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Nutritionally sound…healthy as a horse!

Where did the phrase ‘healthy as a horse” come from? Are horses really the healthiest of the animal species or how did they earn this reputation? I wonder this morning as I prepare to start another crazy, crazy busy and probably stressful business day and eat my healthy breakfast…after taking my daily multivitamin and Vitamin C&D supplement.

When I think back to where I was one year ago and prior – an emotional binge eater who ate to deal with stress, feelings, and just about everything else. And, someone who didn’t know that fruit was actually a carb! (Yes, it’s true.) Honestly, I am astounded at what a difference a healthy diet makes. And frankly, how easy it was/is to make different choices.

Of course, when I was obese, I had heard about what to eat and why. I read the happiness and stress-relief studies that said if you just changed your diet and ate more fruits and vegetables and took a daily multivitamin you would feel better and function better. But of course I didn’t really believe it. Or, rather, just didn’t do it because it seemed too hard. Getting from where I was to where the experts said I needed to be nutritionally seemed like a big hurdle. I wasn’t ready.

Well, team, now I can say without question it works. Wow, does it work! I hate to pick favorite lanes in this journey to health and wellness, but I have to say that nutrition has to be 80% or more of the equation. Working out and being active, yes, burns more calories. But, if you eat the right foods, you’re burning the right stuff. And you’re getting your metabolism to work with you. Cool!

I got a heavy dose of nutrition 101 at Fitness North where we were taught by the best – program director Leif Anderson — and we were forced to read labels, count fat, protein, carbs, etc. and prepare our own meals. Let me just say, I am not a cook and never have been. I was a fast-food, microwave kinda gal. I ate more processed food than one can shake a stick at. Now, of course, I am eating whole food, not processed, cooking some and loving that I FEEL so much better. Yes, I have more energy. Yes, I am more productive at work and in my personal life. Yes, I am happier — on the inside and the outside. And no, I am still not a cook. I do what works for me.

And that is:

  • Buying only the foods that are on plan and not having anything else in the house, period
  • Shopping for high quality whole foods – fruits, vegetables, etc
  • Embracing the whey protein – especially when I can add fruit or peanut butter in the magic bullet
  • Preparing my meals for the week on Sunday and making individual containers that I can just grab and go all week long so I always have the right thing at my fingertips (I get in trouble when I don’t)
  • Embracing the foods in my weight loss plan from the past year that I love and enjoying them with every bite – for me that is my eggs (LOVE my eggs and egg whites/egg beaters), turkey, chicken, and veggies galore
  • LOVE Ms Dash on just about everything – they have about 6 or more varieties
  • Made a decision that I am never, ever going to a fast food joint (other than subway) or a drive through again…not goin’ there.

So my advice to those who think they can’t take positive steps toward nutrition: YES, you can! If I can do it – as much as I hate cooking and label reading and counting/math … you can do it! Again, start with baby steps. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Find what works for you and embrace it. If you don’t know, try stuff and see what you like. I knew I liked eggs – I didn’t realize I LOVE them and almost can’t live without them. Egg beaters too.
  • Once you discover healthy whole foods that you enjoy, put them in your diet to replace something that is not. I guarantee that if you have a lot of weight to lose (like me) and you make these simple changes – like I did from fast food and processed food to whole food – even at one or two meals per day, you will notice the difference.
  • Always have those foods around. And, if you can swing it, don’t have the other stuff in the house at all or put yourself in a situation to buy it. I have not regretted one day that I no longer go through a drive thru or to a fast food joint. Not once. In fact, it is empowering.

In a few weeks, I will hear from my doctor how my health numbers look after one year and -170 lbs. I hope/expect they will be good. For as much as I hate doctors, hospitals and all things medical, this one I am actually looking forward to because I want to know the results. I have not been sick one day in the last year. Really? Isn’t that amazing. Not a cold, the flu or anything.

Anyone else have tips or success stories to share about nutritional plans or strategies that work? Would love to hear them.

Happy day.
Lori

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