Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Habitual Nourishment - Learning How to Eat

I realized after I posted yesterday that it sounded like I always knew how to eat a healthy diet. I did not! In fact I had a diet much like the ones I was criticising – lots of processed foods and sugary treats.

When I worked I’d eat my breakfast once I got to work. Which meant a choice of big fatty muffin, bagel piled with cream cheese, toast with peanut butter (this one wasn’t too bad). Whew – nothing like starting the day with tons of fat and sugar!

I rarely brought my lunch to work, so again it would be takeout. I can’t recall choosing a salad very often, but instead had a fatty pasta (white pasta of course), or hamburger, sometimes even cookies and chocolate milk, or some other unhealthy choice.

Since I’d had a big lunch supper would be a simpler affair of just kraft dinner, popcorn (with butter of course), porridge, canned spaghetti, or goodness knows what else (I honestly can’t remember).

It was BAD, really BAD!

Of course I gained weight, and of course I tried to lose some of it, but I was never successful for long. I did a low fat diet for a while (hence the magazine hanging around from 1994) – I lost weight, but it wasn’t in a healthy way (low fat cookies laden with sugar, angel food cake, etc.), and certainly not sustainable. I tried ‘The Zone’, I tried ‘The Fat Flush‘. They were complicated combinations of food that I was never completely convinced were healthy. Not to mention that I couldn’t stick with them. I was clueless.

Then came a blood test that showed my blood sugar was in the pre-diabetic range and I had high cholesterol. I ignored it. Then another, and another. Finally one of my doctors gave me a lecture and also recommended reading ‘Eat to Live’. That was a turning point for me. It was simple and seemed to make sense in a health sense. Several years ago I stuck with the program and lost a bunch of weight. Then I fell back into my old ways of eating out at work. I was too lazy.

When we retired my blood work was off again, so this time I really stuck with it. I lost weight, but more importantly I developed a sheaf of recipes that fit with the plan. Unfortunately I let some bad food seep back into my diet, but thankfully at least kept with cooking healthy meals at home. So here I am again, still with some weight to lose, but this time I’m going to be more scientific when I move into maintenance (which won’t be for a while…).

The book has been a god-send as it has taught me a healthy, and reasonably sustainable way to eat and cook.

Yesterday was another successful day. I managed to fend off the cake that Carm brought home from his mom’s, and (this was a bit tougher), freshly baked bread.

Breakfast and lunch were the usual smoothie and salad. For supper we had grilled zucchini (1lb weighed raw), sautéed red peppers, some sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), onions (2), garlic, and fresh basil ; and a cooked sweet potato (1). All of this was tossed together and divided between Carm and I. It was served over a bed of mixed brown rice (brown, red, wild) and some white kidney beans. There were no complaints about the taste and it was totally filling.

My only red box yesterday was because I was slightly under my target calories – and it isn’t because I was trying – I couldn’t eat all the allocated food as it was.


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