Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The New Program (Pound Five)

In our emergency backup shipment we ordered chili, beefy vegetable, Maryland crab soup and cream of tomato soup flavors; hot cocoa and chai tea flavored hot drinks; and nacho-chili-cheese puffs.

THE NEW SOUPS-- I'm happy to say we really like almost all the new soups. The chili, while naturally not as good as a real bowl of chili (you know, with diced onions, real beef, and lots of cheese), is still pretty enjoyable stuff. It has actual beans in it as well as a soy-based substance that approximates ground beef and adds to the over all heartiness of the dish. The instructions for preparing it also suggest additional spices are a good idea, so I tend to add more cumin and chili powder to the mix. The only real downside to the chili is that it uses only half a cup of water rather than the standard full cup in order to make it thicker. And while the chili is just as filling, it's hard to wrap your brain around the fact that you're only getting half the usual volume. The Maryland Crab Soup is also good and does indeed taste crabby. I just went and stole one of the wife's cream of tomato soups and tried it. It's very reminiscent of any brand of powdered tomato soup and is satisfying in that regard. I just went and stole one of the wife's beefy vegetable soups to try. She probably won't complain, as she's tried it a couple of times and isn't a fan. I, however, prepared it with some low sodium beef broth and found it to taste as good and beefy as one would hope a powdered soup could. I may trade her my extra box of chicken noodle for it.

THE NEW HOT DRINKS-- Since we liked the cappuccino flavored hot drink so well, we ordered hot cocoa and chai tea flavors to try them out. The hot cocoa is, to me, indistinguishable from Swiss Miss powdered cocoa, albeit without the tasty mini-marshmallows. The chai tea is also very nice. In fact, I told the wife that I would be happy to drink something just like it in an Indian restaurant and would never know the difference. I'd order more of both.

NACHO CHILI CHEESE PUFFS-- I'm a big fan of things that are crunchy, particularly things that are crunchy and cheesy and spicy at the same time. Now, Medifast does offer pretzels--a major crunch favorite of mine--but they only come in cinnamon and honey mustard flavors so I declined to order them. Instead, I ordered the nacho chili cheese puffs. When I ordered them, I thought they would basically be a soy-flour version of a Cheeto. They're not as airy, though and come off in consistency more like a Cheeto/Chili Cheese Frito hybrid, which is just fine by me. Taste-wise, they're sort of similar to my hybrid simile, but still doesn't quite reach the best of both worlds "Freeto" scenario. Still, they are not bad and if you're jonesing for something snacky and crunchy they can fill the void for you. Quantity-wise, you might expect that with a diet food there would only be, like, four of them in a given bag. However, Medifast to their infinite credit actually packs their bags pretty full. I'd say there are 30 or 40 of them, each about the size of a Crunch-Berry, per bag. I'll order more of these and might try the other flavors of puff offered.

As for our "real" meal of the day, after dining on four packet meals, getting to eat real food for supper really gives one an appreciation for how much we all take our food for granted. The real meal is supposed to consist of a meat and three veggies, though the amount of each is entirely dependent on what they are. For instance, I could eat seven ounces of fish, six ounces of chicken or five ounces of beef--which is the weight after cooking. Veggies, too, have different limitations, but usually come in half-cup sized portions. The good thing is that there are Medifast real meal recipes aplenty available online with some pretty tasty ideas for ways to stick to it. (The real victim of this diet, however, is our dog Sadie, who no longer gets to have any dog-taxes from our plates whatsoever, cause damn if we're giving any of our food.)

As of this writing, I've lost 19 pounds since the start. I might be further along than that, but we gave ourselves a day of cheating last weekend because we were meeting old friends for Indian Food and pretty much abused the buffet there in our haste to stuff as much of it into our gullets as possible. But, I feel like I rebounded pretty good from that. And 19 pounds in two and a half weeks is nothing to scoff at. I imagine the loss will slow somewhat, but I'll be content with the 2-5 pounds per week the diet suggests.

Over all I have to give Medifast a good rating. I certainly don't get the variety of food I did with Atkins, but at the same time I don't have to worry about what I'm going to eat or if I have the ingredients to prepare it but for one meal out of the day.

The trouble with people on diets, particularly ones that are working, is that it can become a source of obsession. (That's kind of the mindset I've found helps me, at least.) Unfortunately, being in that mindset, the diet and weight loss can become the only topic such obsessed dieters tend to talk about. I know I've been guilty of that in the past. Not wanting to be THAT GUY any more than I already have, I plan to stop. In other words, unless a wildly delicious or heinous new Medifast product worthy of review enters my life or unless I lose all the weight I want (or give up on it altogether) this will hopefully be the last you read about it here.

You're welcome.

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