Evil Genius Woman, Thrifty Mom's Diet progress slider

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thrifty dieting tips - salads

First of all, go to the thrift store and get yourself two or three cute salads plates.

Now, I don't mean to eat just salads on - I mean eat everything on them - every meal.

Pick out some fun designs that make you happy and choose real salad plates that are no more than 8in in diameter.

Now, before you say: "Hey, Ms ThriftyDietMom, I already have a set of perfectly good dinner plates!", bear with me.  There's method in my madness.

Most standard modern dinner plates are ridiculously huge.  Were the plates you mum had in your childhood 10 or 12 inches in diameter?  Probably not.  The ones in restaurants can be insane!

Buy some 8in salad plates.  Get 'em in hearts or flowers or skulls or Star Wars or something that makes you smile.

Now, let's say you eat what I just had for dinner: salmon steak and salad.

Salad tip #1: water down your dressing.  I get the regular WalMart GV ranch (110 calories and 2 grams carbs) and as soon as I get home I tip about 1/4 out into a container and fill the bottle back up with water. So 1/4 water, 3/4 dressing (or so.  Don't kill yourself over this.  It just cuts the calories down a bit).

I promise you, once you get used to your dressing not having so much body that it rivals Brad Pitt in Troy and barely pours, you won't notice a thing.  The taste is identical. Srsly.

Salad tip #2: measure everything.  Actually get out your measuring spoons and measure 2tbs.  If you're adding meat or cheese or bacon bits or whatever, actually measure them.  The phrase "oh, that's about a tablespoon" has derailed many a diet.

Salad tip #3: here's where our 'diet plates' come in. Eat every meal on your new, small plates.  Force yourself to eat only what fits on your diet plate. No fair carrying things in the other hand (not counting your beverage and cutlery, lol).  Remember that your salmon (or whatever) has to fit on this plate, too, so go easy on the lettuce.  If you make a bed of lettuce like you're standing at the salad bar in the Ryan's then you will feel compelled to load up said wodge of greenery with enough toppings to cover it, right?

No.  Just break off a chunk about as big as your closed fist. If you're actually at a salad bar then only use half the plate.  Or go over to the dessert bar (which you'll not be visiting anyway, right?) and grab a wee dessert plate.

Salad tip#4: cut your lettuce.  With a knife. This tip is from one of my fave diet books Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World by Lisa Lillien - it's fun, funny and practical.  ANYway, when you cut your lettuce instead of breaking it into chunks, the dressing can actually get onto all the lettuce and you use less and taste more.

Salad tip#5: choose the 2 or 3 toppings that you really love.  Don't do the Ryan's thing.  If you want to add carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, ham, turkey, olives, and mushrooms (and who doesn't?!), take a deep breath and pick your three faves this time.  Next time pick 3 different ones.

There they are!  Have fun and go eat some salads! Do any of you have any good, thrifty, easy, salad diet tips you'd like to share?
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 3 Comments

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update on my Paleo Lifestyle

I just wanted to pop in and say, specifically, how successful the Paleolithic Lifestyle has been for me.

Remember, Paleo is a lifestyle change, like vegetarianism, NOT a quick-fix diet to lose weight.  Obviously you CAN lose weight on it (I have been) but you're gonna have to exercise and count calories just like with any other successful diet on the planet.

To recap, the Paleolithic diet (Paleo diet, stone age diet, caveman diet) simply reasons that homo sapien had been eating a certain way for millions of years, then, suddenly (in the grand scheme of things) and quite recently, he discovered fire, learned to cook, and, most importantly learned to farm.

So Paleo Guy spent great huge wodges (for him) of evolutionary time eating what he could find that did NOT require cooking: meat, fish, eggs, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, insects.

He did NOT eat starchy veg that must be cooked (no potatoes, corn didn't even exist), grains (no rice, no bread), lentils (no beans or peanuts), or dairy (asking a passing mammoth to hang on while he milked her was not an option).

Then, suddenly, he developed the means to cook his food and began settling down and farming.  Rice, potatoes, grains, milk, cheese, and bread are very very recent additions to our diet and the Paleo theory is simply that our bodies haven't had time to evolve and adjust and properly cope with these foods.

The Paleolithic diet lifestyle is all about simplicity, not just about "cutting out certain foods".

Simple, simple, simple.  Eat your veggies raw, eat your meat without sugary sauces or carb-laden breading.  Try to stay away from processed anything (sauces, condiments, gravies). Cut sugar out of your life ruthlessly.

Some of the nastiest and worst-for-you foods are the last thing a Paleo would eat, but are America's faves: white bread, chips of any sort, sugary soft drinks, candy, snack foods. All highly processed and filled with empty carbs and sugar.

So, how's the whole Paleo thing working out for me?  Aren't I suffering horribly not eating french fries, bagels, and corn-on-the cob?

