Sunday, April 25, 2010

And so the frenzy ends

Back home from trip to Portland. Alas, WW will not see me tomorrow for weigh in. Or any time soon. I joyfully admit to over indulging while on the trip. It was a food conference, after all.
The best: the food carts on Alder between 9th and 10th. My favorite was Sasawadee, a Thai cart. The best, and I do mean the best, Pad Thai I have ever tasted. Salty, sweet and sour. All beautifully balanced in a moderately spicy sauce. Wish I could have some right now. And the woman who runs the place, loved her because she loves what she does. Customers lined up. She knew most of them and their "regular" orders.
The Farmer's Market near the University: Wow. Speechless. Mushrooms. Colorful carrots. Lots of stuff we don't get here in the desert. Beautiful vegetables. Wished I had a kitchen to cook them in. Crowded. Bustling. Multigenerational and multicultural market. Best chocolate chip cookies from Pearl Bakery. Tasted Montreal bagel for the first time. Not a NY bagel but still good. Stood on line for an eternity for a fried chicken (yes, fried chicken) biscuit from Pine State but they ran out as soon as we got to front of the line!
Pizza from Apizza Scholls. Bacon pizza. Cannot describe how delicious that was. They add raw strips of bacon which cooks while pizza cooks so rendered fat becomes part of flavor. Hello! Jalapeno, walnut pesto, ricotta pizza was least favorite but still pretty good. Crust was amazing. Smoky. Actually cooked all the way through. Loved it.
Nostrano: great meal especially the pork chop with tomato jam. Packed with people still waiting at 10 pm. Not like my sleepy Phoenix town!
Clyde Commons: on a Tuesday night, not a seat in the house at 9:30 at night. Turning people away. Not our favorite restaurant. Noise level and food aimed at "younger" foodies.
Kenny and Zuke's: Yeah, not gonna cut it for us. Pastrami not even close to Langer's. No contest. Thickly cut. Too smokey for our tastes. Not fatty enough. Chopped liver was pate consistency....that's not chopped liver. And they served it with....Kalamata olives! Come on, people. But I did have a cream soda.
Other carts: Korean (my husband's favorite but not mine); Greek (excellent). Husband also liked Turkish cart. I didn't get to eat at all the carts. Had to attend meetings!
Heathman: always good. Just a quickie lunch before leaving for airport. I decided to have something I've never eaten in my life: steak and eggs. Two perfectly poached eggs (perfectly poached) with tasty steak, home fries and grilled asparagus. Hollandaise was sort of overkill and tasteless. There was already enough fat on the plate to kill a horse. Worth the assault on my arteries.
Oh, almost forgot Pok Pok: Good flavors. Didn't blow us away. Cleaned our plates anyway!

Back to reality today. Eating with a little bit of mindfulness. Just a hint. Went to the gym. Thinking I might actually cook dinner tonight EXCEPT that it is fried chicken night at NOCA so who knows. One more splurge. Just one. Tonight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let the eating frenzy begin

Tomorrow morning I leave for Portland to attend International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) meeting. This would be a great test of my ability to eat intuitively and to make healthier choices. It would be if I were willing to test those abilities. I'm not. At least not at a foodie event. A five day foodie event. In a great food city. With so much fresh fish and local veggies and young chefs. Give me a break. No way. I've already lined up the restaurants, perused the menus, made my mental choices. I'm ready. To eat. I'll try to avoid the Pepsi trap. And I might stay away desserts or perhaps take one bite. But the "food". I have to . I want to. I will. So WW be damned for this week. Points out the window. Elastic waisted pants? Packed. Big billowy shirts? Packed. Umbrella? Packed. Sneakers and work out clothes? Packed. Ready for the party.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Back at WW

Almost forgot to report my first week at WW. So, not exactly committed this time. Not keeping a log of what I eat or counting points. Did weigh and measure and stayed away from foods with too many points. Because I'm so old I only have 20 points plus the 35 extra for the week plus the exercise points. Not really a lot so once I've had my porteins, dairy, fruits and veg, there isn't much left for anything else. Boo hoo.
Without following the diet but also sort of following the diet, I lost 2 1/2 pounds the first week. Way less than I probably would have if I'd been accountable but still a weight loss.
This week. Another story....well, the same story only worse. Have not written down anything. Have not looked up anything. Have eaten out. Had french fries. Had ice cream. But still not in the quantities I would normally consume. Not sure how this will play out. I believe I'm within points even with those foods because of activity but not sure. Moment of truth is noon on Monday when I get on the scale.
Meeting kills me. But I go. And I stay. Best thing about WW and about the meetings is that the leader is kind and always helpful. Very large woman joined. Leader treated her with dignity and kindness. Woman had some trouble getting on scale. Didn't want to take off her shoes. Probably would have had trouble taking them off and putting them back on. Bravo for the woman, though. She came. She got weighed. She faced probably one of her biggest fears--the scale. Hope all goes well for her at the first weigh in on Monday so that she feels some sense of accomplishment.
Think perhaps I am not sticking to the "rules" because I am finally being more mindful and intuitive. I'm not eating unless hungry. Not waiting until starving. Stopping when I've had enough. Even if there's still food and it tastes good. So paying for WW but actually following my own program.
WW now uses mindful approach. Each time I join there is another element added.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Morning After

