Going Cold Turkey…

Going Cold Turkey – gotta do it!   (no, not talkin about the meat)

This is seriously one of the best diet strategies I implemented – not even really on purpose, but it has served me well on my 9 month (and counting) change in eating.

Some diets urge you to “just eat less” or “eat everything in moderation” or to slowly ease into your new eating habits… and in some ways I agree… but for the most part I think it is important to jump into the deep end, leap off the cliff, just do it… whatever cliche motivates you to GO COLD TURKEY!

I did not do this no purpose as I mentioned… I spent a lot of $$$ for a diet program in which you could only eat what they shipped to you and a big serving of meat and green vegetables for dinner.  I am a cheap a** so I was not about to let that money go to waste and I was sticking to that food plan come hell or high water.  It was hard, I won’t lie, but after 2 months and about 22 pounds I was more than happy that I’d done it!  The side effect was that 2 months proved to be just long enough to get the tastes of sugar and flour and fat out of my system and develop a liking to other flavors.   I transitioned into eating similar foods from the grocery store (and lost another 30 lbs over 6 more months) but by then the taste of more wholesome foods weren’t bothersome and I am actually excited to try new foods (today I cooked dinner with oatmeal – savory italian style tomatoes, garlic, chicken, and yes oatmeal).

If you are not used to eating whole grains and lots of green vegetables, fat free products or lean meats your palate is not gonna throw a party with these new healthy foods.  They can taste bland, cardboard-y, you might feel like a goat, but honestly they just taste different, and different takes some getting used to.  And, girlfriend, that ain’t gonna happen if you keep sticking sugar and white flour and veggies packed in salt and fruit packed in sugar in your mouth.  Your tongue will stay used to and prefer these flavors and it is a chore to eat anything else.  I am not suggesting that you never eat a piece of chocolate as long as you live – I am suggesting you give it up cold turkey for a bit while your body gets used to the new flavors :)

Ever visit another part of the country and wonder how the locals can eat the food?  Their seasonings are different (who puts DILL in a mexican dish???), their preparation is different – because they grew up eating that way THAT is the food they prefer.  You need to teach your mouth to PREFER something other than the cr** it’s been accustomed to so far :)

A palate changes I promise you – the other day I was craving whole grain bread and I actually dislike applesauce with sugar in it now – sausage doesn’t taste that great (this was previously a staple in our home cuz it cooks in 5 minutes!).   I eat oatmeal with no sweetener (previously pretty disgusting), fruit shakes with no milk or sugar, real apples and steamed veggies withOUT butter – and I like them! – my favorite snacking snack is Go Lean fiber cereal straight out of the box.   I did not like any of these before but my tongue has grown accustomed to them and actually craves them :)

The problem with slowly changing your eating is that you never really let go of the tastes of that other food (which is mostly just not good for you)…so you are always craving it and feel deprived when you can’t have it… I know – I cried the first few times I had to pass on the chinese food or when everyone else was grabbing pieces of cake and fudge… now I don’t really care and when I have let myself have a taste it’s way too sweet, way too fatty, way too much.

I wish I’d known – I honestly started out thinking OMG I have to eat like this for HOW  LONG?  bribing myself to just make it through 4 months and I’d be “off” my diet and the world would be right again.  Problem is you come to learn that “off my diet” is just another phrase for “fat again”… you may not always have to be so strict but you can NEVER go back to eating like you used to!

It’s not a fun prospect to eat cardboard for a few weeks while you are letting your taste buds develop but it’s a little easier knowing that brown rice and spinach aren’t always going to be your mortal enemies :)

Today’s Dinner:

Chicken breast simmered in can of diced roasted tomato with garlic and pepper, over brown rice (or since I was out, I just stirred in some uncooked oatmeal).  I’ve also added spinach to this mix before – great yummy dish.

Banana Bread {with no oil, sugar or butter – yummy and wholesome and dense, takes a palate that’s been cut off the sweet stuff :)   }

.5 cup applesauce
2 medium ripe bananas
1 tbs vanilla or almond extract
1 cup oatmeal
3 oz egg whites
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 cup whole wheat flour
chopped almonds or nuts optional

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a pan (can use loaf – I find it easier to cut with brownie size pan) with fat free cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and mash together. Blend together thoroughly. Next, add the flour, oats, and baking powder. I gradually added the flour to avoid large clumps in the mixture. Add the cake like mixture to the pan. Add a few sprinkles of cinnamon, nuts to the top before tossing it into the oven. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until a fork can be poked in the middle and come out nice and clean! Enjoy!

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