Monday, Musings, Millet

January 30, 2012

So…it’s Monday. If you’ve been following along with me over the last 4 months or so, you’re probably expecting the usual weight loss  imagereport, musings, action plan, blah, blah, blah. It’s gonna be a bit different today.

After reading your many insightful comments last week (thanks again by the way), it got me to thinking, a lot. I also saw the picture to your right posted by 2 friends on facebook (source page here). And here’s the deal. Several of you said that my scale must be broken (to that I said, I’d love to say yes, but the fit of some of my clothing leads me to believe that the scale knows what it’s talking about, at least in some way). Others said to throw it out, and to focus more on the healthy changes I’m making for my body.

And if you follow other healthy living blogs like I do, maybe you’ve also noticed the same trend that I have in the blogosphere, the trend towards eschewing the scale in favour of other ways of measuring one’s health and well-being (how your clothes fit, how you feel, progress in terms of strength and fitness, etc). I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen telling readers that they’re more than just a number, that you have to get beyond the scale, or how a blogger thinks the scale lies, messes with her head, and no longer use it as a way of tracking progress or checking in. In fact, I’ve noticed a lot of blogs follow a similar story arc. “I was overweight. I lost weight. I started a blog. At first I ate a lot of processed, “diet” food, but I’m transitioning (or have transitioned) into eating more whole, less processed foods. I have figured out how to love myself through the choices I’m making, and I am SO not into the scale or the diet mentality.” Sound familiar?

Now, I have to say, if you’re reading this as a blogger, and you feel like this is all or partially your story, I AM NOT KNOCKING YOU, CRITICIZING YOU, OR MAKING FUN OF YOU! I respect all my fellow bloggers out there, and love reading about your journeys. I feel like my blog even follows many of these stereotypes, and that’s OK. Obviously, if we are all aiming in a similar direction, it’s for a good reason. So please, please, please, don’t mistake what I’m saying as judgement, criticism, or “you guys have it all wrong and I know so much more than the rest of the healthy living blogosphere”…okay?

So…all that to say, what am I getting at? What I’m trying to say is that, while the scale may sometimes lie, and it often messes with your head, I don’t think it’s all bad. Think of it as that annoying family member you don’t really like to spend a lot of time with. She always has a lot to say, she’s often pointing out your faults or poking fun of you, but you know deep down inside that there may be a grain of truth to some of what she says (even if it’s just a tiny part).

The scale cannot, and should not define who you (or I) am as a person. No one should let it rule their life. I will confess, that over the last 4 months, it has had too much power over me, and has been driving me a little bit crazy, and I should not be devoting so much mental energy to what that number is saying.

But here’s the deal: I know that something’s up, and it’s not just the number on the scale. Some of my clothes don’t fit, and I don’t like that. So if I’m being honest with myself, I can’t be mad at the scale, or say it’s wrong. The reason why I’ve gained weight and it is so incredibly difficult to take off may be eluding me, but that’s not the scale’s fault.

In the end, the scale is a tool, no more, no less. And like all other tools, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Others might find it beneficial from time to time, but not on a regular basis. I don’t think it should be something that you obsess over, but at the same time, I don’t think it completely deserves its much-maligned reputation.

I’m still trying to figure out how and where it fits for me in my journey. I think we do need a little break though, and so for right now, I’m IMG_4364only going to check in every other week, and decide from there if I want to share results with all of you. While I don’t want to hide what’s going on with me (since this is, after all, a healthy living blog), I don’t want the blog to become consumed with my struggles or a place where I’m constantly venting my frustrations.

….sound good?

Now that we’ve covered the Monday and Musings part of the title, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about millet before I sign off for today. If you don’t know about millet, you can read this super-informative Wikipedia article to find out more. Basically, it’s the latest and greatest “alternative grain,” I’ve tried out…I purchased some at the Bulk Barn last week. It’s gluten-free, and, according to Wikipedia, a whole lot more common in other parts of the world than I knew. And, random fact – it’s often used toIMG_4363 fill juggling bean bags!

Nutritionally, it’s similar to other grains/seeds, as it has 3 points plus per half cup cooked (just like quinoa and brown rice). I cooked a whole bunch up on Thursday night, and used it as the base for the incredibly random, yet totally delicious and comforting supper you see to your right. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1/2 cup cooked millet (3 points plus)
  • A bunch of veggies roasted with olive oil (one point plus), cumin, garlic salt, nutritional yeast and chili powder
  • 2 ounces leftover cooked “taco” extra lean ground beef (2 points plus), 1/2 cup Romano beans that were in the fridge (2 points plus) briefly simmered in canned tomatoes, cumin and chili powder

Like I said, this bowl was RANDOM, but oddly delicious, filling, and comforting (you know you’re a healthy living blogger when you consider a bowl of whole grains, roasted veggies, and beans/meat to be comfort food Smile). I really enjoyed the millet – it has great hearty texture and flavour (brown rice doesn’t really excite me, so I enjoy grains with a little more punch). I think because I’m eating less carbs at dinner lately, whenever I do eat them, they taste super-amazing to me, hence why it’s more like comfort food…does that make sense?

