Seven Days of Lite n’ Easy
I could begin by telling you that I decided to give Lite n’ Easy a go for the convenience, and that would not be a lie. I am approaching the end of my Masters, putting 5 days of work into 4, writing for my boss outside of hours, and still trying to exercise a whole once a week and maintain some semblance of a social life. The schedule was working for me for a while, but ever since my post-holiday blues turned out to be a pretty permanent (and nasty) case of ennui, I’ve basically been making things work by either heating up something frozen or going to the pub. These measures have not been entirely effective, as I have still needed to buy groceries, plan meals, do some preparation and cooking, and just quietly, I’ve been getting sick of that pile of dirty dishes growling at me whenever I look sideways at it. Also, going to the pub makes me drunk, and drunk me don’t write so good.
So yes, it is convenient. But I am also going to point out that on the day that I started my full meal plan, last Friday, I was wearing a stupidly tight cotton/elastane singlet underneath my girly hoody to essentially act as a corset and keep my belly from looking three months pregnant. It turns out that (stress) + (red wine) + (copious amounts of tapas style food & other delicious things) + (turning 35) – (exercise) = a belly that looks like a shorn scrotum. So whilst the inspiration may have come from learning that my sister was doing it (having recently given birth to her second) and thinking “fuck me, it’d be sweet not to have to cook”, it cannot be denied that potential weight loss gave impetus to the scheme.
I like food. I like delicious food. I like eating as much delicious food as I want, and when I want, and have never tried to diet beyond “I might make up a salad for lunch, seeing as I’m having fat and carbs and cream for dinner – half an avocado will make it more enjoyable”. I don’t like leafy greens, tomatoes, skim milk, or cereal, and multigrain baked goods make me gag. And with that in mind, I bring you: Seven Days of Lite n’ Easy.
(NOTE: I am on a 7 day plan, 3 meals + snacks, 1,200 calories. I cheat and use half skim/half full cream milk in my coffee, and I have not cut out the wine. Daily exercise consists of walking anywhere between 10-50 minutes, and I do muay thai once a week. I haven’t bothered talking about the snacks too much)
Friday 23 August
Breakfast – Pikelets topped with Fig & Berry Compote and Honey Yoghurt
What a pleasant surprise for my first L&E meal, this was pretty freaking delightful. Look at it!
I’m such a moron that, in an attempt to eat better, I had started having a banana and some yoghurt for breakfast. Then I installed that stupid MyFitnessPal app on my tablet and realised how many calories I was still consuming, and so I started just eating some Cruskits with Aldi brand Cowbelle cheese. So this meal was plenty for me, and it was super tasty; definitely off to a good start.
Lunch – Soy Chicken Tender with Crispy Noodle Salad and Vietnamese Vinaigrette
Are you one of those poor unfortunate souls who can taste soap in a dirty sock wrapped in tinfoil whenever they eat coriander? Yeah, me too. Having recently been to Vietnam, I looked at the little tub of dressing and thought “shit, just, shit”, but was pleasantly surprised when my testing and tasting did not yield any coriander. I don’t like eating salads, but this was good – success!
Dinner – Tasmanian Salmon Pasta
Yeah… this doesn’t look great. But it does taste ok, in a high-end microwave meal kinda way. My problem was that I didn’t use the microwave, preferring instead to try the oven, mine of which is so shite that I ended up cooking it for over an hour and drying out some of the pasta.
I walked about 50 mins in total today, 10-15 to get to the bus, and the rest of it walking a slightly longer way to the home bus.
Saturday 24 August
Look, this entire day was just wrong. As previously mentioned, multigrain stuff makes me gag, but I ordered the muffin anyway thinking I could just force myself to eat it. And I also ignored the fact that I don’t like “smoked” things. I got about 2/3 of breakfast down but had to throw the remainder out.
Lunch was just really not good, dry chicken, bits of smoked ham type stuff, and the pasta salad… have you ever been to a BBQ and made the mistake of putting slices of tinned pineapple on the same plate as the pasta salad? You know that really acrid bitey taste you end up with? This salad had it in spades and I couldn’t finish it.
And dinner… yeah nah, I just wasn’t a fan. Forced it down, but I didn’t clean my plate for this meal either.
