Monday, February 23, 2009
We go on "diets", and we never stick to them because we feel like we're deprived -- eventually. Sure, you're all fired up at first, but eventually diets never work because we're missing all those fatty, sugary, salty foods that we crave.
I will never tell anyone to go on a "diet", but what are you really depriving yourself of? A good night's sleep? That wonderful feeling when your body feels lighter and your whole spirit feels lighter? Good health? Getting off medications? Clothes that fit and flatter?
A healthy lifestyle isn't about deprivation, but we still do have to give up some of the things we love -- at least sometimes. But we're getting so much more in return, and it seems that we never focus on what we're getting.
It always comes down to accentuating the positives. Everything has pros and cons, even a healthy lifestyle (yes, it takes more time, it feels uncomfortable for a while, it can distance you from some of your friends, and so on) -- but if we concentrate on the positives, the whole process gets easier.
*It is much, much easier to shop for clothes now.
*I have more energy. Maybe not where I want to be in the energy-department yet, but it's a work in progress.
*My blood pressure, while not high to begin with, is even lower now.
*My double chin is just about gone.
*I feel more confident -- and happier! Talk about a win-win.
How about you? What are you grateful for in your new healthy lifestyle?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I think our bodies become accustomed not only to exercise, but to food, too. It's easy to get really comfortable with the same meals all the time. After all, they worked in the beginning, didn't they?
But when things slow down or get stuck, it's time to regroup. I change up my exercise routine every month or so -- why not what I eat?
It's not that I don't eat a lot of variety; I do. I have just never been able to cook the same thing over and over again. Occasionally I'll like something so much that I'll eat it over and over again, but mostly, I'm making new things all the time.
Still, I reach for the same breakfasts all the time. Pretty much the same snacks. My weight progress chart is flat lining though, so it's time to try some new stuff. I have a tendency to enjoy sweet things for breakfast, and even though I'm now enjoying pretty healthy sweet things, it's time to look for some more savory breakfasts. At least once or twice a week.
I actually made a good start on that plan, because we went out to brunch yesterday and I got a fajita omelette with red potatoes and avocado -- and I have half for another breakfast. I also came across a recipe for oatcakes with oats & ricotta & banana that sound really yummy -- gotta try me some of that -- it's still sweet, but a better sweet than a teaspoon of chocolate chips (although I'm quite sure they'd taste divine with a few chocolate chips in there).
I've planned savory breakfasts in the past, and then always fallen back on my old friend sugar when push comes to shove (well, a few chocolate chips, anyway). It's time to break out of the rut and see if I can get my chart to take a nosedive.
It's time to rethink snacks, too, as I mentioned the other day. I've already begun, actually, choosing grapes or an apple with some almonds on occasion. I'm pretty sure I do better with that than the days I choose my light chocolate soymilk -- but I'm trying to get my calcium in, too, so it can be a struggle!
I've also started to try to make sure that I get some greens in about 4 times a week (also for their calcium benefits, not to mention I happen to like them). I'm rotating through the greens I like, too: kale one week, swiss chard another, seaweed another. It's all about balance over time.
What are your favorite savory power breakfasts and snacks?
Sometimes it just takes a week or so of trying new things to shake yourself out of your rut.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I wonder, sometimes, what the effects of living together again will be. Is it coincidence that I've managed to lose 20 lbs as we've been living apart? Altho I didn't start losing weight right away.
I eat out much less by myself. I really don't enjoy eating out by myself -- some people actually do, but I really don't. I eat out occasionally with friends, but it's not even weekly.
We don't eat out a whole lot when we're together, either, but I want to more -- because I find it's more work to cook for two than for one. Not to mention there's just more housework when there's two people instead of one.
As much as there are parts of living alone I enjoy, I also know that after a year, it's not what I prefer. It's nice to have a witness to your life, even if he does drive you nuts most days. Then he goes and says the sweetest thing. He tells me how skinny I feel, when I know I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I'm really proud of all the hard work I've done, but I still have a ways to go. Heck, I only weight about 10 lbs less than him, and he's 4 inches taller than me!
Then there's the fact that I enjoy vegetarian & vegan food, and he's all meat and potatoes. I did manage to get him to eat about 2 brussel sprouts last night, and even that took a lot of wheedling -- even after he said they were good (and then promptly left them in the stove overnight! Argh!).
I believe right down to my toes, though, that I will lose the weight. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow or this year . . . but I will be healthy.
Friday, February 20, 2009
The truth is I'm constantly rethinking my eating habits. It's a process that I'm continually learning about. And my blog the other day about sneaky sugars got me thinking -- which is usually a good thing.
I started to think about the light chocolate soymilk I enjoy after exercising sometimes. It's got a lot of sugar in it, and it doesn't have the excuse that regular milk does -- that some of the sugar is from the lactose in the milk. I think it was something like 17 grams of sugar; whereas the high fiber soymilk I drink most of the time only has something like 9 grams of sugar.
I started drinking the chocolate soymilk after reading an article about how something like that is almost the perfect mix of carbs and protein to refuel with after a workout. I don't need much encouragement to add something chocolate to my day!
But that's an awful lot of sugar. About 4 teaspoons. Would I be satisfied with a simple glass of regular soymilk? Probably not. Cocoa needs some sugar to be palatable. But does it really need 4 teaspoons? Will I be better off by making my own chocolate soymilk, when I can just add the amount of sweetner I think is right -- and even choose what sort of sweetner to add?
Where else is sugar sneaking into my day? I don't eat a lot of processed foods, so most of it comes from my own baked goods. But how about those small teaspoons of chocolate chips I add to yogurt or my peanut butter banana wrap? And just how much sugar is too much sugar?
Don't get me wrong, I think the occasional glass of light chocolate soymilk is just fine. I think anything is fine in moderation. But I'm always reevaluating the way I'm eating, especially when I've been stuck for a while, like now. Maybe it's time for more fruit smoothies after exercise.
Speaking of being stuck, we went out to dinner last night -- my belated birthday dinner. It was at a noveau-type Japanese restaurant, one I've been wanting to go to for a long time. It was wonderful. Probably a good think we haven't gone to it before. I actually was just a little hungry after we were done, still, considering my WI is today, I'm not holding my breath for a loss this week. No regrets, though. Well, except I do regret not ordering a seaweed salad. In fact, if I could afford it, we'd go back tonight!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I read this somewhere recently. None of us likes to feel deprived, and here's a simple solution: focus on what you can add to your healthy eating plan that will help you be successful, rather than focusing on the things you can't have.
I really do love veggies, for instance; always have. So focusing on getting in more veggies is always a win-win for me.
Of course I love chocolate, too, so I work it into most days: a few chocolate chips in my banana peanut butter wrap; a few chocolate chips on my yogurt with granola; chocolate dipped strawberries; hot chocolate; light chocolate soymilk; chocolate pudding. Yes, all these things can be part of a healthy eating plan -- in moderation. And if I loved dark chocolate more, it would even be healthy -- while I do enjoy dark chocolate, I still prefer milk or semisweet.
What are some of the ways you add healthy foods to your day?
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