Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Days 10 to 12: Getting used to Nutrisystem

I have to say, my body is getting used to the Nutrisystem. There are times when I do get a little hungry, but then again I think a lot of that is because I don't supplement the meals with fruits and vegetables these days (I haven't had a chance to go to the market).

Day 10
So, on to the food. For breakfast on Day 10 (April 19), I had a breakfast scone from the shelf-stable box. It was dry, but I think scones are supposed to be dry. I decided to do the classy English thing, and brewed up some English Breakfast Tea to go with it using my Keurig coffee and tea maker. The combination of the tea and the scone made for a quick and really good meal. I finished the meal off with a yogurt and felt satisfied all morning. (7/10)

For lunch, I decided to go with something from the frozen box. The "Frozen Toasted Ham and Cheese". This was the first Nutrisystem meal that didn't have microwaving as an option, so I cooked it in the oven. I took it out of its individually wrapped package and found what looked a lot like a Pop Tart in shape and size. I popped it into the oven and out came this:

An oh-so-yummy ham and cheese pop tart I have to say, this was oh-so-yummy. The outer crust was made of wheat and grains and had a really interesting texture. Inside, there was melted American cheese and ham. It tasted like a really good ham and cheese sandwich. (8/10)

Something I noticed I'm doing lately is chewing my food better. I used to be a lot like my old dog Happy, who had the uncanny ability to inhale food before even chewing it. But because the portion sizes are smaller, I'm savoring each bite of the meal, knowing that if I wolf down the meal in 10 seconds, there's less for me to enjoy. I'm not sure if it's an official part of the Nutrisystem plan to train dieters in proper mastication, but it worked for me.

For my afternoon snack, I had honey mustard pretzed sticks from the shelf-stable box. As with all their snacks, it looks like these pretzels are soy based. This made them lighter than regular pretzels, and I ate them happily (6/10).

For dinner that night, I had the "Oriental Steak with Green Peppers and Noodles" from the shelf-stable box. beef noodles There's something I'm noticing about these shelf-stable meals, and that's that they all have sort of the same theme. They're not the greatest things to look at out of the box, but once you heat them up, they're generally not bad to eat. They all sort of have a "canned food" feel to them, so if you like Chunky Soup or Spaghettios, you'll appreciate these meals more.

These oriental noodles, like a lot of these meals, had a thick sauce. The meat was surprisingly tender with a very satisfying texture. The noodles were a little disappointing...I like my Asian noodles stringy and chewy, but these were more like little strips of noodle. Still, it wasn't bad. (6/10)

Day 11
On Day 11, I decided to be brave and get something called "Scrambled Eggs" out of the shelf-stable box. This was less a meal and more an amazing magic trick.

The "eggs" was nothing more than a yellow powder. The instructions said to add water and stir, and then stick it in a microwave for 30 seconds. I did this, and 30 seconds later instead of powder, the cup had a thick, yellow goo. Per the instructions, I stirred again and put it in the microsave. 30 seconds later, presto-chango--it looked like a giant clump of scrambled egg!

yellow powder, nothing up my sleeves the magical eggs

I was amazed. I broke up the scrambled eggs and added it to a dollop of smoked salmon (yes, still trying to finish it).

the final scrambled eggs and smoked salmonSome salt and pepper, and it was a great meal, and totally unexpected (6/10).

Day 11 was a Monday, so I had to grab stuff out of the box to bring to work. I admit, being someone who's always in a rush, this is a feature of Nutrisystem that I love. As I'm running out the door, I just grab something marked "lunch" and something marked "snack", and I'm off. No brown paper bags or putting together of sandwiches or reheating leftovers.

For lunch, I had the canned cheese tortellini, and I bought a salad at our company's cafe, The tortellini (and most of their soups for lunch) comes in a plastic can that had a peel-off metal top. You microwave it for 60 seconds, and you're done.

The tortellini tasted okay. Nothing to write home about (5/10).

For dinner that night, I had Meatloaf & Tomato Sauce with Mashed Potatoes from the shelf-stable box. Now, being somewhat of a meatloaf snob (I cook a very mean meatloaf in real life), I had great expectations for this one.

meatloaf and mashed potatoes
The presentation was interesting. I heated it and plopped it out of the plastic tray, and the mashed potatoes were on top of the meatloaf, in a tomato sauce.

This one was a little disappointing. The meatloaf and the tomato sauce really didn't have much flavor. The mashed potatoes were pretty good. I'm giving it a 4/10, but again, 1-2 points may be because I'm a meatloaf afficianado.

So, after a day of mediocre-to-fair meals from the shelf-stable box, I decided to treat myself to something I had eyed since opening the frozen box.

Nutrisystem lets you eat...orange creamsicles?Yes, that is a real orange creamsicle. You can tell it's fancy because instead of the word 'cream', it uses the word "creme" with an accent grave.

It looked like an orange creamsicle, and it tasted like an orange creamsicle. I didn't expect it to be so creamy. I have no idea how this could be fat-free, but I won't question it. (10/10)

an actual orange creamsicle from Nutrisystem Select
Day 12
On April 21, I decided to go with the frozen box for breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast was Nutrisystem Select pancakes. These were two pancakes that came frozen. Stick it in the microwave for one minute, add a tiny bit of maple syrup, and voila!

Nutrisystem Select Pancakes They were delicious, fluffy pancakes (9/10). I had some orange juice to go with it. This is a good example of how Nutrisystem helps with portion control. Before I started this diet, if I were to make pancakes, I'd mix up a huge amount of batter, and I'd stack them up five, six, seven, ten high. But now I realize I can be satisfied after two little pancakes. And yes, I'm still chewing the food more to savor it, which my digestive system is no doubt appreciative of.

For lunch, I went back to the frozen box and had the "vegetable pizza". The box came with its own crisping tray, so I microwaved it. It tasted really good (9/10). The portion size was a bit smaller than I would have liked, but again, the point is to supplement it with fresh vegetables.

The afternoon dessert was a "double chocolate chocolate cookie" from the shelf-stable box. Not bad taste, but the texture was a little chalky (5/10).

For dinner that night, I went to a ball game in Philadelphia. And of course, when you go to a ball game in Philadelphia, you need to treat yourself to a Philly cheesesteak. So I did, following my practice of allowing myself to go off the diet food in special circumstances. Normally, I would have also gotten the fries, but I can see the good habits are forming, because if my mind, a cheesesteak was enough to keep me happy. And it was a great cheesesteak (and a great game).

For dessert that night, I had the soy pretzels. Same thoughts as before: interesting, and not bad to eat.

On the Wii front, I have somewhat fallen off the exercise bandwagon lately, but I did get a new game, Shawn White Snowboarding, which I'll review soon.


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