Friday, February 25, 2011

Confessions of a Dieter

Here’s a confession:  I went on an actual, follow-the-instructions diet a few weeks ago.  I’d never done this before because – frankly – I never had to.  Not so anymore.  The physical toll of pregnancy added to the fact that I’m not in my twenties anymore elevated the need for a diet – at least, if I wanted to fit into those pre-pregnancy t-shirts.  Also adding to my need for a diet was the fact that I was – and am – still only learning how to buy and prepare food for just one person. 

The diet I followed was the much-publicized, post-holiday Yoplait Two-Week Tune-Up.  The plan is centered - of course - on Yoplait yogurt, which I already eat quite a bit of.  The gist of the plan is to eat a yogurt cup, a serving of fruit, and a grain for both breakfast and lunch; two servings of vegetables as snacks throughout the day; and a sensible, lean-protein dinner, adding additional dairy servings as necessary to achieve the recommended daily allowance. 

I am well aware that dieting only works when it is part of a lifestyle change that also includes exercise.  I think I’m doing pretty well with that.  Never one to refuse fruits and vegetables, I have now made a deliberate choice to always eat these *first* in my food day.  And the exercise has been helped tremendously by my discovery of a couple of well-scheduled group exercise classes at my gym and some work colleagues who have been doing some group P90X workouts midday (thank our work at a university, which affords us some empty classrooms with projectors very near our offices). 

The result?  Well, in five weeks, I’ve lost half of the pounds I’d like to lose to get to that pre-pregnancy weight.  That seems like a good start to me.  More to come…

So all that said, I’ve had little opportunity to enjoy frozen meals, due to all the fresh fruits and veggies.  But I did have the opportunity recently to enjoy Marie Callender’s Penne Chicken Piccata.  As a Marie Callender steamer, it automatically starts with a gold star and after eating it, I’m comfortable leaving the gold star.  This one contained capers, which is a fun, welcomed flavor.  But there weren’t nearly enough of these flavorful gems.  I would have loved more.

This meal is in a white wine lemon butter sauce.  Call me crazy, but I swear that I could actually *feel* the alcohol a little bit.  Maybe the relaxation of a Friday evening caused me to feel this, but I just can’t be sure.  I do know that it was pleasantly flavorful.  The parmesan cheese also added positively to the flavor. 

Overall, I would have preferred more vegetables, but the flavor truly could not be beat. 

Calories:  370
Fat:  14 g
Sodium:  860 mg
Notable good nutritional content:  15% Iron / 10% Calcium / Folic Acid 35%
Notes on cooking:   single shot, 3 ½ - 4 minutes
Notes on packaging:  clear plastic bowl and colander, reusable/recyclable 

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