May 25, 2011

Putting it all Together

I've often been asked how to get started with eating healthy, or what changes people should make to 'eat better'.
I have a really hard time with questions like these as there are so many places to start with so many possible places you can end up. What might be necessesary and good for me, might not be right for all. So in the world of gluten-, dairy-, sugar- and meat-free diets what really is the best way to start?
I'm actually a pretty healthy eater. I do the whole foods, grind grain, and grow a garden. We buy organic, grass-fed meat and tend to avoid the rest. But sometimes you do something so long that you forget what your initial point was. You become comfortable in where you are and let the little things slide.
I'm also fairly educated in nutrition. I have studied it, and even have a degree in it.

BUT
I am willing to admit that I don't know it all.
I also know that I'm not always good with the details, but see the big picture.
I'm also a finicky eater, believe it or not. I've done my best to raise kids who aren't, and have the best husband ever who enjoys whatever food he is given.

So... I found a plan that I think is amazing. The Green Smoothie Girl's 12 Step Plan.
I love her plan for so many reasons. Mainly because she seems to really want to help people change their lives and health. Yeah, it's her job/business, but she offers so many free resources thru her website and on youtube. I appreciate the free stuff as it motivates me to want to see more.
I am loving her 12 Step Program for its simplicity and what it encompasses.
The 12 Step Program can be gotten by the piece, so it isn't all or nothing as far as price.
I had already bought the book, Green Smoothie's Diet, which is full of the why's and how's of green smoothies, and I felt like I needed more.
This was my reason for getting the 12 Step Program. I didn't want a diet plan, but a life plan.
I ended up getting her download without the book for under $40. It is worth this price and more.
I don't know that I 'need' the whole program as I know most of the skills she teaches and put into the plan. I mainly wanted a conscious reminder of all of the why's and to get me back on track. I'm fairly experienced at baking bread, grinding grain, making my own yogurt and kefir and the like. If you aren't you might want to check out the whole plan though.

So, was I really far off track?
Let me just put it this way. I was a vegetarian thru most of the 1990s. BUT! I didn't eat alot of vegetables. I lived on beans and tortillas. I ate pizza. I went out of my way for vegetarian junk food. There were very few vegetables in my diet.

Flash forward to now, and I realize that I still have an aversion to most vegetables, and don't really care for fruits (I'd gotten scared with all the low-carb stuff). But I know I need them.
I also don't have the time or inclination to do a ton of cooking, but I can throw them in a blender and get 15 servings a day. I was eating healthy, but it was protein heavy with whole grains. I also admit to a wicked diet pepsi addiction as well.

I think this is the most amazing point for me. Green smoothies so easy that I feel stupid for not doing this years ago. I've also found that after eating that many servings of vegetables, I'm miraculously (ta-da) not that hungry otherwise. So it seems a win-win that we are eating a ton of greens.

So here I am in a place I never thought I'd be... transitioning to a mostly raw, vegetarian diet where vegetables actually are the star.
I might not just be starting the whole foods journey, but it has been a life-saver for me in where I am now in mine.

May 24, 2011

Sweat

I'm a big believer in sweating.
I didn't grow up athletic or into sports. I actually managed to get a doctor's excuse for PE thru out middle school and did the minimal requirements with alot of complaining during highschool.
In fact, I was the kinda chubby girl who was too smart to have to exercise, and I had very little confidence in my coordination.
This is one of those cases where I wish I could go back in time and kick my own butt. I definitely needed it at that point, and missed out on all of the benefits that exercise can bring.
I discovered how much I love exercise in my mid-20s. I kept it up with a vengence for most of my 30s and had wonderful pregnancies because of it.
Turns out, I'm actually more coordinated than I had thought. I might not ever play a sport for real, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy feeling like an athlete.
The problem is that when you stop exercise and increase eating, you get fat. That is unfortuntely where I am now.
Yes, I was doing the whole running thing last year, but I was just a really healthy chubby person, I believe.
So in addition to the running, I've added in a more deliberate exercise plan.
My new favorite series is the Inside Out series from Bob Harper. I've done all the Jillian dvds and love them, but they weren't enough. Or at least they were enough for me to blow off regularly. At 20 minutes they just didn't give me what I seem to currently need.
So I went to Bob instead. I got the whole series (under $40 for a set of 4 which is not a bad price) and love that you have the short workouts for busy days, but you have the longer one that will really result in changes.
I haven't done all of the workouts yet, as I am so out of shape. BUT I will get there.
At any rate, it is a nice change of pace and has enough variety so that I'm not bored with the same old thing.