Breakfast – Smokehouse Ham and Free Range Egg on a toasted Mulitgrain Muffin
Lunch – Chicken and Pasta Salad
Dinner – Chicken Dijon
Exercise – one muay thai session
Sunday 25 August
Sunday was a day of rest after doing 3-4 hours of cardio the night before, ie. I went out clubbing. So I skipped breakfast, there was no way I was eating another multigrain muffin anyway, and went straight to lunch.
Greek Meatballs, Salad and Cucumber Raita in a Wrap
Ok, this was pretty alright. Pro tip though, the meatballs may need a bit of extra cooking, and for the love of God, don’t look at them when you open the packet. Just put them in there and wrap it up.
Homestyle Macaroni Bake
Yeah, I ate that. But it’s always been a theory of mine that for mac and cheese to be good, it has to be bad, and so this was kinda good. It cannot hold a candle to the Aldi brand though, especially when you put extra tasty cheese on top *exaggerateddrool*
Monday 26 August
Breakfast – Bacon, Free Range Egg and Roasted Tomato with Multigrain Toast
Ok, so I cheated this morning. I don’t like tomatoes, so instead I used the little packet of shredded cheese that was meant to go on yesterday’s breakfast. And ok, I really didn’t want microwaved bacon either, so as I was pre-cooking my egg the night before (yes, I fried it… whatever) I also fried the bacon a little. Not bad, the multigrain bread goes down a lot easier than muffins – could eat again.
Also, are my pants a little saggy today? Already? I can’t shake the feeling that they’re just a little bit looser than last week, around the thighs. I suppose it’s possible, I did do an awful lot of dancing Saturday night, and on a lot less calories than usual. Hmmm…
Lunch – Broccoli and Chicken Pasta Bake
I don’t really like thigh chicken. It tastes stronger, to me, and the colour, that pinky-brown, ugh, it really turns me off. So it saddened me to find that the chicken in this bake consisted of a big misshapen piece of thigh. And not just mine, my sister had it the day before and she found the same thing. We both agreed that the entire dish kinda sucked.
But here’s a cute little treat, my afternoon snack: a teeny tiny muffin! Isn’t it adorable?
Dinner – Beef Stroganoff
So Monday was a bit of a cheat day all over, I had the sneaky cheese with breakfast, and then at dinner time I went to my mother’s for her birthday; it was just a sausage, and a tiny piece of cake – I’m sure it won’t hurt. Anyway, dinner: I didn’t really like the look of this, I was let down by the lack of stroggy creaminess, so my mother suggested that I put a small teaspoon of light sour cream through it. I don’t know if it made a difference or not, but I ate it, whatever, and had a thin slice of baguette bread with butter (ok, more than just a sausage and some cake) to mop up some of the leftover sauce. Butter… yeah, I’m really missing butter.
Exercise – 10-15 min walk to the morning bus
Tuesday 27 August
Breakfast – Toasted Fruit Muffin with Butter and Apricot Jam
And looky what we have here, butter! I really enjoyed this, it was kinda almost sorta like pretending to eat raisin toast drowning in butter, and the sweet sweet jam, mmmm. Can you tell that I’m starting to obsess a little over food? That many of my thoughts are now taken up by whatever it is I’m allowed to eat?
Lunch – Chicken Breast Fillet with Tomato and Mayonnaise on a Ciabatta Roll
Nice! The chicken had a slight marinade, the mayonnaise kept it all feeling moist… I even put two thin slices of tomato in there, you know, for goodness.
Dinner – Honey Soy Chicken
HANGRY! I got home late tonight and wow, so hungry… I inhaled this. And it doesn’t help that it was actually tasty, I think this is the best of the dinners so far, all saucy and sweet.
No exercise at all today, and I had extra coffee (which equals milk and vanilla, whoops!).
Wednesday 28 August
Put a pair of work slacks on this morning and there is no denying that they’re saggy. After 5 days!! 😀 Again, just around the thighs, and maybe the bum, but still… you need those little results, and it has strengthened my resolve.
Breakfast – Cheesy Ham & Tomato Omelette and Multigrain Toast with Plum Jam
In its defense, I think I cooked the omelette for a bit too long, it didn’t feel hot enough. Be warned, though, that an extra 30 seconds will give the edges the consistency of corrugated cardboard. Apart from that, totally edible, and that plum jam, yeah, I’m really enjoying the sweet jams.
