As promised this entry is all about diet. I will preface this by saying that the term diet simply stands for how and what we eat. I do not go on "diets" which in that instance means, depriving oneself of the foods they love simply for the purpose of losing weight. It is a well known fact that those people who do go on "diets" do gain their weight back.
Yes, I did gain my weight back and for me it was simply giving up my healthy eating plan for the "Standard American Diet" SAD for short. I do know that the SAD is not an ideal way of eating though old habits are dying hard for me.
I have done a lot of research on different ways of eating to sustain ones self and have tried out many of these diets.
I have tried Low Carb in an unhealthy Atkins way. Let me say that Atkins diet if followed properly can be very VERY healthy. I personally, (and I know many other people do the same thing I did) simply concentrated on carbohydrates. I did not concentrate on "net carbs" as discussed in the books and I didn't concentrate on nutrition. If it didn't have carbs in it then I felt it was ok to eat, if it did have carbs in it then I did not eat it. This included fruit and veggies. At the start of my weight loss journey I was not at all concerned about nutrition. I bought the Atkins book and I lost all my weight I needed to lose, and I lost it quickly!!
I of course put that weight back on and then went back onto the weight loss journey though this time I did have knowledge of nutrition. I did a lot of reading trying to find the ideal diet for optimal nutrition and weight loss. I explored the RAW diet. This diet is eating all raw fruits, veggies, and seeds. It was amazing but too difficult for me to sustain. I knew it was not the ideal diet for me. I took another look at low carb and have seen some amazing articles about how this eating style can actually reduce disease. They are on to something. I compared South Beach to Atkins and found that they both are very similar. They both do try to concentrate on the importance of vegetables in ones diet. Though both of these diet trends rely a lot on processed foods.
I currently feel that a clean eating diet is what is correct for me and my family. I am still trying to work my way away from processed foods because they are so convenient, addictive, and I don't like to cook. I definitely eat simple.
As I mentioned in my last post I'm currently eating mostly paleo which is simply meats, fruits, veggies, seeds. I do allow some dairy and some grains so I am not 100% die hard paleo.
Many vegans are also clean eaters. They simply eat fruits, veggies, seeds, grains. Both of these camps have "proof" that their eating style is the healthiest. I do not know the true answer of what is healthiest, all I know is that paleo fits mostly with my families lifestyle. My husband loves his bread and grains and would never give those up. He also loves his meat and would never give that up, so he won't fit 100% in either the paleo or the vegan camp. I have decided that even people like my husband can live a healthy life by eating clean. No I'm not making his bread for him and he is eating that processed but that is a trade off I'm willing to live with. If he insists on eating bread it is his concern but I will feed him his main meal of the day as a healthy option. We are both currently losing weight.
The importance of fruit and veggies. The color of the natural foods we eat (fruits and veggies) tells a lot about that food nutritionally. If you don't want to study nutrition in depth like me, just suffice it to say that all the different colors represent different vitamins and minerals. If you eat a lot of color then you are getting a variety of nutrients. I do have fun reading about superfoods such as blueberries, spinach, broccoli, avocodo, kale, chia seed, flax seed, grapefruit, etc. It is really fun to learn the foods that pack the most punch nutritionally. And when I get the munchies it's much better to read about nutrition and superfoods than it is to raid the refrigerator!
WATER: So many people neglect water in their diets. I suggest water to be the first part of change in ones eating lifestyle. Be sure that you drink 1/2 of your weight in pounds in ounces. I know that sentence can be confusing for some so I will break it down to simpler terms.
Say you weigh 200lbs, this is an easy number to work with. You will need to drink 100 oz of water. It is best to drink it only as water or with only natural additives such as a lemon slice, lime wedges, strawberries, kiwi, mint leaves etc. I do not suggest buying any sort of additive powders. It is best to keep your water unprocessed too. I can not weigh in on the coffee and tea debates for weight loss. I can say that there are many many many sources stating you should stay away from caffeine. I think there probably is something to their research. I was never a heavy coffee or tea drinker and everyone knows soda is no good for you whether it is diet or regular. I used to drink soda in my previous lifestyle. Fruit juices are just liquid sugar, I don't suggest buying them either and if you have small children, or even older children I suggest you don't get them started on the juice track. Juice is not as good for you as public propaganda wants you to believe.
Keep it simple. If it comes in a box it's processed. When grocery shopping you do not need to go into any of the aisles for food if you are eating clean.
My typical diet for a day is as follows.
Breakfast: eggs, sausage, onion, green pepper all scrambled together
Lunch: romaine lettuce salad with raw spinach and any raw vegetable/fruit I have handy such as carrots, cuccumber, tomato, zucchini, summer squash, raisins, blueberries, apple, nuts, flax seed powder. Dressing is often olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar mixed with crushed fresh garlic.
Dinner: grilled chicken and choice of vegetable, my favorites being roasted zucchini, broccoli, sweet potatoes.