Well, It’s been 72 hours since I started the 500 calories or less challenge. Typically when I start cutting back, two things happen: (1) I go so extreme that by this point I’m STARVING ALL THE TIME and I turn into a total moody MESS due to carb and sugar deprivation. (2) I can’t stop thinking about food every. second. of. the. day. The first isn’t happening (HOORAY!) but the second is… just not the way you think.
I’m thinking about food all the time – constructively. What could I swap for this and for that? How can I still enjoy X dish but not for the sake of 1,000 calories? This little adventure is challenging me to step outside of my comfort zone, try new combinations and not be so reliant on other people’s recipes. I’m using my instincts more, getting far more creative, and being more mindful to measure vs. eyeball ingredients along the way – especially when they’re high calorie ones. Take olive oil as an example. OLIVE OIL, you say? But that’s a “healthy” fat, right? Sure, it is. But not when you have too much of it. And that’s the supreme lesson I’m reminded of again. I never ate poorly – I just wasn’t paying close enough attention at the little details adding up. One teaspoon of olive oil = 40 calories. One tablespoon = 119. Um, HELLO. That calorie difference can rob me of getting to enjoy a glass of rosé! So I just start asking myself – are you going to miss this ingredient if you scale it back? If I do, I can always add more.
Is every recipe I’m making the most AMAZING thing ever? OF COURSE NOT! I already have ideas on how to improve and/or adjust each of them next time. But, they’re not bad if you’re trying to be mindful of what you’re eating so I invite you to try them yourself, make a change and let me know, in your view, how to make them better.