Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting Healthy(ier)

Starting today, Andrea and I have decided to put forth some real effort into living a healthier lifestyle. I will not be putting a great deal of focus on this in the blog, but did want to do an initial post. I've tried eating better and exercising several times in the past, but never stuck with it. My motivation this time is a bit different, however, than in the past. I recently had to have a wellness check performed for my employer provided medical insurance. One of the things that I learned from this is that my blood pressure was high. I do not want to be put on medication for high blood pressure, so hope to address it with diet instead. While I'm at it, I figure I might as well go all in and try to improve my overall health at the same time. Andrea is on board with the idea, so we have been putting together a plan.

In addition to the high blood pressure, I have plenty of other reasons that should be motivation enough to eat right and exercise more. The better physical condition I am in, the more work I can do around here. I can't even imagine undertaking a major project, such as constructing a house using cob or some other labor-intensive method in the condition I am in. In order to reach our goals, I believe that getting ourselves in better physical condition is going to be a necessity.

I feel pretty good about the diet changes I have planned, as long as I can stick with them. I'll have a smoothie each morning for breakfast, which is what I do most of the time already. For lunch I'll have rice, with either chicken or a quesadilla, or pasta with chicken or pesto. For dinner we are working on a meal plan, which in the past we have found makes it more likely that we'll eat healthy, rather than throwing something unhealthy together at the last minute. I plan to eat fruit and nuts as snacks, hopefully at least a serving of each per day. For after meals I bought some small, individually wrapped chocolates, that should satisfy my craving for something sweet. If I want a chocolate snack in the evening I'll have either frozen yogurt or pudding to choose from. I hope to incorporate more garlic, peppers, and herbs into my meals. I also hope to consume at least one clove of raw garlic daily, either incorporated into a meal, or eaten by itself. Eventually I'd like to increase my garlic intake, but I'll start by trying to build the habit of eating at least a small amount daily.

One of my biggest challenges to a diet change has always been snacking. I hope that I have enough healthy snack choices available to overcome that. We are also limiting the amount of other snacks in the house, which should, I think, make it a bit easier. Another challenge will be eating out, especially on the days that I work in the office. I'll just have to do my best on those days, and not get too discouraged if I eat something I shouldn't.

This time of year is a good time for us to try establishing new eating and exercise habits. It is sometimes hard to do this sort of thing when the weather is nice, as we spend a lot of time outside working, which leaves less time for prepping healthy meals. I also tend to not do any regular exercise when I'm working outside, so I'm hoping I can get that habit established now, so it will continue even when I'm spending several hours a day outside working. Lastly, the improved diet and increased exercise should help my mood during the winter months, which is important since I seem to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I've taken a few steps to help with the symptoms, but I doubt anything will work as well or eating better and exercising.

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