Thursday, March 5, 2009

Healthier Eating

How many times have we gone down this road before? All too many in my lifetime, each time with new goals. I guess, some would say, "why bother", if it never seems to stick. I always find there are a couple of things that do stick, so it is always worth the effort... AND there is always hope that this time will be the one, right? Years ago Jay and I were both diagnosed with high cholesterol - this was in our first apartment in Ottawa, so 10 years ago now. I started weight watchers and over the year and half lost 50 pounds - felt great, but was loads of work and consistent effort. Years went by and the weight has come back, but some of the habits always stayed... for example we don't eat near the amount of cheese we used to, we try to buy light cheese, we put less cheese on everything and we don't eat nachoes EVERY weekend. We also don't eat regular ground beef anymore, we always buy extra lean beef and more often than not use ground chicken or turkey, especially for the likes of chilli or spaghetti sauce, meatloaf - still use the lean burger. The other main difference was reducing our egg consumption - I'd say we picked this up a little more lately with little kids - they like scrambled eggs and Jazzy has a soft spot for soft boiled eggs, but we rarely eat fried eggs anymore and it isn't a weekend staple.

With the change in our diet, my cholesterol has stayed down - mine was due to diet! Jay's however barely budged - his is genetic! A few years ago, Jay went on a very strict cholesterol diet to see if it would help, so he wouldn't have to take meds. Unfortunately, it still barely made a mark on his cholesterol numbers, but a few things stuck with him - he eats All Bran pretty much every morning - Psyllium fiber is one of the best things for cholesterol. He was adding flax seed, but that was a bit of a pain and has been lost over time. We are also still using the healthy oils for cooking and added a lot more salmon to our diet as well.

Yesterday my mom and dad sent me a website: and we both took their test! Very interesting results. The big news for us was that we don't eat enough vegetables and fruits. I know it, but seeing it written and having to choose where you were at and knowing it doesn't even come close was a bit of a hit! You think about fighting off all the cold germs and wonder that if you had more vitamin fuel in you, if you could fight it better? I'm also constantly tired and they completely linked this with mineral deficiency. So here I am blogging and trying to decide what the practical way to eat more fruits and veggies is?

To help track things I typed out a checklist - they never last for a long time, but I do find they help me get on track and really see how well I am doing, so I typed a chart for 2 weeks to track how many servings of fruits and veggies I eat, how many glasses of water I drink, if I remember to take my vitamins and how much exercise I do. I also typed up a menu plan, very basic, but it shows which days I am supposed to get groceries and right after I get groceries I plan to make either a big salad for supper - you know one of the fancy kind with toasted pecans and goat cheese or red onions, mandarin oranges and almonds or a stir fry. Might as well plan it while the veggies are fresh and ensure I get 2 really good veggie helpings in a week. Other nights include: pasta night - spaghetti, stuffed shells, lasagna..., meat night - chicken breast, pork chops, steak..., leftover night - roasts, whole chickens and fun night - sushi, fondue, tacos... with each of these nights, I would like to add an extra veggie serving and lighten the other carb.

My next step is to look up some new recipes. If you have a good salad, stir fry or other veggie dish, please forward it on to me. I'm also wondering how does everyone else fit in there veggies, besides taking an apple to work and a tupperware of baby carrots. Hope to hear from you on this! And my other concern is breakfast, what do you eat for breakfast. We eat cereal and usually healthy cereals, but also a fairly large bowl - lots of carbs here. Any alternates you like and find tasty and easy to do before work?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey LOA , we didn't eat breakfast until about 10 years ago. I try not to have the same thing 2 days in a row. During the week we usually have cereal twice, we mix up kinds and always have some kind of fruit, bananas, craisins, dried apricots or berries. I keep a container of coconut, mostly unsweetened with a bit of sweetened thrown in(it is fattening but i use it instead of any sugar and it's excellent fiber) also we have started grinding flax in an old coffee grinder so it's fresh and add it so cereal too.
Other days we have yogurt with a muffin or toasted English Muffin (We like the raisin ww ones)sometimes sprinkle fruit and granola on yogurt make sort of a parfait. We try to have hot cereal once on the weekends and sometimes will have a egg dish later as sort of a brunch. I try to throw grapefruits in once in a while and should have oranges more often.
Some of my favorite things to throw in salads are black olives, feta (I like the one with cracked pepper in) avocado, crab sticks, craisins,blueberries, sliced almonds, chow mein noodles,sunflower seeds or pine nuts peppers (anything but green) pear is nice too. Pretty much whatever we have around.
Keep up the good work! mom