Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Food Network

I came across this article a couple weeks ago, and it made me think about the value of cooking shows. I watch the Food Network a lot. In fact, Bobby has complained that's all I watch. And it is, mostly.

I like cooking, but that didn't really start until I was in college. My mom taught me how to make a few things - scrambled eggs, pancakes, spaghetti, boxed mac-and-cheese and rice-a-roni. Were I out on my own, I could feed myself, no problem. But I actually learned about how to cook via the Food Network.

The shows may make everything look easy, and that may be false representation, but it also makes you a little more willing to try it out. And then there's the fact that they are often showing a technique that you can use when cooking similar foods - Rachael Ray tought me what a roux is, and I learned about tempering from Alton Brown. It's that kind of knowledge that allows me to better understand what's happening when I watch people cook now.

10 pounds

I've lost 10 pounds so far this year. Some of this I attribute to making my own lunches, and therefore eating smaller portions, since I'm at home, and cooking dinner most nights, but half of the weight loss has occurred in the last few weeks. Why?

I'm fairly convinced that this is because for about that long, I've been consciously altering the way I eat. Between looking at the food pyramid the government recommends for a person of my age and gender, and some recent ruminations prompted by this speech and personal thoughts and articles/blogs on healthy eating, I came up with some basic guidelines for myself:

1. Eat way, way more vegetables (like 3 times what I normally would)
2. Only eat one serving of meat per day, if at all
3. Eat yogurt daily
4. Eat smaller portions for dinner, so not to be too full for dessert
5. Avoid most processed foods (so use honey, not Splenda, in tea, make a vinaigrette instead of using bottled dressing, and drink water, wine, or 100% fruit juice cut with sparkling water instead of sodas).

The toughest bit - cutting back on the meat. Not because I crave it, but because I'm surrounded by people that think they are supposed to be carnivores. Bobby thinks a meal isn't a meal if it doesn't involve a half pound of meat. He's often pressuring Emma to eat her meat (she'd like to live on bread and cheese). My aunt is has always been a big fan of "the bacon diet," eats mostly meat all the time, and takes carnitine supplements as well. She's convinced that her red meat-carnitine combo is the reason she has record low cholesterol. My dad has tried out her method, but hasn't had the same results.

But so far I've been pretty good with it. And I've found that when I focus on eating loads of veggies, I not only eat less meat, but less bread too. After limiting my meat intake, the results were nearly immediate. I still eat more than enough butter and cheese and fruit.

I think eating dessert has actually been a key factor. I eat a small dessert almost every night - usually Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream with sliced strawberries, or sliced banana and Nutella (OMG, so good!). But by saving room for dessert, I'm giving myself an immediate (okay, nearly immediate - I do wait an hour or so) reward for denying myself that second helping of pasta or rice or steak, and in the time between dinner and dessert - my body has had enough time to truly register how full I am.

So we'll see if it keeps going down, or if I hold steady here...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Marched

I raised $160, and my team raised around $1,000. You can still donate - it's not too late!