Actually no.  I've not missed the grains at all.  I thought I'd have serious cravings, because I'm a crunchy, salty, snacky, crusty bread/crackers type person, but I had none.  I'd have to watch myself to keep from popping a crisp or a cheese cracker that my kids had left behind into my mouth, but other than that, nothing.

I will tell you what I do miss: peanut butter and beans. Huh.  The only real craving I've gotten since I went Paleo was for a big pot of pinto beans that I was boiling for chili (for my family)!  Beans and peanuts are both lentils.

When I reach my goal weight, I'm seriously considering adding lentils back into my diet (so then what will I be?  A Lacto-Lentil-Paleo? ROTFL!) No-sugar-added peanut butter and beans are a superb source of protein and fibre, too.

I still have 5lbs to lose so I have a short while to think about it.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Inspirational diet article

GREAT article here!

I don't know who Jillian Michaels is and I deduce the the Biggest Loser is a telly show (don't watch telly) but the article, my Margarita Bertsos is FAB amd Ms Michaeles's tips are FAB.  Love the empowerment.


I told Jillian that some of my habits--flushing rice down the toilet so I won't eat it, bringing my own high-fiber bread to brunch--stirred some controversy on the blog. "Why?" she asked. "Why should we apologize for the practices that help us manage the symptoms while we deal with the real reasons we eat? I pour candle wax on my food at restaurants," Jillian admitted. "Not wanting to 'waste food' is a poor excuse for ending up far worse off later on, dealing with all the health problems that come with obesity."

2.) RUN.

I asked Jillian if running really is the best form of cardio for weight loss. "Absolutely," she said. "There are lots of great ways to get your heart rate up, but if you want to see the pounds melt off, running is the fastest way. But I get that not everyone is built for it--knee problems, tight IT bands, heel spurs; I get it." Whatever you do, she said, "Don't forget the weights! The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism will run."(What's better running outdoors or on a treadmill?)


"You don't watch the Olympics and think, Hmm, I should swim for 6 hours a day like Michael Phelps, do you? But you might think about joining a pool and swimming a few times a week," she said. That's what Jillian wants people watching TBL to think, too: "If these people can lose ten pounds in two weeks, maybe I can lose ten pounds in a couple of months." She adds: "I want people to realize their own potential; I meet people all the time who never thought of themselves as athletic, but now? They truly are athletes."


"Losing weight is not about willpower--it's about moments of bravado, like the moment when you ask your waiter to take the bread away from the table right away."


When I told Jillian how much weight I've lost, she congratulated me. And then (as I always do), I added, "But I still have a long way to go." "Stop," she said. "What does that do," she said, "apart from negate everything you've already accomplished? You're being self-deprecating and disempowering, and that doesn't serve anyone-and especially not you. Be proud of what you've done for yourself.""

I especially loved 4 and 5.  Life is tough as it is and a lot of us are working jobs, caring for children, taking care of our homes and partners, etc, etc.  EVERYTHING is about FlyLady's wonderful 'baby steps'. You pick your battles with your teenagers, let your bathroom go one more day dirty so you can read to your toddler, take your own trash to the dump to save money, and you should be proud of yourself that you turned down Barbara's birthday cupcakes in the breakroom and instead walked around the block.

You might not be 5lbs thinner tomorrow from that, but you did well, and it will show.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 0 Comments

Monday, October 20, 2008

Praising grazing?

Via Janelle from the Evil Genius Woman Forums, an interesting article here.  It's aimed at developing your abs but a lot of it is basic good sense.

I was intrigued at the recommendations of Nancy Clark, re: meals.

"For the next month, work your abs according to the following steps and try this eating tip from Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook: "I make two peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches every day; I eat one for lunch at 11 and one for my second lunch at 3," Clark says. Notice that the 3 o'clock feeding is a "second lunch," not an "afternoon snack." Too many men equate snack time with, well, snacks—junk food. You'll eat smarter (whole grains and muscle-building protein) and not need as big a dinner if you allow for a second lunch. Plus, you'll have more energy for a better workout in the afternoon or evening."

I have used this method of eating every time I dieted, raised my children like this, and now eat this way full time.  The only difference is that, being an Anglophile, I call my meals Breakfast (6:30am), Elevenses (between 10 and 11), Tea (between 3 and 4), and Supper (6:30pm).

(Since I'm pretty anti-sugar, none of these is 'snacktime'. Each is a meal. Obviously peanut butter and honey on bread is out for me, but it's one of my kids FAVE meals!)

Eating multiple times a day really makes sense given the Paleo lifestyle, too.  I mean think about it.  Paleolothic man spent all day searching for food.  If a stone age caveman managed find a huge clutch of eggs or bring down an injured antelope, then the clan stuffed themselves to bursting.  But that wasn't a typical day at work for Paleo guy.  Normally he bagged v. small game and supplimented with roots, veg, fruit, seeds, and insects that stone age woman gathered.

Caveman probably 'grazed' all day.  I mean, what else would one do?  It's not like they could check their email. ROTFL!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 0 Comments