Monday, August 29, 2011

Eat the good stuff

"Eat the Good Stuff" print by Kate at Cinnamonink

I have been loving all of the fresh fruits and vegetables of summertime! I've been working hard to eat better and go running as often as I can and it is just so exciting to be feeling so much better. I think I've still just lost maybe 2 pounds in the past 2 months of really working hard at this, but I feel so much better, and that is great.

Besides wanting to lose baby weight, I came across several things in just a short period of time that have been super motivating for me -- here are a few:

1. One evening when I had a chance to go on a run by myself (hooray!), I just felt so strongly what a gift my healthy, strong body is and that I have a responsibility to show my gratitude for this gift by taking care of my body the best way I can.

2. This line from a poster at the kids' doctor's office (I always forget where are those apostrophes really supposed to be...)
this phrase just sort of got stuck in my head and for days everytime I went to grab a treat I'd hear this in my mind! (And it is true!! (of course it is :) I do feel lot less junky when I eat even a little less junk food.)

3. A tiny excerpt I read from a favorite blog one day:

I will no longer use sugar to fuel my body.

As soon as I read that I knew I ought to make it my new motto. It just went right along with #1 -- I am so blessed to have this wonderful, healthy body and I need to take care of it! If I want to be a good mother to my children, I need energy -- and that means good, healthy food - not sugar.

These things have helped me make some great changes to how I eat that are really helping me feel better.

(Side note: a girl in my senior English class at BYU did her final research project on sugar and headaches. She was addicted to sugary treats and also had major issues with headaches so among other scholarly research, she used herself as an experimental study to see if these were connected. Her conclusion was basically this -- Sugar was directly causing her headaches. But, knowing this, when it came to the choice of eating a candy bar or saving herself from a headache - the Snickers would win. I remember thinking "that's crazy!!" and then "hmmm... that's me.")

I'm still enjoying all of my favorite treats - but the difference has been that I am enjoying them now as treats, not eating them constantly to keep my body fueled through the day. For me, that has made a huge difference.

Another great surprise has been that I like vegetables. I've always thought of myself as being super picky and not liking vegetables, but I've finally been realizing that really isn't true. There are definitely some that I don't like (squashes, peppers, brussel sprouts...) but there are a lot that I do -- And I guess I just hadn't noticed this. (example: Last night for dinner we had pasta salad w/ 8 different veggies in it that I liked - today for lunch our sandwiches had 6 veggies) Fun surprise!

And last, just a fun trick for eating more of 'the good stuff' --
When I'm preparing vegetables, I leave the veggies I like in big pieces and the ones I don't like in smaller pieces. So the less I like it, the smaller the piece. For example, in our pasta salad last night there were nice bite-size pieces of broccolli and carrots, and lots of teeny-tiny pieces of radishes and zucchini. For those things that I *really* don't like, I add them in pureed form to casseroles.

Hooray for eating better and feeling better!