Week One of Lia Smith's 'Extra Lean' Challenge

The Red Team's Lia Smith: This is the right time for me and "Extra Lean."

extra lean

I have an 8-month-old daughter, and baby weight is something I don't have time to think about. The "Extra Lean" Challenge is the push I needed. On the weigh-in day, I was glad we were weighed in a group. We tried a couple of recipes, and I have to admit that they were pretty tasty; made me think that I could do this.

At the market, getting ready to start "Extra Lean," I moved much slower than I usually do. Trying to see the market with "new" eyes, I couldn't shop the way I used to. I had put together a shopping list using the "Extra Lean" recipes, but I still had to take my time and think about what I was buying. My shopping cart was FULL, since I decided that my family was going to join me on "Extra Lean." I am not falling into the trap of making something different for them. I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of items.

When I got home from the market, my husband and my 15-year-old daughter Maya wanted to know what took me so long. As they helped empty the car, they wanted to know what I had bought. That's the moment I informed them that they were joining me on "Extra Lean." I was excited about all the recipes I was going to make; they didn't share my enthusiasm. SUCCESS... took one recipe -- Veggie Pizzas and a good green salad (with homemade dressing, I might add) to sway my family. The recipe is flavorful, filling and fun to make. Now I have to see how they feel with the rest of it.

I have taken to snooping when my husband goes into the kitchen. I am trying to work out my meals and snacking. I can definitely say that I am eating more now than I used to, or I am eating less but more often than I used to. All in all, it's working for me. I don't feel hungry, I am not feeling big highs and lows, again I say, I can do this. Protein for breakfast is the way to go for me. I made the omelet recipe for breakfast and I didn't even need to eat my snacks until it was almost time for lunch. The food part is working, the exercise part... no so much yet. I have said yes to the food, the exercise will come.

I have to cheat, I can't help myself (well I can, but I don't want to right now). I have a friend who is graduating cooking school and they are doing a tasting menu with wine parings. My decision: I won't eat everything, I will just taste. I am not a total cheat because although the food was great, I tasted but had no desire to stuff myself.

Actually, a couple of the dishes were too rich for me now. YAY! I had fun, I wasn't deprived and I didn't even eat one of the little desserts. So my mantra is, I can do this. I made a great dinner, grilled chicken breast, zucchini and 1/2 of a baked potato. My husband and I had plans to go out for a friend's birthday, and I just knew I couldn't be cheating again so soon.

We had a great night, enjoyed our friends and didn't nibble. Not because we were trying to torture ourselves, but because we weren't hungry. Hubby had a beer, I ate a couple corn chips with salsa but that was it. Now I should say, we can do this!