Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Future

I've been thinking about what I want my intake and activity to look like, eventually. Maybe it is idealistic to think I can go from decades of junk food and no organized exercise to this, but I am going to work towards it and get as close as I can.

I picture myself eating something like this (percentages are mere guesses on my part, and referring to volume of food, not calories):
65% vegetables, beans, legumes
15% fruit
10% meat, eggs, dairy
5% olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, flax
5% whole grains

Well, I don't know if that is a "balanced" way of eating or not, and I don't know if there is a name for this way of eating. I also know there needs to be room in there for the occasional slice of pizza or scoop of ice cream or whatever, assuming I am not cutting everything else out forever. If your eating plan is similar to this, would you leave me some feedback?

I think it is healthiest to eat mainly natural, plant-based foods. The meat, eggs, and dairy I do eat come from local grass fed, free range sources (except for the Greek yogurt) but I don't want the animal based foods to be a major part of my intake. I need to get enough protein so I am trying to learn how to do this with plant based foods.

When I do post my meals and menus, don't be surprised if they don't match up to the ideal. This is a dream in my head right now, looking to the future and hoping to get there eventually, but for now I am still cooking meat for dinner a lot of the time just because my growing boys seem to need it. Plus, I am learning, like everyone else. This is just what is rumbling around in my head.

As for the activity part, I'd like to see this:
2-3 miles of walking/day (if I ever get to the point of roller blading, it could take the place of some walking)
30-45 minutes of riding the indoor recumbent bike, 6 days/week
weights 3 days/week
moderate activity throughout the day such as raking, weeding, gardening, cleaning, etc.
I'd also like to start hiking longer distances with my dog once a week. I am not in shape to do that yet.

I am still not sure if just eyeballing my food and winging it will work for me long term. Right now it is really a relief to just walk in the kitchen, grab a tomato and some mozzarella and chop it up with basil and drizzle on some olive oil, without getting out the food scale and measuring cups.


Grace said...

Straight from Michael Pollan.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good plan. I hope you find your way to manage weight lose and healthy life.

Anonymous said...

I can relate as I am trying to eat the same way. Most of my meals (every day)contain fruit and/or veggies. Every other day I have some kind of whole grain or starch such as brown rice, beans, bake potato, etc.. I am still having a hard time with meat as well. I try to only have meat at dinner (sometimes lunch) and I always make sure that it is either ground turkery, roasted turkery, chicken, fish, or very lean ground beef. That probably doesn't help, but I am still figuring it out myself and learning as I go.

Diana said...

I really hope this works for you. My experiences with just "eyeballing it" and not measuring never works for me. I either overeat, or believe it or not, I don't eat enough. But then, I have major food issues.

I think less meat is a really good thing. I went through a vegetarian phase for two years (about 15 years ago). It was hard work to get a plant-based whole protein combo, without buying process vegetarian options.

It would probably be easier now, with all the blogs and recipes on the web. I'm actually making Oh She Glows Perfect Veggie Burgers tonight - http://ohsheglows.com/2011/07/13/our-perfect-veggie-burger/.

Angela is a vegan and I make her recipes often--but I have to put them in the BodyMedia recipe builder (I do count calories). These burgers are 239 calories/9.4 protein/9.3 fat/31.9 carbs. I can't wait to try them.

Take care Lyn. I definitely think you're on the right track.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn:

I don't know if you are going to get enough protein if meat and dairy combined are only 10%. I year ago I went to a nutritionist for a couple of months and my eating ended up looking about like this:
50% vegetables and fruits
25% proteins including eggs and low fat dairy, meat and fish
20% starchy/carby foods: grains, legumes, beans, potatoes
5% healthy fats
She taught me to try for each meal being 1/2 fruit/veg. She also taught me that every snack should have some protein--not a piece of fruit, but fruit+yogurt or nuts; not plain vegetables but veg+hummus or cottage cheese. Those two things helped me lose and keep off over 40 pounds, so I am passing it along with best wishes that it might help you, too.

PlumPetals said...

