Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Healthy New Year!

(Just to warn you, this post may be heavy on the vegetables so get out now if you feel you must!)

It's January 1 again! I always make resolutions on January 1 and sometimes I keep them but they always seem to be the same ones. And this year is no different. Isn't that the truth? I'm doing it a bit differently this time though and trying to make small, important changes that will stick without pressuring myself so much that I get stressed and give up before February gets here.

For instance, the exercise thing - always the first thing on my list every year and the one thing I try so hard to make work for me. Until I give up for some stupid reason (Okay, I'll give myself a break -  ankle, foot and knee injuries are a good excuse and I've suffered from those time and time again. But just when I think I'm off the hook there's always some wise*** who suggests . . . swimming!)  I already began an exercise program recently to get some of my muscle strength back and I will try to continue working on that if I can. If it's not too cold to walk outside, that is . . . Otherwise, there's a track nearby that I used to go to but haven't been to in awhile. No excuse. It's only about 5 miles away. Why does it have to be so hard to put that one foot in front of the other, LOL??

This is better than walking around inside a mall when it's 20 degrees or less outside. Also, I am not tempted to spend any money LOL.

If I time it right I won't have to walk around the track while all of the skinny people are working out below me with their loud music. I'm trying to listen to a book on my ipod you guys . . .

Keep eating my fiber! I love most vegetables and eat plenty (fruits too) but I mostly cook them. Because I have suffered from some nasty digestive ailments in the past, this year I am determined to try to increase my fiber even more and eat more raw vegetables. Fiber for me keeps the doctor away. No, I have no interest in eating a raw diet AT ALL. And I think the jury is still out on which is better for you -  cooked or raw. Did you know that raw carrots supply polyphenols, chemicals with antioxidant properties that may reduce cancer and the risk of heart disease? Cooking carrots destroys all the polyphenols and breaks down the vitamin C so your body can't use it. Yet cooking supplies MORE beta carotene than raw which is one reason we eat the vegetables in the first place, isn't it? The same holds true for spinach, cabbage, peppers, asparagus and many other veggies. I think the solution is to just eat a combination of both.

When I cook my vegetables I don't get as much fiber as I could. Last year I started grating a whole raw carrot into my salads at home and sometimes will add half of a grated apple too. Yum. Seriously, it makes for a very good salad and I will sometimes add a handful of walnuts too. Seems to fill me up much better. If only I could find a low-fat dressing I liked  . . . That's what usually gets me every time. The quest is on to find a dressing I like that isn't high in fat.

I try not to  eat a whole lot of processed foods and I usually do fine but I sure like to snack as much as anybody else. If there's a bag of chips in the house I will eat it so the key for me is to just not buy it or only buy them occasionally. I get really tired of eating raw veggies and dip.  I cannot eat many of those ready-made dips or any dip made with soup mix because of the MSG or added spices and flavorings. Here's a dip I made over the holidays that everyone liked really well. I made more today and added more raw vegetables -

I used my nifty little mini-food processor to chop up fresh broccoli and red pepper and then added the vegetables to Greek yogurt (twice the protein as regular and thicker and creamier too) with a little garlic powder and salt. No, I did not eat the whole bowl! Not bad and a good way for me to get in those raw vegetables instead of eating boring raw veggies with a high-fat dip. Too bad my favorite crackers have a little too many calories . . . . Have you tried these?? They're half pretzels, half crackers and very crispy.

I don't usually eat a lot of sugar snacks on a regular basis but boy did I have way too much over the past several weeks. Candy, fudge, cookies . . . you name it. So it looks like sugar is going to have to go too. Goodbye  Peppermint Bark! Here's my healthy substitute -  SKINNY POP.

Probably the single best popcorn I have ever had without butter. And I like it just fine without. Look at those calories. Or lack of them I should say. A little pricey and so I try to make the bag last but even if I don't - it won't kill me to eat more than a cup. Low in sodium too. Made in Chicago so you may have to check to see if they sell this in your area.

I haven't even had time to think about my quilting resolutions yet. I think this is what is going to occupy my mind instead of quilting for awhile until I get into a routine and the changes stick. I did promise myself I  would get some more Dear Jane blocks finished in the coming weeks, months, so don't worry, I'm still here. Just taking a little health break.


Anonymous said...

