Keys to Weight Loss Freedom: Expect Failure

In business, the mantra is that successful people not only expect failure, but embrace it.

In weight loss though, we expect perfection. If we “mess up” we often find ourselves at the wrong end of a downwards spiral. We compound our small missteps until they become disasters. And while we know it doesn’t have to be that way, we feel helpless to stop it.

I have lost 60 pounds over the past two years. But there were ups and downs. There were breaks. And many times I failed.  In fact, many weeks I continue to fail.

And I am happy about that.

Sometimes…

Sometimes I go an entire month without losing a single pound. And sometimes I gain three pounds. I NEVER feel bad about it, and I never lose sight of my progress.

Because even if I gain 5 pounds, 10 pounds, or 15 pounds – I’m still in such a better place than I was 60 pounds ago.

Sometimes I get my period, and other times I want to drink half my weight in rum and eat a donut. Sometimes ice cream happens, often pizza happens, and I can assure you that when froyo happens, I don’t go light on toppings.

Because here is the important part. I expect failures. I embrace failures. There is no way that I could expect anything else. Because horrible food is delicious, and it makes me happy. So there is no way I’ll have a perfect month or year. But I do have perfect days, and wonderful weeks.

A Promise to Myself

From the very first day that I embarked on this journey I promised myself that I would never ever experience guilt over food again. That’s because I know that weight loss is affected not only by our habits, but also by our psychological health.

Small failures are not a big deal. In fact, they are are a good thing. Sometimes your body just wants calories. And sometimes eating is fun.

Small failures include the dollar slice I drunkenly enjoyed with friends on a great evening. The birthday party where I indulged, and the vacation where I had the best time.

When I look back on them, they weren’t failures. They were indulgences, and I enjoyed them – just as I enjoy eating (mostly) healthy on a daily basis.

My failures are integral to my success. Because in the scheme of things, my failures were never failures at all. They were natural parts of the process.

No More Cheat Days

I don’t believe in cheat days. To each his own, I say, but they don’t strike me as part of a healthy mentality.

You are never cheating. You are making choices. Sometimes you’ll make good choices, and sometimes you’ll make worse choices. Make sure your choices are overwhelmingly good, and you will look great in no time. Just don’t punish yourself for the ‘bad’ choices.

When you lose weight the fact of the matter is this. Your body is starving. It doesn’t matter if you do it slowly or quickly, or if you take all the right vitamins and minerals. Your body wants things, and thats ok – let it have things, or don’t. But if you gain a pound, it’s not a failure. It’s a blip.

And remember that sometimes – just OK is good enough.

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Let me be blunt. I modified this recipe from here.

But without the modifications, it’s a bit bland.
And the modifications work. And by work I mean WEEEERK.

If you’re a single lady, this recipe will make men love you. And if you’re a single guy, it will also make men love you.  So I hope if you’re a dude that you’re gay or at least open to exploration.

OK so go to that link. Put those exact things in the slow cooker, and then add the following:

  1. SALT! I don’t like salt, but without any salt at all this recipe is bland
  2. 1/8 cup of brown sugar, I added it a few hours into the slow cooking process
  3. A few table spoons of balsamic vinaigrette! Also added late in the slow cooking process. This is the secret key!! Oh my goodness.

Also. The recipe says slow cook for 2 hours. I don’t think that’s nearly enough to get the full flavor.

I slow cooked on high for 4ish hours. I turned it to low towards the end.

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Heavenly chili, obscured by a ton of other delicious ingredients: spring mix, bruschetta, avocado, egg

BONUS POINTS:
You get bonus points from a higher power if you serve this chili on top of mixed greens with an egg on top. If you’re feeling naughty, a dollop of sour cream won’t hurt.

ALERT!!! Burrito Potential alert!:
I try to avoid carbs. But if you’re feeling feisty, add one egg, some mixed greens, some avocado and/or tomato.  Throw it all together in a wrap to make the world’s most wonderful burrito. You won’t be disappointed.

