I lose about 20 lbs, I quit only to gain it back within the next year.....sighhhh. What I really want is a plan that lets me sleep for a week and wake up 40lbs lighter....LOL