Category: diet

Day 19 of the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge

Yesterday was the first day that I missed writing this blog since the challenge began. It was a long, hot day and I was wiped out by the end. My co-worker, Mary Jo and I took a small crew of undergrads on a trip to the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus to visit the organic and Native medicine gardens and then on to Dream of Wild Health. This meant spending a full day out in 90+ degree heat and high humidity. We were lucky to miss the storms though and to get the positive impacts of cool breezes coming with the thunder storms.

The garden tours were all excellent. It was beautiful to see the energies that the farmers carry with them. Courtney, our first guide, took us through the organic gardens at the UM. Her smile was fantastic and she spoke with such joy of her love of growing unusual foods. We got to try quite a few berries, lemon drop tomatoes, several different edible flowers, all delicious!

We hadn’t expected a tour at the Medicine Garden, but Frances was there so he spoke for a bit, sharing the history of the place and encouraging us all to let go of our consumerism and instead grasp on to living for future generations. He spoke to a treaty that wasn’t ratified. His comments left me with questions. I’ll have to do some digging to figure out what treaty he was referring to. There is no doubt that many of the Native signers of the treaties didn’t have a full understanding of what they were signing and signed only under duress, but given that congress ratified the treaties, I wasn’t aware of any that weren’t ratified that the US wanted.

We spent a bit more time at the Medicine Garden than we’d expected. So, had to grab a quick bite to eat. I had to kind of wonder as we went through the line at Subway. We’re all supporters of organic farming. We all garden. We’d just listened to Frances speak to anti-consumerism and living our values. Then we went to get some of the lowest quality fast food available to humankind. I will say that I skipped it. I went for the sausage and cheese with crackers and some grapes and currants that we had in the van instead.

The afternoon was at Dream of Wild Health where we learned how to pollinate corn and squash for seed saving. It was really quite interesting to watch. I found myself remembering back in the days when my brother Tom was in high school and he spent summers de-tasseling corn. It was a much larger scale of controlling pollination, but much the same. It is striking to really think about how plants like corn are pollinated and how, even when we try to eat clean, we are so easily impacted by GMOs and chemically treated plants.

Dream of Wild Health is really an amazing place. Their work is to restore health and well-being in Native communities. They do this through restoring traditional foods and medicines, educating, and building community. It struck me, as I am sure it has many others, how appropriate it is that they have staff named Faith and Hope. Those two concepts are at the core of their work and simply radiate from everyone and everything in the place.

After a warm, but educational day we headed home. We stopped along the way for dinner at a little place called the Lakeside Cafe. It was a reminder to me of how my diet has changed. They had a nice buffet for their Friday fish fry. I opted for it, but was amazed at the level of carbohydrates and the lack of fresh, well fresh anything. So, a simple house salad with that value-free iceberg lettuce, some pickled beets, and bean salad, along with a bit of canned pears. The main meal though was breaded cod, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, and a dinner roll. I tried the rice, but that was just not a good thing. I think that’s about the same amount of simple carbs as I normally eat in almost a week.

I’m not quite sure on my calorie count for the day, but I think it stayed under 2,000 and that’s good for a day like that. Plus, we did get a lot of walking in, not fast walking, but still we were moving about.

Now, the question is today. I had hoped for a trip to another county fair, but right now it’s raining. Maybe later if it clears up.

60 More Days To Go

I will count today as a success. I didn’t go out to eat. I wanted to for a bit, but picked up some fresh berries at the farmers market and a bit of cream at the grocery store and went home instead.

I was just exhausted today and decided finally to stop by urgent care to see what’s going on. It doesn’t seem to be anything of interest, maybe just getting over a virus and possibly just a bit dehydrated with all the heat. But, in any case any complicated food seemed a bit too much today. So, I’m not sure that everything I did was healthy, but I got my six cups with strawberries, raspberries, mango, and banana, as well as some mixed vegetables with lunch. I also roasted some chicken so had some really tasty meat with my lunch and some left for tomorrow too.

I will be eating out for a couple meals tomorrow. A co-worker and I are taking a crew of undergrads out to visit Dream of Wild Health and the organic gardens at the UM Twin Cities. It should be good fun and some interesting learning. Dream of Wild Health has been doing some wonderful work supporting Native youth and encouraging local and sustainable traditional eating.

