Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This post is to announce that in my entire life, I don't ever remember NOT eating a piece of candy on Halloween. Well.....tonight was different. I am proud to say that I am going to sleep tonight without one piece of candy having touched my lips. (In the old days I could have said that and still manage to get it in my mouth and technically not be lying, but today  I really didn't eat any candy) My nephew was kind enough to hand the candy out to the little (and not so little) trick or treaters and I left the house. It made it much easier to refrain. Now I need to make sure that all of the left over candy is removed. I can't have it hiding in the cupboard haunting me.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Olive oil

Many of you have been wondering, "what's next on Patti's Plate?" Actually, I'm not really sure. I have been enjoying waking up lighter each morning. I am definitely going to continue a healthy eating plan. However, I am going to take a break from the very strict Nutritarian eating. One thing that I have abstained from and have definitely missed, is olive oil. There are a lot of mixed opinions about oil. Many experts believe that a little oil in moderation should not only be allowed, but is encouraged. Dr. Fuhrman is not of that opinion. He makes a point of discouraging olive oil. "Fat can be stored within minutes, without costing the body any caloric price". I'm Greek. We have always been taught that olive oil is good for you.....period. (Except during lent, so I guess I should have said comma) After reading "Eat to Live" I feel guilty eating olive oil. Tonight, I gave my husband a choice. Delicious oil-free dressing or a small amount of olive oil. He's Greek too. I'm making my chicken salad tonight with oil!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 42

I did it! I finished 6 weeks of being a Nutritarian. Today was probably the hardest day of all. I ate my quinoa salad for lunch, and I couldn't even finish it. I'm not sure why, but it just didn't taste as good as I remembered. I also couldn't get the energy to eat my big green salad for dinner. Many other dinner ideas kept popping up in my mind. None of them very nutritious. Then, I decided to make a big vegetable soup with a couple of chicken breasts in the crock part. (An old weight watcher recipe) I decided I could still buy something later if I didn't want it, and save the soup for another day. By the time dinner time came, the soup was smelling great and I was so happy to have it waiting for me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 41

If you will notice, this is a horrible picture. I quickly took it not thinking I would really use it. But, I am going to be honest. This is what I ate tonight. I will lead you through the thought process that caused this culinary event. As I mentioned yesterday, I went to a family party. It was lots of fun, and enjoyable to visit with everyone. As we sat outside and talked, my blog and my new way of eating came up in conversation. Midway through the conversation with my brother, there was barely an innuendo that I may not be eating enough protein. Well, that was all I needed to start obsessing about it.  Today, I was weak, hungry and a little frightened that I may not be eating enough protein. Now, keep in mind, I have been doing this for 40 days, and feeling great. Still, that little whisper in my head kept telling me I may be doing something unhealthy. That was all I needed tonight to say, "forget the salad, let's order take out!"
I ordered a classic chicken burrito from Poquito Mas, (I know, I could have just added chicken to my salad)  and I felt like I was in heaven! I added a small amount of salad from Tony's order, and I felt totally satisfied. I won't be as excited as I usually am to get up in the morning, but going to sleep on a full stomach for a change will be worth it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 40

I'm pretty tired tonight. It could be for several reasons. 1) I went out last night and got home much later than usual. 2) I went to a birthday party for my cute great nephew, Leo, and there were lots of kids in costume running around. (a couple without) 3) I ate watermelon for breakfast, Swiss chard soup (G-BOMBS) for lunch, and 3 grapes for a snack. By dinner time I was quite hungry and a little weak. Thank goodness my neighborhood Whole Foods store saved the day. I stopped by and made a large multi-veggie salad. I sprinkled a few seeds on it. When I got home I ate it accompanied by a large glass of water. I was too lazy to make my delicious oil-free dressing so I sprinkled balsamic instead and it was really a little boring. I may have to treat myself to something a little heartier tomorrow.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 39

 I had every intention of being the dutiful daughter to my 90 year mother. My sister, who lives with my Mom is in New York visiting her daughter. Mom loves to go out, so I was planning to be her escort for the evening. Unfortunately, the battery in my car died. After work, I had to call AAA and get a jump start. By the way, they are great and worth every penny. Anyhow, I got my car home, but I still need a new battery. All of that is besides the point. Long story short: I had no car, my husband is out of town, and my daughter got home relatively early. Anne had plans to go out, and she asked me to go with her. We went to Hollywood to listen to Anne's friend sing an amazing repertoire of songs. Taylor Greenwood will definitely be famous one day. We arrived a little early and walked  a few blocks to Mousso Franks. I looked at the menu, I was starving, and I couldn't imagine eating a salad without dressing. So, instead I chose the lobster cocktail appetizer. It felt like a splurge, but calorie wise it wasn't! I didn't have many nutrients, but I didn't have many calories either.   And...I didn't feel at all deprived.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 38

