Eating Well - What Works For YouSaturday, January 19, 2013 by: Mac Headrick
It is a new year and I imagine a lot of folks are joining health clubs and beginning to diet. Approximately seven weeks ago I had an idea. Christmas was approaching and based on past experience the festive season would result in a ten pound weight gain (at least) for yours truly. Now I retired in November /2012. One of my main priorities on my personal bucket list was to get in better shape. I know round is a shape. Try as I may I couldn’t find any medical documentation on the internet that promoted better health in conjunction with adding a few pounds to my existing frame. What to do? I decided this year I would not gain weight over Christmas. More than that I set a goal of losing 20 pounds. In Mac’s world nobody in their right mind goes on a diet over Christmas. This is an activity slotted for the New Year.
I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday. I didn’t achieve a 20 pound weight loss but reduced my mass by approximately 15 pounds. More importantly, my cholesterol levels are very good. My fasting sugars are coming down and if continued on my present food plan by April/2013 I hope to be in the normal range. I discovered a few things along the way that seem to be working for me in my life style change. In today’s column I intend to share them with you. Hopefully you might respond and help educate me on the secrets of healthy eating. Please note my knowledge on this subject is very limited. Consider me as exhibit A in supporting the previous statement. Anyways… the following things appear to work for me.
- I am humble and grateful for ever day of healthy eating. I have learned from the past. Whenever I think I’ve gotten this weight problem in check I quickly squash the thought. Arrogance is my enemy. I recognize this and act accordingly.
- I eat often. When I am in the groove (eating wise) I consume food six times a day. Besides breakfast, lunch and supper I have a mid morning, mid-afternoon and evening snack. This is a diabetic inspired schedule. It should be noted all these snacks are of the cottage cheese, celery sticks or other raw vegetable, fruit (with protein) type of food. I’m always eating. I find that with stable sugar levels, I don’t feel hungry.
- I eat the good stuff. For example there are plenty of calorie reduced breads available. I avoid these. There is nothing wrong with these products. I prefer to consume a rye or multigrain bread high in fiber. Due to the calories associated with this type of bread I eat it less often than I would the “lighter” stuff. I am fine with this. I have found some of the calorie reduced food is higher in sugar than “regular” food.
- I now think about what I am eating. I am sure you are aware of Greek yogurt and the its’ high level of protein. The thing is, this yogurt is thick and doesn’t taste that great. I wanted to consume this product but at the same time enjoy the taste. I came up with the following recipe. I take one third a cup of Greek yogurt (plain) and add the same amount from a non-fat, no sugar variety type. To this mixture I add assorted fruit and walnuts. I like the taste and it fills me up.
- Measure your food. The reason for this is obvious, portion control. This isn’t the only reason I do it. If I take the time and have the discipline to weigh my food things seem to work out better. Perhaps it is the attention to detail which has never been my strength in life. Well unless it is albums, or sports, or any activity I enjoy.
- Celebrate the special moments in life. In two weeks I will attend the annual Vinnie’s Super Bowl Party. The amount of food consumed at this event is staggering. I will be in the middle of it, eating anything and everything available. If another attendee happens to accidently get in the way I could find myself gnawing on a hand or arm. One Super Bowl I didn’t eat any of the half time meal. I was too full. I hadn’t paced myself, the humiliation…I felt I had let the boy’s down. Truthfully I find if participating in an event with the mindset I will eat something if I want, I have an easier time controlling my intake.
- I use something called food association. Raw vegetables are good for you, right? For some reason I enjoy eating raw cauliflower, celery, broccoli etc if it is with heavy rye bread and a little peanut butter. When it comes to salad I am not a fan of lettuce (who is?) which is a salad staple. What I do is add any thing available to enhance the salad. Pepper rings, olives, nuts, pickles etc.
- Exercise regularly? Now this is an area I need to improve on. I believe I have a plan that might succeed. I have set up a mini-gym in the basement. The most important piece(s) of equipment are not the stuff you actually exercise on. They are the television, stereo and iPod. I do not mind working out but I become bored easily. Solution occupy my mind doing fun stuff. Now I’ve always been an early riser. I plan to work out six times weekly. My goal is to be done by 7 a.m. When I have done this in the past I feel energized for the day. Also psychologically I feel good.
- Linda has constantly over 38 years tried to educate me on the benefits of taking vitamins or food supplements. Since retirement I’ve spent some time educating myself on this subject. More importantly I’ve stated consuming the above on a daily basis. Perhaps it is a coincidence but I am feeling better and I haven’t had my annual winter cold yet.
The above is some of the things that appear to be working for me.
As I see it, a food plan to succeed needs to be tailored to the individual concerned. So far I have had a good day eating and am thankful for that. Well I have to go, time for my 10 a.m. snack. Have a great weekend and eat well. If you are so inclined please share some of the things that work for you.