Resolutions: Accountability

Our next section in our healthy dietary change resolution for 2010 is accountability. Having accountability helps you keep on track, helps you monitor your progress, and helps to keep you motivated. So, what are some ways we can be accountable?

  • Keep track of your progress on paper or other electronic forms
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      • Tracking your weight gains and losses allows you to see your progress


  • Monitor your resolution with a resolution partner
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      • The staff here watch what each other eats for meals
      • I find them getting meal ideas from each other


  • Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat and drink
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      • If I don’t write down that piece of chocolate I ate, then it is easier to say I didn’t eat it, which invariably ends up in overeating something
      • One of our MA’s discovered that she lost minimal weight or gained weight when she did not write her foods down. Since she has resumed the journal she is again losing weight.
      • This helps you figure out any mistakes you may be making with your foods.


  • Keep a food diary and write down what your feelings are when you eat:
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      • Cravings
      • Boredom
      • Hunger


Take some time out and plan your menus for the week. I love to cook. I also love to collect recipes and cookbooks. I almost need a separate room for everything I have collected throughout the years! I take a couple of hours one day a week and plan my menus for the week. Try to get your kids involved with the meal choices. I usually try to pick one to two days a week and ask my kids what they want or give them a choice of a couple of meals. I look at the calendar for the family activities occurring that week and how many people are going to be home on that day, then plan my meals accordingly. For instance, I know on Tuesdays the schedule at work is heaviest and at what time I leave the office is always a guess; my husband has band practice after work so does not get home until late; my son gets home late from school; my band booster meetings typically fall on that night. The meals I typically plan are:

  • Hamburgers
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      • Pre-packaged frozen ground sirloin hamburger patties
      • Whole wheat hamburger buns


  • Spaghetti
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      • Whole grain for low-carb spaghetti
      • Low sugar, low fat spaghetti sauce in jar


  • Left-overs
  • Rotisserie chicken or baked chicken from deli kept in freezer until needed

I have older children and all of these meals can be prepared by them. These are quick, easy, and can be stored in your pantry or the freezer until needed. Add a salad, fresh fruit, your favorite vegetable and you are ready to go. A patient told me about the vegetables that you buy in a bag to steam. I tried a combination of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. They were steamed perfectly! I didn’t have to wash them or cut them. I added a mock hollandaise sauce (recipe below) that is quick to prepare.

MacArthur OB/GYN took a poll on Facebook asking about favorite forms of electronic/social media to use for keeping track of your calories and foods. Here are some of the responses.

  • iPhone app- Lose It
  • Myfitnesspal. com (this updates your iPhone and computer at the same time)

Check out these quick recipes.

Parmesan Baked Fish

4 4-ounce fresh or frozen fish fillets
¼ cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. chives or green onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, chives, and Worcestershire sauce. Place fish in square pan lined with foil. Top fish with mayo mixture. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories 169
Total fat 10 grams
Saturted Fat 2 grams
Carbohydrates 1 gram

Mock Hollandaise Sauce

¼ cup liquid egg substitute
1 tablespoon Smart Balance spread
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash red pepper

In a 1 cup microwaveable glass bowl, combine the egg substitute and the spread. Microwave on low for about 1 minute, stirring halfway through cooking, until the spread is softened. Stir the lemon juice and mustard into the egg substitute. Microwave on low for 3 minutes, stirring about every 30 seconds, until thickened. Stir in the pepper. If mixture curdles, transfer to a blender or small food processor and process on low about 30 seconds. (Because I tend to multitask, mine always curdles). Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
54 calories
4 grams protein
2 grams carbohydrates
4 grams fat
0 grams saturated fat
150 mg sodium
5 mg cholesterol

Source: The South Beach Diet Cookbook by Arthur Agatston, M.

Baked Ricotta Custard

(Here is a dessert that even my kids love!)
¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces nonfat tub-style cream cheese at room temperature
¼ cup sugar substitute
1 large egg
1 large egg white
¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon for garnish

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat ricotta and cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar substitute and beat until well combined. Add egg, egg white, half-and-half, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Transfer mixture to 4 (8 ounce) ramekins (small custard bowls or cups). Place ramekins in a baking dish. Add hot water to baking dish to a depth of 1 inch. Bake until custards are set, about 45 minutes. Remove from water bath and cool on rack. Serve chilled or at room temperature, sprinkle with ground cinnamon.


  • Substitute egg with liquid egg substitute
  • Buy liquid egg whites and keep in freezer
  • Thaw small amounts that are needed for recipes and return to freezer.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
128 calories
5 grams fat
3 grams saturated fat
12 grams protein
7 grams carbohydrate

Source: The South Beach Diet Supercharged by Arthur Agatston, MD