By Angie Fenton
Each time I falter on my quest to get fit, I come
back with a fervor. Recently, I allowed myself to
be derailed by Taco Tuesday. No, I didn’t not
want ground turkey tacos on a low-carb tortilla,
I wanted to go to El Nopal and eat my weight in
chips and salsa and order authentic ground beef
and cheese tacos, thank you very much. I did, I
enjoyed and then I started on the “right” path
once again the next day, this time cajoling my
husband into joining me.
One of our downfalls is a lack of time, which
means grabbing whatever we can throw together
and making a meal out of it. Although we don’t
usually keep sweets and junk food in the house
– our toddler’s nearly 2-pound box of baked
Goldfish crackers doesn’t count, although their
little carb-filled bodies sure can be tempting –
taking the time to prepare healthy fare can be
time consuming and leaves room to make excuses
about why we should just pick up something to-go
at a local restaurant.
So, I eked out an afternoon and spent it cooking,
chopping and baking a variety of foods so they’d be
there at the ready. Then, I took out our food scale
and packaged meals in Tupperware containers
that have separators. For two days, my husband
and I stayed steady: We drank at least 8 ounces of
water with lemon juice first thing in the morning.
Breakfast was an egg sandwich (one egg for me;
two for him) on multigrain Sandwich Slims.
Lunch was 4 ounces of baked chicken breast I’d
already cut into pieces with steamed asparagus
spears and a portion of a sweet potato. Dinner
was the same minus the added carbs. I started
actually measuring the amount of creamer I put
in my morning coffee and was astounded by the
amount. I’m not giving up the java, but I’ve started
making it less like a milkshake and am enjoying
the true taste of coffee for the first time.
The husband and I were a team on this mission,
encouraging one another to keep going. Then, one
night we both came home ravenous and unwilling
to eat yet another meal of chicken and asparagus.
Instead of derailing our progress, we Googled a
few recipes for a filling ramen dish and then went
about creating our own using chicken broth, all
kinds of vegetables, lean pork, shrimp and our
new favorite noodle substitute, House Foods Tofu
Shirataki (20 calories, 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of
carbs per package). After simmering everything
together and adding Sriracha sauce and other
spices, we topped each bowl with a poached egg
and micro greens and had a delicious, healthy,
filling ramen rendition. Even the 2-year-old
enjoyed it, spice and all.
To combat our food boredom, which helps keep us on track, I’m getting more creative with our prepared meals by varying
them. One of my new favorites is an arugula salad topped with vegetables
and chicken followed by a dose of Walden Farms Honey Dijon dressing
(calorie free, sugar free, fat free, carb free, gluten free, cholesterol free). Even
though the dressing is more expensive than I’d like, it’s worth it, since I’m
one of those who likes a little salad with their dressing. It’s also really good
and comes in a variety of flavors, including Thousand Island and Ranch.
At this point, I am feeling good about our progress, regardless of how slow
it is, and also fully accept that I will be derailed by Taco Tuesday in the near
future and enjoy every moment of it before picking up where I left off and
moving forward again.