No. of Recommendations: 56
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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