Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Its Hump Day...Let's talk about Food!

So, as I'm sitting here after a nice shower...I thought I should talk about one other choice I have made that will be continual:  Eating healthy. I'm not talking about not making those chocolate chip cookies once in a while or cutting out all carbs.  I'm talking about balancing your diet.  I've been doing this since I got pregnant & have seen amazing results.  Its not that I ate horrible before, but if I didn't get my daily veggies, I didn't sweat it.  Now, I am finding the more you eat all that you should in one day, the better you feel equipped to handle all that comes your way (even pregnancy!)...

My goal with balanced eating is to get away from processed foods as much as possible.  Again, there is a time & a place, but if you are eating every other meal that is processed, you are going to feel it.  I love to cook & enjoy throwing meals together, so I starting thinking about how to incorporate all the food groups into one meal or at least as many as possible.  I thought it might be hard...in the winter it can be, but every other season, its a cinch! 

I cut down on portions to the actual suggested portion.  So, those super huge chicken breasts?  One will do for hubby & I if I add a couple veggies or a salad with some whole grain rice/couscous/polenta (aka grits to anyone from the south-minus all the super fattening things) or maybe some homemade whole grain bread from the bread machine!  Another easy thing to do is crock pot stew or soup with any & all veggies you can find to put in there.  Get yourself some multi-gran saltines (yes!  They started making them & they have made my day) or other multi-grain cracker...make sure you read & see that whole grains are one of the top three ingredients!  I've found some tortilla companies that say whole grain or multi-grain, but the main flour is still bleached, enriched white flour!  GASP!  Another thing I do is make my own pancakes from scratch & muffins but I substitute one of the "cups" of flour for whole wheat or rye flour with my unbleached regular flour & also I put unsweetened applesauce (just maybe 1/4 of a cup).  It makes them super fluffy & adds a touch of sweetness. 

On that note, I don't make my own applesauce or crackers or even noodles.  NOPE...that's going to be too much work.  Remember, you want to eat healthy but you also have to balance yourself.  If you are making everything from scratch & then have no time to yourself at the end of the day, WHAT"S THE POINT?!  You will burn yourself out & get stressed...you don't need that & any wise Domestic Diva knows its smart to also be frugal about making things.  Some things are just too expensive to make at home.  Honestly, you can read labels & that takes less time than making your own pasta, almond milk, spices, crackers, bread, etc.  Choose a reasonable amount of things you can make yourself & just find great products instead.  Like, if you are making your own baby food from veggies & such.  Not really a lot of work, but if you make EVERYTHING for your baby from scratch, it could get tiring.  A handful of regular or multi-grain cheerios never hurt anyone & are a great choice over other sugary snacks.  I found Nature's Own makes wonderful bread that is made from whole grain flour & either honey or sugar...(yup, all other brands used high fructose corn syrup...no kidding! Even Sara Lee!!)  I buy all natural applesauce with no sugar added & even canned fruit that has been canned in its own juices & no added sugar.  You see, its not horrible to do that when you are on a budget & can't grow or keep all this fruit around without it spoiling.  Yes, buy some fresh fruit & make baby food out of it & freeze it, but you need some fruit too & will get sick of eating all that mush!  READ LABELS at the grocery store, even the store brands may surprise you...you may find you can find a great alternative.

I will be making my own baby food for most fruits & veggies...but I'm not opposed to finding a good whole grain baby cereal to supplement & other snacks made with whole grains.  I will also buy plain yogurt to mix in my baby's food.  We will probably start baby on almond milk but I'm not making it myself...that sounds like too much work for me if I want some time to myself! 

I did switch myself to almond milk earlier in the pregnancy because I found out I am actually allergic to some of the proteins in cow's milk & it was causing bad sinus inflammation all this time!  Amazing how better I feel now that I don't drink it.  I do still eat cheese & yogurt....It seems only the milk was causing the trouble.  So, just a little side note for that one.

One other thing I found helpful was actually drinking the amount of water I was supposed to on top of all the other things I drink. What a change!  I have energy & my skin doesn't break out as much...who would've guessed that would make such a difference!  Try it out if you feel sluggish...it may do the trick!

Again, I'm not blogging to tell you all what I think you should be doing, but I thought I would share these insights with you to see if maybe you need to rethink some things.