So after many many attempts at counting calories, going on a detox from certain foods/alcohol, etc. and failing miserably, I have now embarked on yet another journey of trying to eat better. I must be crazy because this means most of my recipes I so enjoy cooking have to be tossed out the window or modified so much so that they may as well be entirely different dishes.
While the main component of my diet is simply "no more bad sugars" or rather, "a lot LESS bad sugars", I still want to also cut back on greasy, rich foods and carbs as well. I just can't bring myself to give up all carbs, all sugars, all dairy, etc. I know there are people out there who do it and who completely change their lifestyle and I GREATLY admire those people. But I have to ask, HOW DO THEY DO IT??? I just can't imagine never enjoying a dessert again or a glass of wine with my husband or a beer during a football game. I can't imagine never slicing a piece of extra sharp cheddar or never ordering off a regular menu at a restaurant. Let me make it clear that I am certainly not insulting people who choose to have extreme diets or whose weight or health forces them to change their eating habits in a drastic way. I consider myself extremely blessed to not be in a situation where going on an extreme diet is mandatory to my health. And technically...yes...I pretty much do eat as I please and don't tend to put on much weight. My family genes have blessed me with great metabolism. But there are also things that I naturally don't eat that many people do, such as sodas, candy, sugary breakfast foods, and lots of processed foods. I eat SOME of those things occasionally, but only very occasionally. I would say most of my issues stem from my weakness for red wine and eating heavy dinners most of the time.
So what exactly am I eating now that this journey has begun? Well, thanks to a friend of ours who actually sells Advocare and is probably one of those highly respectable people who refrains from eating and drinking everything that you're not supposed to eat or drink, I was stalking her Facebook the other day and stumbled upon a recipe for a smoothie she makes regularly. At first it sounded pretty awful, but it was intriguing enough to make me do some research. What I discovered was that this particular smoothie is all a part of a special diet that a particular blogger calls the Green Monster Movement. Using spinach or kale as the base food for the smoothie, you can concoct delicious drinks that not only make you feel very full, they're protein-packed with Super foods (that's Super with a capital S!), healthy fats, and lots of vitamins. I gave it a try for the first time this morning for breakfast and I have to say that I am hooked! I know I can't have one every single day or else I'll get tired of them and burn out quickly, but I absolutely can see myself having these for breakfast 4-5 days a week and replacing dinner with them 2-3 days a week as well. And yes, I will absolutely have to allow myself at least 1 day a week where I don't mind what I eat. I'm too addicted to good food to give it all up!!! Call me a glutton, but I just can't help myself! Besides, Shane probably won't take too kindly to my sudden fondness for green slushy drinks in lieu of home-cooked meals.
Day 1: (today)
Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Recipe: 1 cup almond milk (you can use soy, but almond is better for you)
2 cups fresh spinach
1 banana, sliced (I just pulled mine apart into 4-5 pieces)
1 Tbs. peanut butter
1 Tbs. protein powder (I found this in the vitamin section at the grocery store and the serving size says "1 scoop" but it didn't come with a "scoop" so I have no idea if 1 tablespoon is correct, but it tasted great to me!) And can you taste the spinach, you ask? The answer is NO! All you can taste is the milk, banana and a bit of the peanut butter.
Snack: handful of unsalted almonds
Lunch: small can of Starkist tuna in water, an orange, and a cheese "snack-square"
Snack: more almonds
Dinner: another smoothie
I also drank water throughout the day and with my lunch I drank water mixed with a little bit of grapefruit juice. I feel like it kinda took the edge off any typical cravings I would've had that afternoon. Usually by 1 or 1:30 I am STARVING and today I wasn't!
It's almost 7 pm and by now I probably would've already had at least 1 glass of wine, but not tonight!! I feel very full after my smoothie and since the smoothie tastes sweet, I feel satisfied enough that I am not craving sweets!
Tomorrow's plan: smoothie for breakfast, leftover Pei Wei shrimp Pad Thai for lunch (yes I know....not good, but at least my big calorie-intake is still early in the day) and for dinner I'm making chile rellenos. This is one of my typical recipes, but it's super healthy. Zero carbs, all vegetables, and only a small amount of cheese on top. Shane FINALLY gets home from Chicago tomorrow and I refuse to welcome him home with a dinner of crushed up spinach, bananas, and milk.
Wednesday night I'll probably take a break from the smoothie, but stick to egg whites for breakfast and for dinner I plan on doing a salmon Caesar salad. Wish me luck!