I am hopeful that with laying low all day today and a good night’s sleep tonight I should be okay tomorrow. It will be nice to get out and have some fun with Mary Jo and the students.

17 Days

Okay, I took in a nice dish tonight with raspberries, strawberries, mango, and banana. That made it possible to hit my six cups of fruits and vegetables today. I’m still a little tired from being sick last weekend. I am hoping that it will be done by tomorrow.

I broke today on the not going to a restaurant. It just didn’t feel important. It felt more important to put in calories since I’ve been low most of the week. I actually lost 5lbs this week. That’s not normal. My body is beat!

So, I left work a bit early today with hopes of getting back to working at home but instead took a nap and have just spent the rest of the day to laying low. Hoping I feel better tomorrow.

So, right now just being gentle, continuing to eat my fruits and veggies, and relaxing.

16 Days on the Journey

Victory! I didn’t go out for pizza today! Okay, it’s a small victory, but even small victories are worth celebrating.

I went to work late this morning. It was planned. I had a phone interview this morning for a job in Wisconsin. I think it went well, but it had some interesting moments. My dog, Buddy, was in the house. I closed him out of the spare room so that I might be able to do the interview without any dogs or cats involved. It didn’t quite work that way. As soon as he heard voices on the other side of the door, he started to try to clamor his way in to be with me. I had to let him in mid-interview so he wouldn’t destroy the door.

He had a hard time with me trying to ignore him and he started play-gnawing at my hand. Not getting what he wanted, he tried chewing a bit harder and finally bit down hard enough, in his play, on my thumb to draw blood. It was only a little, but ouch! I never thought I’d get to experience being bit by a dog in the middle of a job interview! I don’t think the interviewers knew. It will make a good story if I get the position.

So, I felt I had a reason to celebrate. Then we had our floor meeting at work. It seems each meeting gives me reason to not want to stay in my current position and dampens my view just a little bit more on universities. So, I also felt a reason to mourn or maybe just console myself. In any case I had my excuses. I could do it. But, I couldn’t quite face this blog today if I gave up on a week without eating out on Tuesday. We’ll see if I make it through tomorrow, but Tuesday is really a bit early to give up.

So, I stopped and picked up some bacon for today and chicken for later in the week. Tonight’s dinner was a nice scrambled eggs with bacon, cream cheese, zucchini, onion, tomato, and peppers. It was quite tasty and I think I got about 7 cups of fruits and vegetables in today. That, I think, can be counted as a victory!

15 Days

My stomach is still a little off, but getting better. I am happy to say that I stayed away from restaurants today. Not eating out, a temperature outdoors of 90+ all day, and still having a bit of intestinal issues led to another day of limited calories though I did go out and get a new bag of sugar-free chocolate chips.

The day began with strawberries and yogurt. Lunch was homemade tomato soup with cheese and a side of green beans and carrots with hummus. Tonight was a piece of cod and mixed vegetables with bananas, mixed berries, and yogurt with a bit of maple syrup and some of those sugar free chocolate chips.

So, again about 6 cups of fruits and vegetables. That seems to be the spot for me. It’s doable on a daily basis. More than that can be quite a challenge. I feel okay with that amount. I feel good about being intentional regarding my food. It’s really kind of amazing to see how easy it is not to eat fruits and vegetables. I found myself wondering today what exactly I have been eating since I got rid of my allergens three years ago now. Clearly, I’ve been getting enough calories. I haven’t been eating allergens. This means keeping away from a lot of processed foods because of sugar or potato starch. I’d cut down the amount of pasta I’d been eating too in recent months. I guess it’s been more pizza and burgers than I realized or maybe they just make up a larger part of my diet than I knew.

Now, we’ll see if I can go the week just on my own cooking!

2 Weeks In

My stomach is still in recovery mode so breakfast and dinner were small and healthy.

I decided that Sunday is my day to go out to eat this week. It fit well with having been low on calories the past two days (down 3 lbs) and not interested much in many foods with my stomach still being out of sorts. So, lunch was pizza. It was okay and I was okay with just some raw veggies and hummus and a bit of cottage cheese for dinner too. I don’t think I’ll need any more today. I hope my stomach is back to normal tomorrow.

It is a help though that I happened to get sick right as I decided to stop eating out again. It gave me a reason to go enjoy myself and now I can enjoy the tasty and healthy things that I picked up at the grocery store on the way home and maybe try out some new recipes.

