This is my third week keeping a food log. One of the things I’ve noticed is that I’ve been eating the same way for three weeks…and guess what? Nothing is really changing.
With hockey playoffs and my birthday recently, there’s always an excuse to indulge. Unfortunately, a life of little indulgences leads to poor health and excess weight.
Week 3 Summary: 6/10
If you look at the quality of food I’ve been eating, for the most part it’s terrific. Whole foods like potatoes, vegetables and salads are abundant in my diet. I’m proud of that habit. Woo hoo!
So what’s the problem? When I have a closer look, I see some issues.
Oil: this stuff is everywhere. It’s in any salad dressing you buy or come across at a restaurant. If we want to control our oil intake, we need to make our own dressings. A little oil here, and a little oil there…adds up. Oil has a LOT of calories that we don’t need (basically oil = 100% fat). For someone who’s overweight, like me, I don’t need oil calories. In order to have more success, I need to take oil right out of my diet. I’ll have to keep my eagle eye out for oil.
Alcohol: although I don’t drink alcohol in excess, or what I would call excess, I’m drinking alcohol about 5 days a week. How can my body function optimally if it has to spend all that time processing alcohol? Alcohol is a toxin to the body…plain and simple. We can convince ourselves that it has some benefits (think red wine) and that a few drinks is not a big deal, but in the end, alcohol is empty calories, and nature did not intend for our bodies to have to work so hard to filter and eliminate alcohol. I’m not sure what the best approach is. None? A couple of drinks a week? I’ll have to think on that, but for sure I’d like to have less alcohol next week.
Faux meat products: One of my meals included a black bean patty, made by Morning Star. This is a pretty good option now and again. These patties are 33% fat (keep reading for more on the fat calculation of foods). Not too bad, considering it’s a processed food.
The ingredient list is NOT the worst I’ve seen for a faux meat because the first three ingredients are whole foods (black beans and rice):
–water, cooked black beans (black beans, water), cooked brown rice (water, brown rice), onion, whole kernel corn, corn oil, soy protein concentrate, egg whites, diced tomatoes, wheat gluten, bulgur wheat, green chiles, onion powder, calcium caseinate (from milk), cornstarch, contains two percent or less of tomato juice, salt, yeast extract, spices, dextrose, tomato powder, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (corn gluten, wheat gluten, soy protein), garlic powder, jalapeno pepper, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, paprika, modified corn starch, soy sauce (soybeans, wheat, salt), xanthan gum, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), caramel color, lactic acid
As you can see from that list, there are a lot of things I DON’T want to eat: egg whites, preservatives and a bunch of things I can’t pronounce! Once in a while, however, I think I can live with eating the Morning Star burgers. Maybe one day I’ll frown upon them totally, but for now, they seem ok once in a while.
The REAL faux meat culprit in my diet this week was the Beyond Meat burger patty. I absolutely love these burgers! …and that’s the problem.
Their burgers actually taste like ground beef, so it’s the closest to tasting like a real meat burger, which I grew up with. The real reason I love them is that mouth feel. And guess where that comes from? Beyond Meat burgers are almost 70% fat! No wonder I love them.
There are 290 calories in one 4 oz patty. One patty has 22 g of fat, each of which has 9 calories. 22 x 9 = 198 total calories from fat. When we divide the fat calories by the total calories, we get 198/290 = 68%. All this math is SUPER important. It is NOT the nutrition label that gives you the information you need about fat content (because companies show you the “daily value” or make the fat calculation based on the weight of the food, not the calories).
It’s the percentage of calories from fat that is the most important. YOU HAVE to DO YOUR OWN MATH to know what you are eating and to take care of your own health.
The Beyond Meat package tells us that with each serving, we’re getting 35% of our daily value of fat. We don’t really need a daily value. What we do need is to keep our overall percentage of fat intake to about 10%. Even if you think you should have 20-30% of your calories from fat, the Beyond Meat burger is way too high in fat content to be considered healthy…68%…WOW!
Ok, what if you don’t want to do the math (easy with Smartphones everywhere these days)? That’s fine; you can look at the other part of the package that gives you a peek at what you are actually ingesting: the actual ingredients in the food. Always look very closely, especially at the first 3 ingredients in the list. The ingredients are listed in order of proportion, so the product’s first ingredients exist in higher amounts.
Here is the ingredient list for Beyond Meat burgers:
–pea protein isolate, expeller pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, salt, succinic acid, acetic acid, non-gmo modified food starch, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract (for color), ascorbic acid (to maintain color), annatto extract (for color), citrus fruit extract (to maintain quality), vegetable glycerin.
I’m not going to go through the issues with all these ingredients, but look at the first three. Two of them are OIL.
That is a HUGE indicator of how high fat these tasty burgers are. Like I said, I love them. In fact, it’s difficult for me to eat just one, which is another hint they aren’t a food I should be eating when I want to lose weight and get healthier.
