Friday, January 15, 2010

I want to eat better, but ...

Once upon a time ...

I was not being kind to my body.

I felt heavy and thick all the time.

I was depressed.

I didn't want my husband to touch me, because I didn't like myself.

I couldn't stop eating crap which made me feel like crap, because it gave me momentary relief from said crap feeling.

I was on a merry-go-round of blecgh.

And I didn't know where to start, because it just seemed too overwhelming.

Here is an idea for you - so you can do something NOW:

Have one day a week where you feel 100% positive about everything you eat. Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. No guilt because it's healthy and will feed your body good stuff.

For breakfast, build your own cereal. One of my favorite ways is to layer plain oats, some fresh berries of some sort, wheat germ and honey.

If you don't want the oats, just buy some plain Cheerios (or the organic brands) and do the same thing. Do you like nuts? Throw a few on there too. Heck, why not some unsweetened coconut flakes? For an added treat, without refined sugars, use vanilla soy milk. You'll have all of this leftover, so who knows? You may make another inventive cereal later in the week cause you can!

For lunch, buy either a loaf of bread or some whole wheat tortillas. Make a sandwich or a wrap using only fresh vegetables. Heck, even natural peanut butter and an all fruit spread is a great choice! What do you like? Maybe sliced avocado, tomato, some dark green lettuce of some sort? You don't have to have deli meat to make a delicious sandwich/wrap. Come on, you're only planning for this one day, so pile it on with things you don't normally buy, but enjoy.

Now, guess what? You also have leftovers for other lunches. Hmmmm ... see how that works?

And now on to dinner. Buy a box of whole wheat pasta (cook according to package directions). Penne is a good choice for this dish. Grab a small onion, some garlic, a large can of crushed tomatoes, one can of red beans and one bag of Veggie Shreds (you'll usually find this cheese-like product in the produce section - refrigerated). Dice up the onion and mince up a few garlic cloves. Saute them for a few minutes in a little bit of water, until the onions start to turn translucent. While you're doing that, run the can of red beans through the food processor or the blender, til as smooth as you can get them. Add the crushed tomatoes and beans to the onion and garlic. Mix well, and season to taste with salt, pepper, oregano - whatever you like!. THEN, put the noodles and sauce mixture into a casserole dish. Cover with your bag of veggie shreds. Put in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. BOOM! Healthy pasta bake.

And, again, with the leftovers!

Don't like Italian? Same basic concept can whip up some enchiladas. One packet of about 20 corn tortillas. Two cans of enchilada sauce (read the labels or make your own - simple recipes ALL OVER the internet!). Two bags of veggie shreds. 1-2 cans of black beans (or a bean of your choice, to pulverize and add to the enchilada sauce). Or leave the beans whole. Then there is the layering and the melting/heating in the oven.

Or tacos with refried beans instead of meat and lots of veggie fixins.

Are you getting the idea? No four-course meals Forget that hooch. Just more whole foods, while avoiding animal fats. Simple. Thrown together. Yum. Nothing to guilt yourself over.

And when it comes to others in the house who sometimes sabotage our efforts (in my case, it has been my husband on occasion), we have a big sit-down. I remind him of how our sit-down's used to involve my big 200 lb miserable body! I remind him that my strength does not manifest through resisting foods in my midst, but through never bringing them into my midst to begin with. I HAVE AN ADDICTION. I cannot have the temptation in our home. He is welcome to buy/eat what he wants, but needs to keep it at work ... or in the car ... or in a lockbox (I AM NOT BEING FUNNY - IF I CAN GET TO IT, I WILL!).

We have to repeat the discussion for one another in different areas of life. That's ... well, that's marriage and that's life. So, we do. We remind the other what we need. Sometimes it involves me blubbering. Sometimes it involves me slamming down an empty baggy which held a dozen Oreo's we brought home from the holidays as I screech, "THIS is why we cannot bring sweets into the house!!"

Are you wanting to do a bit more than just one day a week? Want to give your health a massive boost? Go vegan, my friend. Seriously. Check out the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. We're not 100% vegan. Heck, we even have meat occasionally, but it is not the norm. Our goal is more vegan and more raw. We also eat this way, spending about $140 a week for a family of seven (and that is three meals a day for at least six of us - EVERY DAY!).

