Healthy eating plan

I went to the doctor for a follow up appointment yesterday. I have a hormone imbalance. I’m also rather overweight. I need to change the way I eat and exercise more. I do get a fair amount of exercise already but agree I don’t eat very well lately. One happy thought is that if I loose just a pound a week, I’ll be back to a healthy weight in a year. The doctor said that as I loose weight, my hormone imbalance may improve, or at least the symptoms of it. My husband is also overweight. The hardest part is getting started. We know what to do. We know how to do it. We just need to do it!

We as a family came up with a healthy eating plan this morning. My husband calls it the “biosphere diet”. It’s a mostly vegetarian diet, low in fat and calories. It follows the idea of lots of small meals rather than 3 big ones. The idea is to keep your stomach full of nutritious food to feel full but low calorie to lose weight. Lots of fruits and veggies. Some grains. Little dairy and very little fat. Almost no processed foods. Basically, if you can grow it in a garden, we can eat it. Otherwise probably not.

We did this about 10 years ago and both lost weight. It took awhile to get used to and had cravings early on for fats and carbs but once we got used to it we were happy with the results. As such, it is important to stick to it strictly at the beginning to see how our bodies will react then tweak it as needed. We don’t want to harm the kids so are allowing them extra goodies like more peanut butter, jelly, and honey than us.

This goes directly against typical American diet. But considering how many health problems and overwight people are in this country, obviously the typical American diet is unheathly for today’s lifestyles. This “diet” is very healthy. It does take some extra planning and getting used to. It also takes extra time to cook and prepare meals from scratch without the canned shortcuts (like creamed soups and sauces). However, it is a tasty way to eat.

The best thing about this “diet” is that it isn’t a “diet”, but rather a lifestyle plan. It is healthy and balanced nutrition. Most fad diets work through some sort of deprivation which throws your system out of balance causing weight loss. For example, eat less calories. Yes, this does eat less calories but because the nutritive value of the foods are high, you aren’t throwing your body out of balance. Also, small portion sized diets leave you feeling hungry so likely to cheat and fail. Low protein and low carb diets work temporarily by throwing your body off balance and forcing it to use fat to process either the remaining high carbs or high protiens depending upon the diet type. This only can work for so long before your body goes into chaos. The biosphere diet is a proper nutrition balance (yes, we had it analyzed by a registered nutritionist 10 years ago) to avoid the pitfalls of deprivation fad diets.

I expect everyone to be a bit cranky while we are getting used to this new eating style. I also expect some stomach trouble as our systems clear out all the junk and additives that have been building up. Once we get used to it, I expect everyone to have more energy, be more alert, and my husband and I to loose weight. The kids may loose a little too (especially at first) but we’ll tweak it to make sure they get the calories they need.

Here’s a list of foods we plan to eat:

green peppers, rice, Prego, can tomatoes, tomato soup (mostly for the kids), powder milk, oatmeal, raisins, frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen beans, carrots, frozen carrot/broccoli/cauliflower mix, stir fry (no sauce), peanut butter, whole wheat flour, fresh fruit, frozen berries, melon, potatoes, beets, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, honey, wheat gluten (for making bread), eggs, cornbread (made without oil), mushrooms, onions, celery, tofu, lentils, dry beans, sunflower seeds, olive oil for pans, dill pickles & relish, popcorn (no butter), spinach, jelly (mostly for kids sandwiches or toast)

Here’s a list of what we will only occasionally eat (less than 1x/week):

tuna, chicken, rabbits, grouse, other fish, wild meat, cheese, pasta (including ramen), mayonnaise, yogurt, nuts, margarine (butter)

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