Trying to Get Healthy

My wife and I have been looking over our diet and lifestyle and have realized we have been going in the wrong direction.  We both drink a bit too much beer.  Besides being expensive, it has put weight on both of us.   We are also re-examining our diet, not just in terms of cost but in terms of healthfulness.  We both have been snacking way too much and those snacks have been full of sugar and salt.

In the last year we have made an attempt to have more fresh vegetables and fruits as part of our daily diet.  We probably have a simple salad 3 days a week.  In the summer we have some kind of fruit with our main meal.  Shawnne eats bananas regularly for breakfast.   I like bananas but I have never gotten into the habit of eating them regularly.  Both of us drink orange juice on a daily basis (and we take vitamins daily).  

Some years ago, I suggested that my wife and I investigate Dean Ornish’s ideas.  Our first attempt ended with our doing nothing. We were looking at his recipes for those with severe heart disease.   I don’t think we were (or are) ready to totally give up meat and alcohol.  our diet.  Shawnne has just started reading one of his newer books, his spectrum diet.  This is a variation of his basic low fat diet.   It still wants us to eat far less fat than most diets, but it allows some and it allows some snacks and some alcohol.  In my case, early heart disease hasn’t been something my family has experienced, so I can probably get away with a bit. In Shawnne’s case her parents both died young. Both were smokers and her parents diet contained too much fried food.  I don’t know what a doctor would recommend, but this would have been a major improvement for her parents.

We are starting slowly.  We have reduced our beer drinking on some days, but we have splurged on a few. Still we aren’t drinking 4-6 beers a day.  Shawnne has cut out most of her older snacks. She is trying rice cakes.  We have both cut out the cooking bonanza that has been going on for quite a while.  I already had a box of Irish quick cooking oatmeal. I found that it is far better tasting cooked than microwave (I should have known).   One discovery is that the ‘steel cut’ oatmeal, which takes about 30 minutes to cook, is not too difficult and it is quite a bit better tasting then the quick cook variety.   I purchased the Quaker steel cut oats, so I can imagine one of the premium brands will taste even better. I had been in a habit of eating oatmeal, so getting back to this should be easy.  I will still have soups, but not every day.

Our daily diet hasn’t changed much yet.   Shawnne cooked up some trout a few days ago and baked it rather than fried it.  It was pretty good.  We still need to examine some of our side dishes that probably have too much salt, but it is a beginning.  We are still having pancakes and bacon on Sunday.  Again this is going to take some time.  The main point of this kind of change is that we aren’t  ‘on a diet’, we are trying to change some old habits. 

We are still taking the vitamin supplements each day. I don’t know for certain that they have done us much good, but neither of us gets as many colds as we used to. We probably should re-examine this given the expense of vitamins, but for now it is part of our daily regimen.

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