Remember how I was trying to lose weight? Remember how I worked out pretty hard core, followed the WW program, ate tons of 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. It went up more than I’d like to admit over the course of 2 weeks. 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:
· 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.
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).
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!
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?
Add everything else. Stir it, then simmer down.
Finished product. VERY hard to get a good shot with steam fogging up your camera lens, FYI.
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?