Things I have learned as I try to eat healthy

ImageSince I needed a photo for this post, this is my lunch from today. I halved some brussell sprouts and chopped us some beans and steamed them first. Then I heated a pan, threw in some butter (we use a plant based spread here) and then threw in the steamed veggies with some chopped zucchini, mushrooms, thinly sliced semi dried tomatoes and some chopped (pre cooked) sandwich steak. Season with salt and pepper and YUMMO!! Although the tween turned her nose up at it. (What I haven’t showed is the two small chocolates I ate after it) πŸ™‚

Anyway, I woke up with this idea for this blog post in my head this morning and was all set to do it as my first post of the dayΒ  and then Hugh Jackman slightly distracted me πŸ˜‰

In my efforts to change my eating habits and eat more clean foods I have learned many things. Some of them I learned when I did the nutrition module of my PT course but they have been reinforced on my journey. In no particular order, here are my ‘pearls of wisdom’:

  • Just because something says that it is “Lite” or “Light” this does not mean it is good for you. Light may refer to the colour of the product (these packaging people will use all sorts of tricks to con you)
  • Coconut oil is actually quite good for you. You can buy it in spray cans for stir fries and dry frying as well.
  • Beware some ‘diet’ yoghurts. Check out the sugar content of them. It stands to reason that if they take away the fat, they have to substitute the loss of taste with something. Plain no-fat greek yoghut is really, really yummy with berries.
  • Your taste buds change over time. I use the example of the greek yoghurt. The first couple of times that I ate it, I really didn’t like the taste. Now I couldn’t imagine eating anything else. I had a low fat vanilla yoghurt one day and found it too sweet.
  • Pay attention to your body. If it reacts in some way to something you have eaten, try removing it from your diet for a while and see if this helps. This is why I don’t eat a whole lot of bread even though I love it.
  • ALWAYS read labels. The more ingredients you see listed (unless it is something like a fruit salad) should be a warning to steer clear of it. Less is definitely more.
  • Anything with too many additives is not a good choice
  • Ingredients are always listed from the most included to the least. If sugar is in the top three – steer clear.
  • Sugar goes by many names including syrup, fructose, sucrose and a myriad of other terms. Google them.
  • Don’t deny yourself of treats completely. The more you deny yourself something the more you will crave it.
  • Don’t eat because you are bored – find something to fill in your time.
  • When you are sitting at the computer, take a bottle of water with you. It keeps your water intake up and also stops you from picking at things that aren’t good for you.
  • An apple a day is good for you. Eating an apple will assist in waking you up far better than a cup of coffee.
  • Green tea tastes surprisingly good. (My favourite is Tetley Green Tea and Pomegranate)
  • Once you stop putting milk and sugar in your tea, you can actually taste the flavour better
  • Green vegetables are a great source of fibre and keep you regular
  • Eating salmon rocks. It tastes really nice with a marinade/sauce of soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and crushed garlic. Brush it over the top (or marinate it in this mixture for a while before cooking) and bake. Even the Tween likes this.
  • If you’re feeling hungry, drink a glass of water. Sometimes thirst is confused with hunger.
  • Reducing the amount of ‘white’ and refined breads, rices and pastas in your diet benefits your health. (I can’t completely eliminate them as I cook for others in the house who don’t like brown stuff lol)
  • Never underestimate the power of pepper or herbs to ‘lift’ the taste of a dish
  • To work out how much sugar is in soft drink (soda), divide the sugar amount in the nutritional panel by 4 and that will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar in the can. Sort of sobering when you measure it out and think “I drank THAT much”??
  • Eating one or two lollies (or chocolates) does NOT mean that you have failed
  • Carrying a small container of nuts in your bag is perfect for the times when you are out and about and get the munchies.
  • There are always healthy options available when eating out
  • Eating healthy is a lifestyle change – not a diet

These are things that I have learned. I didn’t set about changing my eating habits to lose weight (although that is always a great side effect). I’ve begun doing this for health reasons. Eating well helps my depression and it is also assisting with some of my peri-menopausal symptoms. It also makes me feel good. Surely that is reason enough?

