I have a confession to make. Last week, I joined a competitive dieting team. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I am wondering what possessed me. Of course, all it takes is me walking into my closet to recall the answer. One good thing I will say about myself, however, is that when I make a commitment to other people, I always follow through, come hell or high water. It is only a four week program and week one ends tomorrow.
This is not a Biggest Loser style free for all. There are rules here — many, many, many rules, and lots of points to add and subtract. And spreadsheets. I would explain it, but if you’re truly interested, it’s probably easier to read the book: The Game On Diet by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson. At its heart, it’s a very sensible eating program. Very balanced, very reasonable, but a lot of thinking about food and careful planning of FIVE perfectly balanced meals a day is involved. Oh, and 3 liters of water a day. And alcohol only one day a week. Aren’t you all dying to try it now?
Not thinking about food is what got me here in the first place, so I am hoping four weeks of hyper vigilance helps me adopt some good lifelong habits. I definitely feel better, even if the scale isn’t exactly moving as enthusiastically as I’d have hoped. But I do have that virtuous self righteousness that comes from eating enough vegetables, and that has to count for something. I also have one full day off a week and one full meal off a week, so no worries, I will still be cooking and sharing some old and new favorites. Having a food blog and dieting are somewhat incompatible, so I apologize in advance if the next few weeks here are boring/grumpy/uninspired.
My loyal readers will know that I had high hopes for my Vita-Mix blender. Sadly, it has been in hibernation for quite a while, but this game has given me a new appreciation for my Rolls Royce of blenders. I have yet to get to a point where smoothies taste like anything other than slightly pleasant flavored medicine to me, but I am all for the efficiency of cramming all of my dietary requirements into one puke green colored concoction and drinking it down like a good little soldier.
If any of you have any favorite smoothie recipes which are low in fat, low in sugar, high in fiber, high in protein, and contain at least one serving of vegetables (preferably leafy greens), I hope you will share them with me. I’ve never come across one that I can declare anything other than “healthy” or “edible,” but I am ever the optimist.
Here’s my standard. I drink these almost every morning, 1/4 -1/3 cup (frozen, Trader Joe’s) raspberries, 1 orange, juice from half a lemon, 3 Tbl, hemp seed, 1 Tbl, orange cod liver oil, 6 ounces spinach. You could add yogurt or use the protein powder of your choice. I don’t like protein powder and can’t do dairy, so that’s why mine is sort of boring. Also, you can add more berries, sometimes I’ll throw some other frozen fruit in there, but I like the raspberries the best. Also, if I have Kale on hand, I will throw a few leaves in there, but I don’t like the taste, so I don’t use too much.
I will have to try that, thanks. The one I’m drinking at the moment is a lovely shade of sewage-backup brown. Not one of my winners!
I didn’t say it was pretty, oh, and I realized that I forgot that I put about two inches of banana in there, too. Of course, this morning, all the bananas were gone, and I realized that it really does help to sweeten it up.