Tag Archives: diet

Tofu Noodles & Fake Chicken, or Meatless March Update

19 Mar

A month ago, after I finished my very first cleanse, I was pretty much driving the Healthy Habits Bandwagon. I gave up all milk-based products and went to the gym and felt fantastic.

Then I lost two more pounds and got cocky, so guess what? The Healthy Habits Bandwagon told me I wasn’t a qualified driver anymore. Feeling dejected and puffy and also after making a huge mistake by reading that disgusting, graphic chapter about meat in Skinny Bitch, I decided to be a vegetarian for the month of March.

Thus began my constant internal conflict between wanting to eat meat (primarily bacon) and thinking it’s disgusting, rotting flesh (screw you, Skinny Bitches). At first, this bordering-on-unstable struggle inside my head illustrated that I just needed to get out of the habit of eating meat all the time. Kind of like how I got out of the habit of eating cheese with everything and now I just don’t really want it.

But then, it’s like, I want bacon. Or fried chicken and waffles. I don’t even like fried chicken (except the kind my grandma makes for picnics in the Snake River Canyon), but it became this thing I wanted constantly simply because I told myself it wasn’t allowed.

Newsflash: It’s way easier to give up a food that makes you feel like shit than it is to give up a food you really love just because some skinny vegans wrote a fear-mongering book and you accidentally read the wrong chapter.

But even so, my word for 2012 is COMMIT, and I’m neurotic enough to absolutely have to follow through.

So I’ve been eating a lot of chickpeas and celery and bread and pitas and hummus (which, hi, is actually more chickpeas) and avocado and more bread and some tomatoes and onions. After a few weeks, that’s gotten really freaking boring. Also, most of my diet was just carbs. You know what meat does? Adds options of the non-carb-variety.

Alas, I made a commitment.

Then, one night I went grocery shopping and found these tofu noodles I’d heard about on the Food Network’s Hungry Girl show. Situated right next to the fake noodles were the fake chicken cutlets! I could pronounce all the ingredients in them and they were reasonably priced ($5 for four cutlets). Also, yay fake imitation food that’s actually healthy and good for you!

So basically I figured out a way to have a super healthy meal of “chicken and linguine in tomato sauce” without consuming ALL THE CARBS or any meat. The “chicken” was awesome, but no, it doesn’t taste like real chicken. Except that real chicken doesn’t really have that much flavor, so it kind of does.

And the noodles are … well, they are tofu noodles. Pretty much flavorless until you put something on them and chewier than real pasta. If you’re a person who hates weird textures, never eat these.

I just happen to be one of those freaks who loves tofu.

In conclusion, I’m probably going to turn this Meatless March Challenge into a Meatless Life Habit. Except for maybe sushi.

The Cleanse Aftermath, or Everything Has Cheese

14 Feb

So, after I spent three days eating no food and subsisting on crazy raw natural juices and doing yoga in the morning (seriously, who am I?), I had to start eating again. For various valid and totally psychotic reasons, I actually didn’t really want to start eating again, but I knew I had to.

Friday was a little rough, though. Work was crazy and I wasn’t really hungry, so I didn’t start eating till after 1pm. When I did start eating, it was a light salad, but the roof of my mouth got so irritated it became too painful to swallow. I ate the avocado and nothing else until evening. At that point, I could manage really small bites of a delicious homemade salad and it felt really good to eat something chewable and healthy.

Saturday I got up feeling good once again (yay, lasting effects!) and went to the gym. I had an egg and toast and a banana and then went to Brooklyn to Skype with some Amazonian tea farmers. As you do.

I made some mistakes Saturday evening though, as I became starving and went to a party and ate crackers and crab dip and shrimp cocktail and some French fries. Oh, and birthday cake. And wine. TALK ABOUT NAUSEA!

Regrets. I should have known better, though.

A few important things of note:

Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day is definitely something I’m going to be focusing on! I think that will curb my snacking urges and keep me full longer.

Did I mention I lost seven pounds on this thing? Seven. Pounds. I obviously don’t expect it all to stay off, but wow! What an encouraging way to kickstart this get-healthy-lose-weight goal I’ve got!

My tastebuds are super sensitive now. I’ve always been a good “taster,” but now everything is that much more intense. For example, I ate an olive on Friday night and almost cried at how salty it was.

Speaking of salt, I’m going to be watching my sodium intake much more carefully now. I’m pretty sure that was a strong contributing factor to feeling like such a dead heavy slug and I’d like to avoid going back to that.

Speaking of that dead heavy slug, I have also made the heartbreaking decision to stay away from milk-products altogether. I’ve been lactose intolerant to varying degrees for the past seven years or so, but sneaking in some cheese has never affected me too much. Or so I thought. Going the past week with absolutely no dairy has made a world of difference.

