Journal of my journey

Share your daily McDougall menus and/or keep a journal describing your personal progress.

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Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:56 pm

Hi, my name is Nancy (username Morris because that is a nickname of mine and Nancy was already in use). Too make a long story short, I need to eat healthy. Since I have quite a few of Dr. McDougall's books and have tried many recipes on this website, I thought this would be a good place to journal my journey to a whole food plant based diet/lifestyle.

In the last 5 years I had lost 40 pounds but gained back 20 of them. I need to get motivated to get back down to my ideal weight. I am tired of squeezing into my jeans. I must look pretty horrible in them because my youngest daughter changed the ringtone for me about some lady wearing too tight jeans. :o

I eat a lot of the wrong things when I get frustrated, bored, happy, etc. Plus I have a tendency to overeat, even the good things. I am trying to learn to stop eating when I feel satisfied, not stuffed, but this is hard for me to comprehend because when I feel stuffed, I am satisfied.

I also tend to overeat because I think I might not get any more later on. This comes from growing up in a large family and I often describe our meal times as "he who grabs the fastest gets to eat", especially with the so-called "treats". I remember at Halloween and Easter, I would stuff myself with candy because if I tried to save my share, my younger sister would eat it. To this day, I get resentful when I buy a "treat" and my husband asks if he can have a bite; but then his bite is half of what I have.

I have a lot of issues that I need to sort out with my relationship with food. I desire to get back to a whole food plant based diet once again because I felt the best when I ate that way in the past. I tried to follow the 10 day plan but something inside me rebelled at having to follow a plan. So, I am going to attempt to follow Jeff's guidelines about what to eat since he just lists the type of food and I feel like it is not as rigid of a plan.

Breakfast:
Whole Grains (2 cups) 320 calories
Fresh Fruit (1 cup) 120 calories

Lunch:
Starchy Vegetable (2 cups) 320 calories
Legumes (1/2 cup) 120 calories
Veggies (2 cups of salad, soup and/or steamed veggies) 100 calories
Fruit (1 serving) 60 calories

Dinner:
Starchy Vegetable (2 cups) 320 calories
Legumes (1/2 cup) 120 calories
Veggies (2 cups of salad, soup and/or steamed veggies) 100 calories
Fruit (1 serving) 60 calories

Today was day 1 and I actually made it through breakfast and lunch. Dinner was not well planned and I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead. But I made it through the day without eating any candy or cookies. That is because I do not have any in the house. ;)
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:42 am

Starting Day 2, weighed myself this morning and was down almost 3 pounds. I must have had a lot of extra water weight because I had to get up 3 times during the night. That is encouraging, but I am sure that I'll be up 1 or 2 in the next couple of days. Other than having herb tea after my meals to keep me from eating more than I needed, I did not drink much more water than I normally do. I also enjoyed my solo time and went for a 4 mile run.

For breakfast, I had Red River Cereal (cracked wheat, rye and flax). Just saw that this cereal is going to be discontinued in the US. Simple ingredients and since I have the grains, I can make my own mix when I run out; but I did stock up so, I have plenty to last a while.

Now that I am paying attention to what I eat, it seems like I am becoming obsessive about food and feel hungry even after I eat. That may be because I am not eating until I am stuffed.

I have 3 days to get my eating and cooking under control before hubby returns, he is a meat, potato and heavy sauce type of guy. However, he will eat what I put before him so he will start this diet on Wednesday too. He has 100 pounds to lose, I am curious to see how he will do on this diet.

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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby nayasmom » Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:31 pm

Hi Nancy,
Welcome! I enjoyed reading your journal since I mirror most if not all of your challenges. On this site, I have learned (to my benefit) to stop obsessing over food in these ways: I stopped worrying about caloric intake, I stopped worrying about whether I was getting enough veggies and/or greens, I stopped worrying about whether I could lose weight and still truly NEVER be hungry. I stopped worrying about a lot of things.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow the same pattern - just stop focusing on food!! That includes portion sizes, caloric content, etc.
Eat what you want of whole-food starches cooked with NO added oil whatsoever. Many of us here keep cooked sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, rice and other starches in the fridge so that when we feel like we want to eat something, there are the starch choices all ready and no temptations!
Let go of the idea that you can control what you eat and how much of it. That's where that resentment is coming from. The feeling of not being able to eat later, or not getting enough right this moment, those are obsessive feelings, and the way to resolve them is to always have food you have permission to eat available in the fridge ie starches.
You are even allowed to use bread or pasta as your starch, keeping in mind that they are processed and not the wisest of choices but sometimes they are still the best choices. Just make sure that the recipe has no added oil/fat, whether you make them at home or buy them at the store. I keep Truckee bread co bread in my fridge, and enjoy a piece with yellow mustard as a treat, and sometimes I enjoy several pieces plain or with mustard as a bigger treat. It's all good, and I don't beat myself up over it. It is what it is. I can go days without thinking of bread, and I'm grateful for that. Used to be I could eat two or three grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting and still be hungry, but I've learned what everyone here learns eventually: that when you start feeding your body what it needs, you get full much faster and for longer periods of time.
Robyn
Great spirits have always met with violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein


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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:58 am

Hi Robyn,
Thanks for replying to my journal. I was reading your journal also and really enjoyed how you shared the story of the fellow runner helping you make it to the finish line. I had an experience like that on my first trail run. It is so awesome when other people give you support even if it is just an encouraging word or two along the way.

