What’s good for the gander is good for the goose

So I just placed a two week re-order. Very happy with Healthy Chef so far and the meals and weight loss. I’ve actually been losing faster than I intended to (3 lbs in 4 days, wtf?). I’ve always heard 1-2 lbs per week is safe, and is that’s what HCC says to expect. I’m going to assume the rapid change is either because I mis-weighed myself the first morning, or water weight. I’ve even cheated, mostly by mistake. I ordered a latte and cookie on autopilot one morning, instead of coffee and skim milk, and then just HAD to eat it, otherwise it would have been wasteful! ;) Then a day ago I forgot my lunch and had to order out. I got a lebanese platter that normally I scarf down. The weird thing was I couldn’t finish it - I was too full! Stomach shrinking, or just getting out of my gluttonous habits… who knows.

So. Good start to my diet, but I’m trying to stay realistic. I ordered the higher calorie option this time like I originally intended. HCC lets you choose 1400-1600 calories or 1100-1300. 1100-1300 is what they recommend on their site for women. I feel like this is possibly a poor suggestion, as women come in all sizes, and a diet is likely to fail if a 5′9″ overweight woman (myself) thinks she can get through the day without struggling with the same # of calories as a 5′3″ woman with a few extra lbs can. It hasn’t been a big problem for me since their meals are surprisingly filling, but I feel they should use a calorie calculator to make that suggestion. But at least they give you a choice, and there’s no price difference.

I used the Mayo clinic calculator. They estimated my calorie needs off things like gender, height, weight, activity level, etc… at 2000 calories. So the choice of 1400-1600 calories seems quite good for weight loss. I hope the slightly larger size will help with the occasional hunger I’ve felt after the HCC lunch meals.

Speaking of activity level, I’ve been feeling more energetic lately. My exercising has been light (usually a walk of 2500 to 5000 steps according to my pedometer), but I would like to increase the amount at least on weekends to offset the calorie increase.

Breakfast

Breakfast menu from Healthy Chef Creations, day 2:

  • Broccoli quiche
  • Free-range turkey bacon
  • Pineapple

Came unfrozen in a little standard microwave container. I don’t have a microwave so I just followed the directions for an oven: take out the fruit, slit the container, cook @ 300 for 10 minutes. Pretty easy.

I thought the quiche was a little broccoli heavy. It was pretty good, and I appreciated the nice thin crust. I was a little doubtful about the turkey bacon, but it tasted much better than it looked. The pineapple was fresh and ripe. I was pleased about how long the meal kept me feeling full. I think that was probably mostly due to the fact that I don’t normally eat breakfast, a big weight management mistake I know, as it makes me overeat later. Also there was some good healthy portions of protein. Verdict? Thumbs up.
Pay no attention to the presence of coffee. I’m no saint! It has skim milk in it people!

Lunch

Healthy Chef Creations lunch:

  • Tuscan sandwich*
  • Strawberries

*  When I assembled it, it appeared to consist of turkey, lettuce, tomato, some kind of spread of cream cheese, sundried tomatoes and maybe chives? None of the menus come with ingredients, so I’m going to be guessing a lot.

The sandwich was delicious, mainly due to the spread. The tomato was nice and ripe but that translated to a little soggy looking (not sure how even with their packaging** they could prevent that - cut tomatoes don’t keep especially refrigerated). The lettuce was perfectly crisp. The strawberries are a nice touch. I’m noticing a lot of fruit in every meal (which I like). Lunch from Healthy Chef, however, is the one meal that I feel so far is sometimes not filling enough. Mind you, I probably needed their higher calorie option due to height and size, but it just seemed a little less filling than breakfast and dinner.

Verdict? Tasty but jury’s out on whether the lunch sandwiches and wraps cut the mustard for me.

** From their website:

Healthy Chef Creations meal packaging allows your meals to stay fresh longer. Bacteria that spoils food needs oxygen to grow. Therefore the removal of oxygen from the package will allow your food to stay fresh longer. Our entrée and salad containers are used in conjunction with a packaging machine that modifies the atmosphere of the container by removing oxygen and adding natural nitrogen. The modification process lowers the amount of oxygen in order to slow down the growth of aerobic bacteria and the speed of oxidation reactions. Nitrogen (N2), commonly acknowledged as an inert gas, can lower the pH and inhibit the growth of bacteria. Nitrogen is colorless, odorless, tasteless and comprises 78% by volume of the Earth’s atmosphere. By removing the oxygen you protect flavor while slowing down the growth of aerobic bacteria.

Dinner

Healthy Chef Creations day 3 dinner:

  • Herb seared tuna steak
  • Roasted carrots and parsnips
  • Grilled zucchini

Yum. Hard to tell from the picture, but this was a nice thick slab o’ tuna covered in rice and herb stuff. The zucchini, carrots and parsnips were good. I felt full, and the meal seemed like something I would cook myself (on a good day).

Verdict: Like the previous dinners, this was tasty and filling. Dinner is definitely the winning meal so far.

Snack and dessert

Healthy Chef Creations dessert and snack, day 3:

  • Mini chocolate peanut pie
  • Celery, apples, and almond butter

So I realize I forgot to take a picture of the other small item that’s included each day: the strange looking green health drink. I’ll have to get that next time. The mini chocolate peanut pie was definitely mini, which was hard for someone who lives for dessert, but it was quite good and I supplemented it with some tea. It was basically like Nibble. Pause. Sip. Wait. “Pace yourself!”. Nibble. Sip. Nibble. Nibble. Sip. I love chocolate and peanut together so 2 thumbs up.

The snack was enough to tide me over until dinner and the fruit and veggie were nice and fresh.

Verdict: hits the spot.