Here’s part 2 of this series, ‘healthy eating’, View part 1 ‘the research’ here.
After doing all that research I and finding out how certain foods work within the body I was finally at a place where I knew enough to plan how I wanted to change my diet.
This was my resolution:
- drastically reduce sugar intake and sweets
- eat less empty carbohydrates (white flour products like bread rolls, pasta, etc.), switch to whole grain products where possible and find alternatives to wheat
- eat a more plant based diet, fruit and vegetables first, everything else second
- continue to buy local fresh produce
- grow my own salads and vegetables again on my balcony with a better plan on what I want to grow and actually need
- build up a collection of tried and trusted healthy recipes that we can return to again and again
- use less dairy products
All the changes are more easily explained by going through the day so I am going to split this series into morning, mid day, afternoon and evening eating.
What did I change?
For breakfast I used to eat some form of cereal with milk or yogurt, then a bread roll with cheese at the office followed more often than not by some sort of pastry. In the last few years I had already gradually switched from sugary cereal to first chocolate muesli and then fruit muesli.
I started finetuning by switching to a muesli with no added sugar, but lots of seeds and nuts and some raisins for sweetness. This was a definite improvement but after a few weeks it was confirmed what I had long suspected – I am lactose intolerant, meaning I should cut out milk completely. I then tried a variety of milk substitutes – soy milk, almond milk, rice milk. None of them really appealed to me, so right now I’m skipping the muesli altogether.
Instead I buy a seed and grain bread at the market every weekend. I used to hate these multi-grain breads as a child but they are growing on me. Lots of fiber and they do keep you a lot fuller a lot longer. As a topping I switched from cow milk cheese to goat milk cheese (yum!).
I am notoriously the first person in the office to declare I’m hungry come mid day so until lunch instead of pastry I eat an apple every day. With apples we try to buy old varieties because the newer ones are all grown to contain lots of natural sugar. Old varieties are tarter but I find they taste a lot fresher and juicier.
I drink tea in the morning and have stopped putting sugar in it. It’s hard for a few days but once you get used to it it starts to taste completely normal without sugar. In fact, I once had a yogurt at work and it tasted overly and not at all pleasantly sweet to me after this sugar abstinence. When I do need to sweeten something I use agave nectar instead.
How did it work?
It’s going great! I like the grain bread, I love the goat cheese and I have come to crave my daily apple. It’s funny how the body adjusts to a changed diet, it gets used to getting certain foods. Just like I found when I started drinking lots of water every day that I started to be thirstier. It’s like the body saying ‘whoa, you get it! Now let’s start talking to each other again’.
I miss milk but I feel so much better without it, it makes a huge difference. I used to have some stomach trouble in the evenings and that is all gone. My big revelation was when I had not had milk for a week and then got a craving for a big mug of chocolate. A few hours later I got stomach cramps and spend the evening curled up on the couch with my hot water bottle. It really hit home then and I have decided to cut out milk completely.
I want to get back into baking my own bread with spelt flour and some grains and seeds so we’ll see how that goes!
I also really want to try green smoothies. I’ve read so much about them and I think they would be a great addition to my breakfast.
Come summer I will incorporate fresh fruit and berries in my breakfast as well.
So much for breaktfast! Lunch, snack time and dinner will each have their separate posts coming up. Let me know what you have for breakfast in the comments!
*Am I shamelessly reusing old photos for these posts? Absolutely! When does the light come back again?