IMG_4368Since my 1 cup dry millet made a massive cooked quantity, I had lots to play with, which meant millet for breakfast the next day. I started by cooking 1/2 cup with 1 cup almond breeze and 1/2 cup water, but I quickly realized that my already-cooked millet wasn’t going to absorb all that liquid, so I added another 1/2 cup millet and made 2 servings, and it turned out quite nicely. I added Stevia and spices, and mixed it with chopped cooked pear/cranberries, and topped with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and pomegranate arils.

While it wasn’t a huge quantity, this made a pretty filling breakfast (I made a hot drink with soy milk and another 1/2 cup almond milk and some chai flavoured matcha powder I have, so the breakfast was 6 points plus total). Think of breakfast millet like a chewier, more textured oatmeal (if that makes sense). If you’re an oatmeal diehard (aren’t all healthy living bloggers?) looking for a change, give morning millet a try!

IMG_4397I decided to go another direction with the other half of the cooked, sweetened and spiced morning millet leftover after my first breakfast, and enjoyed it cold over some fruit/yogurt. I guess you could say it was some kind of millet muesli? Underneath the millet is half a cup of Greek yogurt (2 points plus) mixed with mixed berries and pomegranate arils. I spread the cold, cooked millet (3.5 points plus) over top, added 3 chopped almonds (0.5 points plus) and had an almond milk iced coffee (1 point plus) on the side for a breakfast that delivered the total package – protein, fibre, whole grains, calcium, and even a bit of healthy fat from the almonds. Added bonus? It was pretty darn tasty and a fun switch up from the usual cereal on yogurt. I thought I’d miss the crunch, but was pleasantly surprised at how satisfying the millet was.

I just have to re-iterate again before I close, no disrespect to any bloggers out there – I love you all!

What’s your relationship with the scale? Love it? Hate it? And have you cooked millet – what have you done with it?

10 Comments

  • I totally get where you are coming from! Its like how i don’t understand how some bloggers eat 500 calorie breakfasts and stay so tiny!!!
    You know i won’t step on a scale because it triggers bad behaviours in me but did you know there is a scale that will only tell you how many pounds you have gained or lost? Seriously, i will try to find the link for you – that i would step on, lol!
    Have you talked to a WW counselor? I like the suggestion from a reader the other day about drinking an extra glass of water per day
    Anyhoo thats my two cents, heart ya :)

  • Sarah says:

    I think you have the right attitude. Part of healthy living is discovering what works the best for you not the blogosphere. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with the scale. It’s your reaction to the scale that can be the problem. Personally I think the scale is a good tool especially if you are in denial about your weight and health. I don’t think your weight is the only indicator of good health but it is part of it!

  • You know my relationship with the scale so I don’t need to go there but I agree with Sarah, it’s not the scale that is the problem so much as the way the number controls and dictates the person who is stepping onto the scale that is the issue.

    PS I’ve tagged you in my daily 11 questions post!

    • Hilary says:

      Yeah, we all have different feelings about the scale, but I just have to keep reminding myself that it is a machine, and it’s stupid to let it control me, no matter what it says.

  • Shana says:

    I had to break up with my scale. It was just one of those relationships that brought out the worst in me! The good news is I think you’ve inspired me to start a relationship with millet! I’ve never had it but I really need to get some more whole grains in my life and I can’t do oatmeal. Kudos to you on figuring out what works for YOU in your healthy journey. It’s all about trying different things, learning, and growing. It’s not easy but it is interesting!

  • Maren says:

    The scale is kinda a weird thing for me. I’ve had 3 significantly successful attempts at weight loss in my life. The first was right after I graduated high school and I started being super obsessed with counting calories and running every day. I didn’t weigh myself at all and just went by how I looked in the mirror. I know this was my thinnest point. The second was when I joined Weight Watchers in 2007 and I weighed myself religiously every morning before breakfast and my shower. My third attempt really wasn’t an attempt at all. I had my ankle reconstructed which left me bedridden for 12 weeks and another 5 weeks of basically being bedridden because I couldn’t get around too well and I was still in a lot of pain. I just started eating super intuitively in those weeks. I think it was something I could control when so much of my life was out of my control. I didn’t weigh myself at all.

    I think if the scale works for you then it works for you. I still weigh myself every once in a while. It’s not bad and I like that you call it a “tool”. As long as what the scale says doesn’t make you depressed or think less of yourself then I say weigh yourself as much as you want! Whatever works for you.

    • Hilary says:

      Wow you are a rockstar for all the weight loss efforts you’ve gone through, especially while bed-ridden. Yeah, I’m still trying to figure out where the scale fits for me…it’s a journey.

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