Tag Archives: health

Changing Tastes

Tonight, I was hit with the craving stick. Chinese, to be exact. I Urbanspoon-ed it and found a little spot close to the house.

Drove over, placed my order, drove home, cracked it open, and ate…only the vegetables and chicken. I wanted vegetable fried rice and chicken with broccoli. And then my taste buds rebelled.

Suddenly they were only craving the vegetables and chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I like vegetables and chicken…but I started this journey intending to end up with fried rice. And the fried rice sat alone, neglected in his sad little container.

The same sad little container that is now sitting at the bottom of the dumpster. Boo begged for it, but I didn’t want to give him some over-processed food. Which made me realize, “If I wouldn’t feed it to my dog, why would I feed it to myself?!”

Dinner epiphany y’all!

And because September seems like as good a month as any…I’m starting a movement.

 Salubrious September!

Sure, we’re 8 days in, but better late than never! So September will be the month to jumpstart your healthy living habits!
I’m at the point in my life where I’m starting to feel a difference in my body depending upon the fuel it receives. Even Military Man mentioned that he is starting to crave home cooked meals as opposed to fast food. Oh, and remember how I said give me a year to get him off spray cheese? Well it’s happened! We were at Walmart and he mentioned that it doesn’t even sound good to him anymore. SUCCESS!

My one of my personal September goals will be to get active! I love group exercise, dancing etc, but I’m not a fan of treadmills and the actual “going to the gym.” I like to workout at home….but then I sit down…and Gilmore Girls is on…and then 2 hours go by and it’s time for bed. Sound familiar? So I’m going to commit to walking Boo at least 3 times a week. It’s good for both of us!

Need motivation for yourself?

Here are 3 ways to participate:

-Make your own meals: Go grocery shopping and spend most of your time picking up fresh produce. Try to avoid the processed foods…and if you do grab some stuff just remember that moderation is key!

-Commit to be fit: Every day, do some sort of fitness activity. Move! Take a group fitness class. Take your dog for a walk. Or your cat. It can be 5 minutes or 5 hours. Just move! Park away from the door, so you have to walk farther. You’ll feel better after. I loathe working out, but after it’s done, I never regret it.

-Listen to your body: If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, let yourself rest. Take a night off and recharge. Go to bed early after a nice warm bath. If you’ve been battling an ice cream craving for weeks, indulge a little. Savor every spoonful. Even better, take a walk around your neighborhood as you enjoy your frozen treat.

So my September goals will be:

-Wake up earlier. I’ve fallen into the trap of staying up way too late. Time to reset my inner clock!

-Walk Boo at least 3 times a week (Goal is every day!)

-Make more smoothies! I love making smoothies with fresh fruit and veggies. I think it’s high time to bring those bad boys back!

Some other suggestions for your Salubrious September: Drink more water, participate in Meatless Mondays, get 8 hours of sleep, take up sudoku.

 

Have a great night!

Let me know if you plan on participating in Salubrious September! What are some of your health goals (if any)?

-Brittany

**Disclaimer: I’m not an expert. These are just my opinions and are in no way meant to replace Doctor instruction. Do what works for you!**

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Healthy Eating: Making the Transition

Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician. These tips are based solely on my own knowledge of and experience with healthy eating

I’m not sure healthy eating is something that can be taught, at least not by me. The person wanting to eat healthier has to have a taste for healthier foods or at the very least, a willingness to learn to like them. But part of my goal to improve in the kitchen was to also be healthier. And that, in turn, inspired me to start blogging about food. So I figured a post about some of the basics of healthy eating might be a good idea.

