Saturday, June 30, 2012

Plenty of water.

I was reminded (in something I read) about drinking enough water... the recommended 64 ounces a day.  Even though I assumed I was getting enough water, I decided to measure out what I typically drink.  I filled a glass with the amount I drink when I first get up in the morning, and poured it into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then I filled the glass again for the amount I drink at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner, and before bed (a smaller amount).

It filled the pitcher to the 2 quart mark... and that doesn't count the extra water I drink after exercising or at other times I feel thirsty.

I was excited to realize I drink plenty of water!  Hooray!  I've been patting myself on the back all day.  It's a good feeling to know I'm doing at least one thing right!  haha

Friday, June 29, 2012

Delicious Recipe

My husband is not a fan of Brussels sprouts, but the first time I prepared this, he told me, "This is a must-have-again!"  So don't let that ingredient scare you off.

Cannellini with Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Sausage

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes with cooked or canned beans

3 Tbs. olive oil [I think I used 2 Tbs the last time I made it, and it was plenty.]
8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed [I used “natural” ground Italian sausage, without growth hormones, etc.]
2 Tbs. minced garlic
Red chile flakes, to taste
Salt and black pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts, shredded in a food process or roughly chopped [I found that we  prefer it roughly chopped]
½ cup white wine or water [I used chicken bouillon]
2 cups cooked or canned cannelloni [white kidney] beans, drained [I think white northern beans would also taste great]

1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When it’s hot, crumble the sausage into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally to break the meat into relatively small bits, until browned, 5 to 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and chile flakes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook and stir for another minute or so.

2. Add the Brussels sprouts and wine [water or bouillon] to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the sprouts are tender but still a bit crunchy, 5 to 10 minutes.

3.  Add the beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through, just a minute or two.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve over cooked grains (rice, bulgur, cracked wheat), or toasted bread.

(From The Food Matters Cookbook, p. 394)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tired vs. hungry

Yesterday I almost fell for the trap of mistaking tiredness for hunger.  I kept dragging around the house and thinking I needed more fuel, which I was determined I would not give in to.  Thankfully, I remembered what I learned last year (see post: "More than halfway." )... when fatigued, I probably need more rest, not more fuel. Considering that I spent a very long day at the election polls on Tuesday, it made sense that I needed more rest on Wednesday. So I took a long nap and woke up feeling so much better.

I made it through another day of making healthy food choices, and listening to my hunger/fulness signals.  One day at a time.  I can do this.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I recently posted about some of the things that contributed to my downfall (see: Going up or down?) and I thought of something else that I should add...

I tried to fix something that wasn't broke.  To me, healthy eating means avoiding processed foods and not overeating.  But earlier in the year I read the book Eat to Live, which leans towards a vegetarian diet, and touts eating lots and lots of vegetables and fruits, as well as moderate amounts of legumes and grains (and now and then a little tiny bit of animal protein if one wants).   Oh, and no salt.  It sounded like a good plan and we tried it out for awhile, but it didn't fit us.  We quickly grew bored with vegetable meals.  Although I tried numerous recipes, I had difficulty finding delicious salt-free, meatless meals to prepare.  

The big stumbling block during that trial period was the "eat as much as you want" mindset.  Sure, that might work while eating vegetables, but for an overeater, that mindset is dangerous.  It messes with the hunger/fulness signals, thus it was hard to turn the "eat as much as you want" dial off when eating other foods, like grains and beans.  Worse, when we stopped following the plan, and processed foods crept back into our lives, the "eat as much as you want" seemed to be firmly fixed, whereas the hunger/fulness meter was broken.

Also, as a recovering sugarholic, the "eat as much as you want" of vegetables and fruit was dangerous... I ended up with too much sugar in my system from the fruit, which contributed to fatigue and fuzzy mind.  

So... I am back to My Healthy Eating Challenge.

Now, if I can just fix that blasted hunger/fulness meter!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Poll Food

Worked at the local election poll from 6AM to 8:30PM.  I had to take enough food for my meals and snacks throughout the day.  I worried (a little) that other workers would bring bags of chips to share, and that I would cave in and nosh for hours. Thankfully, that was not the case.  I wasn't enticed by the few snacks offered.

I even passed up on the small sandwiches that someone brought in for us.  They were made with little white flour rolls, and filled with processed lunch meat.  They looked delicious, and I briefly considered eating one, since they're small.  But then I nipped that thought in the bud.

I'm glad no one brought chips, though, because I'm not so sure I could have held strong faced with that temptation.

