family life / health / what I've learned

February: loving myself

I didn’t begin this year attempting to self-love by taking my nutrition more seriously — I slipped into this veganish lifestyle purely by accident. Probably I can call it ‘God loving me’, allowing a negative scenario to manifest in self-loving choices.

Ten pounds smaller in one month and I almost can’t believe it. Have I really lost ten pounds? I had no intention to lose weight at all, or stop eating potato chips (not so smiley face here). But my clothing is loosening.

Now that I’ve moved beyond feeling forced into changing my diet, as the pounds slip off, and my mind gets clearer, I can see the value of healthy eating.

I’ve learned in the last month ….

1. That I can change my cappuccino morning routine to an Americano, or even, gasp, a rice milk infusion. And now, losing the coffee altogether. Whaaaa? (may this one not last forever)

2. That most foods in boxes have sugar — a lot of sugar. And in boxes you weren’t expecting to find sugar. If sugar is inflammatory, I was doing a good job assisting the inflammation.

3. I am blessed to live in a town where fast food is not a thing. This town kept Tim Hortons and McDonalds out! And I live far enough out of town that ordering in would make the takeout ordering people giggle anyway. “You live where?” mwahahaha, “Yeah, we don’t drive there”.

4. I’m glad I don’t have a thing for eggs because I’m not supposed to eat them–so instead of breakfast eggs, I am experimenting with grains I have heard of, but weren’t in my repertoire: buckwheat, quinoa, and chia…oh, and steal cut oats, of course.

5. If I can’t put butter on toast, I’ll make my own smear of smashed cashew butter and fruit compote. Toast without butter is an adjustment, whereas quinoa with a sprinkling of choco nibs, berries and coconut flakes is super satisfying.

6. I was losing my appetite for sausage and ground beef anyway, but I have experimented with more bean recipes, and the odd tofu recipe, and know that I really wanna eat meat. Though I have dramatically lightened my meat consumption, vegan I will not be. Broiled chicken — divine in my mouth. And fish I will always include on my weekly grocery list. Twice a week meat consumption is veganish enough for me.

7. Snacks of fruit or veggies and interesting hummus dips made from sweet potato or chickpeas satisfy.

8. They say fermented foods are good for the gut. Also good for the palate when you’re accustomed to potato chips. A nice green olive, slosh of sauerkraut or super garlicky pickle…the saltiness doesn’t replace Lays, but it’s salty.

9. I drink more fizzy water. I crave water. Probably the catabolic state that I’m in. And obviously no alcohol, which I am not yet missing. Though my Christmas gift of a wine book sits lonely on my coffee table. I can’t bear to read her, yet.

10. I bought the fancy salt. Pink Himalayan salt and sea salt. Once you throw me over the edge of dietary changes, just go all the way.

11. I’m even buying organic. ORGANIC. Well not all organic. But if most of my diet is fruit and veggies, I am eating the most flavorful options (and often the organic choices just have more flavor).

12. Packaged yummy foods are everywhere. And I was including them in my diet far too regularly, which I knew, but hey, I was not obese and I had no problems. Until I did. Except for an evening snack of a few rice crackers with avocado (my main fat source) and pepper flakes is really yum. No really. It’s yum.

I’ve learned that eating super healthy IN THIS CULTURE requires a God-intervention.

We live in a culture of palate-amusing food options at every turn. No time to get bored, lonely, sad — instead, eat something. So, since the option to food-medicate has nearly disappeared, I’m learning to self-nurture in other ways. I’m learning to choose food that are not necessarily my palate-preference. And I’ve been surprised that my palate is following suit, mostly.

And though it’s been hard to radically change my diet overnight, oh it’s been hard, and I don’t expect I’m finished grappling with all that, I am thankful for my God-intervention so I can love myself a little bit better.

 

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