22 March, 2012

Cleaning up

Over the past few weeks I've really been thinking about how I'm fueling my body.  I do a great job with exercising daily, and I do okay with eating, but I feel like I should be doing more.  If I spend so  much time working out (which I love!), I think I should also be more conscious of what I'm eating.  I know that because I'm a runner and currently doing the Bootcamp program (which is fairly intense!), I need to fuel my body with healthy food to encourage optimal performance and muscle growth and repair.

I feel like I lie to myself about what I really eat.  I tell myself I eat healthy, yet I hear of people who limit themself to one sweet snack/treat a week, while mine is more like one a day.  I don't feel like I have to measure up to those people, but I think I can do better!  Most of the time, I really do eat a healthy and balanced diet, but like most people I have weak spots.  I can go an entire day eating healthy foods, but if you were to put a piece of cake in front of me, I would eat it.  I'm not saying eating cake is bad, but I do think that some of the ingredients could have a negative effect on my body.  I know I eat way too much processed food (thought I eat very few of the ones listed below)! 
I've looked into doing cleanses, or diets, but I don't want to be on a diet.  This needs to be a way of life, not a temporary thing.  I've looked into Paleo or Vegan diets, but I feel like those are so restricting.  I'm definitely not ready to cut out entire food groups, especially ones that do still have health benefits.

I'm going to begin focusing on eating whole foods. Mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I'd like to completely cut out processed foods, especially those that contain refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrups. I know there are arguments for and against all kinds of sugars, but I'm trying to find something that works for me. I think this is going to be a bit of a challenge because I do use sugar and white flour in a lot of my blog recipes, so I'm going to have to either control how much of that I eat, find substitutes, or not eat what I bake!
I'm curious if you follow a Paleo, Vegan, or Whole foods diet... What kind of advice do you have for me?  What kind of challenges do you face?  And, most importantly, do you have any good recipes to share with me?

If you don't follow one of those diets, do you watch what you eat?  Does it matter to you?


  1. It's really difficult! It's one thing for me to eat this way, but Bob doesn't like it. I try to eat fruits and veggies, and make health suppers, but still keep snacks around for Bob. I don't buy lots of processed foods, but I do use sugar and flour. How does Mike feel about this? You'll have to post an update to this and let us know how you're doing.

    1. Mike isn't a huge fan either--he likes his chips and poptarts too much! He'll eat almost whatever I make for dinners, but it's challenging when we do have the junk in the house!

  2. I think Losing weight isn’t about hunger, misery and crash dieting! By learning to make, delicious, easy-to-prepare, nutritious food your body needs and will enjoy – losing weight becomes exciting and energizing.

  3. I have been vegetarian for two years and recently (about a month ago) made the jump to vegan. Cutting out dairy alleviated a ton of health issues for me. Personally, I love it! The easiest bking substitute would be 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour(make sure it is pastry) and 1/2 white flour per 1 cup of white. This shouldn't give you too many problems in the liquids vs dry balance or baking time. Agave negtar is a great low-glycemic index sweetener (but is a little expensive and buy raw or else it is highly processed). Brown rice syrup is also great. For great vegan recipes (including some healthy but yummy sweets) try Chef Chloe's book "Chloe's Kitchen." Not all of her recipes are perfectly healthy, but most can be modified to be healthier (she tells you how) and it will definitely help in the transition so you don't feel like you are missing anything. A great documentary (assuming you've already seen "Food Inc") is "Forks Over Knives." A great book to read is "The Kind Diet." Since going vegan, I haven't had to watch my weight/calories at all. I just eat well and my body and skin keep looking better and better. I've also heard of success on the Paleo diet as well (there is some evidence that maybe humans used to kind of switch back and forth between the two, Paleo in the winter, more vegan in the summer (but with bugs, yum :-/ ), but I figure since I have a choice, why hurt the little animals (plus meat farming is pretty harmful to the environment). If you did want to dabble in Paleo, make sure everything is grass fed,free range, ect. Meat raised well been shown to have a much better Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, and since you'll be getting a lot of calories from it, you want it to be high quality. Hope this helps!

  4. Also, I forgot to mention (sorry I'm a total food nut), I rarely eat processed vegan foods, and when I do I try to make sure they are organic so they don't have all of the artificial junk). However, when I first switched to veg, the only meat food I missed was the hot dog (go figure), so when I had that craving I grilled up some Smart Dogs. Meat substitutes tend to not be organic, but if you find yourself craving something, gardein is pretty high quality for meat and Follow Your Heart is pretty good for dairy. When I need a "milk" product for a recipe or a cereal craving, I prefer almond to soy and rice (and it can be easily made at home on the cheap). I shop local, organic first (yay farmers market) and almost all of my grains are whole. I tried raw for a while, but I broke out like crazy, which I thought was a pretty good indicator that my diet was not balanced. Also: and

  5. Wow, I think Kelly had a lot of great things in her post! We started going vegan in Jan. of this year and did well for the first two months. Then, it kind of went down hill. Now, with my schedule clearing, I have a little more time to focus on making those vegan meals. I love it. Just like Kelly--cutting out dairy has been the BEST thing I have done for myself! I feel so much better!! We just joined a CSA this year and will be going to the farmer's market every Saturday as a date morning (and we have a small garden)! :) We are not perfect with our lifestyle change (I still fail when it comes to pizza!) but I know for our health it's so much better! :)


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