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Diet is a four-letter word

December 30, 2010
By Terri Kelly Barta

I don't know about all of you, but I gave up making New Year's resolutions a long time ago. I know I will only stick with them for a short period of time.

I certainly do review my life and habits on a regular basis and try to determine which bad habits I can successfully change to better ones.

For instance, it is easier for me to promise myself I will increase my fruit and vegetable servings to a minimum of six per day than it is to say the "D" word. Diet is a four-letter word that I hate. It conjures up all kinds of negative emotions.

First of all, I have dieted off and on since I was ten years old. I have tried every diet known to man/woman with only short-term results. My most successful dieting years were when I was in my twenties and early thirties. I was able to maintain my weight the best during my childbearing years. Go figure! I would gain 40 lbs while carrying each of my four sons and then lose most or all of it a year later each time.

When I had my 38th birthday it seems like just yesterday, although we know it wasn't my body rebelled against me. I was put on medication which caused me to gain 50 lbs in five months. By the time the doctor figured it out and changed the medication, I was discouraged and sort of gave up.

Since then, though, I have realized that if I actually declare I am going on a diet, the diet will last about two weeks before I give in. Yo-yo dieting is bad for the body, so, I decided I would change my eating habits, one at a time. If I didn't lose weight I'd at least be a relatively healthy overweight person.

The first thing I did was quit frying foods and switched to canola oil, which is the second most healthy oil after olive oil. I figured if I didn't eat olives, I wasn't likely to try olive oil. I, also, switched to unbleached flour. It just made sense to not add bleached flour to my system. Then, I switched to eating whole grains. I rarely ever eat nice, soft, tasty white bread. I eat whole-wheat bread, brown rice, etc.

I quit drinking pop a long time ago, even diet pops are off my food list. I started drinking a quart or two of water per day. I didn't like water when I first started but, now, I have to drink water. It just makes sense. It washes impurities out of the body, keeps the kidneys functioning properly, quenches thirst, and the list goes on.

For quite a long time I quit drinking coffee, since my resting pulse was already too high and I had high blood pressure. I switched to green tea which, again, I didn't like at first. I checked around and found decaffeinated green tea and flavored green tea. I soon grew to enjoy tea and could drink a cup when everyone around me was drinking coffee. I have to admit that since coming to The Tribune, I have picked up the habit of drinking coffee with flavored cream in the morning. I am trying to switch back to tea again, though.

I try not to eat bread and potatoes or rice at the same meal. It makes sense to me to balance the food groups at each meal.

I happen to love chocolate, and sweets in general. The trick is to eat a little bit, once in awhile. Haven't quite mastered that one, yet, but I keep trying.

I read about nutrition all the time and try to keep up with health benefits like eating oatmeal to lower cholesterol. I am not a berry fan, so I try other ways to sneak berries into my diet; fruit smoothies are good, fruit pancakes are good, fruit jellies are good. See where I am going with this.

Hope some of these suggestions help, should anyone out there want to eat healthier. Sometimes, making changes, one at a time, can have unexpected results.

 
 

 

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