Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Eating Right With Color

As part of National Nutrition Month, one of the items that is suggested is to eat a variety of foods from a wide variety of colors. That's the nice thing about healthy eating -- you can have a very artistic plate!

I was thinking about my own day today and wondering just how well I did myself.....

Breakfast: brown, yellow, blue, white (multigrain cereal, banana, blueberries, milk... and coffee!)
Snack: purple (grapes)
Lunch: brown, red, green, orange, white-ish, pink (a turkey stew with black beans and tomatoes, a huge salad with orange pepper strips and mushrooms, and a whole grapefruit)
Snack: white (popcorn)
Dinner: brown, yellow, red, green (a lovely homemade cream of mushroom soup, half of a veggie frittata with red peppers, broccoli, tomato, mushroom and cheese, and an apple)
Pre-bed snack: orange, blue (vanilla-mango-blueberry smoothie).

Yeah, I pretty well hit the rainbow on that one! And the amazing thing is that it didn't take all that much effort to put it together.... or really, all that much money either. If you take a much longer-term picture, healthier eating is less expensive.

Which kind of ties into the post I was working on earlier today anyway...... but more on that in a second.

Choosing healthier foods may be a little more costly when it comes to the checkout line. But look over the course of a lifetime. Eating healthier may be the difference between the rare doctor's visit outside of a checkup, and Medicare paying for your angioplasty or open heart surgery.

And really, don't get me started on the 5-A-Day thing. Five-A-Day is child's play, when you consider that a serving of most fruits and vegetables is HALF A CUP. For leafy greens, it's ONE cup. Folks, that's basically a handful of lettuce. Really? You can't work that in somehow? Because my salad today was at least four cups and it was pretty dang good and filling -- for very little money and lots of flavor. Seriously, try 7-A-Day to start. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to achieve!


Now.... earlier today, I was thinking about a story that a friend was relaying. She knows someone who was diagnosed with a treatable condition last year. This particular condition in this particular individual was serious enough to require some surgical correction (no real cure) and follow-up treatment. This person's doctor had apparently recommended to friend-of-friend that losing weight would be of tremendous importance in lessening the effects of this disease, in making his or her treatment much more effective, etc. And my friend said, "So here (person) is, a year later after the surgery, and as heavy as then.... if not more. Apparently, the surgery worked fine, so now he or she doesn't have to..."

I thought about this story, and honestly I am torn. Part of me feels for this person. I don't know that much about this condition, except that what little I have read suggests that this doctor was spot-on about the weight loss helping. And I surely can see where it could be of big importance.

There's a part of me who wants to find this person that I don't know from Adam, and give them the Cher-from-Moonstruck treatment: you know, WHAP! "Snap out of it!" That's the side of me which wants to say, "Just because the surgery was successful in making your worst symptoms go away doesn't relieve you of your responsibility to your own body."

Sadly, this isn't an isolated case....... Just look at this season's Biggest Loser: how many of the contestants had gastric or other WLS in the past.... and are STILL struggling with weight (and now a reduced stomach capacity)? All too often, we want the quick fix: surgery, some pill or tonic, some external force that will tell us it's okay, it's not our fault, we can't be to blame. Here, take this, poor baby, pat pat pat.

Because I wanted it too. I wanted that magic pill more than anything. I wanted the doctors to find something at fault -- other than me. But the cold hard reality is that I got myself where I was.... no one else. Nothing else. Just me. I got myself into it, and by God it was up to me to get myself out. Cold harsh truth. But so good for me.

So I buckled down and did it.

And you can too. You can make the choice in every single moment to be your own best friend or your biggest saboteur. You can do right or do wrong by yourself. It is in those moments where you are faced with only yourself... and the real you comes forth.

Do right by yourself today, every day, every moment.


Angie A said...

Annette, You are amazing. I love your point of view on this! and all the colors. This is like a flavor explosion for my brain! :)
Keep up the good work!

Angie AKA Ed

BeckyNeighbor said...

I agree 100% and really get the magic pill thing. I wanted someone else to 'fix' my weight but the absolute truth that it was my doing and I had to decide to lose it. Basically: do I want diabetes in my 30's or not. Good for you on your colorful day and thanks for a great post.

Joy said...

Great job getting all those colors in your day! I challenged myself to eat more colors and it really helped my diet. Now, I'm like you -- 5 a day is child's play!