Don’t freak out yet–it may even out

Thank you all for your strategies on handling the cookie swap party and on generally making me feel better about my inability to stop at just one cookie. I never can. Even if they’re the size of my head. At least 2 is how I roll.

As an update, I actually did quite well. I brought a cup of coffee which kept my hands and mouth busy and I just tried a few bites of cookies that looked especially delicious, then ate 1 whole one of my favorite one. I originally packed a bunch to take home with me (planning to freeze them) but then decided to just let my officemates go to town. I saved a few for myself and ate one of them later in the afternoon and one this morning. I’m considering this one a success!!

Moving on to a  topic I wanted to discuss today… I think those of you trying to lose weight (or have in the past) can probably relate, especially if you ever counted calories, points, protein/carb/fat grams, etc.

Going over your target number of [insert the thing you’re tracking… Weight Watchers Points+ in my case] for a specific meal and having a mini-freak out about it. Let me expand by backtracking a bit.

Sunday night I decided to roast a whole chicken we got in last month’s meat CSA,  create a roasted carrot recipe (for Adam’s potluck lunch at work… someone’s gotta bring veggies!!) and make brussels sprouts with truffle oil. Oh yeah! I had both of my ovens going – it was so much fun!

I rubbed the outside and inside (under the skin) of the chicken with Stonewall Kitchen’s chicken & pork rub and slipped lemon slices under the skin as well.

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See? Yeah, it’s a bit of a dirty job but so worth it. This added so much flavor with no additional fat/calories!

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The carrots got a sprinkling of S&P, about 1/2T EVOO per pound (I made 4!!) and baked at 400 for 10 minutes covered, then for 10 minutes uncovered… and then on the skillet for a few minutes with some ponzu sauce which caramelized. Crazy delicious!!

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Everything turned out super flavorful. I made a plate of what I thought was a reasonable portion and dug in.

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This, my friends, is apparently what an 11 Points+ dinner looks like (I ate the skin off the chicken while putting my plate together). I get 29 Points+ a day so it seemed like a lot so I packed a skinless, slightly smaller piece of chicken for lunch and went about my day (err night).

Monday at lunch, though, I had a bit of a freakout. My lunch was 10 Points+!!! With breakfast and 2 snacks under my belt, dinner and cookies to be made, is that too much? How the hell can I stay within my Points+ range if I eat like that? [And btw, this was supposed to be healthy – doesn’t it look it?]. Ughhhhhhhhh Confused smile

You know what, dinner ended up being just 6 Points+ and it was good. I made a giant veggie stir-fry with tofu and red curry sauce and it was amazingly satisfying. If I didn’t end up consuming 3 cookies that night, I would actually be UNDER my daily allowance even with that 10 Points+ lunch. The point is that some meals or snacks will be higher than the number that you *think* you should allocate to a meal but it’s relatively easy to adjust elsewhere. I planned on doing the stir-fry anyways so in my case, there was even no compromise to be made. It really should balance out if you focus on nutrition, hunger levels and eating until you’re satisfied, not stuffed!! Open-mouthed smile

Do you ever feel like you had a balanced and healthy meal yet the numbers still look scary? Or do you beat yourself up if a meal was more indulgent than you originally “planned for?” If so, when you looked at your whole day overall, did you find that if you didn’t give up into the “hell, I’ve fallen off the wagon, might as well screw it” mentality, that it evened out at the end? For me, the key is not falling into that trap and it usually works out! Nerd smile

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22 comments to Don’t freak out yet–it may even out

  • I love roasting chicken like this – and I like how your veggies turned out! I love the idea of makign sandwiches with the leftovers, too.

  • I hate putting stuff under the chicken skin. It’s the grossest feeling ever! But I make myself do it because I know it will taste so much better.

    Did you use white or black truffle oil on the brussels?

    • Elina

      Megan – I believe it’s white. Can you tell the difference? Which one do you prefer?

      • I’m not sure there’s a huge difference, but I have bottles of both at home and was curious which to try. I think I’ve had more veggies with white truffle oil… so maybe I’ll go with that.

  • Good job on the cookie swap! Sometimes I am horrified at the number of calories in my green monster smoothies. It’s just milk, peanut butter, protein powder, spinach and a frozen banana (and maybe some frozen strawberries to) – but it clocks in at around 400 calories, which is almost an entire meal! But I do believe that everything evens out in the end (like for instance, if I drink one smoothie in the morning after my workout, it actually keeps me full and I don’t need my usual morning snack). I’ve pulled away from the “screw it” mentality and always strive for balance!

    • Elina

      Bianca – WTG! It’s the perfect example – it’s healthy and keeps your hunger at bay longer. It evens out if you don’t freak out and do more damage instead :)

  • You mean like my Subway buffalo chicken sandwich being the same number of points as a Panera Asian Chix Salad?!? I still ate it & enjoyed every bite but still!

    As for home cooked stuff, I still weigh & measure everything. I can easily let 3T of PB look like one if I blink so I just take the time to measure what I can to be safe. Except veggies & fruit, of course.

  • i also find some of the pointsplus values challenging to fit into my day. every day i eat a breakfast of ~8 points, but it is filling and my favorite meal, so i figure i will just make it work. loading up on fruits and veggies is probably the easiest way to keep within my points in general.

