Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not Being An Idiot...

...when it comes to food choices, I mean.

I noticed something very cool yesterday when I was at the grocery store. My eating habits have changed SO much, and not just from before I started eating healthy to after. Even during this whole process things have changed for me. I had my epiphany in the grocery store because I was buying yogurt. Let me explain.

There I was, buying Fage 0% Fat plain greek yogurt, and that's when my cool little realization occured. When I first changed my habits back in May, I was eating the organic equivalent of Pop Tarts for breakfast. Organic sugar, good for me. But there was no fruit (brown sugar and cinnamon flavor, thank you very much), a dismal amount of protein, and no fiber. Oh, and TONS of or not, it doesn't matter when you're eating like 36 grams of it. And 420 calories, for those of you counting. Eventually I got tired of wasting so many calories and stopped eating them.

Then I graduated to Stonyfield Farm non-fat fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt - delicious stuff, didn't even taste fat-free. Then one day I decided to look at the sugar and protein content, in that order. My reaction was, "Wow, look how much! Wow, look how little." Why was I eating that damn yogurt? A great source of calcium and healthy bacteria for sure, but it wasn't keeping me full, and isn't that kind of the whole point? I needed to do something different, a fact that was cemented when I once read in an Eat This, Not That book that some varieties of Stonyfield Farm yogurt contained an alarming amount of sugar.

I'd heard the raves about Greek yogurt and how good it was for you, and how much protein it had, and all that good stuff. So I tried it - Chobani Non-Fat Greek Yogurt, fruit-on-the-bottom. It was good! Really good. I loved the thicker texture, and it absolutely kept me fuller than regular yogurt. Must have been the 14 grams of protein it had. (Seriously, that's impressive.) But it had 17 grams of sugar and not too much fiber, and I knew I could do better than that. Well, eventually - it took me like 3 months to have my "A-ha!" moment regarding the yogurt.

Hubs and I have regular dinner dates and go to Barnes and Noble afterwards because we're dorks. We could sit in the cafe for hours and look at stacks of books. It was on one of those date nights that I came across something - a book, a magazine article, something - that pointed out how much sugar fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt has and how you'd be surprised at how little fruit you're actually getting. This makes perfect sense, of course, but many things make perfect sense that didn't hit us before. I love those "ton of bricks" moments.

So what did I do yesterday? I bought the Fage greek yogurt and a container of fresh organic raspberries. Fabulous! So much less sugar (only 7 grams in the yogurt plus whatever 1/3 cup of raspberries added) and more fiber thanks to the fresh fruit. I threw in a packet of Splenda With Fiber and let me tell was SO GOOD. The yogurt was wicked creamy because it wasn't watered down by the fruit syrup, and the raspberries were so big and yummy. Beats some liquid-y, processed fruit laying on the bottom of the container, I can promise you that.

So anyway, back to my epiphany, which Hubs and I discussed on the phone this morning during our commutes. I used to eat 1000-calorie BK Lounge breakfasts and 1100-calorie Dunkin' Donut breakfasts. I regularly snacked on processed foods and all but skipped the perimeter of the grocery store unless I needed bread. Hubs and I ate out nearly every single night. There were days where I wouldn't touch a single vegetable or piece of fruit, where I wouldn't have even an ounce of dairy. (Oh wait...cheese on my BK Lounge sandwich. OF COURSE.) And here I am, 6 months later, eating plain Greek yogurt and going out of my way to get some fruits and vegetables in, even if I don't really like them. (Maybe we'll discuss that tomorrow.)

Very cool. And very different. And not a little strange.

Oh! And please let me share what I ate for lunch today, because it was so good that I think I'll dream about it. I took an oat flour and olive oil tortilla (90 calories), spread it with a 100-Calorie Snack Pack of Wholly Guacamole (so good and so natural), put a little handful of organic field greens and about a tablespoon of organic red pepper and garlic salsa on top. Then...for the pièce de résistance, I microwaved a Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger (120 calories), cut it into strips and put that on for my protein. Please...I could cry right now. It was SO good, and with all of the protein from the black bean burger and the good fats from the olive oil and avocado, I feel like I'm going to stay full for a while. of the goals, right? And it was so easy! Prep was 5 minutes, tops!

Weigh-in tomorrow! I'm looking forward to it. :) Cheers!

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