Thursday, August 15, 2013

Healthy eating and maintaining a good weight

In terms of food and nutrition, I have 2 era's in my life - Before March and After March.

'Before March' - when I ate everything that I wanted to eat (cupcakes, fizzy drinks, fast food whatever, if I wanted it I ate it).  I was a carb monster.  Hungry (probably just bored) but when I 'felt' hungry I went for carbs.

Then came the week from hell - the worst flu I have ever had, along with a sinus / chest infection and a migraine that lasted 4 days.  Yes, I cried.  Anyone who suffers from migraines know these things are a fate worst than death, seriously!  Pain... with very little that will help stop it, apart from riding out the thunder storm in your head. 

'After March' - in the midst of that awful week I did a deal with my body and health - I would look after myself, starting with brushing up my nutrition.  I cut out processed foods, started clean eating, ate more protein and (good) fats than carbs, started with my morning ritual of lemon juice etc.  I researched, spoke with others and felt empowered to make healthy changes.

Now, yes I have just been diagnosed with having this and I do wonder where it has come from.  Have my food choices in the past helped create this uninvited visitor and unwanted cells? It could be for a variety of reasons (chemicals in the things we consume, pollution, stress etc.), I know that.  I also know that other people have led perfectly healthy lives without even thinking about clean eating, but from speaking with others, reading various health / science blogs and consulting my friend google there have been many people who have been diagnosed with a variety of illnesses (from heart disease to cancer and everything in between) and who have changed their eating habits and seem to be living healthy long lives (check out Dean Ornish's TED talk on 'Healing through Diet').  Coincidence?  You can be the judge of that but, from my experience, since March I have truly 'felt' a lot healthier, clearer, energetic etc.  My guess is that this mass hasn't happened over night or the past few months, it seems way too big for that.  It has probably been building up its size for years.  So I'm pretty sure these unwanted cells didn't suddenly appear or multiply since I started clean eating, in actual fact the food changes I made earlier this year just may have helped slow its growth.  I'm not a scientist or a Dr so I can't give you the answer, but did my decision of eating clean help me these last few months? Maybe, just maybe.

I have to say that I feel confident in the clean eating choices I am making today.  It can't hurt, right?  Even in the same way a placebo works, if making healthy eating decisions make me feel better and make me believe I am in control of my health, then that can only be a good thing.  I want to be around for a while longer, I want to minimize unwanted cells and stress in my body (now and after surgery) and essentially create an optimal quality of life, not only for myself but for my family as I hope to bring our son up empowered to make healthy decisions.

On to the 2nd part - maintaining a good weight (especially when your weight drops)

4 days ago I stood on the scale and saw that my weight had gone down by 1.5 kg, not typical for someone who has hovered around the same weight for 15 years, so I really wanted to get that back up again (not to mention keep the muscle mass and "guns" I had been working on).  If I am going to be strong for my surgery and recovery I need to maintain a good weight, so I started googling.

I would have loved to have found an example or list of what others are eating to maintain a healthy weight (when they have had a diagnosis and their weight started dropping), so just in case others are in the same boat and looking for an example, here is what I basically eat in a day to keep my weight stabilized.

For those looking to put on some weight (or get back to their normal weight) - I found that by adding an extra 400-500 calories per day helped me.

50g gluten free oatmeal + hot water 
Green tea

Mid morning snack
Peanut butter and some cinnamon
4 gluten free rice crackers
Green tea

Other ideas of snacks here

3 Eggs (boiled, scrambled etc) - 2 yolks and 3 whites 
2 slices of wholegrain bread
Half avocado
Salad (greens, tomatoes, cucumber etc.)
Remember to season these things with pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper etc. if you like :) #peppersruleandarehealthy


Homemade soup
2 slices of wholegrain bread with hummus
Salad (as above)

Mid afternoon snack
Kiwi and strawberries
Handful of dates
50g gluten free oatmeal & lactose free milk or just a big glass of lactose free milk

Examples and recipes here

Evening snack
Low fat quark
Handful of cashews or almonds

*I'm also drinking a whole load of water throughout the day

For those looking for info on good/bad carbs and good/bad fats, see below:
List of good fats and bad fats

I am always looking for recipes, ideas and inspiration and am lucky to have a friend who is sending me some great ideas (thank you!!!).  If you have any feel free to share them in the comments below :)  Or if you are on Pinterest, please let me know and I can follow your food boards.

Sharing is caring ;)

*** A side note:  the above 'eating schedule' is before I chose to go dairy free and egg free. That choice was made after my surgery. 


Theresa Thomson said...

I too have now started a morning ritual of lemon juice. Can't say I'm enjoying it much but l'm gonna stick with it!! xxxx

LVos said...

Haha, I remember the beginning, but once it becomes routine believe me you will miss it if you don't do it ;)
So excited you are doing it!

Emma said...

Been having the hot water and lemon for years, cant live without it now!! Thanks for this Lisanne, trying to eat healthy again. xx

LVos said...

Emma, you are welcome! Great to hear you are doing the hot water and lemon, I totally feel ya on missing it if you didn't do it :) x