The Little Things

When I started this journey, I did so with the support of the program staff and a few friends that I told of my participation.  Along the way, I picked up some helpful hints that I thought I’d share.  Please add to this list by commenting at the bottom of the post.

Pouring a Meal Replacement into a Water Bottle

This shouldn’t be as hard as it is.  Health One suggests cutting a V shape out of the pouch with scissors and making a sort of funnel.  Hogwash.  Tear the bottom corner of the bag to make a hole about the size of your little finger.  You can pour from that hole into any water bottle as long as you don’t try to pour too quickly.

Minestrone Boils Over

The minestrone soup formula that UAMS offers is the first seemingly “real” food that we have access to.  It has noodles and beans (at least one of each), and it smells and tastes great.  The directions say to add water and microwave it for a couple of minutes at medium, stir, and microwave for a couple more minutes at medium.  My first few attempts were miserable failures because it boiled over and made a mess of my microwave.  Be warned.  Don’t step away from the microwave when making this stuff.

Just Add Water

Several of the recipes that we make are very similar to one another with the exception of how much water is called for.  Pizza crust, chips, and potato soup have basically the same ingredients.  More than once I’ve started out making pizza but ended up having soup.  Although they tell you this in orientation and week 1, I’ll say it again.  Add your water a bit at a time.

Orange Peeler

I have had a life-long orange peeling deficiency.  One of my mother’s favorite childhood photos of me (which I will not post here) shows a toddler with a half-peeled orange, smeared from chin to elbow in sticky orange residue.  This is often how I look as an adult after trying to peel an orange at work, too.  One of my coworkers saw my plight and said, “Here.  My predecessor left this in the desk.”  What she handed me was a plastic rod that looked like a broken crochet hook.

Never Weigh on a Full Bladder

Without going into great detail, I’ll just remind you that a gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds.  Go before you go.

Paper Towel

This tip comes by way of Margaret the Foodtritionist.  When you make a muffin or cookies that you want to carry in a sealed container, place a piece of paper towel in the container with the item to absorb the excess moisture so your food won’t be soggy when you’re ready to eat.

What little things make life easier for you on the program?

3 thoughts on “The Little Things

  1. Claibanne says:

    Planning ahead and looking forward to, say, my “pizza and beer”. (MR pizza and a diet Root Beer – A&W is best because it comes in bottles that look like the real thing.)

    Stick a bar in my purse or gym bag just in case. I even have one stashed at my brother’s house, just in case.

    Having a single serving blender at work, I use blended ice for every shake. I just can’t do the plain water and powder thing. Not even over ice.

    I have all the same things at work, except an oven, that I do at home. I don’t use the microwave for anything but the brownies. Things are just much better baked. It helps I have support (and tolerance sometimes!) from my co-workers.

    Plan ahead for snacks – mandarin oranges (“Cuties”) are great, and peel REALLY easily. Air popped popcorn is great. A little splenda and cinnamon and you’ve got cinnamon toast! (I use butter flavored pam to make it stick to the popcorn).

    I don’t keep anything in the house that if I pigged out on (in a weak moment) that would totally mess me up. Not saying that I haven’t made some unwise choices every now and then…

    Keep up the good work! Sounds like we’re both doing well!

  2. Claibanne says:

    Oh, and I sleep in my workout clothes. Since I’m not a morning person, I just can’t find myself motivated to get up and exercise. On those days that I go to classes at 6am, my alarm goes off at 5:33am. I literally roll out of bed, put my socks, shoes, and hair up and walk out the door. Bag, bar, keys, glasses, towel and water are all at the front door ready for shower and on to work after work out. Haven’t regretted it yet. Although sometimes my brain isn’t awake yet.

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