Monday, August 12, 2013

Everyday Eating for Health and How I came to Change my Ways

Two years ago, in the late summer, my grandfather came to my house to help me install new countertop, sink, faucets and a dishwasher.  My grandfather has always been the man in my life, the steadfast, the rock.  He is a giant of a man both physically and emotionally.  When they say people will give you the shirt off their back, my grandfather would give you his pants, socks and underwear too.  Still in his 70s, he cuts his own firewood, feeds his cows, mows lawns, builds porches and basically has not let his age be an impediment.  I love him and have made an effort to be like him all my life.  He believes that we lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps.  We should strive for integrity and honor in all we do.  And so, when I needed to install the new countertop, asking for him to show me how to do it and spending that time with him was an easy choice.

I had no idea he had gotten so weak.  Living 40 minutes away and being so busy, I hadn't gotten the chance to see him in a while.  I watched as he sweat and struggled as we cut the countertop multiple times to get it to fit right.  He seemed sluggish and weary.  I did not understand how this could happen to my dearest love.

One month after the countertop installation, he had a heart attack.  My life changed in that moment, in many ways, one of which was to change my health.  The other change I made was to place one foot in front of the other toward my dreams, making them reachable goals.   If this man who was a hero to me could fall, then I must step up.  I needed to be better than I was, become the potential that was always there.  I needed to stop making excuses.  I had something inside me struggling to get out and I had tried all sorts of ways to smother that something, but no more.  It was time to live.  Time to LIVE for health, for happiness, for honor.

I am sharing with you today some basics.  Easy changes I made that I did research to discover what worked best for me.  I should tell you that one of the first things I did was find out my body type.  My body works best when I cut down on carbs.... although this works for everyone, there are different body types and you should find out yours.  This will also help you for exercises. 
Basically there are 3 types:
  • ectomorphs (think models,  thin and high metabolisms)
  • mesomorphs (this is me, medium frames, usually athletic, gains and loses both muscle and fat fast and easily)
  • endomorphs, which is most women (softer, rounder and fuller women, can gain and lose muscle but must be consistent). 
Google the type you are and find out the best work outs for you... or keep on my blog and I will be writing some work out plans for you too :)

Today is only day one.  If you can't follow all today's advice, follow what works for you. Any change, no matter how small, is change :)

First, this does not get a number because it's so important.  If you want to live longer, try your best to follow this rule:


Processed food needs to be cut back as much as possible!  It has been made to MAKE YOU CRAVE MORE.  It is LOADED with salts, fake fillers, and sugars.  If you are buying food that comes in a box , can, or in a package, look at the list of ingredients.  If there are more than 4 ingredients and you can't pronounce them, put it back down (that's what I teach my kids).... It is BAD for you.  100 Calorie SNACK PACKS ARE BAD!!!  YOU have NO idea how difficult it is for me to walk away from Pringles, but I do it almost every time haha (I have caved and bought them. I'm only human).  I try to remember that if it's not in my house, I don't eat it.  Don't tempt yourself.

Ok, so here we go:
1.  Cut out the overindulgence of pasta.  I know, you want to punch me in the face right about now.  It's up to you how you live your life, not me.  Cut back eating anything that has unenriched or bleached anything.  Whole grains are ok, but if you want to lose weight, cutting back is essential.  WE are over eaters of pasta in this culture.  We do NOT eat enough veggies.    If this is hard for you, cut back to once a week.  Make Sunday(or whatever day) your pasta day.  I eat quinoa and brown rice.

2.  Cut out white starch as much as possible.  STOP over eating white potatoes (yeah that means french fries) and the bread with 78 ingredients.  I do eat bread and it's the Sara Lee bread.  It has 35 calories per slice.  I also eat the pita bread.  It's the "Joseph's Flax Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita Bread" with 60 calories per pita and only 4 carbs (if you're counting carbs).  You can find this in front of the deli at Wal Mart.  They sell larger and smaller sizes.  Sweet potatoes are good.

3.  Eat constantly through the day (again, this has worked for me and my body type).  Some things I keep in my desk at school when I get hungry as a grab and go are: almonds, walnuts, homemade granola, intense dark chocolates, pistachios, cheerios... and eat breakfast.  During the school year, I eat oatmeal with honey everyday. I have read some research that suggests eating throughout the day does not help.  I think there's research that will prove just about anything you want to prove....  What's key is to eat when you're hungry but don't overindulge.

4.  Cut out sugar as much as possible.  I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE sweets, so this was hardest for me.  I still eat a lot of sweets, but when I get a craving, I go with real sugars, (fruits that I love like cherries) or dark, dark chocolates.  If you must use sugar, measure what you're using.  Try slowly cutting back the amount. In baking, find recipes that have substitutes for sugar.  Do NOT use fake sugar and think you're making a good choice. I've done a ton of research on fake sugar and it's not healthy at all, and will actually hurt your weight loss because it bogs down your liver so NO FAKE SUGARS! 

Ok, I have more pointers, but that's enough for now. I don't want you to get overwhelmed :)
So here is a photo of what I bought at the grocery store for one week.  I shop at Aldi primarily because as we all know fresh fruits and veggies are expensive.  I also make an extra trip to WalMart or Price Chopper etc for a couple other items.

So, here's this list from Aldi from the photo above:
1.  Eggs.  I eat boiled eggs almost every day during the school year.  They are great protein and fill you up.
2. Avocado.  I hated them at first, but again, great fillers and good fats.  I eat them right out of the skins.  I usually eat 2 a week.
3. Fruits: Bananas, little cuties, grapes, pineapples. I eat as much as I want during the day with the exception of bananas.  Only one of those per day max. 
4.  Nuts: Walnuts and pecans
5. Veggies:  Eat a ton of this, more than fruits.  Beets (buy fresh not canned, I steam them), celery,  cukes, sweet baby peppers, kale (great as a chip for a snack)
6. Flat bread (check the labels on these. Some "seem" good, but they are not.)
7. Cheese sticks
8. Mozzarella cheese
9. Soy Milk (I DO NOT drink regular milk anymore)
10. Peanut Butter (REAL, not fake).  And no, not nutella haha.
11.  I usually buy Tilapia, tuna fish, but here in the photo is only ground turkey.  Avoid meats. They are loaded with processed ingredients that are slowly killing you.  I usually only have a couple meals a weeks with "met" such as chicken or fish. 
12. Sweet potatoes.  No, you may not load them up with brown sugar and butter.... sorry!
13.  Also not in the photo, but you can get at Aldi, is BROWN RICE.  Switch to that over pasta.  Easy to cook. 
14.  Often sold at Aldi that I buy weekly where it's available is V-8 juice, low sodium kind. I drink one of the SMALL ones a day during the work week.

I know a lot of you are wondering what the hell I eat for dinner.  Like I said, I have much more to tell you, but I can't do it all at once!! I will do my best to put together a meal plan for you as soon as I get the chance.  Please feel free to call, text, message me on facebook if you want more help. 

Getting healthy is your first step to loving yourself.  Your body is your temple.   It's not who you are, that's on the inside.  But without your body, you don't exist.  You need to take care of that temple... What kind of maintenance are you doing?

Namaste, friends.


  1. This is so great! Thanks for putting it all down for us to refer to, I need to get back on track and you are a great example.