As I am writing this I noticed that the days are growing noticeably longer now. It is after 5:30pm and the sun is just setting. Mother Nature is putting on an interesting show this evening. The sky is cloudy but with the prettiest red/purple popping up between the clouds. Sorry that my photos didn’t do it justice. It was fascinating to watch as the fast moving clouds were changing the sky quickly. I get the biggest kick out of watching the sky change colors. It fascinates me that the older I get the more easily pleased I am with the little things in life.
What have you thought of the posts so far this month? Do you have any favorites yet? The reason I am asking is so that I know what topics you would like me to write about in future posts. If you have something that you would like me to write about don’t be shy. For those of you who are just joining us here is the recap of what we have accomplished so far to remind us all of how much we have covered during the first 21 days of January:
Day 1 – Defined Success and What is/was Holding Us BackDay 2 – Determined our Purpose and Looked at Passion
Day 3 – Listed Our Goals for January
Day 4 – Listed the Things We Have Needed to Work on for a While
Day 5 – Looked at Optimism vs. Pessimism and Fear vs. Intuition
Day 6 – Practiced Conscious Eating
Day 7 – Hara Hachi Bu
Day 8 – Taking the Stress Out of Meal Time
Day 9 – Acknowledgments
Day 10 – No Excuses, Do it Anyway
Day 11 – Is it True?
Day 12 – Have You Really Connected With Someone Today?
Day 13 – Motivation is a Decision
Day 14 - Successfully Navigating Dinner at an Unfamiliar Restaurant
Day 15 - What Do You Want, Have You Asked?
Day 16 – Treating Others as You Wish to be Treated
Day 17 – Food as a Budget
Day 18 – Silence Your Inner Critic
Day 19 – Replace I Have to With I Want to
Day 20 – Identifying Your Rituals
Day 21 – Face Your Fears
What did you think of yesterday’s post about facing your fears? I hope seeing my fears caused you to reflect on your own and to make a plan to tackle at least one of yours. Please try to remember that we all need to continue to learn and grow or we will start to wither inside. If any of us continue to do what you have always done then we really shouldn’t expect anything in our lives to change. I have tried many diets during my life, probably more than I can count. It took me years to figure out what works and more importantly what doesn’t work. Once I gave up dieting then my health dramatically improved and I want the same thing for any of you who are looking for change.
Give Up the Diet Mentality:
· They are always going on or off a diet.
· Each new attempt at dieting starts with a bang and somehow fizzles out.
· We seem to believe that the current quick fix (diet) will solve our problem right up until it stops working. This is driven in large part by the diet book industry IMO.
· Diets are seen as something that we do until we get the result that we want.
What is the healthiest thing that I want to eat right now?
· Fresh (raw) produce (vegetables and fruit) are always good. Any time that you can add fresh produce to your meals you should. Raw produce is low in calories, high in fiber and high in micronutrients. Go produce!
· Increase the amount of protein that you get from plant sources. The beauty of plant protein is that it comes without saturated fat and with fiber. Whenever you can add beans to a meal instead of animal products you are doing your health a favor. I try to eat beans in some form each day.
· Concentrate on eating whole unprocessed plant-based food. Try to eat at least 50% of each meal as whole unprocessed plant-based food. Once 50% is easy to achieve increase the percentage. I try to eat 95% of my food as whole food but I didn’t get here overnight. Examples of processed foods for me include: anything made with flour, sugar, oil, as well as things that come in packages. When you eat mostly whole unprocessed plant-based foods everything about your health starts to improve.
· Drink more water. Our bodies are predominantly water and they need water to function properly. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Instead of reaching for a diet soda or a cup of coffee drink water. If you don’t like water make it green tea, or you can add cucumber, fresh herbs or citrus slices to your water for flavor.
1. Record what you eat today in your journal. At the end of the day review the list and reflect on your choices. Are you happy with your choices? If you are happy with them wonderful! If not identify the choices that you would like to change in the future and think about healthy substitutions so that you are prepared the next time. Write those new choices down too. Here is an example to give you an idea:
Veggie subs from Subway could become fresh fruit and nuts from home or hummus and crudités (both of which I did after a while at the hospital but not initially).
2. Select one of the items above to add to your diet. Most people find it easier to add things that to take things away. However by adding more nutritious items you are less room for the unhealthy stuff. Look carefully at your diet and start with the change that will have the biggest impact for you. For example if you eat a lot of pasta substituting quinoa might be the right choice and would definitely be a great way to reduce your processed food impact.
