Tag: food

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!

9 Days and Learning

Well, today was a better day than yesterday. It was still interesting, but better. My breakfast was filled with fruits and veggies. I started with banana and strawberries with a little plain yogurt. Then I took a apple/rhubarb/ strawberry smoothie along to work to sip on throughout the morning.

Work was where things got interesting. I arrived to find that the carpets had just been shampooed. The offices had been spared, but the common areas were all still wet with powerful fans blowing cyclone winds. One of my workmates spoke of how as a young person he’d considered working on a Navy ship. Now, he felt like he knew what it was like with those incredibly loud fans. Instead of being wise and going back home to work, I just closed my office door. I didn’t realize the impact until I had to go to a meeting in a room that had been cleaned. After 2 hours in that meeting with those carpet cleaning toxins I felt simply stoned!

So, the morning went well diet wise. Lunch was small and tasty, homemade tomato soup with cheese and a side of broccoli and carrots with hummus. But, after this afternoon’s meeting in my carpet cleaner stoned state, I went out for a burger with some sweet potato fries. It was quite tasty. I made it to over 6 cups of veggies. I don’t think I made it up to 9 again yet though.

I’ve not quite hit my calorie lowering goals yet. But, looking back at my Fitness Pal reports over the past few months it seems that my average calorie consumption may be going down slightly. It’s difficult to tell for sure because before beginning this challenge there were quite a few days that I missed entering my meals. However, I know that I’d often skip entering if I knew I’d eaten a lot or things that I wished I hadn’t.

It seems that it is a good way for me to look at food, focusing on making sure I eat a lot of something good rather than getting caught up in making sure that I’m not eating something unhealthy. It works on the concept of gifting myself rather than denying myself, or at least I think it does. Only nine days in it’s difficult to tell. I’ve not lost weight yet, but I’m feeling healthy and positive and that’s a good start.

70 More Days

Okay, day eight was not so great. It was the first day back to work in almost a week and it was rough. People not showing up for meetings, other meetings I didn’t want to be at, having to work on an annual report, and reading my organization’s history to find that yes, there are some issues that we’ve been discussing and have not found resolution to for over a decade now. There were good points to the day too, but I just wasn’t ready to go from vacation time to what lay in store for me today.

Oh, and it did start with realizing that I’d run out of a couple things that could have made me a quick, tasty, good for warm weather breakfast. I have since replaced them, but this morning wound up being scrambled eggs with greens and tomatoes. Normally, a good breakfast option, but today my stomach just wasn’t happy with that choice. I thought for a bit I might have to call in sick.

I wasn’t hungry at lunch time, but figured it would be best to have something or I’d be ravenous by mid afternoon so I dug into my broccoli and cauliflower with a little hummus and was surprised to find I could eat an apple too.

Still, by mid afternoon it was clear nothing was going my way. It was a bit early, but I gave up for the day and went home and mowed my lawn. So, I got a little extra exercise in and got the lawn cut before the rains come again. I suppose that’s an upside.

I felt a little better after an hour or so outside. I got to arguing with myself on whether to relax from a rough day with pizza out or to take care of myself with a tasty dinner in. Pizza won. I rationalized with the idea of having a salad with the pizza. I got to the buffet to find that there were only a few sickly looking scraps left in the spinach salad container. There was the other salad, but I find no reason to eat iceberg lettuce. There’s simply not sufficient taste or nutritional value. So, I’ve learned not to count on salad being part of the buffet.

That leaves me at the end of my day with probably about 4 cups of fruits and vegetables consumed. I suppose I could still have some berries with yogurt and banana or maybe make a rhubarb smoothie, but right now I’m not really hungry and my stomach isn’t feeling quite right. So, I don’t know whether to call it a fail or if it’s a win to sometimes just say “I’m not really hungry right now. I don’t need to eat.” So, I’ll just leave it there and let it be and start again tomorrow.

One Week In On The Fruits and Veggies Challenge

Well, if I made six cups of fruits and veggies today, it was just by the skin of my teeth. I took a trip to South Dakota this afternoon. It was the 152nd annual Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Wacipi (powwow) and it felt time to go. I am glad that I went. Powwows, however, are not the place to find nice, healthy fruits and vegetables. They are though the place to find the best fry bread known to humanity and that’s reason enough to go.

So, my food at home was good and healthy; yogurt with strawberries, mango, and banana, fresh green beans to snack on, things like that. At the powwow though I enjoyed a delicious Indian taco and some nachos with cheese. The day wound up a bit under 1600 calories, so not too bad even with some high carb indulgences which were well worth it.

The food was just one piece of the powwow. I’ve gone to many before and they are always good for the heart. There’s a special power in the drum. It’s good to feel the music. I find myself watching the dancers, thinking it’s probably nearly time for me to step away, but I can’t just yet after all it’s men’s fancy, my favorite dance. Then a few minutes later I think it’s near time to go, but I can’t right now, it’s women’s traditional, my favorite dance. This goes on through all the different dances. Each has it’s own strength. Each holds a role in teaching the children to be proud of who they are. It’s a gift to get to sit there on the sidelines and witness what remains, how the strength of generations continues forward never to be squelched by the colonizers.

