This morning I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and stepped on the scale. Time seemed to stand still while the digital display went dark then it spat out the number I’d been dreading to see since my 6 week postpartum checkup: 140 pounds and a vengeful half.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to go public with the actual number, but decided to go ahead to put myself on the hook for getting results. I’ll keep sharing the numbers each week, to keep me motivated to stick with the diet and reach my goal. Weight is obviously very personal and everyone has a different dream number they strive towards. I am 15 pounds away from my ideal weight. 25 pounds away from my college weight (sigh…). 10 pounds away from feeling comfortable in my clothes, from retrieving my pre-pregnancy wardrobe from purgatory. Now that the numbers are there, it’s time to start the diet and make those extra pounds melt away.
My diet strategy is simple: big bowls of vegetable soup for lunch, homemade dinners that are light on carbs, and no sugar, with the exception of fruit.
Just because I can articulate my plan in one sentence doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement. Sugar addiction, especially after a month of holiday cookies, is tough to break. After just a day without snacks or desserts, I struggle to resist the temptation to finish soggy, abandoned Milanos and the drippy remains of a half-eaten Fudgesicle. Just hearing the word ganache is enough to make me break out into a cold sweat. I dream of sweet treats all day long, jonesing for a sugar fix.
Artificial sugars make me feel sick, so fruit is really the only option for sweetness.
Because complete deprivation leads to binging and failure, I allow myself one dessert a week, on Friday or Saturday night. I’ve also found that shocking my system once a week keeps the pounds coming off thanks to keeping my body from getting used to a reduced calorie intake. Planning and dreaming about that once a week indulgence makes it that much more delicious.
In the meanwhile, I make do with fruit: juicy clementines, fragrant grapes, crisp apples, tender pears, golden pineapple, and dense bananas. Freezing fruit makes a nice change and provides even more textures to pacify my sugar cravings. Prepare little bags of assorted frozen fruits for a variety of crunchy sweetness or juice them to make pops or this dazzling clementine sorbet.
I won’t lie, this clementine sorbet is not as satisfying as burying your fork through the dense layers of a triple chocolate blackout cake. But it’s delicious and thrilling in a different way, and much more guilt-free.
- 12- 14 Clementines
- ⅓ cup of sugar (optional or use less if desired)
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup of sugar (no this is not a typo, I wanted to make it clear the sugar needed for the meringues vs the sorbet)
- Juice the clementines, either by hand with a fork or with a citrus juicer if you have one. If you don’t have a juicer, you’ll need more clementines (14 to 16).
- Add sugar to clementine juice. Pour in ice cream maker. Run machine for 30 minutes until juice is frozen yet soft. Alternatively, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, put juice in freezer and mix with a fork every 5 minutes.
- Remove sorbet from ice cream maker and put in freezer-safe container. Place in freezer until ready to serve.
- Crack egg whites into a large bowl. Using hand held mixer, beat until soft peaks form, adding sugar halfway through.
- Once egg whites are beaten and you are ready to eat dessert, ladle sorbet into pretty cups. Scoop a few tablespoons of soft meringue on top. If desired, use a kitchen blow torch to caramelize a little of the meringue. If you don’t have one, you could try putting all the meringue in a baking dish in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit and watching it closely until it is just toasted on top.
- Serve immediately.