Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fresh Princess

Update on the GS cookie situ: I purchased four boxes that will be donated to the troops overseas. I was a Brownie back in the dizzle, so I wanted to support the program. I’m sure the troops will appreciate a little taste of home, too :)

No. That’s not my freezer. Thankfully.

When I began Weight Watchers, I relied pretty heavily on prepackaged foods. I usually made a packet of instant oatmeal for breakfast. I ate a frozen meal for lunch every day. I would often microwave a can of soup or another frozen meal for dinner. It was quick. It was easy. It was SAFE.

The nutrition information (and oftentimes the points value) is listed right on the package! How could I go wrong?

Well, it wasn’t really "wrong." But it wasn’t very right either.

Exactly one year ago tomorrow, I eliminated meat from my diet. I also decided around that time that I would focus more on fresh foods and assembling my own meals. I had no idea what my former eating habits were doing to my body. I didn't think about the effects of processed foods at all, actually. I didn’t realize how I USED to feel until my body started responding positively to my new way of life. Examples? Here ya go!

Fresh Food Favors

• Less sodium. Less bloating. Nuf said.
• Fruits and veggies are low-cal and very filling. I make a huge salad for lunch at work and am completely satisfied (and sometimes stuffed) until dinnertime. And all for 4-5 points!
• Multicolored produce = well-rounded nutrition. Along with lots of fiber, each color provides different vitamins and minerals. I try to get in four or five different colors of fruit and veggies per day. (Yesterday: banana, clementine, lettuce, tomato, peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, grapes. Nice work, me!)
• No acid reflux! I used to have acidy throat ALL THE TIME. No joke, I would swig from the Mylanta bottle morning, noon and night. It was complete agony 24/7. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep because I thought my throat was gonna burn off. NOT ANY MORE! It simply vanished when I changed my diet.

Meatless Miracles
• I #2 every day. Sometimes twice. It’s awesome.
• I don't feel lethargic after meals. A lot of people feel like taking a nap after lunch or couch potatoing it after dinner. Not me. I feel tip top.
• I rarely get sick or have headaches, which is a huge benefit in itself, but it also means that I rarely take medicine either.
• My meals are cheaper. Steak or lobster dinners can get pricey. Veg meals are generally more pocket friendly.
• I’m lowering my risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

If you don’t want to give up meat entirely, how about just one day a week? Lots of people do Meatless Mondays and find health benefits in that, as well.

Speaking o
f eating fresh foods, I recently picked up a tiny quick-read called Food Rules by Michael Pollan. I already owned In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by him, and he’s also the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I am a firm believer in that we need to be knowledgeable about what we put in our mouths and how we treat our bodies. His books definitely help with this. (Don't be scurred, non-veggies; these books are helpful for all!)

I don’t usually watch Oprah, but I have my DVR set for tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) episode called “Before You Grocery Shop Again: Food 101 with Michael Pollan.” Alicia
Silverstone will also be on the show, and I’m looking forward to hearing what she says. I really want to pick up her book, The Kind Diet, because I appreciate her three-level approach to a plant-based diet and I’m interested in learning more. The founder of Chipotle (yuuuummm) will be on the show, too. They’ll all be discussing the documentary Food, Inc., which I’d advise everyone to see if they haven’t already.

I know this post is getting longish, but I realized that I haven’t put any real-life pics on here in awhile. Here are some January highlights!

NYE at Jen’s house.
I wore pink tights with this dress and was feelin’ fab!

Jenna, Me and Jacob out for pizza in Onalaska.
I’m standing next to two skinnies … and I felt skinny, too! Yay!

Morgan, Me, Jacob, Jenna and Phyllis at my former high school’s show choir competition to support our friend Brianna who directs one of the best show choirs EVER.

Me, Emily and Jen at the Pat McCurdy concert.
If you live in the Midwest, you need to catch a show. SO FUN!

Jenna, BJ, Me and Alia at BJ’s Moving-to-NY party.
We’ll miss you!

And one more …

Happy Veggiversary
to Me and Morgan!!!!



  1. That's so nice of you to donate cookies to the troops, how thoughtful!

    Happy veggiversary to you! If I don't eat mass amount of produce daily I actually feel really sick. Whenever I over indulge all I crave is salad!

    You look so gorgeous in all of your pictures.. I love your hair! I have naturally wavy/curly hair that I straighten everyday but I can never get it to look pretty curly like yours does!

  2. "I am standing next to two skinnies... and I felt skinny too"! YAY!"

    I just have to say: I hope you realize that you ARE skinny, you don't just "feel" skinny. Be encouraged!

