5 Somethings Tuesday

I've been hearing a lot lately about diets - I guess it's that time of the year. The end of spring seems to get everyone thinking about the beginning of summer and shedding those bad eating habits. Sometimes diets are necessary to jump start weight loss which then encourages a more healthy lifestyle. But we all know diets cannot last forever. I like to learn about eating healthy in simple, realistic ways that can be incorporated into my everyday life. Because what I eat the majority of the time is what affects me the most.

1. Something I've been intentionally trying for awhile = less meat, more fruits and vegetables. In Stormie Omartian's Greater Health God's Way, she recommends eating no more than 2 servings of meat (chicken or beef) a week and at least 3 servings of fish. I really had to retrain the way I think on this one. The American way seems to eat meat at every meal! It sounds perfectly normal to have a turkey sandwich for lunch and grilled chicken for dinner, right? Well, add it up and that is 14 servings of meat a week! I still eat way more than 2 servings a week but have slowly incorporated vegetarian meals into my diet. Meat is known to be hard on the digestive system and is higher in saturated fat. Eating too many servings of meat leaves me with a "heavy" feeling and I have noticed by leaving it off the menu I feel "lighter" and not stuffed after meals. The main reason we eat meat is for protein but there are so many other sources of protein available. For lunch I'll choose PB&J instead of turkey all the time or a vegetable salad with almonds or walnuts. (Although jelly is not extremely healthy, I'm giving myself some leeway because I'm working toward my more important goal of less meat.) For dinner I often eat an apple with almond butter and raisins, a plate of veggies or on occasion a baked potato. I do eat a snack a couple of hours after dinner which is fine- two small meals are better than one large one.

2. Something I have to constantly remind myself = drink pure water. Water doesn't count when it's in tea, juice or soda. A couple of years ago I stopped drinking orange juice for breakfast and now I only drink water in the mornings. I really just got tired of the o.j. but I also had to evaluate why was I drinking it every morning? Just because that's what your supposed to drink with breakfast? Now I don't care for juice at all in the morning. I'm used to drinking only water and it's a good start to my day with at least one glass or two of water in my system.

3. Something I just heard = don't steam vegetables, blanch them. A chef from Whole Foods explained that when you steam broccoli most of the nutrients end up in the bottom of the pan. That's why the water is green when you pour it out. Blanching vegetables maintains the vibrance of the vegetables and keeps the nutrients intact. If you have ever wondered why vegetables look brighter and more colorful when your dining out, it's because restaurants blanch instead of steam.

4. Something I want to try = kale. I've looked at nutrition charts that rank green leafy vegetables and kale is always at the top. I've never made this super food before but would like to learn a few good recipes. The same chef from Whole Foods said it's their #1 seller right now in the produce section. They can't keep it on the shelves. He gave some statistic and I can't remember the term he used, but it was something to this effect: if you rank food based on it's nutritional value, chicken would get a 50 and kale would be close to 1,000.

5. Something I have a new outlook on = less sugar is more. No matter how threatening the sayings get about sugar, I'm not sure I could ever do away with it completely. I mean if "white poison" doesn't scare me off, what will? I do need to change the way I look at it though. Instead of a daily treat, I'm starting to think of dessert as more appropriate on a weekly basis. If I'm going out on the weekend with the girls for dessert, I will pass on a cookie during the week. Tomorrow is my dad's birthday and next Monday is Memorial Day which means a dessert is in my near future. If I stop to look at the calendar, there's usually a holiday, birthday or at least one event around the corner. We have a large family, so it feels like we are always celebrating someone's big day. It doesn't mean I eat dessert EVERY time it's offered though. For me, eating less sugar is all about self-control and mental discipline. It gets a little easier when I cut back, because the more sugar I eat the more I crave. But most of the time when I pass on dessert it's because I've had a conversation with myself and the voice of reason has just said, "That's a 'NO' ".


  1. Mel- I like this! I need to do some of this. It's so hard though. Especially when we eat on the go so much. Great tips! Lovin the blog!

  2. I have heard conflicting opinions about the water thing. Seems like it was Joy Bauer who said as far as hydration goes, it doesn't have to be strictly water and that we really get more water in our bodies than we realize. I still try to do my part and "drink enough." As for the meat thing, have you ever read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan? You would love it. I can't remember if we've talked about this or not . . We're big pasta people here and definitely don't consume meat each day. I've actually tried to eat more fish. Vegetables is really where I fall short. And I confess, pregnancy had me craving an exorbitant share of turkey sandwiches.

  3. Candice- I know! The hardest part of eating right is the time it takes to prepare it and then try to take it with you. I do not enjoy all the washing and cutting up and preparing just for 1 salad but when I'm eating it I always feel it's worth it.

    Lee- That is interesting what J.B. says b/c I have never heard anyone say that. A diet with mostly fruits and veggies will be much better for your digestive system since they contain mostly water anyway. Preparing vegetables is my least favorite thing to do. I actually almost picked up that book a month ago- maybe that would be good poolside reading for this summer. I had to acquire a taste for fish and still have to- there are only a few kinds I like. And I'm sure pregnancy would fall into the "not feeling well" category when most of our food aspirations get side aside for a brief time while more comfort food is welcomed (although some definitions of comfort food are a little more dangerous than a turkey sandwich :)).


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