Thursday, January 15, 2009

Out of Touch

As I become more and more aware of this countries "normal" eating habits I wonder, have I become completely out of touch? Do I eat weird stuff? I mean, I know I look at the foods I chose to eat in a different way than most, as my approach is more about the ingredients of my meals, than the meal itself.

For instance, when I'm preparing a meal I don't think, "Hmmnn, should I have a taco, or spaghetti? (meals)", I think, "Hmmnn, what kind of vegetables do I have? What kind of protein do I have? What kind of carbs (beans, rice, bread) can I use, and what flavors am I in the mood for?" And from that point I assemble my meal.

But I don't have a family to feed, and Mark and I eat similar in some ways and completely differently in others because he's always trying to keep his weight up, and I need to keep my weight down. You would think that would make things difficult, but really it's the similarity in our meal approach that makes it easy to work out. For instance, we both start with our ingredients......which vegetable, protein, carb, flavors?.....but he adds calorie dense ingredients to his meals, lots of butter and oil, cheeses, dairy, bread, nuts, etc. and I add low calorie ingredients to mine, yogurt, vinegars, stock, more vegetables, etc. If I were to make some french onion soup, I would make mine more brothy, and add more vegetables and a modest amount of protein (2-4oz.) and skip the bread, he would top his with swiss cheese, have all the protein he wanted, and have his bread slathered with butter!

I turn everything into soup or salad! I live on soup and salad all year long (inbetween the bakery and candy binges of course...hey, I'm not claiming to be perfect, lol) If I make a bowl of chili I always serve it over a bed of shredded cabbage salad mix (red and green cabage, carrot, jalapeno, green onion, and cilantro), I like it that way. I once ordered a bowl of chili at a resturant and a side of "undressed" coleslaw, just so I could eat it the way I like it. Or, I might take that same bowl of chili and add more broth to make it chili soup and then add my greens, like spinach, chard or kale. This is exactly what I started doing when I had to make family meals when my youngest son lived at home.

Pastas turned into noodle soup, or pasta salad. Lasagna and risotto turned into soups, and tacos into salads. Main dishes, like roasts, were sliced and diced as protein sources for soup and salad! Eating out was never an option, and now I could care less if I ever eat out, and would prefer to always eat my own homemade food because I make it exactly how I like it, using fresh quality ingredients.

Even though I haven't completely changed my particular habit of compulsively eating high sugar desserts, most if not all I purchase ready made, when I'm in my "right mind" (lol) I am just as happy having a peanut butter and honey sandwich (es), or plain yogurt with maple syrup and a heaping cup of wild rice and dried cranberries mixed in to make my version of rice pudding. Oatmeal or 10 grain cereal with honey and chocolate is yummy too....all of which I tend to overeat, but I'd rather overeat these foods than ice cream and cookies....when I can. Am I weird? Am I out of touch?

What and how do you eat?


neca said...

Yes you're weird, yes you're out of touch, and thank heavens for it- you've worked hard to get that way!

I read a blog about "simple living" - she posted about how different she feels from the lifestyle she feels around her, but that she's created a little "village" on the internet of like minded souls.

If you do what everyone else is doing, you'll get what they've got (a lot of extra weight!)

I eat differently from my husband and teenage son, but dinners I try to make something we can all enjoy together. I have used a lot of recipes off your blogs, and created my own version: taking favorite recipes and adding more vegetables etc.

While our dinners are more traditional, I cook my lunches in a way similar to you. I think about what flavor I want, what's in season at the farmer's market, and what meat I have in the freezer.

I'm not "there yet" - not yet eating as healthfully as I would like. But I've made great strides in buying higher quality ingredients and figuring out my own style of eating & cooking.

Diana said...

If we weren't all a little weird, what the hell fun would THAT be??!!!
You know I like my meat. I'm a huge carnivore. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, elk (my fav), buffalo, venison..all good! I too have gotten some of my recipes from you, but mostly from my elk farm and just old "family" stuff from those wonderful Grandma's! I do use the elk, buffalo and venison the most to get the highest protein and lowest fat. I hate carbs, with the exception of fruits and veggies, other breads and pasta's are just not me, they give me that damn "muffin top" we all know and HATE!!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


It is definitely a lifestyle, the way we look at health....and IF we look at health.