It's the morning after The Biggest Loser. I've had time to mull over last night's episode. I teared up again last night. I'm amazed at the accomplishments of this group. I'm still a little creeped out with Sunshine's father's dedication to her but I shouldn't be-I'm that dedicated to my kids.
I wish: There's been no discussion that I can recall about why someone might hit a plateau or why women's weight might fluctuate. And I don't remember ever hearing anything like "don't expect these results at home".
We teach people that losing up to two pounds a week on a weight loss regimen is the healthy way to lose. Then we see people distraught when they get on the scale and they've only lost five pounds! So how about reminding us that what we're seeing isn't "real". That these people are eating minimal calories and exercising excessively. That it's not real life. Not even close to real life. How about reminding the audience that as the contestants get "smaller" (and with this group, that's a relative term since they are still very big by most standards) they can expect to lose more slowly. How about some reality in this reality tv show.

This morning I realized that we're seeing less and less of Jillian and Bob. Or at least it seems that way. Perhaps because they aren't being as obnoxious? Gosh, the vomiting has stopped. Or they're not focusing on making people work out so hard that they vomit. And Jillian is now the soft spoken "therapist". From raging maniacal trainer to sweetheart all in one season.

Did I miss something or was there no product placement last night?

I didn't like that the group was taken away from breakfast to perform a challenge. Bad message. Ally should have told them to finish eating and then go work out. And watching them pour cereal and milk without weighing amounts was perhaps not the best message either. Sure, by this time they should have pretty good eyeballing skills but weighing and measuring could be an opportunity for teaching the audience. Oh, excuse me. This isn't an instructional show but "entertainment". And who had the idea that watching people sweat, vomit and expose their rolls of fat would be good entertainment? Some genius.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

WW saga

I'm trying. I'm weighing. I'm measuring. I'm writing down points. Only Day 3 and I'm dreaming of food already. Where to eat tomorrow night. Read a blog review of new Puerto Rican restaurant in Scottsdale. Mmmmm. Nothing in review sounds remotely "legal" even though WW says you can eat anything you want. Well, not if the dish is 20 points because then all I can have for the rest of the day is water.
I made the WW unlimited soup recipe. Lots of cabbage, some carrots, onions, garlic. I added cayenne. It's actually pretty tasty but of course would benefit form a dash of olive oil and fresh bread crouton. But, hey, then it won't be "free" and unlimited.
Trying to space out the food. A little here. A little there. Right now I'm kind of hungry. Salad? 1/2 sandwich? Already had my milk for the day. With chocolate syrup. Yes,I'm counting the syrup.
Wish it was Monday already because that would mean I got thru the weekend. Movies and dinner out on Saturday. With people who eat pretty healthfully, have no weight problems and love food. So I'll just follow their lead, I guess. I guess. No movie popcorn, though. No matter how good it smells. Not "worth" the points. Using the points for real food. Not for splurge food. Would rather eat another ounce of meat or another glass of chocolate milk than have a donut.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Biggest Loser Recap

I'll not complain about the product placement anymore. I know when something like that is coming so I just take a moment to do something else. They telegraph it so well. It's always in the kitchen. "Let's have a talk about....cereal, chewing gum, protein powder, etc." Bye bye. I'll just go check on the chicken in the oven or read some e-mails.
I was very disturbed by the potentially unhealthy challenge of trying to lose 6 pounds in a few days. I know these are still very big people who still have a lot to lose but they've reduced their body weight enough by now to have their weight loss slow down. To expect it to slow down. How to lose a lot of weight in a short time: dehydrate, exercise to exhaustion, eat very little. And I'm guessing that's how the winner did it. I hope the staff rethinks this challenge for future contestants. They learned now to have 300 pound people run in the hot sun on the beach last time. Here's another challenge that could have been disastrous but luckily ended before anyone got sick.
The weight loss is obvious on all of remaining contestants now. And it's impressive. This will be an interesting finale because it is doubtful that anyone will show up as emaciated as on the last two seasons. At least I hope not because it will mean they starved or dehydrated or worked out too much. These are still pretty big people but they've lost enough now to have improved their health profile. That's the important issue.
I would like to see more of what they eat. How much they eat. How soon before they work out or after they work out do they eat? If they work out as much as it seems they do, when do they have time to eat???
Are they always drinking the protein enhanced water or do they drink plain water as well? More info on the eating and less product placement!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Defeat and Victory