STAY WARM! And Happppppppppy Chili Nomming 😀

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The Infamous Egg Thing

What is “Egg Thing” you ask?

Egg Thing is elusive… like a dove.
Egg Thing is a feeling more than a recipe. It’s like homespun wool, perfect precisely because of its imperfections.

Egg Thing reminds me of babushka’s cooking – it comes out a little bit different every time. Cooking Egg Thing is like replicating DNA over and over again. The mutations add up. Sometimes they are disastrous, sometimes miraculous – but they always code for Egg Thing.

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Egg thing. Pictured here with besties Butternut Squash Puree and Beet Juice

The Two Foundational Premises of Egg Thing: 
1] The presence of three main ingredients
– mixed veggies
– a cut up veggie burger (but specifically, Morning Star Chik Patties are the most delicious)
-eggs
2] The eggs are always added last, and left slightly wet and yolky. DEAR GOD I WANT EGG THING RIGHT NOW!!

Egg Thing changed my life because:
– It can be made in a single large pan
– It’s easy, bc it can be made with microwave steamable veggies
– It’s crazy filling, and you can make many portions at once
– It’s a great intro for someone who is new to healthy eating

Here is How I Generally Make My Egg Thing

Ingredients:
1. Bag of Steamed Vegetables (I usually Bird’s Eye Mixed Vegetables)
2. 1 or 2 veggie burgers (I usually use either Morning Star Original Chik Patties OR Buffalo Chik Patties. I highly recommend trying with these)
3. 2-3 eggs (I try to stick with Organic, Cage Free…yada yada)
Optional: Soy or teriyaki sauce. Or any sauce for that matter.

Directions:
1. Steam veggies according to directions on bag.  I steam them in the microwave for slightly less than the recommended time.
2. Do whatever you do to your pan to make it not stick. WARNING: Egg thing WILL get sticky. I use a ceramic pan and Organic Coconut Oil Cooking Spray from my beloved Trader Joe’s.
3. If you keep your veggie patties in the freezer, defrost them slightly – just until you can cut through them easily. Cut each patty up into 8 or more pieces.
4. Throw patty pieces on pan on a LOW FLAME! Flip them regularly and wait for them to brown slightly.
5. Add steamed veggies to same pan, turn it up a little bit. Wait a bit for everything to cook.
6. Crack eggs directly into the pan. Scramble things around a bit. My egg thing is finished when the egg is still slightly wet and yolky. This makes things so delicious!!

OPTIONAL: Add salt, spices, whatever you want. Almost anything will taste great. I especially love adding a bit of teriyaki sauce. It tastes AMAZING. I usually use Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki.

Egg Thing tastes great hot or cold.
I usually make enough to last me a few meals.

Let us know how you personalize your egg thing!!

Happy Nomming 🙂

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Sweet Potato Avocado Smash

 

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Can I still call it a “recipe” if it only requires two ingredients and a microwave?

Healthy eating for one is hard. Fresh produce goes bad quickly, and buying small quantities isn’t always possible.

Avocados and Sweet Potatoes to the rescue. Here is a quick and healthy recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

You’ll need:
1 or 1/2 avocado
1 sweet potato
salt
Optional: 1 egg, any style

  1. scrub the sweet potato, especially if you intend to eat the skin.
  2. pierce sweet potato with a fork 5-10 times, then wrap sweet potato in a lightly moist paper towel
  3. microwave sweet potato 5-7 minutes, depending on strength of your microwave. Let it cool for a few minutes once its done
  4. cut sweet potato in half, scoop out insides.
  5. smash sweet potato insides together in bowl with avocado and salt to taste
  6. Optional: throw an egg on top for a filling and nutritious meal

 

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YUM!

 

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Salad For Breakfast

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People look at me strangely when I eat this at 7 AM.

Why don’t we eat salads for breakfast? I just won’t stand for it any longer.

