Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It's Time to Get Serious About My Diet


Richard Simmons used to say "The first word in diet is 'die'."  That's pretty much how I've always felt. Still, as I get older and get more health issues, my weight gets harder to control. I'm at 170 right now -- well, 169.7, but close enough. That is a BMI of 28.3 - 1.7 points away from obesity.

The worst thing is that some of my health issues are caused by my weight and my poor diet. For example, I have GERD and a hiatal hernia. My Dr. minced no words telling me if I lost my belly fat, I wouldn't have either.

I've never been able to stick to a diet, or counting calories, or to tracking what I eat. It's all just too tedious. But when I was, I found that the three things that added the most calories were bread, sugar, and dairy.

If you knew how much I love butter and sweets, you'd know how difficult giving them up is going to be for me. I never ate much bread, but after reading about "wheat belly," I've decided to not only give up bread, but give up everything containing wheat. I can still eat other grains, but wheat is out.

What I Will Eat, Which Some People Will Disagree With

Of course, I'll eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but less fruit than I eat now. I could literally live off of fruit, and that's mosty because of the sugar in it. I'm addicted to sugar, and while fructose is a good sugar, it's still sugar.

I don't like many leafy greens, and the ones I do, I usually eat cooked with tons of butter and seasoning such as ham hocks. Not healthy. So instead of cooking greens in the normal way, I'll eat them chopped up fine in salads. I do love chopped salad, and that's a great way to get my five fruits and veggies every day.

I'm not giving up meat. I mostly eat chicken, but occasionally eat beef or pork. I'm not too crazy about fish, but I do love seafood, especially shrimp. The difference is that I love all seafood breaded and fried, and since I'm giving up wheat, no more breading for me. I've tried alternative flours for breading, and it just doesn't taste the same.

The Hardest Thing to Give Up After Sugar

Dairy will be extremely hard to give up, because I love cheese and butter. I just bought a toaster, too. I'm going to have to experiment with different nut spreads and such, maybe I'll get into avocado toast. Yummy!

I like almond and rice milks, in fact, I had been thinking about making my own rice milk, since it's cheap, easy and much creamier than store-bought.

No Artificial Stuff

Giving up sugar will be extremely hard, but I'm determined not to use artificial sweeteners. Stevia isn't the greatest sweetener in my opinion, but it's better than having unsweetened tea.

I'll also be trying extremely hard not to eat processed foods. Sometimes, that's not possible, so I'll be reading labels very carefully for hidden sugars and the worst of the artificial ingredients.

The Cost of Healthy Eating

Healthy food isn't cheap. Eating a mostly plant-based diet means you have to eat more, and quality fresh fruits and veggies can be a little costly. I won't be able to afford to go organic, but I'm going to try to make a lot of my own food from scratch. I know how, I just don't. Now I won't have a choice.

Healthy eating is going to cost me more in terms of time than money, because of prep time, but also because I'm going to try to grow some of my own food. I can grow food 12 months a year here in Florida, but my yard doesn't have much sun, so I'm limited in what I can actually grow. I've been experimenting, and I know I can grow a lot more than I thought I could. I can grow greens and root vegetables very well, plus some tropical vegetables and edible ornamentals. Beans have also done well in certain parts of the garden. If I can supplement my food budget by at least growing 25% of what I eat, that will be a big plus for me.

I'll be posting more about my new healthy eating lifestyle, and I'll have a category for it over on the sidebar so you can stay up to date.

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2 comments:

  1. Shhhhh! Don't you know that the word DIET has DIE in it? Let's talk about a "nutrition plan" instead. *wink*

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  2. Delete the previous comment. I missed your first line LOL. I have GERD and a hiatal hernia too. My weight is also hovering around 170, largely due to multiple rounds of the dreaded Prednisone due to my COPD. I love sweets - especially chocolate - and never have enjoyed wheat. I do LOVE pumpernickel and rye, though! I don't care for many fruits or veggies. A lot of it is due to texture issues, and like you, I can tolerate anything chopped up finely in a salad - or in a smoothie. I eat meat, fish and seafood. I do like avocados... but not the almond or rice milk. I don't drink much milk but I eat cheese, which I shouldn't do. I've never succeeded with a nutrition plan yet, but there's always a first time, eh?

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