Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lesson RE-learned

Sometimes I think that I'm so smart. It was one of the few things I was praised over and over about as a kid. So I know that I'm able to see solutions to things before other people. I know that I'm able to apply logic and get an answer that will solve a problem.

But it's SO hard to see that when it's happening *to* me. I have weeks like this past week...weeks where I knew that I was off track but couldn't quite remember how to reign it in. Have I been through this before? Undoubtedly, but I couldn't quite remember how to refocus.

Turns out, one of the key things I had to do was have my own healthy breakfast.

I mentioned before of how I just hadn't gone to the grocery store to get my normal staples. And since I'm leaving town on Sunday for a week, I have been reluctant to go to the store to get them - afraid that they would somehow spoil. My mindset went something like this: Why buy things that could spoil and waste your money? Best to eat crap on the go and end up paying for a few more weeks of Weight Watchers. Alright...that's not quite how logical I was being, but that basically is the end result.

So, I went ahead and bought fruit, some veggies, and bread that could spoil anyway.

And I'm amazed (again!) at how eating my own healthy breakfast - one that is filled with fiber, fruit, and protein - keeps me satisfied. When I'm satisfied, I don't seem to crave the sugar as much. Being able to look at the clock, realize that it's 11:30 and that I haven't snacked all morning is a fantastic feeling.

When I don't pack my breakfast, I end up snacking on things throughout the morning...which just gets me in a snacky/munchy mood and I feel sort of "off" the rest of the day. I don't reach for the fiber filled foods - instead I raid a co-workers candy jar or eat the bagels in the lunchroom. Those sugar and simple carbs have an initial high and then leave me feeling drained and groggy...such that I return to the simple carbs again and again. For me, it perpetuates the "So what?" feeling and indulge in ways that are not healthy.

Reigning it in -with my own go-to and planned breakfast - helps me feel back in the routine of things. I have a few of those breakfasts up my sleeve and I'm happy to share one of them with you.

My current breakfast was adapted from the Hungry Girl's Choco-Monkey Oatmeal. I referred to it in this post.

It is:
1/3 cup of oatmeal (quick, not instant)
a dash of cinnamon
two dashes of salt
1/2 a banana, smushed
1 or 2 tbsp of reduced fat peanut butter
1 packet of diet cocoa (25 calories per packet)

Mix the cocoa with 1/4 cup of hot water. Once dissolved, mix in the other dry ingredients and add another 1/4 cup of cooler water. Add the smushed banana half and then microwave for 1:30- 2:00 minutes. While you're waiting, have the other half of a banana (seriously, does anyone save a half a banana?). :)

Take out of the microwave and stir or add water to achieve the consistency you like in your oatmeal (I like mine a bit thicker so I usually add only a bit more water here). Stir in the desired amount of peanut butter (on days where I worked out in the morning, I usually have 2 tbsp, but one is plenty for the taste). Enjoy!

It ends up tasting pretty good. I mean, I wouldn't serve it as a Christmas Brunch or anything, but it's tasty, filling, something that I can prepare with only a microwave, and it looks like a lot (so my eyeballs feel satisfied too). With only one tbsp of peanut butter, you're talking 5 points for the whole thing (6 if you do like me and eat the other half of the banana). The original recipe didn't have the peanut butter and did have a packet of sugar substitute, but I find that I like more savory things than sweet in the morning...so the addition of the peanut butter and an extra dash of salt makes it better.

The best thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is that I can pre-mix the dry goods in a baggie and use the peanut butter in my drawer at work and I can mix it up quickly. I find that if I eat before I leave the house, I'm hungrier in the morning and I don't get everything done at home that I want to do before I leave. Having a breakfast that I can take with me is crucial and with this, I reach into my pantry, grab a baggie, a packet of cocoa, and a banana and breakfast is taken care of.

I do know that there are dangers of sugar substitute - including those it the diet cocoa. I'm not saying that I'll "cook" like this every day for the rest of my life, but for now it's doing the trick. I'll likely experiment with eliminating the cocoa (which is my least favorite part) and adding something else to make it feel just as satisfying, both in my belly and to my eyes but I don't quite know what to do to make that a tasty, lower point, and satisfying breakfast...do you have any suggestions?


lindalou said...

Great plan, they say having a choice of 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, etc...just makes thing simpler, less stressful, less apt to stray.
I find I do this esp. with breakfast and lunch and the calories are about the same going into dinner.

love your blog..keep up the good work!

Lisa said...

fabulous job on reigning yourself in and identifying your triggers!

Margie M. said...

First...thanks for your nice comment on my blog. Much appreciated!

Reigning it in is something we all go through. A couple of times when my weight got up there a few pounds more than "safe" I was fearful that I could not remember exactly HOW I'd lost the weight in the first place. Like you, I figured it out and got the job done. Good work on sticking to your breakfast plan. It is so important.

Also like you, I struggle with not eating the sweeteners. Man, I just can't cut them out completely!!! I won't go back to real sugar, so sometimes you just have to do your best. My best right now has been to cut my usage of Splenda in half. At least it is something better than what I was doing.

Have a good week!

Margie writes at:

Red Writing said...

Hi there! Love your blog. new follower here.

I have been seeing a lot of people adding canned pumpkin and maybe some granola to their oats. I can't really imagine this with the peanut butter being good, but you might want to try it for something different.

kellie said...

Good for you for identifying your triggers and figuring out that the food you make is the best food! Fast food must have some addictive stuff in it, because it always leaves me craving more sugary food!