For me, the most difficult part of getting fit is eating healthier. Getting consistent exercise is difficult too, but I can do it if I put my mind to it. Once I add exercise to my weekly schedule, it isn’t that difficult to stick to it. I had a slow start in 2017 due to bad weather and school closing, but I’m on track now to exercise 4-5 days per week. Changing my diet is another matter. This is extremely difficult because I’ve been eating this way for 40 years! Eating habit is very hard to break.
The thing is – our diet isn’t that bad. We rarely eat fast food and drink sugary soda. I mostly eat at home and it should be easy to eat healthier. Let’s go over the things that I am doing well and what I can improve on. BTW, I’m married with one kid. It is way harder to eat super healthy with a family than when I was single. The family wouldn’t eat chicken breast on quinoa and other super healthy dishes.
Mostly eat at home
We haven’t gone out to eat since we came back from Thailand last November. In Thailand, we ate out every meal for 3 weeks. It was a bit too much eating out and we are happy to eat at home again. Cooking at home is one of the best ways to eat healthier because you can control your meals.
However, I still need to put together healthier meals. I cook about 60% of our meals from scratch. The rest is convenient food. Packaged food sneak into our diet because of life is just too busy. This week was particularly bad and we ate more packaged food than usual.
- Breakfast sausage. This is the easiest way for our kid to get some protein in his breakfast. We usually have this along with an egg and a piece of toast.
- Trader Joe’s pulled pork sandwich filling. I put together a BBQ sandwich for dinner once this week. It was really good, but not very healthy. This packaged pulled pork has a ton of sodium, trans fat, and sugar.
- Frozen fries. To go with the BBQ sandwich… This is way too much carb in one meal.
- Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken. Guilty pleasure for lunch…
- Trader Joe’s Mushroom Ravioli. A lot of sodium and some saturated fat in this one.
Whoa, I ate a lot of packaged food this week. I cook some dishes from scratch too, but I definitely have to do more. This week I made chicken soup, cashew nut chicken, pan fried fish, chicken burrito, and chicken fried rice from scratch.
Minimal sugary and alcoholic beverages
This is where we do pretty well. We don’t drink a lot of sugary soda and alcoholic beverages. These drinks are just empty calories that will be converted to fat. I never drank much soda pop so it wasn’t a big deal for me. On the other hand, giving up alcohol is a lot harder. We live in Portland and there are a ton of great local breweries so it was really difficult to give up drinking beer. I love a cold crisp IPA, but my triglyceride level was shooting up last year. That’s when I decided to really minimize my alcohol intake. Now, I only drink on really special occasions. Super Bowl would be one of those. 🙂
These days, I usually drink green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and awesome nutrients. I also enjoy green tea so it’s a win win situation. Also, they are extremely cheap compare to soda pop or beer. You can get 100 green tea bags for less than $10 from Amazon.
I have plenty of room for improvement as well.
- Reduce processed food. Last week was particularly bad on the processed food front. From now on, I need to pay more attention and minimize purchasing processed food from the grocery store.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. I get about 1 serving of fruit and 2-3 servings of vegetables per day. This is way too low and I need to buy more fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce carb. This one will be the toughest one for me. My family is from Thailand and the Thai food culture is based around white rice. This is simple carbohydrate and I need to eat more complex carb.
- Minimize baked goods. Mrs. FB40 loves to bake. She makes great cookies and cakes. It’s tough to say no when the house smells like a bakery. This one will be tough.
Changing your eating habit is tough!
It’s hard to change your eating habit. The best bet for us is to minimize the purchase of processed food. If we don’t bring those packaged food into our home, we won’t binge on them.
The other big improvement we can do is to reduce our simple carbohydrate consumption. I need to eat less white rice and bread. Mixing black beans into the white rice is one good way to do this. Brown rice is also a good option, but I just don’t like them. Yuk! I have had some good brown rice before so I know it is possible. I heard they cook better in a pressure cooker so maybe I need to try those out.
What about you? Are you eating healthier this year? What are you doing to improve your eating habit?