Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Healthy Eating

Oh man is it hard to make the chageover to healthy eating.  And all the time!  This is still something I am working on.  The hardest part for me is not even cutting out the junk.  It's learning to like new foods and planning for meals in advance.  It's also hard to find the balance for when to eat, when to exercise and how to work that all into my day when I have other things to do.  Like I have nothing better to do than figure out what to eat and when, right?  So this is what I am focusing on right now.  Plus I'm actually having trouble getting in enough calories per day.  Who would have thought I'd ever say I was having trouble eating enough?  Not me!  But it is HARD to eat a lot when you are only eating truly healthy foods.

What do I eat?  Mostly...NO JUNK!  (Just kidding around here.)  But seriously,  I'm working on my proportions and my types of foods.  Every meal should have an equal amount of proteins to carbs, and the rest should be filled in with vegetables.  Really?  I'm good with the protein and carbs, but I really don't like veggies.  So I'm learning to like them.  It is not easy...because I REALLY don't like them.  But I am sticking with the few that I can deal with, and trying a couple new ones each week.  As my coach Rachel once said to me "You don't like vegetables?  Suck it up and eat them anyway!" So I am.  I also spend time looking for interesting recipes to make the veggies taste better.

As for other types of food...the proteins should be lean. (It's not that fat is bad, but animal fat is not really that great - high in LDL's.)  Unfortunately, there are not many proteins I like either.  Seafood is out, and unlike with the vegetables, this is not one I'm willing to learn to like (which is unfortunate for me because fish can be a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids).  So that leaves me with lean meats, chicken, turkey, eggs and dairy.  I look for a lot of these recipes too because the same thing gets boring after a while. I also eat protein bars and protein shakes when I need to fill in, but it is better to eat the real foods when you can.  (Although I still drink Shakeology everyday.)

And as for carbs...oh boy!  I am so happy that I'm learning how to eat the right kinds of carbs.  After spending so much time cutting them out (and missing them tremendously), I am thrilled so say that I eat them again.  But that doesn't mean I just eat any old bread or pasta.  It's important to get stuff that is whole grain.  And not just whole wheat, but whole grain.  This means stuff like brown rice, quinoa, whole grain breads, and whole grain pastas.  Yum!  But really, you can barely taste the difference, and it makes you feel so much better.  Why are whole grains better than regular stuff?  Well the whole grains have more natural fiber, which helps regulate your gastrointestinal system, and slows the digestion of carbohydrates which in turn helps your body maintain steadier blood sugar levels. (source-goaskalice.columbia.edu)  Also, because the grain hasn't been broken down and separated by milling, it retains more of its natural nutrients. (source-mayoclinic.com)

So this is how I am learning to eat.  I have spent the last 4 weeks on it, and have discovered that it is an ongoing learning process.  I have found more vegetables to enjoy, and I am still trying new ones all the time.  As I find more new recipes, I will be sure to put together a Recipe Page to share my favorites.  So keep checking in! 

If you have a healthy recipe that you like, please share.  And good luck on your own journey toward healthy eating!

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