The Diet (or, just plain eating healthier)

Four or five years ago I put together this “healthier eating diet” and it worked wonders to get those last few nasty pounds off. After 3 months I felt great, healthy, awake (at least for a day or two) and THIN! Ya, I know THIN is a vain goal, but after gaining 40-45 lbs during pregnancy, it was sure a nice thing to feel. I really miss it. I won’t miss this jelly belly.

The base of it was taken from all kinds of places: a bit from Oprah, a bit from food combining charts, a bit from “French Women Don’t Get Fat”, a bit from plain old common sense.

Here it is in point (or List!) form…

THE ORIGINAL RULES:

dsc_75071. No eating after 7pm, except a very small snack and cup ‘o tea. I love vanilla rooibos, so that was always a favorite pick and it’s a natural decaf. Sometimes I have blueberry green tea. YUM! A few slices of apple or other fruit and I’m done.

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2. Bigger lunch, smaller dinner. Yep. Straightforward. And small HEALTHY snacks in between, like nuts and dried fruit or a cup of juice or water.

img_02483. Portion control. Your protein (meat, beans) should be about the size of your fist as a general rule. I was eating 2 or 3 times that, especially when I was pregnant!

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4. Meat/starch control. I kept my meats to 1/day, and tried to mix in a lot of fish which was easy b/c I love it. Starch was mostly avoided, with one or two small helpings a day of whole grain breads.

dsc_75115. Don’t mix protein/starch. A food combining “don’t”. A meal here is usually a meat OR a pasta, with at least 3 vegetables. This was a real stretch, because I HATE vegetables.

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dscn29826. Eat lotsa Vegetables. I’m learning to love the vegetable. It’s been almost 5 years and I now like maaaaybe 5 or 6 of ’em. Progress!

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7. Don’t mix milk. With anything. Before I was eating cereal with milk. What I’ve heard is that milk coats your stomach, and other foods have a difficult time digesting once the stomach acids can’t reach them through the milk. The other foods rot and cause gas, etc. Gross. Anyhow, I switched to a very European breaky of 1 cup of granola, 1 cup of PLAIN yogurt and lotsa fruit. PLAIN yogurt should have only 2 ingredients, btw! CHECK! Also, I try to have my latte mid-morning, giving other foods a chance to digest.

dsc_75138. A (skim milk) latte a day keeps the migraines away. Well, don’t know if that’s true or not, but the Dr. told me that 1 or 2 oz of espresso doesn’t hurt any, and the milk in the latte is actually good for me since I don’t otherwise drink milk. I haven’t had a single migraine since I started having one every day. Although I have had a few caffiene withdrawl headaches when I’ve missed a day, anyone who’s had migraines will tell you the odd headache is worth it.

dsc_75059. Watch fat/trans fat intake. Your body needs fat, but only so much. Know your count and how to read the labels. Be cautious with stickers touting “Low fat” – sometimes the foods are over chemically processed and no longer represent natural food.

10. Enjoy yourself! Although I was watching what I was eating back then fairly closely, that never once stopped me from a splurge once in awhile. A little brie and pate just can’t be missed!

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Since 4 years ago, I’ve found a couple of new tips to add to “The Diet”
THE NEW ADDED RULES FOR HEALTHY EATING:

11. Watch calories. Although I was watching fat intake before, I wasn’t paying any attention to calories. The second time around will be tougher to lose, and I’ll have to step it up! That said, don’t forget new rule #12…

12. Eat real food. Butter over Margarine. Real food over substitutes, just eat less of it if it’s higher in fat or calories. It goes without saying, the closer to nature the food, the better time your body will have processing it.

13. Lots of white wine. Don’t know exactly what this does, but I’ve heard it helps digestion and I sure enjoy a good Gewurztraminer, so, hey! Win-win! Anyhow, it’s definately better for me than them beers…

dsc_738614. Add a Multivitamin. I’ve never liked swallowing pills, so I finally found some adult chewables. I don’t trust these little things with my overall health, but I figure they can’t hurt any.

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15. Go organic. I don’t buy a lot of organic, but I’m starting to incorporate it bit by bit. Again, I’m just figuring it can’t hurt any.

img_055516. Grow your own! I’ve gardened off and on the past 20 years, but not so much since I got married. I plan to do more tomatoes, and add some raspberries and other things we eat a lot of. Can’t get much more organic than that.

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17. Make your own! I’ve always made my own sauces (mostly tomato), cakes, etc. (and once in awhile breads or pasta) from scratch for “quality control” – no illegible ingredients. I plan to also start making my own bread twice a week. Soon. When I get to it.

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