Sunday, June 29, 2008

The "Hey! I Live in Africa!" Diet

Here's all you need:

A 17-hour plane trip, to include a non-existent layover because you spent it all sitting on the runway waiting for a gate to open up. This means you get no real meal for the day.

A 10-minute sprint through JFK to make up for aforementioned lack of a layover.

No place to put your carry-on bag except in the overhead compartment, leading to not being all that willing to get it out and get to your snacks very often.

Get picked up at the airport and virtually whisked away, taking away any chance of eating there either.

Have someone else do your initial grocery shop so that there's food already waiting for you and your family (yay!), most of it being food I like but don't looove, therefore making it easy to eat alone.

Four words: tiny bowls and spoons. Seriously, this hotel has the tiniest bowls I've ever seen (aside from Ikea's children's bowls, which these are about the size of), and the spoon choices are huge (almost serving spoon size) and teeny. So I go with teeny, resulting in way less cereal being eaten. For me, this is really great (cereal has always been my go-to binge food, even cereal I'm not that fond of).

Sweet sweet jet lag. Ok, really there's nothing sweet about it, but since I have it and it doesn't seem to being going away all that soon, I figured I might as well embrace it. Usually being bone tired all the time makes me stuff my face with sweet sweet carbohydrates (for real sweet, not the sarcastic kind), but this time it seems to be leading to very little eating. Of course, the elven-sized dishes don't hurt these efforts either.

Here's a big one: don't speak the language, so you know there's no chance you're heading out on your own to get food.

Another biggie: don't have a car. Then, even when your husband is home who does speak the language, you can only go as far as you're willing to walk (i.e. the length of time you have patience for listening to your children tell you they're hot, i.e., not that far).

And last but not least, be sure to have the heaviest flow day of your period start midway through your transatlantic flight and continue right on through your first day fighting jet lag.

Result? 3.5 pounds down in 48 hours!

Now for the real plan: this afternoon a guy we just met is taking my husband to the store to do some grocery shopping, so my main task today (if I can stay awake long enough), is to make a menu and shopping list. One of the great things about this move that I'm choosing to focus on is that I get to start from scratch when it comes to our pantry and menus. You know how no matter how much you say you're going to re-vamp you eating, you just can't seem to get away from the ol' stand-bys? Especially when you have kids? Well, since I have a completely empty pantry (and technically, not even a real house yet, since we're still waiting to get into our apartment), I get to say what goes in it. Of course I'll still have food my kids like, but my husband and I have decided that we want to use this opportunity to move our family's eating towards the less-processed side of the spectrum. As in, stop relying on convenience foods and try to make our meals as well-rounded as possible. Our kids are on the "fair-to-middling" side of adventurous when it comes to food (Little Miss Sunshine ate a carrot last night! Alert the media!), we are optimistic that if we are patient, we can make some good changes this year. Feel free to laugh your tails off at us if, three weeks from now, I tell you we're eating mac 'n' cheese and hamburger helper everyday.

As for exercise, I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to get my cardio in until we get our household shipments (one of which contains my recumbent bike), but I have exercise bands, and, jet lag or no (I vote "no"), I can still do some toning exercises. Plus I can do body-weight circuits.

And, if all else fails, I can always try sweating of the weight. It's certainly hot enough outside. Just ask my kids.