Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Living in the Clean World - Attempting Clean(er) Eating

So as I've mentioned before, my medical issues are 1 for 2 so far in regards to the issues getting better. The one that's getting better is, of course, only really helped by medicine. The other is a mixture of meds (which we're still trying to get right) and a lifestyle change. "Lifestyle change" meaning "STOP SHOVING JUNK FOOD IN YOUR GOB, MORON". Or at least that's how it translates to me.

Of course, the problem is that junk food is delicious. Man oh man, I love junk food. Actually, I love food, but I especially love those refined sugars and carbs. Mmm, mmm, mmm.  It's hard to stop eating them, too... it feels like an addiction. In fact, my nurse practitioner said that it IS like an addiction, and understands how hard it is.

I miss eating carbs. I hate dieting. I hate having to accept the fact that I have to pay attention to what I eat and count calories. It's the WORST, and when I've been "good" for a few days, my addiction kicks in and I'm going nuts wanting what I know isn't good for me - then I give in and feel bad (emotionally and physically).

I realize how immature it is of me to say these things, though, and I'm in the position where I'm working my way to it. I've done lots of research on websites that have explained how I should be eating to best treat my condition, and I think I can do it. It's not as terrible as I thought, and if I make these changes, I will feel better and my body will help to heal itself.

That said, this is easier said than done. The best way I've found to make eating healthy easier is to find shortcuts and substitutes that make me feel like I'm not being deprived. For example, I love burgers - I love them on buns, so if I'm at a restaurant (like the other night) and I want a burger, I'll get the darn burger and forgo the fries for a salad. If I really want the fries, though, either I eat both and feel gross, or I gotta find a solution.

Well, luckily, The Counter figured out a solution, and I'm cribbing the idea for myself. For those not fortunate enough to live near one of The Counter's locations (which now includes me, because the local branch recently closed), it's basically a build-your-own-burger joint that offers, like, a crazy amount of options for burger meat, bun, toppings, and sauces. It's awesome (their fries and shakes are awesome, also), and one of the options they offer is to forgo the bun entirely and have a "burger bowl". Basically, the burger is served on a pile of lettuce (either a lettuce blend or mixed greens) instead of the bun options, and you can still build it with all the same toppings and sauces. They had some crazy-fun toppings, like these carrot strings that were these insanely long curlicues that were so crazy my friend took a picture of me attempting to eat them:

They are INSANE. That is ALL carrot!
So when I had a hamburger for lunch the other day (and I'm not keeping bread in the house to avoid temptation), I remembered the crazy-awesome burger bowls and made my own!

The burger: pre-made turkey (on sale for $2 for 4 big ones) that I grilled on the Foreman with some Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides.
The cheese: Pesto Jack from Spring Hill Jersey Creamery
The Bowl: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and lite ranch dressing. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of toppings in my fridge to add to my bowl o' salad, and the idea sounded so good that I didn't want to rush to the store for one freakin' meal. Plus, my own carrot strings will never live up to the greatness that is the Counter's carrot strings.

That said, it was a tasty lunch! (After taking the photo, I cut up the burger to make eating it easier.) (Also, there ARE cucumbers on that plate, they just disappear into the lettuce apparently.) I didn't even miss the bun! Slap a small amount of sweet potato fries on the side (and some more salad toppings, because I'll plan ahead next time), and I've got a meal that tastes great and I can eat without shame! Whooo!

Also, I am very aware that I suck at food photography. Hello, the name's "Hot Mess Housewife"!

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