Food: Today’s Just a Hungry Day at Panera

So here I sit in one of my local paneras. I had a lunch meeting where I talked more than I ate — so I decided that food before teaching fitness might be a good idea. I also have a homework assignment due in my nonprofit management class that I intended on completing while here— yeah that clearly is not working out.

However, after my blah review of the blah Panera Summer Shrimp Salad sandwich (see that HERE) a reader asked what I normally eat. Well that is a great question. So I really do kinda eat the same five things at Panera. As a lap-band patient at any time leafy greens, raw veggies, and breads may or may not work. However, I do stick mainly with cafe salads (greek specifically and cafe soups here at Panera. I tend to get the “Pick 2” option as well. However, today I am not only starving but not feeling well. A dangerous combo for a band-ster. So I decided to pick the lowest calorie soup option and pair it with a very boring sandwich.

So today’s Pick 2 is — Vegetarian Low-Fat Black Bean Soup and 1/2 a classic grilled cheese. I also treated myself to a shortbread cookie (horrible stats, just horrible — but then again I haven’t eaten today) and an unsweetened Hibiscus Iced Tea (with one packet of equal in it — I know I know fake sugar will kill me — but I saved calories to eat the REAL sugar in the cookie).

I had intended on photographing the fresh plate with my phone — but my buzzer malfunctioned so I missed the original call. And by the time I looked up from my work (e.g. Facebook and downloading the new Nathalie Maines album (of Dixie Chick fame) it had been sitting there for a while and I was ravenous. So the photo is of a mostly demolished plate. I also like dipping my bread chunks in the soup — so yeah thats a hunk-a burning carbs sitting in a bowl of carb goodness.

Unlike a lot of people who are in fitness — I eat like a normal person. As a lap band patent I throw up so much food, I just go for anything that might stay in my stomach. So I eat rice, and black beans. A LOT. I eat bread sometimes — certainly with delicious cheese and my fiance’s homemade garlic olive oil. I drink full sugar sodas, and I put white sugar & real half/half in my coffee (there are somethings I can do fake sugar with – like diet coke or in ice tea — coffee is sacred and deserves the good stuff). And even with ALL OF THAT on a normal basis my doctor is disappointed in my diet because I am starving myself. Not on purpose — but just because I forget to eat — or something doesn’t work and out it comes. So sometimes in a day I might have had a bowl of cream of wheat and a Starbucks coffee drink. So yes world — fat (since size 10-12 is clearly HUGE media and internets :P) people can suffering from malnutrition!

Anyhow so back to my carbalicious meal. I didn’t even think how carb heavy it was until now honestly, but that will be good as I will have fuel to take a fitness class AND teach one. Here are the stats [it is 22 TOTAL Weight Watcher Points for everything listed (soup, sandwich, shortbread and ice tea (which is 0 poins)]:

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So I get 35 points a day and I STILL have 13 points left over not counting any activity points. I suppose the point of this is not only to talk about kinda what I may get on a random rainy Thursday at a quick service place. But to discuss how sometimes you can eat what you like — and still be okay. Again, I have 13 points left because what you see above is ALL I’ve eaten today minus a few bites of another bowl of soup. Now this is not idea — and normally I would have eaten some sort of morning meal and a real lunch. But life got in the way. Anyhow, I plan to do a few more of these random postings about things I — as a real person (who likes carbs) eats. Until then…enjoy my massacred plate!

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Video Break: Perception is Everything

Wahhhh!   No seriously.  Wahhhha! What are we doing to ourselves women?!  After reblog of this post from Kate of “This Is Not A Diet” — this is so timely.

So raise your hand if you do this?   Raise your hand if you describe yourself as a hag — when you really are beautiful.  I know my hand is up.  When I look in the mirror most days all I see are the lumps of fat, the imperfections  the should be’s.  What are “should be’s”?  This “should be” tighter; this “should be” thinner; this “should be” smaller; I “should be” working harder.  But the thing of it is — I am healthy, I am strong, I am smaller than I’ve ever been in my life — but it still isn’t good enough.  I still am so ultimately critical of myself that I can’t see what others apparently do.  I can’t see how proud of me my family and friends are for my commitment to loose the weight I have lost; to be the person I am; to have achieved everything that I have outside of the size pants I wear.

Despite the CLEAR differences I can see when I make myself in the two photos below — I still see the 325+lb woman on the left when I let that critical eye wander down my image in the mirror– not the clearly thinner and trimmer person on the right. [Disclosure — the photo on the left was taken around 2005 during my first year in law school.  I’m pretty sure I got heavier than this.  The photo on the right was taken in Cozumel in March of this year — so yes it is recent, and its a pretty candid photo as well.  I have on no make up (which is my norm) since we were on our way to snorkel reefs — and the t-shirt features Baby Godzilla (from Threadless) in case you are curious!)