Lunch – Corned Beef and Mustard Relish Wholegrain & Oat Sandwich
I am always eating my corned beef sandwiches with tasty cheese, so I must have just automatically assumed that there was cheese involved with this – there wasn’t, and I was pretty sad for a moment. But hey, whatever… the mustard relish was tasty enough, and day-um, look at all those grains! I had to take teeny tiny bites to get it down without feeling a bit bleh, but they do suggest that you eat slowly so I guess that works out well.
Come afternoon tea time though, Christ, I’m hungry. I ate my little fruit cake snack as slowly as possible, but I ended up caving about an hour after that and having some Cruskits with Aldi Cowbelle cheese :-S
Dinner – Braised Asian Lamb Shanks
Again, this is slightly-above-average microwave dinner fare. Really liked the actual lamb, the rice and veges went down because they were there and, goddamnit, I’m not wasting a scrap of food.
Hungry! I snacked on a leftover fruit cup from Sunday.
And this may be totally unrelated, but my brain feels… slow.
Exercise – about 50 mins of walking.
Thursday 29 August
Day 7!! That came around quickly. Kinda. Look, I’m loving the convenience, and it’s fun to unpack your food as if you’re on a plane. But my body is used to having way more calories than this; I went with 1,200 figuring that I would snack and use full cream milk and drink wine of an evening, but I don’t think wine counts as MOAR FOOD.
Breakfast – Honey Muesli Flakes with skim milk and Wholegrain & Oat Toast with Butter & Vegemite
I spread these two breakfast items out by about an hour, it’s getting hard to make it to each meal. Morning is easier… dreading tonight. My colleagues started talking about Greek food and I almost went insane, so I started looking for Greek restaurants in the area, made a Facebook event for a group dinner in about 5 weeks, emailed a friend inviting her to a fancy breakfast soon, looked for places I could have dinner on my birthday in 8 weeks… all I can think about is food.
Lunch – Sliced Turkey and Cranberry Sauce on a Ciabatta Roll
Honestly, this was a bit bland – or is it that my body is crying out for its usual flavour and sugar and fat? There is quite a bit of sauce in the little tub, which made the whole thing a lot easier… it was food, basically, fuel.
Made sure I didn’t eat the fruit part (a mandarin) until about an hour later, then another hour after that I had the crunchy noodle snack. My poor mother called me at the same time as snack time, all she could get out of me was “uh-huh… crunch… yep… omnom… food… crunch”. And yeah, I definitely feel fuzzy in the head, but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m hungry, or if I’m detoxing off excess sugar and fat. Slight headache…
I arrived home starving, but, kickboxing starts in an hour, so I just had some extra pre-workout drink (which suppresses the appetite) and regaled everyone at the gym with my empty tummy tales. And now I am home and riding out the rest of the appetite suppression, after which time I will have:
Dinner – Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini
“It doesn’t look pretty” is starting to become a thing, isn’t it? I’m really not that fussed anymore, food is food, just get in me!
I, personally, do not understand corn as an addition to tortellini. But I’m sure they have their reasons and, so, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. After eating it, I still don’t understand, but if I’m going to guess, I would say it’s to fill out the dish. So much corn… not the greatest, this one, but it did feel pretty satisfying to get that pasta in my belly.
Exercise – one muay thai session, maybe 20 mins of walking.
And so there it is, it’s done, 7 Days of Lite n’ Easy. How do I feel about it?
“sigh” ask me in a few more weeks, hopefully my belly will have shrunk a bit and I will be extolling its many virtues, oh, Lite n’ Easy, hallowed be thy name, who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp, yes, we have no bananas. Right now I just feel empty and sleepy.
In saying that, though, my next week’s worth of food arrived today. Yes, I’m going to keep going, and again, it’s partly for the convenience and partly for potential weight loss. I don’t appear to have lost any belly girth (although if I measure first thing tomorrow morning I might find I’m down 1cm), but those saggy pants I was wearing yesterday are nothing to be laughed at (unless you’re standing behind me).
I don’t know… I hate dieting… but I’m too old now to rely on my body to keep itself in shape.
Do I rate you, Lite n’ Easy?
Let’s say… 7/10. It really is pretty good for what it is.
And I don’t need you to tell me how lame an ending this is for a blog entry, I know; but you’re not getting anything else out of me until I get some refined sugar.
EDIT: I checked again first thing this morning like you’re supposed to, and it’s possible that my belly is 1cm smaller… not getting too excited yet though, as it’s hard to get the tape in the same spot every time.