I know that I need to eat more mushrooms. We got out of the habit of having them when Dan was in the hospital. In order to make this easier to incorporate I am going to get back into the habit of preparing flavored mushrooms a few times a week to have on hand for salads. Sorry that I couldn’t come up with a better example here but I have been working on my food choices for a while so there isn’t much left for me to change in our dietary habits. ;-)
What did you think of this section on ditching the diet mentality? Did I explain it in a way that makes sense? I hope that I did. Like always if anything that I wrote is unclear or you think that it requires clarification please don’t hesitate to let me know either by commenting or sending me an email.
1. Newsletters – Saturday was another productive day for me which feels great. I love being able to see the progress that I am making. *woo hoo*
2. Body Bugg – I continue to wear my bugg and I have gotten back into using the way I had intended when I purchased it. Go me! J
3. Date with Dan – The hubby and I have spent a lot of time together this week. With the weather we have stayed fairly close to home but we can have fun anywhere home or out. ;-)
4. Measuring calorie dense food – I am making a little progress on this but I really need to focus on it with every veggie meal to help my body absorb the fat soluble vitamins.
5. Working on my business – Saturday I took the day off from working on the business. The January posts are taking me many more hours to write than usual. As much as I love these posts I will be happy to see February arrive since I really need a little time back to work on other things, the business being one of them.
If you are worried about how eating more like us will impact your life I won’t mislead you it is difficult at first. People will not understand your choices and they will try to convince you that “a little bit of ……” won’t hurt you. My question is where do you plan to draw the line? Is one unhealthy meal a week okay? What is the point at which you have gone too far? Dan and I follow a diet that most people consider extremely restrictive. The funny thing is that neither of us perceives it that way. We both think of food and fuel and most people don’t. When your focus is on your health making the best choice is very simple.
· We have had a very good weekend. We got out of the house for exercise even though it was icy. I took this picture to try to give you an idea. Sorry it doesn’t really do it justice. I was pleased with us for getting out despite the weather, that is when you know you are committed, is should that be you should be committed? LOL
· The split pea and barley soup that I made on Friday was a bit hit this weekend. Is there anything better than a thick bean soup when it is cold and snowy outside? *pats self on back* ;-) I describe the soup in more detail below in case you want to make something similar at your house.
· We finally took all the Christmas decorations down. We had planned to take them down the evening that Dan ended up in the hospital. While the decorations were up much longer than usual, and longer than they should have been, at least we were able to enjoy them more this year which was nice. I can almost always find a bright side to everything you know. LOL
· Other than to check the weather we haven’t had the TV on in days. I love that we are able to talk, read and enjoy the other persons company without the distraction of a TV set. J I am one lucky woman to have married my best friend. I guess this proves that good things are worth waiting for.
· My hubby is such a sweetie. He walked to the store on Sunday, just to get out and move around, and called to see if I needed anything. He came home with a beautiful bunch of kale (better than flowers) and bananas. J
· The mystery fever has been gone for almost a week now. We are both convinced that whatever caused it is now gone. Good riddance I say. J
· The ice covered tree branches were beautiful last night when we were out. I am sorry that I couldn’t get a good picture of it with me phone. The trees seemed to be covered in diamonds when the street lights shined on them. It was definitely a gorgeous sight, but one that I was happy to walking in rather than driving in.
· Saturday our friend Jackie (Walid’s wife) stopped for lunch and saw Ian. I am not sure how it came up but she mentioned the trip to the hospital and not long after that I had an email from Ian. Are you starting to see what a small group we all are? It is sweet that everyone at the restaurant worries about us but I wish that they wouldn’t. *ugh* While it is nice to have so many people care about you but it also comes with responsibility. I hate to cause people to worry. Looks like I need to go out to lunch one day this week and fill the gang in.
· Sunday morning I received a nice email from Lauren (the very sweet nearly vegan nurse we met at Hopkins). We hadn’t run into each other on the street and she wanted to let me know that she was definitely interested in getting together for lunch. It is always nice to make new friends isn’t it? Who could have imagined that I would find a new friend from literally around the corner while at the hospital? Life does seem to work in mysterious ways sometimes.
· Have I said recently how nice it is to be eating my own food again? I feel so much better then I eat things that I had made from scratch. The weight I picked up while Dan was in the hospital is almost gone (it should be completely gone by tomorrow), and I feel fabulous.
· Next week we are expecting temperatures in the low 50s all week. *woo hoo* You know I will be spending as much time outside as possible right? I love getting outside to breathe the fresh air. *happy dance*
· Binky was adorable today as we were taking down the end of the Christmas stuff. He had to get into every box and investigate each item we were putting away. I love that our cats still act like kittens though they will all be 11 years old this year. Our three fur children certainly bring a lot of love and laughter into our house.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. I hope you had a fabulous weekend and are rested and ready to start your week, assuming you do the 9-5 thing like my hubby that is. ;-) Talk with you again soon!