Not bad for a fat girl


Salad Days

"Super Foods" salad with about a gazillion ingredients.

“Super Foods” salad with about a gazillion ingredients.

I never actually understood that term. I think it means good times, right? As in, “ah, those were the salad days.” But I don’t really understand why. What’s so great about a salad?

Salads are a bunch of work. They takes lots of small bits of ingredients and toss them all together. All of those ingredients have their own needs, like the need for washing and cutting. It’s quite labor intensive, if you ask me, for not such a great reward. I don’t HATE salads. In fact there are several salads that I like a lot. Chipotle has a wonderful salad that packs in the veggies and protein and tastes great. So does Wildflower Bakery. In fact, most places that are salad friendly do, but the problem is that I usually want the OTHER good stuff that’s on their menus. Still, when I do order a salad, I usually enjoy it.

The issue is making salads at home. You have to buy all those different ingredients and by the time you’re done you have a massive salad fit for a crowd, or you have lots of leftover veggies. Either way it’s a pain in the neck. Thank goodness for Pinterest and the popularity of mason jar salads.

I was skeptical at first, but then I saw a few of my colleagues jump on the bandwagon, and they were eating delicious salads each day with just one prep session. I poked around a bit more on the internet and learned that, like everything else, there are different methods for prepping these salads. I decided to modify what I read and do it my way.

My own personal preference is to keep the dressing separate and add it when I’m ready to eat. I put the following pre-washed wide-mouth mason jars:

black beans (one can split, rinsed and drained)

Mexican style canned corn (one can split, rinsed)

sliced red pepper

chicken breast strips

lettuce and spinach to the top

This week I plan to add in sliced mushrooms. One week I had some leftover shredded cheddar, so I added that and it stayed good all week.

One day of prep is no problem. These salads are excellent for lunch, and they fill me up. Still, I’m not above purchasing a ready-made salad from the store, particularly if it has 27 different ingredients in it, like my “Super Foods” salad from Whole Foods. In the words of a famous internet meme, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”


I Might Not Starve After All

Monday marks the end of week two in my latest journey into the world of mindful eating, and I’ve gotta say, so far, so good.

I started off at about a 7 out of 10 on the motivation scale, but after my first meeting with the nutritionist, I walked out of her office at about an 8. These last two weeks have kept me in the 8-9 range, so I’m not hating life. In fact, I’m starting to notice a few small positive changes.

First off, I feel good about the things that I’m eating. Am I perfect? Not by a long shot, but I’ve made many small changes for the better, and I feel good about that. I still have a couple of Hot Tamales candies most evenings, but instead of an entire box, I eat about 7 or 8 of them. There were a few boxes in the pantry when I started, so I opened them all into a jar so I wouldn’t have the “finish the box” syndrome, and it’s working. I enjoy my treat, then move on.e08765a78b883020497b53dd7d25a555

I’ve also realized that there are other foods that work for me, instead of against me. Who knew I would enjoy V8 so much, or natural almonds? And the Clif protein bars? Yum!

I’m still eating dinner with the family, but we’ve been having good home cooked meals (swordfish, anyone?) and even meals out have been carefully chosen. I’m feeling pretty good, and I’m hopeful that this time I can keep up the momentum.

One of the things that I’m focused on right now is limiting carbs, and it isn’t because of calories. The thing about carbs is that they turn to sugars and then the body produces insulin to process them (at least that’s the way I understood it, don’t quote me, I’m not a medical professional). The body I live in needs to produce less insulin, so fewer carbs (and Hot Tamales candies) are the order of the day.

I can honestly say I’m looking forward to my next visit with the nutritionist. I’m feeling energized and positive, and I’m interested to hear her feedback, as well as step on the scale. Even if it didn’t move, I know that the changes I’m making are having a positive effect on my body, and that’s something to feel good about.


I Never Learned to Eat Like a Girl

berniceI’ve always been sort of a tomboy. I never liked dresses (although now I love them, I’m wearing one right now, in fact). I never was fussy in a girly-girl type of way. I hadn’t had a pedicure until I was 40. I still don’t wear make-up on a regular basis. The trappings of femininity more of less escape me.

I’m not quite sure why that is, except that my mom wasn’t much of a girly girl either. Oh sure, she was tiny and petite and loved to dress up for formal events, but she didn’t wear make-up and kept her nails short and wasn’t fussy. She also ate real food, just not very much of it.

I never really noticed any of this growing up, except that part about her getting dressed up. My father was a physician, and they attended lots of formal events. There were hospital dinners, and colleagues’ dinner parties, and parties galore. My father had his own tux, and my mother owned several glamorous gowns. I loved when they went out, because my mom and dad always looked so refined to me. The house would smell of my mother’s perfume, and my dad would slick back his hair with some gawd-awful grease that made him look quite dashing. I can’t help but smile just thinking about it.

It didn’t occur to me until many years later that there was nearly always a doggy bag from those events, and we NEVER gave the dog table food, except Kraft American cheese. That was his training treat. Why was there always a doggy bag? Because my mother never ate her entire meal, and it was too good to waste. My brother or I would get the leftovers the next day, my mother claiming that it was too rich for her.

Now I know what that phrase means, but back then I had no clue. I have to thank my mother for not making me second guess every morsel I put in my mouth, but part of me secretly wishes I knew the secret of eating like a girl from way back. I eat lunch with some lovely young teachers, and they all know the secret. They munch on peppers and hummus or pick at salads or quinoa dishes with lentils. I’m sorry, it’s all too much for me. I don’t want to eat like that.

It’s true that we didn’t eat like that at home growing up, but we didn’t eat poorly either. tumblr_nthjnsfh061r38eolo1_500I blame my bad habits on hanging out with the guys. Chicken wings and beer? Sure! Pizza watching the game? You bet. Those other girls may fill their plates with raw broccoli and carrots, but I’m going to have a delicious bowl of chili. With cheese. And sour cream. And Fritos. Ok, I’m done. Except maybe I’ll have a brownie too.

Years of eating like that has certainly taken its toll. Being “one of the guys” when you’re really a girl doesn’t always pay off. I’m learning to eat better, but old habits die hard. What I wouldn’t give for a double cheeseburger and fries right now.