Last week was a good week for me. By focusing on drinking my water and moving more, I gave myself just enough momentum in the right direction to start making weight loss progress again. A nice side effect of those habits, for me, is better eating. I didn't eat junk and I started feeling better. And better about myself. Successful. And when I started feeling successful, I started succeeding. How about you?
In the last 7 days I have lost 5 pounds. That tells me I am doing something right!
It's not too late to join the Habit-A-Week Challenge. You can start anytime (or RE-start, if you've faltered) and the habits are just as effective. You don't have to do them in any certain order. JUST DO SOMETHING. Now. Don't wait, because tomorrow never comes. You can sit there on the sofa eating cookies and chips for the next decade waiting for the right day or the right time or the right feeling to hit you to start. Or you can change your life now.
The healthy habit this week is: eat a veggie. Notice, I didn't say veggieS, because you have to start where you are. I remember a time in my life not so long ago, when I would literally go for WEEKS and the only vegetable that got near my lips would be the shredded lettuce on a Big Mac and the fries alongside it. Oh and the ketchup. That's a veggie, right? Anyway, I KNOW that there are some people who haven't had a real vegetable in days/weeks/months, maybe out of habit or maybe because they think they "hate vegetables." Hey, I used to think I hated vegetables too. As recent as last month I was scowling and pouting at the vegetables and letting them rot in my fridge. But in reality, when I get off the junk, I really love veggies! You can learn to love them too. At least some of them.
So actually this week your challenge is to increase your veggie intake. (If you already eat a ton of veggies, read on! There is still a challenge for you!) If you currently eat no vegetables, your goal might be to eat one vegetable serving at lunch and one at dinner. That's a good start! That would be a success. If you already do that, try adding one at breakfast. My breakfast this morning was an Egg Beater omelet filled with onions, mushrooms, a bit of bacon, and 3 CUPS of baby spinach (it wilts down to nothing when it cooks). I also LOVE to eat eggs and summer squash. I scramble them with either thinly sliced yellow (crookneck) squash, or grated zucchini. Add a bit of salt and pepper and YUM. Excellent veggie breakfast! Or you can do tomatoes or salsa in your omelet or with your eggs. If you already eat a veggie with every meal, you can add more! Here is a Servings Calculator that gives you an idea of how many vegetables you should eat in a day, based on age, sex and activity level and giving a caloric guide as well. For me, it says I need 2.5 cups of veggies per day. However it also has a link to show you "what counts as a cup" because a cup of lettuce and a cup of cooked peas are not created equal. Browse the site for recipes and ideas if you like. The Food Pyramid and many dietitians recommend a minimum of 5 servings a day of vegetables, so I make that my goal. It's easier than you think, since a half cup of some veggies is one serving.
If you think you hate vegetables, try some new things or new ways of cooking them. Maybe you only like raw veggies like salads, red pepper strips, baby carrots, raw broccoli. That's perfectly fine. If you hate those, try cooked vegetables, If you've only ever had canned vegetables, no wonder you hate them. Fresh is a whole new taste! Hit your local farmer's market or produce stand and get some acorn squash, leeks, or bok choy. Look online for recipes that sound good to you. Keep trying until you find things you enjoy! There is nothing wrong with having some low fat cheese sauce on your broccoli if that makes it enjoyable to you. Or have peanut butter on your celery for a snack. In the springtime I always keep fresh steamed asparagus spears in the fridge for a nice cold snack (with salt!) Or try making some kale chips. Yummy stuff. Soups are another great way to get in those veggies. If you like chili or spaghetti, it's easy to fit veggies in by adding peppers, onions, zucchini, carrots, even spinach to the sauce (which is tomato based... another healthy veggie!). You can puree the veggies into the sauce if you want to. I also love greens cooked with a bit of ham and onions. Great stuff! There are so many vegetables out there to try, and so many ways to cook them. Everyone can find something they enjoy.
If you already get 5+ servings of veggies every day, you can work the challenge by trying NEW vegetables this week. Hit the produce section or farmer's market and buy something you have never tried before. If you haven't had roasted Delicata squash you are missing out! (Recipe coming this week). And I never tried a leek until last year. Now they are a favorite! Just this weekend I bought some baby leeks and sauteed them in a spritz of olive oil and a half teaspoon of butter with asparagus (recipe here from last year) and it was oh-so-buttery, creamy good! Get out there and try a roasted fingerling red garnet yam or a daikon radish or some beet greens. You might really like it!
You don't have to be perfect to be a success. If all you do this week is go from eating NO veggies to eating ONE per day, you have done something good for yourself. It is worth it, and over time, it gets easier and yes you CAN lose the weight. Just don't give up!
Slowly is at least still moving, right?
9 hours ago