My diet these last weeks shows me that I should get rid of all faux meats. Again, it doesn’t mean I have to leave them out forever, but they certainly shouldn’t be part of any plan to get healthy and lose weight.
Animal products: I consume no meat (red meat, pork, chicken), and very, very little dairy. When I veer off course, I am sometimes tempted by fish. When I look over this week, I see my indulgences: some sauces (from restaurants), dairy ice cream and cheesecake (from a restaurant) and pizza (with dairy cheese). I don’t eat dairy at home, but occasionally, I let it creep into my meals when I am out. This past week, I allowed way too many animal products into my diet.
I’m giving myself a 6/10 for this week. Although my food and alcohol intake was similar to last week, I ate more fatty/unhealthy animal products this week. I did squeeze in exercise on two days, or my number would be even lower.
Since my commitment to “transform” myself in January, I have made only slight progress. It’s still progress, so I do recognize my efforts.
However, it’s time to hit the RESET button and buckle down. I know what the healthy choices are, so this week, I’m going to dive in to the good stuff and treat the unhealthy stuff like poisons.
I actually started my RESET today, so you’ll see that today’s log (May 21) is super clean.
My goal for the next week is:
-no added oil
-no faux meats
-no animal products
-at least three days with exercise
Wish me luck for next week; here is my food log for the last seven days.
-Starbucks matcha tea latte with one portion of sugar
-salad with mixed greens, tomato, banana peppers, hummus and an oil dressing
-black bean burger patty
-salad: spinach, kale, arugula, Italian parsley, tomato, red cabbage, green onion, walnuts and dressing (strawberries, leftover homemade salsa, store-bought guacamole, balsamic vinegar and garlic)
–2 glasses of red wine
-homemade matcha tea latte with soy milk and three dates
-2 mandarin oranges
-salad of mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, banana peppers, hummus (oil), dressing
-rice, black beans and veggies
-Starbucks decaf soy milk latte
-rice, cannellini beans, red pepper, kale, sweet potato and green onion with homemade sauce (cannellini beans, sun dried tomato, soy milk, garlic and onion powder, lime juice and dates).
-home baked corn chips
-Starbucks matcha tea latte with soy milk and 2 portions of syrup
-3 mini sweet potatoes
-Beyond Meat patty on one piece of rye bread with tomato, hummus (with oil), banana peppers, onions, mustard
-corn, red onion and black bean salad
–glass of red wine
-sushi: shiitake mushroom, sweet potato, avocado (had mayo)
-glass of red wine
-1 Lindt chocolate
-Starbucks caramel macchiato made with soy milk, syrup
-whole wheat wrap: hummus, romaine and veggies
-Asian Hot Pot restaurant: veggie broth with noodles, broccoli, bean sprouts, baby bok choy and mushrooms with black bean chili paste, soy sauce, garlic and cilantro (broth and sauces had some oil)
-glass of red wine
-green apple vodka
-restaurant buffet meal: greens (mixed and arugula) with red onion, mushrooms, seaweed salad, corn, grape tomatoes, cucumber and a balsamic dressing (with oil); mushroom ravioli with a bit of a cream sauce; roasted potatoes (had oil on them); soft-serve ice cream (dairy) with chocolate sauce
-one rusty nail (1/2 scotch,1/2 drambuie)
-French fries with chipotle sauce (had mayo)
-Lindt chocolate square (caramel salt flavor)
–café mocha (from a machine)
-salad with: mixed greens, arugula, purple cabbage, corn, red onion, grape tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, cabbage, sunflower seeds, raspberry vinaigrette (with oil)
-perogies (cheese and potato)
with sour cream
-ice cream (dairy)
-Nuts for Cheese (this cheese was delicious!…expensive, but awesome!)
-homemade corn chips
-peanut butter cookies (3)
-1 glass red wine
-1 piccolo (sparkling wine)
-2 Lindt chocolates
-2 hours of raking and bagging leaves
-coffee with cream
-salad with mixed greens, arugula, cucumber, red onions, grape tomatoes and raspberry vinaigrette (oil)
-waffle with maple syrup
-rye toast with peanut butter and jam
-roasted potatoes with Dijon mustard
-2 glasses of red wine
-tortilla chips (with oil)
-nacho cheese sauce
-2 glasses of red wine
-pizza (dairy cheese) with mushrooms and green pepper
-Lindt chocolate squares
5.3 km walk
-Starbucks matcha tea soy milk latte, no sugar
-salad: kale, spinach, arugula with tomatoes, purple cabbage, roasted peppers, red onion, crumbled cauliflower and raspberries; homemade dressing: lemon juice, mandarin juice, garlic and ginger, blended; drizzle of balsamic reduction
-Brussel sprouts, roasted peppers, roasted carrots
…Today was my first RESET day..what a great salad.
Wishing you health and success on your journey,