Category: diet

30 Days Already

Wow! I think I may have had over 9 cups of fruits and vegetables today! Much of it was thanks to good smoothie this morning. It was made with salad greens, rhubarb, apples, banana, papaya, and kiwi. It accounted for 4 cups of my goal.

Lunch was a chicken thigh with fresh green beans and carrots with a bit of hummus. For dinner I had the remainder of my leftover walleye and vegetable stir-fry. I was still hungry so I had a chicken thigh too. Dessert was berries with banana and plain yogurt.

All were quite tasty. I was in need of chocolate today too, so two organic mint chocolate patties with honey filling. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Tomorrow begins a different aspect of the challenge. I’ll be traveling for work with a group for the next few days. Eating group meals is challenging. It seems our society doesn’t value fruits and vegetables too much. There is often iceberg lettuce with minimal nutritional value, overcooked something or other which just isn’t appealing, and white potatoes which I’m allergic to. But, it’s just a few days and I’ll be able to find something. It may not be nine cups of organic goodness, but it will be something and it will be good.

29 Days In

I did well today. I think I was actually over 7 cups of fruits and vegetables today, though I admit I didn’t measure the peas and other snacks as I picked them from the garden this afternoon.

The big plus today was having leftovers from yesterday to have for lunch, some walleye and mixed vegetables that I’d stir-fried yesterday. It was just one of those things that I could throw together without a recipe and with a whole lot of hope. I like to do that, to say to myself “hmm.. this looks good. This looks good too. I wonder what they’d be like together?” and just throw things together and see what happens. It’s almost always a good thing.

Though it does bring back a memory of being a camp counselor back in the 90’s. Some of my campers and I were in a cabin and the campers decided to make me a cake. They were young teenagers, so I wasn’t too afraid of them taking over the kitchen. They had a couple girls keep watch over me while the rest made my surprise dessert. I think we tried to eat it, but ultimately showed it to the camp director, offered that it could be used as a doorstop, then threw it out. It was a great deal of fun. However, they’d somehow managed to make a cake that must have weighed over 5 lbs! But, generally throwing things together results in much tastier surprises.

Tonight I roasted some chicken with some freshly picked squash and a onion. It was also delicious. And, there’s enough left for another two or three meals if I add another vegetable side. So, I don’t need to cook at all tomorrow. After that I have some work travel and will be fed. So, no more cooking until the weekend. If I can find fruits and vegetables on my work trip, I will do great. There’s my challenge for the week. But, for now I will simply celebrate the day and be thankful that there’s plenty of good healthy food ready for tomorrow.

The 28th Day of the Challenge

I’m feeling good. 6 cups of fruits and vegetables is becoming something I can do. More accurately, at least 1.5 cups at a meal is what I can do. That’s the way I’ve been looking at it. I’m eating about 1.5 cups most days at breakfast, then at least 2-3 cups with lunch and dinner. Those amounts somehow seem more reasonable than thinking about eating 6-9 cups a day. I suppose it’s simply the act of breaking things down to make them manageable. In any case, it seems to work.

I need to drink some more water yet today. I didn’t keep a good count, but I think I’m between 6 and 8 glasses. I can feel just a little headache coming. So, it’s time to drink more.

I had a good weekend. I think my diet changes are improving my overall mood and energy. Yesterday was the fair and the art show. Today, I cleaned, did laundry, caught up on dishes, cooked a few meals for lunches this week, froze a couple pounds of beans, took the dog to the park, basically just did a lot. That’s been hard lately. It’s been too easy to find excuses and just spend time lazing in bed watching Netflix and napping. I am proud of myself for starting to regain my energy and hopeful that I am on a good path.

27 Days

Well, I spent a good chunk of my day at an art show and followed that with another county fair. Neither of these places offered a lot of healthy options for eating. The thing I noticed though was that my diet changes in the last few years and the challenge got me to look for the healthy options and not just go mindlessly to the deep fried cheese curds and kettle corn.

At the art show I found a pretty tasty bacon-chicken ranch wrap with lettuce and tomato. So, I wasn’t completely vegetable deficient there. At the fair I opted to just keep walking. There just weren’t appealing options that had much nutritional value. I wound up getting pizza later.

So, I didn’t quite hit my six cups today. I think I was between 3 and 4. I did, however, get quite a bit of outdoor time and plenty of water. So, some things were good and healthy, some not so much. Still, I feel good. Right now I feel sleepy too. So good night to all!

