For 2013 I only have one real resolution: be healthy. Of course, everyone says “I want to lose weight,” but that’s not really my plan. While it will be an added bonus, I am more concerned with boosting my immune system and upping my vitamin intake naturally (without vitamins). I want to feel energized and like I’m on the right track with food.
My sister and I watched several videos recently about a more vegetable centered diet: Forks Over Knives, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue. And, something clicked for me. I’ve known for years that my diet left much to be desired, but I just didn’t feel compelled to change it. Now, I think I am ready.
Will I be a strict vegan? Not going to happen. I refuse to give up my leather shoes and I like honey.
Will I be a strict vegetarian? Probably not.
What am I willing to change? I will overhaul my kitchen. I will make healthy food decisions. I will listen to my body when it tells me that I need something (like watermelon or onions or hot peppers). I will cut out soda, milk products, hfcs, and most meat.
- Soda. Well, I’m only attached to one type of soda: I’m a die-hard Coke drinker. I know it is bad for me and it doesn’t even make me blink an eye. I’m an addict and I know it. This is the first order of business in the new year: stop drinking it cold turkey. [This will be the most difficult and ugliest part of the plan.] I am hoping a lot of water and green tea will help.
- Milk products. I haven’t been a milk drinker in years so that isn’t difficult to handle. The milk products–specifically cheese, ice cream, butter and cottage cheese–well, that’s a different kettle of fish. A very grumbly, stab-you-with-a-fork kind of fish. I know there are substitutes for some of these things, but I can’t imagine that they are any better for me in the long run. So, I can give up the ice cream and cottage cheese cold turkey. I can even mostly weed out cheese (unless someone is buying me some very excellent French cheese and then all bets are off!) But, I am not convinced that there will not be an occasional need for a bit of butter now and again. We shall see.
- High fructose corn syrup. This is a nasty chemical that needs to be eliminated from everyone’s diet. It will be easier to avoid when I stay away from processed foods (and Coke) and move toward a whole foods diet.
- Meat. I am not usually a “must have meat” kind of person. Growing up, most of my meat intake occurred for Sunday dinner or the occasional burger during the week. In the last ten years, my body didn’t often crave meat; I would go weeks or months at a time without even thinking about it. That doesn’t mean healthy food was on the agenda. Do you know how much crap you can actually eat that doesn’t have meat?! However, for the purposes of my year-long project, I reserve the right to eat a small amount of organic, local meat now and again.
How am I preparing for the changes? To be honest, the only big change I’ve made is homemade muesli for breakfast most days since Thanksgiving. It is quite yummy and it fills me up well–not a single snacking impulse even though I don’t usually eat lunch until 2 or 3. Two smaller preparations: I started drinking more water this week (although I’m still woefully below daily recommendations) and I readied a notebook to be a food diary.
The last days of 2012. Mostly my food intake right now is dreadful and horrid and blush-worthy. And I’m going to enjoy it until midnight on December 31!