Advice rolls in when it comes to eating better

Breakfast

The time has come to get serious again about eating better.

I wrote about this Monday. It prompted interesting responses and some good — if diverse — advice from friends and readers, who said to:

Lunch

* Keep a food journal. The reader who suggested this likes it because, as she said, “The biggest thing in eating well is portion control.”

* Talk to Darren Williams of Muscatine for advice. After all, he has lost 300 pounds.

* Eat a plant-based diet.

* Switch to the paleo diet.

Dinner

* Become a vegan.

Going paleo is the advice of some of my new friends at Warrior Crossfit Muscatine. It’s a diet I know little about, so I’m willing to hear what my friends have to say. Obviously, it works for them.  But I’m skeptical about a diet that limits or restricts anything — especially something such as grains and legumes. Strict practitioners of the paleo diet also abstain from alcohol. That would be strike two in my book.

The vegan suggestion came from a school friend. “Diet is 90 percent  of the battle. I’m basically vegan at this point. Makes huge difference,” she wrote in a comment on my Facebook page.

Perhaps like many of you, however, I’m not sure how practical being vegan would be for me. It would likely mean at least occasionally fixing two different meals at my house. And, in Muscatine, it would likely mean never eating out again, which might even be a good thing.

Nor am I sure about keeping a food journal. I know I do not have the discipline to do it every day for the rest of my life. Heck, I’m not even sure I would make it to the end of the week.

I did, however, photograph what I ate Tuesday: bowl of oatmeal with toast and peanut butter for breakfast; the mystery pasta and green beans served for the Muscatine Kiwanis Club meeting at noon; and two scrambled eggs loaded up with vegetables and a piece of toast for dinner. I put some of my new favorite stuff, Mezzetta sandwich spread, on the toast.

My vegan friend said I should start a fitness blog and chronicle my progress. But I already post regularly on two blogs and I am working on a third blog I hope to launch this summer. A fourth blog is too much.

At least for a while, I think I may record here what I’m eating. Sort of like I’ve written about some of my workouts. And taking a picture of what I eat is much easier than meticulously writing it all down.

In the end, the best advice I’ve received this week came from my friend, Lori Carroll: “It really comes down to what works for YOU.”

And I even know what that is:

* Eat three meals a day and avoid snacking.

* Make sure each meal is loaded up on vegetables and at least one whole grain.

* Opt for alternative sources of protein such as beans and nuts and keep to a minimum how much meat, poultry and fish I eat.

* Eat more at home more often and eat out less.

* Eat foods that are as close to whole as possible and avoid foods that are over processed.

* Take at least 20 minutes to savor each meal. Chew every mouthful and stop eating like a wolf.

Like practically everyone else in the United States when it comes to the subject of eating right, I just need to do it.

There are two things I will not do:

* Follow the advice of a college friend who said if I really want to eat clean I might want to consider trying Comet or Windex. I’m pretty sure she was joking.

* Quit trying to win this struggle.

On the exercise front: Tuesday, I put in 45 minutes at a cycling class at the Muscatine Community Y.

On the alcohol front: I had one light beer.

5 thoughts on “Advice rolls in when it comes to eating better

  • Most of us can only share what has worked for us. It’s SO simple, and people want to make it complicated. It’s calories in vs calories out. The challenge is to get the best nutrition for your body out of the calories you consume, and nobody needs to tell you eating out is not going to help you do that. Your Crossfit training is going to help you because increasing lean muscle mass helps you burn calories more efficiently. I eat a diet that would make a cardiologist proud, but do I give in to a craving for a Butterburger now and then? Sure I do, but it’s rare. Keep fighting Chris!

  • budweiser select 55 or there is one with 64 calories if you must. alcohol has empty calories. ‘easy’ way to cut down on the calories. if you dont take them in, you dont have to work them off…

    Doc Maharry

  • oh, and feeling hungry means it is working. control this feeling and dont let it control you.

  • Chris it is vicarious learning through your posts…I liked the “feeling hungry means it is working” I am trying to go to bed with the hungry feeling or sometimes I give in and have a hand full of almonds.

    • Thanks, Jane. I’m not sure about going to bed hungry, but I have read and often been told that it is a good thing if you wake up hungry. I’m working at that.

      I’m enjoying the dialogue on this. I may have touched on a nerve for a lot of us.

      What I really like are the names of some of the other blogs whose writers have indicated they like this. The Ranting Chef and Sexy Tofu … I’m starting to think my blog needs a better name.

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