Charting life's circuitous path

Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Challenge 14

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My Update: I successfully made a homemade batch of vegetarian refried beans this last week and I’ll be posting the recipe up soon.  This has added to my repertoire of store bought replacement recipes and I’m quite proud that the results were so tasty!

I continue to exercise and eat with my health in mind. 🙂  Although, I do have to admit to not wanting to do an ounce of exercising for the first time on Sunday.  I sat in front of the computer with the clock ticking and I was this close to calling it all off.  Rather than give into the temptation, though, I stuck with my hour of Aeroboxing and I felt great afterward.  In fact, I felt better than I usually do since I also jumped a hurdle to complete it.

Challenge Week 14 Topic – Eating your veggies.  Tricks of the trade.

Being a vegetarian probably means eating your veggies, right? Um, not necessarily.

For years I was a carb-loving, dairy over-indulging vegetarian.  I’m not vegan, so the fact that I eat dairy wasn’t the issue. What was the issue was the sheer quantity of dairy I consumed.  I ate cheese enchiladas, I placed slices of cheddar in sandwiches regardless of content, and I liberally doused everything with a bit of butter, milk, cream or cheese.

In effect, I was a walking heart attack waiting to happen (and my blood work showed it).

I made small changes that have led me to eating cheese sparingly, consuming greek yogurt for more protein and less fat/chol. and scaling back on the simple breads/carbs.

I still consume dairy and eat my biscuits, but not with the same daily gusto as before.

(This was also rather difficult, but I did it slowly and steadily – not all at once.  I believe it took me about two years to get to where I am now.)

The veggies that were sadly missing in my meals morphed into one of the most important parts of my diet after the regulation of cheese to the sidelines.

How to make veggies a rising star in your menu?

  1. Cut back on what’s filling the plate and taking up space. Think of the 2/3 pie chart for how much space your plate should reserve for veggies.  If your veggies aren’t filling 2/3 of the designated space, cut back on what is and fill in with veggies.
  2. Look seriously at what types of veggies you’re consuming. At one point, I’d count corn and green beans as proper veggies.  Now I know that they aren’t nearly nutritional enough to count and I vary it up each time.
  3. Buy a new veggie and experiment with it. This is what I did to introduce greens into my diet.  I bought a bunch of kale and tried it in stir-fry.  I fell in love and tried other greens the same way to the same success.  Make it a game to see what you can do with a veggie that you’ve never tried before or that you used to hate (I hated greens since I had only had them the way my mom cooked them – boiled).
  4. Plan for veggies. You won’t cook them if you think of them as a “side item” – consider them a critical component to the meal.  You probably already know what you’ll be doing with the meat (if you eat it) so concentrate on planning for something exciting with the veggies.

And what to do about fruit?  Buy fruit that’s easy to consume or pre-prepped: apples, bananas, grapes, clementines and pre-sliced pineapple or melon.   My main complaint is how much effort it takes to eat fruit (the peeling, dicing, coring, etc).  I hate to prep fruit, but if I make it easier for myself by letting the grocery store do most of the effort, it makes it better for me since I’ll eat more than before.

Author: iscribbler

A girl scribbling her way through health, love, food and life.

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