I've been working on a new healthy eating plan for the past month and it's been going well. I don't eat any chicken/meat ... in essence a vegetarian but I do eat fish. The main thing that I've changed is that I've cut out most of my starchy intake - I have rice/potato etc. just once a week - and I'm focusing on protein - different kinds of beans, lentils ... and now adding whey protein powder to my cooking - even my cereal in the morning. I've posted a quick healthy recipes on my blog - check them out. They're really easy to make and I think they're quite balanced.
Good luck!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn,
One thing I did that really helped was eating vegetarian or pescatarian a couple days a week. I love meat, but it is a few days a week kinda thing, not an every day thing. Then your main protein source can be vegetables and beans, lentils, tofu, etc.
Also, it is important for nothing to be forbidden, as long as you can keep things in balance. I'd say the "compensation" idea is a lot easier for me than the measuring, constant thinking one. 160 calories of orangina is easy to turn away...whereas I will make the sacrifice to have 200 calories of ice cream sometimes, and walk an extra half hour the next.
Have you thought about meeting with a nutritionist? It seems like that could be really helpful and could give you a better idea.

Susan said...

Sounds like a terrific plan! You've explored many ways and options in your journey so far and seem to be developing a very clear picture of which direction you want to continue. Trust your instincts, you have gathered so much knowledge already.

Maybe it's time to change your blog name...It doesn't seem like a desperate escape anymore, you seem to have a clear insight now that's guiding you to a healthier, whole life outlook!

You have all the pieces and have found how a lot of them go together already, good luck on the rest of your journey!

Also, you might like a lot of recipes that would fall under the Mediterranean "diet" classification.

Diandra said...

This sounds a lot like what I am trying to do. Well, I guess my grain intake is higher, but I really do try to base my meals on vegetables and fruit, and work around that. And it feels great. ^^

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the plan I lost 200+ pounds on, and have been maintaining on for about a year. I eat a little less meat, and a little more carb (I'd go full-time vegetarian, were I the only one eating in this house), and pick up the majority of my protein from stuff like lentils, beans, yogurt and milk. Occasionally eggs, and other than the yogurt and the milk in my coffee, I avoid other dairy. I'm doing fine for protein. :)

I do count calories, but unless I see the scale drifting upwards, I'm not too stringent on measuring. I know when I'm eating too much/the wrong things. I'm eating around 2K per day, calorie-wise, and weigh in the low 160s. Mind you, I am INCREDIBLY physically active, so I seem able to get away with the approx. 2K per day calorie count OK.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:58- Protein is not only found in meat and dairy. The largest percentage food group contains beans and legumes, and vegetables. You'd be surprised how much protein even a cup of peas has.

spunkysuzi said...

Sounds like a good plan to me!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,
I've been following your blog forever and I've noticed a trend -- you seem to do better when you're getting in more protein and worse when you're eating lots of carbs, as they seem to trigger you. If this doesn't work out, please consider switching to a paleo-like diet of high protein, high fat, and low carbs.

My best to you!

Anonymous said...

I have a similar mix of food. Although I separate veg and legumes out. I treat legumes like my protein. I have actually been trying to get MORE protein in my diet. Meat sort. I find that it controls my hunger better. It is just that I am not in love with it. In the winter I tend to eat more meat. Summer (since I have a huge fruit and veg garden) we eat that.

I have completely cut out non nutritional style sweets for now. Like brownies or ice cream. I eat fruit instead. I have very little ability to control those sorts of portions for now so it cannot be in my house. Maybe when I get a handle on things. Working that out now. Pretty pretty hard stuff.

Exercise - I am hit and miss.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that people tend to greatly over estimate the amount of protein they need, especially here in the USA where people generally are not lacking in food. You aren't a bodybuilder or serious athlete. That said, my main sources of protein are eggs, Greek yogurt, and soy for usually one meal a day. Besides that, it's all about the veggies. Minimal carbs(but not completely restricted) and some fruit. I'm thin, hardly ever get sick, have the endurance to walk/run most days of the week, and have been this way for years. It works :)

Lily Fluffbottom said...

Sounds like a good plan. I would also suggest just checking in with yourself while you're eating, and appreciating the different tastes and textures. Checking your hunger level before you eat, and half way through your meal, and when you're done, be done.

Good luck. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here.

Anonymous said...

You left out one important component...what do you do when your emotions require "nutrition". Stress relief has to be part of your daily life, and planned, just like exercise and food. Because obesity is about the food like a car crash is about a gas tank.

Karen said...

I don't eat much meat because I just don't like it that much but I do notice than when I eat more protein I feel less hungry. Why is it so hard to manage our food? Sometimes I find it exhausting and totally distracting from real life!