ADF/WW: Day 4

December 11, 2008 at 9:10 pm 4 comments

I have so much to say today that I barely know where to begin.  This is probably going to be one of those rambling, ruminating entries, so feel free to skip reading today. 😉

Foodwise, here was today:

For breakfast, I had a bowl of my absolute favorite cereal ever.  It’s this Wild Harvest Blueberry Flax Granola, and it’s absolutely wonderful.  It’s expensive, of course, but there’s just something about that is like dessert to me.  I was good, paid attention to my serving size, and used skim milk.  Go me.

For lunch, I had a sandwich.  It was a hearty, 8-point sandwich, granted, but it involved lean meat and whole grain bread, so I refuse to feel too badly about it.  What I liked about this was that normally a sandwich-and-nothing-else seems like sort of a lame lunch, but it was more than enough for me today.

Dinner was interesting.

If I WERE to actually follow the mediterannean food pyramid, I would be eating a lean meat meal (fish, chicken, eggs)  maybe once per week.  With that in mind, and given the fact that I had frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, I set out to find some recipe involving chicken breasts that actually sounded good to me.   This was a rather bold move for me, because I seriously have never liked any chicken-breast dish I’ve ever tried to prepare.  Usually the breasts end up dry and rubbery, and I haven’t yet figured out where I’m going wrong.

I hesitantly went for a couple of cookbooks I pretty much never use.   Like many people, I have the Cookbooks I Own Because They Were Gifts, Cookbooks I Own That I Actually Use Sometimes  (a lot of Quick Cooking from HomeBest there) and Cookbooks I Own Because I Feel Like I Should Own Them.   The latter category is made up of health food and gourmet cookbooks that I’ve purchased during other self-improvement jags in my life, and it was to these that I turned today.

I found a recipe for a kind of Chicken Curry that I thought sounded interesting and not too terribly hard.  Of course, it was on the gourmet side, so it called for each separate spice ingredient — cardamom pods, part of a cinnamon stick, blah blah blah — but I sort 0f cheated my way through those parts and contented myself with using fresh ginger, garlic and onion, and curry powder.  I also dispensed with the cream and yogurt it called for and made a white sauce for it instead.

I’m sure their way was better, but it came out to something like 580 calories per serving, and I just wasn’t prepared to dedicate 11 points to my meat dish tonight.   Doing it my way, the count was more like 7 points, which was much more doable and probably better, nutritionally.

Of course, before I could prepare any of this, I had to hit the grocery store again.  We had errands to run anyway, so I made it my last stop.  I picked up the ginger, some broccoli for tomorrow, and a couple of Green Giant Health Blends that I’ll come back to in a minute.  I also grabbed some edamame, since we were at the higher-end store and Shop-n-Save doesn’t carry it, a zucchini, and, at Zack’s request, an eggplant.

Zack has apparently decided that he wants to try a new food a week, and wants his first experiment to be eggplant. o.O  I don’t know if this is somehow related to my dietary adventures over the last few weeks, or if he’s hailing back to nutrition discussions from past years in school.  Either way, I do have to say that of all of my kids, Zack has been the most willing to try whatever new stuff I put in front of him, so if he wants eggplant, eggplant it is.

Anyway, I finished things off with a couple of containers of organic soup bases and two different juices: Juicy Juice Harvest Sensations Grape (which I do like) and the V8 Fusion Pomegranate and Blueberry (which I have not yet tried).

Bottom line: the visit to the grocery store cost me about $40.   Admittedly, I bought higher-end products at a higher-end grocery store, and we all know that organic, fresh, nutritious food is expensive.  But wow… $40, and the stuff I came home with wasn’t even an entire meal in and of itself.   That’s just really disheartening.

I got home just about when I knew I would need to start cooking to have things ready by dinnertime, so I pretty much had to unload and start my meal prep.  I didn’t mind this, as I actually enjoy the mechanics of cooking a lot.   It’s always just a matter of finding the time to do it. :/

An hour later, I had a meal ready that consisted of the chicken dish, another Dole Salad mix (this time the Perfect Harvest kit, which uses some kind of Apple Cider Dijon), steamed edamame and the Near East couscous I bought earlier in the week.  I presented this to my family with some hesitation.   That many weird, unfamiliar foods at one sitting, most of which happened to be green, is a recipe for disaster.