I'm not surprised that it takes connecting with others via internet because I honestly can't think of one friend or family member that eats the way we do. Maybe some athlete friends in the past....people that look at food for fuel (performance) and health.

When I "get there" I'll let you know, lol! Those stinkin' cookies, and lately it's been chocolates from See's Candy....good Lord. Seriously, it's the habit of sugar addiction that gets me. It is a goal of mine to make any and all dessert foods I eat myself (another blogpost).

I've been aware recently of how hypocritical it is of me to bitch about how much food people buy ready made, when most all of my dessert foods I buy are ready made.

The reason why I do that is because I don't want a whole cake or a whole batch of cookies in my house at once....but that doesn't stop me from buying a whole bag of cookies or a whole box of chocolates and eating them all, lol!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I love meat's yummy, lol!

You know the first few years I dieted and changed my eating habits I rarely if ever ate bread, and I never missed it, But I did add bread back into my diet this past year and I think the "experiment" is over! I'm back to limiting access, it just doesn't work, with my bodyweight goals, to eat it on a regular basis....but sprouted breads don't have the same effect.

Pasta on the other hand.... since traveling to Italy and learning how to cook pasta the authentic way....I love to cook it, but it's so high in calories per serving that it doesn't satisfy the way I like to eat (big)

Elizabeth said...

Hi Tracy! Glad you're back posting, I was getting antsy! ;-)

Just wanted to let you know, I started reading your blog last... September? October? I was at 145 and am now down to 135, thanks to kettlebell-ing and serious, slightly neurotic calorie monitoring! Just wanted to let you know you're words to not always fall on deaf ears! :-D

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you so much for commenting.

I've been hesitating on writing more blogposts about the how's and why's of weightloss, dieting and training because no one freakin' listens anyway! In fact that's one of the reason I quit posting my workouts and why I train the way I do.

As for my bodyweight....I weigh what I weigh because it is a dierect reflection on what I mystery! First, how much you eat, then the kind of foods you eat. You cannot out-exercise overeating, if you could I would be anorexic!

Now my focus is changing my thoughts and feelings of deprivation....maybe I'll write about it, lol!

Elizabeth said...

I look forward to reading your thoughts if you do decide to write about it! If I'm ever in Palo Alto, I'm going to schedule a kettlebell session for sure.

One of the things I love about your menus is that it focuses on all the good things you CAN eat. Things that actually nourish your body and taste good, as opposed to garbage that tastes good for about a minute!

Keep fighting the good fight, you make a difference.

Susan said...

Tracy, just discovered both your exercise blog and this one, and want to say how much you've inspired me. I'm sixty five, whoops, six, and have always liked exercise but also to eat. Became a personal trainer specializing in the "mature" adult a few years ago, and love my work, tho' other than my few private clients, have mainly senior residence "chair" exercise classes. Problem is I love to eat, and am consistently 15 pounds overweight, which at 5' 1" is alot. I make all my own meals, eat right, but binge on whatever is available when I get the cravings. I tried a kettlebell class a few months ago and since I have a bad back, and wanted to start fairly low, have been doing the exercises with something called a smart bell, a two handed weight that acts somewhat like a kettlebell. I also have a 15 lb kb, but want to work up to it.

Guess what I wanted to know is will the kb work help speed up my metabolism, and how often can I do it? Is working out every morning ok, with a 30 minute routine? Can I do it twice a day? I'm hoping if I have some short routine in the pm it will suppress those cravings.

Tracy Reifkind said...


"Keep fighting the good fight" is a concept I used to believe applied to my journey.....I'm now resistent to thinking of it as a "fight" because I don't want to feel as if I'm trying to swim upstream.....that gets tiring and eventually you lose.....

I understand what you mean though....any ideas of another way to look at it, from your point of view?

Tracy Reifkind said...


Training KB's has been a miracle for me, as you can see from my before and after pictures, but as I often say, my diet (food) cahnged the size of my body, and KB's changed the composition of my body! You cannot out-exercise bad eating habits....not to say you can't eat a little extra if you exercise on a regular basis.

The exercise you do needs to have some intensity to help change you metabolism though, and KB's can give you that (at least the way I train KB's).