Being the main chef in the house, I try to ensure that we eat healthy. I try to incorporate all the food groups: meat and potatoes. Well, that is the Wiseguy version of the food groups. His food group triangle is more of a dosey-doe with carbs and proteins living happily ever after.
I have never been good at reading food labels. I had no idea what all the percentages meant. I decided that it was time to shed my winter weight and find my summer me. That involved finding a diet that would work for me. In my mind, the word diet always brought to mind the cartoon cat Garfield, as his saying was “Diet is Die with a T”. Yes, that is how every diet felt. I would start off great! Low carbs, working out at least 30 minutes a day, cut back on cheese (waaaah…I LOVE my cheeses), watching my calorie intake. That was the part I really disliked. In the past, cutting back too much made me feel so mean because thin people were eating all the foods I loved…pizza, wings, french fries, just to name a few. After a couple of weeks the cheating would begin. Yes, I was really cheating on myself and my health, but that didn’t matter. I was justifying having that extra slice of pizza because I would work it off the next day. NOT! And once I fell off the wagon…too late. I was trampled and dead by all those yummy foods that I decided to just give up.
Next, I went to my local library (yes, I have a library card and at a later date, we shall discuss the amazing benefits of libraries), I signed out at least 8 different diet books. From the greatly touted Southwest diet to the Skinny Bs diet, to the Mediterranean diet, to the Diabetic diet. There was one diet book that intrigued me the most. I had flipped through most of them, but I actually took the time to read through this one book. So impressed was I, that I bought the book. The G.I. Diet. At first I wondered what my childhood doll G.I. Joe had to do with a diet, but G.I. stood for glycemic index. What is that?
Simple…sugar. Basically, that is what it was about. The books explains what foods give you that instant jolt of sugar (that leaves you craving more after about 30 minutes) and what foods actually give you sustenance so you don’t feel hungry. Even more interesting was that you would eat about 6 times a day…almost every two hours. To make it even easier, they colour coded columns of foods in simple red, yellow, green. Avoid the red, easy on the yellow, chow down on green. Cool. KISS – keep it super simple.
Now add to that my invitation to join Fitness Pal. The Baker had used it and said that it was amazing. So she and The Wiz loaded the app on my antiquated iPhone. You can use it on your computer as well. That website and Calorie Counter were really an eye opener. I never realized how many calories were in certain foods. You type in the food and it shows you how many calories. With Fitness Pal (this was my favourite challenge) you enter you workouts (be it bike riding or dog walking or zumba) and then you get extra calories that you can eat. Yes! Something that will actually let you eat more so you don’t feel deprived.
Sounds strange, but oftentimes I picked ice cream over a full dinner meal. I gave myself cheat days, or not. Eating in moderation is all it really takes and adding exercise to it. Exercise, (exorcise?) the demon in my life, is what I tell myself I have to do. Sort of like taking icky cough medicine when you were younger. To get better you had to do it.
I know that everyone out there has their favourite way to deal with weight gain or inactivity, but for me personally, this worked. (I lost 20 pounds in 45 days…yay me!)
My next challenge, which is not as easy, is to get myself and Wiseguy to eat our fruits. My chef expertise managed to get vegetables into our suppertime menu, but our challenge has always been fruits.
Neither of us is a fruit eater. I watch FIL (father in law) eat grapes and apples and bananas with glee and yet Wiseguy and I look at it as a poison chalice. The thought of a smoothie, though it looks pretty and colourful when done, just doesn’t seem right. In my mind, I have teeth and should use them to chew my food. Better still, I really dislike having food caught in my teeth so I NEED to cut my fruit to avoid such agony. Yes, I agree, I am a Drama Queen about this fruit problem, but I figure at least an ingenious excuse is a good one.
I am back on track now, especially with summer coming. I have stocked my crisper drawer with delicious (that is their name) apples, granny smith apples, bosc pears, green seedless grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and ripe navel oranges.
After making Wiseguy’s sandwiches for lunch tomorrow with chicken breast on whole wheat bread, I decided to try and add a lovely round fruit to his lunch mix. Usually his fruit of choice is an apple because it can last over a week in his lunch box going on his “excellent adventures”. After the trip is over, said apple comes back to me to either commit suicide in our green bin or to become a gang member in apple streudel or apple pie. For tomorrow, I have decided to try something new on Wiseguy. He picked an orange. Nice, lovely, round, and orangey orange. Should make a lovely snack for tomorrow.
I looked at that poor nameless orange and thought of all the distance it would be traveling. Wiseguy is a truck driver and many miles and kilometers are covered in his treks. I looked at the California orange and thought about how unfair it would be for another long journey across Ontario instead of the United States. So, I did something that might not seem fair…I named the orange. Heloooo Fernando. Enjoy your trek buddy. Good luck! Hopefully, Wiseguy will pity you on your lonely journey and condemn you to death. Death by healthy eating decree! Wiseguy…welcome to vitamin C ! (P.S. I actually used a food grade marker and wrote Fernando on the orange. Perhaps the desire to tell people of “How I Ate Fernando” will inspire Wiseguy.)