Unintended Diet, Resulting Revelations

My 50 Million Pound Weight Loss challenge continues, and I’ve made some progress since my first post. A lot more than I expected to, actually.

I lost five pounds since last Friday. But not in a way that I’d recommend to ANYONE.

Last Friday morning, I came to the end of a long dental journey. Remember this post, about my dental drama that started in 2007? It’s finally almost over! Almost! As soon as these wounds heal.

Friday I had my wisdom teeth removed, and recovery has been kind of hellish, to be perfectly honest.

But through the painful process I’ve had a series of revelations about my relationship with food. I guess that’s what happens, when you are excruciatingly aware of everything you put in your mouth for almost a week.

Recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery helped me to realize how absent-mindedly I’d been eating for oh, the past 29 years or so. Over the past week it’s really hit home how much garbage I’ve consumed without even thinking about it. The fact that I usually eat while watching TV or surfing the net doesn’t help much either.

Truth be told, my healthy food kick has been a fairly recent change in lifestyle, within the past two or three years I’ve grown more confident in myself in the kitchen, and grown increasingly more concerned about the fast food items I turn to when I feel tired or overwhelmed after a long day at work.

Everyone’s got their typical favorites, the number you bark into the cashier’s earpiece at the drive through. At Mickey D’s, it’s a 10 piece chicken nuggets, sweet and sour sauce with a Dr. Pepper. Without question. Well thanks to D-Listed, I got to see what chicken nuggets are actually made of. And having seen that disgusting image, I can happily say NO THANKS.

It’s a trend in our society to make everything bigger, better, and faster, but when it comes to food, that isn’t necessarily the best way to go.

Recently I was LOLing at This Is Why You’re Fat.com, a site that reveals the um, culinary excesses that are inexplicably popular at county fairs and theme restaurants. Some of the stuff people come up with is straight up disgusting. Like the “Jabaconageburger With Cheese” — which is a cheeseburger patty topped with bacon and sausage between two jamaican beef patties. Or deep fried peanut-butter covered brownies, wrapped in cookie dough. Or deep fried Coca-Cola, which I had to see to believe.

But some of the items there could have and might have passed my lips before. Cheesecake on a stick, anyone?

Since last Friday, my diet has primarily consisted of mushy, soft foods. It’s easy to go unhealthy when your mouth is all swollen and painful — milkshakes are heavenly, and I could subsist on mac and cheese and mashed potatoes for a month, forget a week! But I’ve been really trying to be nutritious even while I’m healing. I’ve been drinking a whole lotta water, and already I notice a difference in my skin. I managed to get through a menstrual cycle without breaking out, which has never happened to me before! And I’ve been slowly falling in love with soup.

Soup is so underrated. And according to BlogHer, The Daily Mail, and EDiets.com, adding broth-based soups to your daily diet can help to fill you up. It’s also another way to intake some much needed H2O. Of course soups can be unhealthy as well, so I’ve been making a real effort to steer clear of heavy, creamy, sodium-laden soups and to go for the soups that rely primarily on veggies for their body and thickness. Whole Foods makes a spectacular pumpkin soup that is my new favorite thing ever!

As the gaping caverns in the back of my mouth heal, slowly I can start eating solid foods again, and I fully expect to be back on my cooking grind next week, making some fresh new recipes. But now that I know from necessity, I won’t sleep on soup as my ongoing fitness quest continues. I’m ready to try some new adventures in cooking! Like the photo at the top of this post — that’s curry udon soup, courtesy of food blog Closet Cooking. Doesn’t it look delicious?

What about you — are you a soup lover? Or are you not a fan? I’d love to hear your favorite recipe if you’ve got one!

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Comments

  1. the curry udon looks great. what a good way to get veggies in. here’s a curry i made: http://www.sheenasays.com/?p=789

    i make an udon with salmon, ginger and garlic. it’s so easy to add in broccoli, spinach or green beans. and mushrooms. i find that adding scallions and cabbage to my favorite veggies & meat with broth can be really nice.

    hope your mouth feels less sore & wish you the most on your journey to health. i wonder if you’ll tire of soups come summer, maybe not?

