As I embark on my One Year Health Challenge, I have decided not to use a special diet to reduce my weight.
Nope…I’m not doing South Beach, Dr. Atkins, Paleo, D.A.S.H., Low-Fat, Low Glycemic, High Protein…none of those.
I confess that I did peruse the Eat to Live food plan, but decided against it. I have nothing against the plan. I am simply tired of trying to follow instructions and decipher other people’s regimens.
I’ve tried all those diets. Every. Single. One. I also tried fasting, Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and the 17 Day diet. I have eaten grapefruits by the dozen, forced myself to eat cabbage soup three times a day, and swilled apple cider vinegar.
Even with all that effort, I’m still fat.
To accomplish good results on my lab reports, I have to make a lifestyle change. The change has to be something I can actually accomplish. I know I’m not going to become a vegan or never eat Blue Belle Homemade Vanilla ice cream again.
To make a lifestyle change, I have to use some common sense. I have to look at my life and determine how I like to live it. I like to eat well. I like to eat what I like.
Fortunately, I like a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables.
I am making my own eating plan and calling it Peggy’s Common Sense Diet. I’m emphasizing Common Sense and de-emphasizing Diet. I am fortunate that I attended a small high school and was forced to participate in four years of home economics classes. I learned a lot about good nutrition there. That knowledge served me well when I was raising my family. It can serve me well again.
I believe I gleaned enough knowledge from all the diet advice I have digested to make my own decisions about what I can and cannot eat. Unlike so many other diets, My Can Eat list is much longer than the Can’t Eat list.
My own common sense list is comprised of two servings from the starch group, two servings from the protein group, two servings from the dairy group, three servings from the fats group and five servings from the fruit and vegetable group.
I have a small income, so I have a small food budget. I can’t afford specialty foods like steel cut oatmeal, so I’ll stick with good ol’ Quaker Oats. I’m not buying kefir when plain, unsweetened yogurt serves the same purpose. In my opinion, overly hyped “Super Foods” are ridiculous. I’m sick of hearing about the newest miracle foods.
While common sense and a limited budget mean no specialty foods, it also means real food and no pre-prepared food. For a fraction of the cost of the available preservative-laden frozen pastas, I can prepare my own angel hair spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, and olives, lemon zest, and capers. I can also control the amount of sodium used to prepare the dish.
I will be dining at home a lot more. No more drive-through dining for me. That’s where the lifestyle change comes in. My friends at the Taco Casa carry-out window are going to miss me. I will likely miss them more.