Start something right now. Go to the store today and plan for at least one day this week.

And, for the love of Jethro, enjoy it!


happygeek said...

I was praying about this THIS morning.
I'd been doing OK. Then I jumped off the bandwagon and have eaten nothing but crap this week.
A bag of chips is NOT lunch. The worst thing is, my kids still ate home-made whole wheat bread, veggies and fruit, I hid the chips and kept them for me.
Selfish and fat. LOVELY.
Thanks for the kickstart.

Elizabeth @ TexasEbeth said...

My hubby is the underminer in our house too. I don't buy the junk but he does. For some reason hubby thinks he is healthy just because he doesn't have to take meds like I do.I have high cholesterol, HBP, thyroid, type 2 diabetes plus overweight. I am changing my habits slowly. Talks with hubby aren't working so well but I'm still praying for a change from him & ME.

Kerrie said...

Does the $140/ week include the Veggie Shreds? I can do my semi-vegetarian family of 6 for $180, but my youngest has turned up with a dairy and egg allergy. I'm poking around vegan, but some of those product are so dang expensive.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

I love the "One day at a time/One meal at a time" approach. It works, because you truly look FABULOUS!!!! Thanks for inspiring.

Dad said...

I am living proof that this type of diet works! Thanks to my darling daughter, Christine, I jump started the change of diet the week following Christmas. I really didn't do poorly through the holiday but knew that I needed (MUST)change my eating habits. Three days at the Moer's house really taught me some lessons. I have always been a "meat and potato" man. I have come to love, and I do mean "love" the new me. I still do not eat straight vegan, but I am strongly vegetarian! I admit to a couple of pieces of grilled fish and a bite or two of lean turkey on a salad. Since December 23rd it appears I've lost at least 10 pounds. I feel good, have more energy, and I'm still waiting for the clear mind that Christine promised me! Maybe one day. Some of the foods do cost more but we've found that they go further, stretching our food budget. We've also saved a boatload on food by fixing our meals at home and avoiding the restaurant food costs!!!!! Besides all that, I get to spend time in the kitchen with my lovely bride of 43 years! Yahoo!

Christine's Dad

Christine said...

Kerrie, yes, that includes the Veggie Shreds. It may be the semi-vegetarian part that adds to your bill. We do not buy meat. That saves a LOT. We make our own sauces most of the time (spaghetti and enchilada and salsa). So, it makes a lot more for a lot less.

We bleed salsa in this house.

And dad ... thanks ... you made me cry. I'm so proud of how you gave this a good, solid try, even though you weren't exactly sure what you thought about it. Your grandchildren are beyond elated. You're amazing.

Little Wonder said...

Thanks for the before/after does make your story real. And I needed that today.

Summer said...

You - are awesome.

Anonymous said...

wow. you rock!

Babetta said...

again you rock
It amazes me how much I look at you and see my "5 years from now" me
One day at a it a go


Laura Staum said...

Those are awesome before and after photos. I haven't made guacamole yet since your post about that but I'm gonna give that a try. It's awesome that you're teaching your kids (and your dad!) how to eat things that taste good and don't make you fat. :) Rock on!

ohchicken said...

so, how would you tweak this lifestyle change for, oh say, someone who is pregnant, and prone to anemia whilst pregnant?

Matt & Alisha said...

The meat that we eat is deer that we kill so it is very lean but you gave me some great ideas. I have never heard of veggie shreds before. I will have to try and find them. Wonder if they will have them in my little bitty town???? Thanks!

Tanya said...

A friend of mine sent me your link. And I'm so glad she did. What a great blog you have. It's great how people can live on opposite sides of the world/country and feel an immediate connection. As your quote says: when we write down our stories we see how similar we all are. I am a Brit who lives in Cali. We recently bought an RV mainly for our special needs daughter. She loves the great outdoors so we wanted to give more of that to her (a hard thing to do in LA) but in actual fact the RV has given an huge amount of joy to my entire family. I am also a blogger and right now have 2 sites up and running. One is about my diet, I felt this was a good way to motivate myself. If you care to see it the address is and the other is a site where I compare books I read to a food that I feel sums it up. It doesn't matter if you don't get a chance to look at them. I'm just glad I came across yours. I will keep checking in. Peace. Tanya

Val said...

