Thank you to everyone that volunteered to save my butt during my kitchen renovation! I will be contacting you all personally by e-mail within the next two weeks.
Today I want to talk to you about something that is really coming into focus for me at this point in my journey: the amount of fruit in my diet and how it is affecting my weight.
At PEERtrainer (http://www.peertrainer.com/) they have a program called The Point of No Return. I'm not here to sell you on a program (although it is worth WHATEVER nominal amount they are charging for it). I mention this now because the concept is extremely important in getting you to and keeping you at your happy weight.
So what is "the point of no return"?
For me, it is the state of mind and body where maintaining a healthy weight is not confusing, mysterious, difficult or scary. For those of you who have dieted and failed time and time again, I think you know what I am talking about. You might have an enormous amount of fear and uncertainty regarding your physical and emotional health.
I know that I did. So when I came upon PEERtrainer, their method really spoke to me. They focus a lot on a concept called "diet fusion," which in essence means that it is up to each and every one of us to find our own individual way of eating that gets us to our own Point of No Return. For me, it is a no-added fat Vegan diet free of most processed foods. For you, well, only you can find that magic combination.
Which brings me to the point of all of this: Finding your way takes TIME. I have been laser focused on getting to my point of no return for almost two years. And I am slowly getting there. But I am getting there. It takes an enormous amount of trial and error.
For example, one of my trials along the way was The Raw Food Diet. I was introduced to it, thought it sounded intriguing (who wouldn't want to eat all of those yummy looking desserts every day?), read up on it and started preparing interesting raw food dishes and desserts right away. At the time, I didn't really quite get that the heavy reliance of many raw recipes on highly caloric ingredients like nuts, oils and dried fruit would not be offset by the also heavy reliance on raw vegetables. So I dove right in and failed. I think I gained ten pounds pretty quickly.
But that was party of my journey, my own personal trip to my point of no return. I can't have any regrets because I learned so much from the experience. For one, raw desserts rock! And if and when I do indulge, I want it to be a raw concoction. I feel that I am getting maximum nutrition as well as flavor from a raw dessert, even if the calorie count is through the roof. Sometimes I am just going to indulge. Secondly, there would have been a "right" way for me to go raw, and that would have been without the oils and nuts. But thinking of an uncooked diet without those things left me less than excited, so I returned to a balance of raw and cooked food, and I'm content with that today.
Another one of my experiments, which has lasted far longer than my raw experiment, and continues to this day, has been drinking a green smoothie for breakfast almost every morning. My first green smoothies consisted mainly of a lot of fruit with a handful of fresh or frozen spinach and some flax or chia seed. Somewhere along the way, I experimented with adding more green things (and even carrots) but the fruit component remained high. Lately, and this is the key to what this is all about, I am working on using as little fruit as possible in my morning smoothie.
For example, take a look at my original Chai Green Smoothie. Two dates and one large banana made that smoothie pretty high in sugar, probably more than the entire daily recommended amount of sugar. And lately, my food choices have been heavily influenced by ideas about sugar that are continually coming into my awareness. It started back in December with this article from Disease Proof on the ill effects of sugar. Then Debby the Healthy Librarian hit me with Dr. Lustig's video Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Soon after, Chef A.j. was mentioning on Facebook that if she had written her cookbook today, she would have done it differently, based on her new level of awareness regarding sugar, dessert and the health value of smoothies.
I started logging my food in gory detail on My Fitness Pal, a calorie/nutrition tracking application and website. I was looking for information on how much fiber I was consuming everyday, but I learned something far more valuable. I am consuming far too much SUGAR every day (and it wasn't from Twinkies!). So when PEERtrainer did a blog posting all about fruit in the diet (and sadly, fruit is very high in sugar) all of my confusion went away and I knew that limiting my fruit every day was getting me very close to my Point of No Return.
New Chai Green Smoothie
1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 small frozen banana, broken into chunks
1 large pitted date
big handful rough chopped celery
big handful fresh parsley
giant handful fresh spinach leaves
1 tsp chai spice blend
7 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
Granted, this is still not a low sugar smoothie! But remember, it's progress, not perfection. I'm working on it! And I can tell you that watching the amount of fruit I eat each day over the past month has resulted in significant weight loss, so I think I'm really onto something that will really help me in the long run.
What new information have you learned that really helped you to progress to another level with your weight loss/maintenance efforts?