Saturday, December 12, 2009

The (Food) Times, They Are A-Changin’

When I was a little girl, I never ate coleslaw, spinach, pecan pie or lima beans, and I never thought there’d be a day when I didn’t eat hamburgers, Cheez Whiz, Girl Scout Thin Mints or bologna (or braunschweiger…they were interchangeable) on white bread.

When I started losing weight five years ago, I said I’d never eat fat-free sour cream, fat-free cream cheese, tofu or celery, and I’d never give up (i.e. “deprive myself” of) bagels, tater tot hot dish, Trader Joe’s turkey bacon or half-and-half.

My how (food) times have changed.

I can’t imagine a day without spinach (cooked or raw); a picnic without coleslaw; making soup without celery or paprikash without fat-free sour cream; eating a whole grain cracker without a smear of fat-free cream cheese and blueberry jam; a salad without edamame, lima beans or garbanzos; or a smidgeon of my mom’s famous pecan pie on my dad’s birthday.

Reason #5479 why this weight-loss journey was successful and I’ve kept the weight off for almost three years is that I don’t subscribe to the mantra “All things in moderation.” I must use tough love with some foods: “No, Lynn, you may never, ever, ever have ________ again!” Granted, that list is VERY short, but it’s VERY necessary.

With all due respect to my bagel-loving blogger friend Lori, bagels are one of those foods (although I enjoy bagels vicariously through Lori when she posts her photos!). So too are Girl Scout Thin Mints. I can’t think of many others off the top of my head. My mother’s chocolate cake with chocolate frosting comes pretty darn close. So do Burger King french fries. What do they put in those things? Crack?

Anyway, the TJ’s turkey bacon was the very last meat-related food I “gave up” when I morphed into a vegetarian earlier this year. (Exception to the rule #1: I confess I eat Jell-O sometimes, which technically precludes me from joining the Vegetarian Society) That was tough. Bacon, as the t-shirt says, is meat candy, and god knows I love me some pork products.

However, bacon became tempeh; tater tot hot dish, well, just lost its appeal; and coffee with half-and-half became fat-free lattes. (Exception to the rule #2: I will enjoy a little Bailey’s in the Christmas coffee, as always.)

What other “never” foods will I change to “sometimes/all the times” food in 2010? I’ll let you know!
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NOTE: I’ll be posting a Q&A with “Today Show” nutrition expert Joy Bauer next week. If you’d like to ask Joy a question about nutrition, dieting, Matt Lauer (*giggle*), send me an email at lynnbering@verizon.net or post a comment.

Joy’s book, “Joy’s LIFE Diet” (you’ll recognize the woman on page 240!) is coming out in paperback later this month under the title “Your Inner Skinny: Four Steps To Thin Forever.”

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of the hardcover edition, so look for the Q&A next week for info on how to win!

9 comments:

Carla said...

Lynn, I'm with you. I'm vegan and there are all sorts of 'never again' foods on my list! No dairy, no meat, no eggs, that's a given. But also, only whole grains (no white rice, no white bread), nothing with HFCS, there are more things on the list that don't spring to mind right now. I understand about total elimination vs moderation. Sometimes, moderation just doesn't work. Not for some of us. I know I feel healthier and have maintained my my weight loss without having to count or track calories or anything else for 6 years. I still have a ways to go before I can say my diet is anywhere close to perfect, but it's certainly on the right track. Congrats on your new vegetarianism. Ever considered going all the way with it and eschewing all animal foods? It's not as tough or austere as it sounds. We love it!

Carla said...

Oh, I also don't eat any artificial sweeteners.

debby said...

Love the title Lynn! And you know what else? I love that I can almost always look forward to a weekend post from you!

My food times are a-changing too, albeit a little different than you. Haven't gone veggie yet, but I am amazed at how many days I do go meatless and it doesn't bother me in the least. THAT is a big change. And I have made so many changes and adjustments in my eating in the last year that I can hardly believe it myself. But I find myself being more content and even delighted with my food choices, and that is such a good feeling. I probably still have quite a few almost never foods. Chocolate chip cookies aren't never, but they are certainly few and far between. I laughed at your Burger King fries, because I don't even like them, but I feel like that about McDonald's fries!

Looking forward to your Q&A next week.

It is always a pleasure to read your blog, Lynn.

Shelley said...

I'm cracking up over here at "meat candy" - great shirt!

There are some items that I don't think I'll ever eat again for various reasons - onion rings being one of them, as something that deep-fried seems to make me sick to my stomach (either from the missing gallbladder or else because I'm just not used to that kind of grease anymore).

There are also certain foods that make me hesitate before I consider eating them, and that reaction alone, to me, means that I know deep down that I shouldn't even tempt fate by trying to moderately eat them.

I'm excited for your Q&A session next week!!! Can't think of a good question right now, but I'll email you if I come up with one.

Now, here's a Q for you...where in the heck do you find Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea??? I can tell you where in my town it isn't (EVERY grocery store and the two natural food stores) - do you order yours online? I did find the Candy Cane tea, but no chocolate tea to combine it with. I'm kind of laughing at my quest for TEA, of all things...I used to devote this kind of effort to the perfect pie or other calorie-laden dessert, but not tea, for cryin' out loud!

Yes, the times certainly are changing for all of us!

Eric said...

Beautiful blog, and congratulations on your weight loss.

Your before and afters are just incredible.

I just made the first post to my weight loss blog. My before pictures are quite horrendous (you were warned).

I'm very new to all this. If I'm lucky I'll have half as much willpower as you do.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Carla, I love eggs and cheese too much to go vegan. But I love your enthusiasm about it. You've taught me a lot.

Shelley, I go the Christmas Cookie Sleigh Ride tea same place I got the Candy Cane tea. Want me to send you some? Not sure you can get it online at Celestial Seasonings. As for the chocolate tea, I got it online at Republic of Tea.

Debby :) You make me smile.

Anonymous said...

I guess that I don't have a list of absolutely can't have foods, but I do keep away from a lot thing. I find too that after I have stayed away from a food for a long time and try it again, it usually isn't as great as I imagined.

It is funny how are diet changes with our beliefs about food. I can remember eating pop tarts and honey buns for breakfast. Hopefully, are new tastes are from educating our palates with foods that are good for us. It's funny how you can really give up some of the food you thought you couldn't live without.

Vickie said...

I think it is really important that our food DOES CHANGE.

Because when it changes then it (usually) means that we are eating healthier and that we are understanding ourselves a lot better.

When our food styles do NOT change, - I think it usually means the person is thinking d-i-e-t and that usually means that they are not in for the long haul.

I also think that where we are in the beginning is different than where we are in the middle and that is different from where we are when we first start maintenance and then we are different again a year or two into maintenance.

Our food is very much a journey. Different stages, different steps. And I realize that we are all slightly different, but in general I think we all move to healthier.

South American Slimmer said...

I have some NEVER foods, though my philosophy on these is a bit different. There are some foods that are just not tasty enough to justify the calories and therefore I just cut them out altogether: fizzy and sweet drinks of all kinds, chocolate except for the very highest quality dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder, ice cream from anywhere except Gelatti Giolitti in Rome (not exactly on my doorstep), potatoes, most types of bread and crackers (even wholemeal), rice, pasta (all those carbs are too boring), cheese unless it´s part of a very expensive French raw-milk cheeseboard. Sometimes it´s a good idea to cultivate an expensive palate. Lots of fattening foods don´t actually taste that great if you are enough of a foody snob.