Remember how I was trying to lose weight? Remember how I worked out pretty hard core, followed the WW program, ate tons imageof fruit and veggies and still gained weight? Yeah, me too. Remember Christmas and New Year’s? Remember all the insanely delicious food I crammed in my face in the period of one week?

After all that food got crammed into my face, it came as no surprise that cramming myself into my pants became just a little more challenging. I took a little scale vacation, as I just didn’t need to do that to myself during the holidays. But Saturday, it was time to face the music and re-acquaint myself with reality. And, as much as I was hoping for a miracle, let’s face it: the numbers don’t lie.

Even 5 days in to my plan to get back on track with WW and eat less wheat, the number that stared back at me was NOT what I wanted to see. Angry smile It went up more than I’d like to admit over the course of 2 weeks. Embarrassed smile Up to a number that was higher than I’ve seen in a couple of years. Up to the point where it’s actually closer to when I started WW (the first time) than to my goal weight!!!! Up to the point where those “few pounds” I wanted to take off are more than a few.

So, what to do? Well, throwing the scale out the window sounded appealing. As did going at it with a sledgehammer. Or maybe just having a good cry followed by some ice cream or chocolate. Fortunately, rationality prevailed and I did not give in to any of those desires (much as I might have liked to).

I know I said last week that I planned to stay the course with WW and just try to cut out the wheat, but let’s be honest, it’s not working. I do want to lose weight, but what I don’t want to do right now is go on a dramatic program and totally eliminate foods that I love, and/or pay lots of money for advice/supplements/special foods.

I’ve known for a while that I really should clean up my diet. While technically, I do eat very healthfully (lots of veggies, dairy, lean protein etc), I certainly have my “healthy” guilty pleasures ( like my late night snacks and desserts which often include processed snack packs, artificial sweeteners, lots of unnatural “light” products, 100 calorie breads etc) that are not always featured on HHH. I’ve been ignoring the nagging voice that’s been telling me I should really be eating less of these things.

So, with that in mind, after some thought over the weekend, I came up with this plan, which I plan to do within the WW program. I didn’t want to do a complete and total overhaul, more just small steps/action plan, so it’s do-able and not totally cold turkey (plus, as I’ve mentioned before, I HATE wasting food, so I want to use up what I’ve got in my house and not throw it out, so that includes eating (smaller amounts hopefully) of the stuff I mentioned above). And, I believe a healthy diet can include all foods, but the key word here is in MODERATION. These low-fat, processed foods don’t have to go completely, but I think they should be more minor actors in my diet, as opposed to having supporting or featured roles. And, although I so hope that these changes will help take off some pounds, they are for more than just weight loss, but for health, and trying to eat cleaner in general.

Without further ado, I give you my 2012 Dietary Goals:

Overall Goals

· Reduce intake of wheat products.

· Eat less processed food, more whole food.

· Eat more beans, less meat.

· Eat less refined sugar.

Specific Goals/Action Plan

1. Eat beans/tofu at least 4 meals a week.

2. 5 out of 7 days a week, no “carb-y” after-dinner snacks. After dinner snacks will consist only of fruit/vegetables/nuts/nut products/dairy, and will contain no more than 3 points plus.

3. Eat wheat at one meal or less a day.

4. 3-4 nights a week, no starches/carbs consumed at supper, focus on lean protein and vegetables.

5. 3-4 nights a week, desserts will be more “natural,” fruit-based, not full of processed products/refined sugar/white flour.

6. One “splurge” day a week (typically Saturday).

And, to keep myself accountable, I even created a little table where I can check things off as I accomplish them day to day. I have printed out little copies that are hanging on my fridge where I can’t ignore them.

What do you think? Good goals? Concrete enough? Specific enough action plan? Any tips/suggestions/recipe ideas to help me stay on track?IMG_4185

So, in line with my goals (I actually created this recipe before drafting them, but oh well) and inspired by this recipe from Beth, I created a super-easy, super-awesome recipe for lentil taco filling (and FYI, I am counting lentils as a “bean” in my weekly tally of 4 or more bean/tofu meals). IMG_4174

I love love love this stuff. Why? Super-cheap to make (dried lentils/beans are a bargain, and this bag even more so, as I scored it for free after my sister gave it to me when she had extra). Also super-easy (if you want to streamline things even more, buy a can of lentils and skip the cooking step. Then you’ll be probably under 10 minutes start to finish). It makes 4 servings which can be stored in the fridge/freezer for other uses (hello lunch this week! One serving has already found its way into a salad). And the feeling really is pretty taco-like, despite being totally vegan. Ready to go? Here’s what you do.

Lentil Taco Filling – makes 4, 1/2 cup servings with 2 points plus (or you could do 2 large ones and double the points, obviously)

Prep time: almost none

Cook time: about 30 minutes, if using dried lentils

  • 1 cup lentils
  • Water as directed on package
  • Taco seasoning/spices to taste (I used a blend of cumin and chili powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • Salsa (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
  • About 1/4 cup tomato puree (or used canned tomatoes for a chunkier filling)

Cook lentils according to package directions (mine cooked quicker, so be sure to keep an eye on them). Drain.

Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, just enough to warm everything up and blend flavours. That’s it – you’re done!

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Plain cooked lentils don’t look all that exciting. Confession: I didn’t rinse them first, like the package said. Is that why they look so blah?

IMG_4180

 

 

 

Add everything else. Stir it, then simmer down.

 

IMG_4182

 

 

 

Finished product. VERY hard to get a good shot with steam fogging up your camera lens, FYI.