And no, I’m not talking about a special breakfast salad. I’m talking about a plate of leaves for you to insert directly into your mouth early in the morning.

I’m not the biggest fan of breakfast to begin with. But if you’re going to eat breakfast, at least make it leafy. Here’s why:

1. Breakfast is disgusting. Salad is not.

 

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Energy for typing. Romaine mix with eggplant, avocado, roasted pepper and a number of lesser fixins.

Your classic breakfast foods are carby, oily, or gross. Eating them will make you feel like a shitty breakfast monster.

Toast and jelly? Carby and pointless. Cereal? Carby, highly processed, and pointless. Bacon? Gross. So deliciously gross. Pancakes and Waffles? More like heartburn and large pants. Eggs? Good start, but even better with mixed veggies. Berries? Now we’re getting somewhere..

2.“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

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This morning’s friend. Mixed greens topped with: homemade vegetarian chili, 1/4 avocado, bruschetta, 1 egg.

I’m skeptical. Not of anything in particular, just of everything I’ve ever been told.

Even so, I subscribe to the idea of eating lightly and mostly plants. It’s not that I think it’s the best way, or the only way, but it works for me.

Eating this way has helped me lose a lot of weight. It’s transformed me from an angel of humility into an arrogant wretch who likes my own selfies. You are now met with the possibility of undergoing a similar transformation.

What we do know objectively is that many plants are good for us. They are often filled with good stuff, including more phytonutrients than current science even understands. Some of these phytonutrients help plants fight UV damage and disease. They might help us do the same. On this subject, check out the book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson. It is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read.

If you want to be sexy, and  if you believe you should be getting the majority of your nutrition from plants, then it makes sense to start with your first meal. Breakfast is a great time to eat plants, because every time is a great time to eat plants.

3. Plants might make your gut happy.

We are also beginning to understand that a diet filled with plants might make your gut microbiome happy. Could it be the fiber? The phytonutrients? The fact that veggies tend to take the place of less healthful choices?

It could be that some veggies are ‘prebiotic’ (meaning they encourage growth of bacteria we like). Or it could be that they discourage growth of bacteria we don’t like. I tend to think the effect depends on which vegetables we eat. We have a tendency to group all veggies together, but I don’t completely buy it.

Anyway, the sad truth is we don’t know much of anything for sure. But on this subject, I really enjoyed the book “Brain Maker” by Dr. David Perlmutter.

4. Salad is filling.

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One for the bland palate. Romaine, grilled chicken, shaved parmesan, and croutons.

Maybe you think you have a problem with appetite control. But really, it’s more likely that you’re eating a diet that you were never adapted to eat.

If you eat things that come out of a box for breakfast, it’s likely that those foods are making you hungry all day.

I could never get full when I used to eat processed foods. They are too refined, and digest too easily. Processed foods often lack volume per calorie. They are too calorie dense, and you need too little of them to meet your caloric needs. Hence, you continually over-eat.

Salad, on the other hand, is filled with veggies. Fruits and veggies fill your tummy, signaling that you’re full. Veggies, in general, are not calorie dense. And even those that are are often filled with so much good stuff that it doesn’t even matter.

Add a protein to your salad, and you have a hearty breakfast. You’ll be full for hours. You can even add two proteins.  Later in the day, you’ll feel more inclined to eat healthier because you’ll feel so good. You just need to get used to it.

5. Salad gives you options.

There is no reason to not eat leaves for breakfast. And when it comes to which leaves, or how you dress them – that is up to you. Your salad can be sweet or savory, mild or intense. If you close your eyes and pinch your nose, you might even mistake your salad for a cronut.

I eat salad for breakfast almost every day. My salads are my best friends. Mostly because I talk about salad so much that none of my human friends like me anymore. I love my edible friends.

Great (refreshing!) ingredients for an early morning salad include:
-eggs
-cucumbers
-cherry tomato
-avocado
-seeds

Moral of the story? Salad. Don’t leaf home without it.

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We’d love to hear about your progress.
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