For the last 4 weeks, I've been on kind of a health tear. I read 2 books that really opened my eyes about what I was eating, how it related to how I was feeling... and what long-term effects some of the stuff was having on my 42-year old body. And I also figured out that my lack of sufficient sleep was taking its toll as well. I made a commitment to cut out all sugars and white flours and white rice, etc. for at least 4 weeks. I can't remember if I started on Saturday or Sunday, but that 4 weeks is basically up. I can't tell you how good I feel! The nagging pain in my knee is gone. I have way more energy than I had 4 weeks ago when I started. I bought a really good orthopedic pillow and started going to bed earlier, and now I wake up refreshed and ready to face the day, instead of wanting to sleep until noon on workdays. My mood is a lot better, and I've always had HORRIBLE PMS symptoms, but this month they were just sort of normal horrible, unstead of my usual two week "I want to take a gun and kill everyone and their brother give me another candy bar leave me alone" horrible.I really attribute being organized to being successful with this, because typically when I've tried this before, I've fallen off the wagon in just a few days. Maybe I could keep it up a little over a week. But even, despite the fact that when I let my candy dish at the office go empty but someone else filled it up (I work with nice people!) I have completely stuck to it. I even went to dinner with a friend and when the warm bread came out, I passed on it! It all sounds so easy when I write it down, but this is how I did it.--I shop early on Saturday mornings, right when Central Market opens. Fewer people, less stress, and I can read labels in peace. --I gave myself permission to buy anything I wanted, as long as it met my healt parameters. That meant that even if asparagus was $10 a pound, I was allowed to have it if I wanted it. (Normally I'd veto something like that as being too expensive). --I did not shop with a list. I bought what I wanted and what I thought I'd eat in a week, as long as it met my health parameters. --As soon as I came home, I chopped and packaged up everything. So I'd tear lettuce for salads, and cut up celery sticks, dice onions that I thought I'd cook with, slice mushrooms, etc. A little time consuming there, but SO worth it. --Cooked in bulk. I haven't been cooking whole meals, but I have been cooking up chicken breasts and some salmon to have ready in the fridge.I have been eating breakfast every morning. I usually have 2 eggs and some oatmeal or a piece of fruit. I often make an omelet and having all that stuff cut up and ready to go makes it super easy. I have also been doing my ironing in the evening or on the weekend. I'd been pressing stuff that I was going to wear that day in the morning, but when I do that, I don't have time for breakfast. Breakfast at home has been key, too, because I don't get hungry at work in the AM, and run down to the deli for a sandwich or crackers or whatever. I make sure I take snacks to work (raw veggies or fruit). I come home for lunch most days, and have leftovers from last night or some soup or a salad with chicken. Quick and easy and ready to go (because of pre-planning). When I get home in the evening, I like to eat pretty much right away, because I figured out I sleep best if I have about 3 hours to digest before I go to bed. So I'll come home, boil some whole wheat pasta, dump some of my cut up veggies and chicken sausage in a pan, or whatever, and make enough for dinner tonight and tomorrow's lunch. I eat, figure out my clothes for tomorrow, and I'm in bed by 9:30 on my orthopedic pillow, and usually am asleep 5 minutes later. I keep certain things in plain sight to remind me of my new habits. I have a basket of fruit out, and the whole wheat pasta is sitting in a decorative thing by the stove. I got rid of the white bread and pasta. I can't "forget" my diet vows, and I have to walk through the kitchen to leave the house, so I can't "forget" my plan when I go out to dinner, either.I know it sounds really lame, but just figuring out how to organize my time better around meals and sleep has had a profound impact on how I feel. Next step.... exercise!
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