In my last post, I recounted my frustrations with being fat. I’m tired of being this way, of not being able to at myself in the mirror without feeling sad, disgusted, disappointed.
A good (male) friend of mine wrote this to me yesterday: “Interesting what we use for inspiration. My moment of truth was when I sprinted down some steps and realized my boobs were giggling. I can live with a beer belly, but I don’t want tits. “
That made me laugh out loud, but of course I feel his pain. On occasion, I can feel a chin giggle a bit, or (more often) I feel the back of my hips wobbling. Ugh.
The Engineir’s comments about how quickly I apparently eat pushed me over the edge from contemplating taking action (which I’ve been doing for a month now,) into taking it. It’s hard to get motivated to do something having tried really hard previously… and failed. Still, I’m having at it. Applying my stubbornness to my own advantage.
My first phase is to do meal replacement shakes for two meals per day. I know I just lost a bunch of you with that, but hear me out. If I have simple rules that don’t require a lot of fuss/muss, I can stick to them. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch – EASY. I don’t have to tediously plug foods into a calorie counter, or add up fat grams, et cetera. I know what I’m getting. I have to set myself up for success in these crucial first weeks, when it will be so easy to give up.
To get started, I need a pretty fast result. I need that rush of “this is working!” to carry it off. When I start seeing some results, my resolve will strengthen, and I can make some other appropriate changes, but in the beginning, I have to make it easy.
Under my new plan, I can supplement with raw veggies as often as I like if I struggle with being hungry (which I’m sure I will.)
“But why not just make up your own shakes instead of paying for a powder?” I will, eventually. But first, I have to get this wagon rolling and started off on a positive note. I don’t want to struggle with trying my own gross shakes and giving up, and I also want to be sure I’m getting a complete nutritional profile. Eventually, I’ll plug everything in to a food calculator (eggs, milk, kale, spinach, whatever else we have on hand) to figure out my own. But it has to be easy at first.
I began researching meal replacement protein powders, and had three requirements: Non-dairy, non-soy, organic. Unsurprisingly to those of us in the whole/real food arena, such things are not cheap. I want a powder derived from whole foods as much as possible, without contamination from pesticides or growth hormones from commercial milk/whey products.
The first I’m trying is Spiru-Tein. It’s the healthiest option I could find locally, while waiting for the others I ordered online to arrive. While this powder does have soy, it is labeled “non-GMO” soy. Whether that’s true, who knows. While the GMO issue is huge for me, I’m also not wild about the estrogen issues which can be caused by consuming a lot of soy, so I likely won’t buy this stuff again.
Still, it’s quite tasty. When I brought it home two days ago for a late breakfast, I was fairly certain it would taste awful and chalky, so I threw it into the blender with 8 ounces of raw milk, and half a frozen banana for body. After I whirled it up, I noticed a very light green tinge to the shake. The powder had blended well. It tasted really good! The natural vanilla flavor shined through with a light sweetness.
For lunch, I skipped the banana and tried mixing the powder up with the milk using a fork – did not work. Even though the package says “mixes instantly,” I think they must mean with a blender. The powder clumps up on the fork. Once I got that issue sorted, it still had a very pleasant taste and body.
For dinner, I had a salad and a shake with bok choy, spinach and lettuce blended in. The pleasant vanilla flavor and sweetness covered up the taste of the greens completely. When I didn’t join The Engineir in eating the main course, he asked why not.
“So I can stop being so fricking fat,” I said. He paused, thought for a moment, and then said, “Yeah, we should both probably get back on the bikes.” Not “I love you just the way you are,” or “you’re still beautiful to me.”
He is nothing if not honest, my Engineir. This is a good thing, even when it stings.
The overall satiety for the Spiru-Tein product is decent. Immediately after drinking the shake, I am not “full.” In fact, the first thing I want to do is to look for is Actual Food. However, if I wait 15 minutes or so, I do get a pleasantly-full feeling for about an hour or two, after which point it seems to vanish rapidly if I’ve just had the powder alone, and have stuck with the 8 ounces of mixing liquid.