For those of you as stupid as me, I'll save you looking it up:

Please Cook the pasta until just al dente (firm to the bite) before putting it into the casserole.

At least, that's how the interweb says to do it.

Thanks Christine, for this inspiring post, and for your excellent description of the rules (and whys) Roommate-types must follow.

Hannah_Rae said...

Almost done with week 1 and so far so good.

We aren't ready to go vegetarian yet, but all junk food is gone and all white sugar and white flour as well.

I'm so excited about the recipes! We are having friends over for dinner next week, and i think that pasta bake would be perfect! :)

Love ya!


p.s. Any ideas on what do to with left over halloween and Christmas candy?

Christine said...

Val, there's a reason I don't have a cooking website. I leave out directions. Will update to COOK THE PASTA!

Christine said...

ohchicken, I will totally get back to you. Have a great friend who is a vegan trainer person - quite a guru.

Hannah, we sometimes pay our kids for their leftover candy. Other times we just have them pick seven of their favorites (one a day for a week) and chunk the rest. Depends on our circumstances at the time ... how many other parties/treats/etc. have we had going on.

Because if we don't get it out of the house ... it will be stuck in my teeth by 10 pm that evening. :)

Locketts said...

Started cooking at least three dinners a week from Cooking Light magazine a year and a half ago, eating the leftovers for lunch (genius). My hubby and I are now 40 pounds lighter and SO much happier for it. Thanks for the encouragement!

Christine said...

Okay, preggo chicken ... here's a starting place:

angie said...

wowza! Christine, you look great! So, when you lost the weight, what kind of excerise did you do??

we have been computerless, so its been fun to catch up on your posts.

Have you heard of your kids birthfamily yet? You guys will be in my prayers. I have been so sad this whole week about Haiti. It's just horrible.

Christine said...


Still no word on their birth family. We're just getting comfortable. Absolutely no way of knowing how long it will take. They have no phone ... no address. It's Haiti. No mail system. Just general "areas."

I have rarely done any exercise "routine" over the last dozen years. I will go for walks. Sometimes runs. I work my garden in the spring. I get on the Wii fit board. Do yoga. I'm a very "get bored easily" kind of person. With YouTube and television, I can try something new all the time. Sometimes it's several times a week. Sometimes I go week without any deliberate exercise. Just depends.

Well, and then there has been the chasing and restraining over the past almost-two years. :)

Susan said...

Just want to say that I appreciate your posts on the topic of food. I started Monday on a veg diet without dairy and eggs. I have been surprised that I have stuck with it this long. I have never made it a full work week without cheating on any diet before, but this eating plan feels less about losing weight and more about being healthy and I look forward to trying to saty on this journey.

Thanks for being an inspiration.

Also, your pics look like they are wrongly dated. You look 10 years younger in the 2010 pic, Congrats!

By the way, I am single so what I don't bring into the house does not come!

Mom said...

I am finally online to read your blog. Then I read the comments. Wow, to read your Dad's comment was outstanding. He said it all. With health concerns, this gave the real motivation to let you teach us a great way of eating. You had been telling us how good things tasted. Yes, it is great to have Dad in the kitchen not just helping but doing a lot of the cooking himself. Can you believe it, we spent over an hour on our day off just walking the aisles at Whole Foods reading labels and shopping. You catch yourself looking for ways to redo a recipe to make it more healthy and without meat. You are never too old to change eating patterns. We want to get off medications, not just eat the old way and keep taking pills. Thanks for being so supportive in teaching us, Christine. We can hardly wait to go back to the doctor near the end of February to see results in our blood work. We will be on the phone letting you know.
Your Mom

Wendy said...

Help! I don't know how to contact you but I need some sage advice. Today we are picking up a 4 year old boy who is being disrupted from an adoption from the foster care system. The boy has been diagnosed with RAD and I have all the evals, etc. But....then I found posts by the mom on a forum that paint an entirely different picture. We are still getting him but I need some advice on figuring out what the real deal is here so I can help him.
my e-mail is


Jenny said...

Oh wow you look good :D Grats!

Georgia said...

