Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Next Baby Steps

I've been noticing my diet (as in "what I eat regularly", not "some special food plan someone else made up so I'd get skinny") has been gradually getting a bit balanced in a way that usually happens when I have major stress, like my hubby's current laid-off status. I eat fewer fruits and veggies and more higher-fat "comfort food". That's not particularly unusual for a fat lady. But I don't feel well when I eat that way, so I try to pay attention and nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.

My husband has been complaining that we don't have plain, old sandwich bread around. I really want to bake my own again, but haven't had time. It doesn't take a lot of time to do the baking. The problem is you have to stay home so you can do the steps when it's time. And this week, I haven't been home. So, one of my things for tomorrow is to bake bread. I like to do my own because if I bake it, I know that it's whole wheat and I use eggs and 1% milk for part of the liquid, which increases the protein in the bread. This makes a very hearty loaf and then a half sandwich or one piece of French Toast is plenty. That story illustrates one baby step--do as much of my own baking as I can, boosting the nutrition in whatever ways I can.

Plus, it increases the whole grains in my diet. We've been eating whole grain pasta and they're making really good stuff now. I always make whole grain brown rice. It has more flavor than white. And I'm going back to eating steel-cut oatmeal cooked in 1% milk for breakfast. My husband likes to cook breakfast and he does great scrambles, omelettes, and stuff. But I'd like to save those for a special Saturday morning meal, rather than every day. The thing is, when he's off work, making breakfast gives him a feeling of doing at least one thing that's productive in his day. So, I'm going to see if doing a super-whoop-dee-do brunch on Saturday morning will do the same thing because he can plan it in advance and do it up special.

The other change I want to make is to have a salad and fruit with lunch, and a salad and 2 fruit/vegetable dishes with dinner. Or mix the equivalent into recipies. I used to aim for a salad and one veggie or fruit, but I noticed that I eat too large a serving of rice, potatoes, pasta, grains, etc. when I do that. My old way of eating is not particularly unhealthy, I just feel better and have more energy when I balance my food more toward veggies and eat smaller servings of meat and bread stuff.

We'll see how that goes as time goes on. The added benefit is that I'm substituting lower-calorie foods for higher-calorie foods, so I should lose some weight as a by-product of changing the way I eat. I'm planning to work on those changes this month. Then I have some other things I want to do next month.


Jean said...

Good awareness, Linda. I like the idea of a Saturday Brunch for your hubby to plan and put on for you -- it's a good way to do something special and help meet both your needs.

You'd think exchanging lower calorie foods for higher calorie foods would be easier than it is. But it takes planning and attention -- any you have a nice baby step approach.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm! Homemade bread!

Good job on thinking this out. You're right about planning ahead. It seems nothing gets done, at least not well, unless it's planned for. Better chances of sticking to a plan, too. :)

Trixie said...

Do you suppose we can apply this insight to other areas of our lives as well? Nah!! That would never work!