Swimming is so good for you!!!! It takes pressure off of your hips, knees, ankles, and feet. It is a great cardio workout and builds endurance. Even if you don't "swim", using a kick board up and down the length of the pool will work wonders. Pool aerobics is fun and social too.
Ok...ok... I will shut up. I guess I am a wise@$&.
Your PT friend

QuiltinMama said...

Grated carrot in a PB sandwich is good, too..sounds gross, I know but I swear it's tasty. I'm trying to give up my soda steps, right? So I've switched to diet and I'll wean my way off. Good luck to us both!!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Have you try sauted or grilled vegetables; I find it is easier on the digestive system than the raw ones and taste better than the boiled vegies.

And for exercises, for starter, I go up and down the stairs, a couple of times a day, with legs streaching each time.

Take care of yourself the best you can.

Kathleen Tracy said...

Jules - Swimming wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to put on a darned bathing suit!

Yes, I love grilled vegetables and make myself grilled vegetable sandwiches all the time. But then I top them with cheese, LOL.

I will have to try the carrots in peanut butter!

I switched from Diet Coke to LaCroix flavored seltzer water last year because my son used to yell at me for drinking so much of it and now I only have a diet drink on occasion or when I'm eating out. Little steps is good. I don't even miss it now.

EllenaElizabeth said...

Looks like we are thinking very much the same with our food intake. I have been leaning towards less sugar and unprocessed foods now for a few years and 11 months ago now changed my diet entirely. No sugar at all, I think it is the worst thing ever. Lots of good oils like coconut and EVOO. Never heating OO as it turns into a bad fat etc etc. Up to 6 pieces of fruit, raw nuts, lots of vegies etc etc. I have lost about 30 pounds in that time with little to no exercise as I am housebound with a bad back after surgery and a fall. I think we are all turning back to more natural food and a less stressed lifestyle. Thanks for your post. Happy New Year from Australia.

Ruth said...

I have been trying to serve more veggies too, for my own sake and for DH's. I have tried several recipes for collard greens and have found a pretty good one. My DIL made a salad with some apple in it last night and I really liked it! It's the first time I've had that, but a very good idea. Good luck on your quest and happy new year!

Anonymous said...

I agree, that darn bathing suit, and the water is always cold.

Kathie said...

I hope I can find that popcorn around here it looks great . I will buy a box of the pretzel/crackers that will fill my need for crunch somedays!
Yes a year of eating healthier is on the top of my list
Happy New Year!

Sue said...

Yes, I just got out my blender again today to start blending up my foods again as they are healthier. All this after I just got off of the treadmill. Can't say how long it will last but here's to hoping! ;D

Have a wonderfully healthy and injure-free New Year!


baukje said...

I absolutely agree , that bathing suit and the water........And when you step out of the pool....;it's so damned cold!!!!!
I have pre-diabetic so i cannot eat a lot of sugar, after two years I have to say it's not that bad.

sue said...

Thanks for the hints and incentive. As I sit in my comfy chair each morning with coffee, I tell myself or write down what I need/should be doing... some days thats as far as it goes. I've eliminated soda - now I crave water. Its a start!
Best in this new year!

Anonymous said...

May I suggest Penzey's Spices (mail order) salad dressing mixes? We tried them a year ago and I can't touch the store bought dressings now. I use MUCH LESS dressing and it has a lighter mouth feel.

The best part is all ingredients are REAL. We love the italian and the country french flavors.

It's easy to change the flavors by using different oils and vinegars.

Me and My Stitches said...

I had the same problem - trying to find a salad dressing that I liked that wasn't so darned high in fat. A friend introduced me to Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame reduced fat dressing. I love it!

suz said...

I eat a lot of veggies that I steam - you don't lose the nutrition with steamed veggies and you can make them as crunchy or soft as you want.

Judy said...

Hello there,
Thanks for sharing with us your goals for this year! It is hard to find time to exercise and just so darn easy to put it off. Your veggies and eating unprocessed foods sounds great to me. Here's hoping that you meet all of your goals this year.

Jenni said...

If you eat lots of peppermint chocolate you get heaps of greens!

Heartsdesire said...

I, too, like everyone else am going to try to eat more fiber this year. More vegetables, organic if possible, and lots of fruit. I find grated beets in a salad, along with the carrots, is quite tasty, and you can steam the beet tops or stuff them with cooked rice and onions. I also found a recipe for ratatouille in a Suzanne Sumers cookbook that is delicious. It can be eaten hot or cold, great for lunch as well as dinner. Good luck in your quest for a good-tasting, natural low-cal dressing. Be sure and let us know if you find one.


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