Surprisingly, the only leftover I have is the edamame.   The kids and Andy went through the couscous and the chicken with an enthusiasm that amazed me.   Granted, I had prepped the kids by telling them the couscous was ‘tiny noodles’ so that they would regard it as something familiar and unthreatening.  They liked that.  But I hadn’t expected the enthusiasm for the salad and the chicken.  In fact, I expected the chicken to be rejected outright for its funky yellow color.  Instead, Susie came in and asked if she could have ‘more of that orange stuff because she weally wiked it.’

Kind of funny.

This idyllic scene has one cloud over it, though.  The kids got exactly zero schoolwork done today, and I did nothing for PCG either.  This is a serious consideration, since Christmas is coming and Zack, at least, has a healthy course load still looming over him.  It’s hard enough to keep him on task for the assignments he actually has scheduled for each day without having to make up stuff.

I had also hoped to have time to try and line up more advertisers for Whitmoor today, although that may have been ambitious in any case.

That’s the part of all of this that is really difficult.   Eating healthy is great if you have the money to afford it and the time to prepare it.  If I make eating healthy a priority, other things suffer.  At this point I haven’t figured out how to balance all of that.

But tonight’s dinner was very good, and I feel like I ate well.   I AM still thinking about the future, though… especially how and when to go off of ADF.  I don’t mean to sound like I’m eager for to drop it, because right now it feels pretty manageable and I feel no great eagerness to quit yet.  In fact, what concerns me most is that I’m afraid to stop doing it now.

Conventional weight-loss wisdom is firm on the subject of fasting to lose weight: it doesn’t work, your metabolism will just slow down and when you quit you’ll gain all the weight back and then some.  It can result in nutrient depletion, increased health risks, yadda yadda yadda.  Moreover, there’s the fact of what I mentioned yesterday: fasting is not a habit; it’s something you do for awhile and then quit.  Therefore, fasting does not involve making the necessary behavioral ‘lifestyle’ changes necessary to maintain a healthy weight longterm.

I know all of this, and I understand why the knee-jerk reaction of almost everyone who hears about ADF is to say, “That doesn’t sound very healthy.”   The problem is that it seems to only recently have become a topic of any real consideration among nutrition experts, so there just aren’t any studies to say definitively whether fasting every other day (or semi-fasting, at any rate) is ultimately bad for me or not.

I am learning to differentiate between real hunger and boredom.  I am also learning the real meaning of feeling satisfied.  I am exercising my willpower, and I am putting myself in a position to refuse and/or ignore food.  Those are good things, even if ADF does not require me to do them daily.   I think I’m doing the right thing by trying to be nutrition-conscious on the feasting days, as when the day comes when I do drop ADF I might have a good shot at maintaining or continuing to lose given that.

But if I want to exercise, I need to figure something out. I want to do it daily, but I don’t want to make myself faint.

One option I’ve considered was to possibly modify my fasting days next time around.   Right now I am averaging about 5-6 points on fasting days, and 30-35 points on feasting days.   Possibly next time around, I will shoot for 10 points or so on ‘down days’, and rather than try to fast, I will eat meals of zero-point items.  This is where the Green Giant Health Blends are interesting, as they might make a decent ‘meal’ if they turn out to be palatable.

Okay…. enough ruminating.  TIme for bed.  I will be eating tomorrow and fasting on Saturday, thanks to the Scouts’ Christmas banquet tomorrow night.  Even so, I’m kind of tickled to be nearing the weekend.  Maybe I can find time to get Zack caught up on what we missed today. :/


Entry filed under: ADF, Successes, Weight Watchers. Tags: , , , , , , .

ADF/WW: Day 3 ADF/WW: Day 5


  • 1. Pangie  |  December 12, 2008 at 9:10 am

    That cereal sounds pretty good. Mind checking it for egg and/or dairy for me? 🙂 If it doesn’t have them, I may need to try it.