✓ Eating healthy got my vote today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to the dailies.

In filmmaking, "dailies" refer to unedited film footage (usually of the previous day's shoot) quickly put together for the director and select crew to view each day while making a motion picture.  This helps them assess how the acting performances and scenes are progressing.

Last year I posted on here almost daily, and I can't help but wonder if that helped me be more successful in healthy eating.  I want to return to daily posting and see if it helps me.  Similar to film "dailies," these posts might seem like unedited first drafts.  I have so many writing projects going (my screenplays and my blog Reel Focus), I feel like I can't take much time to polish these posts. But like film "dailies," I hope reviewing my day will help me assess my performance and progression.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Going up or down?

When it comes to reaching goals, or making progress, I remind myself:  It doesn't matter where you are on the ladder, it only matters which direction you are going.

Well, I've been going down for several months.  I'm really struggling.  I'm still avoiding sugar and sweets, but I'm still overeating (big time), and processed foods have crept back into my life.  At first it was a little here and there, but recently I took an inventory of what I was eating and realized I was consuming far more processed foods than I thought!

As I've contemplated the stumbling blocks, I've identified several things that aided my downfall.  Hmmm... interesting that most of them started last fall.  Fall.  Downfall.

My husband (starting last October) gets home later than he used to.  He started riding his bicycle and taking public transportation, which is a healthy thing to do, but for our eating habits, it wreaks havoc.  Four nights out of the week he is not here when it's "supper time."  I get busy and don't like to stop what I'm doing to fix a meal when it's just me here to eat, so I grab something quick when I'm hungry and then go back to what I was doing.  Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to fix that he can still enjoy later (either when he gets home, or in his lunch the next day).  

Raw cacao fail!  Raw unsweetened cacao, if I understand right, is unprocessed cacao beans.  When it's processed and refined, it's then cocoa.  I've read different reports, so I don't know for sure, all I know is that we had read how having a small amount of raw (unsweetened) cacao was great for energy and brain food.  We decided to give it a try.  Every morning, for a couple months, I mixed some raw cacao into my almond milk.  Over a period of time I realized I was suffering major depression!!  It was similar to the type of depression I had when I used to consume sugar.  I couldn't figure it out.  There seemed to be no reason for such ongoing deep blue funks.  

So I prayed about it and the thought came to my mind, it's the cacao.  HUH?  I didn't think cacao was bad for's raw and unsweetened!  Wondering if I missed something, I did some more research...especially searching for information from sources that were not promoting the product.  (Of good report, like I wrote in this post: "Think on these things.") I was stunned by the side affects it can cause, and depression was a major one.  I stopped using cacao and the depression lifted. Hooray! But, those months of depression added to my overeating problem...eating to feel better, which of course never works.

[Just for information, perhaps too much information...constipation was another cacao side effect.  I didn't suffer from that, but my husband did.  I asked him when the trouble started and he told me, "Sometime in October." Hmm... just as I suspected since that's when we started with the cacao.  I told him what I had read about cacao. He stopped taking it (mid-January by that point)... and this is going to be gross... but it had caused such a blockage that he had to do a cleanse and when it came out, it was like a dark cacao dam turned loose, as though a couple months worth of cacao had sat undigested in his intestines, clogging things up.  He was greatly relieved (pun intended) to get that out of his system.]

Facing my demons.  Ever since learning the source of my overeating, I've been on a downward spiral.  I wrote about that in December (see Day 364 - Reflecting) and it continues to be a problem.  It's hard to battle the demons, and easy to stuff my feelings. 

And so it is that I find myself heading down the ladder instead of up.  But I recognize the direction I'm going and I want to stop the descent.  I want to climb again.

It feels good to type this.  I realize it would help me if I post regularly, even if it's not every day.  I know I can get encouragement and support from you.

And as I learned from Susan (a reader and fellow blogger) I shout, "NEW DAY!"  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


After baking muffins (see post: Baking in the Cool Days), I had some left over pumpkin puree, so I decided to try a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie.  It included orange juice, and frozen banana, and sounded delicious.  Big fail!  Oh my goodness, I took a sip, gagged, walked to the kitchen sink and spit it out.

Gee, for some strange reason my husband refused to sample the glass-full I had poured for him!

I thought I was over the fiasco, but today as I bit into a pumpkin-raisin muffin, the flavor brought back the horrid memory of the smoothie.  It might be awhile before I can enjoy anything pumpkin flavored.  Agh.