Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eat ALL the vegetables!

In an effort to meet my resolution to lose weight I've decided to do a bit of a diet shake up.  At the moment I eat rather a lot of meat and processed food... not to mention sugar.  While intellectually, I know that 'diets don't work', I've never really been on an official diet and I can say unequivocally that THAT doesn't work either.  So it seems I should at least experiment and see if I can find something that works for me.

For comparison's sake, here's a sample of my current diet:

Breakfast:  Cheese bagel from the cafeteria.  Snapple if I'm tired... and I'm almost always tired.

Snack: Whatever's in the break room, sometimes a donut or a cookie, or a slice of pumpkin bread.  There's not always a snack in there... probably every other week or so, significantly more around the holidays.

Lunch: If I had my act together the weekend before I will have made myself a sensible lunch that involves chicken, rice & veggies, often with butter, sometimes in the form of a coconut based curry.  Generally nutritious food... but my portion sizes probably need some work.  But mostly I head to the cafeteria and have some kind of sandwich, burger, or wrap.  So we're talking bread, meat, cheese, mayo or some other kind of spread, and possibly a handful of veggies/fruits. 

Snack: More often than I care to admit, I resolve my afternoon job-related stress by heading to the cafeteria for a pastry, soda, or ice cream.  Not every day, but a few times a week. Sometimes I remember to bring fruit, but I don't always remember to eat it.

Dinner:  Again, if I've had my act together I have something like... again roast chicken, rice & veggies prepared, or possibly soup with bread and cheese.... lots of bread and cheese.  However, I live in an area rich with restaurants, so I often stop off for sushi or pizza.  And when I have class - most of the meal preparation gets sacrificed in favor of homework.

Beverages:  My beverage of choice is Dr. Pepper.  But I've made good progress over the past couple of years in replacing that with tea, either hot or iced.  Tea is a great beverage, the only problem is that I drink it with sugar.  I use far less sugar per serving than what you'd find in Dr. Pepper... but I drink GALLONS of it, so it ends up being a bit of a wash.  

Basically I eat a ton of bread, meat, cheese and added fats, with a few fruits and veggies, and lots of sweetened beverages.  Not an ideal diet, and it's led to far from an ideal weight. 

The new plan: 

I've decided that at least for one week I'm going to go more or less vegetarian.  No meat, no dairy, no eggs, no refined white sugar, and limited bread products the majority of what I will eat will be vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and visibly identifiable whole grains... like barley kernels - not the stuff they're putting in Fruit Loops these days.  I'm not going to be super strict about it and inspect every ingredient of everything I eat, but I am very much going to try to stay in the spirit of it. 
Step one was to clean out the fridge & get rid of any remnants of my old diet.  Not too tough since I just got back from vacation and haven't been shopping in a while.   Step two was to spend some quality time in the produce section of the grocery store.  

Step three is to prepare a few vegetarian meals to go in the freezer, and to make up individual portions of the rest of the veggies, so that it's easy to just grab & eat.  I'm not magically going to have more free time... so I need to make this easy or it'll never fly.  

On the menu for this week:  Roasted vegetable soup with whole wheat onion rolls,  mushroom barley bake, hummus with raw veggies, oatmeal with dried fruits & nuts, and uh.... I'm going to have to take a look in my cookbook to see what else I can come up with.  

Wish me luck!


Kaye said...

I just heard a great piece on a local NPR show that suggested for better success rates to start off doing a veggie weekend or a couple of days 100% veggie first and working your way up.
We're not big meat eaters in the winter (summer is different w/the grill being an option). There are lots of good veggie or veggie convertible slow cooker recipes out there too if you're into that.

florapie said...

mushroom barley bake sounds delightful-recipe please?

Something I find really helpful is doing steel cut oats overnight-you can toast them in a hot pot (a little bit of butter is optional), then add boiling water and soak overnight. In the morning you just heat them up. They fill me up until lunch, and a potful keeps in the fridge for days. Of course, you need to be organized, which doesn't happen that often in this house!

Rebel said...

Kaye - I ended up only being vegetarian for a day and a half anyway. =P So there must be some truth to the NPR report.

florapie - as you wish!