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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Ugh! Menu planning

Being told by the doctor that I must change everything about how I eat is hard to hear.  The doctor is telling me to change everything I know about shopping and creating meals around the discount foods I find. 

 I hate menu planning!  But.... I spent a whole day yesterday trying to create a 30 day menu plan. 

What's wrong with menu planning?  Well, for me, it's not something I really like doing.  Counting calories, and counting carbs, and counting fat grams, and counting this, and counting that in order to create a balanced diet gives me brain fuzz.  My eyes start to loose focus and my mind starts to grow numb.  The numbers seem to be waving across the pages.  Pretty soon those numbers start to grow horns and forked tails.... then start laughing at me. "You can't do it... you can't do it.... ha, ha, ha." (Like the lighbulb man at the spelling bee in the Jimmy Dean commercial.)  I take frequent breaks to walk around and clear my head.  I go back to the stack of cookbooks, the lists I've made, and my calculator to give it another try... but it all starts again.

I look at the pre-designed menus in the diabetic books.  You know what I mean?  The menus that are perfectly balanced with just the right amount of fat grams, sugars, carbs, and that sort of thing.  Gee whiz!  Who the heck designed those menus anyway.... Donald Trump?  Many of the ingredients listed are expensive and most recipes call for only one or two teaspoons from a full container..... but, the expensive ingredients are listed in only one recipe.  Not listed as an ingredient in several or all of the recipes so that it would actually make sense to buy a full container.   Ok, not all of the ingredients are extremely expensive but here's an example of a cheaper one.  On one two week menu it calls for one teaspoon of marinara sauce for one meal.... but that's it.  No other recipe calls for it.  So how would I use up a whole jar before it goes bad using one teaspoon at a time every two weeks?  That's if I would use the same menu repeated every two weeks.   Can my budget stand up to buying several items for the sake of using only one teaspoon?   Ok, I could omit one teaspoon from a recipe but what about the other items calling for only a tiny bit?  Eliminate those too and then the whole menu changes.

I'm telling ya.... the weight loss industry has clearly got a lot of people dupped into shelling out millions of dollars every payday on things that many believe they need.  There are things like diet books, health clinics, club memberships, expensive "healthy" foods (fresh fish or salads daily), appetite suppresents, exercise equipment, and prepared meals delivered.  Then there's the crutch (free) foods like diet sodas, diet shakes, and artificial sweetners.  There's the personal chef type frozen food plans that take all the thinking out of creating meals like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, and other frozen diet meals.

For a long time I've been thinking about how many of our foods are "fake" foods.  Foods made from corn to imitate actual food and those so called genetically altered foods.  Is it any wonder that it's hard to control weight when we are not even sure of what we are eating because it might be fake or altered?  How long has ketsup and mayo been made with corn?  How long has bread been made with corn as an ingredient?  Ok, it's often called high fructose corn syrup or maltodextrin but it's still corn.  Cheetos is cheese flavored cornmeal. 

I'm abandoning the idea of creating a menu plan based on someone else's idea of what I should eat.  Don't get me wrong, I'm following my doctor's advice and changing my diet.  It's my skills at living frugally that will help me loose weight and eat healthy.  Counting calories is not much different than counting pennies.  Like saving money, loosing weight can be achieved through thoughtful means.  My healthy eating plan is about self honesty, learning a few new tricks, and following through. 

No more late day snacks of highly sugared foods simply because it was bought discounted and my body says "feed me" now.  No more high fat content meals or snacks.  No more worry about buying expensive ingredients just for a spoonful either.  My plan is simple... eat more fruits, veggies, and less than the amount I can burn off each day.  


Joyful said...

Like you I hate menu planning. I've also got to eat much more veggies for the same reason as you. Good luck!

Trish said...

Hugs, Anita. :)

I am also trying to eat healthier. I am focusing on eating more veggies, fruit and protein. No, NOT CARB FREE, but less carbs. If I tell myself less carbs and more meat, figuring out meals gets a lot easier. I was drinking 1 soda a day. and that was all the liquid I drank. Now I drink water all the time!! I don't even like the taste of soda anymore. It tastes Harsh and nasty. :) (yes, that is a plus!)
Good luck!! I'll keep following your progress.