Now before I tell you my story let me just point out that I am by no means a nutritionist and though I would like to be some day soon I have yet to begin my studies. The information that I base my healthy diet on is simply from articles that I read online, books I find at the library, and from other blogs I read. This is simply what is working for me and might not work for everyone else.
My shift from unhealthy foods has taken awhile. First I made a conscious effort to drink more water. Then I tried to stop eating the cheapo frozen dinners. I switched to whole bags of Bird’s Eye Steamfresh frozen veggies with Mrs Dash (to keep eliminating the sodium) but they haven’t been on as good a sale for at least six months. I also tried to stop eating as many frozen pizzas with Jason on nights he was home, which means we’re now rather sick of spaghetti.
I’ve never felt comfortable cooking meat on my own and have never really liked it enough to miss it (though I do crave hamburgers from time to time). So I obviously don’t have to deal with that expense. I would make myself burritos for awhile for dinner with black beans and whole wheat wraps, but that got boring.
The blogs I read actually get to my head a bit and I’ll find myself thinking ‘well none of them would have eaten a whole muffin, they would have saved half’ and comparing myself to them in my running, though a lot of them are in the midst of marathon training, so I really shouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to be our running for 3 hours straight anyway. I think I’d get really bored.
I’m becoming a little obsessed with Michael Pollan right now. I read The Botany of Desire last month which inspired me to start splurging on organic spinach since I was eating it twice a day and the book had me wanting to avoid inorganic potatoes! Now I’m reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma which has inspired me to try to eat foods with as short an ingredient list as possible (which means little to no fast food). If I buy myself meat (and as already discussed that’s a huge if) it’s going to be organic (Publix has good prices on organic ground turkey, actually). I also try to buy as locally as possible. There’s a weekly farmer’s market in town that will actually end for the season soon, but we’ll buy in season produce there for a lot cheaper than the super market, and its all sustainably grown. If we had farm stands I’d buy from them too.
Otherwise I eat a lot of rice and beans or tofu. I’ll make stirfrys a lot with whole grain rice and frozen veggies. Love frozen veggies. I try to always eat whole grains.
Eating this way is tough with my Husband allergic to beans and tofu (so I can’t always include him in my dinner) and living with him and our roommates because they don’t give a damn how they eat. Like when we were all making pizzas the other night the boys went to the store and bought the cheapest white pizza crust they could find.
When we do have pizza or pasta, I’m trying to start eating a small salad before them so that I fill up faster and have more leftovers.
I was having stomach issues just after lunch time and switched to salads for lunch. And then I realized it was the yogurt I was eating with breakfast. So as a personal choice I’m trying to seriously cut down on dairy because the lactose intolerance apparently affects me more than I realized.
So now that you’ve read my novel, I guess my methods are basically:
- cut out crappy frozen meals
- use seasonings (mrs dash) on things like vegetables instead of salt
- frozen vegetables
- use whole grains for pasta, rice, bread, etc
- cheap sources of protein like beans, lentils, peas
- buy local and in season if possible
- and something I’m still working on is just experimenting with different spices, seasonings, and sauces because they can totally transform something you eat all the time.