Category Archives: calories

Zombies Prefer Simple Sugars

So I’m still struggling with the belly fat. I can feel a layer of muscle in my abdomen, but it’s deep under a layer or two (or three) of jiggly fat. I don’t expect to have a flat belly or anything at my age; I’d just like to stop the jiggle. FIRMNESS is what I’m striving for. I haven’t been counting calories or points. I haven’t even been weighing in – just hoping for the jeans to get looser. So far, no good.

So here’s what I’ve been eating:

  • Fresh vegetables and fruit – SOOO MUCH veggies & fruit. Important key: splurge on the precut stuff. You’re more likely to eat it, making it a better investment than the whole fruit or veggie that will rot in your fridge & have to be thrown away. Case in point: I love fresh pineapple, but I’m never going to eat it if I have to wrestle with a whole pineapple. Also salads are much faster with pre-washed, pre-torn greens. I like baby spinach in the plastic shell. Easy to grab a handful for a sandwich or salad, no additional storage container required. Also, spring for some pricey additions than make a salad exciting – artichoke hearts, capers, hearts of palm, etc… whatever you like.
  • Lean meats: fish, b/s chicken breasts, 93% lean beef. I’ve also been substituting Morningstar Farms “meat” for beef in some cases, such as spaghetti sauce. My family didn’t even notice. Canned salmon in water isn’t bad, and leftover grilled chicken makes a good, fast chicken salad in my Ninja chopper the next day with a little low-fat mayo (see below). I also like the “krab” meat in the fish case in salads or sandwiches.
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy: Greek yogurt by the ton. Can you believe that stuff is low-fat or fat-free??! I feel guilty eating it. It’s like pudding. I can never go back to regular yogurt now. Plain Greek yogurt makes a nice substitute for sour cream on a baked sweet potato & it’s thick enough to use for a dip – with a bag of Lipton’s or a package of Hidden Valley mixed in. Low-fat string cheese. Feta & Parmesan cheese are nice additions to a salad & are inherently low-fat.
  • Whole grains: I’ve been making my chicken salad on a whole wheat sandwich thin or whole wheat tortilla. I love bread, but I’ve found that I really don’t need as much as I think I do to feel satisfied.
  • Condiments: These are about the only processed foods I allow myself. A girl has to have some excitement. Mustard, salsa, vinegar, pickles, capers & hot sauce – unlimited. Low-fat salad dressings are much better now than they were a few years ago. They don’t taste so much like science. My favorite right now is a store-brand balsamic vinaigrette. Not as much of a fan of the creamy family, like low-fat ranch. I’m in love with the mayo made with olive oil; it’s half the fat of regular mayo & makes me feel virtuous because olive oil is good for you. I use that in my chicken, salmon, or “krab” salads.

So a typical day’s menu looks like this:

  • Breakfast – cup of Greek yogurt & a piece of fruit. This doesn’t hold me long, but I have lunch pretty early, so no worries. If you have to wait longer, old-fashioned oatmeal (not the quickie kind!) with some frozen fruit thrown in will hold you for HOURS.
  • Lunch – chicken salad with low-fat mayo & dill relish on a whole wheat tortilla with a handful of baby spinach thrown in. Fresh pineapple or an orange. The protein from the meat usually holds me till about 4:00. If I need something crunchy, I get some veggie chips or Sun Chips from the vending machine.
  • Afternoon snack – A little cottage cheese or low-fat string cheese. Maybe a few Triscuit crackers. They are whole wheat & baked, so I feel pretty safe with them. The rosemary & olive oil flavor is OUTSTANDING.
  • Dinner – Marinated fish or chicken on the grill or in the Nu-Wave over (I love that thing!) Fresh veggies in a salad (or just crudités… my kids love to just eat plain veggies with ranch or onion dip – see above). Seasoned brown rice or quinoa. I sometimes serve baked potatoes, but give myself a sweet potato – they’re better for you, but no one in my family will eat them but me. I like them with plain Greek yogurt, salt, and paprika sprinkled on them.

All that said, my jeans have gotten no looser. But I know I’m eating better, so there’s that consolation. I could probably stand to control my portions a little better, so that will be the goal for this week. Coming soon, my take on water intake.

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