What Does it Mean to Eat Healthy?

So far, so good. Almost a week in and things are really going great.  I am following the South Beach Diet plan and I am already feeling so much better.  I am so thankful that I am feeling better so quickly.  Cutting out the carbs has really curbed my cravings and just helped me feel better all around.  I have more energy and I even feel more peaceful emotionally. It was really hard the first few days & its still not easy but I am finally starting to see a shift in my thinking and overall physical response to what I’m eating.

In thinking more about this little experiment I am on, I think I am going to also add Paleo to the diets I am going to try. As I have searched for recipes that match the South Beach Diet Phase 1 I keep coming across Paleo blogs and websites.  I am intrigued enough so I am adding it to the mix of diets I will “test” this year.

I have really been encouraged by the feedback I have received from my friends on this journey.  It gets me excited and motivated to know that you are paying attention and are rooting for me, so thank you for being supportive and cheering me on!

I was talking with one of my dear friends from college today about this challenge I have begun, specifically about the possibility of including Paleo in this experiment.  She is following a Paleo lifestyle and doing CrossFit so I knew she would have some good insights for me as I explore adding Paleo to the mix.  As we were talking I articulated my goal to her in a way I am not sure that I did in my initial post so I wanted to do that again here, if for nothing more than my own sake, to keep me focused on the goal I’m trying to achieve with this experiment.

I said, It’s like writing a term paper in college.  I am examining all of these different diet strategies as “sources” researching how each one works and experimenting with them in my own lifestyle to see how my body responds to each approach and when all of my research is complete I will write a plan based on that research that fits my own unique situation.  My goal in all of this is that when I get to October I will be more educated and develop an approach that works for my family and our needs.  Everyone has a different body, physical make up and unique exceptions that need to be considered so our plan will be customized for us it wont be a cookie cutter solution that I can offer to others.

My goal in trying a different diet each month is not to come to the end of this time and announce that I am 100% Paleo or South Beach or Weight Watchers. My goal is to be educated enough to architect a healthy lifestyle that is manageable, flexible and teachable (to my kids), to design and implement an approach that works for us, given our own set of unique circumstances.

I don’t plan on making statements like ‘South Beach works and Weight Watchers doesn’t,’ instead I hope I am making statements like ‘this is what I learned about my body type and these are the kinds of meals and activities that best equip me to live the life God has given me to the fullest.’  

This is also why I am not incorporating diets like Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem into my research.  Eating prepared meals is not going to help me accomplish my goal.  I need to learn how to feed my body fuel that works for MY body and my husband’s body.

It is worth reiterating that my end goal isn’t weight loss, although weight loss is an extremely motivating aspect of this experiment.  My goal is defining “healthy lifestyle” for my family and me and disciplining myself to study, learn, adopt and apply a new way of living that is best for my family.

Also in talking with my friend today we discussed how good it is to start our kids eating healthy young.  If I can forge these healthy habits now I will, Lord willing, be less likely to give in to convenience over health.  One of the biggest driving forces behind this challenge for me is to learn to make this way of life so effortless that what and how to eat are not issues my daughter struggles with. My hope and prayer is that I will be a good teacher from the start and that she will not have to unlearn any bad habits that she learned from me.

On the exercise front, I do plan to get my tail in the gym asap.  I am also excited that a good friend is loaning me her copy of P90X so I can incorporate that into this experimental process as well.

OK so that’s the quick update.  Over the next couple of days I am going to post some of the menu items and recipes I’ve been enjoying so if that interests you stay tuned.  I never thought I would say this but I actually prepared and enjoyed brussel sprouts!  Its true! More on that tomorrow 🙂

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