All Those Diets Out There…

3/2/2024

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So, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably dabbled at this diet or maybe that one, never actually getting into any of them but congratulating yourself on the fact that at least you were trying. One brownie point for you. Time now to get serious however, and you should know you’re not in this alone.

I love to eat too. All those comfort foods we grew up on like carbs and butter, candy and cupcakes, the things that that we Boomers for the most part need to start thinking of as treats and things to be absorbed infrequently these days as our bodies are not running at the same metabolism as they once did. Who among us wishes chocolate would suddenly become the cure for all that ails us? And bread. Bread should be its own food group. I can make an entire comfort meal on a freshly baked loaf of bread and cup of hot chocolate. But alas, the day has come for many of us to begin researching eating plans and ingesting the types of foods that make sense for where we are in life and also to extend our time on this planet for as long as we desire.

We’ve been inundated with the Blue Zone Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the American Diabetes Association Diet (ADA) and the list goes on. Many of us fail at first, after all, we’ve been in the habit of eating what we like for decades now and something inside of us keeps telling us ‘We will get by’ if we cheat here and there. Which then becomes cheating a lot and we give up on the whole idea of eating correctly for our age and what are Boomer bodies need. The way to get into a healthy eating habit is to begin like when we were babies.

First, we learn to stand. As adults we don’t need to survey the room for a coffee table to stable ourselves for that first try and walking. We have graduated now to doing research and making choice. Talk to your doctor about what you should be doing in regard to diet and exercise. Get online or visit the library and check out the diets that might serve your needs. Don’t be afraid of change. Change is often a very good thing.

Second, we take that first step. For me, it was eating green things. I am not a rabbit and salads have never been my thing. The fact is however, that eating vegetables and fruits and nuts and beans with only occasional meat intake might actually add years to your life? There are a lot of salady type things going on in the Mediterranean Diet. Even more if you follow the Blue Zone Diet. I’ve learned I actually like garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and bok choy. It was a big shock. My new favorite legume are the chickpeas which when drisled with olive oil and your favorite spice and roasted on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then topped when nice and crispy over rice. This quick and tasty meal makes a great and healthier substitute for a sandwich.

Did you know that a grain (like oats, rice, wheat) plus a legume (peanuts, peas, beans of all sorts) equals a complete protein? Neither did I.

I took a baby step substituting my lunchtime sandwich with rice and chickpeas and it allowed me the confidence to try another healthy substitution the things I’ve come to regard as my usual food essentials.

Third, take some more baby steps. Keep trying out new foods you can live with that come under the category of ‘healthy’ in place of some of the foods you could do without and be better for it. One easy way is to cut down your meat intake. I am down to only eating meat three times a week, and then, only poultry or fish. It’s a beginning. I will probably never be a total vegetarian but knowing that I can get all the nutrition I require without so much of the guilt of eating an animal feels good. And I am sure my next cholesterol level will reflect my progress.

Fourthly, enjoy your new eating habit. There are foods and combinations of foods out there you might actually come to love, and you will have the knowledge of knowing you are being proactive with your health. Who knows, you might even meet some other folks like yourself on a healthy eating site or fall in love with a program or cooking show. What have you got to lose? Some of these healthy eating choices might even allow you more food in your in your grocery budget.

Think of eating right as a new journey. You owe it to yourself.

You can still splurge when eating out or on special occasions as that is part of celebrating life. And I still adore many of the Gordon Ramsey recipes I will treat myself with at least monthly. I rationalize the extravagance by knowing that I’ve substituted olive oil for butter and learned to eat green things like leafy vegetables, beans and bok choy… the leftovers of which I do share with the neighborhood bunnies.

Happy trails, and don’t forget to check out some of the fun links I’ve added to this category. Do check out the diet posts below. You might enjoy the new journey…

Blue Zones Diet: Food Secrets of the World’s Longest-Lived People – Blue Zones

Mediterranean Diet 101: Meal Plan, Foods List, and Tips (healthline.com)

Gordon Ramsay Salad video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJvBKYcY8Lc

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