That might sound overly dramatic, however, I was faced with my mortality again yesterday when I got a second opinion on my heart and the cause of it all. In very blunt terms the cardiologist told me I should be dead. He said I got lucky. I said I like to attribute it to God but he can choose whatever he wants. We both laughed and then talked specifics.
Rather than dwelling on the negative...I want to dwell on what I've done and what others can do to make life healthier. I've lost 20 pounds now and am in the smallest pants I've ever been in. I had to go shopping to find clothes that fit. The great thing is...most of it is from our diet. Yes, I'm still working out 4 to 5 days a week for an hour at a time. But diet is the big one. But for everything we've taken out there needs to be a substitution. So here are my tips for some easy and cheap substitutions.
1. BREAD BE GONE!
|Eggs and sausage from above with a frozen fruit smoothie and coffee|
2. PASTA BE GONE!
|Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and rosemary chicken|
3. CHIPS AND CRACKERS BE GONE!
I admit...I let the boys still eat their tuna on Nut Thin crackers. They're a little more pricey but less processed than the other stuff and they're gluten free. I eat my tuna on a lettuce wrap with hummus and veggies. For my salty/crunchy fix...I turn to veggies and hummus, veggies with guacamole, nuts (especially almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios...avoid peanuts if you can).
4. BAKED GOODIES BE GONE!
I am a carb addict so this one was tough for me. I still love baking but the sugar high and emotional crash that follows for all of us in the house is NOT worth it. I found a yummy carrot cake recipe that didn't pull us off our unprocessed diet at the following link from The Food Lover's Kitchen. We used that for a recent birthday and it was a hit with everyone. This also saves because we're not reaching for junk all the time and having to restock it.
5. CANDY, POP, JUICE BE GONE!
We haven't regularly bought juice for a couple years now. Pop is just for birthdays and will probably stay that way for the kids. I had a pack of Mike and Ike's last week and it set me into such an emotional tailspin I scared myself so I'm sure it's not worth it. I've gotten off the roller coaster and this type of "food" is expensive and doesn't leave you satisfied. It's horrible for you in so many ways. Avoid it. Have fruit. Vary it from week to week or make smoothies with frozen fruit so you can avoidably have some variety. Pack in some berry smoothies so you get those important cancer/free-radical fighting antioxidants. If you barely cover the fruit with water the fruit is sweet enough and you can sneak some veggies and flax seed in for good measure. Frozen fruit is picked at the peak of freshness and frozen immediately. As a result it can be better than the stuff you get in the fresh produce section and it can be significantly cheaper!
6. EAT BEANS!
Meat can be expensive so I stretch our dollar with canned beans. Make sure they don't have sugar added and rinse them before using so you don't get as much salt. You can also buy dried beans but they're more work. I add them to chili, curry, sauces, etc. We eat bean salads for lunch and skip meat for that meal and use them for making hummus. Beans are good! Even my Superheroes eat them!