Healthy Eating…..Eating to Live

Eating to live, not living to eat. That’s a tough one for the American people. We have access to so much good-tasting food. Good-tasting food that, for some, may be killing us. Before I start this article, let me say that I live in a glass house. I am as guilty of enjoying all that good tasting, but unhealthy, food as the next person. So I am not throwing stones. For health reasons, I have had to try to mend my ways. I have been partially, only partially, successful. But, I am learning a lot on this journey toward improved health that I would like to share with you.

I am what is called a flexitarian. Never heard of it? Neither had I. I eat vegetables, and lots of them, and fish. Mostly seafood but some fresh water fish. I occasionally eat a chicken breast and I am done with red meat entirely. I do eat eggs. This all apparently makes me…..well…..a flexitarian which is similar to a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. But who cares about the designation?

I eat to live and wish I could take a pill instead of eating food. It would be a whole lot easier. In order to remain healthy and see those good blood work results, I eat virtually no bread products. You know how whole grain is supposed to be so good for you? Ha! Not for me. Now, as for you, your mileage may vary. Remember that bread products include potato chips (how I love salt and vinegar chips, but I have to forget them!), crackers, croissants, and so many wonderful goodies. But, we aren’t hunter-gathers anymore, people. We don’t need all the bread.

Staying with the carbohydrate theme, I eat no potato products except a baked sweet potato about every three weeks. It is really GOOD when I eat one, but it is a rare treat. I think you see what I am getting at. No white carbs. None. That includes pasta. I don’t even eat whole grain pasta and, like the rest of the world, I think a good pasta salad is to die for.

All of my carbs come in the form of vegetables, mostly salad vegetables. I do eat fruit occasionally but only low-glycemic fruit — an apple, blueberries, melon, kiwi. That is pretty much the complete list. Beans are good for you with black beans being at the top of the list. They have too many carbs for me so they aren’t on my list.

As far as my very limited meat consumption is concerned, I eat lots of fish. Salmon, tuna, shrimp, just about all seafood. A chicken breast. Small servings. I try to eat meat full of Omega-3’s.

That pretty much sums up my diet. I feel very well, better than I have felt in years. I have lost weight. I’m starting to look like “me” again and feel like me. One thing I have learned is that heavy carbohydrates in my diet, white carbs, weigh me down and make me sluggish. They also make my doctor crazy as they make my blood tests crazy. You can keep some fat in your diet if you cut the carbs.

One thing I do is take vitamins and a whole host of supplements. But, that is fodder for another blog post. I have a friend who calls all the strange little supplements her “dirt” vitamins. They work.

Your mileage may vary depending on your health challenges. Check with your doctor before starting any diet. My doctor is extremely supportive and believes that we all eat far too many carbs, herself included.

This is a weight-loss diet. Extremely low carbohydrate and 1200 calories per day. When I reach my goal weight, I will add back in some foods but I will never be able to eat a diet high in carbohydrates again. On a maintenance diet, I can increase my calories a bit. I can’t wait until I can eat a bowl of spaghetti!

Is eating this type of diet boring? You bet it is. But maybe I will live long and prosper!

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