Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gearing up for Getting Real

I've started two blogs before, that never made it past the first post. Why? I'm not really trying to be perfect, I procrastinated myself into not doing ANYTHING. So, here goes attempt #3! It may not be perfect, I may make mistakes, but maybe I will learn along the way.

I've been on the Weight Watchers program several times...the last time, in particular, I did very well. But I don't really agree with some of the trends I was seeing during my meetings, and the recipes that I would get each week. When I got into the car, where my husband waited for me to exit the weekly meeting, he said, "Boy, they have a lot of dessert recipes!" I had not noticed it, but sure enough, there were several weeks in a row, the recipes were all desserts. Now, I see the point in showing people, see? You can have an occasional treat, and still stay On Program. You don't have to sacrifice and do without the things you enjoy. But all the calorie saving was with what I call "fake foods", ala Splenda and packaged chemical concoctions that I try to stay away from. A couple of years ago, I found myself reacting to Splenda, in particular. I read ingredient labels to avoid Splenda/sucralose for both myself, and my husband, who has severe food allergies. There are just too many uncertainties about these foods to eat them on a regular basis, if at all, in my opinion.

Then there is the Vegetarian/Vegan thing. I've had vegetarian leanings since I was a teenager...but not strong enough to stand up to people who put fears in my head about not getting enough protein, and being "different", and the constant criticism & teasing that I received by some (not all) people. In 1984 I subscribed to Vegetarian Times, and read a column by Dr. John McDougall, who had written a book called, The McDougall Plan. And over the years, and different changes in my life, I somehow always come back to Dr. McDougall's teachings. They just make sense! And Weight Watchers seems to have meat and fat-free dairy in everything, even their vegetarian dishes. I do applaud them for the whole foods style of their Core plan. Whole foods, recognizable in their natural state, the way they were originally meant to be nourish us. But I would like the accountability of WW...since crossing the Big 4-0 threshold, my metabolism has slowed a bit, and I need to really pay attention to what I am eating...and not get lazy about it.

It's my goal to combine the best of these two programs...the plant-based (vegan), low-fat diet that Dr. McDougall recommends, but the accountability of Weight Watchers. I need to eat out less, saving that for weekends/travel, at least, and cook more during the week, where I can be in control of ingredients and my pocketbook.

I have a great collection of vegan cookbooks that need to be McDougallized, and there has been an explosion of vegan food blogs in the last few years that I'll explore...I tend to cook from those more than I do my cookbooks, because a recipe you may have passed up becomes irresistible when you see a photo of it! Plus there is the whole feel that this is a "real" person cooking this, which makes it way more attractive to try. I *gifted* myself the Living Cookbook recipe software, and would like to begin using that. It has a feature that will calculate the WW Points for you. This is something that I would like to work on during our Christmas vacation in a couple of weeks.

Let's get healthy...AND have fun!

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