I’m frustrated. Miz. S was over at her place writing about getting healthy and dropping a few pounds and I can certainly relate to that. I mean, wanting to do that. Not really doing it. Mind you, I’m not grossly unhealthy but I sort of live in denial about my diet. I’ve mentioned before that I come from solid midwestern, German farmer stock and basically that has meant a lifelong love affair with butter and cheese. Potatoes and meat. Lots of milk. When I was little, we had a milk shute and three days a week the Twin Pines Dairy truck would drop off 3 gallons of whole milk, a pound of butter, 2 large containers of cottage cheese, and a pint of sour cream. For a family of two adults and three young children. That’s 3 pounds of butter and 9 gallons of whole milk. And it never went sour.
The entire paternal side of my family died of either coronary or carotid artery disease in their mid-sixties and so a number of years ago I gave up milk. I could never make the switch to skim; I’d rather go without. No ice cream. I don’t eat cottage cheese or sour cream and I now eat meat once or twice a week. I grab an airport McDonalds about 4 times a year and otherwise I avoid fast food. We don’t keep desserts around; fortunately for Rich who can’t eat them I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth.
Still. Potatoes are a staple. Mashed, baked, fried or as creamed soup. Always with lots of butter. I haven’t been able to switch to a substitute or give that up yet. I love warm Italian white bread (with lots of butter) and pasta. If I spend the winter in snow I believe my diet should match: all white. The only reason I don’t look like the Goodyear blimp is because I tend to eat small portions.
Right now we’re having a lull between guests so, inspired by Miz M, I decided to use the next two weeks to look more closely at what I eat and see where I can make modifications. A nutritionist I know suggested I go to this site and use some of the many tools and guidelines to help. It’s very user friendly, full of good information and it has useful plans for tracking your diet and physical exercise. Complete with emoticons. Damn emoticons.
Today, when Rich is on the road and I’m just cooking for myself, I began examining what I eat. I made a concerted effort to eat well and the results are, well, dismal, complete with frowny faces in two places. Below is a list of everything I’ve had thus far (and I’m about at the end of the day). Actually, the following items are missing because they don’t count nutritionally: 4 glasses of water, 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper, juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tablespoon of curry powder.
It’s not in any particular order. Basically, I had an orange for breakfast (I know, I know), a small piece of leftover Super Bowl chicken (I honestly threw away the skin. sigh) and a small green fried tomato for lunch (not so good), edamame and tangerine juice mid-afternoon and a salad with some sliced almonds and parmesan cheese, and wild rice with curry sauce, hardboiled egg and diced fresh tomato for dinner. I’m currently so glum that I’m sipping a bit of vodka with fresh lime juice.
I ask you: does that seem like a crummy diet? Maybe, but I’ll tell you this: it’s a substantial improvement over my usual fare. Where are the potato chips? The nightly popcorn with butter? Ritz crackers with peanut butter during House? It does feel as though I’ve eaten a lot more today than I usually do, but I know this is far less fat than I usually consume and I’m still over the top in that department. Meanwhile, I have another 500 calories I could eat today and still be on a very slow, very moderate weight loss diet. But what would I eat? 4 more cups of edamame, 6 of spinach and 2 cups of yogurt? (Actually, I plan to add the yogurt at breakfast tomorrow and that will help my milk equivalent.) Maybe some dark chocolate…
How about you? How are you doing at meeting your nutritional needs?
ALMONDS, ROASTED, SLICED 1/2 oz
CHICKEN BREAST, BATTERED, W/O SKIN 1 slice
EDAMAME, COOKED, FAT NOT ADDED 1/2 cup
EGGS, BOILED 1 large egg
FRIED TOMATOES, GREEN, FROM FRESH 3 slices
HALF & HALF 1 oz
MIXED SALAD GREENS, RAW 1 cup
OLIVE OIL 1/2 tablespoon
ORANGE, FRESH 1/2
PARMESAN OR ROMANO DRY, CHEESE 2 tablespoon
TANGERINE JUICE 8 oz
TEA, LEAF, UNSWEETENED 8 oz
TOMATOES (TOMATO), RAW 1 medium
VODKA 2 oz
WILD RICE, COOKED 1 cup
Recommendations Emoticon Number of cup/oz. Equ. Eaten Number of cup/oz. Equ. Rec
Grain Average 3.3 oz equivalent 6 oz equivalent
Vegetable Average 1.4 cup equivalent 2.5 cup equivalent
Fruit Average 1.4 cup equivalent 2 cup equivalent
Milk Poor 0.4 cup equivalent 3 cup equivalent
Meat and Beans Good 4.6 oz equivalent 5.5 oz equivalent
Recommendations Emoticon Amount Eaten Recommendation or Goal
Total Fat Poor 38% of total calories 20% to 35%
Saturated Fat Good 8.7% of total calories less than 10%
Cholesterol Good 273 mg less than 300 mg
Sodium Good 894 mg less than 2300 mg
(McCloud hides from the diet and fitness regimen)