Another Day, Another Diet

As I mentioned in this post, I have been off the diet wagon for some time. We have had more school delays and cancellations due to ice than I can count on one hand, and when it’s cold outside, I prefer not to leave my house. That’s why I will forever live in Austin- unless an opportunity to move to a Caribbean island presents itself, of course– It is warm here most days of the year. And by warm, I mean stifling, but after 105 degrees or so, it all starts to feel the same.

When it’s cold outside, I can easily overlook that fact that swimsuit season is right around the corner. All I want to do is eat calorie-laden food in my pajamas while snuggling with my little man. From pasta swimming in buttery cream sauce to enchiladas bubbling with cheese, nothing is off-limits.

After weeks of frigid weather, the mild temps indicative of a central Texas winter emerged once again. My days of hibernating at home were a thing of the past, I thought. I could shed my flannel pajama pants, venture out into the world, and embrace fruits and vegetables once more…

And then there was Valentine’s Day. Can’t a girl catch a break?

This was my candy bag after our V-day Party in 4th grade. The picture doesn’t really do justice to the sheer volume of candy and chocolate I received this year.

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Have I mentioned that it is next to impossible to stay on a diet when you are an elementary school teacher?

I didn’t stand a fighting chance.

My husband and I are notorious for starting a new diet every Monday, and yes, I am aware that this habit that will do absolutely nothing to help either of us achieve our weight loss goals. It does ease a bit of the post-weekend gorgefest guilt, so, there’s that.

If only we could follow-through.

It’s another new week, and true to form, I have another new diet plan in place. After eating Mr. Gatti’s pizza all weekend long (literally all weekend long), I have decided that frozen dinners may be the answer to my weight loss prayers. Yes, they are high in sodium, but they’ve gotta be better than what I’ve been eating the past few weeks (which isn’t saying a lot). The convenience factor alone trumps the sodium concern, and you really can’t beat the built in portion control. Who want’s to spend their time measuring food and counting calories?

After a day with twenty-three talkative (understatement) fourth graders, one adorable six-month old baby, and two very needy dogs, cooking and cleaning seem to fall by the wayside more often than not. My husband and I finally broke down last week and had a maid come clean our house. It took the maid and her small cleaning army four hours to clean our 1,500 square foot townhouse, and it was worth every last penny. I simply can’t relax in a messy house, and I am too damn tired to clean it myself.

So, frozen meals it is… For this week, at least. Thank God for Kashi and Amy’s frozen dinners. I could live off of Amy’s bean and cheese burritos alone. And wine, of course, but that’s a given.

Perhaps that will be my new diet plan next week…

-Elleigh

Baby Fat

No, I am not referring to J’s adorable rolls and chunky little thighs that are just so dang cute, but my Baby Fat, or leftover chub thanks to my sweet little bundle of joy.

I *shouldn’t* care about the extra ten pounds I’m lugging around, but I do… At least a little bit. Yes, I am aware that my body created a miracle and I have a healthy baby boy. Shouldn’t that be enough?

If you want to know what a woman feels like six days, six weeks, or even six months in my case postpartum, try this little experiment. Replace all of the clothes in your closet with identical pieces that are two sizes too small. Then, make room for at least fifteen items that are too long, too loose, and sort of reminiscent of a muumuu. Now you know how we feel.

Defeated.

Depressed.

Fat.

And no, that does not make us selfish mothers. I thank my lucky stars every night and every morning for my baby boy. And then I attempt to get dressed and curse the pregnancy gods for my post-baby belly.

Love my baby. Hate my belly.

Love my baby. HATE my belly.

In all honesty, I am being a little hard on myself… It’s not that bad. But aren’t we all our own worst critics?

I am determined to lose at least five more pounds before throwing in the towel, which would put me five pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight… Before getting pregnant, I could lose five pounds in a weekend. Things aren’t quite so easy anymore. In addition to eating healthy vegetarian meals, I am ready to bring out the big guns. These are all of the tricks that have worked for me in the past, and a few new ones that I am ready to try.

1. Water. Lots and lots of water. 

Drinking water all day long has always helped me maintain my weight with minimal effort. When you’re dehydrated, your body experiences the same symptoms it experiences when you are overly hungry- sleepiness & low energy. When you feel hungry, you might actually just be thirsty. Grab a glass of water and give it ten minutes before reaching for a snack. Also, drinking six cups of cold water a day can raise your resting metabolism by about 50 calories a day.

2. Beans, beans, the magical fruit…

I eat beans in almost everything I eat. My absolute favorite are garbanzo beans, but I also love black beans and pinto beans. Because I am a vegetarian, the majority of my protein intake comes from beans. Beans are full of fiber, which not only keeps us fuller longer, but also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed.

3. Fish oil

It is believed that omega 3 oil improves the flow of blood to the muscles during exercise and helps to stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used up for energy. Now if I could only get around to the whole exercise thing…

4. Whole-wheat everything

Whole-wheat is not only chock full of fiber (see #2 above), but high in complex carbohydrates, low in saturated fat, a source of protein, and a storehouse of nutrients, as well.  According to Discovery Health, it is a “microcosm of what your diet should be.” I actually prefer the taste of whole wheat pasta and bread to their refined counterparts.

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a regulatory effect on blood sugar levels and simultaneously increases insulin levels in the body. It helps prevent increased storage of fat and enables you to lose weight. In addition, cinnamon delays the passing of food from the stomach into the intestine. Hence, you feel satisfied for a longer time and eat less. Lastly, cinnamon helps the body to process carbohydrates more efficiently and this assists you in losing a few pounds. Studies show that abdominal fat is more sensitive to the effects of cinnamon than fat from other parts of the body.

-www.fitday.com

*I will take a 1,000mg supplement of cinnamon per day.

6. Green tea

Researchers say that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.

7. Three square meals

Some people do best with six small meals a day, but I lose weight and maintain my weight more successfully with three meals a day. I don’t measure food or count calories. I simple eat until I’m full. Click here to learn why two meals a day may be better for weight loss than grazing.

8. Super foods

There are many foods identified as “super foods” for one reason or another. The following list of foods is beneficial not only for your health, but weight loss in particular. You can find the full lowdown here.

  • wild salmon
  • apples
  • quinoa
  • lentils
  • olive oil
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • sweet potatoes
  • kiwifruit
  • edamame

And now for the two I haven’t tried…

9. Raspberry Ketones

According to Dr. Oz, raspberry ketone causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. The recommended dose is 100mg per day. To get the same benefit from the whole fruit, you’d have to consume 90 pounds of raspberries!

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

It is believed that apple cider vinegar accelerates weight loss, because it helps control blood sugar levels and suppress appetite. It is recommended to mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. It is best to use organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to get all the good nutrients.

***

After a failed attempt of baby-led weaning last week, I have come to the conclusion that Baby J is not ready for food of any kind. No mush, no purees, no solids, nada. Therefore, the meals I am preparing for dinner this week will revolve around the ten weight loss “super foods” listed above. I have not given up on baby-led weaning, however. We’re just putting it on the back-burner for awhile.

SundayGreek Quinoa & Avocado Salad

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MondaySweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

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Tuesday- Spinach Linguine with Edamame Pesto

*I will use whole-wheat linguine

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WednesdayAncho Lentil Tacos

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ThursdayCheesy Quinoa & Broccoli Patties

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I’ll let you know next Sunday how this plan plays out. Hopefully, I will lose at least a pound or two!

XO,

Elleigh