Diet trends (and tempeh tacos)Posted: January 31, 2012
I’m going to start out this post with something happy and light-hearted, because it’s about to get real serious up in here.
I cooked up another recipe from Veganomicon last night: Baja Tempeh Tacos.
YUM. Like every dish from this cookbook, these tacos were awesome!
You’ll have to check out the book or do some Googling for the official recipe, as it is not listed on the PPK site.. 😉
Basically, the recipe calls for 3 components:
– Tempeh, which is marinated in beer and various spices (I also threw soybeans and black beans into the mix, because I only had about 1/3 of a package of tempeh) and fried (I ground it all up and sauteed it in a little olive oil.)
– Lime Crema, which calls for soy yogurt, but I used Fage 0% plain, and is mixed with lime juice, salt, cilantro and avocado oil (I used olive oil)
– Slaw, containing shredded cabbage, carrot, pickled jalepenos (which I didn’t have and used chili powder instead) and apple cider vinegar
I also made a quick salsa fresca using avocado, tomato, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, garlic + salt. We made a little assembly line on the dinner table:
I had some roasted squash mixed with garlic + cumin + chili powder on the side and Greg had jasmine rice. This is beer that we used for the marinade, and the rest was consumed with dinner. 🙂
Onto the next topic.
Guess what I did yesterday… I quit Weight Watchers!
Let me clarify- I canceled my membership because I have been paying $40 a month to go to meetings, and haven’t been to even weigh in at a center since November. I prefer to weigh-in first thing in the morning, and the hours of the weigh-in center don’t fit my schedule, as I’m already at work long before they open. I have been logging my food using eTools, because I think it’s helpful. I’m not good with writing stuff down on paper, but give me an app or a website, and I’m game. I noticed on the website that it was incredibly cheaper to just pay for eTools and do WW online like I have been. I was waiting until the end of the month to cancel my membership, because my account is auto-debited at the beginning of each month. I am planning to register a new account to just pay for WW online, but I’m using this week to decide if it will really be helpful.
Here’s my thought about Weight Watchers: I think that it can be incredibly helpful for someone that is trying to lose weight and is not already eating “healthy” foods. I like that the newer versions of Weight Watchers stress the importance of filling up on vegetables, fruits and whole grains, rather than just using all of your points for one big crappy food item.
For me personally, I have not seen a lot of success with Weight Watchers. My eating has not changed very much, and I always stay well withing my Points range. Since I started the program in November, I’ve lost about 2.5 lbs. I’ve followed all of the “rules” for the program, but clearly, something just isn’t working for me. Oh, and that 2.5 weight loss that I “toot-tooted” about last week? It was gone when I stepped on the scale a week later (I had gained it back). Really, I didn’t let it bother me though, because the scale can say one thing one day, and something else the next. So obviously, following the WW plan hasn’t really helped me, and I don’t want to keep shelling out money for it. But- if I find that I eat worse this week because I’m not logging my food intake (or points), I’ll sign up for the online thing.
I’m still taking photos of every meal/snack/bite, because that DOES help me cut back on mindless eating big time.
The bottom line is, with my lifestyle, there is no reason that I should be gaining any weight, period. I eat healthy and exercise, I don’t binge, I don’t drink much. I occasionally have a higher calorie meal, but that should easily be balanced by the amount of calories I burn in the gym. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that occasionally I write a post where I complain about my struggles with losing weight and that it just seems so much harder than me than everyone else. I am dying to get to a point where I can figure out the “key” to solving this mystery, and I’ve been searching for three years now.
I’ve been hearing about a few different diet trends lately, and started to do (a very little bit of) research. My friend/trainer Ken posted something on Facebook the other day asking if anyone had tried the “eat for your blood type diet.” I had heard of it, but really knew nothing about it, except that it listed specific foods to eat and avoid based on your blood type. I did a little Googling, and found a few interesting bits of information.
I learned that my blood type is “O” when I donated blood in the fall. (Seriously, until then, I had no idea.) This page gives an outline of some special characteristics for type O’s. Now, I can look at that page and identify with a couple of things that are listed to be typical for O’s. But, I can also look at the list for A’s and B’s and identify with just as much. Upon exploring the site a little further, I found that it says that Type O’s should eat a diet based heavily on animal proteins and avoid gluten and legumes. I once ate gluten-free for 3 months as part of an elimination diet experiment and saw no benefits. It actually just made me cranky and bitter and not any thinner.
I found a similar eating plan when researching the Paleo diet. When I first heard of the basic principles of the Paleo diet, I thought it sounded intriguing. My first thoughts were that it focused on eating “real” foods, rather than processed crap. But, the Paleo diet actually advises you to eat mostly high fat, animal proteins, nuts, no dairy (except heavy cream and butter!) and low carbs. Sounds a lot like Atkins to me! It also discourages calories counting (okay) and portion control (whhhhhaaaat???) I know that a lot of people have been raving about this diet lately, but it is definitely not something I could follow. While I definitely agree with the “rules” that you should try to eliminate stress, eat when you feel hungry and not over-exercise, I just can’t get down with a diet that bashes legumes and oats.
For the last few years, I have tried to follow Michael Pollan’s philosophies from the book Food Rules. This isn’t a “diet” plan per se, it’s just a list of “rules” of what to eat (and how to eat it) and what to avoid. He says it best in the beginning: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan advises to know where your food comes from, first and foremost, and to eat foods in their purest form. This makes a lot of sense to me. Eating a bunch of high-fat animal proteins does not. Plus, my body feels better (and lighter) when I eat more vegetables and proteins in the form of legumes or other plant-based sources.
There are many similar books that stress eliminating any animal products whatsoever (and eating vegan), in which the authors brag about how amazing they feel, how clear their skin is, and how much energy they have.
With all of these conflicting opinions about which diet “works,” how is anyone supposed to know what’s right?
The main thing I want to stress here is that I am not looking for any type of elimination diet. I know that I could drop 5 lbs. in a week if I cut out carbs, but I’m not interested in a quick fix. I would not be able to (or want to and should not) live a life with no grains or sugar, and really do think that the key is choosing the right carbs. If I cut out any of these things, I would gain weight back immediately once I started eating them again. And that is the most heart-breaking thing of all (gaining back weight that you worked so hard to lose). No, thank you.
I really need to read the copy of Intuitive Eating that I bought last year. 🙂
I’m curious: has anyone heard of any other “revolutionary” diet plan? Or have you tried the ones that I listed above? I’d love to know your feedback!