Thank you for this. Like many others, I have struggled with my weight for years and am well on my way to a future filled with medications and diagnoses. My husband and I have finally decided that enough was enough when we literally could not afford to go out to eat one more time. Our persistent, repetitive, stupid mishandling of our finances was about to ruin us. We want to eat better, but the pull of eating out and ignoring consequences have been too much. Now, we literally cannot go to the grocery store to buy anything until payday comes again. We were in a vicious, vicious cycle. The upside to all this idiocy is that we have been forced to become creative with meal preparation, using the materials at hand to feed our family of 6. For once in my life, I feel like I could stick to this way of eating. It was almost like solving a puzzle which gave me a sense of accomplishment when what we prepared was both filling and tasty. For once in my life, I didn't feel like eating better meant I had to be "dieting", and when I'm hungry, I eat. No guilt involved.

Reading your blog encourages me to do things that I never thought I could do. I now make my laundry detergent and dishwashing soap and I tried the recipe for the deodorant. I even tried the "family wipes", but didn't sew the edges before I washed them.

All that to say...thank you for doing what you do.

Anonymous said...

Do you have links for your "sauce" recipes you mentioned--salsa, spaghetti, enchilada?
This is an awesome post, thanks for the inspiration!

Liz said...

That is amazing. I must say I look like your before photo right now. Probably plus another 20lb :-(

I found your blog after someone sent me the link to your "The Power Of Your Voice" youtube video.

I am such a screamer and although I'm not parenting traumatised children I think I am parenting very stressed children. I'm on a long road to healing and I really hope that in ten to twelve years time my story is as great as yours, albeit different!

Liz in Western Sydney, Australia.

T and M said...

OK. Christine. Here's the deal. I weigh nearly 300. Mell is upwards of 240. Our little girl? the five-year-old? Yeah, she can't gain any weight without eating more calories in a day than the average adult male (otherwise she looses) - and she is still barely maintaining the 50%.
I haven't eaten meat for over a year. (Happens when the hamburger given to you to feed to your seven year old starts bleeding bright red blood as you cross the room.)
I am not still gaining. But I'm not exactly melting either.
I can't figure out how to balance chips, cookies, olive oil, and full-fat cheese/milk to get her 2000+ calories, and not EAT chips, cookies and full fat cheese (I loves me some cheese!)
So how would you find the balance between giving your kid the tons of calories she needs to put into a five-year-old tummy, and yet restrict your calorie intake to not weigh, well, 300lbs?

Hoping you and your family have fun catching up with Laura and getting your space cleaned back up. Much love to you all.

Christine said...


First of all, those stinkin' weight and growth charts for children are not supposed to be a goal. For instance, it simply averages out ALL children. Your child is skinnier than the average kid. That's why there is an average! There's nothing wrong with that. Feed her absolutely as much as she wants to eat and keep it healthy! Period. Then, you can't go wrong.

Feeding her potato chips and cookies or other unhealthy things will only make her sick, in the long run. She may hit that 50% mark, and NOT be healthy. There is nothing wrong with a kid not being at the 50% mark. About half the kids are below that mark and half are above. Feed her tons of healthy stuff.

I'm going to post on veganism today, if I can get my butt in gear.

Amy C. said...

wow. i would love to have that before and after.

how do you satisfy your sweet tooth, though? i just can't get enough sugar. ever.

it's awful and wonderful at the same time.

Jess said...

i move into my first apartment (away from dorms and dorm food) this fall and i am going to/desperately need to keep this post on my toolbar.

thanks christine...i need to have my butt WHOOPED.

Christine said...

Amy, the more you eat processed sugar, the more you crave it (an actual addiction). The less you eat it, the less you crave it.

I only bake using honey. I sweeten using Stevia, etc.

Catherine Anne said...

Christine, I wish you lived close to me so I could take you to the store with me. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to changing my meal plan. I have put on the weight over 10 years ago after my first child still holding much of it. All my pics are face up. I would love to loss this in a healthy way. A way I can keep it off. Did you workout as well? Thanks I needed a kick to get me going!

MJ said...

This post was from before I met you and discovered your blog. Who knew? I just assumed you had always been fabulously fit and slim and vegan. I had no idea you struggled in this way. It just goes to prove what I've been discovering this year; we never really know another's journey. At whatever point they are today may have required monumental feats to achieve. That 400 pound lady on the bus may once have been that 800 pound lady on a hospital bed. We just don't know.

And I absolutely agree that taking the guilt out of food has made a tremendous difference for me. I don't hate myself for the food I eat anymore.