Yesterday, I (re-)started Tracy Anderson Metamorphoses, in earnest - and the 'Dynamic Eating Plan'.
I did this for three reasons:
1. I've gained 14 pounds since last June, when our WONDERLAND show closed, and a constant regime of flamenco classes and dance rehearsals, ended. I resumed a social life, that was based largely around eating and drinking with friends on their 'cheat days'.
I have learned that alcohol is my gateway drug to non-stop grazing. If I have a drink, then an appetizer sounds like a great idea. What, we're getting dessert? Okay, I'll have some too! Yeah. No. I've gone back to my no-drinking-at-the-restaurant policy.
Also, I found out in early December that there is alcoholic root beer, which is responsible for at least three holiday pounds.
2. I have just been cast in a show! I'll be playing Sweet Sue, in Sugar: The Musical. We open in three months, and I would like to be a good fighting weight for stage.
3. I've also just signed on for a nine-month series of private flamenco lessons in which I choreograph my own dance piece. I'm super-excited about this - I've chosen to choreograph a farruca. To do the kind of work I'm envisioning, I really need to be in much better cardio condition.
I have to say, I really love Tracy Anderson's workouts - even though I have not consistently followed them, since first starting them in 2010. I started out with her book, and the accompanying DVD. I was amazed at the difference that just a few workouts made in my arms and shoulders. I bought Metamorphoses several years ago, and intermittently worked my way up to #41-50 (which happened a few weeks ago). That workout, #41-50, is harder, and faster, than I can really quite keep up with, so I had the idea of starting over, and going straight through. I'll talk about the workouts in a future post.
Today I want to talk about the 'Dynamic Eating Plan' that is part of the Metamorphoses. My baby sister just completed the first week, and it didn't kill her. So I thought I would go ahead and give this a try.
So what does the 'Dynamic Eating Plan' entail?
It consists of 'Nutrient Boost' weeks, alternated with 'Body Reset' weeks. The best way I can sum it up is, 'Nutrient Boost' = lots of pureed foods that had to be chopped and/or peeled, then steamed and processed in a food processor or blender. But it includes a Magical Chocolate Pudding made largely out of chocolate chips.
Seriously. A diet that has chocolate EVERY DAY. Yes, please!
Then there are the 'Body Reset' weeks, which is basically a pared-down, reduced calorie diet. There are critics who call it crash-dieting, but I'm just gonna say it: I have ample assfat right now, that I'm not going to starve. And in truth, although I do it rarely, having a day of reduced calories, usually in anticipation of a big outing, helps me focus and kind of 'reset' my tendency to snackity-snack-snack.
As of this writing, I'm on Day Two of the first week. I feel great, full of energy, and the recipes are quite good. I feel like I'm being fed very well.
So here is what I had to do though, to prep for this week. Not gonna lie, this was a time-sink...
Shopping the grocery list: Alas, it does not seem to have occurred to Tracy Anderson and any individual(s) who were part of editing her documents, that a shopping list with everything you need to prepare these meals, in the amounts you will need, would be super-handy. Nope. Planning and cooking your meals, requires a lot of math. The recipes yield either two or three servings, and you have to go through, ingredient by ingredient, calculate what you will need for seven meals (all of the week one recipes are eaten every day, 4-11 ounces depending)... and in most cases, the cups/bags of vegetables/containers do not come out evenly for seven servings, so you have to plan for eight.
No big deal, as you can freeze the extras, for week three.
So. You do your math, and get your shopping list together.
Then you shop: I spent 45 minutes wandering the produce aisle of Kroger, hunting down ingredients I don't normally buy. I did find everything I needed at the middle-of-the-road chain grocery store. I spent probably around $80. If I had gone to the local farmer's market, I would have probably come in at around $55-62, but I needed non-grocery stuff too.
I hauled all this stuff home, and got started....
Food prep: It took me 5 1/2 hours, in my super-organized, KonMari'd kitchen, to chop, steam, bake chicken, peel, run things through the food processor and blender, and to clean up everything.
Blueberry-Applesauce with cinnamon (I added apple pie spice)
Gazpacho (I forgot to buy cilantro, and after I made the gazpacho, I realized I forgot to put the bell peppers in. Oops. Still tasty)
Sweet potato and corn puree (I added salt)
Carrot and Parsnip Puree (I added coriander and some extra salt)
Protein soup (aka, chicken, broccoli, and carrot soup. I skipped celery because celery is Satan's garnish.)
Chocolate Chestnut Pudding (chestnuts make me itchy sometimes, so I substituted blueberries, as indicated on the sheet)
You aren't supposed to make substitutions or add seasonings or extra salt, but I did. Just being honest.
I will also note that I did not make the Power Juice. It is largely made of kale. Kale is Satan's lettuce. The taste has to be very cleverly masked before I'll have anything to do with it, because in it's natural state, it smells like my feet do when I take my flamenco shoes and polyester-based pointe pads off. My baby sis made the power juice, and choked down about half a glass before giving it up as a bad idea. She bought a pre-packaged 'green juice', instead. Her exact words for the recipe were "Chewy Straw Sips", which was all I needed to hear. I bought a bottled green drink. The TA version says 10 ounces, but I cut mine back to 8 ounces, because there is more straight-up apple juice in the store version, than the TA recipe.
The TA plan also indicates you should not have coffee, to which I say, that's a big ol' cup of nope. I love my coffee. Tray-tray does say you can have a couple glasses of wine every week. I'll pass on the gateway-drug-to-snacking, but I'm not giving up my coffee.
Yesterday was Day One, and I drank my green juice an hour before a 90-minute advanced flamenco class. I felt great, had lots of energy and focus. I brought the applesauce with me, and had half of the serving after class. I meant to finish it later, but forgot. Yesterday, I also had the sweet potato-and-corn puree, the chocolate pudding, about half a serving of the gazpacho... and then I went out to dinner with friends, at FLIP. (I put the link here, because omg, look at the menu. I loooove this place). I had the turkey burger, a casear salad, some baked beans (like 1/4 cup, and shared the rest) and some fried pickles. I found that, because I had the chocolate pudding waiting at home, I was able to decline the Burnt-Marshmallow Nutella Shake, which I'm pretty sure contains unicorn tears and rainbows and has roughly 10,000 calories.
I had thought to wait until this dinner was done before starting TA, but the whole point - in my opinion - is to be able to function normally and socially. If I waited to start this until a week where I don't have dinner plans, I would never even get this program started.
So it is 9pm, and I have had everything on the plan for today, except four ounces of the blueberry-applesauce, which I probably won't get to. I feel really good - lots of energy, and no feelings of deprivation.
Next week is trickier, because the meals are just three meals, of a protein and a fruit/vegetable serving at every meal - but the servings are small. I'm going to try the first day, and if I feel significant hunger or loss of energy, I'm going to make the salad stuff 'unlimited', and up the protein. But we'll see. I'd like to follow this plan closely, but it also has to work for the next 90 days, around a lot of creative work, and rehearsals.
So... I'll let you know how it goes :) So far, so good!