May 23, 2011

Prepare to Be Underwhelmed....

I have to admit that I am naturally an overachiever. I like to think big and dream bigger. I like to set goals and make them happen.
But somewhere along the way I learned to settle. I have gotten comfortable with complacency, and instead of expecting the best, I've been happy with 'that's not so bad'.

I do understand that sometimes it is best to take small steps and to make managable goals, but when you live your whole life that way it just becomes sad and pathetic.

So upon realizing this, I'm going to think big and not deny myself the full blessings that life has to offer. I don't want to miss out on any of the wonderful things that God might have planned for me by settling.

May 21, 2011

Old Friends

I have to admit that I suck as a friend. I'm overbearing and high maintenance one day, and then the next my attention is diverted and I'm nowhere to be found.
I don't know that I even have anyone I'd consider to be an old friend anymore. I've met a ton of people in my life, but, in my constant push to move forward, I often end up leaving them behind.

I've recently reconnected with 2 old friends. Not via facebook, thank goodness, but sitting on the bottom of my bookshelf.
They would be Mollie Katzen and Laurel Robertson.

I met them both, via their books, in the early 90s when I was doing the whole vegetarian thing. They taught me about nutrition, how to bake bread (and some really yummy cookies too) and about how you can eat well and fully without meat.

I was vegetarian for most of the 90s until I became pregnant. Maybe I'm just slow at recovering as my younger child is 8, but I'm just now feeling like my body is recovered and ready to move on.

So as things change, I'm not completely sure of where I'll end up. I'm loving the green smoothies, and feel the need to lighten up a bit. I've also learned alot in the past 5-10 years and am sorting thru where I need to be. I don't want to get so wrapped up in food, but at the same time, I believe that there is so much love in food.

I do remember a vegetarian friend and mentor way back joked at my The New Laurel's Kitchen book as hers was the original, but the "new" version from 1986 is still very much a classic.
And for anything you ever wanted to know about whole grain bread her Bread Book is the gold standard.
Mollie has several wonderful books that I just love to read thru. Her Moosewood cookbook is classic, but I also love Vegetable Heaven.

Just tonight we dined with them both. Hopefully I'll be a better friend in the future....

May 19, 2011

Something Fun

I really thought I'd get it together and actually post, but I've been busy spinning my wheels lately and haven't got around to it.
I did want to share a cute idea that will hopefully be accomplished soon.
I am in need of a doorstop, and was wanting a turtle one. Instead I found this site with a free pattern for an owl (and cat and dog as well).
Just thought I'd share...

May 1, 2011

Green...

I have to admit that I am easily bored and need a certain level of chaos in my daily life to be truly happy. Lately, though, life has been a bit normal and mundane... both synonyms in my book.
So I seem to constantly look for things to do that I find interesting or different (or strange, as my kids might say). My new passion has been green drinks. I have been reading Green Smoothies Diet and even got a new blender so that I could partake.
No, I didn't buy one of the mega-blenders, but a semi-mega one. The Ninja was on sale at my Target for $84 (cheaper than Kohls with a coupon, even). This was a 1000w machine with a 72oz capacity.
So now I'm drinking a green smoothie everyday at least with the hope of building up to a quart per day.
So, what do I blend? Pretty much everything and anything. I've thrown in whole cut up apples (I do twist off the stem as that grosses me out for some strange reason), lemons... peel and all, lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes.
I've also added in weeds from my yard including dandelion and morning glories that are just starting to appear.
So... where do I hope this will get me? Hopefully, 30 pounds lighter and 15 years younger, but I'm not holding my breath.
In reality, I don't know that it will make a huge difference. I'd like to think I eat healthy, but I do have the nagging feeling that a return to my vegetarian roots might not be far away.