Well, we were only able to get through 1 month on Nutrisystem. Yeccchhh! Sawdust! No taste, lousy texture. OR Nasty taste, lousy texture. The coup de grace was when we gagged on an entree. Himself said, “Forget this!” We really thought we could choke down whatever was presented, but found out we can’t. And, on top of that, we didn’t lose a single pound!!
What to do? Himself came up with the option of fixing our own foods, but smaller portions and frequent meals / snacks. He will cook for 1 and we will split the meal. So we’ve been trying that for about a month. I’ve lost 15 pounds, himself has lost 17 pounds! We are not – repeat: NOT – hungry (unless we are late for or skip a meal or snack, and we’d be hungry, anyway, under that circumstance).
Found a great way to get our veggies in – Gazpacho. The recipe we are using was adapted by Himself from one of the Barefoot Contessa‘s recipes. But the principles are: take a 1/2 doz plum or Roma tomatoes (less juice, more tomato, deeper flavor, deeper color), one cucumber (halve it, seed it, leave skin on), 1/4 to 1 yellow or orange bell pepper (to taste – and if you like green or red bell pepper, go for it), one onion (she calls for a red onion, I prefer sweet onions). Rough Chop the veggies and process each separately, leaving them kind of lumpy and coarse. (I like mine processed finer, Himself prefers his processed coarser. Go figure!) Dump them all into a big bowl. Add up to 3 cloves of minced garlic, about 3 cups tomato juice (we use Clamato juice – better!!), 1/4 c white wine vinegar, 1/4 c good olive oil (we like a robust olive oil, like Tassos Country Olive Oil), 1/2 Tbs kosher sea salt, and a tsp of black pepper. Stir, chill at least 3-4 hours (gets better the longer it waits – day 3 or 4 is GREAT) before serving. In this hot weather, we are eating about a cupful before lunch and another 1-2 cupfuls before supper. I figure we can add whatever veggies we have on hand – like yellow squash, or zucchini, throw in parsley, or watercress, maybe some finely chopped French green beans, well pulsed carrots, etc. It’s a raw mishmash of fresh veggies, has almost no calories (you can reduce the calories even more by omitting the oil), and is very filling. Also very cooling in the summer heat. Wonder how it would be if we used white wine instead of the wine vinegar? It probably would taste a little sweeter and less tart. Hmmm. Have to consider trying that!
Now, in the middle of the kitchen renovation (forgot to mention that, didn’t I? A series of posts about it will be forthcoming!), we have only a microwave, a one-eye hotplate, a toaster oven, a percolator and a water heating pot for cooking. So, we are subsisting on Lean Cuisine (a heck of a lot better than Nutrisystem, I can tell you!) and 100cal or less snack bars (Atkins, WW, South Beach, or even Kelloggs!).
Our “dieting day” looks like this: breakfast, 1/2c fruit with 1/4c milk sweetened with Splenda, 1 hardboiled egg, 1 piece of toast (very little light butter spread on it), and coffee. We are down to 2% milk, and doubt we can go any lower. We tried cutting the 2% with 1%, but it was so yucky we just couldn’t do it. The lower fat milks go sour faster, too, making them uneconomical in our family. Snack is a snack bar and throughout the morning we each consume 10 – 20 oz plain water plus our coffee or tea. Lunch is a cup of Gazpacho (recipe above), a Lean Cuisine meal, usually less than 250 cal unless we’ve been working harder than usual, then will go up to 280 cal and about 10 oz water. Between lunch and supper we drink another 10-20 oz plain water, plus some coffee or tea, and have a snack bar (see above). Supper is a repeat of lunch, but we have an extra amount of Gazpacho, and I let us have up to a 300 cal Lean Cuisine meal. After supper, we have more water and a snack bar shortly before bed time. This is working for us. We are taking off about 3# a week. There is some fluctuation – I was down 15#, then suddenly noticed I had inched up 5#! YIKES! Yet only 2 days later, I was down 2#. Ho Hum! Guess I’ll have a fluctuating experience. As long as the trend is downward, I’m not gonna worry about it.
Exercise I’ve started doing chair exercises. Chair Aerobics by Paul Eugene, and Chair Tai-Chi from the Chair Aerobics for Everyone series. I tried the Chair Yoga DVD by Yoga For the Young at Heart, but find that at this point I have such limited mobility I can’t do these exercises. I’ve set that DVD aside for later – after I’ve lost about 25 more pounds and have increased flexibility and stamina from the Chair Aerobics and Chair Tai-Chi exercises I’m doing. I do about 10 minutes of one, then the next day do about 10 minutes of the other. I’m not getting very far very fast, and I have to leave off some of the exercises, but I’m doing them. I’m hoping that I will be more and more able to exercise more intensively and for longer periods over time.
OK – that’s where we are at the moment! More later!