Friday, December 6, 2013

Fit Friday: Changing How I Eat.

While most of us stuffed ourselves on Thanksgiving (myself included!) this post is not meant to make you feel guilty but perhaps help you to start thinking about a few things you can change in your diet before another holiday onslaught of food is upon us.

A few months ago I went through a period of time where I just wasn't feeling good. It started with a bad cold that just wouldn't go away but I also felt lethargic and unmotivated day after day. My energy levels were just sapped and while I could use the excuse of having small kids I knew it was more than that. Something needed to change but I wasn't sure what.

After chatting with a friend about it she convinced me to change my diet for just a few weeks to see if it would help. She had a similar experience and found that changing what she ate made a big difference. So, for two weeks I ate gluten free, sugar free and dairy free. I have to admit I was skeptical but within those two weeks my cold was finally gone and my energy levels returned.

Since then I have adjusted my diet to include dairy again - mainly yogurt, cottage cheese and occasionally cheese but I now drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of non-fat milk. I also must confess that I am not completely gluten free as I don't consider myself to be allergic but have severely cut the amount I eat. I feel more balanced as I don't feel deprived so I can have the occasional piece of pie or bagel with friends. I just don't eat it on a daily basis and so far my energy levels have remained high. (I still buy wheat bread, etc. for my kids and husband but many meals are replaced with gluten free versions which they enjoy and overall are healthier.)

One of my favorite easy lunches, salad mixed with quinoa and topped with tofu.

What foods have you added/increased? I'm eating a lot more fruits, veggies, and nuts so instead of grabbing my typical snack of crackers, I'll grab an apple with some almond butter or some veggies and hummus. In addition, I also eat more quinoa, rice, legumes, buckwheat and healthy fats such as avocado.

Quinoa salad with green beans and tomatoes.

What foods have you limited? Sugar, white flour, wheat and easy to grab snacks that were around for my kids. Less processed foods overall which I feel so much better about as I was finding that I was just grabbing easy to eat foods for convenience rather than for the nutrition.

I'm not going to say it was super easy to change how I eat as it did take time to figure out different recipes to cook but it is definitely worth it. I'm starting to have a pretty good set of dishes to cook and often just make extra to have for lunch or dinner the next day. I'll try to share some of the recipes on my blog in the near future as many of them my kids love as well.

I'm not posting this to say everyone should eat less gluten but more so to encourage you to take a look at your daily diet and see what changes you could make that might help you to feel better or just eat healthier.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

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