Saturday, February 4, 2012

Picasso-Face Lunch

Having it My Way
Like many across the country, I began 2012 with the resolve to be healthier this year.  Knowing that, as a goal, my resolution too nebulous to be quantified I thought through exactly what being healthier meant to me.
I realized that I wanted measurable results in terms of my weight but more importantly I wanted to reduce my sick days and ramp up my energy level.  Not only did I want to fit into my jeans, I wanted the vigor to go enjoy all my favorite activities that sometimes slip through the cracks when I am laid low by dietary indiscretions.  So I turned for help to my old tried-and-true friend, the South Beach Diet.
If you're unfamiliar with this particular diet, it first became popular when the book by Dr. Arthur Agatston hit the shelves about ten years ago.  It was around that time that a friend of mine gave me her copy of the book.  It didn't work well for her because it requires cooking and she hates to cook. She ended up doing quite well on Jenny Craig with the pre-packaged food.  To each her own.  I'm not here to sell the diet, but for me I know that since it embraces natural, simple foods and restricts sugar and refined wheat products, it's pretty ideal for me.  I decided to follow the strict Phase One menu to the letter during the first two weeks of the New Year.
By January 14 I had lost 9 pounds and felt wonderful.  My painting jeans once more zipped easily and I had boundless energy to keep up with my studio work.  I was able to teach my YoloCanvas class, have fun with my grandson, and even climb on the playground.  Sean accompanied me the first two weeks and Dan agreed not to make any of his winter comfort foods (although I will admit, there were days I really missed his chicken pot pie).
Success is a dangerous thing. The hubris that accompanied the weight loss seduced me into "cheating" on the more liberal Phase Two of the diet.  The start of the semester and the challenge of constantly cooking tempted me into risking a couple of dangerous take-out meals.  Rather than follow the menu plan, I allowed myself to run off the road into the ditch of easy food.  It is a ditch obscured by the weeds of "just-this-once-once-can't-hurt" and filled with the slimy mud of hidden sugar, saturated fats, and unrefined flour.
Okay, I admit it.  I'm a backslider.
I HIT BOTTOM yesterday when, with blood sugar plummeting in the midst of a day full of errands, Sean and I stopped at Carl's Jr. for a hamburger, fries, and a Coke.  There.  I said it.
Monday morning, I'm going right back on Phase One accompanied by meals like the one pictured here, artfully arranged, healthfully prepared, colorfully presented.  I will anticipate my busy times and prepare ahead of time.  I will take snacks in the car with me.  I will allow enough time to cook dinner and make enough to have good leftovers.
Right after Sean makes hot wings for the Super Bowl.

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