Day 26 of the Fruit and Veggie Challenge

Can we count buttered popcorn as a vegetable? No, I suppose there are far too many who read this and would say it is a starch. Ah well, it was on okay movie and probably worth the splurge. Though, I must say that it is disturbing how much violence there is these days in movies marketed to children. I went to see the Lion King tonight. All the previews of other movies before the main show and of course the Lion King itself, well there doesn’t seem to be a children’s movie these days without a war. How do we expect anything other than violence from our children when we continually feed them messages that violence is okay?

Well, today I drank plenty of water. I didn’t do horribly eating fruits and vegetables with my berries and banana dish for breakfast and a nice salad with my lunch. But, I didn’t reach my 6-9 cups. Unless, of course, folks want to be forgiving and call popcorn a vegetable. Then I topped out over 9 cups!

Day 25 of the Fruits and Veggies Challenge

I bought two pounds of green beans at the farmers’ market today. That’s a lot of green beans. It’s been a hot summer and I’ve realized that sometimes the best meals are the simplest meals. I’ve been doing a lot of lunches that are simply carrots, beans, cauliflower, or broccoli and hummus with maybe some summer sausage and cheese for added calories. It’s been good to fill myself with such simplicity and lightness.

How we fill our bodies is reflected in our being. It’s easy to put in the heavy, the rich, the sweet. But, eventually our bodies and our spirits wear down. We put in the light, the savory, the healthy and our bodies and spirits lighten. It takes a while. It’s taken a long time to do the damage we’ve done to our bodies. It’s not realistic to expect change overnight.

My weight went down a little in the last few weeks and it went back up. So, I’m about where I started right now weight wise. I’ll blame that largely on two things. The first was a five day conference with tons of bad for me food and not a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables. The second was that I just started to work on re-hydrating my body. I know that I have a history with dehydration. I also know that the doctor saw that I was dehydrated again when I went in a few days ago.

I’ve read that water can both help in weight loss and cause weight fluctuation. I’m confident that if I keep taking in a healthy amount of water and get out of my pattern of repeated dehydration that it will help me keep at a healthy weight and just help me keep healthy overall. I’ve read different accounts on how much I should drink. It’s somewhere between 1/2 and 1 gallon a day. Today, I think I hit 1 gallon. I feel pretty good.

I did well with my fruits and veggies too. It was a day with mixed berries and bananas, green beans, carrots and hummus, and some currants too. All totaled I took in about six cups of veggies and fruits today.

I also, for the second day in a row, found myself using some walks as a sort of meditation. I walk to work, walk my dog, and walk just about everywhere I go in town so I can often spend more than hour a day walking. The last two days, on some shorter walks I just repeated to myself some words of prayer, nothing profound or complicated. It was a little different each time and changed as I needed it too, but basically just saying something like “peace, patience, gratitude, guidance.” It helped me focus myself and slow my being. It was good. I wonder if these last 25 days of improved eating have helped me get to this place of being ready to meditate again?

The 24th Day

I got myself to enter my food into my food journal. That’s the victory for today. I wanted to just forget about it. It just didn’t interest me today. But, I did it and I looked at my history of results briefly. I’m doing pretty good eating the way I should.

There are some things that aren’t great yet. I could use more iron and still less sugar. I was thinking just now that it would be interesting to look at my eating habits from a few years ago and how my nutrition has changed. I took some of my typical foods from three or more years ago and created a fake day on my food tracker. I started with some frosted mini-wheats for breakfast, Jimmy John’s for lunch, and spaghetti with marina sauce for dinner. I then looked at sugars, carbs, and overall calories in comparison to my average today.

Calories were about 200-300 higher than what I would have on high calorie day today, up to 700 higher than some days. Back then a day like the one I described would give me about 340 grams of carbohydrates and 150 of sugar.

Now, I’m usually below 200 grams of carbohydrates. Sugars generally stay between 50 and 100 though I can definitely get below 50 grams sometimes.

That’s something really powerful for me to see. I made a major change in my life and have stuck with it. I can only imagine how obese and unhealthy I would be if I hadn’t taken that leap. Instead, my health has gotten much better and while I could still lose a few pounds I just hit the overweight category and am no longer medically considered obese. I can actually look at myself in the mirror and say “doing pretty good.”

