Time to Focus

January 27, 2012

I need to buckle down on my eating. For most of the month, I haven’t been as diligent and focused as I could be. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely off my game – I’ve just been lazy. Portion sizes have gotten larger. My emphasis on planning has wained. I’ve indulged my cravings much sooner than usual, and without consideration on how those calories would impact the rest of my day.

I’ve gone through periods like this before – it starts to happen whenever I plateau or repeatedly gain and lose the same couple of pounds. I begin thinking, “Why not eat foods X, Y, and Z – I’m not losing weight anyway.” In the past few weeks, I’ve bought a candy bar (or two) at gas stations, a pint of ice cream (which was polished off much sooner than it should have been), and I’ve been really craving 7-11 corn dogs, so I’ve gotten a couple of those, too (I know, I know, they technically don’t quality as ‘food’ – more like ‘food-like substances’).

None of that is the end of the world, and I’m not beating myself up over any of it. It’s the behavior behind that bothering me and needs to change. All of those purchases were impulsive. I wanted junk food, so I bought junk food, and ate it immediately (usually, in my car, except for the ice cream). The most caloric impulse purchase was a slice of Sbarro pizza at the food court in the mall. It was the worst kind of eating: I was at the mall, I hadn’t eaten in a while, and I was a little hungry, but not achingly so. I walked past the Sbarro, and I wasn’t even craving pizza, but I thought, ‘Oh, that looks good, I haven’t eaten that in a while’ – and without a second thought, I bought a piece. I wish I had registered that I was hungry, taken stock of all the options in the food court, figured out if there was anything at all I wanted to get there, and made a more conscious, informed, intelligent decision. But I didn’t. I went for what was right in front of me. And it was greasy. And it was good, but it wasn’t the best.

Again, the pizza isn’t the end of the world, and I’m gonna gain dozens of pounds because of it. But the thinking (or lack thereof) is what I need to squash. I need to get back to the place where I think about my days, think about the food in my fridge, and the exciting ways I’m going to eat it, and then stick to those plans. When I do that, I alleviate a lot of temptation, and which temptations do strike, I can better fend them off, without giving into them mere moments after they appear.

Another reason why I’ve given in to poor food choices is because my cupboards are a little bare. My grocery shopping game, at the moment, is off – I have healthy food around, but not enough choices, and when I don’t have enough choices in my kitchen, I start not wanting to eat it. I had a container of pre-washed mixed baby salad greens in my fridge – you know the kind, every grocery store sells them. But because I didn’t many other good salad things to add to it, I never wanted to eat it. I stared at it every day for a week, maybe longer. I should have gone and picked up some salad ingredients that excite me, but I didn’t. And it sat there, and sat there, and sat there, and then yesterday I picked it up and realized it had long since expired. I opened the container, and sure enough, it smelled like a compost heap and every leaf was slimy. I don’t like wasting food, and that pissed me off.

Yesterday afternoon, I rectified my lack of healthy options problem with a big trip to Whole Foods. Here’s the entirety of my fresh produce before the trip:

Two sweet potatoes, two apples, an onion, a lemon and a head of garlic.

And here’s what I picked up at Whole Foods:

Top half, L-R: 3 red pears, 4 zucchini, 4 tomatoes, 5 satsuma tangerines, a cucumber, 2 pints blueberries, baby carrots, red bell peppers. Bottom half, L-R: celery, strawberries, bananas, pre-washed kale (and yes, I will eat it before it goes bad), 4 (more) apples, broccoli.

I also picked up a new-to-me produce item that I’ve never seen before, because I haven’t done that in a while (not since I sampled a calamondin in Michigan). Check these out – they’re popcorn shoots!

They were in the sprouts and sprouted bean section, and I presume they’re baby corn plants. They seem really thin and delicate, and although you may not be able to tell in these pictures, they’re almost translucent, which I think is really cool.

I have my research to do, but I already have an idea for how to use them as part of a breakfast dish. Look for that post this weekend!

In the meantime, I have my work cut out for me: Eat better. Plan more. Consider cravings and see if they subside instead of immediately caving into them. Oh, and you wanna know how you can help? If you’re a regular blog reader, pay attention. There’s a sure-fire sign that I’m not eating as well as I could be, and it’s that I simply don’t write about food. Since I’ve returned from my holiday travels, I’ve only written one food-based post (What’s In The RediSetGo? Part Twenty-One). If you see me go for a stretch without any mention of food, call me out on it, either in the comments section or through the Contact page!

OK – I’m off to my new gym (while my eating has suffered lately, my exercise has been pretty stellar), and I already know what I’m making for lunch when I get back – I’m getting back on the salad train with that kale, one of those tomatoes, and one of those peppers. I’ll post a picture on my Facebook page later today as proof!

Keep it up, David!

UPDATE (3pm): The salad photo is up on my Facebook page, as promised! Check it out here.

What’s In the RediSetGo? Part Two

September 30, 2010

This game is sweeping America.  If this is your first time playing, you’ll catch on to the rules quickly, I assure you.  For the backstory on my RediSetGo, click here.

I fired up the RediSetGo last night to make my lunch for today, which I ate a few hours ago.  So… What’s in the RediSetGo?

ROASTED EGGPLANT is in the RediSetGo!

Even though I committed to eating more veggies when I started my diet in January, I didn’t really start buying eggplant until a few months ago, when I start making farmer’s markets a near-weekly pit stop during my weekly routine.  In July or August or so, I saw these amazingly purple baby eggplants at one of the stalls that were no bigger than a medium-sized potato.  A perfect amount of eggplant for one person.  Since then, I’ve bought a baby eggplant or two about twice a month, and, more often than not, throw it on the RediSetGo for quick and easy cooking.

Sometimes, I slice it into long thin planks, and after they’re done roasting, I put a little dab of cream cheese on one end, load it up with sprouts or sunflower greens, and roll it up into a little bite-sized pinwheel.  I did something different last night, though, as I didn’t have any sprouts or cream cheese.  I sliced the eggplant into rounds, and smeared 2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Satay Peanut Sauce over all of them.

Could have wiped away those tomato seeds before snapping the photo, David.

Anyway – the sauce is delicious.  This is my second jar, and I’m almost done with it.  And those two tablespoons only added about 60 calories and 4 grams of fat to the eggplant.  And the eggplant was delicious.

Eggplant was available when I went to the 99 Cent Store to purchase produce for my 99 Cent Store Produce Challenge, but I didn’t buy any, because they were selling two large eggplants per package, and that’s a lot of eggplant for me to consume before they turn.  Oh, and while I’m on the subject, I pulled out one of the 99 Cent Store oranges I purchased to juice it this morning, and… it was moldy.  White, hairy, and puffy – three words that are perfect to describe a poodle, but not an orange.  I’ll spare you the photo, because it’s gross, and I didn’t take one anyway.  Here’s the deal:  I know fruit turns, and it could have happened from produce purchased anywhere, so I shouldn’t hold the 99 Cent Store responsible.  And I immediately checked the other 5 oranges, and they all looked fine.  But I know this wouldn’t have happened had I had the convenience of picking my own produce, instead of picking a pre-sorted bag of produce.  I don’t know if one moldy orange is a deal-breaker or not, in terms of returning to the 99 Cent Store for produce…  we shall see.

My dinner tonight was a big ole salad, and I took a photo because I thought it looked particularly lovely and colorful:

That’s mixed greens, tomato, mini bell peppers (from the 99 Cent Store!) in three colors (yellow, orange, and red), garbanzo beans, roasted piquillo peppers, capers, and lime juice.   And soon, a 1 ox box of raisins as I heading off to Latin Jam class.

Keep it up, David!