September 20, 2010

Lessons from the first two weeks

1.  Eating in 3D is possible. Definitely. But it takes more thought and vigilance that one might think or wish to invest. But like anything new, Eating in 3D would eventually become routine and, therefore, more easily sustainable.
2.  You can’t eat with hope – plan backwards to make your numbers. In the beginning I just jotted down our eating and then added it all up at the end of the day. WRONG! It is better to add it up as you go and then plan your dinner around what is lacking from the day's nutrition. This saves you from inadvertently destroying your budget on a fish fillet for dinner after you've already consumed 6 ounces of protein earlier in the day.
3.  Pack your lunch! Not only does this saves you money but it allows you to control your nutrition in a way that eating out simply cannot.  Creating Starbucks-esque lunch plates with fruit, vegetables, grains and protein. It takes no time at all to throw these items in a container.
4.  Make it easy on yourself by eating the serving sizes recommended. If it says 2/3 cup peas per person, stick to it no matter how much you hate to leave 2 servings in the bag. At the end of the week put all of the partial portions together in a soup or veggie medley. Sticking to the recommended serving sizes will make it infinitely easier to keep track of your nutrition data and reduce your portions to a proper size. I promise, you will not be hungry.

5.  Skip the soda, juices, etc… and drink a glass of milk. One thing that becomes immediately evident Eating in 3D is that everything you consume that is not nutritious displaces something healthy you could have drank. It took us a while to figure it out but you will not likely get your three servings of dairy each day with drinking moo juice. An added benefit is that a glass of milk makes any meal more filling. If you must drink soda - make it diet.

6.  Although I don't show you the daily totals for vitamins A and C, Calcium and Iron, I do track them. This leaves me to ask, what the hell has iron in it? We haven’t scratched the surface of our RDA of Iron yet. I suggest a One-A-Day supplement.

7.  Don’t strive for protein. Chances are, you’ll get plenty. We've been low carb eaters for years so a meal just doesn't feel right without a slab of protein. But at a maximum daily allowance of 6 ounces a day - those slabs ought to be wedges. Control the protein and you'll control your cholesterol and calories from fat ratio.

8.  Pasta rocks. At less than 20 cents a serving, and few drawbacks, pasta is the bedrock of this project. But keep it whole wheat to get your whole grain numbers up. My take on Carbonara with ham chunks, peas and whole grain pasta totaled up to about $2.45 but it delivered a power nutritional punch and seemed like an indulgence.

9.  Forget about eating out. Seriously, it simply cannot be done in budget. By the time you add tax and tip to your selection – no matter how inexpensive - you are sunk.

10.  Sadly, the dog will suffer. No one is more upset about our experiment than our lab-mutt Lola. The beauty of right-sizing portions is that you don’t over eat or waste food. Of course, this is a matter of opinion. Lola doesn’t see the beauty in it at all. All three of us have stayed on the clean plate honor roll since we started Eating in 3D. Our dinners have been tasty, our appetites primed, and the portions perfectly sized such that our bowls leave the table empty as Lola looks on aghast.

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