My Food & Health Journal Exposed!
In the past month I have kept a record of what goes in (and though I didn't write it down—what comes out). As a result, I've got a better idea of where I'm at and where I wish to be with regards to my health goals. Let's see what I found on my inspection . . .
Last week I confessed that I have the habit of eating too often—I need to curb my snacking, and I definitely need more work in this area.
What have I been eating between meals and for snacks? As far as content, I think I chose wisely most of the time. Though I did buy some packaged products like gluten-free seed and rice crackers and sprouted grain raisin bread, I also made some of my own snacks. I read labeIs and prefer non-processed foods. We ate fresh fruit in moderation and add fruit in our smoothies and fresh juices. On more than one occasion people have commented in the grocery line how healthy we shop (and must eat) because of the large amount of produce we buy. (Anyone who juices must look similar.) But it's true that we fill up on the fresh bargains we find and I most always find a way to use or freeze them.
Now, this doesn't mean my pantry is "clean" of packaged and processed crap! We eat canned soups occasionally and stock up on bargain foods for storage just in case of an emergency. Hubby also can eat foods that I can't and he does most of the shopping! That means you end up eating what you buy or have on hand.
I have granola with almond milk at times and frozen fruit with Greek yogurt on occasion. I eat too many nuts, usually roasted, since that's what hubby likes and buys. I keep a supply of raw almond butter on hand and I love it on bananas. But, I do use raw nuts in recipes and apparently, I love to make more raw food desserts than raw food meals or anything else. Sometimes I just like a big spoonful of coconut oil! I eat salads everyday but I usually don't snack on raw veggies. We eat garlic popcorn every Sunday night.
It's a lifestyle change for me—not really a "diet" so it has to be a progression of healthy eating habits for me to be successful. Every year adds new changes to the way we view food and the habits we make.
Sugar 'n' Sweets.
There are some sweets I couldn't resist but I enjoyed them, and mostly I make them myself: apple cobbler, strawberry shortcake, non-dairy pudding and several pies. I had a few bites of Reeses Pieces, some chocolate, and a leftover Christmas caramel. I don't think I should deprive myself!
I seldom use white sugar in recipes, in fact I don't remember the last time I've used it. I have a variety of sweeteners I use including stevia, honey, sucanat, coconut sugar, maple syrup and brown rice syrup. I haven't made the decision (yet) to take sweeteners away. In moderation they are fine, but it depends on your sweet tooth.
New Foods and Recipes.
This not-raw Easy-Peazy Paleo Pizza was so good! It uses almond meal/flour and eggs in the crust which is a nice alternative to wheat! I've made just a few things experimenting with gluten-free flours like the tasty cinnamon rolls I made for my family yesterday. I used dandelion greens again—a new food for me this year, and we've been juicing a LOT of pomegranates! You'll frequently find Bok choy and Swiss Rainbow Chard in my soups and salads but I've also bought several pretty artisan lettuces that are fun to eat and make our salads quite gourmet-style. Beets have been a staple, and they are wonderful used raw in juice recipes (including the beet greens). Avocados are new to me to use in recipes. Did you see my Lucious Lime Mousse? Next on my list is a raw carrot-ginger soup.
Raw Food Percentage.
Of course, this includes fruits and vegetables as well as raw nuts and seeds. (Read this about enzymes and eating your food uncooked.) Eventually, my goal is to reach 50% raw. I'm not there . . . at all. A few days I ate more than 50% but on average I'm guessing 25-30%. I'm trying to eat something raw along with each meal, and we eat a big salad just about every day. When we eat at restaurants which typically is twice a week, I almost always order a large mixed green salad (no cheese or croutons). I'm seriously thinking of starting a week of juicing and only raw fruits and veggies soon and perhaps do that once a month or every so often. I want to see what kind of difference it makes in the way I feel and how easy it is to do. (I'll let you know!)
I've underestimated the need for fiber in past years, and keeping track in my journal showed me just how those numbers can add up and cancel out hundreds of calories consumed per day. My bowels are improved; fiber absorbs toxins and waste products, carrying them out of the body. Eating fiber-rich food helps fight heart disease and cancer, and it keeps you feeling full, longer. Fiber also helps balance the body's interaction with simple sugars so as not to store as much fat.
My goal was for 35 grams of fiber per day (the U.S.D.A. recommends women to get 25-30 grams). A few days I hit the 30s; my high was 37. Most days I was in the 20s and a few days in the teens.
I'm very low! My goal was to drink eight 12 oz. glasses of water per day. I was lucky to drink half that amount in water! I'm adding this to my new habits to build for the month—drink almost twice as much water as I have been.
I don't drink sodas—maybe only twice a year. I drink water with lemon at home and at restaurants. I seldom drink bottled juice and when I do it's 100% juice. It's so inferior to fresh juice (no enzymes) and usually contains concentrated sugars. I gave up coffee and wine back in October (health reasons) but I enjoy a decaf cup of coffee every now and then. When I visit my sister or on special occasions I'll have a few ounces of wine. My daily cappuccino went bye-bye too.
I'm conscious of the unique acid/base balance our bodies require. Too much acidity causes disease. Veggies and most fruits are alkaline and are always excellent choices. I've heard that if you drink a cola it takes about 12 cups of water to neutralize it in your body. So what happens is that you take calcium from your bones to keep the blood at the proper Ph level. Bad news indeed when that happens!
Drinking My Greens.
I only missed a few days that I forgot to drink my greens in some fashion. Doing well there! Check out one of my newest drinks here:
Dandy-Lion Fruit Freeze
l don't eat a lot of meat and I don't eat much dairy and eat no cheese at all. My goal was to eat a total of 72 grams of protein per day, but I only met that number on a few occasions and most days I seemed sufficiently low. I'm not sure I agree with that number though. For some interesting information on protein visit For This Season.
I take my supplements and I eat nuts, virgin olive oil, flax and chia seeds, small amounts of butter, and coconut. I'm adding in avocado. One reason I think I don't have many wrinkles at all is all the healthy fats I consume. (Well, genetics and not smoking plays a part too).
I exercised pretty darn close to six days a week! I just started looking into T-Tapp which I read about on another blog. I ordered the book (Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes) and have been intrigued. Lose up to 2 sizes in 4 weeks? How can that not get your attention? My focus recently has been to concentrate on my flabby abs so I'm using the Dancing Abs Jazzercise DVD more, plus the T-Tapp book has a bonus DVD workout for the "secret to a flat stomach". I'll keep you posted.
I've been pleased with the numbers. I need to stay at 1700 calories per day or less to lose the weight I desire and meet my goal over the next year. If you deduct the fiber and calories used for fuel allotments, I've done pretty well (most days).
I had some of the lowest BPs I've seen in years but a few days—especially in the last week, it's been slightly high. I need to do an internal stress check. This last week I have not felt well overall. It happens. I'm used to it.
The first month I lost six pounds and now I've stagnated. I'm still pleased however. I have to consider that muscle weighs more than fat so I can't rely totally on the scale. My clothes fit less tight. That's good.
I see some areas that need work and I'm seeing that my future looks good if I can keep the habits and lifestyle changes going.
God has blessed me greatly!
How are you doing at meeting your healthy goals and what new habits are you making?