A Merry Rogue

One working Dad's journey to find "healthy".

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On Nutrition

In my first post I had mentioned that I don't plan on changing my eating habits very much with a couple of small changes (smaller portions, less alcohol intake, more veggies . . etc).   How wrong I was.

The last time I was working out on a regular basis I created a habit of eating healthier, smaller portion sizes, and more frequently.  Eating healthy will always take effort whether you admit it or not.  As "healthy" as you think your regular diet is, there is almost always something that can be change to make it healthier.  When you change from not working out to working out, your body will tell you that you need more food.  This is where most people error when it comes to diet.

One change that has happened on it's own is the fact that I eat more often.  Before I began this workout plan, I was eating about three meals per day.  Sadly enough, some days I would skip either breakfast or lunch.  Well, there is proof right there that starving yourself won't make you loose weight.  I didn't intentionally do it, it was more of me telling myself that I was too busy to stop and eat.

So far this week I have went from three meals a day to about four to five meals a day.  Usually eating about every three hours or so.  Plus, they are smaller portion sizes, less fats & heavy carbs.  So what do my daily meals look like?

Breakfast:   During the week:  Usually oatmeal.  I stopped putting honey, or syrup, or brown sugar in my
                    oatmeal.  Just nutmeg, cinnamon and raisins.  If we have any on hand, I'll toss in a banana.
                    During the weekend:  We have started a household breakfast that varies at times from eggs,
                    bacon, hash-browns, pancakes, or french toast.

Snack #1:    Yesterday's mid-morning snack was one of those small "cutie" oranges, with a handful of blue
                     berries.

Lunch:         Yesterday was a salad.  Mixed leafy greens (spinach, arugula, & a spring mix), along with
                     grape tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, bell peppers, cucumbers, feta cheese & raspberry
                     vinaigrette dressing.

Snack #2:    A little more than a handful of carrot sticks & celery sticks.

Dinner:        Tacos!  I am doing these a bit differently than the norm.  The taco meat will be beef,
                     but a bit less than the normal 1 pound.  I add in minced onions & garlic and some quinoa.
                     We have the traditional toppings of fresh tomatoes, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, salsa and
                     then add in some freshly chopped bell peppers and cucumber.

Snack #3:     After my daily workout I generally have a protein shake.

Aside from that, the only other thing I intake are vitamins that we tend to keep around the house on a regular basis.  Glucosamine for my shoulder, Kelp (iodine), B Complex, Vitamin E, Calcium and a few others.

Admittedly, the worst habit I have when it comes to eating is how fast I eat.  I over eat more than I would like at times.  That and I eat what is on my plate too often.  Both habits formed from a young age.  Habits I am sure that I share with a majority of people.  My mom always told me that I had to finish what I had on my plate.

To fix the eating too fast, I have to force myself to eat slower.  If I eat slower, I will realize that I am "satisfied" after eating much less than when I ate faster.  "Satisfied" is much different than "full".  I don't need to eat until I am full or stuffed.  I hate that feeling anyway.  I just have to eat until I am no longer hungry.  If I eat too fast, I'll already have eaten too much by the time my stomach says "that's enough".
"Put down the fork, chew, chew, chew some more, then swallow".  It will also make digesting that food that much easier.

To fix the portion size, one trick we use at home is to use a smaller dish.  Give your self a smaller portion on purpose.  If you eat all of it and find that you are still hungry, go back and grab seconds.  If you find yourself full and still have some on your plate . . . put it in a container as left overs for tomorrow.

I hope to keep this as my daily eating habits going forward.  Even when I am not working out (or especially when I am not) it is a much healthier way of eating.

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