After a rocky binge-filled start to my anti-calorie efforts, I have finally settled into a comfortable place. My weight has stabilized where it was meant to be. I've forced myself to find things I like about my figure and focus on them when I feel unattractive. I'm learning how to gauge my hunger and differentiate it from emotional or temporal "hunger" (I used to be physically hungry all the time because I was restricting myself, so there really was no difference). Also, in giving myself permission to grab whatever I want instead of counting it out first, I'm learning what sort of meals I've been secretly craving, with some surprising side effects:
1) I haven't eaten meat since last weekend. This isn't part of some grand cow-saving scheme; I just haven't wanted any.
2) To my surprise, I've found that it's true that things stop tasting good after you've eaten enough. This never happened in starvation mode.
3) I naturally gravitate towards the Mrs. Alley Diet.
I wrote about the Mrs. Alley Diet last year, when I was but an innocent reference assistant with a lot of free time on her hands. Too bad I never really followed the prescription. To recap: Mrs. Alley was my 2nd grade teacher. She taught us about nutrition by holding up cards with pictures of different meals, and we were supposed to tell her whether they were "balanced" or not. Thanks to her, there's still some urge buried deep in my gray matter to cover at least four food groups per meal. And when I'm just pulling things off the shelves to eat, this can result in some bizarre combinations. Examples:
The bran muffin is for carbs and fiber, the corn for veggies, and the cheese for dairy and fats. Believe it or not, this was a perfectly satisfying dinner on Tuesday. And this was lunch on Wednesday:
A black bean burger made with onions, carrots and eggs, on a piece of whole wheat & flax bread with colby-jack on top knocked out the protein, veggies, complex carbs and dairy in one hand-held shot. I may have had an apple afterwards for fruits too. Yesterday's lunch wasn't quite as compact, but it was pretty:
I made the corn and basil cakes from Eating Well that LeLe lurves so much :D
I used cilantro because that's what I had on hand, but she was right--these cakes are very flippable, soft, spongy and savory. And they have both vegetables and carbs, so with some fruit and cheese for dairy I was all set.
And last night, I found that if you pair one of these:
With a couple of these:
You can call your noshing "balanced" because you've covered every single one of the groups: veggies (spinach), fruit (frozen banana & strawberries), dairy (soy milk), carbs (oats and whole wheat flour), protein (PB in the cookies), and healthy fats (canola oil & coconut in the cookies) in one delicious night.
If you eat the corn cakes with a Morningstar farms breakfast patty, a banana, and a mug of soy milk, you can feel virtuous all morning. I'll feel even more virtuous after my walk/jog in the park before lunch. And I'll need all the virtue I can get, because a true test of my resilience will come tonight at AMIL's 4th of July celebration. Burgers and cupcakes, here I come!