One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my successes and failures as I try to make healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes. It may end up helping me get pregnant and it may not. Either way, I figured I could stand to be a little more healthy. In this post, I am sharing some of the changes I have made. I am in no way a nutrition expert and I know that different people have different nutritional needs. Even so, I always appreciate feedback and suggestions from my fellow bloggers. I have made progress but I still have a ways to go.
My Biggest Struggles
In my very first post I discussed my desire to eliminate soy from my diet. This is really hard. Soy is in everything! Any tips on how to avoid soy are greatly appreciated!
When I make food at home, it does not last nearly as long as the processed version at the store (since it is not processed..duh!). I feel like I throw away a lot more food than I used to. Also, sometimes recipes call for a small amount of an ingredient but I have to buy it in a larger quantity. For example, I had a recipe call for half a cup of buttermilk and the rest of it will probably go bad before I figure out something to do with it.
New and Improved Food Choices
This is not a list of everything but I thought I would share some of them.
Old: Soda and other beverages with artificial sweetener
New: Good old H20
I really never though I could break my diet soda addiction. I ended up having to get rid of all artificial sweeteners to get it out of my system. I love my new ninja water bottle (see picture). It is BPA-free and also opens up in the middle so you can add ice or clean it. I take one with me everywhere I go.
Old: Quaker Oats Oatmeal Variety Pack. Ingredients: Maple & Brown Sugar: Whole grain rolled oats, sugar, natural and artificial flavor, salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, caramel color, naicinamide, reduced iron, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid
While the recipe instructs you to cook this on a stove top, I sometimes pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds when I am in a hurry. Raisins make a yummy topping but they have a lot of sugar so I have tried different things. It is really good with vanilla almond milk. This breakfast will keep you full way into lunchtime.
Old: Cheez-Its Reduced Fat. Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, vegetable oil (soybean and palm oil with TBHQ for freshness), cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, annatto extract for color), contains two percent or less of salt, yeast extract, paprika, yeast, paprika oleoresin for color, soy lecithin.
New: Homemade Cheese Crackers from Tidy Mom. Ingredients: Sharp cheddar cheese, butter, salt, flour, red pepper flakes, milk.
Ok so yes I know that cheese crackers are not a health food. Even so, I love them and eat them as occasional treats. I used to think the processed version was okay because it is reduced fat but I know realize that this is misleading. To make my own, I use Cabot Seriously Sharp cheese that contains no dyes (Ingredients are pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes). I also use whole wheat flour (I like King Author 100% Whole Wheat). I never have regular milk so I use almond milk. These crackers are a little darker and not bright orange but they are delicious!
Old: Special K Protein Bar. Ingredients: Soluble corn fiber, rolled oats, isolated soy protein, cereal (rice, whole grain wheat, sugar, wheat bran, soluble wheat fiber, salt, malt flavoring, vitamin b [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin b2 [riboflavin]), sugar, vegetable oil ( partially hydrogenated palm kernel, palm and canola oil), fructose, corn syrup, inulin from chicory root, rice, roasted peanuts, roasted almonds, dextrose, contains 2% or less of sorbitol, glycerin, calcium carbonate, nonfat yogurt powder (cultured non fat milk [heat treated after cultured]) nonfat milk, whey, salt, soy lecithin, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, niacinamide, bht (preservative), vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), iron, riboflavin.
Middle: Kind Bars. Ingredients: Mixed nuts (peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts), dried fruits (raisins, apricot [apricot paste, glycerol (vegetable based), pectin, apple fiber, citric acid], dates), honey, chicory fiber, non-gmo glucose, puffed rice, flax seed, soy lecithin.
New: Homemade Granola Bars from the Minimalist Baker. Ingredients: Dates, honey, peanut or almond butter, rolled oats, anything else you want to add (fruits, nuts, chocolate, vanilla, etc).
I don’t want to speak badly of an entire brand but it seems that a lot of Kellogg’s products are highly processed. I switched over to Kind Bars but then realized that it is easy to make them at home. You do not even need to bake them! Once they are made you can keep in them in the refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze them. It is fun to experiment by adding different stuff to them. All of these bars do have a considerable amount of sugar (added or natural) so I usually only eat these before a workout as opposed to a regular snack.
I wish there was an instruction manual for all of this! Thanks for reading 🙂 – Jennie