On our diet…

I thought I would take a few moments to write on our blog about something near and dear to all of our hearts: what we are eating and what we are trying to eat.  Our efforts to improve the health factor of our diet have been mentioned previously on this blog, and I assure you, dear reader, that the efforts are ongoing.

Our Weekly Nutritional Goals
Our Weekly Nutritional Goals

The inserted photo shows an outline of our nutritional goals for a week.  Of course, exceeding these goals would be even better.  I was thinking, for the sake of encouragement, that on days we met our goal I would put a sticker over the name of the day.  The Disabled American Veterans recently sent us a very kind and unsolicited gift of address labels.  Included among these are several sparkly stickers, with fun images such as a flag and the number 2013.  If that doesn’t sound motivational, I don’t know what does!  Going through the chart you can see the categories are as follows:

  • Lean meat – Included: pork loin, baked chicken breast, homemade turkey sausage (the link is just an example; we usually don’t add salt or sugar).  Not included: bacon, Big Mac, pretzel-crusted fried chicken.  We are probably a little looser with the term “lean” than some others would be.  Mostly it encompasses non-processed and non-fried meat.
  • Leafy greens – spinach, lettuce, bok choy (although we tried that and swore to never get it again).  We are trying to make salads a bigger emphasis.
  • Other vegetables: lots of carrots, however, I convinced Sarah to eat a bit of sweet red pepper tonight.  I usually get a portion from this category by mixing pico de gallo into my eggs in the morning.
  • Fruits: we are going for three pieces a day, of at least two kinds.  For example: 1 apple, 2 bananas (the fruit Sarah has been conquering so well lately) [or] 2 kiwi and 1 horned melon (you don’t eat it, so much as you overcome it in combat) [or] 1 peach and 1 ugli fruit (because they so big, I think they should count as 2).
  • Non-Paleo Meals – as mentioned previously, we are giving the Paleo diet a shot, but not all the way.  In brief, the Paleo diet seeks to mimic (roughly – no mammoth roam through Wake Forest) the diet of ancestral (pre-agricultural) humans by emphasizing lean meat, fruits and vegetables.  It suggests sharply cutting back on processed foods, grains, dairy, and legumes; the reasoning is that because these were not eaten by our ancestors, our bodies aren’t built to thrive on them.  I thought the premise seemed promising so I read a book and a number of abstracts on PubMed.  What I found gave me no pause, so we decided to give it the ol’ college try.  However, concern arose over removing baked goods (among other things) from the meal plan.  So, we settled on limiting ourselves to 7 non-Paleo meals a week.  It could be tough to stick with it, but we hope to build some healthy habits.

And that’s the update on our dietary status.  For full disclosure, for dinner tonight we had turkey and dumpling soup and I ate not a few sweets while preparing a chocolate and peanut butter cheese ball.  But, the peanut butter was pure peanuts, so I suppose that is something.

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