Cadbury Eggs, Twinkies, chocolate cupcakes, ice cream, frappuccinos, cappuccinos - these are a few of my favorite things. I love food. Food is my comfort, my steady. I even love thinking about it. My first real job after college was working for a small computer company in Evansville, Indiana on Green River Road. Just down the block in either direction was any number of delicious restaurants, and just around the corner was a Donut Bank. I would spend most of the morning dreaming about where I would eat lunch. Ironically, my first gym membership was at Tri-State Athletic Club, which was also just around the corner from work.
Eating junk foods in moderation with plenty of exercise isn't bad. My problem is that I cannot eat in moderation, and I have little time (outside of chasing my preschooler) to exercise. Over the years, I have tried numerous diets to keep my waistline in check, and I have been able to find a diet that will accommodate almost any craving. The low-fat diets would let me eat bagels with fat-free cream cheese. The low-carb diets let me dine on steak, snack on cheese and even eat whipped cream! When looking at a healthy lifestyle for my son, I considered the Fiengold Diet, which eliminates additives and preservatives. If you would like an exhausting list of diets, try this website: http://www.everydiet.org/diets.htm
Right after my hysterectomy, I gained 10 pounds in four weeks. My hormone replacement therapy wasn't right, which added to the rapid weight gain, but it was a wake-up call. My doctor suggested the Atkins diet, which worked really well for me. I ended up loosing almost 25 pounds, but I could not keep the weight off. I quickly grew tired of watching all of my healthy, slender friends eating brownies at MOPS. I gave up and have gained back 10 pounds. It isn't a lot of weight, but since I am very short, two pairs of my favorite shorts no longer fit.
Last week, I found an answer: Eat Carbs, Lose Weight by fitness expert Denise Austin. I have exercised with Denise for several years, and I love her! She is very energetic and positive. One of her fitness shows is still on the air on ESPN Classics at 7:30 eastern time. It was originally shot in the late 80s, early 90s, so her outfits and hair are a bit dated, but I love how she mixes cardio workouts with strength training.
In her book, Eat Carbs, Lose Weight, she explains the science behind her meal plan, and then gives you a 28-day meal guide. Each day, you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks and a dessert! The best part is that she includes almost 100 recipes to go along with the meal plan. You can eat fruit, veggies, nuts, Popsicles, Fudgesicles, and even cheesecake (just not every day). Each day, you get to eat around 1,300 calories. Here is one of the recipes from the book:
1 1/2 cups whole-grain pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons espresso powder
3 tablespoons light olive oil
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (optional)
Low-calorie maple syrup
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk, brown sugar, espresso powder, and oil. Whisk the liquid ingredients together until blended. Whisk in the dry ingredients just until combined. Preheat the waffle iron. Beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer at high speed until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions, folding in the chocolate chips with the last addition. Cook waffles according to waffle iron directions. Makes 5 found waffles - 5 servings.
The waffles were delicious, and I bet your kids would eat them, depending on how you feel about coffee and chocolate, just don't tell Dr. Fiengold :).