I’d say I’m a pretty regular girl. I don’t diet. I don’t count calories. Every time a New Year comes around, I find myself making a resolution to drink more water and less soda (pop, whatever you want to call it). I like butter. I like salt and I like sugar. For the most part, I eat whatever my heart desires. I’ve never been overweight, but I have had moments where I find my jeans not buttoning with as much ease as I’d like them to.
Fortunately, I have grown up in a place where I have been surrounded by a community of people whom are most commonly referred to as, “farmers.” I don’t know all of the specifics of the agriculture world, but I know enough to know where my food comes from & to know that the farmers behind my food and clothes work really hard to feed & clothe me and you. So naturally, you can imagine my frustrations when I continue to see report after report and advertisement after advertisement try to attack my friends and their families for producing food for their country. The problem isn’t the food and product that is being produced, but rather the habits of the people consuming the food.
I’ve grown up eating food from both organic and conventional farmers. I’ve tasted both raw milk and pasteurized milk. I’ve eaten cheese, butter, huge steaks, chicken, fish, vegetables, fruits, pasta & gluten. Milk used to be the only beverage that I would drink. I’ve always been in the “suggested” weight range for my age and height and I’ve been healthy (unless you count the time when I was 3 months old, had the real measles and almost died). So, here’s my secret: I eat in moderation. And I try my best to stay active.
Moderation is huge. As is, cooking home cooked meals. People say that cooking things like beef or chicken is more expensive than eating out. Have you eaten at McDonald’s lately? (I eat at McDonald’s sometimes-I like their chicken nuggets. I blame my mom from my childhood days. Love you, Mom!) It’s pretty expensive for “fast food.” So don’t tell me it’s more expensive. Maybe by a little bit, but the biggest thing that fast food chains have going for them isn’t necessarily cost, but rather it’s ease. We live crazy lives here in America & when we’re tired from working 8 hours a day and have to go home to a hungry family, it is much easier to go through the drive thru. I know. Been there, done that!
In fact, there was 1 month in particular where I started a new job. I had an hour commute to work, and an hour commute back. I was gone from 6:30 am until 5:15 pm. I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was cook a meal and then have to do the dishes. Want to hear something disgusting? I gained 15 pounds in 30 days. It was awful. I felt gross & tired all of the time.
To combat this problem, I began working out for just 20 minutes a day and eating at home. I ate little snacks throughout the day instead of three huge meals & I dropped back to my normal weight in 3 weeks. It wasn’t easy. I had to wake up earlier to fit in workouts. I had to do dishes after I cooked. But my energy came back to me & I felt so much better. Not only that, but I fit in my jeans again!! Because that’s what really matters, right?!
I still ate chocolate chip cookies & cooked with butter. I ate cheese & drank milk, but I did everything in moderation. Don’t stuff yourself. Don’t eat until you’re so full that you feel sick. Here’s another trick of mine: eat slower. That’s easy for me because I’m a naturally slow eater (ask any of my friends who have had to wait for me to finish my food). Eating slower allows your body to process the fact that it is full before you are able to get up to retrieve seconds or thirds.
Now, one more time, disclaimer: I’m by no means a nutritionist. I don’t count calories or research nutritional values. Maybe someday I will, but for now, I’m just a regular girl who is pretty bothered by these accusations against agriculture. Take responsibility for your health and wellness. It’s your body – no one else can hurt it, but you.
I’ll be providing recipes for breakfast, lunch & dinner for 5 days of the week. The weekends mean “rest” when it comes to cooking in my house. So that means leftovers for lunch on Saturday, cereal for breakfast, eating dinner out, etc. And that’s okay too! I’m not saying “nay” to one thing and “yay” to another. It’s all about MODERATION. Dinner out every night of the week…not okay; dinner out once or twice, okay.
Recap of some secrets:
- Everything in moderation.
- Cook your own meals.
- Take time to enjoy your food & eat a bit slower.
- Try to avoid seconds or thirds.
- More snacks, less large meals.
- Be active!
- Remember that you’re responsible for your body’s health & wellness.
- I didn’t say this earlier, but… EAT BREAKFAST! And no, a cup of coffee doesn’t count.
Stay tuned: Tomorrow I’ll be talking about the items I’ll be using for my at-home workout and I’ll also be sharing Week One’s Meal Plan.