On June 24, 2010, my wife, Glenda and I started making major changes to the food that we eat.
It has been over a year, and we have managed to stay very close to our collective weight loss which was over one hundred pounds by late fall 2010.
I have been battling my weight since childhood with a slight reprieve during the almost ten years when I worked sixteen hour days on our farm in Canada. (More history here)
Of course our farm was a cattle farm, and our Angus cattle produced top quality meat. We also grew our own vegetables. There were chickens and a dairy cow on our farm. It is not a surprise that there was no shortage of food on the farm.
My big challenge came when we sold our cattle in 1981, and I went to work in the city in 1982. Sitting at a desk put on pounds. The problem got worse when I went to work for Apple in 1984 and started a career of business travel that lasted almost twenty years.
When we decided to change the food that we eat, we made a very conscious decision to make changes which replaced old bad eating habits. We wanted to make permanent changes instead of dieting and gaining the weight back as soon as we stopped dieting.
Five years ago I wrote a post about what I considered to be the perfect Saturday morning breakfast. It was bacon and eggs. While I still love bacon and eggs, I cannot remember the last time that I had it for breakfast.
While my favorite breakfast has gone through a number of iterations recently, today’s perfect breakfast has changed radically from bacon and eggs.
In fact my breakfast these days rarely has any meat. It is now mostly grilled vegetables, hemp hearts, a little cheese, egg whites and/or an egg, and a low fat tortilla. It is a lot of food, sometimes close to 24 ounces, but the total calories are usually around 500.
Lunch as you can see from the picture at the top of the post can also be very different. I grill lots of vegetables outside on our gas grill. While my wife isn’t fond of grilled vegetables for breakfast, she does love them for lunch or dinner so sometimes I skip them at breakfast and cook them later in the day.
The tiny seed like things in the vegetables are the hemp hearts. They are a great substitute for meat, and I find them very tasty. They also keep me from getting hungry. A lunch of grilled vegetables with hemp hearts and half a tomato sandwich with light mayonnaise and whole wheat bread makes a great meal.
We have not given up eating meat, we just eat a whole lot less of it. And we are making the conscious effort to have at least one or two days per week when we eat no meat. We had a zucchini and yellow squash casserole for dinner one night last week.
Some days I will just have a hemp heart and tomato sandwich on whole grain bread for lunch. it sure beats having deli-meat which we have also tried to eliminate from our foods.
I have found that a salad with hemp hearts is delicious and makes a great pinch-hitter when I don’t have time to grill vegetables.
We are trying to stick to fresh vegetables and minimally processed food. I have always grown tomatoes, but this year I also found a spot for some zucchini which has become a staple for our home.
It is almost a game, seeing how far we can stretch the meat that we cook. We often get good deals on bone-in chicken breasts, my wife will take the skin off before I cook them.
After cooking and the chicken has rested so it can soak up its juices, I fillet the chicken. Usually I am satisfied with the chicken that I can pick off the bones, and my wife eats about half of one of the chicken breasts. Eating the chicken off the bones satisfies some caveman desires.
Sometimes we can get another three meals off the leftover chicken.
It has been a successful program for us. While we would like to lose some additional weight, we are happy to have maintained our weight loss.
We continue to make changes and believe that they will lead to additional weight losses. This winter, I started hiking and built up to twenty miles per week before the heat closed in on us this very hot summer. The beach hikes are a great addition to the program. Even in our July heat, I managed a couple of miles one day last week at the Point, and I still manage to get in short morning and afternoon walks that total at least a mile a day
My next post I will try to talk about some of our evening meals.