I sat today on the sidelines when the older man sitting in front of me turned to talk with me. He asked where I was from when I answered and asked where he was from he told me, just down the road and then proceeded to speak to me in Dakota. I looked at him confused. He translated what he’d said for me. He told me he’d learned English when he went to school and asked me if I was surprised that he was Native. I was a bit, but I’ve known a fair number of blond haired, blued eyed Native people in Minnesota, so it wasn’t too big a surprise. Then he went on and told me stories of his life. He must have talked for at least an hour talking of his family, ancestors, speaking in both English and Dakota. He shared so many bits of wisdom. It was one of those life moments that cannot be anticipated and reaches in to do amazing things.

It was a good day and has been a good first week. Let’s see where next week goes.

6 Days Into the Journey

I had a strong start today with an apple/rhubarb/strawberry smoothie with just a bit of greens thrown in and some scrambled eggs with greens, banana peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes. It sounds like a lot of food as I write it down, but it was only a bit over 400 calories. It’s really amazing how much one can eat when you eat the right foods.

My dog, Buddy, and I celebrated his first birthday this morning with a trip to Monson Lake State Park for a nice little hike. He’s so happy when he gets to go on an adventure in the woods, sniffing for treasure everywhere, finding mud puddles to lay in, meeting new friends. We followed up our hike with a bit of human indulgence. We went to Willmar for a stop at Culvers. I was happy with myself though for not getting any pop or ice cream, just a cod sandwich and onion rings. Still, a meal like that is roughly 1,000 calories, the same as the total of my other two meals for the day and it’s not really more food. It’s just the wrong food to eat too often. I am happy that there isn’t a Culvers near Morris and it’s a special treat to go.

We did take advantage of being in Willmar though and gave Buddy another treat for the day. We went to the dog park. Buddy had a great time! He met two huge Great Danes, Stout and Porter, who were just a few weeks younger than him and each about 70 lbs bigger. They came with their little friend, Ebony, a Springer Spaniel mix about a year older than Bud, but closer to his size. It was a laugh to watch Buddy play and wrestle with his new pals. It was a gift to see him so friendly with the giants and to feel his trust as he ran toward them and then would come back to me when he needed a bit of space and assurance. I am grateful for his trust. He’s a good friend.

The rest of the day was napping, joining the community band in a parade, watching the pageant at the Starbuck Heritage Days, and just generally relaxing. It was good.

I am doing really well with getting 6-9 cups of vegetables and fruits each day, though some days, like today, I’m at the lower end. My challenge is to keep away from too many trips to the places that serve me high calorie and unhealthy options. I can get there.

Day 5 of the 78 Day Challenge

Thinking today about my recent visit with the dietitian. It was basic visit, too basic for me. I’ve read a lot, watched a lot of videos, and listened to quite a few professionals in health care over the past twenty or so years. But, I needed to see a dietitian to get the okay on dietary changes so that my neurologist and general practitioner might know I’ve seen a professional to approve how I feed myself. It’s a messed up system. After all, who knows our bodies better than ourselves? Still, I visited with hopes that she could give me new insights that would help me along my journey. Here’s what I came up with.

She encouraged me, as health professionals do, to pre-plan my meals and write out a shopping list. She told me that it’s okay to sometimes go out to eat and indulge in my favorite pizza, but I should have a salad as well so that I would fill up and not eat as much pizza. I was frustrated as I left with that simple advice, late on my way to another meeting.

Today, I thought about it a bit more as I indulged in some of my favorite pizza choices along with a large salad and some pickled beets. I realized that even with the salad and beets that I could easily eat just as many slices of pizza as ever. I’d just added a bit more food rather than cut any out. With that I was reminded how little food has to do with physical hunger, at least that’s true in my world as a reasonably economically stable white person in the United States today. Eating is more about filling a space, emotional or social or maybe something else, but it isn’t simply physical. We eat for the comfort of eating. I certainly don’t go to Pizza Ranch for the quality of their food. I go to read a book, enjoy some quiet time, imbibe in some stuff that is rich and greasy and some that is sweet, decompress from whatever stress I’ve been facing. I don’t go to fill my caloric needs. That’s not why we eat, at least not the primary reason. The question then becomes, how else might I fill those needs?

I don’t know the answer to that yet. I do know that answer needs to be found for my happiness. Meanwhile, I think I hit six cups of fruits and vegetables today, and, not surprisingly given that I went to Pizza Ranch, I wound up high on calories, carbs, proteins, fats, and sugar. Still, much better than a lot people in the US, so it’s okay. I am on my way.

Halfway Through Week One

This experience has me baffled at the moment. I weighed myself this afternoon and the scale read the highest that it has in more than a year. I hope that it means that the batteries are dying in my scale.

