Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Dreaded: Diet.

The name says it all: Diet. That word has totally programmed our brain to automatically think of starvation, sacrifice, & ultimate unhappiness. So, when I decided I was going to get healthy, I refused to tell myself I was going to diet to do it. I set my plan up that I would start Crossfit again, & start drinking at least 100 oz of water everyday. That was it. I needed to get my body moving more than it was, & I needed to stay hydrated.
Now, if any of you have done Crossfit, one thing is for sure, you feel pretty much everything that you put in your body. That drink you had the night before will be seeping out of your pores in your sweat, & make it feel like you are wearing a 30 lb vest on your chest. You will literally start to be able to taste what you had for dinner. So, when I set my goals on Crossfit 3-4 times a week, I knew ahead of time that it would keep me more aware & make me think twice about what I was taking in. But, I also knew I needed to eat. Your body cannot sustain working out as hard as I wanting to, with no calories to burn. So, I watched numerous documentaries, & reached out to my friends & learned one very helpful insight into eating healthier. Don't take away food. Add MORE food to your diet, especially when starting out. Now, when I say food, I mean actual food. Doritos & hot pockets do not qualify as food. I mean natural, organic, delicious fresh food. I don't know why this was an "aha!" moment to me, because really, it's common sense. When you start to add more, actual food, to your diet, & fill up on the good stuff, it eventually just pushes the imitation stuff out!!  So, here are my tricks & treats. I haven't set any definite limits on my "diet" & yet, I am eating healthier than I have in a REALLY long time!

 Grocery Shopping:
Ask Dan... I HATE grocery shopping. I just kinda, suck at it. I go in for specific things, leave spending too much money, & forget the items I went in for. Send me armed with a recipe, & I guarantee I will forget the most important ingredient! Drives me crazy! So... I enlisted the help of friends, & got some awesome staples to have on hand... & I had the best shopping trip I've ever had! My friend Mayra shared this shopping list that she's used, & it really helped me to think of things that I knew I could make meals out of!
 Shopping List
& most importantly, I needed to stock up on healthy things to curb the cravings that I knew were to come. I had a tendency, later in the evening than healthy, to binge on the sweets. I loved hunkering down for a movie & munchin' on something delicious, & gummy. Two weeks ago, the day before I went shopping,  I was craving something unhealthy so bad, every commercial on TV would make my stomach growl at me louder. (You know it's bad when a fish filet from McDonald's makes you crave for a half a dozen of them... ew!) So, I needed to have my defenses on back up! I also turned to friends & got a lot of really great ideas, & decided to go with two main treats: Frozen spoonfuls of Almond butter sometimes with a little honey, & a bag of Dark Chocolate covered Acai berries. DELICIOUS, & within reason, a much better alternative to gummies.

 Potatoes: a fat girl's BEST friend. I love my mama's cookin', & mashed potatoes were a staple in my house all growing up. One of the realizations you have as an adult though, is that your white potatoes don't necessarily belong in the vegetable group. Especially when you can have them in so many ways... usually fried, and/or drenched in salt, butter & sour cream. I don't consider myself a master in the kitchen either, so I had the tendency to resort to easy meals, ie; chicken breast, broccolli, mashed/baked potato.  Sure, that meal isn't necessarily BAD for you, but this easy tweak has increased my options in cooking, & my vegetable intake! & it's much easier than any potato: no peeling, so boiling for 20 min, it's literally, cut, steam, & chop in your food processor! I eat it as a side on a regular basis, & I never feel like I'm missing out on the comfort food from growing up! My cousin Becky at referred me to a Turkey Sriracha meatball & cauliflower rice recipe that was probably my favorite so far (& I cooked it all by myself!!!! If you know me, you know that's few & far between!)
H 2 the izz-O
Water. Simple, Easy, basic. Water. We are one of the few countries in the world that can drink out of our tap without fear, & yet over 80% of Americans are dehydrated!!! Having visited a third world country, I was appalled at the amount of money a ziplock back size of water cost, & that's if they were even able to find somewhere to buy it! Our bodies can survive longer without food than without water... We desperately need to step up as a country, & take advantage of the life giving source around us!! When I set the goal to drink more than 100 oz of water a day, I didn't even consider what it would do for my diet everyday. It keep my stomach more full, my digestive system more regular, & I can more easily identify when I'm genuinely hungry, or just bored & craving. It's probably my biggest help with eating a more healthy, balanced diet. 
One good decision leads to another. One day at a time. 

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