I hate the word “diet” as applied to what I’m doing. I’m not going on any sort of crash diet; I’m modifying my lifestyle by changing my eating habits. One thing that has really made this a good process for me has been my finding a great cookbook, entitled Betty Crocker’s Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking Today. When I say that the recipes are good, I don’t mean that they’re good in the sort of begrudging way one might say that a flavored rice cake is better than a plain rice cake. I mean that many of the recipes I’ve cooked in the last couple of weeks are excellent, as in I would be happy to have ordered them at a restaurant.
Among my favorites so far are a seared jerk chicken, a seared sirloin au jus, seared pork tenderloin medallions sprinkled with salt and paprika, and sort of a baked breaded chicken nuggets dish. In short, everything’s been a huge hit around here except for the two fish dishes I’ve cooked, and those weren’t exactly bad; they just weren’t up to the standards these other entrees set. The dinners I’ve been cooking have on average 5 – 10 grams of fat apiece (compare to probably 20 or 30 minimum for meals I was previously cooking, 30ish being the recommended allotment of fat for the whole day). For lunch I’ve had scrambled fake eggs (which are actually pretty decent, in spite of my expectations) with toast spread with apricot preserves. Other times I’ve had turkey sandwiches (6 slices of turkey have about a gram of fat). For snacks, I’ll make a thing of pudding or eat some fat-free yogurt (again, not bad at all, especially to me, as I’ve never been a yogurt eater and so don’t have a taste for regular yogurt to compare against). Occasionally I’ll munch on a few baked Ruffles chips (3 have a gram of fat, so I keep these to a minimum), and I’ve been enjoying Fig Newtons (no fat) this week as well. I’ve also become more of a fruit and veggie eater. I’ll slice up a cucumber or a peach now in a heartbeat. These weren’t things I normally would have eaten, but now that I’ve started, I find the freshness very appealing, and in the case of the peach, well, there’s not much of anything that’s naturally sweeter and juicier than a fresh peach.
So this lifestyle change has exposed me to a lot of foods that I used to shun more out of habit than anything, and I’m finding the diet to be not a burden to bear but an opportunity to try new things. The dinner variety has been especially welcome.
And the effects are already beginning to become obvious. I think my face is thinning a little, and the pants I’m accustomed to wearing around the house occasionally just fall off. They were a little loose anyway, but they’ve become more so. There’s been no dramatic change yet or anything, but I think this change of diet is starting to peel away some of the superficial fat.
This morning, I’m calling the gym M’s a member of to sign on as a member myself. I debated doing this in January when she signed up, but I doubted my motivation and so opted not to blow the money. Now I feel motivated. I hurt my foot jogging a couple of weeks ago and so want a good opportunity to do some low-impact stuff (spin, for example, which why don’t they just call it exercise biking as they did in the 80s?) and not to be affected by the weather. Of course, this isn’t all about thinning down (though that’ll be nice) but is more about getting my heart pumping so that my doctor doesn’t raise his eyebrows at my blood pressure.
This has all been very positive so far, and I’m enjoying the change.