Well, I am giving up and giving in. I did it again. I joined WW today. I'm actually relieved. I haven't been doing anything at all to help myself. I've been overeating. Making poor choices. Not being mindful. And getting fatter. I need some structure and I don't mean a diet plan. I'll count points. I'll get weighed. I'll start to get back to mindful eating. It's been two years since I started this blog and went on WW last time. And I'm right back where I started.
Dieting most certainly is not the answer. WW is not the answer. I'm the problem and the solution. I had to do something, though. So I chose something familiar and comfortable.
I'm hoping this helps me get back on track. I wish I could believe that I will lose some weight and maintain the loss but that would mean changing my habits for good. I'm already thinking about what to eat on Mother's Day and on my birthday. I'm thinking about dim sum and french fries and Pinkberry and I haven't even started WW yet!
I admit that food is my comfort. Food is my pleasure. Other things give me pleasure but nothing like a crisp fry or a flavorful slice of Peking Duck on a fluffy white bun. Those are pleasures that cannot be denied. Finding a way to incorporate them into a healthier lifestyle--that's the issue. Learning to have one piece of duck skin and a handful of fries. I shall endeavor to work towards that goal.
In the meantime, I'll be counting points, eating more veggies and avoiding restaurants for a while until I've regained control.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring cleaning

Worst time of the year--change of seasons. Means I have to go into closet, try on clothes from last season and start making piles to take to resale store. Nothing fits. Nothing ever fits from one season to the next. Can't blame the "cleaners" like I used to when I lived in NYC and stored my clothes over the winter and summer. We only had one closet so each change of season, I would pack up the clothes and take them to our neighborhood cleaners. Everyone did (does?) that. NYC closets were just too small. Then when I'd pick them and try them on, they were always a little tighter. My friends and I used to blame the cleaners. They had to have done something to them in the dry cleaning process.
This time, not the cleaner's fault.Nope. And unless someone snuck into the house while we were gone and exchanged all my clothes for a smaller size, it's gotta be that I gained weight (duh) or there's been an enormous shift in fat and lean tissue. Either one, nothing fits. Even sandals from last summer are too tight. Damn. My feet are fat!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jamie Oliver again

Watched the show last night. Missed the second one so cannot comment on the progress at the original school. Still feel that Jamie is missing the boat--that he doesn't understand our culinary culture. We are a country of immigrants, some newer than others. We are a country of regions. Each region has it's own culinary identity. Although it seems like the identities "bleed" into each other--we all eat pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers--the influences of ethnicity and region are still obvious. Let's first look at why we can't serve kids freshly prepared foods. It was obvious in last night's episode: not enough staff to prep, cook and serve the food. And, I'm just guessing, the big food companies would work pretty hard to keep their contracts with the schools. I agree that school lunch is appalling. No one is arguing with Oliver over that. It's his approach that I don't like. French kids may eat quiche for lunch and sit for the full lunch hour enjoying their meal with appropriate music playing in the background. But that's not what American kids do. They go to lunch just because everyone is going. They complain about the mystery meat because that's what kids do. They throw away most of the food, not because it's disgusting (because most kids wouldn't really know or care) but because everyone else is and because they want to get outside to play. Playground time, recess time, is way more important to American kids than lunchtime. Don't try to make our school lunch like Great Britain's or France's or any other country's. Let's make OUR school lunch better by staying within the confines of our culture and feeding our kids what we American eat.
Oh, I thought the school foodservice director made a fool of herself when she declared that french fries qualified as a vegetable but Jamie's stir fry did not! Now that's a problem--if the definition of vegetable includes french fries. And I love french fries. They're one of my favorite foods. But let's not fool ourselves--they don't--or they shouldn't--constitute a serving of veg.
And the young girl who was so overweight--I sure hope they didn't desert her when filming was over. She needs a lot of support if she is going to get healthier.
So I'll watch it again next week although I still don't like what I see. A lot of my feelings are similar to a show that Shaq did a few years ago. Tactics matter. And they cannot be excused even if the goal is reached.