Thursday, January 24, 2013

Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit! Sort Of!

My goal, remember, was a day of perfectly healthful eating, to see whether that would make a difference in my zumba performance. Let's see what happened!
  1. I didn't eat perfectly healthfully but I ate mostly healthfully.
  2. I was much less tired and felt more energetic at Wednesday's class than Tuesday's. And I even did five minutes of the dreaded abs. (But then she had us do 20,000 variations of The Plank and I cried uncle and went home to drink hot chai and watch Modern Family. C'mon, wouldn't you?)
Of course, on Tuesday I hadn't exercised in six days; on Wednesday I'd exercised just the day before. And on Tuesday I wore the workout pants that always make me feel hotter (it's 4 degrees here, people! I thought it would help!), and on Wednesday I wore my exercise capris, which, while made of a material that feels like sweat pants, are wonderfully moisture-wicking.

Nonetheless, I think it's clear that lighter eating on zumba days is a good thing.

Why it wasn't a perfect food day: I forgot that I was hosting my writers group in the a.m., and I had to make muffins for them. Some time ago I bought Trader Joe's Blueberry Muesli cereal, and ohmylord was it awful, but I couldn't bear to throw out a whole bag of perfectly good food before trying something different, and I remembered KT telling me ages ago that you can make muffins out of any unwanted dry cereal, so I Googled "Blueberry Muesli Muffins" and found a lovely recipe that also involved bananas; the recipe writer is based in the UK, so I had to convert "125 grams of butter" (one stick, in case you're wondering) and I didn't even address the Celsius baking temp, I simply baked them at 350, and they are sublime. They're full of fruit (fresh blueberries, in addition to the cereal, and three bananas!), but I still wouldn't call them "healthy" per se, given that stick of butter, and there's also a good quantity of brown sugar. And throughout the day I did eat three of them.

Also, because I'd pecked so lightly during the day, by dinnertime I was ravenous, and I inhaled a grilled cheese sandwich (on whole-wheat bread! Still, yes, I know, not #1 on anyone's Nutrition Hit Parade), and two small bowls of tomato-and-roasted-red-pepper soup, and two helpings of veggie-packed salad, and a big handful of grapes. I ate this at 5:30 and zumba is at 7:30, so it worked out okay, but my best pre-zumba dinner is a cup of yogurt. I think the rhythm of large lunch, tiny light dinner really is the best one for me on zumba days — I'll work on it.

By the way, when I refer to my veggie-packed salads, here's what I put in them: lettuce (duh), carrots, celery, red pepper, radishes, scallions, snap peas, and snow peas. These are things we always have on hand. If I have broccoli (or broccoli slaw) or cauliflower (my favorite raw veg!) or zucchini, they go in too. If I have leftover steamed green beans or asparagus, they go in. If I have any other leafy green (spinach, arugula), it goes in. (But no tomatoes or cucumbers, Husband can't abide either. My mom can hardly fathom green salad without tomatoes, but I got used to it with no problem. And I have fresh tomatoes in many other capacities, no worries! Mimosa and I eat Caprese salad all summer long.) Last night it was just the basics, and it was scrumptious. Someone gave me a bottle of Trader Joe's Low Fat Champagne Vinaigrette, and I swooned over its yumminess.

I am a total vegetable girl. I have to remind myself to eat fruit. Fruit bores me (unless it's summer and the nectarines are ripe — I do love a ripe nectarine). I know this is not the norm.

Another thing I'm realizing is that my weekends have gotten out of control, food-wise. On Saturdays, if I did a lot of cooking during the week, we tend to have leftovers for lunch (which is fine), and then we have a "treat" for dinner as a reward for all those chores we did. But for whatever reason we haven't had a lot of leftovers these past few weeks, and Mimosa has a karate class from 12:30 to 1:30, making the "lunch hour" a tad challenging, and it is just so easy for Husband to grab deli sandwiches for us all, which we plow into ravenously at 1:40. And then we still have our "treat" dinner, usually pizza. And then on Sunday, I find myself unable to time my life appropriately enough to have breakfast before church, so I spend the second half of the worship service salivating over dreams of tacos, and the minute we're released from the holy environs, I'm racing to my car with visions of a huge lunch in my head.

Yes, I'm an idiot and my own worst enemy. (Thank you, we've met.) But now that I've named the problem (Step 1!), I can start figuring out what to do about it. Stay tuned!

Tonight we're having pork chops and green bean casserole and tossed salad and apple salad and perhaps I'll dream up an interesting starchy side dish. Or, hmm, I think I have a recipe for Pork Chops and Pears with Quinoa — maybe I'll try that? Or maybe I'll just split and broil the remaining blueberry muffins (which are so fabby that I almost want to buy some more of that awful muesli!). Either way, we're having a good dinner — and I don't have to go anywhere tonight! Sweet.

I love when people tell me that I'm an inspiration, because, dear God, I am SO not inspiring myself!! I am feeling quite the failure, frankly. Okay, "failure" is too strong — I do give myself credit for keeping off the weight I've lost. But I still have so far to go, and I'm seeing nothing resembling movement. And I know the solution is to exercise more and to eat less and differently (duh!), but I just can't seem to bring myself there. Don't ask me why. Perhaps it's the time of year; it's so cold, and I just want to hibernate slothfully under a blanket of warm delicious food.

Yah, that's it. How can I possibly lose weight when I have to battle every element of the universe? I'm just one girl!! Who gets tired during zumba!!

OK, OK. I will dial it down and instead think of that old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

(Ew. Please don't serve me elephant. I'm not much of a meat eater to begin with; I think elephant would do me in.)

(Yes, I know pork chops are meat. Hush.)

Love to all,

Lady C, ready to approach her day one bite at a time


  1. Me, too: love the vegetables, not the fruit. If someone wants to prepare the fruit so all I have to do is eat it with a fork, I'm okay with it, but otherwise fruit is messy and inconvenient. And not as sweet as I'd like so I'd eat one of your muffins instead.

    1. We are sisters in glamour and veggie-loving, my friend. Yes, same; if someone does the work and presents me with a fruit plate, okay, yawn, I'll eat it. But I'm not *excited* about it. And the window for perfect ripeness (and therefore maximum sweetness) seems so fleeting! and hard to spot, sometimes! I'm having very bad luck with this year's crop of Clementines, which are usually one of January's special treats. They've all been dry and rather tasteless. I blame global warming. You can blame Al Gore. :)

      love you!

  2. OMG I love fruit so much. I'm learning to love veggies just as much, but it's a slow transition. Your blueberry muffins sound divine - you should post the recipe. And we've all had weekends like yours. Last weekend was not a good diet weekend for me, either. Pizza, tacos, AND ice cream. Oh well. We can't be too hard on ourselves. We should chalk it up to a bad moment and begin again tomorrow!

    1. I will post the recipe! And I'll be sure to credit the nice UK mummy who came up with it. Trader Joe's should thank me for the run on their crap muesli that is sure to result.

      Pizza, tacos, and ice cream -- oh, Katie, you are living my dream life!!!

      Yes, there is always another tomorrow in which to begin anew. Thank goodness!