Saturday, January 16, 2010

My nerdiest post yet....

....which I'm seriously considering deleting, because, besides me, who really CARES? I am laughing so hard that I've actually typed all this out! But then again, all my blog meanderings have meaning for on with the true confessions.

Although I don't always abide by what I've learned, I have a passion for healthy eating. My family would say it's an obsession. They are used to hearing my little-known-facts regarding food; seriously, I'm the Cliff Clavin of nutraceuticals. I just really love all things nutrition-oriented, from learning how the natural chemicals in food benefit the body all the way to experimenting in the kitchen when I've found a recipe that tempts both my inner health food nut AND my taste buds. I know from experience that I feel better, sleep better, and think better when I'm living out what I've learned about diet. I fall off the wagon just like anyone else, especially around the holidays, and I won't say that every snack or meal fits the profile, but I try, and for the most part, I enjoy it. Here are a few healthy changes I made last year that I'm still having success with.

1. I eat breakfast. I used to be notorious for skipping this meal. I found out that not only do I perform SO much better all day long when I have breakfast, but nothing keeps metabolism humming along better than stoking the engine with some good, long-burning fuel. I'm not talking about sugary cereal and milk either. An egg plus a couple extra egg whites with some whole grain toast, a stack of protein pancakes, or my favorite shake are my stand-bys.

2. I drink more water. I think my thirst mechanism is a little off-kilter. I don't get thirsty very often at all, although I will say that now that I'm drinking more water, I find myself wanting more water. For me, it was an acquired taste!

3. I have added more protein. I'm not talking about a high-protein diet here, either, but my diet before was really carb-heavy and light on protein.

4. I've added more good fats. Anyone heard of Udo's Oil? It's a mixture of omega 3's and 6's in their correct ratio made from several plant oils. I love the stuff because it makes me feel full longer and it doesn't taste bad. Sure, any oil is going to pack some calories -- but I really think I eat less junky fat and junk food altogether when I'm putting Udo's in my shakes. I've lost a few pounds (this was before the holidays, however!!) while using it, and that's one of the big benefits according to the company who makes it. Apparently their studies showed that adding a tablespoon of Udo's per 50 pounds of body weight per day, with NO other changes, helped people lose weight. Now, that's alot of oil! I don't use that much -- maybe a tablespoon a day. It is not heat stable for cooking, but it can be put in soups and stews AFTER they're cooked.

5. I try to eat the equivalent of six small meals a day. I learned this when I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy. It's really how we should eat all the time for keeping our blood sugar levels more consistent and warding off the insulin resistance we tend to get as we age. My version of it usually looks more like three meals and three hearty, healthy snacks when I'm doing it right.

6. This is my favorite new thing: my healthy shakes. I've played around enough to figure out which variation I like best, and I usually have it as a meal replacement (breakfast or lunch) or one of my snacks. Here's what's in them: Simply Orange juice, egg white protein powder (vanilla flavor), old fashioned oats (uncooked), Udo's Oil, a combination of fruit (usually a handful of frozen blueberries and a few frozen strawberries, or one of those with a banana), and a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon (up to about a teaspoon). I add ice in the summertime when I am using fresh berries. So I have some good carbs, good protein, and good fat, along with the phytochemicals and enzymes in the fruit. I know there is a lot of natural sugar in the juice and the fruit, but it's combined with some low-glycemic index foods which should counteract its tendency to spike blood sugar levels. This shake keeps me full for hours and it is delicious!

So what's on my nutritional agenda for 2010?

1. Play around with spices that have been discovered to have a profound effect on health. I don't know the first thing about using turmeric or curry or any number of spices with intimidating names.

2. Experiment with green and white teas. Not a huge fan...yet.

3. Keep looking for clean-eating (meaning whole foods, not processed) recipes that are delicious and quick.

4. Do some research on good eating-out options. As much as I'd love to cook every dinner, it isn't gonna happen. I'd love to be better prepared to make good choices in any restaurant or (gasp) fast-food drive-through!

If anyone actually READ all this...Wow! Thanks! If not, at the least it is eye-opening for me to see that baby steps do lead up to some pretty good progress in a year's time, and it's good to have some goals in mind to continue. Bon Appetit!!


  1. This post makes me feel like a chip obsessed hog!!!!!!!!!

    Ok... I'll start small... I just asked Scott to get me a glass of water. I'll let you know how that goes.


  2. LOL!! My dirty little secret: I'm a pita chip obsessed hog! Especially if there is red pepper hummus available!

    I know, I know...this post probably comes across a little OCD, and even a bit self-righteous, but make no mistake...I'm only this health conscious in my dreams. I fall from nutritional grace on a daily basis. But I am trying! ;-)


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