The Diet Drag

Most people agree that diets are a drag.  Cardboard food.  Frozen, sodium-filled dinners.  Counting calories/fat/carbs or whatever.  Reading labels.  Ugh.  The amount of brain power it takes to plan a diet is discouraging before you even get a chance to start.  Since I posted my last diet manifesto, I have been mostly unsuccessful in keeping it.  Sigh.

I said I would drink one meal-replacement shake a day.  I have totally struck out here.  I bought a book with shake recipes because so many of mine were uninteresting.  Not bad, just not what I want in the morning.  I’d rather skip a meal than eat something I don’t really want.  Skipping a meal is bad bad because when I get too hungry then I eat whatever I come across, good or bad, and more than I should simply because I’m ravenous.

I’ve done better with the no bread or sugar.  I still eat some bread and drink sugar in my tea (less than a teaspoon), but I have cut my bread consumption by at least half.  Maybe not all the way down to two days a week, but much less than before.  I also found that sprouted bread, like Ezekiel Bread, and sourdough bread don’t cause as much of the reaction I was having (aches and stiffness).  I have read that the fermentation process that goes into sourdough and even soaking flour before you bake makes it easier for the body to digest.  I’m not making this stuff on my own because, frankly, that’s a lot of prep work that I haven’t wrapped my brain around yet.

No caffeine, um, well, not quite.  I have one cup of coffee or hot tea in the morning, and usually nothing else.  That’s not a lot, but it is some.

I have succeeded in cutting my meal portions quite a bit, especially meat.  I’m still working on increasing my vegetable intake.  I cook a vegetable with each meal, but I need to broaden my repertoire.  Some of my favorites are arugula salad, roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, and sweet potato fries.  Trying to figure better things to do with green beans, carrots, eggplant, etc.

As for what I said I am giving up entirely, that’s easier said than done.

That high fructose corn syrup is a sneaky one.  Blue Bell ice cream, the official brand of heaven, has HFCS in it.  Talk about feeling betrayed!  I was devestated.  On the brighter side, I found a recipe for making Lara bars, and they are great.  All the kids love them.  No bake.  Healthy ingredients.  No sweeteners.  Score!!

I think I have mostly succeeded in the no food dyes.  Since I cook from scratch, I don’t have to worry as much about what is snuck in products, except for the salmon I bought last night.  It said it had been colored, I guess to look like salmon?  They probably didn’t use red dye 40 or beetles, so I’m thinking I’m still pretty good.  If I’m wrong, please don’t tell me.  I’m going to go with ignorance on this one.

I’m good in the processed food category.  Again, we cook mostly from scratch, with a frozen pizza thrown in occasionally.  I did use instant vanilla pudding for a desert last week (dyed and processed).  I have a great recipe for homemade pudding mix, but I needed so little of it for the recipe that I decided to go packaged.  I have almost no storage space in our apartment, so I have had to be a more strategic in the bulk items I keep.

My husband nixed cutting out the corn.  It’s fresh corn season, and he wants to see some roasted corn on the menu every few weeks.  I have to admit, fresh corn is pretty tasty.  We’ll revert to the no corn in the fall.

By eating real food and taking the time and effort to prepare meals from scratch, you can save the hassle of the higher math needed to count all those calories, fat, and carbs.  It’s not hard and way more tasty than all that stuff that comes in a box or bag.

I’ll end up with one recipe that takes 10 minutes start to finish.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch Asparagus
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Rinse asparagus and cut off ends.  If you bend the stalk it will naturally break, but if you want to be fast, just cut off the ends.  Arrange stalks on a baking pan.  Drizzle a a little olive oil over the asparagus.  Go easy on this.  They don’t need to swim.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  The coarse ground is the best, in my opinion.  Put the pan in the oven at 400 degrees and bake for 7-8 minutes.  You want crisp, not burned or soggy.

Share your favorite vegetable recipe!

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