 

IMG_4184

 

For my first use of my yummy filling, I made straight-up soft tacos (using 2 Ezekiel sprouted corn tortillas…love love LOVE, one of the best parts of trying to go wheat-free!). I filled two tortillas (3 pts +) with spinach, one serving of the filling (2 pts +) and some chopped green onion. On the side, I made a random, yet awesome salad (0 pts +) with spinach, red pepper, green onion, beets (cooked extra so I’d have more for lunches this week…score!), green grapes, a cranberry balsamic vinaigrette (1 pt +) and fancy fig and onion sea salt.

It all came together for a very satisfying 6 pt + lunch (plus one for the little sweet I had after), and honestly, I can’t tell you how amazing this lentil taco filling is. Please, please, please – try it for yourself!

 

What do you think of my goals? How are your goals/resolutions coming along? What’s your favourite way to eat lentils/beans?

12 Comments

  • Sounds like a great plan!!!
    Dave and i regularly make mexican and indian food and just sub in lentils or chickpeas for the meat, yummmmmmmmm!
    That beet salad looks divine :)

    • Hilary says:

      Thanks for the tips…the beet salad was divine…as area all salads with beets, in my opinion…I was just chopping up some of the leftovers for my lunch and there is red juice everywhere…the only downside!

  • Maren says:

    I think your goals look really good. I love the tacos, they look so professional. Maybe you should read the intuitive eating book. I felt exactly like you did. I’d do diets and I wouldn’t see any results. I know you can do this! Just keep on being healthy and everything will fall into place.

    • Hilary says:

      Thanks for the tip…I may just check it out! And thanks for your encouragement too…you really should try the tacos, they rock!

  • For the most part I’d say your goals are very healthy my dear! But you know me, I strive for honesty:

    If I had to question any of the goals it would be the “no carbs 3-4 suppers of the week” goal…Our body needs carbohydrates (the good ones) as they are our bodies main source for stored energy. By cutting them out, you will lose weight undoubtedly but you MAY just be depriving your body of some much needed nutrients…

    That being said, I get that you are wanting to decrease your intake of wheat so I understand where you are coming from. if your protein also falls into the carbohydrate category (IE beans, lentils, etc) then I’m LESS worried but not completely UN-worried ;)

    • Hilary says:

      Thanks for the honesty. I am by no means cutting carbs from my diet completely. I’ve just read and heard from more than one trusted source (Bob Harper, Joy Bauer) that if you avoid starches at supper, it can help with weight loss (and that’s what Bob says he does too)…and my protein tonight was ham and chickpeas…so some nice healthy carbohydrate energy there. And thanks for your PS too…hope zumba/yoga were fun!

  • PS!!!! I am very proud of you for taking steps toward lessening your intake of highly processed and artificial foods. That’s a VERY big deal!

    Off to Zumba and Yoga!

  • I think the goals look great. The only thing I noticed is the “splurge day”. Be careful with that one. I too set aside a day to have a little more leeway, because I know I can’t do it all the time and the weekends usually call for a bit more laxed eating, but its important to make sure you’re being more flexible STILL WITHIN REASON. I’ve abused splurge days in the past and know how easy it is to get sucked into that mindset and how harmful it is for goals. I know you likely know all this, but still wanted to put it out there. Hugs!

    • Hilary says:

      Thanks so much Tina…that’s a good reminder! I can easily get carried away…I think I should re-name it a treat day, it’s just one day to have something that I wouldn’t normally during the week, not to go out of control or get carried away…I appreciate your advice!

  • WAT75 says:

    ….let’s keep all this in perspective….I was 228#(at end of 2010)…when I landed back home after being in Pembroke for a year.I have hived off 35-40#’s in the past year..mainly by choosing better and smaller portions….and better liquid intake choices( with much more water and less or limited alcohol).

    Personally I think you look GREAT.It’s also harder to lose when you exercise as much as you do.

    Do not despair….I am going to try and get some regular exercise in play this year as well.

  • Shana says:

    I have been trying really hard to reduce the amount of processed foods I eat too. It takes a lot of work and preparation each week, but I feel good after every single meal. I used to love all those over processed veggie burgers, fat free (and sugar loaded) yogurts, sugar-free puddings, and low calorie everything. In short, I worshiped HungryGirl. Even though I thought those things tasted good, they never left me satisfied. Eating real food has me craving real food all the time now. I seriously snack on things like sweet potatoes, edemame, and tons of fruit and feel satisfied because my preferences changed. And I have to tell you, my favorite late night snack is air popped popcorn, dried fruit and PB2. It’s my special “treat” but I eat it every night! PS…I made something very similar to your dinner so look for it in the next couple of posts. It’s perfect for your new plan! GAH! I always write too much! Good luck on your venture!

    • Hilary says:

      No you do not write too much…I enjoy reading every single word you have to say! And your comment really spoke to me…loving Hungry Girl and all the foods she advocates. I don’t think that stuff will ever be 100% totally gone from my diet, but it sure needs to be around less!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  • [...] This recipe is almost not worth posting. It’s by no means original. It’s dead easy. It has just three ingredients. But it’s also insanely tender and delicious, and something you can pass off as homemade instead of reaching for a storebought stuffed chicken breast (which is actually what I was doing earlier this week, but when I read the label and discovered the breasts in question contained wheat (sigh, doesn’t everything?), I decided to go another route due to my recent dietary goals). [...]

  • [...] it’s been a week of my new dietary guidelines (followed within the WW program). How is it going, you may ask? I’ll get to that in a minute, but [...]

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