  2. DC's Toughest Trainer says:

    Glad (not about your dental issue) that you realized that food has a purpose and you discovered the lighter side –soups! It can really help you bring it down. Great post!

    Here is my favorite soup recipe:
    http://livingthefitlife.blogspot.com/2009/01/healthy-recipe-of-day.html

  3. Hey Bella,

    I’m sorry about your recent dental experience, but I’m glad you’re finished and got some good personal revelations to help you on your journey. I myself am of the eat-just-to-eat, always-up-late-so-you-know-I’m-eating, sweet-tooth-outta-this-world variety lol. My recent adjustments to that have come a little on the caloric side, but mostly from simply changes in my behavior i.e. taking the stairs at work for everything and walking around a 1/2 mile pond on both my 15 mins break has really helped me. It’s so funny because I don’t know that I’ve lost anything, but I feel absolutely great and my watch twirls around my entire wrist now, so go figure!

    But on the soup tip, and I am a lover, my fave has to be lentil w/ a lil coconut milk & curry. The recipe is a good base for any protein you prefer. I’m at work and so don’t have the recipe with me, but I’ll definitely post for any who want to give it a try!

    Peace!

  4. Oh WOW your recipes all sound amazing!! Tycajam pretty please post it. I love coconut milk and curry so very much!

  5. warrior11209 says:

    Hope you are feeling better – my son just had all 4 of his wisdom teeth removed a couple of weeks ago.
    I am a lover of soup – preferably homemade and since my recipes revolve around whatever vegetables I have on hand , my soup never tastes the same twice.
    I really became hooked on soup after going to a spa where the first course of lunch and dinner was always some type of soup – it really does help to fill you up.
    Feel better soon bella!

  6. warrior11209 says:

    DC’s toughest trainer:

    the recipe sounds delicious – a definite must try!

  7. Sweet Mother of Gawd!!! :O The picture of what chicken nuggets are made of made my stomach churn. Now as my thinking re-adjusts…As for soups, i’ve always been down with them! In fact i’m having some for lunch today. whole foods are my fave though I have always wondered what kind to eat in the summer? i’ve never eaten cold soups/purees

  8. I do not like soup at all. Gumbo sometimes but a roux is rarely healthy. Happy for you and your new food ‘ tude!
    Everyone needs something.I’m starting with water only. or a crystal light if need be.
    Good luck, this year is going to be full of changes for you Bella, may they all be positive.

  9. Here is the deal with soup-especially if you’ve got HBP. Either you make it yourself or by the low sodium brand. And for both instead of using Table Salt for seasoning, you buy the healthier alternative which is: Sea Salt(I like the trader’s joe brand). Season “your soup serving” with just a little and use other natural seasonings.
    More on Sea Salt here:
    http://tinyurl.com/bzcw29soup recipes, and other healthy things, here:
    http://tinyurl.com/cwvlwk

  10. sea Salt versus Table salt here:
    The link in my prior post broke. Sorry

    http://tinyurl.com/bzcw29

  11. I love soup.. It’s a staple in my diet during the week especially in the winter but even in summer months I do soup as well. Lentil soup is one of my favorites but sometimes when cooking I forget and then it turns into stewed lentils or a dahl type texture LOL.. when my mom makes it absolutely fabulous.. she adds coconut milk, curry and potato diced up with a ton of veggies.. I love when she makes it for me.. I will ask her for recipe.

  12. Hey Bella-
    I LOVE soup!!!!! You can get really creative with them and they’re so many tasty versions! I’m going to try the recipe you linked to:)

    Good luck with healing from the wisdom teeth removal. I had all 4 of mine done at once about 10 years ago. Yep, that stuff hurts like the dickens, but it will heal, and you won’t even remember it (once you get used to chewing without those teeth-LOL).

  13. Lobster or shrimp bisque made either as a consome or as a thick soup is great. Callalloo soup, sancoche, fish broth, ox-tail soup are some local favourites.