Growing up, my parents were total health nuts (sorry guys, it’s true). Soda was a rarity in our house and when we had it, it was a natural Whole Foods brand. Store brand cereal? Forget it. And for years, I thought all bacon was made from turkey! As I mentioned, my mom is a fabulous cook. So we almost always ate home cooked meals made with real ingredients. On the one hand, this was a great way to grow up. I think it definitely had something to do with my fast metabolism and rarely fluctuating weight. And despite vivid memories of sitting at the table for hours until I finished my vegetable cous cous, and being forced to try dried seaweed, I came out of childhood relatively unscarred. On the other hand, sometimes forbidding something too much can make it all the more tempting. When someone brought donuts to Sunday school, I wanted 2, or 3! Because these were forbidden at home.  It’s definitely a delicate balance, but I’m glad I wasn’t taught some of the horrible food habits I see in kids today. Salt, sugar, and fat- the ingredients in nearly all the “really bad foods”- are incredibly addictive and clearly the addictions are starting younger and younger (I’ve seen women hand their young child a venti sized Starbucks frappuccino!). That’s why I can write for days about all the benefits of healthy eating and it’s not going to change a thing if you’re not ready to change. But here’s the thing: once you get started, you slowly stop craving all those things, I promise!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not perfect.  I’m not a big drinker, but I like wine- particularly red- a little too much and I could easily drink an entire bottle in one sitting if I let myself (mom and dad look away!) Ice cream, soda, and Starbucks are my other weaknesses. but I’m a firm believer that nothing is bad for you in moderation (except maybe cocaine). I still crave fast food, but now it’s an occasional thing instead of on a regular basis. And when I do crave it, it’s usually Panda Express or the occasional burger from Culvers. As for Taco Bell, Burger King, Arby’s, etc? Nope, don’t miss them at all!

As I explained in my bio, this development mostly started when I moved into my first apartment and no longer had my mom or the university dining hall to rely on for my meals. I quickly got tired of the 3 dish rotation of things I knew how to cook. Also, I’m heading towards my mid twenties, and I know that someday soon my metabolism is going to slow down and I’m not going to be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want and not have the scale budge. With a history of obesity and diabetes in my family, I have even more reason to start eating healthy now.

One of the first changes I made was really simple: subbing whole wheat pasta for white. At first I didn’t like it. But I stuck with it, and before I knew it, regular pasta started to taste weird to me instead. Then I started keeping my freezer stalked with frozen veggies. As a single person living alone, it’s hard to keep perishable things around in quantities you can consume before they go bad. So frozen veggies were perfect. As long as they don’t have any added sauce, they have the same nutritional content as fresh veggies. As I made these changes, I started getting more adventurous too. I discovered that while I still HATE bleu cheese, I had outgrown my dislike of brie. I also discovered that I like feta cheese, especially on salads and pizza, and I learned to like baby spring greens in salads instead of iceberg lettuce.

Another big change I made was that I started eating breakfast. I vaguely remember eating breakfast as a kid. But sometime around high school, I stopped. I had to be out the door by 8:30 and in class by 9:00. I was never hungry before then and hated forcing myself to eat. I knew skipping breakfast was bad for your metabolism, but 15 extra minutes in bed always won out over getting up in time to eat, even if I did happen to be hungry. But then I started reading a blog that changed all that. Julie at Peanut Butter fingers eats a lot, and I do mean a lot of smoothies! They looked really good, and all the recipes she listed were super healthy. So I went out and bought the ninja Master Prep (great for smoothies!) at Meijer along with chocolate protein powder and no sugar added whole frozen fruit.  It was love at first sip! Being in college now, I can have food with me in class. So I whip up a smoothie in the morning, pour it in my reusable Starbucks cold drink tumbler, and take it with me to class. A protein packed smoothie keeps me full until around noon and tastes great. But the biggest change I noticed was instant and even more exciting. I had tons energy. I didn’t find myself yawning in the middle of the day or drifting off on the couch while watching TV at night. Some nights, I’d still be wide awake at 3 a.m.  When my alarm went off at 6:45, I was tired but as soon as I got myself out of bed I was good to go. If I do find my eyes getting heavy too early in the evening, a few jumping jacks or laps around my apartment perk me right up. I couldn’t believe something as simple as eating breakfast could make such a huge change.

Finally, I started preparing more meals that involved meat. And most importantly, I avoid processed foods at all costs. I feel a hundred times better and I wish I’d done this sooner. Obviously, this is a more expensive way to eat. And if you simply don’t like the taste of whole wheat or raw veggies, nothing I say about their benefits is going to change your mind. However, if you’re ready to start eating healthier, make these small changes like I did and you will see a difference, I promise!

-Vanessa

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