Friday, February 5, 2010

Getting and Staying Healthy

One of the most positive changes that Ian and I have made since moving here is what we eat.  We're vegetarians, and we didn't eat too poorly at home; but, we definitely padded our diets (and our stomachs, butts and thighs) with processed food.  Most of the processed foods we ate were soy meat replacers.  We don't have any of that here, so we've been more creative in the kitchen.  We've definitely missed the easy meals that those make, but I'm guessing we'll eat a lot less of it when we get home.  Also, we eat out a lot less here.  That's another habit I hope we stick with.  We don't have many choices for going out here, but at home it's another story.

I'm actively trying to lose a pound a week, so I've reduced my calorie intake.  But, I still get to mostly what I want and reasonable portions of it.  I'm learning to stay away from flavored coffee (difficult, since the quality of the coffee is so questionable) and sweet breads (not as difficult, since they're moslty terrible).  Ian and I both have goal weights to reach by the Monday before we return home.  We know that slow and steady is the way to keep it off.

Our normal routine (Tuesday-Saturday) is pretty centered around our goals.  We get up around 8, eat a small breakfast (I eat a half cup of Cheerios and a smidgen of milk).  Then we walk to the gym, run 2 miles on the treadmill and finish with abs and stretching.  We do upper body strength training on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Then we walk home, shower and clean up the apartment.  We eat a hearty lunch (today we had homemade stovetop mac and cheese and steamed veggies) and head to work.  I pack a small snack (around 100 calories, give or take) to eat in the middle of the day.  Usually it's something like fruit or a Cheerio, rasin and almond mix.  We don't get home until nearly 9pm, so dinner is always a late affair.  Tonight we are having tofu steaks, steamed broccoli and pan fried green pumpkin (Asian squash).  I usually leave room for a movie/t.v. treat like popcorn or chocolate, but Gene (who, by the way, is now acting as a temporary principal for Sinback while the shifting and changing takes place; more on that tomorrow) brought me hot chocolate and a bread snack today, so I will likely skip the indulgence tonight.

My snack today.

Korean green pumkin.  We love it. 

Our fridge is 90% fruit and veggie.

I don't think we eat enough fruit, but Ian prefers veggies.

Dairy, condiments and Diet Coke.

Diet Coke is by far our biggest vice.  We go through a ton of it.  Yes, we no how terrible it is for you and that Aspartame is genetically modified.  I'm trying to balance my horror at that and my love of the stuff.

Indulgences.  We split the other chocolate orange on the plane over to Japan.

Dinner tonight.

Tomorrow we'll be attmepting 5k runs on the treadmill.  Wish us luck!

Good night!


  1. Ooo, this all looks so good. Dominic and I can definitely see through your pictures that you two are both losing weight. You look great, happy and healthy. I love you snack! I think I'll go out and buy some cheerios today and follow your example. Goodness knows we have enough nuts in the pantry and I adore banana chips. I definitely have to watch my portion size too. They are usually way to big. I do not know how to help you with your diet coke addiction, though. Or your coffee problem. Switch to tea?

  2. you are so smart to give up the processed foods. Whole foods are the only way to stay healthy. If your great grandmother would not recognize it as food, it most likely is not. The processed soy products such as Bocca and morning star are a modified version of soy and studies show them to be bad for us. I think a more healthy processed product is a non soy veggie burger or black bean burger, though they have too many preservatives and other unrecognizable ingredients. The general rule is no more than 5 ingredients should be in packaged foods.

    Ian is correct, your balance of Veggies and fruit should lean heavy on the veggie side. Lots of dark green leafy veggies and lots of different colors should adorn your plate during the course of a day.

    One thing that I have done as a new years resolution, is swear off High fructose corn syrup. Which means i have to read every label, even things that you would not expect like catchup. Studies have shown our bodies process this to our fat cells immediately. And whats worse is it creates fat around our major organs including our hearts. Some countries have banned it altogether, but don't look for the USA to follow suit, since the corn industry owns our food industry and the government subsidizes the corn industry. But I digress, hopefully your diet soda does not contain High Fructose corn syrup, when you return home you should check to see if you can buy it with cane sugar.
    Sorry to go on and on, you should know how I am on this subject.

    Finally, that green pumpkin looks good, how do you fix it? You said something about frying it. It looks a little like acorn squash here.

    How are you fixing your Tofu? I read a article about tofu in a cooking magazine, they went to Japan, and apparently the tofu we get here is the ugly stepchild of what they know to be tofu, and actually has a taste on its own, rather than having to take on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. So I was wondering if you have access to better tofu there.

    Keep up the great work, and Bonappetite!

  3. Chelsea- I've switched to tea for the most part, but the tea here tastes like kelp. I have to measure my portions otherwise they are way too big.

    Mom- High fructose corn syrup is terrible. Diet Coke doesn't have any in it, just Aspartame, which is GMO. You can usually find organic alternatives without HFCS, just make sure you know all the other names for it. He corn industry is tricky that way. You can make your own ketchup, there are great recipes all over the web.

    We have two options in tofu here. The prepackaged stuff (Korean and Japanese brands) and blocks sold in little plastic baggies. Both varieties have more flavor and a better texture than the stuff in the West, though the cheapy stuff in the baggies has real flavor. Ian won't buy it anymore, though because you can't freeze it, and he only likes tofu if it's been frozen and pressed.

    We've steamed and mashed the pumpkin and pan fried it. Both are excellent. We want to bake it in our little toaster oven next. It's one of our new favorites for sure.

  4. Thanks Sweetie,
    For reading my lengthy somewhat political comment. I am going to try to find some better tofu, but I will most likely have to go to a Asian store.