Friday, October 23, 2009

Health: Tasty tips

I don't know how many posts are in my head about this topic, but I'm certain it's a zillion since it's such a part of my life right now.

I was frustrated this week because I felt like I was really making an effort to add food tracking back in to my world and some how it failed me a a bit. Well, I guess technically it didn't fail me, but I failed myself. I got my spreadsheet opened each day. I entered most everything from morning until dinner, and sometimes through dinner, and sometimes until bed. I entered all my calories burned from workouts (thanks to my Polar heartrate monitor). I even reverted back to some of my tried and true recipes that help keep me feeling satisfied and within points range for the day. But, I still failed.

Failures come in many shapes and forms. But no matter how they come, they are tough for me. I set a pretty high standard for myself and don't give myself a lot of latitude for screw ups. Plus, as I mentioned before, I'm such an all or nothing person. If I mess up during the day, I have a tendency to believe that it was all for nothing. I'm learning though...slowly. I even told myself as I looked back over my spreadsheet...."at least your opening it"..."at least you tracked most of your day"...."at least you are trying to make wise choices"...etc. Everything is a process and so any movement in the right direction is a good thing, right?

Anyway, specific struggles? Well, there is ALWAYS something that is going to be there to "mess up" your day. It might be lunch with a friend. Donuts brought to the office by a co-worker. Someone's birthday which means a party, dinner out, and cake (gasp). It's tough. How do you navigate through all of that and still make wise choices...especially when you really don't want the side want FRIES! Ha!

As I thought through tips to share I began to realize that it basically boils down to two larger categories: plan ahead and stay satisfied. Within these broader categories, though, I can think of a ton of little examples and tips. I'll try to share some as a reminder to myself, and in hopes that maybe you can get something from it as well.

Plan ahead.

Examples and Tips?

  • Know what you are going to do that day and think through your food accordingly. Anticipate what might "mess you up" and have a plan of action.

  • Pastries used to show up at my all female office that I worked in before having kiddos. I knew they would be there, especially on certain days. So, on those days I began bringing part of my breakfast to eat while at work so that I could occupy my mouth and hands with something better while others indulged in the goodies.

  • When we used to live near family, we'd do a Sunday night dinner all together. I never was in charge of the menu (thank you mamacita) and therefore could never predict what options I might have. As such, I used to eat a big can of green beans, a salad, or something like that before heading over. This allowed me to eat less of what was offered, if it wasn't healthy. I also traveled with my own diet coke and bag of microwave popcorn so that I would have a healthy snack while we played games and munched on goodies that weren't great options for me.

  • Whenever we go out to eat I always try to peruse the restaraunt's menu online before hand. A lot of times they offer the nutritional information. There is also a great website that has calulated the W.W. points at hundreds of restaraunts already. Check it out at Anyway, doing this ahead of time enables me to be ready to make the right choice.

Stay satisfied.

Examples and tips?

  • Know what food items are anytime foods (better known as zero point foods if you do W.W.) and snack on those in between your other planned items if you need to. If you are satisfied you won't be tempted quite as much and might also be able to resist.
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal.
  • Don't cheat yourself of something you really desire, but be sure and control the portion of it and count it on your spreadsheet. If you feel cheated you will cheat.
I guess that's all I can muster up for now. There are two more things that are swimming in my head....

First, I know that if I indulge in something because if feels right or good or is what I wanted at that moment it is fleeting. I will inevitably regret it later when I have to log it in the spreadsheet, don't see the numbers moving on the scale, or when my clothes aren't getting any looser. On the flip side...I know that if I walk away from the tempting item and don't indulge I will feel more powerful, proud, and inspired to keep making such choices. And, the clothes and scale will reflect the wisdom of my choice. So, again...why it that so hard?

Second, I realized this week that I often reward my kiddos with "treats". Nothing wrong with that, especially since they are wonderful eaters...such healthy palates. But, I don't want to create that in them. What brought this to my attention was that Poppy went with eWe to lunch at school one day. She invited a friend to eat with them, and that friend had a little candy bar as part of her packed lunch. Poppy said that eWe harassed the poor girl into giving her 1/2 of it. Poppy then mentioned to me that perhaps her actions stemmed from it being "the forbidden fruit". I don't know. We allow our kids to have a piece of candy after lunch each day, and ice cream from Poppy's store each night after dinner. They aren't restricted really. But, then Poppy said, "well, maybe it stems back to it being a big when they were rewarded during potty training with M-n-Ms". Hmmm. Could it be? I don't know. I won't lose sleep over this, that's for sure. But, it was just another reminder that our culture is centered on food (as I mentioned in a previous post) and that we often reward with food. I just want to be careful not to create a relationship with food in my children, like I've had. I want them to see food as food and not have to fuss with the rest.

Okay, so now that I've spent all this time writing about food, I'm hungry (truly). I've got to go grab a snack:)

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