Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eating Healthier: Day 1 Ham & Feta Salad

I have a confession to make. I have had an extremely rough year and have found myself falling into the dreaded seeking-comfort-in-food trap. The person staring back at me in the mirror could, quite frankly, stand to lose a few pounds. I need to seize control before things get out of hand. So today I am attempting to turn over the proverbial new leaf and have started reading through my copy of Neris & India's Idiot-Proof Diet (as well as the companion cookbook), which is essentially a low-carb type eating plan. At this point, I am more interested in getting my feet wet, not taking the whole diet plunge just yet. The recipes sound pretty good, so I figured it was worth a try.

NOTE: Before I begin, I do need to clarify something. While looking up the link to share with you for the Idiot-Proof Diet I am trying out, I learned that there is actually another entirely different diet plan with almost the identical name (theirs does not have a hyphen). I know nothing about that other plan and thought I should mention it only to clear up any possible confusion. Also, I am not being paid by anyone to mention this plan nor do I personally know the creators and I have not been asked to mention their books. I am just sharing something I am trying out for myself.

My First Day:

Breakfast: The book had a list of no-brainer type quickie breakfast ideas. My typical breakfast would usually be a serving of yogurt, a piece of fruit, and some coffee - but today I went with the IPD's suggestion to have some slices of prosciutto wrapped around a small serving of fresh buffalo mozzarella. I'm not convinced that my usual breakfast is any less healthy, but I was willing to try something new.

In the IPD world, coffee with caffeine is supposed to be a no-no, but that is just not happening. Happily, a splash of cream is on the "OK to eat" list, although sugar is not allowed. I don't add sugar to my coffee anyway, so at least I was still on track there.

Lunch: Ham & Feta Salad (pictured above), based on a suggestion from the cookbook.

Basically, my interpretation was a hearty handful of mixed leafy greens, a farm fresh tomato cut into wedges, a small block of feta cheese (1 ounce) cut into cubes sprinkled over the lettuce, and a few slices of deli ham torn and strewn over the top. I had to break a rule here - I used fat free honey mustard dressing, but just a tiny spoonful. I don't even like fat free stuff, I bought it by mistake and now I am stuck having to use it up. Why is fat free dressing bad? It has a lot of added sugars. Oh yeah, and it doesn't taste all that fantastic either.

Dinner: (Note to self: Eating out is a real toughie when you are trying to stick to a new eating plan).

Thursday nights are when my daughter has her skating lessons. By the time skating is over, it is already past dinner time and she is usually fairly ravenous, so most of the time we plan to eat out afterward. Knowing that I wouldn't be eating at home, it was probably not the best day to start trying out a new eating plan. Then again, if I waited for the perfect night every day, chances are great that I would come up with a brand new excuse not to start each and every day.

I still tried to stick to my plan ..mostly. Since I knew Cracker Barrel has a low-carb section on their menu, it was at least easy for me to select something reasonable, which was Grilled Chicken Tenderloin Strips, with turnip greens, green beans, and sweet potato casserole. The sweet potato casserole was the only item that broke the "rules" so I didn't feel that bad about eating them. Oh yes, and the biscuit & corn muffins they bring out with your meal... temptingly delicious little things. I will have to work hard to resist them next time. Tonight however, I was unsuccessful.


  1. Love the look of that salad Heather! I need to get Todd and I back to more healthy eating. We've been indulging ourselves far too much lately!

  2. Thanks, Marie. It is so easy to let things slide when faced with tons of stress. Seems like you have had about as much stress and upheaval lately as I have.

  3. Way to go Heather....I think that's pretty good for the first day...ease yourself in gently is the way I always go. But always start right now even if you haven't been shopping, improvise with what you've got on hand. Low Carb is about the only thing that seems to work for me as I've got older, but I can't keep it up for very long I love pasta bread and potatoes far too much!

  4. Hi Heather, I wanted to let you know that I've passed along the Sunshine Award to you because you've inspired me to try new recipes and you've brought sunshine into my life. :) Cheers, Judy

  5. Thank you so much Judy and Patchwork Dragon, for your words of encouragement.

  6. It is really hard to fully follow a diet plan. I would do the same and just go as far as it makes sense. The salad does look good.

  7. Thanks Biren. I am still not sure I want to commit myself fully to anything other than losing that bit of weight I put on - the plan concept is still something I just testing. I'd like to see if it works for me, but I have to admit, I am skeptical. Diets fail so often, and I am already finding myself dreaming about all the fruit I currently can't eat. I am still going to bake at least one treat a week, I can't possibly stop altogether without ceasing to be myself.