Intentional Eating in 2010

I continue with my theme of “Living Intentionally,” as I turn my attention to my diet.

Ugh. The diet. The eating plan. The “lifestyle program.”

I think there’s just something to the saying that “life catches up” to you. I’ll be 40 this year, and I know I’m much less healthy than I was a decade ago. Fast food, processed food, sugar—it just makes me fat. It DOES.

A few months ago, I started the Transitions program. Transitions is a low-glycemic eating plan. It begins with a one-week fruit and veggie detox followed by twelve weeks of making new habits of healthier eating.

I did OK at first, then the stress of the holidays arrived and my motivation, focus, and resolve to stick to any eating plan that didn’t involve butter on top of butter and chocolate dipped in chocolate vanished.

Today I begin Day 3 of my fruit and veggie detox week. I am doing well so far.

Here’s where the “intentional” part came in: I know part of my failure in the fall was due to inconvenience. When do I eat breakfast? Often running out the door. What is breakfast? Something I can grab.

So, I decided to set myself up for success.

That’s intention, people.

Preparation is key:
I mapped out my menus for the week. It took a long time, but I persevered and tried to be as realistic as possible. From the menus, I made a grocery list and went shopping.

Sunday afternoon, I spent about one hour cleaning and bagging fresh veggies. I washed the apples and grapes. I sliced cucumber. I washed lettuce and chopped it. I washed grape tomatoes and blueberries. All of the salad ingredients are ready to go. A healthy snack just needs to be pulled from the fridge.

I also boiled several eggs. A hard-boiled egg is a great breakfast food or snack. Totally portable!

It’s been so easy and convenient to eat right out of the fridge. Love it!

Sub the ordinary starches with steamed veggies:
I made spaghetti sauce and pasta for my family. I can have the sauce but not the pasta. Instead, I sliced some zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, and carrot and lightly steamed them. I poured the sauce over the veggies. Surprisingly, it was quite good.

I use these Glad Steaming Bags, which are excellent. You just throw in cut veggies and microwave for about 3 minutes. There’s a handy tear edge. The veggies are perfect. No mess. No clean-up.

Seasoning Is Vital! 
Garlic, onion, salt, pepper, cumin, vinegars. Liberally season the veggies and salads to enhance the flavors. Bolder flavors are more satiating. I pour balsamic vinegar on everything, and I love it!

A Neat Water Alternative
I’ve just discovered flavored sparkling water. Canada Dry makes one, which I like. But this week, I discovered La Croix sparkling water in berry flavor. It has a hint of cherry Icee flavor to me. No calories, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners. Very good. Quite refreshing. And a little more exciting than plain water. I got this idea from a water-hating friend.

I feel good about this second try. I feel intentional. Intentionality for good health involves a CONSTANT reminder and affirmation that every decision is important. Nothing is slight. Every GOOD decision is an affirmation that I’m heading in the right direction. Every NOT-SO-GOOD decision is an opportunity to be more intentional.

This is hard. Oh, so hard. But by God’s grace, I will persevere.