Back in the Saddle

If you’re anything like me you may not be feeling all that great. Even though there were days I tried really hard to be healthy, for the most part I’ve indulged, and these past 3 weeks are showing. I can always tell when I’ve put on pounds, and ironically enough it wasn’t during the cruise of 24-hour available food and treats, but since I’ve been home and partaking of the holiday season.

On the cruise I made myself walk everywhere. I think I took the elevators only 2 or 3 times, instead opting for stairs and that increasing count on my pedometer. I felt good the day I walked off that boat and headed fo home. But since then I’ve been to 4 parties and at least 3 other community events that included lots of food. Not to mention the traditional baking and the treats given to us by friends and neighbors. There was more than we could eat, and some of it has made its way into our freezer.

There are some things I don’t eat regardless, like pork. Other things like white bread I eat sparingly, and white sugar I seem to eat quite a bit of during the holidays, though normally I stick to organic or natural. Now that it’s all said and done I don’t feel so hot. In fact, on Christmas Day as I looked around my kitchen laden with goodies still yet to be consumed, there was no power on earth that could move me to eat even one bite. All I wanted was pure, primal foods.

Have you ever craved sugar? More often than not what it really means is your body is craving protien. Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger, which is why many people (including me) have been known to eat when not really hungry. But what if you are craving vegetables and beans? I believe that means your body is trying to say Give me vegetables and beans, lady!

If you are not from the South you may not be familiar with the New Years tradition of cooking a large pot of black eyed peas. In many cases people add sausage, and then they portion it out and give to friends and family as gifts of good luck for the new year. I never heard of this until I married a Southern boy, and indulged in the practice for a few years. Actually, I indulged him as he made the peas. My hubby is a bean-eater all the way, but after watching people give us just as much as we were giving away, I put a stop to all the trading.

Now that we don’t eat pork anymore we are just as happy with a pot of beans seasoned in chicken broth and garlic powder. On Christmas night I set a pot of beans to soak because I was craving vitamins and minerals, and Cory got all excited at the prospect of black eyed peas. Needless-to-say he ate up almost the whole thing. So to the store I will go to buy more dry beans and peas.

As part of my cleansing, primal-like diet, I am staying away from all things processed. Yesterday I ate salad, sweet potato, banana, apple, black eyed peas, and lentil soup. I do still use bottled dressing and a 35 calorie wedge of Laughing Cow light Swiss with the apple, and 2 Hershey’s Kisses, but you can’t have expectations that are going to fail, so if you plan to make a change then I suggest you keep it real. This isn’t a “diet” by loose terms. It’s a cleansing that eventually turns into an eating habit, or lifestyle. I’ve done this before and have gotten terribly off track in the past few years. Also, if you are still eating white breads, pasta, rice, and sugars, then you need to start off a bit more slowly than I and begin by changing over those things to whole wheat, whole grain, browns and all natural versions.

So here’s my list of what I’m allowed to eat for the next week. It seems a little extreme, but I know my body and how my psyche works, so I must start off strict and then decide how to proceed the next week. Small goals are attainable. Long term goals usually fail because people realize they have bitten off more than they can chew and then they just give up. My plan is to feel better initially and then work myself back into my exercise regime.

Brown or Wild Rice, dried peas and beans, sweet pototoes (a perfect yam requires no butter or anything), all veggies, fruits (except high-sugars like oranges, too much acid, too), protiens such as chicken, turkey, and fish, canned albacore tuna, veggie soups (protiens can be added), bulgur, barley, quinoa, eggs, gardineira (this goes well with so many things), air-popped popcorn, raw nuts and seeds, hummus.

There is no bread, pasta, dairy,or potatoes other than yams on this list. That doesn’t mean I should completely deprive myself, but at least in the first week I should be able to obstain. Later on I can slowly introduce very small amounts of dairy (like yogurt and cottage cheese), whole grain bread and wheat pasta if I really crave it. I do love bread, so that will be hard.

It’s also a lot easier to stay on track when healthier foods are readily available. I’m prone to grabbing a piece of junk food just because it’s convenient. So I will be in the kitchen today cooking up some sweet potatoes, more beans, and my hummus, which I will share the recipe with you tomorrow, all to keep handy in the fridge for eating.

Other good tips: eat small portions, about 300-400 calorie meals each, 5 or 6 times a day. Drink half your weight in ounces of pure distilled water every day. That means if you weight 150 lbs. then you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day. You won’t have time or be thirsty enough for that diet soda which you shouldn’t be drinking anyway. Use onion and garlic powder, dill, thyme, marjoram, and all other herbs for seasoning. Use only extra virgin olive oil. If you don’t like raw veggies then toss with EVOO, salt and pepper, whatever seasonings you like and roast at 375* until cooked to your liking.

My first goal is to fit into my New Years dress and look good. I only have 6 days left. After that I will set a new goal for Jan. 6th, and so on. Why Jan. 6th you ask?  Because my husband left for his annual mission trip to South Africa and he will be returning on the 6th. I’m aiming for an extra special homecoming 🙂 and in the meantime I ask for your prayers of covering over Cory and those he has gone to serve.

Bless you and goodluck in all your endeavors.

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One thought on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Your regimen sounds great! I know you can do it. Dialed you by mistake this a.m.
    Also, I forgot to congratulate you on the Christmas program – didn’t know Brandon played alto sax – he’s really good!!
    Louise

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