  14. Great post. I used to hate soups because I was used to the watery stuff from the can, but since I’ve started making them myself, I love them. Essentially you can cook any combo of veggies in some broth and blend it and you’ve got a healthy veggie puree.
    This is my fave veggie chili recipe (the fire roasted tomatoes are key): http://www.foodbuzz.com/recipes/745863-vegetarian-chili-

    And this is another favorite.
    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/spinach-and-zucchini-soup-recipe.html
    I highly recommend this site for healthy whole foods, vegetarian recipes.

  15. i am trying to lose weight, may not be trying hard enough , but i am putting my mind there.

    the foods sound yummy but got a hubby from ja, i grew up the ja way in both usa and uk, so i love the food but as he cooks alot i have to watch my portions.

    good luck and i pray you keep making progress

  16. i’ve always been amazed at some of the things different cultures put in soup…i guess since here its either chicken beef or pea soup all in a pumpkin based…oh yeah and fish tea (yech)

    coconut milk and curry in a soup??? lol sounds like the runs but hey if you like it i love it.

  17. Shanessence says:

    Lentil soup is fabulous-delicious and inexpensive. Use 1 cup lentils to 3 cups water. Add in a can of crushed tomatoes, 1/2-1 c. frozen or fresh veggies, and seasonings to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer 25-30 mins., or until the lentils are soft to taste. I made a huge pot of this and it’s been lasting us all week, some being in the freezer. Plus it’s delish and nutrient rich. Experiment and make it your own. :) Get well soon!

  18. Hi Bella,
    Do you guys make Dahl in Trinidad? It’s just boiled split peas, garlic, ginger seasoned with massala and a little curry powder. When the peas get really soft get your whisk and blend until everything is smooth. And then at the end you brown some garlic and cumin seeds and blend it in. It’s so simple and low fat but really delicious! When I make this it lasts for the whole week, I get tired of it and freeze some but it’s really good.

  19. I love soup! I make it all the time and it’s never the same. One nutritious soup that I make and the kids like is I take a big can of tomato juice, add a small can of vegetable broth or beef broth, add pureed onions and garlic (pureed because if the kids can see the onion and garlic bits, then the soup shall not pass their lips) to taste, and after that’s cooked a while, puree a can of chick peas and throw it in. That gives it a little body plus fiber, and all that good-for-you lycopene in the tomato juice. You can season it with salt and pepper of course, and serve with whole-grain bread, toasted or not, with cheese or not. Fast and good.

  20. As promised —
    Lentils w/ Coconut Milk & Curry

    3 tbs cooking oil (your preference) (I’ve also done 2tbs oil and 1tbs butter)
    2 med onions chopped (2 cups)
    1 cup red lentils (I’ve used plain old brown, but I prefer the unexpected flavor and color of the red)
    3 med carrots peeled, and roughly chopped – (1 cup)
    1 14oz can coconut milk
    4 cups stock (your preference)
    1 tsp salt (your preference I tend to use Adobo – old habits die hard)
    1 bay leaf
    3 garlic cloves minced
    1 piece fresh ginger – (1″ long) minced
    1 tbs curry powder (your preference in terms of heat)
    ½ cup parsley (the original recipe called for cilantro, but I don’t like that herb much)

    * In medium Dutch oven/sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onions and let them brown, then add ginger, then curry and garlic. You want to watch this because while a toasty brownness is good here, you don’t want the garlic taken too far and you don’t want your curry burned (at least I don’t like the taste). A good tip for me is to make sure I keep the flame at medium and don’t be afraid to go lower if things start going quickly. :) Add stock, lentils, carrots, coconut milk, salt and bay leaf. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. I’ve used fresh and dried parsley with this, but I’ve always added it closer to the end. At this point I’d taste and adjust my Adobo levels if necessary.
    * Remove bay leaf. The recipe at this point says to blend in a food processor or blender, but I prefer the soup a little chunkier, so I don’t. If you do decide to blend it, do it in batches.
    * This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

    And please feel free to tweak. I’ve used thyme, rosemary or even oregano as my herb. I’ve used water in place of stock. I’ve saved up some coconut milk (warmed) to add at the end. A salad or even some brown rice with this is fabulous.

