Beautiful Snacks

I love to eat.

It’s really that simple. Now, if I could just negotiate that I eat only when I’m hungry I’d be well on my way to my healthy eating holy grail. I have no doubts that I will be able to figure this out for myself when I decide that it’s time. My first step will be to eat ONLY those things that I love and make me happy. I certainly don’t mean that I’m only going to eat pizza all the time – and I love pizza, there’s no doubt about that! So, I guess my pre-first step has already been that I do my best to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet. Now I can turn my attention to what I love and makes me happy! Here goes…

I started thinking about this when I made a tossed together snack of a toasted, light English muffin spread with 1 triangle of Laughing Cow Cheese and topped with a spoonful of medium salsa on each half. It was surprisingly perfect – crunchy, creamy, with a touch of spicy heat (3 SP). I had no idea I was going to love it so much. Another fabulous thing about it was that it was more than just one bite, I could reasonably savor it for a short while. That is a beautiful snack, in my opinion, and I smile just thinking about it.

Now I’m wondering what other items I can include on my Beautiful Snack list. What do I love? What makes me happy? Perhaps I can help narrow my view by recognizing a thing of two about what I don’t like and what makes me a bit sad. There are foods I’m not overly fond of and those are easy to identify for myself, but what I truly do not like is when the amount of food is very small. The idea of ONE bite of something delicious makes me sad – pouty sad. I’m not a be-all and end-all type when it comes to chocolate, I can truthfully take it or leave it. So I will count my blessings that I don’t have to negotiate that territory! Chocolate is not on my Beautiful Snack list.

Let’s see…here are some things that would make my cut:

  • A crisp, sweet apple – cut into wedges. Sometimes I will add 2 tablespoons of PB2.
  • A juicy, pear – cut into quarters, eaten on a plate with a fork.
  • A light English muffin toasted and spread with 1 tablespoon of hummus on each half and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
  • Starkist Tuna Creations Hot Buffalo Style Tuna with 2 tablespoons of Skinnytaste blue cheese dressing (http://www.skinnytaste.com/low-fat-creamy-blue-cheese-dressing/).
  • Homemade, roasted red peppers or beets or Brussel sprouts.

That’s definitely a start! YUM! Big flavor and a variety of textures seem to be my leanings. Let the search continue.

What’s on your Beautiful Snack list?

A Milestone and a Goal

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In 80 days I will be celebrating my 50th birthday. 50! I’m not angry, upset, embarrassed, or in denial, I am a bit perplexed, though. The concept of being 50 years old baffles me – how did I get here already? I know who I am and how I feel and that doesn’t jive with my previous understanding of what being 50 is. The laugh must be on me! The truth and reality of being 50 years old is not rigid and set in stone, it’s not any one thing for all people. Yes, it is a fixed number and that is how many years I will have inhabited this body, but I am absolutely certain that each of us is much, much more than a number – if we want to be. Now, if I can just wrap my mind around BEING 50 without falling into a wide-eyed stare I’ll have a much better appearance heading into this next year. Anyway…

My goal to achieve in the next 80 days is to reclaim my goal weight. I know that I can reach this goal. The challenges I have within this timeframe are rooted in my emotions and past experience. This Friday begins my summer vacation from school, which means many exciting and rejuvenating things but it also signals a complete change in the structure of my day. I long for this lack of structure, but I am acutely aware that I depend upon it to keep me in check and on track as far as my eating and moving are concerned. It’s time I reason out a new form of structure to guide me through the summer.

Another challenge heading my way as the summer commences is that I’m heading home to Wisconsin to take a class in World Drumming and visit my family. I’m looking forward to all of this, but my history with heading back home has had me quickly returning to my not so healthy eating and exercise habits of days gone by. I know I can’t control everything heading my way in this setting so I must keep my birthday goal fresh in my mind and gage what it is that I want most in the moment.

And yet another challenge that will present itself soon after I return from Wisconsin is a fabulous Eastern Europe river cruise vacation Mark and I have planned for mid-July. It’s going to be luxurious and grand, and the sites we will be seeing will be new and exciting. Once again I must keep my goal front and center and enjoy the sight-seeing excursions more than those involving food. I will enjoy the local fare as I might not encounter these fresh options again, but I can enjoy it and enjoy feeling satisfied rather than stuffed after the fact.

Front and center: I will reclaim my goal weight by my birthday in September. I will focus on the moment and remind myself of the goal I want to achieve. I will enjoy the new structure and experiences my summer vacation has to offer. I will try new things and be conscious of how I feel.

50, physically and emotionally healthy, and at my goal weight – that’s exactly where I’m headed.

What are your summer goals?

 

Eating by 22 Minute Hard Corps

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I’m a Weight Watcher for life. In fact, I’m a Lifetime Member of WeightWatchers. In complete honesty, though, I’m a Lifetime Member of WeightWatchers making my way back to my goal weight. The road back is more challenging than the road I took to get to my goal in the first place, but I’m personally assimilating the knowledge and skills this time around and that will serve me brilliantly for the rest of my life.

As I stagger through the end of the school year and deal with the various emotional ups and downs that pass my way I’ve found it more challenging to plan meals and even eat the meals that I have planned. It’s become apparent to me that when I’m stressed out and tired I lose all motivation to do what I know I need to do to eat for my best health. I completely understand how I’m feeling and I definitely know how to plan and prep for meals, but down to my bones I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT. In order to not think about it I decided to follow the eating plan that came along with the Beachbody fitness program “22 Minute Hard Corps.”

The nutrition plan is clean and straight forward. The recipes are easily prepared and quite tasty. I figured out my “Ration Plan” by answering a few questions and chose to follow the daily structure breakdown of what to eat for each meal and snack. The plan makes sense and I followed it quite successfully. Here’s what I learned –

  1. Eating more protein keeps me satisfied for a longer period of time
  2. Because I’m not starving going into lunch I can eat a smaller amount and continue feeling satisfied
  3. Eating a healthy fat for an afternoon snack seems small but it gets me through to dinner without a problem
  4. A serving of protein and vegetables for dinner seems skimpy but, once again, it’s enough
  5. I don’t need to have an evening snack because I’m hungry – I’m not hungry
  6. Although I love fruit I shouldn’t eat it endlessly because it’s good for me, watching my portion sizes and quantities will only benefit me in the long run

My big Ah-ha! though is that I need to adopt my “no think” method of exercising – which has made working out a natural part of my every day – to my approach for eating. I’ll think about what my body needs to feel its best, but I’m going to turn off that part of my brain that petulantly insists that it deserves to eat whatever I want whenever I want it.

What I really deserve and what I really want is to feel great – healthy and satisfied.