Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Good, Bad and the Ugly on my diet!

The Good

The Bad
The Ugly
I have completed one round of Power 90.  I  enjoyed the process of it a great deal.  I was even able to lose 27 pounds.  I intend to continue doing Power 90 through the school year and then start P90X at the end of next May.  The one thing that I'm still really struggling with is eating well.  I could sit here and make excuses for why I haven't quite accomplished breaking my bad eating habits yet, but I'm not going to.  It's a daily struggle and I think I'm slowly getting better at making food descions.  Mostly.

About a week ago my wife and I started using Shakeology as a substitute for lunch at our jobs.   We love it.  It tastes great and its really good for you. We both love dark chocolate and Shakeology does a great job satisfying that craving for us as well. We did the math and figured out that it's actually cheaper for us to use Shakeology than to eat school lunch everyday.  Our school lunch program is very good as far as school lunches go, however, I still don't believe it's designed to really meet good nutritional needs.  I've been pleasantly surprised by how good I've felt the last week simply by changing what I eat for lunch.  Then today happened.

Today I decided to eat lunch at school instead of taking the 45 seconds this morning it takes me to mix a shake.  School lunch today was pizza.  I love pizza.  In fact pizza might possibly be my favorite food.  In high school I ate pizza everyday at school.  I worked at a pizza joint in the evenings and ate pizza most nights as well.  In college I memorized Domino's phone number, I think I still know it.  Even after all of that I still enjoy pizza.  A LOT.  Which is why I didn't make my own lunch today.

By 2:00 I regretted my decision. While lunch was really good, I didn't particularly great just an hour and a half later.  I wasn't really sick, but I noticed the energy I had all last week wasn't there.  Also my stomach while not really upset just didn't quite feel right. Then during my prep period at school a stumbled across this article written by David Zinczenko.   Talk about guilt and bad timing.  Now I realize some of this could be psychosomatic, but I really think after having eaten healthy lunches for a week my body was yelling at me.  I realized the pizza wasn't worth how I felt the rest of the day.

This morning I took my son to the doctor for his 24 month well check up.  He did great.  While waiting for the doctor to see us I read over and over a poster he has hanging in his examination room.  It says, "People who don't make time for diet and exercise now will have to make time for sickness and disease later."  Talk about the world conspiring against you especially since I read that before lunch.

I'm really starting to make exercising a priority, now I need to make eating healthy all the time a priority as well.

Can someone please tell me about a really healthy pizza?  I don't think I can give that one up just yet.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Band Geek Recipe

Hi.  My name's Janet, and I'm a carnivore, and I despise fish.  Fish is pushed in most diet plans for very good reasons.  It's high in protein and good fats.  It's low in bad fats.  Whoopee for fish.

When my dad was in college, he got rip-roarin' drunk, ate an enormous seafood dinner, then promptly decorated the floor.  As a result, fish was never allowed at our house unless he wasn't home, which was almost never.  Not that you can get fresh seafood in Wibaux, MT....  At any rate, my reaction to most kinds of fish is only slightly less violent than Dad's.  I had super fresh halibut in Alaska, and fell in love.  That's about it.  I was a good girl and tried my husband's fish creations, but he hadn't quite figured out how to tell if it was done.  Guess which piece I got.  Ewww.

There's a lot of debate about what place beef has in a healthy diet, which I will rant about in an upcoming post.  One of the best, healthiest meats I have access to is deer.  Personally, I would rather gnaw on a bloody bone than eat deer steak, but I love deer sausage.  Sure, there's a little pork added to make it stick together, but it's still low in bad fats.  I can't give you specific numbers because it's made with game sausage, but I can tell you that it's high in protein, fiber, and iron.  

My husband and I have developed this recipe after years of experimentation.  We have also noticed that we lost weight when we have it regularly for lunch.  The tomatoes kill the flavors in the cabbage that I find mildly unpleasant, and it reheats for lunches wonderfully. 

The downside to this recipe is that it's geared toward a very specific sausage.  We have our game processed at Shafer's in Billings.  The Smoked German Brats are very strong and salty, and making them into soup diffuses the salt and spices into the vegetables.  It's heavenly, and even folks who don't like game love this soup.  The sausages are cooked, so if you want to try it with another brand of sausage, shoot for pre-cooked and strongly flavored.

