Eating Healthy is a Choice
Eating healthy means different things to different people. I have been a vegetarian since 1998 but that doesn’t mean I have always eaten well. I used to joke that I was a cheese-itarian. Cheesy eggs for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch and pizza for dinner would not have been unusual. I love it all! Fresh mozzarella, feta, cheddar, swiss, monterey jack. I am starting to drool just thinking about it. I seriously love cheese. Deep down I always knew that all that cheese was clogging my arteries and adding to my waistline but I could not help myself.
In October 2015 I started to think about ways to eat better. I have never really been on a diet and don’t like to think of restricting what I eat. So instead of purposefully cutting back or eliminating anything from my diet I decided to figure out what I could add to my food intake that would improve my health. At that time breakfast consisted of an egg with cheese and 2 slices of bread. I had been getting a good amount of vegetables in my diet but for some reason fruit other than the occasional banana just didn’t make the cut.
I have a history of buying fruit but not always eating it. Many a pear, apple, grape have been tossed into my composter over the years. I have always added fruit to my sangria but how much sangria
can should one drink? I remembered my mom had a juicer/blender that she had offered to loan me. The kind that would juice greens, fruits, nuts and use all of the food. No wasted pulp at the end.
I made my first “smoothie” and I was in love. Initially I made my smoothies from a handful of greens (lettuce, spinach, kale), one carrot, a banana, an apple, a handful of grapes, a cup of frozen berries and some protein (peanut butter, sunflower butter, nuts). I would fill the cup up with water and blend it up.
OMG – seriously delicious and so obviously nutritious. The best part about drinking breakfast is that it is portable. On my work days I drink it over the course of the first hour of my day. I am never starving by 11:00 in the morning any more.
Choosing to make vegetable/fruit smoothies is the biggest change I have made to my diet in years and I LOVE it! Making my smoothie has simply become a habit that I no longer have to think about. As I prepare dinner I do most of the smoothie prep work. In the morning I just add the frozen fruit and the water and blend it up.
Everything was going smooth with my smoothie routine and then I watched “That Sugar Film”. I had a momentary panic attack that my smoothie, although healthy, packs a pretty good sugar punch! I have decided to reduce the sugar by adding more vegetables and cutting back on the fruit. So now I take 2 handfuls of greens, 2 carrots, ½ of a banana, ½ of an apple, ½ cup frozen berries, and some nuts for protein. Still really yummy and even healthier.
Periodically, I track my calories, fat, carbohydrates, etc, using “My Fitness Pal”. I compared my old breakfast of 1 egg, cheese and 2 slices of toast to my new smoothie breakfast. I am pretty psyched about the results.
My old breakfast: 500 Calories, 42 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 22 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar.
My new breakfast 300 calories, 52 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat, 12 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and 31 grams of sugar. (But all natural from fruit).
I typically make 1 smoothie a day at least 5x per week and have been doing so for the last 3 months. This 1 small change has meant a reduction of 200 calories per day or 1,000 per week or 4,000 per month. This small change means I will consume:
52,000 Fewer Calories This Year
This 1 small change to my diet can have a really big impact on my health! Not only did I reduce my daily calories but I increased fiber and reduced fat as well. Now I get plenty of fruit in my diet plus extra veggies. Feeling healthy in My Little Blue Kayak! What 1 small change can you make to improve your health?
Whatever you choose to do, deliberately find a way to make it a habit and remind yourself daily why it is important to you. This will help your reap the rewards for more then just a month or two.