Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fraud!


Fraud.  That is the word I used to describe myself to my friend in an email last week.  I told her that I feel like a fraud having a blog about healthy eating while my eating has taken a turn for the worse.  I explained how hard it is to post about nutritious foods while I'm finding myself eating garbage.

When I wrote that, I was feeling a little hard on myself.  I really don't believe that about myself.  I recognize that my version of unhealthy eating is still better than the average American diet.

Over the course of the past few months, I've let more and more junk into my diet.  I've gained five pounds and I kind of think that stinks.

I have to say that my weight is still relatively great - a few years ago I would have loved to weigh what I currently weigh.  In fact, my current weight is the same as what I graduated from high school weighing - and I was kinda cute back then! 

I've had a few things that have not been working in my favor.
1.  This darn never ending winter!  Today is April, 20th.  I woke up to snow.  It makes me feel blue. 
2.  Bad cycle.  I'm down about eating lousy - so what do I do?  Eat lousy.
3.  Poor stress management.  I've been eating my stress rather than working it off at the gym lately like usual.

Sunday was my low point with food.  We had some family stresses that day and my eating reflected how I was feeling.  At one point I found myself feeling so full that I was sick to my stomach but still shoving in more snack mix and licorice nonetheless.  I felt like a character on a mediocre made-for-tv movie about an eating disorder.  I went to bed with a tummy ache.  While I lied in bed, I made a decision.  Enough was enough.  The last few days have been much better!    

My "Operation Enough is Enough" Plan: 
Let it go.
Forgive myself.
Love myself enough to MOVE ON.

So what if I gained five pounds?  It's hardly the end of the world.  The sooner I stop fixating that and start making better choices the sooner I feel like "myself" again.  Nope, I haven't felt like myself at all while I've been making crappy choices.

I stumbled across something I had written about weight months ago.  I wrote it at a time when I was feeling invincible.  I was positive that I had figured out the food thing once and for all.   I never posted it because it didn't feel appropriate.  Somehow it does today.  Hopefully it will be helpful to you too!


A Word About Weight

This blog hasn't been and won't be dedicated to weight and the act of losing it.  The reason why I am writing about this is because I'm sure that many people will stumble upon this blog in their journey to becoming a healthier weight.

Thankfully, I never had a huge (so subjective) amount of weight that I needed to lose.  Although, I was once 35 lbs heavier than my current weight and many times 20 lbs or more above my current weight.  My body doesn't handle the extra weight well.  My blood sugar is out of whack when I'm not taking care of myself.

On that same note, my husband has also been heavier.  His top weight was 40 lbs above his current weight.  His cholesterol is screaming at him when his weight is not at a healthy number.

For both of us, when our weight is not at a healthy number, we require medication.  Somewhere along the line, we decided that making poor health choices and treating the side effects with medication was not a life we were willing to live.  Sure, if we made good choices and then needed medication, why not.  But to treat something we had control over, did not feel acceptable to us.

In a quest to lose weight, we tried all of the diets out there.  I am thankful that we are not playing the diet game anymore.  We have moved on and would never go back to that.

We wouldn't go back to a lifestyle that suggest that bacon is healthier than carrots because it has fewer carbs. We won't be on diets that suggest that a chemical laden ice cream sandwich is somehow better for you than an apple with almond butter since it's lower in calories. 

Here's what works for us.  We choose to eat for HEALTH.  We choose to exercise for FITNESS. 

When we decided to stop worrying about the number on the scale and to start eating for HEALTH, that's when our health (and weight) changed.  If you choose to fill your body up with foods that nourish it because you want to be in the best health possible, having a great body is just a happy side effect.

Don't get me wrong... I do keep an eye on my weight.  I do that with a different lens than before.  Now if I see the number creep up a bit:  I know that I need to chill out on making healthier treats.  I need to load more veggies onto my plate.  I need to not have that glass of wine and go for a cup of tea instead.  It's about balance.

May I please suggest this...
If you are trying to lose weight, let it go a bit. 

Instead, think of changes you can make for health.
Make a list.
What is on your list?  Maybe things like: stop drinking soda, eat smaller amounts more frequently, don't order fast food, cook more at home, try new veggies, cut back on sweets, etc.
Then not all at once, but rather, one at a time ~ TACKLE THAT LIST.
Pick one thing to change.  When that change becomes so automatic that you forgot that you were working on it, pick another thing to tackle.
You can do it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Protein Pancakes

This one is a winner.  Literally. 


Call me goofy but I do this sometimes - we have family cook-offs.  About a year ago I was looking for the best tasting and healthiest pancake recipe I could find.  I looked around and found four different pancake recipes to try.  I made them ALL and we tried them all.  We had a unanimous winner and I'm about to share that recipe with you.

I was shocked that this recipe was the winner.  Believe it or not, it was by far the easiest and healthiest recipe of the bunch!

I originally found the recipe on allrecipes.com.  Thankfully I printed it off because it no longer exists on the site.  I've looked several times.  The original recipe credits the South Beach Diet.  I want to give credit where it is due but unfortunately, I can't give a more specific link.

We have changed this recipe and over the past year and have made it our own.  So the recipe I am sharing with you is a variation on the one I once saw. 

close-up of Caleb's plate
Protein Pancake Recipe

1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese (I use 1%)
1/3 cup ** liquid egg whites 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

** Be sure to use plain liquid egg whites - NOT an Egg Beater type of product that contains seasonings that would be nasty in pancakes!!

Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Pour the pancake batter into a bowl and let it sit for five minutes.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Add batter and cook over medium heat until both sides are lightly browned.

NOTES:
This is one generous serving.  Multiply the recipe to serve the correct number of people.

Immediately once it's blended I pour the mixture into a bowl and let it sit on the counter for about 5 minutes.  This was not in the original recipe.  I've tried to make the pancakes right away and they're too runny.  I've also tried to skip the bowl and let them sit in the blender instead but because it thickens as it sits it was hard to get the batter out of the blender.

ADDITIONS:
I've blended 1/3 of a banana per serving into the batter.  It makes a thinner pancake.
The kids love mini-chocolate chips!
Fruit is wonderful mixed in to the batter - especially blueberries.
Walnuts make a nice addition.

TOPPINGS:
almond butter
peanut butter
strawberries
blueberries
maple syrup
nutella
lemon curd

As an FYI: these pancakes are much denser and heartier than a typical pancake.  They are definitely not the fluffy floury kind of pancake.  To me, that's a good thing.  Those flour filled pancakes tend to give me a tummy ache.  Not these bad boys.  ENJOY.


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