This negative eye is an epidemic, this is problematic — and I’m not sure how to solve it. How can we make women see their worth, in a world that mostly sees only their beauty as being valuable.  When all you hear about Hillary Clinton is how tired she looks or her bad dress pants, not how smart she is — we know we have issues.

But, what I can do is to  be honest about my own issues, and hopefully that will at least make someone feel a bit of comfort — to know that they are not alone, and that LOTS of us are struggling with body image issues.  LOTS of us are wondering if we will ever be satisified.  So you aren’t alone — don’t throw in the towel, but just work every day to give yourself and your body credit on being fabulous.  Whether you keep loosing or regaining those same 10lbs, no matter if you are overweight right now, no matter if you wonder if you’ll ever stop judging your worth by the size number in your pants — you’re fabulous!  Yes!  YOU!  Right there!  Someday I’ll believe all the time that I’m fabulous too 🙂

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Pre-Emptive Video Break: Don’t Be A ….

This is NWS for language issues (unless you have headphones on, or an office with a door) but the point remains truthful in my opinion.  Why is this a pre-emptive video break — because today you get TWO posts for me — and this one is the lead in.  So what do you think — was the joke justified or below the belt?  Did the talk show host cross any lines himself?

Fit Eating: So Delicious Almond Milk Cherry Amaretto Frozen Dessert

*as usual, I get no kickbacks from any of the food products that I talk about …but if any company wants me to try their products, let me know!

So I have a selective sweet tooth. I’m not a candy girl, I hate icing. But I do really enjoy a good cup of ice cream. The worst part of living in the South at this point are Cook-Out restaurants. If you don’t have one — your lifestyle change/diet thanks you. At Cook-Out they have the most incredible milkshakes. There is one that is a Pecan Pie Milkshake — where I swear they literally throw a piece of pie in the blender, pour it in a cup, and hand it to you. Don’t judge me, you know it sounds delicious.

And it is. Junk food is some tasty tasty stuff. Yet it is made for occasional indulgences; or stretchy pants. I refuse to deny myself the deliciousness of that shake next Fall (Thank Goodness it is only seasonal!), but in the mean time — what can satisfy my taste for creamy delicious ice cream that fits into my plan?

While wandering around my local Fresh Market I came across a frozen non-dairy treat that might fit that bill. I always am looking for alternatives — I am not anti-dairy. In fact I love cheese — really I do. I also love a nice bowl of cereal with cold milk. But I was vegan for a period of my life, and I appreciate dairy alternatives. My favorite being soy and almond. Coconut milk is good too — but I find it lacking the creamy mouth-feel of the other alternatives that mimic milk.

That being said, when I ran into the So Delicious Dairy Free Almond Milk Cherry Amaretto Frozen Dessert, I decided to give it a try. I was going for the Blood Orange sorbet — but I thought I would try something else today. One serving is a 1/2 cup of the non-dairy treat, and it is calculated at 4 Weight Watcher’s Plus points for that serving. Comparatively, a serving of most premium Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream (my favorite is Late Night Snack, full disclosure) ranges from 5-7 points. It also only has 6g of Sugar (which is nearly unheard of in a premium ice cream that is not marketed as low sugar or sugar-free). The ingredients list is mainly understandable, which also is a plus.

The Verdict:

Taste: The frozen dessert is lacking that rich creamy mouth feel. However, its ligher consistency is a bit refreshing. It reminds me of what my Grandmother used to buy and call Ice Milk. It’s sort of thin, but flavorful. The Cherry Amaretto is a good flavor, and makes me feel more like I am indulging in a decadent treat when I bite into a rich chunk of cherry, which are liberally swirled around the product.

Overall, I think it will be a great option for those going dairy free (vegan, no-soy, no-dairy, gluten free) for whatever reason, and something different for those of us who enjoy ice cream or frozen treats. I also am finding that I haven’t eaten my 1/2 cup serving. Right now at least, just a few bites is working out well to soothe my desire to have a frozen creamy treat.

What is your favorite frozen treat? It can be dairy or non-dairy! Let me know!

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Welcome, Nice to See You — Now I Should Do Homework

Thank you all so much for dropping in on my little part of the internet!  I am so excited to be writing about my life, and maybe having a positive impact on someone — or answering someone’s questions about fitness, weight loss, reluctant wedding planning, and politics!

I’m still a beginning blogger, and casual — so while I get the hang of this thing, bear with me!  As you can see above I am a full time student, so I’m getting back into the swing of school while trying to figure out what YOU dear reader enjoy most.  What I’m seeing is a high interest in fitness, food, and wedding post — so they will be coming at ‘cha!  However, there will still be the continued focus on African-American women during the month of February  and political discussions too!

If there is something about fitness or wedding planning (certainly from a full-time student/African-American perspective) that you would like for me to write about let me know!

Back to our regularly scheduled post tomorrow! And I’m off to finish my homework for the 9am class I’m supposed to be at *ugh!*

–Ash