    I love just having a sandwich for lunch. It’s such a lunchy meal. Though I absolutely cannot even fathom an 8-point sandwich. But I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

    So, if you follow the Mediterannean plan, wouldn’t your lunch have been your lean meat meal of the week? Not that I’m criticizing, I’m sure your dinner was fabulous, just wondering. 😉

    And kudos on trying out one of the fancy-pants recipes! I have 4 cookbooks that I cook out of with some regularity, and one of them is a gormet vegetarian cookbook, and I’m always a bit reluctant ot do that one due to the time involved. And way to improvise to make it healther, too. 🙂

    OK, I think it’s great that Zack is showing interest in new and healthy foods and all, but seriously dude. Eggplant?! I’m vegan and I don’t even like eggplant. 😉

    Let me know what you think of the V8 V-Fusion. It seemed too thick for what I expected it to be which turned me off to it. That’s kind of funny considering how much I love Naked, though. I think it’s a matter of going in with certain expectations and being surprised.

    Surprisingly, the only leftover I have is the edamame.

    Does not compute. I am unfamiliar with the concept of “leftover” edamame. You’ve got to be joking, right? 😉

    That’s awesome that you had such a great day food-wise, but I definitely hear ya on it taking up your entire day and getting nothing else accomplished. It’s kind of disheartening, isn’t it? I have some recipes I’ll send you. They will all be vegan, but you can generally add chicken fairly well to vegan recipes and make them omni. Most of my recipes that I use with any regularity are pretty fast and easy.

    Based on that article we were looking at the other day, I’d say it’s probably OK if you were to stay on ADF for a while yet. I’m certainly no dietician/nutritionist/doctor, so by all means feel free to ignore me. 🙂 I think if it was me, I’d personally stay on ADF or at least JUDD until I was under 200. Whatever you end up doing, I’m sure it will be the right choice for you, though. 🙂

  • 2. melalvai  |  December 12, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Wasn’t it you who said food is fast, cheap, or nutritious, pick any 2?

    “The problem is that it seems to only recently have become a topic of any real consideration among nutrition experts, so there just aren’t any studies to say definitively whether fasting every other day (or semi-fasting, at any rate) is ultimately bad for me or not.”
    My boss is Muslim and fasted for Ramadan in September. He mentioned studies have been done that show Muslim men who observe Ramadan (specifically the fasting) have reduced heart disease, cancer, etc etc. During Ramadan, you do not eat when the sun is in the sky.

    There is a plethora of diet fads and a dearth of quality studies.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Since my hysterectomy in October 2005 I’ve lost 30 pounds. Most of that was in the first year. I’d attempted to lose some weight before, and succeeded for a while, then put it back on (as you know a VERY common story). This time, I didn’t actually try to lose weight. What happened was, I felt awfully neurotic–I mean even more so than usual–after the major surgery. A pile of things just sort of came to a head. I wanted to make progress on my postdoc and feel like I was working toward a permanent, real job. I wanted to put the surgery behind me and get back toward a normal life as quickly as I could. I had been biking out of necessity and convenience, getting rides whenever I could, but after the surgery I biked exclusively and never got rides, to prove to myself that I was recovered. I went from counting how many days in a row I’d gotten on my bike, to counting how many days in a row I hadn’t gotten in a car. I worked early mornings and late nights and would often have just a salad for supper, or 2 cookies and a peach. I started going on some longer bike rides by myself when the weather was nice. (Ultimately that led to other problems, but that was later.) The weight loss was basically accidental.

    It is frustrating because the only thing I can pass along to other people from this experience is that you have to find what works for you.

    That isn’t very helpful.

    Also I had about 30 (maybe 40, some of it is still here) pounds to lose, and I don’t know how relevant that is to people who are more overweight than that.

    I know another “success” story, a friend of mine had been obese all her life, and got an operation, the stomach staple. Here’s another one that invokes the same response as your AFD: oh my god, that’s not safe, it doesn’t work, etc etc. She adheres to her exercise and diet plan STRICTLY. Within a year or two she had lost all that weight, maybe 200 pounds?, she had carried for as long as she could remember. (I’m pretty sure she has a thyroid condition, but she said a lot of tests have been run and nothing diagnosed, but that is typical for thyroid.) She had tried every weight loss plan imaginable. This is what finally worked for her. She’s run a couple half-marathons recently, too.

