Friday, June 24, 2011

Food: making changes

I took a free nutrition seminar at the gym tonight it was really good and I left with a few AHA moments.  Part of the seminar was a tour of the grocery store.  I have been trying to shop differently this past month.  I am doing my best to shop from the perimeter of the store where the fresh foods are and to avoid the inner isles (where the processed food is).  I go in there for things on my list like cereal (yikes that was a AHA moment more on that later), olive oil, etc.  But I no longer browse the inner isles picking up packaged processed snacks and food on the whim.  There is a down side, I seem to be going to the grocery store 3-4 times a week now, as we are running out of fresh food quickly.  I am either not buying enough or we are doing really well eating it all.  Luckily, the gym is in the grocery store and its not an extra trip.  I have been making changes slowly to the way we eat.  We are eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, vegetarian dishes, healthy fats, and 'thinking' about what we put in our mouths.

So I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my AHA moments from tonights class.

1. CEREAL!  We looked at the nutrition labels on cereal...YIKES...first of all the serving size is really small, so the serving I actually eat is more like 2.5 servings.  Most of the cereals (ie. cornpops, frootloops, rice crispies...) are really high in sodium! SODIUM! for breakfast?  Under the carb section they list grams of sugar and they also list grams of starch..which once your salvia hits it essentially turns it into SUGAR.  So that 9 grams of sugar and 9 grams of starch is really 18 grams of sugar.  My kids eat Corn Pops or Honey Nut Cheerios every morning!  Not the healthiest choice by far.  It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks that this is not the way I should be starting their day out.  (but its easy, they eat it, and  did I mention its easy?)  So I browsed the cereals tonight found a puffed rice by Kashi with no sodium and decent stats and am going to try and get them to eat that.  The good news is the kids are talking a lot about healthy eating and getting their food groups so maybe they will be receptive to this if we make it a 'lesson'.  But even if they do eat the cereal, that alone isn't enough...we need to add milk, and some fruit. My other AHA moment in reference to cereal is that I eat a bowl (a large bowl) almost every night!  Much of the time I will say I am truly hungry but I also eat it because its comforting and part of my sleep ritual.  I need a better evening snack when my tummy rumbles.

2.  Protein!  Protein is something I have been conscious of getting enough of as I know its even more important than usual while I am trying to build lean muscle tissue.  I think I do pretty good in this department, I eat a lot of almonds (too many, oops did you know a serving is 9 not 2-3 handfuls), beans, lean meats.  But I hadn't been getting them at breakfast.  This week I started making my own smoothies with frozen bannas, berries, milk, and non fat yogurt.  While the smoothie is a HUGE improvement over my cereal breakfast it was lacking a good protein punch.  I had thought about buying  a protein powder but didn't like the idea of how much they cost.  So HELLO GREEK YOGURT!  In the class I learned that GREEK YOGURT has 18 grams of protein!    Another awesome food QUINOA, it has 14 grams of protein, its easier to cook than rice, and has a texture that I love.   Did you know you can even make a porridge from it and eat it for breakfast.

I have also tried adding oatmeal to my smoothie this week, and believe it or not its good.  Here's a video my crush Bob Harper making a smoothie :)

3. You need to eat less to loose weight!  Yeah I know it sounds like a no brainer but I have been eating too much.  I have been pretty focused on fueling myself with high quality nutritious food but I have not been mindful of just how much of that I am eating.  Case in point, we keep a large jar of almonds on the counter and between Ryan, myself and the kids we polish that off each week.  I snack on them all day long!  I had even begun to unconsciously grab them and eat them.  Not good.  The trainer at the gym said something that really struck a cord with me last night.  She said that the most important work we do in our training is not in the gym (all though that's a key component) its at home in our rest (recovery) and how we fuel our body.  Would you fill your Ferrari up with cheap gas?

Now here's the truth of it for me...I heard someone say this very thing maybe 8 months ago  (my friend Gwen) and at the time I thought BULL POOP.  I thought I have been busting my butt at the gym, balls to the walls, and eating much of what I want and I am loosing weight.  I thought that exercise alone could make the most impact on my weight loss (and almost pure cardio at that).  I know now that much of my belief in that was tied into my need to protect myself from 'dieting' and that my past eating disorder mindset was hanging on steadfast to the fact that I could eat what I want and not diet (change my eating habits not a fad diet).  The other truth is that I think that someone as overweight, as I was at a size 22 and being as sedentary as I was, the exercise was a big part of loosing the initial weight.  That and the changes that I did make in my eating habits.  When your running and feeling great you do want to eat better, but I was also eating what ever I pleased about two days a week (ie. full on food festival), plus a daily afternoon sweet habit.  I still think that its important to eat the things you love, not to deny yourself those things, but to eat them in moderation.  I think I also needed this slow journey over the last year to heal more of my mind and body, so that I am now in a healthy mindset as I make these changes to my diet.  The other thing is, I am motivated more than ever by setting a healthy example for my children.  I want to feed my little Ferraris the best fuel out there!

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