Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On Becoming A Health Nut

I don't know what is wrong with me as of late, but I've been eating ... healthy. It's been weird and wonderful at the same time. I think it has to do with me actually wanting to get in shape.

Breakfast: One multigrain Belgian waffle with a banana on top and light syrup and one Chobani Greek Yogurt.
 And by this I mean instead of saying that I need to eat healthier and work out more, I've decided to take action toward becoming healthier. I usually try to eat low calorie anyway because for me working out is a chore. By limiting my calorie intake, I am able to maintain my weight without having to work out. After doing a little personal research and deciding that it is possible to become one of those people, I decided to give healthy living a try.

Lunch: One Puff Pastry Margherita Pizza from Trader Joe's. Yeah it's 380 calories, but I add it into my calorie budget.  It's delicious!
One of the first steps I took was looking at the ingredients in foods that I typically eat. I was surprised to find that a fat free, low calorie Yoplait yogurt contained high fructose corn syrup. I had planned on purchasing the yogurt, but decided not to because frankly I was quite disappointed. I don't appreciate deception and was sad to learn that food that has been marketed as healthy, is actually not.

The books that have helped me start on my healthy journey.  The author is very blunt in his views, which makes the book  a comical and insightful read. The little book was included with the larger one. 
 I am somewhat to blame since the ingredients are in plain sight on the package. Immediately after this, I went to Barnes and Nizzle (or as it is more commonly known, Barnes and Noble). I was looking for the book Eat This, Not That, when I found a book called Now Eat This! Diet by chef Rocco Dispirito. In the book, Rocco relays his own struggles with weight, the changes he made and the success he has had in creating healthy recipes for "regular" food. There is also health information in the book, which I have found to be helpful and interesting. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but I did by some of the ingredients in order to prepare my own food in a healthier manner. One of the ingredients Mr. Dispirito uses in place of sugar is Stevia. 

What I will be baking with from now on. 
Until reading this book, I had never heard of this. It turns out that Stevia is from a leaf, so it's all natural. I bought a container of it at Trader Joe's for $6.99. I tried a pinch of it and it is very sweet. Becuase it is so sweet, I can substitute it for sugar and use a smaller amount of Stevia than sugar. I also bought whole wheat flour, which I have yet to use. For the next part of my health journey, I decided to write down what I am not going to eat in order to determine what kind of things I would be able to buy and eat. I decided no high fructose corn syrup (honestly, I don't know anyting about this other than it is a type of sugar and it's not healthy), no white flour (or at least not as much), and NOTHING artificial (as in color, flavor and anything else). For the most part I have given up sweets but still have sweet things on hand for the occassional (or in my case consistent) craving. I really like the yogurt covered pretzels from Trader Joe's (yep, I am in LOVE with this store...seriously if Trader Joe's was a man, I'd marry him. . .). There are only 130 calories for 8 pretzels. Normally I would think this is calorie rip-off because I only get to have 8, but these pretzels are adequately covered in the yogurt and are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I also like Trader Joe's Mini Mint Mouthfuls. It's $3.49 for a 12 pack and they are ony 60 calories each.

 I also purchased a few items from Sprout's Natural Food Market, but then learned that everything I bought is also at Trader Joe's for the same amount of money or less. I walked around Fresh and Easy to check it out, but I did not find anything particularly fascinating about the store that would make me want to go there again. Trader Joe's is amazing because they use all natural ingredients in their food and the prices are decent (some of the produce I found at TJ's is less expensive than the produce at my local grocery stores). I have also been working out which I've actually enjoyed. Ususally for me, working out is a CHORE. It involves setting aside time and is usually boring. Not to mention it involves sweating, which I think is absolutely disgusting and a violation of my 8th Amendment rights (no cruel and unusual punishment that is). I have learned that in order to find any motivation when it comes to exercising it is important to make it fun. For me this means walking with my friend Tori and memorizing scripture (and then saying it out loud. . .while trying to sound like a southern preacher) or it could involve getting my groove on with the Wii Zumba Party game. After too many times of saying I would be healthy, I've decided to actually do it, and I'm excited (nerdy excited, that is). I am hoping that I can learn to take better care of my temple and that I will not spend any more money on urgent care or antibiotics this year (but after being sick 3 times this school year and working in the same office as the nurse, there's no telling if this will actually happen). I want to start living a healthy lifestyle now to glorify God and to maintain healthy habits for the rest of my life. Being healthy means that I can give more of myself to others in the name of Jesus Christ. I want to have energy that I can invest in others and of course in my relationship with my Creator. How are you taking care of your temple?
Love, Lolo