A Plan for Healthy Eating

Last posting I talked about the snowbirds leaving the south and looking ahead to our garden and all the good eats it will provide. Well, this post is from out cottage in upstate New York. We just accomplished our semi-annual migration ourselves, at least the trip north. We are still in the throes of unpacking and settling in. One of the things our moves spur us to take a look at is all the stuff we really shouldn’t be carrying back and forth. We also take a look at things we haven’t used and probably can get rid of. But that’s not all. Like New Years, our semi-annual trek encourages us to give consideration to what we are eating. You see, we tend to work hard,  exercise less, and eat things we shouldn’t because of end-of-season get-togethers, a need to boost our energy, and because eating on the road is hardly diet-friendly. Invariably, the change of season move results in a weight gain–followed by a renewed resolve to eat a healthier diet. So this is it, the semi-annual resolve.

Actually, I enjoy most of the process. New beginnings can be fun. The splurges leading up to a need for a new beginning can be fun as well, although I keep telling myself the better answer is learning how to better limit those splurges. Forever an optimist, I even enjoy the thought I might succeed in this endeavor, after all, I think I am learning how to eat healthier and enjoy it.

I’ve tried an assortment of diets, most of which pointed out that the plan was to change the way we eat, not just lose a few pounds. They generally worked to lose some weight, but did not become a life-style change. I love good bread. Why not? I’m a sourdough aficionado. I love pasta. I love baking.  I love eating. I love the foods I associate with cold weather, wood stoves and campfires. So adopting a diet plan that substitutes artificial flavors for real food hasn’t worked, no matter what the form. That leaves limiting caloric intake, which has been a problem too. Did I say I love eating?

On the other hand, all has not been for nothing. I’ve made little gains, no pun  intended. I manage to keep some of the weight off. I have also made some changes in what I actually enjoy eating, and what I can cut way down. Bread, good bread, is something I won’t give up at this point. I have discovered I don’t need to eat nearly as much of it as I assumed was essential. For example, I used to think two pieces of toast with breakfast was a minimum. Now, I realize I don’t need toast at all a good part of the time. I’ve discovered that savory, old fashioned oatmeal is a delicious compliment to a breakfast egg. That’s right–an egg. An extra large egg, but just one nevertheless. Savory oatmeal is also an excellent alternative to rice or potatoes as well. In a future post, I’ll share my recipe for cooking and flavoring it. I’ve also learned I don’t need as much meat as I used to think I did. This even helps eat a little healthier on the road. A SMALL steak and a big salad is terrific after a long day of driving. Of course, it helps when you love oil and vinegar as a salad dressing.

So, my spring resolve is to exercise more, eat a little less, and eat better without giving up my love of good food. I’m almost eager to begin. Oh, did I mention. . .? The biggest contributor to my seasonal weight gain may have something to do with enjoying a good martini before dinner and wine with. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained–or, in this case, nothing ventured, too much gained.

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