When I look back at what I ate in my twenties, I’m amazed I’m still alive! I never drank water (I now drink close to 4 liters a day!), everything came from a package, and sugar was a food group! My diet is now night and day different. [We will conveniently forget my references to Ding Dongs and Cadbury Creme Eggs and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream!]
My diet overhaul started after a major life changing event. For the first time I was all alone, with a place to myself, and completely responsible for my life. The 5 A Day campaign was going strong trying to convince Americans to eat better. I accepted the challenge.
I remember wondering how on Earth anyone could possibly eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day (without cheating and simply eating 5 fruits). It was overwhelming! It took me probably 3 months before I was able to get into the groove. Learning what a serving size was aided greatly, since my salad for dinner was 3+ servings by itself.
From there, it became easier … until I saw that the real health benefits came once one reached the 9-11 servings a day range. What?!?!?! Double it?!?!?!? Impossible!
That remained impossible until I was living in England and trying to make my money stretch that little bit longer. I went almost completely vegetarian, which was made so much easier by the presence of a farmer’s market on the way home from work. I’d fill up my backpack and carry two bags of the precious greenery home with me each week. I easily reached those 9 servings. It’s fun making the impossible possible!
No wonder I felt so much better in my thirties than in my twenties … I was actually giving my body the nutrients it needs … in the form of real food!
My diet is by no means perfect. I have no willpower whatsoever when it comes to food. My only way of not eating junk food is not to buy it. In England, I decided that I would have cookies in my lunch each day as a treat. The first time I tried, I bought a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies. I ate the whole thing when I got home. No cookies with lunch that week.
I learned I can’t keep those in the house. The next week, creme filled cookies: same result. Very boring lunches again that week. Finally, I found that my 3rd favorite cookies – lemon – would easily last in my place, and so that is what I had for the rest of the semester.
Now I don’t bring cookies into my house at all. Fortunately my tasting job has a snack cabinet (where I only take one and quickly leave the building), and Hillary does provide some fabulous baked goods so DH2U does not feel deprived.
What are your tips for healthy eating? Or do you have foods that you can’t have in your house?