G-BOMBS are Dr. Fuhrman's secret weapons! Well, not so secret. They are Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds. These 6 items are super foods that strengthen our immune system and help fight disease. We should have some every day! They not only lower the risk of illness, but they also aid in weight loss. I actually thought I'd be creative today and use all of these ingredients in a soup. I chopped everything, added garlic and basil and slow cooked them in vegetable broth. It wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing soup but it was filling and it didn't taste half bad. However, I recommend finding ways to incorporate them into your daily eating plan separately.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 37

I know I've mentioned my love of watermelon before, but I think it actually deserves it's own post. I have always been someone who eats breakfast. When I think of all of my favorite breakfasts that I have eaten throughout the years, it's no wonder I have a weight problem. When I was young, I loved the "strawberry international" from the International House of Pancakes. In high school, Norm's steak and eggs were often on my plate. I also  have fond memories of Sunday mornings when my Dad would drive to Canters and bring home a feast of lox, bagels and cream cheese. He would also buy chocolate chip rolls for dessert. After I married, cereal or eggs became my "go to", except the three times that I was pregnant. Then, I would eat doughnuts almost everyday because I figured I was going to be fat anyway, why not enjoy it? Well, my eating habits did improve as I aged, but quite honestly, I still yearned for something warm and starchy in the morning. A croissant or English muffin usually did the trick. However, since I started "eating to live" I enjoy watermelon sprinkled with flax seeds almost every morning. I don't get tired of it. The little seedless personal melons are so easy to cut up and so naturally sweet, I look forward to getting up every morning. Granted, a bagel with lox still sounds tempting, but I would never be satisfied with only one.  And that, my friends, is the difference between an overweight person, and a person that does not have a problem with food.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 36

I was pleasantly surprised today. I discovered that my son loves pomegranates. I never knew this about him. Why? I've only bought them once or twice in my life. I love them when my sister puts them in her salad at Christmas, but I have never considered them worth the trouble to seed them myself. Recently, I have been trying to eat as many different vegetables and fruits as I can. I have gone out of my way to try and buy new produce. I watched a cooking show the other day that featured an easy trick to seed pomegranates without getting the juice everywhere. You core the fruit and submerge it in water. Then you pull it apart with your hands and all of the seeds fall to the bottom. You strain them and you are done. Brilliant! I seeded one fruit and sprinkled the beautiful little red seeds in my salad last night. They were sweet, crunchy and a perfect new addition to my Nutritarian dinner!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 35

In the past, when I had been counting points, drinking shakes or eating Wasa to lose weight, I would still dread Monday mornings. Inevitably I would have "failed" over the weekend. I no longer feel this way as a Nutritarian. Since I started this  program on a Tuesday, I have been using Monday as the day when I summarize how I am doing and how I feel. It has been 5 weeks today, and I feel great. I definitely can say with confidence that I feel a difference. Although my digital scale fluctuates, I know I have lost weight. It's quite hard to believe that I am entering my last week of the 6 week plan. I know many of you have been wondering what happens after the 6 weeks are finished. Well, the lifestyle continues but it will be a little less strict. I think the idea is to get accustomed to feeling good, and to have created healthy habits that will continue. I will have finished the 6 weeks without eating one piece of red meat. This is a huge accomplishment for me. I pretty much stayed away from all animal products. (twice a little chopped chicken, once a piece of shrimp, and once lobster bisque) I was so used to eating eggs prior to this diet and for the last 5 weeks I haven't eaten one!  Moving on to the "life plan" permits animal products if I really want them. Still, 90% of my diet should remain plant based.  I'm not sure yet how I will be handling the program after day 42. But, I must admit, with only one week left I'm pretty confident I will finish the 6 week plan successfully!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 34

The larger the salad, the more nutrients I eat. The salad I ate tonight was too big to finish. There were mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, onions, extra large asparagus, all laying on a bed of romaine lettuce. There were way too many vegetables to finish! Had I been eating a huge hamburger and fries, would I have been able to finish? Yes. I find it so odd that the healthier the food, the less I need to feel full. I really do think this is why the Furhman diet works. Your body accepts all of the nutrients that it needs and it is satisfied. It no longer needs anything more. After years of dieting I find that this revelation is really amazing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 33

