Natural and Whole foods – Looking ahead to lifelong habits

One of my challenges in losing weight is battling my tendencies to get more food for each point in the Weight Watchers food plan. Those zero-point foods become more attractive, and that’s the way WW intended it to be. If we focus on lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables, we will become healthier and lose weight.

However, a problem arises when we start manipulating foods with artificial flavorings and sweeteners in order to stretch out those WW points. When we start doing that, we aren’t learning to be satisfied with smaller portions, and we aren’t learning to rely on whole, natural foods.

17 Best images about Fresh & Healthy Food on Pinterest ...

A few days ago I bought a diet lemonade (sweetened with Splenda) from Chick Fil A. Within a little while I had a headache. I’ve noticed that several times recently – a headache and usually stomach upset not long after drinking or eating something with artificial sweeteners. Yesterday I made a dozen muffins using a sugar-free cake mix as the base. “Sugar-free” typically means “sweetened with artificial sweetener,” and that was the case with these muffins. I ate one of the muffins for lunch, and all afternoon I’ve had digestive issues as a result. The rest of the muffins are going in the trash.

When I consider the fact that I started this WW health, fitness, and mindfulness journey in order to become healthier, then I don’t want to eat or drink anything that doesn’t foster that. Every now and then, I will still enjoy a Diet Coke. However, rather than a multiple-times-a-day thing, it is now something I consume maybe two or three times a month.  And that is okay for now. I may cut them out entirely at some point.

Cartoon thinking man with question mark in think bubble ...

My mother is 97 years old, and one of the reasons (I believe) that she has led such a long and mostly healthy life is that she sticks to healthy food: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain bread. She almost never eats pork, and she has lots of meatless meals.

No major insight for this post – just a reminder to myself of the importance of natural, whole foods. That will continue to be one of my focuses for my daily life.

Weekly Weigh-In – 11/13/2020

It’s Friday which means it is weigh-in day. When I suddenly gained approximately 5 pounds a little under two weeks ago, I assumed (incorrectly) that it was just a temporary water gain. However, I still have another pound to lose to get to my low weight of exactly two weeks ago.

However, I am committed to sticking with WW for life. So this is just a little bump on the road. When I started this journey in July, I would have been thrilled to weigh what I do right now.

Short term goal is to get to -15 lbs. Then it will be 5-pound increments for my goals. I’m particularly excited to reach -25 because that will be the lowest I’ve been since around 2005.

Review: Lakanto Drinking Chocolate

I saw an ad online for Lakanto Drinking Chocolate. Since I like the Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener, I decided to give it a try. I found it on Amazon and ordered a package. It was delivered this morning. Instead of brewing a cup of herbal tea, I decided to try the drinking chocolate. I made it using boiling water. Made with water, it is 0 points (WW Blue). It is sweet and chocolatey. Too sweet, actually. So I poured it out and decided to try it with unsweetened almond milk instead.

I heated a cup of unsweetened almond milk (1 point per cup – WW Blue) and it was much better. Still super-sweet, though.

I give Lakanto Drinking Chocolate 6 out of 10 stars. It’s good – a little too sweet for me, though. However, for those times I want something chocolatey and sweet, it might just hit the spot.

Now I’m trying to decide if I want to finish my cup of drinking chocolate made with almond milk or brew a cup of herbal tea.

Meal Prep: Quick and Easy Bread Dough

I made bread dough for the week – six portions worth. Two of the portions will be used for pizza (Recipe here). Two will be used for two meals of Pigs-in-a-Blanket (Recipe here) one for now, and one for a second meal that I will freeze for later. One portion will go for Cheesy Biscuits with Eggs (recipe here), and the sixth portion will be used for Chicken Pot Pie. That recipe will be posted later.

Forgive the goofiness! I watch my videos and think, “Lord, I bang things around in the kitchen like Julia Child – give directions and then have to reverse them, and then I get carried away weighing dough when it really doesn’t matter! That’s life and reality – at least my reality. Enjoy!

This is a great way to meal prep or the week. When the dough is already made and in the refrigerator, then those meals that use the dough are so much simpler to make.

You will see from the video that it’s easy and quick, too.

The recipe I use made 6 portions. Each portion includes 1/2 cup self-rising flour which is either 5 or 6 points (WW Blue plan), depending on the brand.

Recipe: Vegetable Beef Soup (WW Blue – less than 1 point per serving)

I made a WW-friendly vegetable beef soup today, and it is delicious! The video will walk you through how to make it. The recipe is below.

The soup base is:

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef (10 WW Blue points)

2-3 can diced tomatoes (0 points)

1 can tomato sauce (0 points)

1 quart beef broth (0 point)*

approx. 1 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery (0 points)

Salt and pepper, to taste (0 points)

Directions: Brown the ground beef in a large soup pot. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Now add your vegetables – I usually buy a bag of frozen soup vegetables. However, you can use fresh, frozen, or canned (drain canned vegetables) – corn, carrots, peas, beans, garlic, peppers, potatoes (count the points for potatoes).

Bring to a boil. You can add more beef broth if the soup is too thick. Let the soup simmer for a couple hours to thoroughly meld all the flavors.

This soup will keep in the refrigerator for several days, and it freezes well.

POINTS: I add additional beef broth, if needed, to bring my total amount to 18 cups – which equals 18 servings.

10 total points divided by 18 servings – .555 points (which rounds of to 1 point.

*Some beef broths scan as 0 points for a quart, and some scan as 1 or 2 points for a quart. It depends on the fat content of the particular broth you buy. Scan the broth you use to figure your points. However, even at 2 points a quart, the total still equals less than 1 point per cup/serving.

 

Weekly Weigh-In – 10/16/2020

It’s Friday – which means it is my official weigh-in date. In terms of weight loss, this is the best week I’ve had since I started on 7/19/2020. The 2.8 lbs lost is measured from last Friday (10/9/2020) to today – one week.

October 16, 2020

It is interesting to note that this week I used all my daily points, all my weekly points, and even went into the negative numbers on weekly points. I don’t think I could consistently eat that much and continue to lose, but maybe it was a re-set of some kind . . . or who knows? I’m grateful for it.

I had a videohealth doctor’s appointment yesterday – and I will go in for blood work and my flu shot and pneumonia shot and to see the doctor in person next week. I’m hoping my blood work will be improved (sugar, cholesterol, etc.) after three months of cleaner eating. Stay tuned.

My take-away from yesterday’s doctor’s appointment is a renewed commitment to clean eating – with as little processed food as possible. It is so tempting when trying to lose weight to want to use artificial sweeteners and processed foods because the calories & points are more controlled. However, this is more than than a weight loss diet. I want to create eating habits that I can sustain for the rest of my life. And I don’t want artificial and processed foods to be more than an occasional part of my life.

Oh yes! One thing I’ve been doing differently is that I’m on an herbal tea kick. I’ve been drinking herbal tea during the day, and I always drink a cup before going to bed. So maybe that is helping, too.

This happened today!

See the source image

I’m in shock. I got on the scale this morning fully expecting for the number to be up a couple pounds because, although I’ve been following the WW plan and I’ve logged all my points, I’ve already used up ALL my weekly points. Today isn’t my weigh-in day, but when I saw the number on the scale, I decided I’m logging it anyway. LOL!

Monday will be my 3-month “anniversary” of starting WW. So that brings my average up to almost 4 pounds per month. Wow! I totally will take that.

Yesterday I had a friend lean over and say, “You’ve lost weight, haven’t you?” It is nice for someone that did not know I am on WW to notice the weight loss.