You are 100% correct in that if we give our bodies the nutrition that it needs that we won't want to overeat. Since both my husband and I need to lose weight, I plan on stocking my fridge with the lower calorie foods. He claims that starch makes him gain weight, but I told him that if he is honest, it is not the whole food starch that caused the weight gain, but all the junk he eats (candy, cookies, etc.).

I am going to track my food intake until I get to where I am getting a whole food plant based diet for 90% of my caloric intake. I get tempted to easily and eat way to much of the junk; so tracking will keep my focused on what I should be eating. Not tracking is what caused me to gain these extra pounds again. Plus, I am reminded of the very first time I was going to track my food and when I saw what those 6 full-sized Snickers bar were in terms of fat and calories, I knew that I had an issue that needed to be dealt with.

It was a while before I even tracked my food intake after that because I recognized what was causing my weight gain and I worked on cleaning up my diet before I began to seriously track what I ate. I was not in self-denial by not tracking, but it was a total awareness of what I needed to do to fix the problem.

So, Robyn, thanks again for replying to my journal, I really appreciate your support and encouragement.
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:21 am

Well, I am on day 3 and even though I went off track yesterday, I feel pretty good about the majority of my eating choices. I was cleaning out the freezer and saw some spring rolls. I ended up making a few, even though I did not fry them, they were greasy. The partial fry then freeze method must have been the way they were processed.

I also found some shredded zucchini, so I made some chocolate-zucchini muffins from the fatfree vegan site. I ate more than I should have. She said they freeze well so I will freeze them and keep them an hand for snacks when the grandchildren visit. I care for 1 while my daughter works and the other 2 are next door to us. It is a joy to have them around so much.

My granddaughter and I do 5k races in the summer. She is 12 and she has only beat me a couple of times. :unibrow:

I weighed myself again this morning and saw that I lost another pound. I am thinking I need to see those numbers go down at the moment. It is something that encourages me and I am now at the "setpoint" that I seem to get stuck at. I was at this weight when I first started gaining weight and I was stuck at this weight when I first started losing weight.

I am not comfortable at this weight, so I am hoping to jump over this hurdle without too much difficulty. As long as I keep in mind, "It's the food", I am sure that I'll be successful in my journey to being healthy.

The lesson I learned from yesterday is that because I ate the foods that were more calorie dense, I did not eat the more nutrient dense foods. (I need to remind myself of that, and often)
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:02 am

Day 4 and it is going to be a struggle. Two nights in a row that I did not get much sleep. Hubby came home last night and we were both too tired to put away the things we unloaded for the car. Here you should be reading the house is a mess. My crockpot dinner did not finish cooking in time to eat last night, translate after it finished cooking, I put the food away and decided to do the dishes in the morning. My grandson came before I had my "wake-up" time. All this means I am tired and crabby.

I have a tendency to eat anything and everything I see when I feel like this. I am so thankful I went to the grocery store yesterday and there is a container of cherry tomatoes on the counter. At least I am eating something decent. Those tomatoes are so sweet and actually taste like a tomato: Yum Yum

My grains this morning were a processed shredded wheat; I feel like I am off to a shaky start this morning. I am hoping my three year old grandson will take a nap, so I can get one also.

Hoping my day gets better.

My weight is holding steady. I think I need to find one of those tickers to add to my posts here. Can anyone help me figure that out?
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:25 am

Day 5
Yesterday was not too bad despite the rough start. I stayed on track 90% of the time. For my "treat" I made microwave potato chip, potato chips with no oil, a dream come true. I could only make a tray at a time (about half a potato) and each took about 6-7 minutes to make so, it was not easy to overeat because I had to wait so long in between batches.

It was interesting to note the difference in how I felt afterwards eating the chips with no oil vs. the commercially prepared. The no oil were so much better with that "mouth feel" the oil provides. Plus, it was easy to say enough, even though I think I may have still overeaten just a bit.

Hubby is not liking this way of eating too much and I noticed he went right for his stash of cookies after lunch and then had an extra meal after dinner. Of course, he has told me that a starch based diet causes him to gain weight. This should be an interesting journey.

