I hate eating, lately. The good-for-me foods make me gag. The foods I'm excited to eat make me sick. Some days eating isn't about fun. Some days eating is about getting it done. So, here are some reminders to myself about why I need to eat well.
The Good -
In our household we are semi-paleo. Semi because we don't shun all legumes, starchy root veggies or even grains entirely. Plus, I'm the only dairy-free member of the family. But the goal is to focus on eating lean meats, fruits, veggies and little else. When I eat this way, I feel energized, healthy, and most of my other health issues stay in check. But in order to continue to eat this way I need to remember to do the following
1) Plan ahead!
I need to plan all meals, all snacks, every bite that will go into my mouth with no exceptions. If I know what I'm going to eat, then I can't use lack of planning as an excuse to eat junk
2) Keep healthy foods everywhere.
This morning I forgot to pack healthy snacks. I also forgot to eat enough protein for breakfast. The end result? Scarfing down a Mounds bar in a desperate attempt to keep myself from blacking out when, inevitably, my blood sugar crashed. If I'd only remembered to pack some nuts, I'd have spared my macros and my health. But, no. Left them at home.
3) Research the recipes!
I get bored with food quickly. And when I'm bored, I either refuse to eat, or I seek out exciting food. Which to me means full of sugar and carbs. Time to crack those cookbooks and stalk Pinterest and come up with an arsenal (aka indexed list) of recipes so I won't have to "fall back" on pancakes because I couldn't come up with anything else to make for breakfast. If I'm excited about trying something new, I'm much less likely to pine for the pizza or hibachi tofu or other forbidden foods. Plus, if we happen to run out of something I was planning to cook, I'll have lots of ideas for substitute meals.
This is the category with which I struggle the most. Foods that aren't SO unhealthy and don't make me feel too bad, but if I continue to eat them regularly not only will I gain weight, but eventually my health will suffer. Grains, sugar, and sometimes dairy fall in this cattegory. If I eat one bagel I'll be fine. If I eat a bagel and a sandwich and make pasta and throw in a few more grain-filled meals I'll have a miserable tummy pretty quick. If I eat too much sugar then I crave even more sugar and suddenly I'm having trouble sleeping and my weight is skyrocketting and I'm a big cranky screwed-up-bloodsugar mess by dinnertime. And dairy - well - some accidental cheese on my drive-through salad won't kill me but I'd sure as heck better pass up Grandma's cheesy potatoes if I don't want to head over to the land of....
The Ugly -
These are the foods that are either just plain bad for everyone (processed junk food and sweet treats) or on my list of "trigger all the autoimmune disorders" foods. Corn, dairy, 'questionably' gluten free - these foods will make me itchy, crazy, bloated, exhausted, achy and a host of other kinds of uncomfortable. So why oh why do I continue to allow myself to "splurge." Splurging is adding an extra square of chocolate to my day when I'm already at my calorie limit. Splurging is not drinking a big root beer full of corn-syrup that's going to give me depression/anxiety issues and make me itch for days.
So my plan for the forseable future - pause before I put anything in my mouth and slap it with one of these labels. If it's ugly, avoid it like the plague (that it is). If it's bad, heavily reconsider. And if it's good - plan, store, research and enjoy! If I can finally get this right I'll have a much healthier family as well.