Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eating Like It's My Job

Over fifty years of shopping for food and preparing food in certain ways creates some deeply ingrained habits; and changing habits requires focus, dedication, determination, and a belief that what you are doing is worth the effort. I am hip-deep in changing lifelong habits, and I am finding that it is incredibly time-consuming. Those who know me well, and who know how much I love food, will find it hard to believe that I actually do NOT like thinking constantly about what I am going to put in my mouth; but it's true. I will be glad when some of these changes become habits, so my brain can be freed up for other thinking about what time I can take a nap.

Right now my goal each day is to eat nutrient-dense meals. Before this, I thought I was eating a healthy diet....and by most standards, I probably was. For instance, I haven't eaten "fast food" in decades, unless you count an occasional salad at Subway or an indulgent 6 pack of chicken strips at Chik-fil-A as "fast food." However , I have discovered that I really have been robbing myself of a great way to fill the tank by not filling up on fruits and vegetables, but that it takes planning. In short, I have been including so many more vegies and fruits in my daily diet, that it is consuming big hunks of time just keeping them on hand, not to mention preparing them. The up side of all this is that I am seldom hungry between meals.

The best thing I recently have discovered is that some frozen vegetables, like cauliflower and brussel sprouts, turn out very well roasted with olive oil. Previously, I had roasted only fresh vegetables, which I love; but frozen ones are so much cheaper, easier to keep on hand, and entirely acceptable as a side item with lunch. I might still serve fresh to guests, but for my daily servings of cruciferous vegetables, frozen works just fine.

And liquids. Lord have mercy. I am floating, but still not drinking enough on most days. Of course, because I am taking additional vitamins and supplements, sometimes between meals, I do try to drink a significant amount of water when I am washing them down. And I know that soon my body will want more liquid as it gets accustomed to being supplied with more.

All in all, I feel so pleased with the steps I have taken toward better health. Whether or not this effort prevents a recurrence of breast cancer, only time will tell. But in the meantime, I feel much happier with myself for having taken charge of this part of my life. Plus, I know that I am healthier in general, with more energy and a positive outlook. And if the cancer does recur, I will still be ahead of the game in my physical and mental well-being.

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