Saturday, March 3, 2012

Falling off the Bandwagon.

BIG, FAT, BUMMER. The chocolate won. I made it through 2 days of my 21-day cleanse and the chocolate craving was so intense last night that the "one" tiny piece of chocolate turned into a handful of chocolate animal crackers (soooo tasty!) and before I knew it I had devoured several handfuls of those delicious little creatures that I had to wash it down with a big ol' glass of red wine, poured by dear hubby. Don't you hate it when that happens? He's my enabler! I'm disappointed in myself because I was doing so great. But man, this thing is tough. I got to thinking last night, and maybe I'm just not cut out for restrictive "diets" like I thought. Maybe I should work slowly at improving the small things in my diet, like cutting out sweets and adding more fruits/veggies, since we all know that diets don't work and the whole stinkin' point of this thing is to improve my overall lifestyle. But, hey, I'm human. I'm hoping that by sharing my struggles with others maybe some of you will be encouraged to get back up, brush yourself off, and start again. (Whoa, I'm having Aaliyah flashbacks!) The key is getting back up and not letting one small mistake lead to two or three, then soon you're back to your old unhealthy habits. So today, this moment, I'm starting over. Thanks to Aaliyah for the motivation. ;)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Resolutions Refresher: March is National Nutrition Month!

March 1st. Wow, where have the last 2 months gone?! I swear, between work-work (like, for-pay) and school-work (like, pay-for) I've been swamped. But I've recently gotten back on track to healthy eating, (okay, only this past week -- but we all start somewhere!)  and March 1st kicks off National Nutrition month (i.e. the perfect time to refresh your New Year's Resolutions if you've let them slide). I love me a fresh start, or two. :)

The theme of this year's National Nutrition Month hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is "Get Your Plate in Shape." I like the sound of that. 

So what's the easiest way to do that? Well, for starters, eat off a smaller plate. Seriously, this WORKS. Research shows that we're more likely to eat all the the food we serve ourselves (there's also something about eating of white dishes that makes food look more appealing so we eat more. But that's a post for a different day. I won't tell you to run out and buy all new dishes, unless you're Mrs. Deep-Pockets. In which case, send me a set too!) Anyway, Americans have a serious problem with the see-food diet. As in, we see food, we eat it. But this one trick actually helps you feel less deprived because you can load up your small plate and enjoy fewer calories. If you're hub is 6 feet somethin' and you're only 5'3" it makes no sense to eat the same amount he does, right? So start by swapping out your big dinner plates for that smaller salad plate and see what happens. If you're still hungry, have a piece of fruit or a second helping of veggies. I know this works because I've seen the results of people who have done it!

Another idea: Eat more greens. How much you ask? About 1/4 of your plate. Easy-peasy, right? Dark green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants (like vitamins A, C and K), fiber, and other phytonutrients that are essential to health. The recommendation is 5-9 servings of a combination of fruit and veggies per day, which sounds like a lot until you realize that a serving is as little as 1/2 cup cooked vegetables. Have you measured out a 1/2 cup broccoli lately? It's pretty dang small. I happen to LOOOOOVE broccoli. Try it with some squeezed lemon if you don't like the bitter taste, with a sprinkle of pepper. Or even try throwing some frozen broccoli or spinach in your favorite recipes. You honestly won't even know it's there. This is also a great tip for tricking  getting kids to eat more vegetables! A friend of mine recently told her 3 year old the "green specks" in her zucchini bread were peppermint flakes. Hey, whatever works. I know Green Smoothies are all the rage on the blogosphere right now, so why not hop on the Green bandwagon? Try blending 1/2 banana (frozen or fresh), 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 cup fresh spinach, and 1/2 cup low fat milk with a sprinkle of splenda or stevia for a tasty, nutritious breakfast. Trust me, you can't even taste the spinach. Cross my heart.

When I'm in a veggie rut, I always turn to the web to try something new. Allrecipes, and heck, even Pinterest have great ideas for new veggie recipes. I won't blab on and on about other ways to add more veggies, but I will maybe write another post dedicated to that. 

Just remember, March is National Nutrition Month! Where can you work to "Get Your Plate in Shape?"