    Enjoy!

  21. That soup sounds really good!

  22. Bella I hope you feel better soon.

    I saw that photo. I will never eat nuggets again. That is foul (no pun intended).

    I have dropped weight since moving overseas. I think it’s a combo of not driving, hardly any processed foods and no American fast food.

  23. Reading this, I’m realizing that the only thing that’s really keeping me from making and eating more soup is a wide-mouth Thermos. Whatever I make on the weekends has to carry me through the week and frankly solid foods (salads, casseroles) are easier to carry. I actually love soup and would much prefer a good hearty healthy one over a salad so thanks, Bella, for setting me on a new mission this weekend! :)

    Re creamy soups: Not quite the oldest trick in the book but…add pureed white rice to any soup to make it creamy-tasting. Also just pureeing in general works.

    DC Trainer…yours is the body I’m working towards! I will try that soup.

    Finally, This Is Why You’re Fat has me ROLLING this morning…especially since some of that stuff looks pretty good. (Watch out for Chicago stuffed pizza!)

  24. Hi Bella, kudos to you on getting your head back in the healthful eating game. I too am on that journey. I decided to reluctantly join Weight Watchers and this time, it’s been really mind opening. When I look back to what I was eating just two weeks ago, I’m amazed and frankly, disgusted. Anyway, if you all ever want to see the calorie counts of what’s in major resturants food, check out this lady’s website: http://www.dwlz.com There is a link on there that has the calories(and WW points) for major restaurants. I almost never want to eat out again.

  25. Everybody look up 4 year old cheeseburger on Youtube. I gave up fries because of that video.

    I love making my own minestrone with random pastas, veg. broth, and whatever veggies I have chilling around.

    Also, I almost quit life after I saw the corndog pizza on This Is Why You’re Fat.

  26. Fast: ginger and carrot soup. Saute ginger, add sliced carrots and chicken stock. Cook til carrots are tender. Blend with the immersion blender, add a little fat free half and half. Correct seasoning. Yummy and very filling. Make a batch on the weekend and you will have soup for the week.

  27. i looove soup.it makes my belly smile.but that udon soup looks like a bowl of diarrhea and worms.i’m sorry maybe cause i’m a veggi. mmmm scallions :)

  28. Hi Bella,

    Your wisdom diet recovery diet sounds similar to my stress and worry diet effective but not recommended. I hope you feel better soon.

    To answer your question, I love clam chowder, pumpkin soup, and butternut squash.

  29. We must be kindred spirits because I had my wisdom tooth pulled Monday, and I’ve been sucking on soup ever since and have also lost 5 pounds-to all be gained back by this Monday!

  30. i could have sworn that was a pick of squash soup which is one of my favorite! looks just like how my momma makes it.

  31. Omg, thank you for that soup recipe, tycajam. It sounds so good. I love soup. I make simple vegetable soup with Better than Bouillon vegetable soup base (from any grocery store) and whatever veggies I have. Just heat some water, add a spoon of the vegetable base and your veggies, simmer a few minutes, done! I eat it with cheese and bread or maybe fish for a meal. Amy’s brand canned soups are also really tasty and healthy. I bought some pyrex storage containers from Target — they’re like tupperware but glass rather than plastic — and I use them to take soup to work for lunch. You can put the glass bowls in the microwave w/o fear of plastic-y chemicals leaching into your food.

  32. OMG the photos on This is why You’re Fat made me want to throw up!!!

    Good luck with the weightloss Bella. I’m getting married in Sept and need to lose my love handles and belly. Have to learn to watch my portions and stop eating off my fiances plate!

  33. Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out.
    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

    Terrific blog and great design.

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  1. [...] 50 Million Pound Challenge continues, and I’ve been pretty proud of myself so far. Thanks to your delicious recipe recommendations, I made some delicious and nutritious soups to tide me over the wisdom teeth blues. Thank you, [...]

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