    *Disclaimer: I am an engineer - if that sounded *too* technical.

  3. how do you feel after today's lunch?!? i was sleepy. that pizza was so greasy. i wish the crust was crispier, with less cheese. cheese makes me super gassy...but so do most things, i've found. TMI?
    i need to see Food, Inc. maybe when i reactivate my netflix.

  4. Love this post! I recently went meatless, and I feel sooo much better! I had a meal just the other day with some meat in it (because the banquet I went to didn't offer any other options!!!), and I felt sick all day. Blah!!!

    You look amazing!

  5. What a great post! I really want to read In Defense of Food, it's on my list!

  6. I love reading your blog! Your story is such an inspiration. You are a beautiful girl and should be so proud of what you have accomplished.

  7. Okay, I love this post.
    I, too, find myself relying a lot on the go-to Smart Ones for dinner at least 2 times a week.
    My big thing is, my husband is ridiculously fit and doesn't need to lose weight (he really needs to GAIN some.. ugh men!) so I have a hard time cooking healthy (for me) and at the same time trying to fatten him up.
    I know, there is always an excuse.
    But whats a girl to do?

    I have considered going meatless, but I'm just not sure I could do it. I mean, I'm not a big red-meat fan, but how many veggie recipes are there? I don't know if I could do away with my grilled chicken... even though it's not that it tastes so good or anything, I guess it's just an easy staple.
    you never know.. you just might inspire me... ONCE AGAIN!!!

  8. Ou, love the pollan book "in defense of food" it was a great read - I piled through it in a day ans a half.

    I too have had no acid refulx since changing my diet to healtheir foods - isn't it great how that works?

    Yeay to Veggies!!! I've been veggie for years (with a couple breaks in between) and last time I went back to a meatless life (about a year and a half ago) I realised that I can never eat meant again. I watched "earthlings" which made me realize what we're doing to animals and the environment through factory farming. It's really hard to watch, but very informative for those wanting to know more about factory farming. You can watch it for free here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6361872964130308142&ei=skwLSdqSLZKYrQKosuG_CA&q=earthlings#

    Thanks for the post - it was great!!!

  9. What led you to decide to go vegetarian? I've considered many times simply because I don't really like meat that much. I don't really miss it if I don't have it...but have never made the plunge and gone for it. Maybe I'll give meatless Monday's a whirl...

  10. The thing that caught my eye the most in this blog was the pictures of the Veggie Tales characters!! I love them!!!

    Congrats on your meatless lifestyle!!!

  11. LOVEd the post :) i just realized i could comment (i'm so smart, i know). i definitely loved what you said about pre-packaged foods! it just is so easy to pop one in the mic and not realize that your putting some not so great stuff in your body! i used to do that at school consistently, but now i try to make things at home the night before and bring them the next day!

    i'm also honored i made it on your blog :)

  12. Ugh! So mad I missed Oprah! I read your post and looked at the clock, and now there's only 5 min left and my daughter has comandeered teh TV. Boo...hoefully there will be clips online. And, PS, love the "Its awesome" after your number one reason you feel better eating your new way :)

  13. Great post. You are absolutely beautiful and I thank you for sharing your story and journey.

  14. Great post! And how right you are. Congrats on being meat free. I stopped eating meat 10 years ago, within the last two years I've added in some fish though. You look great!

  15. Great post! I have reduced my meat consumption a lot in the last year and feel much better. I eat fish once or twice a week and meat about once a week. But my main food are veggies & salads.

    Happy Veggiversary to you and Morgan!

  16. haha, thanks girl!
    i just might be hitting you up for some good recipes!

  17. I have been a vegetarian for 10+ years and my boyfriend is also one. Even without eating meat, I didn't eat the healthiest diet, but when I met him, we both really started getting more knowledgeable about what we were putting into our bodies, and coincidently I've lost 35lbs! (and I'm still losing)
    Kevin (http://kevinsveggie.blogspot.com/) and I (http://angiesveggieblog.blogspot.com/) just started our own blogs and will both be posting recipes, he is a great cook! (I'm trying to get him to post the healthy "cheese" cake recipe he just made.. it's AMAZING) and I'm slowly starting to cut out dairy and eggs, so I will be posting Vegan recipes soon, I just got a 30 min-meal Vegan cookbook that is really good so far.

  18. You have inspired me! You look great! I am on day one of my "weight loss life style change" I had a thyroidectomy in Jan of 06 and I have gained 25 lbs! It has been really hard for me. You look great and keep up the good work.