Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thing 1 and Thing 2, plus four more for you: Remembering how to eat

I was reading a friend's post--she's one of the adorable and brilliant Notes She Wrote sisters--and she mentioned some of the changes they're making to the way they eat. And, well, we are, too. Gradually. Painfully. Grudgingly.
It has been really, really hard. Honestly, it's the last thing I want to do. But one of the FIRST things I want to do is to be comfortable in my skin and feel healthy, so....*sigh*....healthy eating it is.

As I've pondered ways to inject more nutrition into our meals, I realized: I ALREADY KNOW. I've done this before, I've read up on the subject, and I've even prayed and received personal inspiration regarding how our family should eat. I just forget. I just don't always moderate. I just really love most food, butter-filled baked treats included.

So this can serve as a reminder for me, and maybe be helpful for anyone else who is maybe also feeling....forgetful. *Wink-wink.*

Blend a half-gallon or gallon's worth of green smoothie, then divide into plastic baggies and freeze. When ready to drink, thaw the smoothie by putting the baggie (still closed) in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. This way, you don't have to worry about a pitcher of smoothie going bad in the fridge. You can still get your daily requirement in, and you won't need to blend something up every morning.

My usual green smoothie:
Tons of spinach (I usually end up using frozen spinach)
Some berries (My favorite? Blueberries)
A banana (Texture, taste, potassium)
Sometimes a little bit of vanilla yogurt
As little water as possible

And I've heard--but haven't tried--that if you want it to be extra creamy, you can add avocado. I'm sure there's an endless variation of ways to make it better than the one I've listed above! My Camilla makes amazing smoothies--like dreamy Orange Julius calorie-infused delightful smoothies. She hated this one. Probably because, well, it's blended salad. Be forewarned, smoothie purists. I myself love it, but I sure won't be offended if you find that you don't!

Something I've been trying to do more of lately, is to replace the chips I usually like with my lunch with raw veggies. I HATE raw broccoli--with dressing or not--so I eat the veggies I like. Carrots, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, chunks of iceberg lettuce....I do eat them with a little bit of ranch, and honestly, I'm not going to beat myself up about it! It's a very small amount of ranch in relation to a huge amount of veggies.

For snacks, I've been enjoying doing homemade popcorn. It's STILL lower in calories, fat, AND salt if you do it yourself (with a little butter and salt) than if you do the microwave bags! You get TONS of popcorn for very little kernels, and I think it tastes better.

I've also enjoyed re-discovering my favorite dark chocolates. The nice thing about dark chocolate is, it takes very little to satisfy my chocolate craving. Recently I tried Hageland--and it's awesome. I also love Ghirardelli (always).

Next: I have enjoyed making pita pizzas for lunch! They're about 200 calories apiece, if I'm guessing/calculating right....and depending on your pita. I make my own pita bread, and since they usually end up being small, I usually eat two. I like to spread Dean's french onion dip on them (a thin layer; too much and you'll throw off the whole low-cal nature of this dish), top it with mozzarella and parmesan, then broil it for 3-5 minutes. Very, very satisfying--especially with a side of raw veggies! (Or you could top your pita with veggies, too.)

Last--I'm drinking water like a fiend. (Whatever that means.) I'm far less tired and less prone to eat mindlessly when I'm hydrated.

I would love any other ideas/tips y'all have! (Yes, I just typed y'all. It has happened.)


Abby said...

Okay, I LOVE your Thing 1! Genius. Definitely stealing/borrowing/copying...ah, whatever. :D

And another thing about popcorn -- if you buy the white cheddar powder next to the popcorn in the grocery store, you don't even NEED the butter and the cheddar's very low in calories. Not sure what it's made of at the moment, but I don't think it's anything intense?

You'd be proud of me. I'm drinking water like a fiend (?) too! Well, beginning to. I bought a FIJI bottle especially for me. (Still angry that I have no clue what happened to my Camelbak. Last time I spend that kind of money on a water bottle. All I know is it wasn't me that lost it...)

Lara said...

All of these things sound great. I've been living on Kefir lately. It's good stuff, both in taste and health. Otherwise, I have no suggestions. But I needed yours! Why is eating healthy so dang hard???

Qait said...

When we make green smoothies, we chug them down, so there's no freezing happening here! :)
We have a green smoothie just about daily. Some healthy things you can do with that:
use agave nectar or honey for sweetener instead of sugar. The agave nectar is more subtle and mixes better, I think.
add flaxseed.
add protein powder.
add peanut butter or peanuts (Michael doesn't like pb in his smoothies or shakes cause he feels like he's drinking a sandwich, haha!)

We never buy microwave popcorn anymore, the homemade kind is SO much better!

Another thing: make sure you put butter on your bread. I'm serious. You need the fat with the grain to help your body use the nutrients in the bread better, and it helps your body get rid of the fat. I wish I remembered all the science behind it, but basically, you really need the butter with the bread (and that's not a sad thing).
Just use REAL butter.

I...have lots of tips...because I'm learning, too. And I'm letting things progress naturally-- which means I would let myself still eat dessert, and eventually, I've wanted less dessert as my body learns to love the nutritious food.
I realize that doesn't always work with everyone, but it's the happiest way for me to get this to work. And it's WORKING!
Slowly. But truly.

Kelly said...

The water thing is great! When I feel like I NEED to have a bowl of ice cream I tell myself, "OK Kelly, you can have that ice cream after you drink this big glass of cold water." And then to make it look bigger, I put one scoop on a cone. Much more satisfying. :)