I think the biggest challenge for me is to view food as fuel and nutrition rather than enjoyment. That's not to say I can't enjoy my food. In fact, I think enjoying my healthier food is key to me sticking with it. I just think it's important to realize, at least for me, that what I put into this body of mine directly affects what my body can do and how I feel.
In the past, summers were when I actually ate less and healthier. That was before kids. And before this heat. When we spend our time outdoors and are active, I make better choices. When we're stuck indoors, I tend to snack. A lot. And not healthy stuff.
So, my diet has to change. Again.
I prepped tons of veggies to snack on...carrots, jicama, red bell pepper, etc. And the good thing is I'm actually eating them. I'm going to boil and salt some edamame tomorrow for a snack. I picked up some trail mix (not the healthiest, but I'll pre-portion them for snacks) and some fruit leathers.
Through my school insurance, I have access to an online "Personal Health Manager" that allows me to log and track my fitness activities and my food intake to earn points. When I first started my journey to lose weight, I earned enough points to get a $75 gift card to JCPenney's, which I spent buying new, smaller clothes. They don't have the gift cards anymore, so I'm not sure what I'm going to use my points on. It's been a while since I've entered my info, but I am trying to now. It really keeps me accountable when I know I'm going to enter my every bite. When I enter my food online, I can decide how much of certain treats to have and what swaps I need to make to keep withint my range of calories and food categories.
For example, one night this week, Chad was a sweetie and stopped to get stuff for dinner on his way home from work. Along with the planned hot dogs (yes, I know they aren't healthy), he brought home Cheetos, cookies and a Coke...the Coke was a treat for me because it had been a rough couple of days with the kids. It was a sweet gesture, and I appreciate it...bit to compensate for the treats, I had to make some wise choices so I could enter my food into my log without feeling guilty.
I've found a few meals and snacks that are really yummy and good for me.
Breakfast Scramble Salad
An egg, crumbled turkey sausage (precooked), Laughing Cow Light wedge, red bell pepper, tomatoes and any other veggies that sound good, served over romaine lettuce or spinach...yes, greens in the morning!
A toasted whole grain bagel thin, spread with a tablespoon of peanut butter so it melts, topped with thin banana slices. This turns out so creamy and yummy!
|Ignore the sad state of my bananas...I keep them in the fridge and they turn brown fast.|
Turkey and Red Bell Pepper Sandwich
Ok, this one is just like it sounds, but I do substitute a Laughing Cow Light wedge for mayo and cheese
I tend to cook normal dinners for our family and just watch what and how much I eat. I try to have healthy vegetables, like zucchini and squash, and fruits with dinner. I've managed to move us away from a lot of processed foods. I can substitute for myself pretty easily. For example, the night Chad brought home the cookies, Cheetos and Coke, I chose to skip the Cheetos and substitute with jicama sticks. I drank just part of the Coke. And I did indulge in a cookie with a half glass of milk. While these things might not have been good choices, the alternative (you know, the way it would have been just last week) would have been the Cheetos, all the Coke, and at least 2 cookies. So, see? Progress...all about progress.