Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Next Food Challenge

June was a mixed month for me on the fuel front.

Here's what was good:

1. I successfully completed Run to the Finish's Green Smoothie Challenge. By "success," I don't mean "perfect." I missed two days while at the ALA conference (I tried to make smoothies without a blender two of the days and it just didn't taste good) and another couple after I came down with a UTI last week (the antibiotic I'm on is rendered less effective by milk and milk substitutes and anything fortified with calcium, so no dairy or almond milk or anything like that was allowed; these smoothies just don't taste as good with water--I'm very big on taste). But the vast majority of June saw me downing some greens this way, and I really came to like it. Once I'm finished with antibiotics, I'll get back to smoothies for breakfast.

I never could get Will (or Ruth or Dan) to try a green smoothie, but he liked to help with the blender.
I also won some Vega Energize from Run to the Finish. I'm impressed with Vega products. I know they're good for you....and they also taste good. Did I mention it has to taste good for me to deal with it at all?

2. I continued to avoid sugar except on Sundays. Avoiding sugar on this schedule has become a habit. I love it that I have to remind myself on Sunday that candy is OK. This way, I can have my cake (and M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies and Dairy Queen dip cones), and eat it too (not crave sugar constantly).

Here's what was not-so-good:

1. I went crazy with things like tortilla chips and Stacy's Pita Chips (the naked flavor; they're like crack). I wouldn't say this completely negated the good I'm doing avoiding sugar most of the time, but it partially negated it. My last three weigh-ins have been identical, at 130.8 (most recent one was this morning). In mid-May, I was solidly between 127 and 128. You might think three pounds isn't a big deal, but it is. I can see it in my upper arms, my belly and my thighs.

2. Meal planning went out the window. This is bad not just for my waistline and my running but also for my family's checking account. On the days I was at work, four days a week, I found myself at Alfalfa's, the organic grocery store across the street from my library, every day for lunch (and dinner on Tuesdays, when I work until 9 p.m.). One evening, I bought one of their prepared peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. At check-out, when they rang me up, I found out they were charging $5 for that sandwich. That's when it came home to me that this meal-on-the-fly thing has to stop.

So my eating plan for July and onward is:
1. Plan meals in advance, concentrating at first on work meals. My eating on the days when I'm home with the kids is better (I don't have easy access to junk food at home, and I hate taking the kids to the store so impulse buying just doesn't happen). It's still sort of aimless, though. I'll tackle that once the work piece is a habit.
2. Stock up on my planned lunch and dinner staples at Alfalfa's on the first day of my work week, which is Sunday. This means apples, nuts, energy bars, bread for sandwiches and finger vegetables like baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. No pita chips, crackers or corn chips allowed. And after that shopping trip, I'm not allowed in there AT ALL until the following Sunday.
3. I also am not allowed in Starbucks or any other coffee shop. I spend far too much money on tea at places like this. Tea is really easy to make both at work and at home, and it's way cheaper.

So far this is going well. I spent money at Alfalfa's this week on Sunday only, ate the lunch I had on hand at work all three days I was there and have no receipts in my wallet from any coffee shop tea indulgences.

I'm hoping these changes will be enough to ease the burden on our checking account and get those three pounds back off. Ultimately, I'd like to see even lower numbers than 127, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Rome, as the cliche goes, wasn't built in a day.


  1. I hear you on the 3 pounds & tortilla chips.   I know that 3 pounds doesn't sound like but it's easy for that 3 pounds to turn into 6 pounds, etc.    It's good that you are keeping an eye on it.

    As you know - I'm in the middle of a diet change too.   For my tortilla chip obsession - what I've been doing is buying the sprouted grain corn tortillas and brushing them with olive oil, sprinkle w/sea salt and bake in the oven ~350.   This helps me keep count and limit how many "chips" I eat.   I've been pounding down the fruits & veggies and have cut out most processed grains - even oatmeal.   I've lost 2 pounds in the last week.    

    I don't know if this is any cheaper tho - I end up buying enough food for both of us (instead of just me) and I like the selection from Whole Foods.  I looked at my receipt from yesterday and realized I spent $9(!) for ingredients for zucchini/cherry banana bread.   I wouldn't have paid that much for a prepared loaf.   You are right tho...preparation and planning are KEY!

    I'm sure with your new challenge and the fact you are RUNNING will knock off those 3 pounds in a hurry.   I promise to only tempt you with one invite to Snooze.  :)

  2. My diet continues to be one of my biggest struggles, the more I workout the worse it gets.  If I was just eating a little healthier right now I know I would have dropped a ton of weight during this last training cycle, instead I've gained :( 

  3. I love your sugar on Sundays rule. I've been really good about cutting it out, but ALA (living off free food) and holidays at home have thrown me off a little bit. 

    And I hear you on #3! Why does tea from a coffee seem so much easier than tea at home? 

  4. I've been focusing on trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I've also been the one suggesting ice cream lately.  When I'm in the groove of being disciplined, I do so much better, but like with training lately, getting back into that groove is harder to do.

  5. Oh my gosh ... this bouncing between marathons is ruining my eating habits. I'm still eating like Cookie Monster and starting to gain. I forced myself to behave for the past week and already dropped 2 lbs - gotta stop this runaway train!!!
    I'm really intrigued in buying a share in a community farm that delivers every 2 weeks where I work. Sure you pay upfront for the year ($$$) but the produce variation is great (and super fresh) and by having all this predetermined fruit and veg in the house (where in the store we pick and choose by our mood) I figure that will force us to eat more. 

  6. I can not buy Stacey's chips...I think it's the lightly salted or sea salt or can do... I will eat the whole bag.

    I love how goal focused you are!

  7. Crack in the form of chips would so be my nemesis too, remind me never to try that brand if I ever see it...!  And it is so all about planning.  I only live 5 minutes from work so if not organised I tend to "pop home" for lunch, which doesn't really work either because home is full of things to sidetrack and then I realise how long I've been home!  But, some good Tupperware makes a lot of difference for us packing lunches and such.  When you have something nice looking and totally functional, leak-proof, etc, it does make it easier to bring lunch.  And I've got my family pretty well trained to bring it back home again!

  8. You are one of the most disciplined people I know; I know you'll have a successful July and see the numbers you desire!!  :)

  9. I just choked at $5 for PB&J.  That's absurd.

  10. Slomohusky/Gen XJuly 6, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    You know - anytime there is Holiday in my eating schedule, I can just plan on a rest day from my diet. Halloween, T-Day, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Memorial Day and of course The 4th - I eat. I eat a lot. Nothing too healthy either.

  11. Stacey's chips are on my diet....I eat that for lunch every does not cause me any pain and it stays IN!

  12. You're right: 3 lb is enough to make a difference. Ive got double that to contend with compliments of Starbucks, cupcakes and way too much sugar. I keep dreaming about how much faster I'd be...
    My kids would never touch the green smoothies either.

  13. Way to go on the green smoothies!  Your plan sounds like a good one.  I'm about to incorporate my own meal planning plan, so if you find the secret to making it fun and easy, pass it on!