52,000 Fewer Calories This Year

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.

 

Some fruit for my smoothies
Some fruit for my smoothies

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

52000

 

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.

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