In an odd way, I'm sort of happy I ate too much last night. I have been caught up in my new Nutritarian lifestyle, and really haven't acted much like my real self. Let's be honest. I am not really the "vegetarian" type. I know in the back of my mind, I will be eating a rib-eye and drinking a gin martini one day. But does that mean I will indulge and go back to my old way of eating? Not a chance. I like the way my body has been feeling lately.  I don't want to go backwards.
The difference between a fat person and a thin person, is that if a thin person overeats, they immediately watch what they eat the next day. A fat person says "I've blown it! I might as well eat everything including the kitchen table!" (well, maybe not the kitchen table, but you know what I mean.)  The good thing about dieting all of my life is that I am now equipped with tools that will really help me finally reach my goal. I actually feel like I will be a thin person in this lifetime. I have followed Dr. Fuhrman's plan perfectly today, and in the afternoon, when I sat down to eat my 4:00 apple with almond butter snack, I saw that he was on PBS! I was able to listen more to his wise nutritional advice and inspired even more to continue my life as a Nutritarian!



Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 32

Tonight was a really nice night, but it did not go as I had planned. I knew I was going out to a restaurant with friends. I gave myself the okay to eat as many brussel sprouts and as much roasted cauliflower as I wanted.  Even though I knew they were probably made with oil and maybe some flour and sugar, I had planned it all day. How bad can brussel sprouts and cauliflower be, no matter how they are made? I made sure I did not touch anything with meat. Okay, so maybe I did have a little cheese that was attached to a very small piece of pizza. Still, I didn’t have meat!   How can I totally go off a diet by eating an abundance of brussel sprouts? Well, I did. I let my brain wander off for the night, and I indulged in the most delicious brussel sprouts in the valley. I ate dinner at “The Village” in Studio City, and proved that I am still a bit of a food addict. Well, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 31

Dr. Furhman's "Eat to Live" diet emphasizes the necessity of eating large salads daily. Most days it has been easy. But once in a while I just don't feel like chewing that many vegetables at one sitting. Now, don't get me wrong. If I was at Houston's Restaurant eating  a Thai Steak Salad, I would be hoping the meal would never end. However, these non-oil salads that I have been making lately sometimes overstay their welcome. Tonight I made an arugala salad with grated jicama, peppers and onion. I added an avocado lemon dressing and I sprinkled sunflower seeds on top.
It was appealing to look at, but it wasn't the best tasting meal to ever grace Patti's Plate.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 30

Okay. So, I guess you could call me a copy cat. I have been somewhat stalking a fellow Nutritarian on Instagram. She posted a photograph of the most delicious looking vegetable stew I had ever seen. I attempted to guess the ingredients in her dish and she said that I was very close.  I asked her for the recipe, but unfortunately I couldn't wait for her answer. I wanted to make it for dinner tonight. I made up my own version of it and it really was good.
I thinly sliced mushrooms, shallots, carrots and brussel sprouts and sautéed them with balsamic vinegar and a few spices. I didn't even use cooking spray, let alone oil. I ate a big bowl of it and didn't even have room for salad. It was very filling. I had made a pot of chicken verde for the others in my household because I didn't think they would have much interest in my food tonight. I was wrong. Tony added a little olive oil to his portion of the veggie stew and raved that it was another "win" for Patti's Plate.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 29

I made a big mistake today. Since day one of my Nutritarian living, I have been so good about buying fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. I have also bought nuts, seeds and beans.  Once in a while I will buy a ready-made item like the quinoa salad from Costco. Well, today I decided to venture into the world of soy and I bought a package of meatless ground round. I looked at the label and went no further than reading 60 calories per serving. That sounded like a real bargain since I haven’t had meat in a month and that’s a long time for a previous carnivore.  It wasn’t until I came home and started reading more on nutrition that I realized an error had been made. I need to keep remembering that this journey is all about health. The weight loss is an added benefit. The additives in the ingredient label are impossible to even pronounce.  I had already made a big crock pot chili when I discovered I no longer wanted to eat it.  My husband, who has been deprived of his favorite sauces and stews, was ecstatic to see what was cooking for dinner. (It really does look like real meat) So, I stoically ate a small little bowl along with a large green salad. Tony loved it so much that he wanted me to put the recipe on paper so that I wouldn’t forget how I made it. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I will never buy that fake food again.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 28

Four weeks have passed. Each week I'm a little more amazed that I have stuck with this for so long. However, it is true what I've heard from others following the plan. The better you feel, the more you don't want to go back to your old way of eating. I finally will admit that I have lost a little weight. It's not enough that most people would notice, but it is enough that I can have more options of black pants in the morning. I'm able to choose from my vast array of black slacks of various sizes in my closet.  Maybe at the next baby shower, I'll be the one in hot pink!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 27

