Okay, so I said I’m not a quitter, but today when I opened my freezer and realized that what’s left of my South Beach Meal Delivery is mainly Dill Salmon (retched) and shakes that I didn’t order (not into shakes) and egg “kits” where you have to add your own eggs (what’s the point in that?) I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I had been mulling over making my own Vegetarian South Beach Style Prepped Meals and after ballet I noticed a Whole Foods right across from where I had parked. I took it as  an obvious sign. I decided to wing it and buy a ton of veggies: carrots, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, celery, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and a couple of bags of greens. I also picked up a dozen eggs, a package of Beyond Meat burgers, some pea protein chicken strips and Moroccan marinated tofu. I grabbed three Annie lite frozen meals, two cartons of Pacific lentil soup, a curry sauce and some spicy harissa.

When I got to the cash register it looked more like enough food for two weeks, not one, but veggies do cook down, so all good.

The impetus for this, besides hating the SB delivery food, was that my vegan friend Hilary reacted to my meaty South Beach plan confession a few posts back by crying and reminding me of all the suffering I’d be contributing to just to lose a few pounds. Ok, she only said that she was “sad” and I have no proof that she was actually crying, but I have to exaggerate and get her back because basically I tried to deflect the animal eating abuse by owning it,  and instead she called me out.

I will still defend a grass-fed happy cow steak from time to time but I don’t think the South Beach cows are happy, never mind the chickens, and given the taste of the salmon, I don’t even want to know where they came from. I don’t mind eating animals, but in this day and age, when you can eat an Impossible Burger and never know the difference, why eat animals?

Well one reason is the carb count and the calories, but we’ve already been over that. So I decided to use eggs and pea protein and some tofu for protein and skip the beans and rice for the time being. Crud, I just said beans which reminds me of the cannelloni beans that galby68 put in his ribollita. Sigh. Later to that, I got some flab to shed.

In the future I plan to make stews and more complex dishes that I can freeze but out of the gate, I went for simple prep.

I planned on eating plant based with eggs. I gotta have eggs but shout out to Hilary, I got pasture raised eggs  – so back off.  Actually, Hilary is the sweetest woman on the planet. She didn’t even unfriend me when I replied to her “sad” comment on Facebook that trees have feelings too and what about palm oil destroying the rain forests. I took my snarky defensive comment down but she saw it. I know she saw it because she said wow. But she forgave me. Because she’s Hilary.

I took some pictures and I’m not very good at inserting them into text. I would like to use a lifeline and ask galby68 (please post the answer below for future reference) but I am too lazy and/or impatient to do any back and forth so instead I accidentally made a montage that will appear somewhere in this post. In it you will be able to spot…all my groceries…what it looks like to scramble a dozen eggs at once,  a shot of some prepped food, what my fridge looked like when I finished prepping, and I threw in a pic of Basil for galby68. Because maybe he’ll find my pig so alluring that he’ll mail me some ribollita if I get weak from no carbs.

Note the aluminum containers. I have some glass containers, but not enough. I may go the mason jar route in the future, but I’ll need to hit up amazon for some smaller sizes. After Whole Foods, I went to the Dollar Tree next door to look for containers. Let me just say that first, I haven’t been in a dollar store in years, and second – the contrast between WF one minute and Dollar Tree the next is a wonderful thing to experience first hand, and one of he reasons why I just love Berkeley.

I was still in my tights from ballet and I almost didn’t shop because what if I ran into someone? Specifically there are a couple of guys from Berkeley that I would not want to run into in my ballet outfit, not even with a shirt thrown over. Everyone else can eff off because I needed to shop, but running into anyone from OkC or Tinder or Bumble in my fat ballerina girl tights with the reptile bags I’ve got under my eyes from the dry air and some allergy to false eyelash glue I developed while pretending to be a ballerina – just no.

I managed my way through WF incognito, in sunglasses. Then when I was browsing at the dollar store where I’m telling you there is a whole different demographic, some young dude who was also on the container isle actually told me that I looked good in my tights. Freak!

I can’t even begin to describe all that was going on in that dollar store. A guy at the cash register with missing teeth was buying one dollar bug spray and spent at least fifteen minutes recounting story after story about all the bug encounters he’d had over the past week. Most involved giant spiders brandishing weapons, that sort of thing. Everyone in the dollar store seemed really happy – just super pumped to be there buying stuff for a buck. And the cashier called me Miss Maria when I forgot to put in my PIN – she used my name! And smiled!

Never mind that almost everything on the shelves looked completely toxic. I remembered that we’re almost out of laundry soap but I just couldn’t.

I was scrunching up my face at all the plastic containers that were off-gassing right in front of me when I spotted the aluminum take out containers – four for a dollar. Recyclable! I bought ten four packs, which should more than hold me over til my mason jars arrive. Especially if I rinse them out and reuse them at least once, which I have every intention of doing if the paper lids hold up.

Before I move ahead, I also want to say that for all you suckers (and I’m one of them) shopping at Whole Foods in Lafayette, jokes on you (me, too) because the prices at the Gilman WF are way cheaper. I got all that stuff, plus a few things for the house – three bags of groceries –  for $125 bucks. I used to blow that on one or two meals (scallops, wine and cheeses, yum!). Maybe it’s that my selections today were more modest, but I still am pretty sure they are ripping us off in Lafayette.

Now, I mention money because the month of South Beach Diet Meals was 350 bucks, which I thought was a steal before I realized that they expected me to add vegetables and my own damn eggs. Since some of the food is inedible and the rest is just bad (except the edamame chicken and those high protein cheese puffs), it isn’t a bargain at all. And it looks like I can make all my food, even without resorting to rice and beans, for less than that.

Breakfast every day is the same – eggs and sautéed veggies (mushrooms, onion, kale, zucchini, red pepper) I cooked the veggies with the spicy harissa and they are yum. And my eggs are way better that The South Beach Diet’s. Lunch is arugula, roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips) and either moroccan tofu, pea protein burger or pea protein chicken strips. Dinner is a cup of lentil or black bean (whoops, a bean!) soup, roasted cauliflower that I cooked with the curry sauce, a small baked sweet potato and spring greens. If I get bored I have three Annie’s frozen dinners.

Now here’s where I was unable to match the South Beach delivery meals – calories. Their meals had 120-230 calories each.  Their snacks were engineered to deliver protein in the form of popcorn and Cheetos. I was unable to match any of that. These meals are in the 250-350 calorie range. I sautéed in walnut oil. Shoot me.

That means that I get three square meals but no snacking, that is if I want to get down to my ballet weight before the AARP catches up with me.

I’m not sure if anyone cares about all this but I’m trying to work out what you do when you know you have zero ability to navigate choices or manage portion control in your regular day-to-day. Again, being barely over five feet tall doesn’t give me much wiggle room. And to repeat, the only other method that I’ve had any long term success with is to basically quit eating. So I’m doing this controlled feed approach.

Like my mom has always said about dieting, you gotta measure your kibble.

Buenas noches,

Dr. Maria