THE GLOWING GINGER: FOOD DIARY
This past weekend, we celebrated Labour Day. Yay for holidays! To commemorate the end of summer, we indulged in sushi with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, hosted a family barbeque [topped off with homemade SUMMER PEACH CAKE], and treated ourselves to a latté… or two! In my Instagram posts, I included the hashtag “#dietstarttomorrow” in the caption for good reason!
As we launch into September, kids are back to school, yellow buses occupy our streets and we all are finding our rhythm as we’re back to the grind. Despite not returning to the classroom, I am using this transitional season as an opportunity for reflection and catalyst for change. As much as I love easy, breezy and carefree summer days, I crave routine.
My areas of focus aren’t groundbreaking and could be found in any Top 10 New Year’s Resolution list. Some of my personal goals include: unplugging myself from technology more, prioritizing sleep, strengthening areas of discipline such as reading my Bible, fitness and lastly- eating better.
I’ve always been a “foodie.” Full Disclosure: I find it much easier to add exercise then I do to subtract junk food! Food can be a vice when I internalize stress. I’ve also struggled with an eating disorder and even sought out professional help for it in early adulthood. I say this all to say I have had a complicated relationship with food. It’s been an on-again, off-again relationship in terms of striking the proper balance between health and obsession. Therein lies the tension as I rid of false mindsets and adopt new ones. Romans 12:2, "... be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
As a mother, I have a sense of responsibility to help my kids cultivate a healthy relationship with food. I recognize in order to do this; I need to lead by example. I strive to be a positive influence.
When making a change, I believe it’s important to be self-aware of your starting point. Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote, "He who knows himself is enlightened." Due to my previous issues, it’s unwise for me to calorie count or do anything too drastic or extreme. I joined a nutrition plan called THAT CLEAN LIFE and will often cook their nutritious recipes for my family, but at the same time, I give myself permission to deviate from so-called “clean eating” and will indulge in moderation. I actually think it’s beneficial to treat yourself from time to time, as I know from experience that being too extreme- even with health, can quickly turn unhealthy, toxic and downright dangerous [check out this article by "THE BALANCED BLONDE"]. However; for short periods of time, I find keeping tabs on what I eat eye opening.
I have created a free, downloadable FOOD DIARY for anyone who wishes to use it. You will notice two unusual columns: “ADD-ONS” and “EXTRA NIBBLES.” It's meant to be tongue in cheek. When tracking my nutritional intake, I observed that I have a tendency to add condiments that can transform an otherwise healthy meal into something that’s not. Everyone knows salads are great, but add Caesar dressing to the mix and it may contain more calories than a Big Mac! My biggest add-ons are cheese and ketchup [aka " 'tomato' sugar sauce"] and I need to rein that in a little. “EXTRA NIBBLES” refers to food I consume when preparing meals and snacks. Maybe it’s just me, but I can overdue it in the ‘taste-testing’ department so that needs to change [#i̶h̶a̶v̶e̶a̶p̶r̶o̶b̶l̶e̶m̶]! Late night snacking is always a temptation for me, but I’ve discovered when I don’t skip breakfast, it’s much easier to resist the nocturnal refrigerator raids. Finally, I’ve noticed that I don’t drink near enough water [but too much coffee #m̶o̶m̶b̶i̶e̶] so food tracking has highlighted that deficiency. Ironically since scaling back on my java and upping my H2O, I’ve noticed my energy levels skyrocket… as well as trips to the loo! Agh well, you win some and lose some!
Wishing you health as you find your groove this autumn. Cheers!