Good morning and Happy Thursday! I should be walking right now but since yesterday was sooo foggy, I decided to wait for the sun to come out.
The past few days I've been taking care of my Grand-dog, Lucy. She and Loki have had so much fun, but they do tend to wear each other (and me!) out after a while!
I have been walking a lot, averaging an hour per day and even 2 hours on Tuesday! The weather is finally warming up and I'm enjoying it immensely.
Food-wise, as you know I've been (somewhat loosely) following Chef AJ's Ultimate Weight Loss Program. I've been about 80% compliant, having not given up coffee nor a little bit of wine. The 21 Day Challenge has come to an end, and here are my thoughts on the experience.
- I am still not planning to give up my 1-2 cup a day cup of coffee, but am considering dumping the creamer and/or the Stevia I use in it.
- I can't see myself ever being a teetotaler, but I did cut way back on my wine consumption and was no worse for wear. I'm gonna be honest here: wine drinking is part of my lifestyle, and I think it's fine for me in moderation. The problem with alcohol is that it does tend to lower one's inhibitions, and can lead to some unhealthy food choices. The key is to plan ahead. This past Sunday, for example, Chip and I met a dear friend at a local bar where a favorite band was playing. Before leaving the house, I packed a baked potato and a banana in one of these adorable insulated bags and left it in the car while we enjoyed our afternoon. When hunger hit on the way home, I simply grabbed my snack and gobbled it right up, thus avoiding the I-Want-Junk-Food-Now craving that often hits in such situations. Perfect solution, and that plain little tater tided me over til dinnertime. Ta-da!
- While eating this way, I have been much, much less consumed by thoughts of food. When cravings do strike, which is rare, they are manageable and easily avoided or satiated with something healthy. I have been cooking a bit less, but since there's only two of us here most nights, I always have leftovers in the fridge and freezer. It's really freeing, and gives me a lot more time to do other things that don't involve food!
- Though I've only lost a couple of pounds, I feel lighter. My clothes are a bit looser and my tummy seems flatter.
- Veggies for breakfast is not weird anymore! I've found these wonderful bags of microwavable vegetables, ready in 3 minutes, and now enjoy starting my day with a big bowl of 'em! I will definitely continue this habit as it really starts the day off on a good note.
- Now, let's talk about the "unprocessed" part, really the core of Chef AJ's program. I've been reading tons & tons of stuff about processed foods, including this book which goes into great detail about how and why we got hooked on this stuff in the first place. It's enlightening and infuriating and makes me want to avoid anything that doesn't come directly from Mother Nature! However..I do live in the real world and enjoy the occasional veggie burger, Gardein product and restaurant meal. I'm not willing to forgo those things entirely, but I will be eating much, much less of them in the future, and sticking to companies I feel I can trust. I will be writing more on this later when I'm finished with the book.
So, last night I "celebrated" the end of the program with a less-than-perfectly-compliant meal: Stir fry in my new wok, a treat to myself for achieving my latest weight loss goal. No recipe here, just took a bag of stir fry veggies and added a package of Gardein Szechuan strips, served over brown rice. I'm sorry I don't have a pic of the finished product because Kristyn and I gobbled it up too quickly, but it was delicious!
Ooh, just looked out the window and the sun is shining brightly. Off I go, have a great day!