Monday, April 24, 2006's not easy being green!

One of my New Years' resolutions this year was to find a way to lose weight and be healthy. Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. That is what EVERYONE strives for each new year. But, this year, something has been different for me. I have made big strides in this, perhaps because of the medical reasons behind my decision (diabetes) to really focus on fitness and diet. Maybe I'm just to the point that I'm tired of my stupid issues with food and I'm ready to be done with them. I could only go one of two ways at this point--get my act together or give in and just have a nasty eating disorder to get my weight down. (I kid.)

Whatever the case, I have made a big effort to start eating healthier and working out more. I rejoined Weight Watchers again and this time have made it my goal to reach my goal and become a lifetime member (which you earn by staying at your goal weight for a certain number of weeks). Well, the progress has been snail's pace slow, but I have seen visible changes. And, most of all, I feel better. So, I have continued on.

I have cut out a lot of refined foods, whenever possible. If I do have bread, it is whole wheat or a very high fiber bread. I try to mainly eat vegetables, meats and some dairy. For me, this was actually a big change. I grew up on Velveeta smothered, fried foods. While I haven't really eat that way for many years, I still ate a lot of processed foods and I did not enjoy vegetables.

I am really trying to be a veg-head. Really, I am. But, I have hit a roadblock. It's just damn high-maintenance to eat fresh food. Yes, fresh foods are cheaper to buy, and really they taste better once you get used to not having all the processed stuff. But, the part that has been hard for me is the prep work it takes to eat this way.

There is the planning, then the work when you get the vegetables, fruits and herbs home. I try to follow the advice of my favorite Food Network stars and get those fresh foods washed and prepped to go right when I get them home.

But, I'm not done yet. Then, I have to chop or slice whatever I need for the recipes. Then, it's cooked. Then, there's the massive clean-up involved because I am, in fact, the world's messiest cook. By the time I sit down to eat my enormous blueberry and grilled chicken spinach salad, I need a nap!

And, then, there's the rotting factor. People, my JICAMA is really starting to "STINKAMA." These fresh foods go bad so quickly! This has me wondering, how do vegetarians live this way? It is so much easier to just open up a bag of baked chips and be done with it. They keep forever and there's no chopping involved. I don't have time to roast chickpeas for my afternoon snack. Get real, people!

If I can get past this hurdle, I know I too could be more of a "veg head," and that's really what I'd like for my waistline. But, so far, to me, it's not it's just damn exhausting...being green. So, if you have found some way to keep your sanity while eating five fruits and vegetables a day, please, share your tips.

I know this is a strange blog post, but I'd love (and I need) your advice!


Blogger Nicole said...

Sorry, I have no advice. I'm lucky if I get one veggie a day and it's usually in the form of Rotel that's mixed in with my queso ;-). I admire you!

4:01 PM, April 24, 2006  
Anonymous Bizeechik said...

From a WW Leader, I say WAY TO GO!! You're making a great effort. Use frozen veggies whenever possible, keep ready to eat veggies in the fridge (I personally think the inventor of those mini peeled washed carrots deserves some kind of Nobel Peace Prize!) and ask your meeting members what their suggestions are. The members in my meetings love those Fruit/Veggie bars and some enjoy (gack!) V8 juice.

Keep it up! You're doing great!

5:16 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Unless everyone in your household is eating the way you are, it's almost impossible to keep veggies from going bad. I have learned that I have to buy small, very small, quantities and shop more often. It isn't fair, I know.

6:24 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Dipu said...

I can't say for sure that this is a good way to do things, but what I try is, in part, drinking my fruits and veggies. I've replaced some of the Cokes I used to drink with various flavors of cranberry juice (the 100% juice kind with no added sugar). I also try to drink the low-sodium V-8 vegetable juice, but I haven't been good about that. However, V-8 Fusion is more palatable and claims to contain a full serving of fruits AND vegetables in one 120-calorie glass. I don't know how the sugar/caloric count works for a diabetic diet, though. But I've found that a pint of blackberries (or blueberries or raspberries) are an easy way to get a quick fruit snack. I'll also buy the precut fruit trays, even though they're more expensive ... but it's easier. I'm still bad on veggies, though, and tend to rely on premade salads from restaurants. I second the mini-carrot idea, though. So, dunno if any of that really helps, but there you go...