Schafer's Sausage Soup

2 packages Schafer's Smoked German Bratwurst
Lots of water-sorry, I never measure
1 tbs shallot pepper
2 cans of stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 packages frozen spinach
1 head of cabbage, sliced.

Slice the sausage into 1/4" rounds.  Place in the crockpot and fill approximately halfway up.  Don't forget to give a few pieces to the toddler jumping up and down on your leg.  Add the tomatoes and the shallot pepper.  Set the crockpot on low and let it stew for a few hours.  

When the water has turned a nice golden brown color, or about a half an hour before you would like to serve, add the spinach and cabbage.  Let the toddler sneak a few pieces of meat.  He really likes meat.  Serve once the stew is again hot and the cabbage is tender.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Editor Weighs in on Shakeology

Aaron and I broke down and ordered Shakeology, in a lovely shade of chocolate.  It is a bit difficult to mix, but I was immediately in love.  It tastes as chocolatey as my chocolate creme brulee (see "Custard's Last Stand), but it's not nearly as sweet.

After our first round was a bit lumpy, I whipped out the blender.  I mixed up several servings and kept the extra in the fridge.  Elliot, our toddler and I, had it for lunch while Aaron was playing a gig in Ennis, MT.  It was so thick that Elliot had trouble sucking it through the straw, so he dumped it out and tried to lick it off his hands and high chair.

I've already noticed a severe decrease in the munchies, which the literature said would happen after a while, but I didn't really believe would happen.  I'm able to walk away from everything but my problem foods.  Not only am I able to walk away, they don't even sound good.  That could also be partially due to finishing a very stressful job, or some combination thereof.  We'll see how I do during the week when school is back in session.

I'm reservedly hopeful.  If nothing else, each shake is cheaper than school lunch and tastes great.  It does seem to hold me, unlike Slim-Fast, which was a phenomenal flop for me.  The only thing that makes me leery is that it doesn't fix overeating.  Will the good effects last after you stop the shakes for whatever reason?  I don't know, but I'm willing to try it for all of the promised benefits and the ones I'm already noticing.

Power 90 results!

As of today, I'll have finished one round of Power 90.  I can't believe it's been three months already!

I've done fairly well, though not quite as well as I would like.  I've lost 25 pounds.  I feel better and I've thinned out a bit.  Honestly, due to a busy schedule in August, I wasn't able to keep up with the 6 workouts a week, which is probably why I didn't lose more.  I was able to keep up with doing 3 to 4 a week, though.  I'm trying to keep my results in perspective, as my journey towards being physically fit doesn't end at day 90.  I hope to still lose about 15 more pounds.  I haven't been under 200 pounds since high school.

Still I've accomplished lots of things I wouldn't have had I not done this program.  I have started biking again, which has been an absolute blast.  I can do 55-60 push-ups during the course of an exercise routine, when I started 15 push-ups were really hard.  It's been fun pushing myself to see what I can do, even though sometimes it leaves me a quivering pile of goo.

I have noticed that I have quite a bit more energy throughout the day without the use of caffeine, which is awesome!  I'm able to teach an entire day of classes; 2 bands, 3 choirs, music theory, and a percussion class, without feeling completely drained at the end of the day.

The one thing I haven't quite got completely under control yet is my diet.  Man, that's hard.  I've started eating breakfast, which I never did before, but I don't think I'm quite getting lunch and dinner right yet.  (The Editor notes that he no longer eats like our toddler, so we can give him a bit more credit than he gives himself.  He has learned that veggies aren't just a colorful garnish.)  I think my portions have gotten better but, I don't think I'm quite eating all the right things.  I haven't quite been anal enough to count calories, but I probably should start so that I'll know for sure.

The bottom line is that I've loved the last 90 days.  Power 90 really is a legit workout program.  I can't wait until I have the time again next summer to dive into P90X!  My goal for the rest of this school year is to lose that last 15 pounds and maintain that weight until next summer!  Wish me luck!  I know I can do it if I can keep myself motivated.
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