The days are beginning to add up as a non smoker.
I realize that I cannot overcome this addiction by myself and will always have to be alert. Now after two weeks, I think I am in a place of acceptance. I still have a long way to go, but the cravings aren't as intense, and I am able to handle stress a bit better. I don't have the longing for the ciggies, but am not ready to be around smokers yet. So I am not a fragile as I was, and I am thankful that I have made it this far.
The weight loss goal
is still to be down to my goal weight of 160 by the 7th of August 2015. This is broken down into one month goals, right now, I need to revise my monthly goals. I hadn't anticipated stopping smoking when I started my Journey with food 53 days ago. The great blessing is that I haven't gained, but my weight loss has slowed down a bit.
I am so glad that I decided to use Spark Coaching, I have learned a lot and the support has kept me focused. I can honestly say that on a scale of 1-5, my food choices are improving, not quite a five but way better than they
were. I am not a fussy eater, but prefer my own planning to the meals provided by Sparks. When I first started, I would use their meal , and adapt. Now I have a handle on this and it is becoming easier. I have a little "Planning Procedure"- I do a rough draft of the on coming week's meals. On the food tracker, I am also tracking the micronutrients.
My husband and I both have health concerns and tracking the cholesterol, sodium intake, calcium, Vitamin C etc, helps me make food choices that fit into our health needs. I have purged my pantry and freezer and have it stocked with good foods. That helps a lot. When the week's meals are complete and checked to ensure they are within the nutritional guidlelines, I run the grocery list. Then I take the list and compare it to what I have on hand. This has reduced my grocery expense by about $300 per month. I am buying meats in quantiy and freezing. I am also doing some bulk cooking, which reduces that amount of time that I have to spend preparing meals.
I have one meatless meal a week. Each meal has a protein, a fruit, a veggie ( lots of veggies).
I have started use the GROUP feature for Breakfast and Lunch. I have 4 breakfasts that I enjoy and 4 lunches. Dinners are a bit more fun. Now that I am tracking, I can go back and copy the meals that were enjoyable. I can also pick a recipe, and modify to meet our nutritional goals. Yes, at first it was quite time consuming, but I can do the weekly planning in less than an hour now.
Things I have learned- to keep my cholesterol under control, I can have one egg a day. I tried the egg substitutes, because you can have more volume- but then you increase your sodium. So now I have one egg ( Egglands have less cholesterol) and make a vegetable hash from potato, green pepper, onion,mushroom or whatever other veggies and a piece of whole wheat bread. I add a piece of fruit and have a balanced satisfying breakfast.
For lunch, I am pretty much a sandwich girl. Instead of mayonnaise I use the Wholly Guacamole 100 cal pack and start layering on the veggies, like cucumber, tomatoes, shredded chicken. I used to use the fat free or low fat ham or turkey, but the sodium is too high, so I get a bigger bang for the buck with the chicken ( or salmon or lean pork).
Now days we rarely eat out, maybe a couple of times a month. I am able to make moderate choices by meal sharing, or bringing a portion home.
I love cottage cheese and cheese in general, again the sodium is a consideration. I try to stay under 1500 mg per day. So there is room for an occasional slice of cheese on the sandwich. With all the vegetables, I don't feel like I am sacrificing too much by passing on the cheese.
I make a "Waldorf Makeover Salad", that is a big hit here. I take 2 apples, 4 stalks of celery, put in the food processor to chop, then add a few grapes, some walnuts or pecans, and 1 cup of Greek Yogurt. That is more than likely the fruit for dinner. I also add cinnamon or nutmeg or both to kick up the flavor a bit. If I am still hungry or need a snack, this is a go to food.
I have been using the reduced sodium canned beans, and still running into problems keeping the sodium levels down. So I decided to cook my beans from "scratch". They are so cheap and so easy to do with the crock pot. After they cook, I break them down into 1 cup servings and freeze them for use at a later time. ( The first batch I didn't do that and I ended up throwing about 4 cups of beans away).
I am using Zaycon for 95% of my meat. They have great prices and excellent quality. I have to preplan, because it is a couple of months out after paying before I pick it up- but that savings are well worth the extra effort.
Ok that is the good news. On the other hand I still haven't done well in the physically fit part of my balanced life. Today I started tracking my pain levels. I know that exercise is supposed to help fibromyalgia and arthritis, but am stuck in that "I hurt to move stage". I "discovered" the custom tool in the weigh-in portion of the tracker, so I can log my pain daily. If it continues to be a level 4, I need to consult with my Dr. for pain control. I will start a Get Physical program in November, first by doing the exercises recommended by my Physical Therapist and building from there. October was all about non smoking, and September was about Nutrition. Eventually it will become second nature, one step at a time. In the back of my mind I am thinking about getting a dog as a walking partner, which is fine as long as it is cool, but the summers here are brutal.
So I will continue to make one healthy choice and then make another on a daily basis. I promises to make healthy and positive choices so that I can live a healthy lifestyle and reach an Maintain my goals.