Friday, January 9, 2015

cheers to a healthy year.

While my New Year's resolutions were not related to fitness/healthy eating this year (the marathon is more of a mental goal for me than anything else) I have been making strides toward eating healthier.
I shared here my views about food and history with it.  In short - I've always been a gym rat, never been an over-eater...but I definitely have not been a healthy eating nut.  The eating adjustments I've made in the past and shared on the blog (giving up gluten recently for a few months, for example, and several years being "fish only" prior to having kids) were to primarily lose a few pounds or to simply "try out"...not make a permanent dietary change.

The fact is that now I am (gasp!) getting older.  Not only is eating crap not good for me, but my body is literally rejecting my occasional unhealthy ways.  I find myself more tired, and even if it is only a few pounds, I certainly gain them easier and it is more work to burn off.

So, alas, after Thanksgiving I boarded healthy eating/clean eating/whatever-you-want-to call it "train."  This adventure both excites and dismays me.  Excites me because I love a challenge and enjoy the idea of creating super healthy meals.  Dismays me because it forces me to feel a little guilty about all the crap I've consumed in the past.

To begin with : drinking alcohol.  Gone are the days of getting hammered on a Friday night, passing out eating White Castle cheeseburgers (blech!) and then spending the next day comatose on the couch, emerging into daylight only to drive to get a Chipotle burrito, inhale it, and then pass out again.  Uh, not that I ever did least I haven't since having kids.

Now, as a mama of two toddlers, if I choose to get tipsy on red wine with my hubby or the occasional girl's night, I know I will suffer the next day.  That knowledge, in itself, is kind of a buzz-kill.  I mean, you can't veg all day on the couch when you have two toddlers to entertain and care for.  So at the end of a night out I am usually chugging down water and a handful of Advil and praying both kids sleep until at least 7am.  

Therefore, I rarely drink more than a glass of wine.  Happily, this cuts back on lots of calories (and hangovers.) 

Next : junk food/over-doing the carbs.   I fear my days of fast food enjoyment and eating half a pizza are over.  My metabolism is no longer down with that.  My digestive system has never been down with that.  I used to roll my eyes at girls eating salads and carefully dividing up their food into two normal portions at restaurants, saving one for later.  Now I still inwardly roll my eyes...but then I do it, too! 
I've become kind of obsessed with green smoothies, and have begun replacing 1-2 meals a day during the week with them.  Also, weeknight meals are in the process of becoming healthier/cleaner.  Gone are the heavy pastas and savory roasts and loads of carbs.  I've decided to do bigger, heavier Sunday night dinners, but keeping weeknights light.

Every day I try to trick myself into drinking more water.  I throw in lemon juice, lemon slices, frozen berries, cucumber, mint, etc.  I drink out of cute little Mason jars, or fancy water glasses.  Anything.  I find it easy to chug water on a long run or at the gym, but hard to remember during my normal daytime routine.  But I am trying!

I have begun ordering hot herbal tea instead of lattes when I am at coffee shops.  I am by no means swearing off coffee but have cut back substantially after doing a 3-day cleanse recently (I'll post about that soon!)

So I guess it is about little changes.  For me and for my whole family.  Adding that glass of lemon water first thing in the morning.  Always having some brown rice in the fridge ready to heat up and add some veggies/protein to if I am having a "carb craving." Buying new (for me) proteins that are both filling and healthful and adding them to meals (edamame and tofu, for example.)

Thankfully Fin seems to love my green smoothies and Cormac declares he loves kale and carrots.  So there is some progress. :)  I like the quote below for motivation.  You definitely have to have the right attitude about clean eating to effectively make the changes in your life...
I know I have a long way to go, but since beginning to make these small changes in my diet I feel better in a lot of ways.  Better digestion, better sleep, better energy, better mental health, fewer junk food all is affected.   Kind of incredible the difference clean eating makes!

What changes are you making in your diet in the New Year to improve your body/life?  I welcome any tips you use to eat better/cleaner in the comments section!  It is definitely a work in progress for me!