One of my problems with healthy eating is that I don’t have a whole lot of willpower when it comes to delicious food.
I’m the person that gets a large order of Chick-Fil-A waffle fries and a large, sugar-loaded lemonade to eat in the car on my thirty-ish minute commute home from work. BAM – 900 calories, an hour and a half before I eat a 1,000 calorie dinner. And I likely had fast food for lunch earlier in the day, to boot. And for breakfast, I probably had a large toffee nut latte and some sort of pastry from the Starbuck’s drive through on my way to work. It wouldn’t be a stretch to estimate that I would regularly eat about 4,000 calories per day.
I’m the person that eats an entire ten-inch pizza because it is so damn delicious, even if I was full after two slices. I’m the person that puts that second piece of cheese on a greasy burger, just because it makes it extra gooey. I can’t do deprivation diets, because I simply can’t make myself do them.
I’ve already mentioned that this is a lifestyle change, rather than a diet, so there really isn’t a name for what I’m doing. I am using a really great iPhone app called Lose It!, in which you put in your current weight, target weight, and how much you’d like to lose per week. I want to lose approximately 25 pounds, and maintain that weight. Indefinitely. The app told me that, with that target weight, I can eat around 1700 calories per day and lose about 1.5 pounds a week. If I want to have a big lunch, I eat less at dinner or breakfast. I have all the power to decide how I want to budget my calories. I’m also not planning on being hard on myself about how I eat when I go to dinner with my family or hang out with friends. I’m also not following any particular workout regimen, or beating myself up with excessive cardio exercise; though I do plan on starting to run again.
I’m not quite at the point yet where I’m brave enough to disclose how much I weigh in black-and-white on the extremely unforgiving internet, but you can use your imagination. I’m about six-feet tall with an Amazonian body frame, and genetically predisposed to birthin’ hips and…generous thighs as accessories to the hips. I’ve also given birth to two large babies in less than two years’ time, and I have that unfortunate aforementioned habit of overindulging. You can do the math in regards to what the scale probably reads.
Anyway, I know what my target weight looks like. It looks like this:
Even when I was 25 pounds lighter, I was very vigilant about photos not being taken of me from the waist down, so I don’t have a full-body frame of reference. I know, vain, right? And for the love of all that is good in the world, please don’t pay attention to the atrocious Beyonce-esque hair. I was 22 in these photos; they were taken the summer of 2000. I won’t ever be going to the perm and highlights again…what appeals to me in these photos is the trim waist and the toned arms. These were taken when I was working as a counselor at summer camp, and I certainly wasn’t depriving myself; the amount of food I ate was simply limited, and I was getting a ton of exercise on a daily basis in the steamy West Virginia sunshine. I was so healthy. I wasn’t skinny by any definition of the word; but I was healthy.
The Sunday that I started this journey, I made several healthy foods to eat for lunch over the next few weeks. The first ones I made were two soups. The first of which, I’m including the recipe for here.
RECIPE: Curried Vegetable Cleanse Soup
(Essentially, you can use any vegetables you have in the house, and water for the broth. These are just the things that I used. I used a box of Wolfgang Puck chicken stock because I had it in the cupboard, but it would be simple to make this recipe completely vegan. The spices are critical in this soup, so don’t forget them!)
1 box of chicken stock or broth (preferably low sodium and low fat)
8 cups of water
about a dozen radishes, cut into quarters
one turnip, diced
two large bunches of broccoli, chopped
one large bundle of celery, chopped
one onion, diced
one sweet potato, diced (leave the skin on)
ten carrots, diced
four cloves of fresh garlic, minced (adjust to taste, you can’t really use too much)
several generous shakes of smoked paprika (adjust to taste, you can’t really use too much)
several generous shakes of dried celery seed (adjust to taste)
several generous shakes of freshly ground pepper (adjust to taste)
as much yellow curry as you like (adjust to taste)
I boiled this in an enormous stockpot until everything was good and soft. (As a side note, I learned that boiled radishes taste a lot like boiled red potatoes, and they have the same sort of texture as well. Good to remember if I’m craving potatoes!)
Remove all of the veggies from the broth (I used a slotted spoon and put them into a colander that was nested down in a larger bowl to catch the drainage of broth).Puree the cooked veggies in a blender with about a cup of broth each time, until the entire mixture is pureed. I added extra curry powder once everything was pureed, because I like a nice, rich curry flavor.I’m eating about a cup and a half as a serving size. Since this is pureed, you can drink it from a mug.Enjoy! Let me know if you like it.I began this journey on Sunday, February 12th, and I have lost 5.6 pounds.