    • Elina

      The first few days I had my usual breakfasts and they were like 9 points+. Since then I started making small adjustments (cutting the portion, or doing open faced sandwiches, etc and bulking up with fruit) and I find that I’m just as satisfied. A lot of it is so mental. My breakfasts are still around 7-8 points+. I have fruit for a mid-morning snack, though, instead of a granola bar I used to have and it works really well! The zero fruit/veggie thing is totally the best! :)

  • I’ve never been on WW so I don’t understand how that meal could be that many points….is it the chicken skin?
    My policy for roast chicken is that I will eat the skin the first night I make it while it is hot and crispy, but since it gets soggy and not as good once it’s been in the fridge, I remove the skin when I eat leftovers.

    • Elina

      Shelly – it’s the combination of the chicken skin, some olive oil on the veggies (and the chicken skin which I drizzled with 1T EVOO for better browning) and a few other condiments on the veggies. Somehow it all added up! Oh and I do the same with the skin – a small piece while it’s still work, the rest I have no interest in. :)

  • D

    A couple months ago I decided to count calories for a week just to remind myself of normal portions, etc. It was totally eye-opening! The crazy thing is that I follow a vegan diet…you’d think it would be pretty hard to have “WOW” meals when it comes to calorie counting, but it’s totally possible. And I’m not one of those people that eats vegan cookies, soy ice cream, etc. – I eat a really unprocessed diet, I don’t eat bread (just out of preference), I don’t drink alcohol (at the moment :)) and I don’t *usually* bake (although Christmas is different!). Even so, I was totally surprised by some things. And yes it’s difficult not to get discouraged! But I just always try to be honest and accountable with myself, and stop seeing my meals as “just” something. Like, oh it’s “just” a stirfy, or it’s “just” oatmeal. Even super healthy things have calories and shouldn’t be treated like it’s a free for all!

    • Elina

      Yup – everything has calories although the quality of those calories matter. I think no one ever got fat off eating too much fruit and veggies, although many of us have other healthy foods we can’t control ourselves around (for me, it’s roasted nuts. I can eat a bag-full and it’s definitely not “just nuts.” 😉 )

  • What made that meal so high in points? I thought vegetables were free? Is chicken high in points?

    It sounds like the plan is making you more aware and I think that’s something that is going to be more helpful to you in the long run. I really like the WW plan and don’t see why people are so negative towards it. I was never taught about portion sizes, moderation, etc…as a kid. We have to learn it somewhere and WW does a good job teaching it.

    • Elina

      Melissa – I think people are negative because they’ve been doing the same old thing for a while and for some, it even worked. But this plan is better nutritionally (in my opinion) so once people get over re-learning everything they thought they knew, I think it will be a hit. It’s also the holiday season and those cookies sure cost a lot of points!!
      PS – I answered your first question above. :)

  • Oh yes I know what you mean, and I to would have guessed that dinner was very healthy and not that many points!! I can’t keep like whole bags/boxes of snacks at work or I’ll keep picking away and eating way more than I should. Work is definitnely the hardest place for me, I snack constantly so I have to pack small pouches of things…sweet/salty/savory.
    Great job with the cookie swap though!! I hate giving up really good treats which is my other issue…always afraid of missing out!

  • Don’t fret too much! With the new system I’ve been eating a lot of 10-12 point meals and somehow, it seems to all work out. I’m so excited for you about the meat CSA. I know I already knew this, but you’re making me miss it. I’ve been dying to have one in Chicago, but I’ve yet to find a provider that raises beef, chicken, pork, and lamb as I love the mix. However we are getting our first butcher shop that will only sell local, humanely raised meat and will do things whole animal. I am so, so excited about that.

  • ooh, that chicken! i need to start roasting chickens like this… and i’m shocked at the point value for the meal….

  • God I’ve developed the worst “screw it” attitude. I used to be pretty good open accepting my dietary “slipup” and eating healthy. Now if I mess up I just keep going :( Do you have any tips/tricks you’ve used?

    • Elina

      Sarah – it’s definitely tricky. Like you say, sometimes I’m able to pick myself up right away, other times it takes a bit longer… but I always come back! :) Have you been working out? I find that when I chose to give into the dreadful side of me and just eat and feel sorry for myself, I also tend to skip the gym (obviously it doesn’t feel great after a box of cookies… and well, I’ll just start over tomorrow and be good “all the way”) but actually, workouts really do balance me out and remind me of how great it feels taking care of myself. Also, I love this analogy – if you ran over something with your car and pop your tire, would you get out of the car and slash the rest of them? Nope. Don’t do the same thing to yourself with food. Force yourself to treat your body better at the very next meal and you will be reminded of how good it feels! Last thing, are you being too strict with yourself and that’s why a slip-up means you’re “off the plan” so might as well screw it? I find that when I just strive to do my best, something more indulgent is not really a “slip-up” but rather an “indulgence”. I think that distinction really does make a difference! GOOD LUCK! Let me know how you do if you need someone to share the good news with of getting back on track! Ok….sorry for the novel I just wrote 😉

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