Today was a low calorie day. I did well today with my fruits and vegetables intake. I hit nine cups! Strawberries, mango, banana, rhubarb, asparagus, mixed greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, and a bit of hummus. The hot weather helped. I didn’t want to cook so smoothies, yogurt and fruit, fresh vegetables and hummus were all good options for the day.

I suspect that at some point I will start to see weight loss. But, I wonder when? It is a strange thing that my weight is up rather than stable or down. I think I need to do some more reading to better understand what is happening.

I feel good though. It’s been a quiet couple of days without a whole lot going on and sometimes being so quiet can get me feeling down. I noticed today that I didn’t feel that. I just felt quiet, but not melancholy. I don’t know if my eating over the past few days has impacted my emotions, but I can hope that it has.

Now, I suppose might be a good time to put some thought into my grocery list for the weekend.

And oh, for those who’ve been following this journey, I waited for morning to have the berries and yogurt. I recognized last night that I was just wanting to eat for entertainment and not to assuage my hunger. I decide to find other ways to entertain myself.

Day 3

Still high on the calories, that, I will admit, was due to a trip to Pizza Ranch though. The good news though on my pizza indulgence was that it included a large salad and a little less pizza then previous trips. I don’t know how much that matters given that their salads are made with spinach that is probably well sprayed with chemicals throughout its growth and nuts that are glazed with sugar. But still, it tells me that it is possible to have a meal out that is mainly reasonably healthy food and still enjoy it.

I didn’t hit the full nine cups of fruits and vegetables today, but I am within my goal of six to nine cups with roughly six cups. Given that most Americans are eating less than two cups of fruits and vegetables a day, I feel quite good about that. Plus, I am still considering a bowl of freshly picked strawberries with some yogurt. It feels a bit late and I am well over the calories for the day, but I just went to the U-Pick this afternoon and came home with just over twelve pounds of berries. It seems a shame not to eat some right away. Doesn’t it? Hmmm…..

2 Days In

Day 2 of the 78 day challenge was a hungry one, but I am happy to say that I didn’t slide into the world of pizza and I did well with getting about nine cups of fruits and vegetables.

A purist in this journey toward better health might say that I’m depending too much on berries and bananas. But I’m going to say that in the world of sweets that some berries and bananas with a bit of cream and some sugar-free chocolate chips is a pretty good healthy option and I’m willing to go with it if it means that I’m not eating cake and ice cream.

For dinner I treated myself to dinner out at Mi Mexico. So, my calories were high for today. Still with a vegetarian option, I was able to keep on track with my vegetable intake goals. My protein, which is typically low, was also right on target. I’m hoping that this means tomorrow will not be a hungry day.

Feeling good. I am already not as tired as I was a week ago. I suppose, at this point, it’s mere coincidence, but we’ll see how it continues. I am hopeful that my health will continue to improve.

Food for Thought From the Garden

Roughly 45lbs of food, that’s what came out of the garden that I share with my friend David yesterday.  I will admit there was apple tree involved and apples are heavy.  Still, it’s an impressive haul from just an average small town back yard.  I haven’t been consistent about weighing the food that I harvest, but this makes me wonder.  How much have I gotten from the garden this year and how much is there?  Is it 200lbs, 500, a 1,000?

In any case, it the experience is worth its weight in gold.  The dog and I walk the few blocks over to David’s house where I unleash Bella to let her lay in the shade while I weed and discover the bounty.  Depending on the amount to harvest and the number of mosquitoes we may be there a few minutes or a few hours.  If David is home we enjoy some visiting while we’re there.

Yesterday I found a butternut squash where I thought I’d accidentally killed off the vine.  It was great find.  Earlier this summer I was awed by lettuce that kept producing tasty leaves even in the hottest days of July.  I can’t say that I ever find this kind of joy and wonder in the aisles of the supermarkets looking at the harvests trucked in from 500 miles away.

I spent most of my day yesterday in my kitchen watching movies on my computer while making spaghetti sauce for winter, freezing carrots, drying apples, baking granola, and making a bit of cucumber salad.  I still have quite a bit of that 45 lbs of produce to preserve so I’ll be back at it tonight. But, it brings me such simple joy.

I spend the time engulfed the sweet and savory smells of my creations eyeing the wonders that I had the good fortune to harvest, being awed just that they’re real.  I get to bathe in the memories other times and other kitchens with friends and family, so much laughter and so much love.

I think a lot about convenience.  I think about how we were sold the idea of processed foods in the 1950’s.  We were told they were convenient, time savers.  Yes, I spent a wonderful day yesterday enjoying the food I grew and harvested.  I got to spend time with my dog and cats, just being at home and being creative.  I don’t know a better use of that time.  I am glad I didn’t give it away to something else less valuable.  I am confident too, that there will be times this winter that I will be glad of my pre-prepared sauces and soups and other wonders that I can heat in just a few minutes for supper that were made in my kitchen and not a science lab with food not food-like substances.