Improved Eating? Uhm…how about improved lifestyle instead?
I have to be very careful about diet and eating to begin with—I was anorexic and bulimic as a teen-ager. No one ever tells you being anorexic and/or bulimic is like being a drug addict. You can kick the habit—but it is always w you, sitting on your shoulder, waiting to jump back in and get you back on that train.
I also have low blood sugar issues and have to be sure I eat every so often…which I do not like to do at all.
Technically, I am supposed to eat several small meals and several light snacks all day long. I can’t do that. Physically, I would probably be fine w it—but mentally—I just can’t do it.
I’m a grazer. I pick and snack here and there. I love food. I do not like to eat. Weird combo, huh?
If I get hungry, the first thing I do—after ignoring the sensation for about an hour or so—is drink a full glass of water. Why? Why do I ignore the sensation? Because I prefer to be busy. Why do I drink the water? Statistics (somewhere out there) say that 9 times out of 10 when you think your body is hungry, it is actually thirsty. I also know that supposedly (darn the scientists for figuring these things out) that hunger pains go away in about 20 minutes. So you drink the water, you body thinks your belly is full…voila.
Having said all that…my ‘normal’ idea of a diet is milk for breakfast (ovaltine), milk for lunch (ovaltine again), and a big meal when R comes home. I drink hot tea (w no sugar or lemon or milk or anything) and cold tea (not super sweet, a scant cup of sugar to one gallon of tea) all day. I will drink fruit juices when I start to crave them, which is rare. I will drink water.
My dad recently sent me an email about the best times to drink water. You drink water first thing in the morning to get your system ready for the day. You drink water before bed to …well…I don’t drink water right before bed…I want to sleep the whole night through and I don’t want to wet the bed (I have small children…first place my brain goes…) There were other times when drinking a glass of water is supposedly more beneficial to your body…but the water first thing in the morning is the one I stick to and the only one I remember. It makes me feel better anyway.
I recently tried my only one meal a day diet plan recently. If I could get up and do an hour’s worth of yoga first thing in the morning…I would not require as much food. Strange, but true. Problem: I won’t do yoga at my boyfriend’s house. Maybe I will once we have all the carpets removed and the floors redone…but right now…I am not sticking my face in a floor that smells of …dog…incontinent dog at that. It totally breaks my concentration.
So, I am lucky to go to my own house in the afternoon and do yoga then. Although it’s been the Bollywood dance of late. But still—at least I am doing something…my boyfriend gets very upset w me if I don’t eat—I tend to get dizzy and woozy and off-balance, well, more so than usual anyway. And even though I know the scientific facts behind it, my body gets upset when I don’t eat. Note to others: according to science, if you don’t eat, your body goes into starvation mode—it retains fat and liquid and whatever else it can hold on to…if you eat more, your body lets go of more. How weird is that?
Enough babble yet?
What am I planning to do?
This is not really a diet. This is more of a lifestyle plan.
1. Increase grainage. Brown, red, black rices…not all together…but the stranger the color and texture, for some reason the more the 9yo girl wants to eat it. Actually, all this is for me is whole grain/multi-grain toast, 2 slices, for breakfast. With rose hip jam on them—not butter and jam. Just the jam. I do as much whole grain as I can, or at least grain stuff as I can. I always throw a handful of barley or something into soups and stews.
2. Increase fresh fruit and veg intake. Yee haw farmer’s markets and the patio gardens we have. I tend to eat lighter during the hotter weather—mostly because the last thing I want is a heavy stomach—even if all I am eating is toast. I tend to crave salads anyway. I prefer spinach to lettuce…which is good from a nutrient level…
3. I still do not eat 3 meals a day. I eat breakfast—that’s my new rule—must eat breakfast. I eat dinner; I love having dinner w my family. I do not over-eat. My mother trained me to clean my plate. Some days it is harder than others to make myself leave something on the plate, but I do try. I have also tried making sure I put less on the plate, so if I do finish it, I don’t feel as bad.
4. R and I normally cook together. He does one part and I do the other. Cooking together makes us more involved in the food we’re having. We plan our meals better. It’s not nearly so haphazard. The food actually has more value…not just nutritionally…but emotionally. I am an emotional eater. Appetite suppressants have no affect on me whatsoever. My 9yo daughter shows the same aptitude. If she gets upset at all, her stomach hurts and she can’t eat. Cooking as a family brings us closer together. We are also not allowed to discuss things that will cause upset—so no talk of E’s schoolwork, or anything stressful for any of us.
5. Growing our own veg and herbs. Not just buying local produce in season, but growing our own. Ok, so we have a potted garden on our back patio…and we fertilize daily w whatever we sweep out of the rabbit cages (we have to keep them separated until after we get them fixed—they are still healing from their fight—I wanted them totally healed before I drive them the 30+ minutes to the vet for surgery…). This year we have 5 times more tomatoes than we had last year. Of course, this year I chose to grow Romano tomatoes…but, boy, are they growing well. The turnip greens are a hit w the rabbits. I can’t drench my spinach w soap much more to save it from the bugs…if I do, I fear we will hiccup soap bubbles whenever we eat the spinach.
6. I do take supplements to increase the rate of my metabolism. Hey, I am close to 40 yo and I am under no illusions about how the body changes. I can drink a tablespoon of vinegar a day…or I can take apple cider vinegar tablets…at which point I am ingesting 4 or more equivalent tablespoons of vinegar—without the vile taste and the gulping of raw honey (which is INSANELY difficult to find…I must have raw, unprocessed, unpasteurized honey…local if possible—but I haven’t found any local) followed by whatever I have on hand to drink that isn’t water or milk. Water doesn’t do much to kill the vinegar taste—and for some reason the milk seems to make it worse, and causes upset tummy…). Cayenne mint combined is one supplement. The mint counteracts the upset tummy over that big hit of cayenne. Ginger supplement. I rotate others, like garlic (odorless and tasteless), lavender, alfalfa…I have also started to drink a capful (maybe 3-4 tablespoons?) of aloe vera juice in the morning. Be careful and do the research on aloe vera juice. It can be quite the purgative if you take more than a little bit of it at a time.
7. I am increasing yogurts, kefirs, and anything semi-probiotic-like. I need the calcium…that’s where it started. There is research out there that says calcium helps you lose weight. I don’t like to take the vitamins anymore…the supplements I take are herbal in nature…so not manufactured vitamins or minerals. I keep everything skim, no fat, low fat, as much as possible. We only drink skim milk here.
8. Believe it or not, talking w R about what I am eating and how I am eating has done wonders for me. He keeps me on an even keel, helps me out, and is working w me on the types of food I want to eat more of and so on.
Now, I do have an extra one…we don’t eat out as much. We normally eat out a couple times a week. We always eat out on the week-end when we have both kids…we normally take E and N to lunch, and sometimes supper, before we take N back to his dad’s house. That usually means McDonald’s playground…neither kid cares where they eat, so long as there is a playground. So, we are cutting back on our eating out –and we are going to better places, or rather healthier places, when we do go out.
My other caveat is I try to do something, anything, dance, yoga, basic stretching, ride my stationary bike, something for at least 15 minutes a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but it does a great deal towards making me feel better, which actually makes me feel thinner…and my scale may not be in total agreement, but my skinny girl jeans are fitting better…so that says something.