Words of Wisdom Wednesday, from Tony Horton
Tunes for Tuesday: Sugar, by Robin Schulz, feat. Francesco Yates

Superfood Swapping, and making sure my blood pressure doesn't suck

If you follow me anywhere on social media, you would have seen me raving about registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner's Superfood Swap plan. It was featured on the ABC series "My Diet is Better Than Yours." Actually, it won the show, and I had her pegged to win from the get-go: She's a registered dietitian, her plan was the most do-able and based in real-world situations, and her contestant, Jasmin, seemed the least cranky and hungry of the bunch. 

I went to Dawn's website, looked around at her recipes (print out and make her Cauliflower Mac and Cheese -- I promise you'll love it!) and decided to take the plunge and buy her Superfood Swap Starter Kit. She has a Superfood Swap book coming out, but I am not waiting until December. 

I got on the scale Sunday morning, looked down and couldn't believe what I saw, so I got off the scale and tried it again. Yep -- same number. Then I made my husband weigh himself just to make sure the scale wasn't broken. Nope -- he said his weight checked out. 

According to the scale yesterday, I had lost 6 pounds the past week! That's just crazy for me. 

(I did get back on the scale this morning and it was up, but that's just my usual crazy fluctuation, so I'm running with Sunday's number.)

What's in the Superfood Swap?

Here are the main takeaways, as explained on the "My Diet Is Better Than Yours" website:

The Rules

Step 1. Decide what you WANT to eat.

Step 2. Put in the “right RATIONS” on your plate.

Step 3. Swap C.R.A.P. to Superfoods at your own pace. (CRAP stands for 

  • Chemicals
  • Refined flour/sugar
  • Artificial stuff
  • Preservatives

Get Started!

Enjoy 3 “Right Ration” Meals/Day. (RIGHT RATION= small protein+ small grain+ large veggies + fat topping.)

HOW MUCH? Look at your food…you know what’s too big & what’s too small (visual wisdom) General guide: ½ c. protein + ½ c grain + 2 c. veggies + 1/2 T oil/dressing or 2-3T nuts/seeds/guac.

EAT 0-2 SNACKS/DAY. Snack only when hungry, produce + protein combo, 150 calories each, function-not-fun.

TABLE-PLATE-CHAIR. Do not eat meals or snacks while multitasking.

SWEETS/TREATS/ALCOHOL. Enjoy anytime if SOCIAL & fun…never alone, never at home, never free.

DRINK WATER. Have 71-100 ounces water/day.

Tip: Drink hot lemon water each morning & 16 ounces water before meals.

EXERCISE. Aim for 6x/week. Do something for 60 minutes, anything is better than nothing, high variety & fun. Especially love 7-minute, full-body workout & 12.5 -minute sprint workout.

SLEEP. Aim for 7-8 hours/night.

SUCCESS TIP. Delicious Monotony. Find meals & snacks that work & repeat, repeat, repeat.


Here's what I really focused on this week:

  • Table-Plate-Chair: We eat anywhere and everywhere in our house. (I joke that I should install a dishwasher in the office, between my coffee mugs and my kid's cereal bowls.) Instead I ate all my meals at the kitchen or dining room table. It felt fancy! It also compartmentalized "mealtime" from "everything else time."
  • Sweets/Treats/Alcohol: I stopped buying those little Weight Watchers mini fudge bars. Instead, we went out for frozen yogurt. It was great and I moved on.
  • 0-2 Snacks a Day: Here's where I think the bulk (ha!) of my weight-loss issue comes from. I snack too much. I have no problem between breakfast and lunch, but there's ALWAYS a snack in the afternoon, and the snackin' don't stop 'til I hit the pillow. So instead, I focused on making sure my meals were really substantial and filling and stretched the time between meals/snacks. I did get pretty darn hungry but I knew there was a nice, satiating meal awaiting me, so I was OK with feeling hunger (shouldn't we eat when we're hungry anyway?). I'm also reading "The Obesity Code," by Dr. Jason Fung. Its basic premise is about making your body access its fat stores by stretching out the time between food. I just started reading it last night but I'm liking the geekiness of it.
  • Delicious Monotony: I was loving the avocado toast topped with egg and spinach, and I ate it about three times last week. It's easy, feels indulgent and keeps me full. I used to buy the regular Ezekiel bread but I tried the flax version and like it even better. Very seedy (in a good way).

 So, about that blood pressure

I had my annual physical today and had my usual white-coat hypertension, which was also aggravated by my weekend on Aleve (neck issues). The doctor took my BP again at the end of the appointment and it did go down, but dammit, I DON'T WANT WHITE COAT OR ANY KIND OF HYPERTENSION. I do check my pressure at the grocery store and at home with an Omron cuff and usually it's pretty darn normal. But since I'm 10 pounds higher than I was last year I have noticed some creep on the top number. Fortunately, I have a doctor who isn't pill happy and was happy with my response that I'd rather do more cardio and eat more vegetables and fish to get the number down.

And, of course, to lose weight. 

In a weird, "only Gail" way, I'm kinda glad my blood pressure wasn't perfect because it has added some real urgency and purpose to getting this weight off. Why focus on jeans size when you can focus instead on death? (I'm only halfway kidding.)

So it's more cardio, more vegetables at every meal, the return of my Calm-Emergen-C cocktail and a glass of beet juice for good measure.

So now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch "The Biggest Loser" finale.