Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 92 - Eat Less Red Meat

I am already pretty good about not eating too much red meat. I think that it is too expensive and I am aware of the fact that too much is not a good thing. But, that does not mean that I don't enjoy it once or twice a week. I am beginning to think that even that is to much.

Red meat is full of fat and bad cholesterol. It can clog your arteries if not eaten in moderation. It also has a tendency to give me a bit of a stomach ache. I really wonder if human were actually meant to eat cow. Who knows? I eat it and I am one of those people who really does love a big juicy steak or a cheese burger.

I am going to start eating it only once a week at the most and try to start phasing out to being eaten only once a month. I think that eating it as a treat will be more meaningful to me and it will benefit my health.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 91 - Move On

Today will be my last day at the part time job I have held for over 3 years. I have loved that job. When my youngest started Kindergarten, I decided that it was time to find something that would allow me to be home when I was needed, but would get me out of the house a couple days a week so that I would not succumb to boredom. I found a perfect, flexible, part time job that would give me everything I was looking for.

Recently, I realized that it is time for me to start considering what I should do now that my kids are getting older and more than capable of taking care of themselves for a couple hours after school so that I can work. For awhile, I was planning on becoming a History teacher, leading me to work towards a Master's Degree in History and eventually a teaching certificate. That was before my state decided to cut the budgets and propose drastic changes to the University system. I don't blame anyone, but it was clear that I waited too long and that teaching is just not in the cards for me. Wasting money on tuition for an education that will put me in a very long line of younger and more qualified teachers seemed useless. So, after much discussion with my husband and Professors, it seemed like it would be best for me to let that dream go and find a regular job that would bring in an income.

I have found a job! I will talk about that job in a couple months when I start. But, I will say that while it is not a dream job, it will be a good job. I will have a little flexibility and my husband is more than willing to help with half the house and kid work now that I am going to be just as employed as he is.

I am very excited to be starting a new chapter in my life. It is time and I am ready to go. That being said though, I am sad today. I am leaving a retail job where I made some great friends and where I had fun. I will miss everyone there and I am sure there will be days when I regret my decision. But, I am hopeful those days will be few and far between. Today, I am moving on with my life. For the next 2 months I will get my house in order, sign the kids up for camps that will keep them busy over the summer, make all those appointments that need to be done, and spend as much time as I can with my kids before it is time for me to join the ranks of the full time working mom.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 90 - Walk After Dinner Instead Of Parking My Butt On The Couch!

Tonight I decided to take advantage of the teasing that Spring is doing and went for a walk after dinner instead of watching must see TV! Today was one of those days when you really wish Spring was really here and not just tormenting those of us who are sick of Winter. In other words, it was beautiful here in Wisconsin. I have always liked to walk after dinner, it clears my mind while burning some unwanted calories. When Winter settles in, the idea of walk in sub zero temperatures is about as appealing as having my teeth pulled without drugs. When that happens, I fall out of the habit of the after dinner walk.

I am going to start to walk after dinner a few nights a week now that the weather is a little more friendly to wimps such as myself. I make no promises of this happening every night and certainly will not commit to an after dinner walk come November. But, for now, as the temperature continues to rise, I will begin the implementation of the after dinner walk.

I also need to mention that tonight my 8 year old joined me on my walk. She did all the talking and I did all the listening. That really is not a big change from the norm, but tonight it was truly a joy to listen to her go over her day in such detail. More than once she said "am I talking too much?" Tonight, she really wasn't talking too much.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 89 - Add More Orange Produce To My Diet

Eating fruits and vegetables that are orange have a big impact on our over all health. Alpha carotene is the antioxidant that is found in orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins. People who have higher levels of alpha carotene in their bloodstream are less likely to die of heart disease and cancer. I have only one thing to say to that, pass the carrots!

Tonight I implemented this new addition to our diet at dinner. We had a fruit salad that had fresh mango. Last night I also added some sweet potato to our vegetarian chili. Tomorrow I am planning a trip to the grocery store, I plan on loading up these little treasures. Here is a list I have compiled of orange fruits and vegetables that I think will count:

1. Cantaloupe
2. Mango
3. Carrots
4. Peaches
5. Sweet Potatoes
6. Pumpkin
7. Butternut Squash
8. Acorn Squash
9. Nectarines
10. Apricots
11. Papaya

I think that is a pretty good list, I am at a loss to think of anything else to add. If someone has something to add, please send it my way.

I want to add that as I have been taking this journey this year, I am feeling better. More organized, less scattered, I have more energy and I am happier. I feel like writing this out and exposing myself to friends and strangers is keeping me accountable. I appreciate that. I have so many more things that I need to change, probably more than an entire year's worth, but this has proven to be a really good start. It is making me realize that we are all so flawed in so many ways and that no one is perfect. Every decision seems to have a lasting impact, from the foods we eat to the emotions we allow to fester within us. I wish I would have done this years ago and not waited for the looming big 40 to change my ways. But, I guess better late than never is the way to look at things. Now, off to write that grocery list that will no doubt include beans, orange vegetables and grains!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 88 - Eat More Beans

That's right, time to eat some more beans. Here is a list of the nutritional benefits to having beans in your diet:

1. fiber
2. protein
3. helps with weight loss
4. helps control appetite
5. loaded with nutrients
6. Inexpensive
7. variety
8. versatile
9. delicious!

Tonight I am making a vegetarian chili that is going to be loaded with beans. Yummy! Better have the Beano ready to go. My family rarely complains when I make a vegetarian chili. The kids all seem to like beans and vary rarely do they argue about that night's dinner. I am lucky.

For the next few weeks I am going to try very hard to implement beans into more of our daily foods. I know that they can be added to salads, pasta's, soups and dips. With this knowledge, it shouldn't be too difficult to feed my family healthy and nutritious meals that are filled with this inexpensive little food.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 87 - Add More Whole Grains To My Diet

I have been trying to add more whole grains to my diet. Tonight, we had quinoa as a side dish to some fish that I had made. Whole grains have far more nutrition than the white grains that Americans tend to gravitate to. I myself prefer the whole grains, but lets face it, they are not always that tasty to kids. My kids are pretty good about eating them, but they would prefer white rice or white bread. So, I don't serve the whole grains as much as I should. I am going to try to start changing that.

Whole grains offer the following benefits:

    • reduced risk of asthma
    • healthier carotid arteries
    • reduction of inflammatory disease risk
    • lower risk of colorectal cancer
    • healthier blood pressure levels
    • less gum disease and tooth loss
    • stroke risk reduced 30-36%
    • type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
    • heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
    • better weight maintenance

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 86 - Unpack As Soon As I Get Home

I got from our weekend getaway this evening. Shortly after greeting my husband, eating dinner and unwinding, I unpacked. I have a tendency to wait until the next day to unpack, leaving me with another chore that I put off. Today, I was more organized and find that I feel like I have a weight lifted because of it. How easy it is to take a couple minutes to unpack and make my life less complicated.