Friday, May 28, 2010

It's been too long

Yet again, it's time to confess. May has not been a good eating month for me, and when I realized it's almost June, my internal voice screamed ENOUGH!

I would love to figure out how I can be so on target with my eating for so long, and then puff -- my best intentions are gone. I know I had my daughter's wedding hanging over my head, which really did keep me on track. But as soon as she said "I do," I started to say the same thing to all the things I've avoided for months. I do want those cookies. So I ate them. I do want licorice. So I ate it. I do want ice cream. I think you get the picture.

I've also avoided posting -- something my husband reminds me daily -- but I have felt like such a fraud and could not write a word.

So now, today, I'm back on track. I've actually been back for two days -- and believe me that is an amazing accomplishment. But of course, I needed a crutch, and I found it in the Fullbar -- It was developed by Dr. Micheal Snyder, a surgeon at the Bariatric Center for Excellence in Colorado. Daily, he treats the obese, which got him thinking about those of us who do not qualify for -- or do not want -- stomach surgery to lose weight. He began working with a food scientist, eventually creating what I am praying is my solution to shed some serious weight. You eat one Fullbar 30 minutes before lunch and dinner, along with a 16-oz. glass of water. According to Dr. Synder, the ingredients in the Fullbar expand in your stomach, which makes you feel full. So you are more sated before you begin your meal, which will translate into your eating less calories at your meals.

It might all be in my mind, but the last two days, it's worked for me. It reminds me of Ayds, the chewy diet caramels that were the rage in the '70s and '80s. I used them for years, eating a few before meals with a hot cup of coffee or tea, and they really did help me maintain a healthy weight. But as public awareness for AIDS increased, Ayds sales dropped in half, and not even a name change could help the ailing company.

So for now, it's two Fullbars a day and lots of water. And if I make it through this long holiday weekend making good food choices, I really will have something to celebrate -- ME -- someone I have been berating and abusing this month of May. It's time to start treating my body with respect, filling it with foods that will fuel my energy level and keep me healthy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pick of the Week: Mushrooms

Week seven of's list of 13 super foods, which means I am more than halfway through the list. So far, all the foods are my favorites, the ones I eat at least once each week. And today. mushrooms, is no exception. One of my children does not eat mushrooms, and I have to admit I have no idea why. Mushrooms are terrific, a perfect side dish, or a wonderful ingredient in all so many recipes.

Everyday Health chose mushrooms, citing Eastern medicine's claims that mushrooms have powerful effects on the immune system – especially the maitake, shiitake, and reishi varieties. The Web site says that maitake helps prevent and treat cancer, viral diseases, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. In fact, mushrooms are used as a complementary cancer treatment throughout Asia because of their ability to counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation while simultaneously shrinking tumors. What's more, Japanese researchers have found that regularly eating shiitake mushrooms lowers blood cholesterol levels up to 45 percent.

The problem is that these mushrooms are often hard to find. Dried versions, which need to be reconstituted, are terrific substitutions.

Chosing: Mushrooms should be firm and plump, with no bruises or soft spots. Never choose -- or eat -- slimy mushrooms.

Storing: You really should eat mushrooms within two, three days tops of bringing them home. Store mushrooms, unwashed, in the packaging they come in.

Preparing: To wash or not to wash? Mushrooms are like sponges, so you really never want to soak them. Purists wipe each mushroom with a damp cloth, but if I had to do that, I would never eat mushrooms. I rinse each lightly, and dry well with a paper towel. I do this right before cooking, and I don't think my mushrooms suffer.

One of my favorite recipes is to clean a large portobello cap, fill it with marinara sauce, top with shredded mozzarella, and sprinkle with dried oregano, fresh basil and granulated garlic, and bake it at 350 degrees about 20 minutes. It's my wheat-free version of pizza.

4 portobello caps
2 Tblsp. soy sauce
2 Tblsp. dark sesame oil
1 Tblsp. minced ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Preheat the broiler; rack should be about 6 inches from the heat source.
  • Wash mushrooms, cleaning out the centers. Place on a baking sheet, with top sides of the mushrooms facing down.
  • Whisk together all ingredients until well mixed.
  • Brush evenly over mushrooms.
  • Broil the mushrooms about 10 minutes, until they soften a bit. Terrific served with grilled chicken, fish or beef.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's all about change

A few weeks ago, one of the challenges on the Biggest Loser really hit home. For those of you who watch the show, contestants held a tray of quarters in one hand. It sounds easy, but as I watched each of the contestants drop their trays because their hands cramped up, I started to think about change -- and how small it seems, but how significant it becomes to any weight-loss plan.

Because that is what weight loss is about: CHANGE. You cannot lose weight if you continue to do the status quo. That behavior is what got me overweight. So change it is.

But it's so hard. It's so much easier to revert to past habits, because although they might not be healthy, they are comforting. What I have to remember is that comfort after comfort after comfort (translation: bowls of ice cream after Twizzlers after pretzles) eventually brings me days of trying to get back on track.

My lifestyles coach Heather Pierce taught me tricks to break my inner negative feelings. Or, as one my friend Ann tells me all the time: "Stop being so hard on yourself."

I am changing. I am becoming more positive about me. I have always been positive about most everything else. Me is hard. But I am beginning to banish my inner negativity. It's hard, but I do believe it might be the key to unlocking my inner thinness. It's in there someplace. And I'm beginning to believe it is gradually coming true.

Monday, May 3, 2010