Monday, April 26, 2010

Healthy Whole & Hopeful

Time for the whole & healthy food update. We started earlier in the year attempting to eliminat processed & refined foods from our diet and replacing them with whole, fresh & organic. In short, as close to the natural form of food as possible. Learning to eat and cook this way hasn't been terribly difficult so much as time-consuming as we slow down and give up the convenience of ready-made.
We are right on track with our initial round of changes. We purchase very few baked goods any more. I make most of our bread and all of our goodies. The bread is time consuming and challenging considering our full time jobs. The weekly goal is two loaves of whole wheat bread, a batch of cookies and one loaf of quick bread. So far, I'm about 80% on track & consider that success. The only baked good we still tend to purchase is bread and we always buy fresh whole grain now.
Pretty much every weekend I make a pot of homemade soup which we have for one weekend meal and then use the rest of the week for lunch. Throughout the week we plan ahead to cook our meals from scratch and often cook more than one meal at a time with common ingredients so they can be easily reheated at the end of a work day.
I have eliminated pop from my diet except for the occasional out to dinner drink and found that with its elimination, my tendency toward headaches is gone as well. I have also cut out artificial sweeteners. In place of refined sugar I usually opt for honey or raw sugar cane. I tried molasses but didn't care for it.
Most of my research indicated that number one, this is a way of life that doesn't have to be 100% to be beneficial. I'd say I hit the mark around 75%-80% of the time and I'm very satisfied with that. I also learned that it takes about six months for one's body to detox and rebalance metabolism and cravings. I have found that to be pretty accurate as well. At this point, unless I let myself become overly hungry, I have virtually no cravings. I haven't had potato chips in a few months and this was a huge weakness for me. It's not that I'm successfully fighting temptation, I simply don't crave them. I don't know the science of it but the theory is that if your body is getting what it needs, it will not send out those craving signals. I have also noticed that I am not feeling hungry as often. And speaking of hunger...
No, I have not lost weight. I decided to concentrate on healthy and once that was mastered, take the lessons learned and apply to them weight loss through portion control and careful choices. This is going to be a change from my former weight loss experience through Weight Watchers. In my WW days, I was eating fewer calories but not necessarily less volume; if that makes sense. I depended heavily on low fat/low sugar prepared foods & snacks. I ate frozen entrees every day for lunch. I did a tremendous amount of supplementing my intake of healthy food by adding processed food. Now I'm learning a new way of life and those low calorie snacks and foods are no longer an option. This leaves a pretty simple formula; portion control, whole grain/high fiber, veggies & fruit. Seems simple but I know it's not going to be easy.
With warm weather around the corner, I think it's a great time to take this to the next level and benefit from outdoor grilling and fresh produce. I know this is possible and I'm feeling very encouraged that all that I hoped would be accomplished has so far been successful. I have about 35 pounds to lose and believe that this is doable with both whole and healthy food and portion control without chemicals, preservatives or additives.
So that's the update! With good decisions and the right attitude I believe that in the Autumn I can submit the next installment on our journey with a smaller number on the scale to celebrate!
Here's to our health!

1 comment:

Mrs. Mac said...

I have done pretty much the same AND cut our food budget in 1/2. By adding whole milk products including yogurt/buttermilk/kifer .. cutting out 90% of the processed sugars my appetite has diminished too. Whole foods fill you up for much longer and the cravings go bye-bye. Good progress report .. sis.