Saturday, November 3, 2012
The Big Post That Starts With A Picture Of What I Had For Lunch Yesterday
Looks pretty tasty, hmm? Actually, it's pretty darn good.
Back in 2007, when I lost over 75 pounds, I ate a LOT of these frozen meals from several different brands. Most of them are reasonably tasty, y'know, for frozen diet food. I knew that I could feel good about eating them because they were helping me lose weight. I picked some up not too long ago to have on hand at work for days I don't get out for lunch.
Then, shortly after that grocery shopping trip, I discovered the PCOS Diva, aka Amy, and her program. Actually, that's not true, I'd run across her site a few months ago and I think I automatically dismissed it as "just another diet plan that's impossible to follow." For some reason, when I stumbled on it this time, it just hit me differently. I realized it was realistic and relatable. I read virtually everything on her website. It all made a startling amount of sense. Here's a woman with my same condition who is not only surviving it, she's living well with it. I spoke to her on the phone a few times for some private coaching. She made me feel so at peace, optimistic, and empowered. (I had to stop the one-on-one, but will be picking it back up shortly.)
I ordered her summer and fall meal plans. I spoke to clients of hers that I saw posting on her Facebook page. I found out that not only is Amy for real, her ideas for living better with PCOS actually work. She LOVES making women feel better, or rather empowering them to make themselves feel better. (In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't paid or compensated in any way to rave about Amy or her website or program. She doesn't even know I'm writing this. I'm hoping she won't mind. I am just truly excited about this.)
Thanks mostly to a couple of people in my life who are healthier than me, and Amy, I've had this enormous epiphany in the last couple of months about the things I put in my body and the effects they have on not only my body but my mind, my emotions and my future. I have always eaten almost exclusively processed foods, and not usually even the health(ier) ones. I eat a lot of junk. It's easy, it's quick, and it's a lifelong habit of mine. I grew up loving Swanson TV dinners, Chef Boyardee ravioli and Hamburger Helper. Needless to say, it was a different time. Mom and Dad always made sure we had veggies with dinner, but the 'whole foods' craze just didn't exist, at least not with anyone I knew. And without the internet, how would we have really learned so much about it, anyway?
I've spent the last few weeks slowly stocking my pantry with foods that are truly good for me (and that are recommended by Amy). I've become acquainted with that section of the store that I had always avoided before because it smelled funny. You know the one. "Natural foods." "Organic foods." Or in our house, the "hippie section" or "granola land." I was pleasantly surprised to start learning a lot about food. I would make trips to the grocery store just to wander up and down these aisles. It was as if I'd discovered a whole new side of life.
I've now got a handsome stash of foods like flaxseed (which I am proud to say I ground myself, thankyouverymuch!), chia seeds, raw cacao powder, organic almonds and sunflower seeds, gluten-free bread (which I didn't even know existed before), steel cut oats, organic coconut oil, and so much more. Once I was satisfied with my stash, which happened to be yesterday, I finally made the trip to the store that committed me to this whole new way of thinking. The produce run. Gasp! The point of no return. I bought strawberries, green beans, limes, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, onions, spinach, mixed greens, green onions, pears and more. All organic.
I looked, bewildered, at my selections as they traveled down the belt to the cashier.
When did I become one of those people?!
November, 2012. That's when. I'm so excited... and a little nervous. The weight loss will be nice, but mostly I am looking to feel better, live longer, and enjoy life more. My heart and my gut are both screaming at me that this is GOOD for me and definitely the way I should go. It'd be really absurd not to give it an honest try. And even though gluten-free bread scares me a little (what do they use instead?!?), this doesn't feel temporary. I think this will be permanent. And I think that 2012 will go down in my history book as the year things changed.
So, about yesterday's lunch? Truth be told, I had to eat it, because I didn't have any other options. We were short handed at work and I couldn't leave. And my body doesn't like going without food for 12 hours. So, down it went.
What's in that, anyway? Turkey is good for you, right? Mashed potatoes, ehh, I could do better, but I could do a lot worse too. Sounds harmless enough. Then I started really paying attention, in keeping with my new dietary existence.
Ingredients: MASHED POTATOES (water, potatoes, margarine [soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, water, salt, monoglycerides, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate, artificial flavor, beta-carotene (color), vitamin A palmitate], dehydrated potatoes with sodium acid pyrophosphate added to maintain color, cream powder [cream, soy lecithin, ascorbyl palmitate], maltodextrin, roasted garlic puree, nonfat dry milk, salt, parsley, spice, chives, mono & diglycerides, dehydrated garlic, xanthan gum, extractives of black pepper), GRAVY (water, modified corn starch, turkey flavored gravy paste [corn oil, modified cornstarch, wheat flour, turkey and turkey broth, whey, turkey fat, salt, yeast extract, sauteed carrots, hydrolyzed corn gluten, flavor (turkey fat, natural flavors, spices), soy sauce solids (wheat, soybeans, salt), disodium inosinate and guanylate, dried chicken meat, caramel color, chicken fat, butter (cream, salt)], rendered chicken fat, carrot juice oncentrate, salt, dextrose, dehydrated chicken broth, natural flavors, autolyzed yeast extract, spice, xanthan gum, chicken fat, caramel color, chicken broth, soy lecithin, flavorings), COOKED TURKEY BREAST MEDALLIONS (turkey breast meat, water, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, salt, turkey flavor, turkey stock, flavor, gum arabic], modified cornstarch, salt, canola oil, carrageenan, sodium phosphate, natural flavoring, paprika).
Oh dear. Soy... so bad for PCOS. Hydrogenated, hydrolyzed, pyrophosphate, diglycerides, autolyzed, modified?! These are all words that don't exist in the foods I know (now) are good for me. Eating that meal felt like going out to dinner with someone with intentions of breaking up with them before the entree arrives. Like a final meal, if you will. I admit I enjoyed it, but I also know it's the end of the 'cardboard food' era and I'm not the least bit apprehensive or regretful.
By comparison, my breakfast this morning tasted MUCH better than the frozen meal, and its entire ingredient list was: organic strawberries and bananas, raw cacao, chocolate protein powder, flax, organic almond milk, organic baby spinach (you really cannot taste it, I swear!) and ice. It took me less time to prepare than the microwave meal. Plus, who doesn't love throwing a bunch of stuff in a blender and making something new?! My two year old even loved it, which should tell you something.
Suddenly, this is a no-brainer, isn't it? Oh, and did I mention I didn't have indigestion afterwards? And I didn't consume a third of the recommended daily allowance of salt in one sitting?
If you have PCOS, go check the Diva out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Oh, and wish me luck, wouldja? I'm excited and committed, but I'm still working against 35 years of habits here. Support would be mucho appreciated-o.