Friday, January 27, 2012

Switcheroo: a post about food

I used to post about food all the time on this blog, but lately it's been taken over by sewing.  I still love to cook, but in the interest of my waistline and health, I took a detour from my baking marathons and calorie-laden meals.

But I love pasta.  I love pizza.  I love bread.  I love cheese.  I love frosting.  I love cake.  And I don't eat my veggies.

So you see, it's been a challenge, nay, a struggle! not to bake the many delectable delights I consistently pin to my boards on Pinterest.  I mean, Snickerdoodle CupcakesKrispy Kreme Muffins?  I think I just drooled on myself.

I've been working on my fitness New Year's Resolution for nearly a month now, and I'm not giving up!  I'm proud of the 5 lbs. I've lost thus far, flying high on the endorphins from consistent workouts, and learning to eat better along the way.  One of the ways I am trying to accomplish this healthier eating is through substitution.

We all know deprivation doesn't work, so substitution is the easiest way for me to adjust my eating habits, along with portion control.  And so far, it's working!

Water.  I don't really drink anything else.  I can't remember the last time I had a soda, and I drink alcohol rarely.  If I drink a little juice, I mix it 50/50 with water.

Tricking myself.  I turn off the TV and eat dinner at the table, instead of on the couch.  I use a plate, fork, and knife, even on pizza!  I found out that when I eat mindlessly, I will eat FOUR large slices... with the fork/knife at the table, I was full after TWO.  Slowing down really helps; it reminds me of my time in France.  I also don't cook more servings than I need to, so I am not tempted to get seconds; if there is leftover food, it stays on the stove, not on my plate.  That way, I have to think about seconds before I choose whether to eat them.

Healthier snacks.  I don't keep unhealthy snacks in my house anymore.  I used to keep potato chips, cookies, and other things around that led to BIG calories outside of meals.  Now, I keep fresh fruit, healthy granola/nut mixes, Greek yogurt, popcorn, and occasionally some pretzel twists.  I make sure to take portions into consideration, usually only snacking on about 100 calories worth.

More protein.  I drink a whey protein shake for breakfast in the morning (within an hour of waking up, always!), and sometimes in between meals I will eat a tablespoon of peanut butter (with a drizzle of honey perhaps!) to satisfy cravings.  I also try to focus on protein as the main part of my meal, like chicken breast or even steak instead of a big bowl of pasta.  This helps me feel full, and I don't find myself starving throughout the day anymore.

Brown rice instead of white rice and pasta.  I love sticky white rice (I'm half Korean, after all!) so the switch to brown rice hasn't been easy.  I tend to add a little low-sodium soy sauce to try to help me adjust.  Baby steps.  But I've also been avoiding bread, making wraps instead of sandwiches.  And when I do eat pasta, I try to eat whole-wheat, Dreamfields, or SmartTaste, in small portions.  I'm also trying out quinoa.

Choosing a little better.  When I do have a "cheat meal", I try to make choices that aren't ALL bad.  When I want pizza, I go for Papa Murphy's deLITE pizzas, which have a lower-calorie, lower-fat sauce and crust than a normal pizza.  It's kind of like flatbread!  If I have a craving for fries, I bake up some Ore-Ida Zesties instead of getting the fast food version.  And when I splurge, I always drink water, never adding more calories to an already "bad" meal than I need to!

The one big downside I've found to eating healthy?  My grocery bill is WAY higher.  Eating healthy does cost more, unfortunately.  My last grocery bill was signficantly higher, but I did save $17 with coupons.  Could have been worse.

P.S.  I even ate some spinach.  Meh.

P.P.S.  I did find a 250-calorie Molten Lava Cake from Clean Eating...
from Clean Eating Magazine


  1. I tried quinoa, too. I found I love it! Be are to rinse it well before cooking. I'm going to try making a quinoa bread this weekend w/ Mom's bread maker. Congrats on the success!

  2. Thanks Michele! My first quinoa attempt was a boxed, pre-seasoned one that I didn't like... it smelled funny. But I'm hoping to try again!

  3. Try the the bulk food section if you have one. I added 1 part quinoa to 2 parts chicken broth & added my own seasonings. I'm a fan of anything garlic & herb. And then bring to simmer for 20 minutes. I found I enjoy the left overs on a salad to add a nutty taste.

  4. I found that our grocery bill is only higher when we first started. Building a base of healthy food, supplements, herbs, spices and all the other things that make food delicious is costly. However, once you have the base, we can now buy things like bulk chicken or splurge on good cheeses and use them sparingly and over time and so our lunch and dinner costs per meal have gone down. As for spinach, that's one of our favorites! I seriously go through a box or so a week, and that's alone!

  5. Adam, multiple people have told me that! I have a good base of delicious spices, and when I move I'd like to start a mini herb garden. You're right, keeping your fridge stocked initially has some sticker shock.

    I have a Sam's Club membership, even though I live alone; I find that I can stock my freezer for a good price! I like that they sell chicken breasts in bulk, but pre-packed in 2-breast freezer packs; it's perfect for me. I can last a while on those.


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