Holidays are right around the corner and I am already dealing with the emotions of I am going to miss out on all the goodies. I will have to remind myself that I am still wearing all those peanut buster parfaits from 2 years ago and stay focused on why I want to eat better foods
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:27 am

Day 6 ~ Happy Thanksgiving

Well, my day 5 was a bust. We had to go to town for an appointment and hubby changed his mind at the last minute about where to eat and we ending up going to an Indian restaurant with a buffet.

I started with a large salad, but it was glistening but it did not taste like they put a dressing on it. I am hoping it was wet from the cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. It looked like a mix of romaine and iceberg. I did have a small scoop of the cucumber dressing and another chutney to put on top. To go with my salad there was a tomato based chickpea entree. took a small dish of that and tried to pick the chickpeas out of the sauce. For some reason the sauce was way too sweet. I took a few (well, maybe more than a few) triangles of the bread.

I should of stopped there but, old habits die hard and I went back for the vegetable dish that is (was) my favorite. I am sure that there was a lot of cream in it. The Plus side is that i did not enjoy the dish as much as I used, nor did I eat as much as I had in the past. I ate way too much bread and had to use a napkin to soak up most of the butter that was put on it.

We stopped at my parents before we left town and got an invite to Thanksgiving dinner. They were not planning a big get together, but my mom thought there was going to be too much food left over so we got a last minute do you want to come and eat. I accepted the invite because I have not seen my parents for about a month and they are getting up there in years. My niece is preparing the meal.

I am going to bring a salad (lots of raw veggies) and a remake of that green bean casserole. I found one that uses parsnips for the cream of _________ soup and is topped with caramelized onions. I am going to get in the right mindset before I go and hope that I will be smart about my eating habits.

My weight was up a bit from day 4, but I expected that because of the restaurant food. I am not going to fret about the choices I made yesterday, but am going to push forward and remember that I really need to lose weight (i.e. fat) so that I can fit into the jeans I bought 10 pounds ago.

I forgot about the 5ks that were happening this morning and slept in. The extra hour and half of sleep felt good. But I am going to go out and run a 5k against the virtual partner on my garmin.

Update: Glad I overslept and wasn't able to get up in time for the races. Just checked the temp. and saw that 1 hour after start time it is -12, that is 12 degrees below zero.
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:21 am

Day 9 ~ I missed a few days of posting. I am attempting to make myself responsible and accountable for this journey of mine to a healthier lifestyle.

I started Thanksgiving day in the right way. I had some cooked greens to start my day, then some fruit. I prepared a Clean Green Bean Casserole and a huge salad for my contribution to the dinner. The Clean Green Bean Casserole used parsnips and mushrooms for the "cream" portion of the traditional recipe and was topped with caramelized onions ~~ oh, so good.

It turned out that the turkey they were cooking got done early and since we were the only out-of-towners they ate without us. I was like, oh, you ate without me and I brought something to eat. Oh well, I ate half the salad I made since I knew no one else would eat any of it because they were already stuffed.

That was the good part of my eating for the day. I ate way too much of the mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, and then there was that cherry pie. I ate 2 pieces. Ugh! I was stuffed and ate them anyway.

The next day I got back on track with the exception of keeping track of what I ate. I have no idea what I ate or when over the next two days. I have read that when you eat a whole food plant based diet that it is not necessary to track what you eat. I am not to that point yet because I do not have my eating under control and I have too many issues in my life that cause me to turn to food.

I will say that with the exception of the Thanksgiving dinner and the 4 cookie thins I have stayed with eating foods that I should be eating to help me reach my goal. I was even able to resist temptation when at the grocery store. I was eying that display of candy at the checkout but decided that I did not want anything. That is a victory for me!
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:13 am

Day 11 ~ I am realizing this WOE is going to be a struggle with DH. I have concluded that he will not make the change to eating healthier on his own. Therefore, I will not have any support from him. UGH! He needs to lose about 100 pounds. I think he has gained more weight these past few months. Things would be so much easier for me if he would be willing to make changes in the way he eats also.

He has chronic pain issues and he has not made the connection of having those extra pounds may be contributing to some of that pain. He will not choose to eat the lower calorie dense foods on his own. He tells me he likes to eat the way he does. Ok, then so be it. I need to make the changes for me and if he benefits from this WOE then so much for the better. He will eat whatever I cook and then if he feels hungry later on, he will make whatever else he wants to eat.

I watched a video of Chef AJ making split pea soup in 6 minutes using the Instant Pot. SCORE! This is what I need; I placed my order for one today.
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:49 am

Day 14 ~ ugh! off plan and it has not been 2 weeks. Need to regroup my thoughts. Trip to the laundromat did me in~ Reisins, (chocolate covered caramels). I should have resisted because for me there is no such thing as moderation. Next came the chocolate covered mint cookies. I suppose I should 'fess up and report the chocolate chips I snacked on also.