Speaking of cheese, IT’S IN EVERYTHING I WANT TO EAT. This is why I had to sneak cheese all these years despite knowing my body doesn’t like digesting it! Seriously, everywhere I look, it’s gruyere-this, cheddar-that, swiss-this, pepperjack-that. Screw you, cheese! I love you but now I hate you for taunting me with your gooey deliciousness.

In conclusion, I’m sad about the cheese. Really sad. Everyone have some extra cheese today for me.

In final conclusion, this cleanse was awesome for me overall, if not tragic for my cheese consumption.

That juice diet everyone’s talking about? I did it, too.

13 Feb

The Prep, or Superbowl Snacks & Lethargy

As you all know, I decided to jump on the oh-so-trendy cleanse bandwagon with the BluePrint Cleanse. I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time, although various factors prevented me from diving into the 3-Day Juice Diet. Factors like social plans, money or lack thereof, and, of course, my propensity for chewing.

But with a slow week approaching, a particularly annoying bout of self-diagnosed insomnia, and a little extra money thanks to the US government, I decided to take the plunge. (Pun only half intended.)

My reasoning was this: Everyone cool is doing it.

Ok, fine, that was only part of my reasoning. In all seriousness, I’d been feeling especially gross and lethargic and full of buffalo chicken dip (Hi, Superbowl! Go Giants! Boo hot sauce and sodium!). I mean, I was just feeling puffy. And tired. So tired.

So I went with the obvious solution and decided I may as well stop eating solids for 3 days to see what would happen.

The Cleanse, or 96oz/Day: The Juices

Juice #1: the Green Juice. This literally tastes like drinking a salad. Kind of a sweet, lots of lettuce and nothing else salad. It was actually really refreshing to have first thing in the morning, although I wouldn’t say it tasted good. It tasted clean, though, which was the point.

I loved Juice #2, the Pineapple Apple Mint, which everyone says tastes like a mojito. It really does. What a nice mid-morning treat!

Juice #3 was Green Juice again, which was so hard to choke down. One of those per day is fine by me, anything more and I’m on Liquid Salad Overdose.

Juice #4, the Spicy Lemonade, was definitely my favorite. It wasn’t as sweet as the other juices and it felt the lightest. The cayenne pepper after taste was fun and not too strong. (I’m a spicy-food wuss.)

I was really excited to try Juice #5, the Red Juice. It’s made mostly of carrots, beets, apples, and ginger. I love beets and I’d heard that that was the key to liking this juice. Alas, all I tasted was the ginger. So ginger-y! So sweet and ginger-y! It actually felt like my mouth was puckering with each sip. Definitely my least favorite juice by far.

Juice #6 gets a lot of hype; lots of people call it a liquid cookie. Let me go one step further: This “juice” is a liquid snickerdoodle cookie. It’s cashew milk with cinnamon and vanilla and it is delicious. I kind of want some right now.

The Cleanse, or I’ve Never Peed This Often Ever: The Days

Day one I woke up feeling like a heavy slug. Only a dead heavy slug, since they die when you pour salt on them and that’s pretty much all I’d been pouring down my gullet.

(I’m not a morning person, in that I’ve never been one to leap out of bed and immediately want to tackle everyone in hugs. That being said, I also haven’t always been a cranky morning person. When I’m at my best, I just need a few minutes to adapt to being conscious.)

Day two I woke up feeling fantastic. I was alert and I felt light and clean. No more Sluggy Sara here!

Day three I woke up and went to yoga! I hardly recognized myself! I felt so energized and the workout was great. Usually morning workouts are hard for me because I’m such a heavy dead slug that I don’t really push myself.

Each night I fell asleep between 10 and 10:30pm. Boy-roommate judged a little, but I slept great!

The juices were a little boring the first day. I struggled to get them down and I thought about food a lot. Not enough to cheat, though. Dropping two hundo on some juices will kind of force you into commitment, ya know?

Day two was definitely the best. I took a spinning class that evening and I swear I sweated out toxins. Day three I struggled to finish the juices. It was just so much liquid; I could tell my stomach had shrunk.

Speaking of so much liquid, over the course of each day, I was also drinking a lot of lemon tea and a lot of water and I kept peeing. Luckily, I didn’t wear heels so at least I didn’t have to clack across the wooden floors at work every 20 minutes to get to the bathroom. Subtlety is key for me.

The main complaint I had was that the juices tasted really sugary. I know they are totally natural, so any sugary-ness is also totally natural, but it actually made them harder to drink. Also, my teeth got fuzzy mid-day, which required some awkward public-bathroom-teeth-brushing.

Overall, I was never actually hungry. I didn’t get light-headed and my blood sugar didn’t plummet or spike. After the first day, thinking about food was sort of tangential, which made me feel kind of superior to everyone else taking real bites.

But wait, you might say, what about now? What happened when you starting eating real good again? Did you lose weight? And that, my friend, will come tomorrow with its own post!

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