Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Year - Back On The Plan

My husband and I love food.  I love to cook, bake, make candy, can my own garden produce. I read cookbooks like novels.  Food. Yum. We love to eat.  And it shows. 

We can diet and lose weight.   Heck, anyone can follow a diet and lose weight.  But, diets are restrictive, regimented, repetitive and boring.  I like my cooking.  I like trying new recipes.  I like going out for dinner occasionally.   We have our dislikes.  We don't want to eat 'diet' food.  I want to eat real food.   In the past we have dieted, lost weight, and gained it back as soon as we stopped the diet. We came to the conclusion that we ate pretty healthy food.  We just ate too much of it.  We needed to scale it back without feeling deprived.

We had a lot of success a few years ago using a Christ-centered program called First Place.  The idea was you place Christ first in your life and your thinking and eating will change.  To help you change, they provide a series of methods to convert your recipes to their scale so you can track what you eat.  It worked.  But it was a LOT of work.  Every ingredient, every recipe, every meal had to be converted.  It was so time-consuming to convert that I started 'winging-it', hoping I was close.  Eventually, I stopped thinking about it all together.

Recently, yet again, we took a good look at how we were eating and how we looked (ugh) and like many others, considered starting yet another hunt for the perfect diet.  The one we could live on the rest of our lives.  Because dieting for us was a see-saw and we didn't like what we saw.

Then we remembered the First Place method. I'll just have to knuckle down and do the all the converting.  It's worth it.  The plan works.  I went searching on the internet because we misplaced our books somehow during 2 moves.  To my surprise, First Place had been updated and sounded better than ever.  You don't convert every ingredient into exchanges, you simply count what you're eating.  You get a set quantity of each food type.  Eat it however and whenever you wish - just don't exceed your maximum for the day.  I made up a little scorecard for each of us (Walt gets a LOT more food) and we write down the quanties we consume at each meal.  My daily goals look like this:
Fruit = 2 cups
Vegetables = 3 cups
Grains/Bread = 6 ounces
Meat/beans/nuts = 5 ounces
Milk/cheese/yogurt = 3 cups
Fat/oil = 5 teaspoons

One day this week I ate:
Breakfast - 2 ounces cereal, 1 cup soy milk
Lunch - 2 cups veg, 1/2 ounce bread
Snack - 1/2 cup fruit
Dinner - Hawaiian Veggie Burger, Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Coleslaw (see stats below)
Snack - SF Jello with 1/2 cup fruit
That's a lot of food, totally within my goals and I was completely FULL all day.

So, I got a craving for burgers.  Walt's favorite is Hawaiian, you know how high in fat and calories those are!  Check out this meal -Hawaiian Veggie BurgerSweet Potato Oven Fries and Almost Fat Free Asian Coleslaw:

Veggie burger topped with Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, grilled pineapple slice, swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat bun.  The entire meal clocks in at 1 cup fruit (pineapple slice, juice and sweetner in the coleslaw), 1 1/2 cups vegetables, 4 ounces bread (bun and potato), 3 ounces meat (veggie patty, bacon), 1/2 cup milk (cheese), 1 1/2 tsp. fat (cooking oil).

So, what do you think?  Want to hear more about our struggles and triumphs with food?  Please comment and let me know.

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