Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Diet Du Jour

Last week I spent several days surrounding the death of my step mother driving long distances, planning and performing a memorial service, and eating loads of comfort food. Both my wife, my father and my sister were with me for the majority of meals.

My sister recently got back to her pre-baby weight. My niece is 19 months old now. Sister is a daily walker and has been quite successful with Weight Watchers point counting in the past and is currently using an online menu/budgeting service with a light option.

My father is counting calories and has lost about 50 pounds. He has also been highly stressed for several months as my step-mom's health declined. He typically fasts for one 24 hour period a week, for spiritual/religious purposes more than physical, I believe. He has been driving an average of 4 hours a day for months and doesn't do any regular exercise to my knowledge.

My wife has been in a state of transistion for several months nutritionally as well. She's taking a cake decorating class which leaves us with lots of extra chocolately sugar bombs laying around the kitchen. Her activity level has waned during the summer months because she hates the high humidity and extreme heat of the Florida summer. We've also been dealing with tropical style lightning storms every day for weeks. I think she's done some Zumba on the Wii a few times, but we don't even like that during the electrical storms.
My step mom passed due to a major cardiac incident. She had bypass surgery 3 years ago "preventatively." She was also dealing with a challenging lymphoma on the lung and dependency on a ventilator. As with all my health pursuits, I try to be smarter than my predecesors and/or learn from their mistakes. I really need to make myself more heart healthy and lung healthy. Likewise, most of my health pursuits start at the grocery store.

It was a mind blowing week for food- seeing all these perspectives from people I know, love, and trust- they're some of the smartest people I know! My sister told me that Weight Watchers basically allows as much fruit as you want, with no points against you. She and I both downed some serious watermelon, bananas, and grapes during the trip. My wife made several wonderfully tasty comfort foods, like sheppard's pie and lasagna. I tried to eat lots of fruit at least one meal per day- I even blended some watermelon into some juice so I didn't have Breville withdrawals. The wife/sister/Tom trip to the grocery store was full of various types of foods at all levels of "healthy."

So now I'm back home and looking again at my daily habits. Calorie counting counts, no doubt. Fruit makes me feel light, fresh and energized. Fat and refined sugars do not- as proven by a couple of breakfasts this week that involved biscuits and creamy sausage gravy and sticky buns, fried eggs and bacon. I've been watching a bunch of Youtube videos about raw food vegans and that's starting to make a lot of sense to me too.
Practical application time- I'm thinking about Mono-eating- specifically bananas, apples, or plums, for 3 separate meals. I was doing really well at having a daily leafy green salad for a little while- I miss it. I've been eating eggs for breakfast daily for a couple years now and still feel like it's more beneficial than harmful, because it's my primary source of protein and it keeps me grounded first thing in the morning. Food grouping-wise, the eggs and coffee route is great, especially considering that I'm not giving up coffee anytime soon.

Financially I'm super broke this month, but that is looking up with the wifey's new job, so my produce fetish can be realized again at the local farmer's market sometime real soon.We got some BOGO arugula at Publix yesterday which is one of my favorite leafy green foods. That's a good start- Love it!

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