Making Changes One Bite at a Time
Healthy eats should be natural urges. But with so many processed foods and schedules on the go, I find it easier to grab foods on the run, rather than eat a well-balanced diet all the time. I know I’m not alone in this battle. And many people who know me, know I’ve taken a crack at dieting and weight loss in the past. I lost 42 pounds, at one point, and was sure I would keep with the changes I made. But life creeped in, snacking started small, I ate more processed foods on the run, exercised less and finally pounds moved in and made a home amongst my body.
But with my latest health crisis in “My Midlife,” I’m once again changing my diet and way of life. This time it’s not just for a great body to be attractive, but most importantly, to get my body back to where it needs to be health-wise to function.
One main change I’ve had to make was a heart-healthy low-sodium diet. I was told by my doctor that “Salt is now your enemy.” With that, I avoid it at any cost. Now I know your body probably needs some sodium to function, and with food research, there’s practically nothing without it.
The best food choices for me is fresh fruits and vegetables. Canned, and even frozen foods, have a lot of sodium. This sodium helps to preserve these foods so they last longer.
I also love meat. I’m currently eating more chicken and fish. But I’ve also had a steak, hamburger, and shrimp. It seems that each of these may have some sodium, again for preservation. But I make it a habit not to add any additional salt. Instead, when cooked at home, we use salt-free alternative products.
And treats, well, along with watching sodium, I also look at the fats. My current go-tos have been:
- Cotton Candy
- Health Conscious and Sometime Tofu-based Ice-creams
- Fruit-filled Cookies
- Hot Teas with Fat-free Creamers and Sugar
- Apple Slices with Mascarpone
- Rice Cakes with Almond Butter
- Almond Butter and Honey on a Healthy Multi-Grained Bread
Another change I’ve made is using less sauces and salad dressings. I have to confess, I still use ketchup, but I eat organic and the lowest sodium and fat content I can find. I minimalize my use of these products, but use oil and vinegar, where I can. I leave some of the creamier ones for the uncooked veggies like peppers and mushrooms.
When eating out at restaurants, I try my best to make wise choices. Usually I find grilled chicken or fish on the menu. My sides are usually steamed broccoli with a side of lemon wedges, side salad with oil and vinegar and/or a sweet potato with butter and brown sugar. Butter is another item I usually watch closer at home, as we’ve found a low-sodium, less fat alternative.
Do you have any great tips, links, books or other sources? Make a comment below and we can exchange ideas.
I’m not ready for the gym yet, but I am walking a lot more than I was, at a slower pace. I started out going on errands for a couple of hours at a time, walking at malls. Then once I was healthy enough to get my pup returned from her foster, I was able to walk two to three times a day around our block. That’s where I am now, since it’s been a week since her return.
But I’m making changes to better my life. And I pray that these “Healthy Eats” are “Making changes one bite at a time.”
I’d love to hear from you on encouraging words of low-sodium, heart healthy snacks and meals. Blessings to you in your journey.