17 thoughts on “Things I have learned as I try to eat healthy

  1. This sounds like a very good way to change to the healthy way. I often use my oven for the vegetables instead of the pan, as use more fat (butter, oil etc.) I clean and cut the vegetables in pieces, put all in a bowl, mix with few spoons of olive oil and green spices and pepper, then in the oven, until it is well done. Really delicious with low fat too.
    One more good thing, when we like some sweets too, pure dark chokolade are very healthy, so up to 40 grams a day, early at the day, not before bedtime, gives some good things for our body too. I profit that a lot, and I don’t weigh too much.
    Thanks for sharing.


  2. “Don’t eat because you are bored – find something to fill in your time.”
    My biggest problem πŸ™‚
    Your lunch looks very inviting with its colours , plus I love vegetables. I have found you are right in saying “Eating healthy is a lifestyle change – not a diet “. I have dropped the sugar and eat mostly fresh produce now. I did hugely benefit from it in BP dropping to normal range and excitedly 3 dress sizes dropping off. It was at Christmas I realised it was a lifestyle not a diet. I ate some junk that was sugar and fat laden ( and Im scared to even know what else haha) but that which i put on has almost gone already as my lifestyle is back to predominantly fresh food again. And, I just had 2 individual piece Toblerone chocolates before I read this πŸ™‚


    1. Good luck with that. I have done WW in the past but I haven’t done it again because I really got fed up with counting points. This way I’m just answerable to myself. πŸ™‚


  3. Great Article Sue!! Some very valuable tips here. The greatest point is the last one. I think it is relevant no matter which side of the scale you are on though. I never thought I would be in a place where I am getting told to put weight ON –and sticky buns is NOT really doing the job – well because they are not REALLY an appetizer are they.
    Thank you – inspiring to get the system back in the right equilibrium this year – I really should get back to it…I just lost interest you know?


    1. I think we all tend to lose interest in things after a while. It’s the nature of the beast ; I don’t think sticky buns are going to do that much for you in the long run no matter how good they taste. πŸ˜€


    1. I have actually found quinoa and I enjoy it very much. The rest of the family don’t though 😦 So I eat it on occasion but not as often as I would like.


  4. I agree with you on these little pearls – with the exception of apples to replace coffee……never! πŸ™‚ However, I don’t mind eating an apple after the coffee. Also, fish is good for us, but I cannot get the hang of liking the taste. Of course, I have to substitute. I try fish from time to time to make sure my taste buds haven’t changed, but no—still don’t like it. Here’s to eating healthy! Oh, and I use flavored Greek Yogurt as my “sweets”. I substitute ice cream for a yogurt – works for me, but my mind is easily tricked.


    1. It is scientifically proven that apples work better at waking you up! πŸ™‚ lol
      I guess not everyone enjoys fish. I love it and would eat it at every meal but the rest of the family don’t love fish as much as I do 😦


  5. All great points. I think what’s really interesting is the one about your tastes changing. When I was in my twenties I loved really sweet white wine, now I can’t stand it. I like dry white wines and even can drink red now. And things I used to not eat at all, like kale and quinoa, I eat fairly often now. I wouldn’t say I “love” kale, but I do like it. Now I’m much more adventurous and eat all sorts of cuisines that rely more on veggies and whole grains and are still yummy (and are often healthier than the typical American foods).

    I’ll have to try the apple thing. I have three on the counter and I keep walking past them to make tea or eat a dark chocolate.


    1. He he. I actually enjoy having an apple each day Jennifer. πŸ™‚
      I enjoy quinoa but haven’t really taken too well to kale.
      Funny thing is that I enjoy sweet wines now that I am older. I never used to like wine at all when younger. lol


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