My blog had a little coming out party today. I attended a baby shower for my niece.  Up until this point, only a few people knew of my efforts to eat healthier.
Thanks to her fascination with Patti's Plate, and her talent for story telling, the entire party knew about my blog within a matter of minutes. Now I will really be forced to continue life as a Nutritarian.  I couldn't bear to risk public humiliation if I were to go back to my old way of eating! The buffet of food that I passed on was really quite spectacular. There were carnitas, halibut tacos, rice, beans and fajitas. All of my favorite foods could have easily been on Patti's plate. However, I chose instead to eat the delicious citrus jicama slaw, guacamole, roasted corn and a little protein splurge of shrimp. I also completely stayed away from the dessert and pretty pink candy table. I doubt I would have had that kind of willpower had I not been outed. Thanks, Vanessa.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 26

I used to make fun of my daughter for her love of quinoa. Quinoa is a highly nutritive seed that has been around for years but has recently received a lot of recognition in the culinary world. I had only eaten it once a few years ago when I was on a strict diet. My memory of it was not fond and I have avoided it ever since. Well, ever since today that is. I bought a prepared quinoa salad from Costco and ate it for lunch. It not only tasted delicious, but it was filling and gave me tons of energy.  I publicly apologize, Anne. You were right.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 25

This is an interesting day. Positive reinforcement really does help. I have lasted longer on this potential 6 week program than I ever would have imagined.
Today is Friday. It is the beginning of the weekend and the usual time that I start listening to that little voice that tempts me. "Go on, Patti. You can eat tonight. You deserve it. You've been so good and you work so hard."
However, this Friday night is different. I received an email from a friend that just recently started reading my blog. She was so complimentary, and so supportive that it made me want to continue. I was able to tell my husband that tonight we can eat salad (with dressing that I already had made) and we can have date night tomorrow. He was fine with that and now I have added one more day to my life as a Nutritarian! Thank you, mm.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 23

I learned something so cool today. I experimented making mushrooms in the crock pot. I had bought a container of mushrooms at Costco a few days ago. This morning I decided to cook them and figure out how I would eat them later. Mushrooms are a Nutritarian's friend. They are one of few foods that contain Vitamin D and they are a tasty texture replacement for meat. I washed and dried them and  put them in the food processor for rapid slicing. Then, I put them in my slow cooker on low for 4 hours. I did not put anything on them at all. No salt, no pepper, no water, no vinegar. When I came home, the house smelled a little funky, but my mushrooms were perfectly cooked with so much liquid on the bottom of the pot. I put some in a cup with a little salsa and hot sauce and ate the most delicious, satisfying healthy snack. I am buying mushrooms once a week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 22

I wrote yesterday all about how important it is to eat salad. Did I even eat one piece of lettuce today? Well, sort of. It was crammed into my veggie wrap  for dinner. And....yes, that's probably mayonnaise you see touching it in the picture. And........cheese. Cheese!!!  So what happened? I was not prepared. I was tired. I came home late from work and headed to California Chicken Cafe for a quick take out dinner. I love that place. It's bustling with people trying to eat healthy and the smell of the rotisserie chicken is intoxicating. I was tempted to buy a piece of chicken with skin, (my favorite part, pre-Nutritarian) but I thought I made a better choice with the Veggie Wrap. I'm not so sure. It was too fulfilling, and it just felt a bit too indulgent.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 21

It's hard to believe that I have been doing this for 3 weeks. (Give or take an occasional cheat day) I should definitely notice a difference. (I do, but not radical) I should be a lot slimmer by now, and I think I know what I am doing wrong. I am not eating enough raw greens. The more raw greens I eat, the more weight I should lose.  I haven't been eating big enough salads. I've also been eating too many soups instead. I really believe if I follow this plan exactly, I will lose weight as well as feel better. Well, following  exactly would mean giving up my morning coffee. It is the one non-caloric pleasure I indulge in every morning, and I'm not convinced it is not healthy. I also refuse to part with it at this time. It's okay though, because even Dr. Furhman understands if you don't want to give it up.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 20

I wonder if steel cut oatmeal is more filling than regular oatmeal. This morning I took a walk with my daughter, and we ended up stopping for breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant. I bypassed all of the delicious sounding omelets and freshly baked bread options and went with the steel cut oatmeal and fruit. After only a few bites, I was seriously full. I'm not sure why, that usually never happens. Anyhow, I left most of it in the bowl, and was happy with myself throughout the day. It is good to start the day off right. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 19