The good news is I got back on track by making the Scalloped Potatoes in the Better than Vegan Cookbook. It used a cauliflower puree with nutritional yeast instead of milk and cheese. It was sort of dry and bland, but at least it getting me back on track. I served it with the left over cauliflower and green beans. It made a big batch so there was plenty of leftovers for the next day.

I am started to focus on an exercise routine again. That is helping me concentrate on what foods I should me eating to fuel my body. I am thinking it is going to take me a little bit of time to not stray mainly because I am having some emotional issues I need to get a handle on. I am an emotional eater and I need to break the patterns.

I have not weighed myself recently because I do not want to see the numbers until I feel like I am totally back on track. Trying not to beat myself up over the blunders and focusing on starting anew.
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:49 pm

Day 15, I did well with my eating yesterday. I had a stuffed twice baked potato for lunch. Then prepared some mushroom chili to put in the slow cooker while I did some errands in town. Just having dinner in the pot and that it would be ready to eat as soon as I returned made it so much easier to say "no, thank you" to all those samples at Costco.

I spent a lot of $$ at Costco, only because my Vitamix (14 years old) is on its last leg, it seems to be dying a slow death. We can tell it just does not have the umph that it used to have. So, I suggested we go down that aisle where the VitaMix is and on the way, we saw that the Blendtec was on sale. The Blendtec was $125 cheaper than the Vitamix. Since I heard good things about the Blendtec and saw that it has an 8 year warranty, I bought one. Hope I like it because I am a fan of the VitaMix, but the -$125 was a big incentive.

This morning I blended an apple, carrot, celery, tomato and kale and had a nice drink for breakfast. I know that it is best to eat the whole food, but I like smoothies and wanted to try out the machine. It was tasty, but not as smooth as when I make do that combination in the Vitamix. I am sure that I will enjoy the Blendtec when I get used to the differences.

Hubby is not on board with this way of eating, hoping I get the right mindset to eat whole food plant based. I am slowly trying to adjust to the no oil, no salt and no sugar; but that is going to take some real effort on my part.

Still waiting for that Instant Pot to arrive. Today, I received the Practically Raw, Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Crawley and Everyday Happy Herbivore books today. I am hoping for ideas. :)
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby CocoOli » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:38 am

Have fun with your Instant Pot. I love mine! PS if you love gold potatoes you can fill the whole pot with potatoes, put in 1 cup of water, place the potatoes on the rack, cook them for 14 min and let naturally steam for 20 min. and they are all done and yummy. We usually use the water left from the potatoes to then steam giant handfuls of kale, broccoli and carrots for 4 min. then mix the lot in with potatoes to make a mash. Meal in a snap.
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:19 am

Day 18

Thanks for the tip about the potatoes. I still have not received my Instant Pot! Wish it would hurry up and get here.

I am slowly getting my mind focused on what I need to to do to be successful in my new "lifestyle". I think planning and having meals ready to go will be the most important thing. I need to clean out my freezer so I can fill it with lots of veggies and frozen meals so that I will have no excuse. But it is not really about making excuses, instead it is about making choices.

I found a copy of the Starch Solution at a used bookstore and am currently reading it. I am finding that I am feeling full longer and more satisfied by making my meals starch based. I am eating a lot of potatoes because we purchased way too many directly from the farm. As my husband and I were discussing how many to buy, I reminded him the last time we bought from there, we got 200 pounds and we barely made it through them all before they started to rot and we gave away 1/3 of them. What does he do? He buys 400 pounds because they were cheaper than in the store. Therefore, for now, my choice of starch is the potato. I think I am going to have sprouts coming out my ears.

Things I am making:
Mashed potatoes (my son-in-law grows mushrooms, so I top with mushroom gravy)
Fat free potato chips (as per fatfreevegan)
Potato curry, with peas and carrots ~ yum
Homemade tater tots
Roasted, with other vegetables
Hash browns
Soups and chowders
Baked potatoes
Twice baked potatoes
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Re: Journal of my journey

Postby Morris » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:08 pm

Day 19 ~ Whoo Hoo! First meal with my new Instant Pot: Chef AJ's Split Pea Soup. I cannot say that it took 6 minutes because it was definitely longer than that. Hubby has an adverse reaction to many raw fruits and vegetables, so I diced the carrots small to make sure they cooked past the crunch.

I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised at how different this recipe turned out compared to my old way of cooking it. I really liked throwing every thing in the pot, turning on the machine, then turn my attention to something else. Nice.

I will definitely use broth next time, plain water just did not do it for us. I normally add potato to my split pea soup, so I will add one to the next time I try it. I loved the spices. A video said she included rosemary, but a copy of the recipe I found on another site did not include it. I simply forgot to add it. I liked Chef AJ’s blend of spice. I never knew how to spice the soup whenever I made it in the past.

I think that this pot is going to have a permanent place on my cupboard.
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