Diet, Diet, Who’s Got the Diet?

One of my retirement resolutions is to get better control of my health.  This includes sleep, diet, exercise – the whole shootin’ match.  The sleep is better already, now that I don’t wake up several times each night, thinking I’ve left some random task undone.  I’ve started walking a little, I’m using some free weights, and I’m working on a more sophisticated exercise plan.  I’m also making all my annual doctor checkup appointments.

Diet is the really difficult paradigm shift. Lunches and snacks at work weren’t always exactly heart healthy or lo-cal. With both of us working and my getting home well after 6 every night, we had also been opting for some convenience foods at home.  You know, stuff that passes for real food – canned veggies, granola bars, boxed breakfast cereals, canned soups, dried spices & herbs, and instant coffee.  We’ve been shameless in using processed sugar, butter, flour, and 2% milk.

That may not sound too bad to some people, but we are children of the sixties.  I used to bake my own bread twice a week, and make my own fat-free yogurt, to which we added fresh stewed fruit and freshly ground cinnamon. When the kids were young we had a great vegetable garden – they picked the evening’s vegetables fresh in season, often eating half the harvest on the way to the house.  Fruit in one form or another was our main dessert. I’ve heard my own kids parrot me when grandkids ask for a snack, “have an apple; it’s nature’s toothbrush!”

So where did we go wrong?  Well, it happened gradually. The kids grew up and left.  I started working longer hours.  We rationalized our lunches and dinners out, as if working hard somehow entitled us to eat more (and less healthy) food. We might have earned the occasional cheat, but I’m afraid we’ve both habitually chosen rather poorly.  This, along with the stresses of work, has resulted in weight gain, arthritis, sleep disturbances, gastritis, and finally – and this is the one that’s really scaring us straight – a prolonged and frightening bout of asthma for my beloved.

Yikes.

Our doctors recommend (of course) more exercise, and a diet eliminating offending, inflammatory agents.   Alrighty, then…  I’ve been researching a number of diets.  I’ve looked at the Zone, Atkins, and related plans, some straight-up weight loss plans, and have found a variety of books on eating well.  I think I’ve come up with a good combination.  I am coordinating the anti-inflammation diet recommended in Stopping Inflammation by Nancy Appleton PhD, with the 24-Day challenge.

Our daughter (who has suffered from food allergies all of her life) pushed the Challenge. She and a friend are both distributors, and have good meal plan suggestions for people with allergies that stay within the guidelines. We were a little skeptical, until we saw results in some other family members, and – what the heck – we have to start somewhere!  We ordered our supply of Challenge products.

Our daughter recommends that we become accustomed to life without eight cups of coffee per day, and ramp up the amount of water we drink in advance, to help prepare us to manage the changes – after all, it is a challenge, and we don’t want anything to hamper our success. So… for now, we have started eating more anti-inflammatory meals with reasonable portions, and healthy snacks in between meals.  And shortly, my beloved and I will embark enthusiastically on the Challenge with no excuses.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress!

 

photo credits:   © Evgeny Vorobeiv | Dreamstime.com (bread), © Africa Studio – Fotolia.com (apples)
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9 Responses to Diet, Diet, Who’s Got the Diet?

  1. Pingback: Send the Bat(wing) Signal! Time for Toning! | The Retiring Sort

  2. Pingback: Meeting the Challenge – Day 11 | The Retiring Sort

  3. Now, you inspired me to go back on track and focus on my diet. Great tips ! It helps to diet when people around you motivates you to do it one day at a time. Have a great day!

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  4. This might be effective to some degree however for you to lose weight effectively, you will have to both workout as well as eat correctly.

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    • Most certainly – and I acknowledge that – and the need for healthy sleep patterns as well – in the post. The topic here, though, was meant to be finding healthy eating patterns again. Don’t worry – once I’m finished blogging about the Challenge and an anti-inflammation diet, I’ll get back to the topic of exercise – and that will actually be more fun to write about! Thanks so much for stopping in!

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  5. Pingback: Proven Health News » Blog Archive » Diet, Diet, Who's Got the Diet? | The Retiring Sort

  6. Lynne Ayers says:

    With you on all that – the sixties were my decade, retired, ate too much, exercised too little, portions too large, etc. etc etc. It was also my daughter that layed down the gauntlet, suggesting we become virtual exercise buddies (we live thousands of miles apart) and that started me on the road of (almost) daily yoga and walking – we have a dog to help with that. I have felt better for it – I still enjoy eating too much – meaning I enjoy it too much AND I … yeah … I still eat more than I need to. Good luck with your goals. You might also enjoy http://lightlycrunchy.wordpress.com/ if you don’t already visit her site.

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