I ate out today. I had a California burger with some sweet potato fries and orange pop. That’s not a particularly healthy meal at all, but I still feel okay about it. Most of the time I am eating right. I am building my body, getting my fruits and veggies. I look back at what I used to eat and so much came out of a box or bag or can. It wasn’t real. I feel good about being able to recognize my food as food.

That’s what I would encourage others to do too. Care for your body like it is precious because it is. Feed yourself the best, real food and treat yourself gently.

Days 22 and 23

Okay, so I forgot to write yesterday or at least I forgot until about 10 pm when I was laying in bed and wanting to sleep so I skipped it. It was only the second day that I missed writing since I’ve started this challenge, so I think I can cut myself a break. Besides, I ate pretty well and I drank a lot of water.

This afternoon I noticed something. I noticed that I was happy. I’ve not been really happy all that much in a while. I was at work today and had a bunch of meetings, all about projects that my office is likely to be a part of in the next two years and structural changes and such. Often in recent months this stuff has left me feeling drained with little energy to move forward because I’ve been looking for work back home in Wisconsin and not feeling connected or at home here. Yesterday, I got the notice that I didn’t get a second interview for a job I’d wanted. Strangely, I think I felt a little relief. I won’t have to move again or to start over again. I’ve lived in at least 20 different houses in my adult life. It’s nice not packing and unpacking.

Strange how sometimes disappointment isn’t all bad. Add to that drinking at least an additional 40 or so ounces of water and I wasn’t so dehydrated. I had a little more energy and that gave me some joy today.

So, today I kept drinking my water, along with a little Himalayan salt as recommended by a friend who’s a nurse practitioner and had a cranberry supplement to help my system a bit too. I did well getting in my veggies and fruits. I did also get some not so good for me foods, but it wasn’t bad. I feel good about it.

The 21st Day

Yeah, I bombed on the fruits and vegetables intake today. I think I probably hit a grand total of about 1-2 cups. So, I suppose I was within the normal American range, but not even at my normal much less the 6-9 cups that I’m working on.

I still wasn’t feeling well today and just didn’t want to put any effort in to much of anything. I think I’m dealing with some dehydration. When I went to urgent care a few days ago they thought I might be a bit dehydrated. The next day was really hot and humid and I was outside much more than normal.

I have history of mild to not so mild dehydration. Maybe that’s another thing for me to work on. I was just looking online and seeing some sites suggesting that I should be getting about 1.5 gallons of water per day. I would guess that I’m currently getting closer to .5 gallons.

So, I’ve sent some questions to a nurse practitioner friend and may add increasing my water intake to this effort.

20 Days Completed

Okay, well I am going to count the fact that I didn’t eat any ice cream today as a victory. I need some sort of victory in today and I actually did want to have some ice cream. That’s unusual for me these days.

The first thoughts of it were when I was at the Grant County Fair. It’s a nice little fair. It has a lot of educational components, more than any other fairs I’ve seen this year. It also had an interesting mix of the typical fun fair stuff and some really sad displays. They had a wrecked truck on display that had belonged to a young man who’d died in a drunk driving accident. They also had a traveling display on 9/11. Both were powerful and good to be there. Personally, I think for a relaxing afternoon, I preferred the presentation from the two girls who did the live demonstration on how to milk a goat. For a moment, I thought it might be nice to have a goat. I let that thought go.

The ice cream though, I thought that might be nice, but the options were limited at the fair. I knew that if I were to have ice cream and the likely stomach ache afterward I wanted to have really good ice cream. So, I traveled on. Later, I took Buddy out to Benson to the dog park since the local park hasn’t opened yet. That drive meant going past Dairy Queen. That seemed a good option, but then I thought I’d rather have some Ben and Jerry’s. We went past the grocery store in Benson, but it looked like it might be closed, so I kept going with the thought that I’d be more likely to find Ben and Jerry’s in Morris anyway. Well, by the time we got home I convinced myself that just some banana with raspberries and cream would be just fine and that I didn’t want leftover ice cream in the freezer anyway.

So, I didn’t eat well today. I don’t think I quite hit my 6 cups of fruits and vegetables. I did eat fair food and pizza. But, I didn’t get ice cream and that was a good choice. I also felt good about just taking the day off and not worrying about it. Tomorrow I’ll be back on track and probably cleaning out my fridge to get a better sense of what I have and what I might make for meals this week.