I suspect it’s simply part of the reality of being middle-aged, my sickness. It happens periodically, though not monthly, and lasts about a week. You’d think there was a better way of being female than having hormonal changes to deal with so much of your life. Ah well. It is life and many have these changes so much worse than me. I remain hopeful that continuing to improve my diet will improve this piece of my life too as will a bit more aging. There are benefits to aging after all.

13 Days

Feeling a bit better today, but still tired and not too hungry. Doing well today with my fruits and veggies intake. If I have some berries yet tonight, I will hit six cups and stay within my calorie goals.

Yesterday was rough. I barely ate at all and mostly just slept. It showed on the scale though this morning that I’d had a day of fasting. I was down two pounds! Now, if I can stay away from restaurants I think I’ll be able to keep that 2 lbs off and maybe keep going again.

Not much more to say tonight, I just need to relax and get some more rest.

Day 12

Well, no eating out today, actually hardly any eating today at all. Not feeling well. I’ve slept most of the day. Good news is that I don’t think I’ve had any seizures. In the past, this exhaustion and illness I think came with seizures. It doesn’t seem that way today and I’ve been able to start feeling better with ibuprofen and a little extra CBD oil. I hope this means a more rapid recovery. In the past, I’ve felt tired and foggy for days.

So, thus far today I’ve just had an apple and a few cups of cottage cheese. We’ll see if my stomach is ready for any more later today.

11 Days In

Well, it’s clear that restaurants are my downfall and they are also my salvation. Well, maybe not salvation, but they are my place of comfort, a spot to soothe myself when I am feeling down.

I totally blew it today calorie wise. I took in over 2800 calories. According to My Fitness Pal I should be at 1340 to reach my goals. I don’t feel too badly about it though.

I was feeling down today and I treated myself. That’s okay, in fact that’s a good thing. I stepped away from my office where I was getting nothing done, went home and took a nap. Then I went out to lunch and came back home where I worked from home for the afternoon, just to have the change of space and to be able to focus on some mundane tasks that I’d been avoiding for a while in a place that’s comfortable and let’s me just veg out and do mundane tasks in an almost meditative way. That’s good. I will have to put in a couple hours of work tomorrow (normally, in summer I take Fridays off because my work schedule goes down to 80%) because I worked a short day today, but I can work with that. I couldn’t work with a full day today and be productive, two partial days will mean getting more done.

I’d hoped to find some fresh veggies at the farmers market today, but by the time I got there all that was left were prepared foods like jams and breads and such. I didn’t need any of that, but I also didn’t have any fresh ideas for dinner at home. So, second meal out for the day. Still, it felt good to sit there by myself with a good book and just enjoy some quiet time and a tasty Mexican meal.

Tonight, I am thinking that I need to add to my goals maybe just a week of not eating out, a chance to be intentional about what I might do instead to care for myself that is healthier and hopefully less costly as well. I think to start with a week would be good and I can go from there.

This process is all about caring for me, giving myself the best I can. That’s the key.

Day 10

Okay, so I will admit I haven’t entered the food I ate today into My Fitness Pal. It’s been an unusual day of eating, not a bad day, but an unusual one. I had two work events today that involved buffets. So, while I just had a smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner were both a bit more filling and varied.

I did well with fruits and vegetables intake. I started the day with a smoothie that had rhubarb, greens, apple, banana, and strawberries. It’s a tasty start to the day! With lunch there was a nice salad and a more veggies, though I don’t know if there was much more health quality with some super cheesy, cheesy broccoli with rice as well as some lasagna. Then tonight’s dinner had more salad and some green beans. I wasn’t able to measure things out at lunch or dinner, but I know that I had at least 4 cups at breakfast. So, I’m going to guess that I was between 7 and 8 cups today.

It is proving quite possible and not all that difficult to eat 6 cups of fruits and vegetables per day. 9 cups is a bit more challenging, but I think is more doable when I eat at home.

Now, I am hoping for nice weather tomorrow to get back to my garden to see what might be ready to harvest. With so much rain lately it’s been a challenge to get to the garden and there may be mostly weeds to harvest. Last I was out there though it looked like some greens would be ready soon along with maybe some peas and the first of the tomatoes. I am hopeful.

Plus, tomorrow is the local farmers market, so even if my garden is growing mostly weeds there will be other options. Fresh, tasty, local, and affordable, all the best!