I made it through another day. Barely. Today I didn't eat breakfast. I left the house after a couple of cups of coffee, and then visited my mom and had more coffee. By the time I returned home, I was really hungry. First, I had a wedge of fresh pineapple. Then, I made myself a salad with Romaine lettuce and avocado. I was too shaky to make a non-oil dressing, so I just bit the bullet  and added olive oil. It was enough nutrients to get my blood sugar leveled and I started feeling better. Tonight, we went to a movie at 6pm, and didn't end up eating until almost 9:00. Again, I was starving, but I managed to order only a chopped salad with a light citrus vinegarette. What I am most proud of is what I didn't eat! I did not eat the meatball appetizer, and I did NOT eat the hamburger and onion rings that my daughter ordered! I feel like I should get extra credit for the food I passed on!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 18

I should be eating throughout the day. Instead, I start with a breakfast of fruit and then I often don't eat again until dinner. If I was eating a turkey sandwich for lunch like I used to, I would probably be eating during the day. It's easy to prepare, easily transportable, and one of my favorite comforting things to eat. I often don't have the desire to stop what I'm doing in the middle of the day to wash and cut vegetables, mix a non-oil dressing in the blender, and sit down and chew on a big bowl of greens. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Today I waited until I was just about starving, and then I had a quick cup of soup. Had I fallen asleep after that I would have been fine. However, a friend asked me over for a chat, and a glass of wine. I've only had a couple of alcohol cheat days, and it is Friday night. So, after one glass turned into two, I came home and binged on raw cashews. At least I wasn't eating Oreos. 19 days, and though not perfect, I am still making healthier choices than before.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 17

I usually write at the end of the night. Today is a little different. It's about 5:30 and I am so looking forward to dinner. I googled a few recipes today and came up with a zucchini soup by Dr. Fuhrman that looked and sounded so good. I'm simmering the onions, zucchini and garlic now and can't wait to add the other ingredients.
Update: not the best thing I've ever eaten, but it was pretty good.
After simmering the vegetables for about 1/2 hour, I added them to the food processor with 1/4 cup of raw cashews to give it a creamy texture. (No oil) Then, I added a few handfuls of spinach and fresh sweet corn. Thyme, basil and oregano were part of the recipe, but I also added some green Tabasco sauce at the end because it still needed a little something. I'd make it again because it was very satisfying, but it's not something I would make for company.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 16

Better choices than the past on Patti's Plate today, but not fitting for a Nutritarian. Today was a special day. My husband and I had an appointment in the San Diego area, so we took the opportunity to visit our son in Carlsbad on the way home. He has been living there on a "student budget" for the past year and was excited to be treated to dinner. He suggested a restaurant that he had been wanting to try and after eating there, I know why. The food was really delicious. I perused the menu for quite some time before deciding on an entree. There were really not a lot of choices for a Nutritarian. I didn't want to make the dinner about me and a sudden dietary change so I did the best I could. I decided not to care at all about oil and I also decided as long as I was staying away from meat, I was still better off than before. I ordered salad with a mushroom, onion, olive appetiser as my entree. Had I just had that, I would have been proud of myself. However, we started the meal with mussels and squid. Although, Ted ate most of it, I definitely ate my share.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 15

I made a golden split pea soup in the crock pot on Sunday. I cooked it the entire day, and the peas were still hard by dinner time. I puréed them somewhat and refrigerated them. On Monday I put them back in the crockpot for another day. By dinner, though still not perfect, they were edible. Today, I came home from work, tired and hungry.     Being able to warm the soup in the microwave and produce a hot satisfying bowl within 3 minutes made me realize how important it is to have healthy comforting food easily accessible at all times. If I didn't have it already made I may have been tempted to have a piece of cheese. I knew a stick of celery certainly wasn't going to do the trick. And.....the soup finally tasted good.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 14

Today is the completion of my second week. Rather than write about the food I have been eating, I prefer to take this day to write about how I am feeling. I'm definitely feeling the change of eating in a healthier way, however the change is not as radical as I hoped it would be after two weeks. I am still aching when I walk. I think that is the main symptom of poor eating that I have been trying to fix. I understand age will cause aches and pains, as well as being overweight. I am hoping to fix the weight issue by eating better, but I guess there isn't much I can do to turn back time without a time travel machine. I haven't dropped a size yet, but since I was trending upward lately I'm satisfied that my "fat" clothes are fitting better. Eating for health rather than for weight loss is definitely a new experience for me. When I started this Nutritarian diet two weeks ago, I didn't think I would last two hours. Eating high nutritional food is oddly sustaining.