When I supplement with veggies, however, the satiety lasts much longer. When I woke up yesterday morning at 7:30, I made a shake with a bunch of bok choy and spinach. I also used more milk, almost 16 ounces instead of 8, because I was pretty stinking thirsty. At 11am, I was still feeling fairly full, and at about 12:30, I started getting noticeably hungry. At 1pm I had my lunch shake with more spinach and bok choy.
I realize since I’m using whole, raw milk there is more fat than many folks would consider “healthy” for a single meal. However, this milk makes my body very happy – when I drink it, I can tell my cells just know what to do with it immediately. An extra 8 ounces of milk is better than, say, five pieces of beef bacon, or a bowl of cereal.
The ingredient list for Spiru-Tein is not overly-daunting: Proprietary non-GMO protein blend (rice protein, pea protein, and soy [isolated soy protein and fermented soy]), Fructose, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Natural Vanilla Flavor, FOS (Fructooligosaccharides), Guar Gum, Psyllium, Maltodextrin, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Oxide, Oat Bran, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Spirulina, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Choline Birartrate, Inositol, apple pectin, Bee Pollen, Niacinamide, Vitamin A Palmitate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Fumarate, Calcium Pantothenate, Lecithin, Lemon Bioflavonoids, Papaya, Bromelain, Chlorophyll, Pyridoxine HCI, Riboflavin, Thiamin (Vitamin B-1) (as Thiamine HCl), Vitamin B-12, Ergocalciferol, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate.
Not perfect, but not bad.
The other three blends which will be arriving later this week are Vega All-in-One Vanilla Chai, Chocolate SunWarrior, and a “build your own” mix of non-GMO pea, hemp, and rice proteins from TrueNutrition.com.
The Spiru-Tein was $21.99 for 1.2 pounds, which contains 16 servings. I bought it at the Rite Aid and didn’t bargain-hunt for it (it’s cheaper on Amazon.) That works out to be about $1.38/serving, which is pretty spectacular. The greens I blend in are practically free, since we grow them ourselves, and the glass of milk is … oh, maybe about $0.60 for 8 ounces.
The Vega Vanilla Chai was on sale at the local GNC for $46.99. Yikes! Still, that’s only $2.14/serving, plus the cost of milk. Most meals made at home will cost at least that much in our house. This seems to be a really nice option, and more complete nutrition information is available on the GNC website.
The Chocolate SunWarrior is $39.11 for 2.2 pounds, but I’m not certain how many servings there are per package. This product also seems very nutritionally balanced and generally very healthy. I think all the products in SunWarrior are raw as an added bonus.
The TrueNutrition blend was $20.87 for 3 pounds, and again I’m not certain how many servings there will be in my package.
As I try each product, I’ll let you know how they work out. 🙂
I’m not sure if this is a side-effect of being on the powder for one day, but if you were to place a wind turbine near my butt, I could probably generate enough electricity to power our home. All day. It’s not making me feel bloated or uncomfortable, apart from having to endure the farting itself. >.<
I hope that passes (ack, no pun intended.) (I wrote this post on the first day, but didn’t finish it. On day two, the gas was gone.)
During my Internet Research, I see that’s a common side-effect, and that it may be temporary while my body adjusts to increased levels of fiber, et cetera, or it may be a long-term effect if the proteins and fibers used are of sub-optimal quality (thankfully, it passed quickly!)
While the Spiru-Tein shakes are tasty and satisfying for awhile, I can see how one might get sick of them, or of the endless, undressed salads I see stretching out before me.
Gotta stick with the program!
To supplement the shakes and reduced food intake, I’ll be riding my bicycle as often as I can manage. Right now, my goal is just 2 hours per week – I should be able to exceed that pretty regularly, I think, especially if I want to cheat on a given day and eat something I shouldn’t oughta. I’m aiming for that not happening often; however, I know sometimes I’ll fall down on this journey.
I started yesterday with 10 miles in about an hour. Today, we’ll see what I can manage!