    My point is there a billion weight loss plans out there. I stumbled across one that works for me. I wasn’t even looking for it. How can anyone find the Mr. Right of diets? No one can try all billion of them.

    Most of the studies are one person’s (or company’s) favorite weight loss plan, and participants are either isolated or receive lots of reminders & cheerleading. Eat two bowls of grape-nuts a day! Eat a diet rich in omega-3! Fruits and veggies! etc. I would like to see a study done this way.

    First, interview real people who have lost weight and kept it off, I dunno, at least two years. Find out what they did, how they did it, and how they’ve maintained it. Ask them what things they tried that didn’t work. But don’t limit it to # pounds. Also find out if they really are healthier. You can’t go back and measure heart rate but you can ask if they could climb a flight of stairs without getting winded then, and you can watch them do it now. A really thorough interview.

    And interview lots of people. Hundreds, if not thousands. (This study will take more money than NIH is willing to part with these days.)

    Then comb through the data and find out what elements the successful methods have in common. What elements the unsuccessful methods have in common.

    I suspect what you’ll find is what is called in some circles a spiritual awakening, but could be defined as a life changing event. It will include identifiable events like a major surgery, a death, or a relationship. But it will also include, like my friend who finally got the stomach staple surgery, just waking up one day and saying “I’ve had enough.”

    The problem is, I don’t think any diet or program can make that event happen, and I don’t think anyone can make that event happen in their own head either. (That’s my normal optimism at work!)

    I hear that Angie is also writing a novel on this post. We’ll see whose is longer. 🙂

  • 3. Jennifer  |  December 12, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I’ll check today. I haven’t had it yet, and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    The 8-point sandwich consisted of two slices of that Oatnut bread, which comes out to two points per slice. :/ That was half of the eight right there. The rest was a slice of cheese and lunchmeat.

    And you’re right. IF I were following the Med. diet completely, the sandwich would have constituted my lean meat for the week. Med. and I are in the flirting stages, though, and I’ve made it no promises. 😉

    I think Z’s attraction to the eggplant was the funky color and shape. I have no idea what the heck we’ll do with it, as the only recipe I know of that Eggplant is good for is veggie lasagna, and frankly I’m not enough of a fan of lasagna to give that one a whirl. But I’ll think of something.

    Left to my own devices, I probably could have finished off the entire thing of edamame myself. 😉 But I figured it would be better to save some for today and justify that $40 grocery bill by making it something I could make a meal of twice. Maybe I’ll have that instead of an 8-point sandwich today!

    My main concerns with ADF boil down to A) can I exercise daily while on ADF, and B) when the time comes to stop doing it, how do I manage that without undoing all the good I did? Maybe a forever of Zigzagging, like that article discussed, is not such a bad idea.

  • 4. Jennifer  |  December 12, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I think you won, Mel. I should excuse you both from reading my posts more often. 😉

    I think it’s like anything else. Religion, Hobby, Parenting, whatever rules your life at any given time. Not only do you need to come to it in your own way, but you have to curb the tendency to assume that your way is the way everyone should come to it, or that because it was easy for you, it would be easy for anyone else doing the same things you did. Likewise, you can’t assume that because X approach worked great for so-and-so that it will be what works for you too.

    And I think you’re right about the life-changing event. However, I think I’ve been through several possible life-changing events that didn’t ultimately result in long-term weight loss because my motivation died. I think that’s why having people like you and Pangie, who are willing to discuss it with me and care about how it’s going, is important and why ‘meetings’ are so prevalent. The allied interaction is also multi-faceted, though. As we’ve discussed, some people really find motivation in competing with someone to lose weight, while others (like me) find the competition discouraging. I definitely need allies, as opposed to enemies.

    I do wish Andy were interested in getting on board. His tolerance of the last two meal offerings has been really nice, but so far he just listens in the tolerant, ‘That’s nice.’ way that people do when they are being supportive something from a distance. He’s not participating, himself, so it’s just the answer to ‘how was your day, dear?’. Life would be easier if he were buying in.

    Ah, I’m blogging in my comments now. Anyway, I know what you mean, Mel.

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