9:19 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Shelli said...

I am totally with you on that! I think that in Europe or somewhere, they go to the produce places daily. I don't like to cook either and I forget about my fresh veggies and fruit because it easier when you are packing a lunch to grab the prepackaged crap. If you get any great ideas, send them my way.

9:22 PM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Chrixean said...

This was my problem when I was on the SBDiet. I was the only one who actually ate more than 2 veggie meals a day, and it still wasn't enough to keep the veggies from rotting. The only way i could prevent it was to keep eating the darn dish every fricking meal hour! Plus, eating something totally different from everyone else could be a bit expensive (no way was my son going to touch what i was munching on!). So off went the diet....

Good luck and have a nice day!

1:06 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Tyra said...

I hear you on this issue and all the healthy stuff is so expensive too so when it rots so quickly, it's money going down the drain.

9:03 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Nancy J. Bond said...

I buy a lot of frozen veggies, except for salad ingredients, and find that helps. Another way to get several servings of veggies in is to put them in a stir fry. If you start off with lean chicken or beef, you can add enough veggies to make a complete meal in one fell swoop. Served with some brown rice...yum. (I stir "fry" in small amounts of olive oil or use Pam in a Teflon pan.) Juices are another good way to get those fruits and veggies in, though maybe not as satisfying. It really *ain't* easy being green! Fresh produce is very expensive! Keep it up--you're doing great! -- NancyB

10:32 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Yes! go to the store more often and only buy what you can consume that week. Also, it helps if you have a plan for it. Don't just buy celery unless you know exactly what you are going to do with it.

I love to cook so the prepping fulfills that need in me. Not that I do super great but I am having more good days than bad. Excuse me while I go eat me some Cool Ranch Doritoes.

1:06 PM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Barbara said...

I don't have any advice, I just want to say congratulations!

6:02 PM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Tamara said...

I don't have much advice other than hang in there. Like Dipu, I save up many of my calories during the day and then drink them - but they're usually in the form of alcohol. Not exactly the best medicine for someone trying to avoid refined sugar...
All I know is (and I think I've known you at a range of weights) - you are stunning regardless of the number on the scale.

8:57 PM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Lisa said...

I always have some form of rotting going on in my refrigerator. I absolutely love veggies, the fresher the better, but it's such a pain in the ass to prepare it. My mother used to always spend "grocery day" preslicing and dicing, then freezing all the fresh veggies. She's do all the prep work for her green pepper to go in her meatloaf and put it in a ziploc baggie and freeze it.

I've never had the attention span to do that.

2:54 PM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Nicole said...

I find myself taking advantage of the fresh veggies available in ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook packages. In our grocery stores, they are near the bagged salads. I've found baby carrots, sugar snap peas, green beans, broccoli, shredded carrot, sweet potatoes shrink-wrapped for microwave cooking, presliced mushrooms, and so on. They cost a little more, but save me a huge amount of time, so I'm willing to make the sacrifice. I also buy a lot of frozen veggies and am especially fond of the stir-fry mixes.

I always overbuy fresh fruit and throw some out every week, no matter how many apples I cram into my lunch sack. However, I would rather have it around and toss some than run short and dive headfirst into the Cheezits because I can't find anything else.

Hope this helps. It is hard!

12:56 PM, April 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anne said...

I find it easy to just eat "lean cusine" or "smart ones" frozen dinners, exorcise once a day, cut out the cookies and ice cream and the soda. I lose weight that way. Not much, I grant you, not a powerful bunch all at once, but enough for me. 10 pounds here, 20 pounds later, etc etc. Small steps. I'm living better, feeling better. That's all that counts. I don't cook, and even if I did, the flavor of the month has never interested me.
I dunno. That's just me though...

12:14 PM, April 28, 2006  

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