Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fatso Manifesto: My Menu Plan

I haven't posted a fatso manifesto in awhile. This doesn't mean I've fallen off the weight loss bandwagon. Although, I must admit I haven't been consistent with the exercise and dieting when I was in Belfast. Life got in the way and the move back to America. You know how it goes...

Now that I'm in California, it's just so much easier for me to diet and exercise. For one, the weather in California doesn't dictate when I should go out for a jog/walk nor does it dictate my mood. I get very depressed in gray weather therefore I lack motivation and I am just plain lazy.

Number two, is the abundance of fresh local produce available in California all-year-round and I love, love Farmer's Markets (as you faithful followers already know). It's hard to avoid the words "organic", "all natural", or "hormone and antibiotic free". It is everywhere! Almost everyone is health conscious for the most part.

So with that being said, I have no excuses this time. And I've been doing brilliantly! I've already lost 10 lbs. That's 3/4 of a stone for you UK folks! It's only been about 2 months. Slowly but surely, I will get to my goal! Nobody said losing weight was going to be fast and easy. If you do it the healthy way, that is.

I give a lot of credit to the way I have changed my way of eating and the way I view food. I don't have a menu plan per say but follow a few simple guidelines. I hate counting calories, measuring things. It's just too much work for me. So I have stopped eating refined carbohydrates and starch such as white rice, pasta, potatoes, and sugar. I haven't been craving these things at all. I thought this would be difficult to do but surprisingly it was pretty easy. I have replaced the refined carbs with gluten free whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, and breads. I load up on vegetables. Veggies comprise a good 60% of my diet. I try to have vegetables and/or fruits with every meal including breakfast. They say you are supposed to have at least 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day and eat a variety of all colors of the rainbow. I try hard to fall within this range. I cut back on eating meat to twice a week. Lately, I haven't had a taste for meat for some reason but I still add it in my diet to get the protein and omega 3 (from fish) I need. I eat only white lean meats now, chicken, fish, or turkey and it has to be organic meaning no hormones or antibiotics. On the off meat days, I get my protein from soy, beans, and nuts. Dairy at the most twice a day, organic yogurt and cheese. Water. I can't stress enough the importance of drinking water. I don't drink soda anymore nor do I drink juices because of the sugar content. The only "non-water" beverages I drink are chai or green tea (antioxidants). Fats. At the most 2 servings of good fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocado. If I buy prepackaged food, I read the labels. If I can't pronounce the ingredients and are not a natural food, I will not buy it. If it is over 5g of fat, has high sugar or sodium content, I stay away.

I don't know if this is just psychosomatic but ever since I've been eating mostly organic and all natural. My energy is up, my mood has been up, I sleep better, my skin is clear, I have a nice healthy glow, and I don't feel as bloated anymore. Even my parents have noticed the change and have been converted into buying mostly organic, natural foods to stock the kitchen. If it's not organic or all natural, then whatever it is, it is working and my body is enjoying it!

I completely have a different take on food now. I have a better new found appreciation for food and where it comes from. Food not only has to be appetizing but have the nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body.

Here's what I eat on a typical day:

Beverages (throughout the day): Water and Green Tea

Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries, sliced banana, soymilk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Exercise: Brisk walk for 3.5 miles

Snack: Organic Greek Style Yogurt - 1/2 cup

Garlic Naan Pizza topped with veggies and a side salad of spinach w/ red onion and balsamic vinaigrette...

Snack: 1 cup of fruit salad and a handful of almonds

Exercise: 60 minutes on the elliptical trainer

A vegetable crudite plate with stone ground whole wheat crackers and hummus dipping sauce....

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