Friday, February 12, 2010

A Diet of Abundance

Lately I've been getting a lot of questions, and some strange comments, from friends and family about diet and exercise.  It's only natural when a person puts themselves out there like I have with this blog to find yourself the center of some controversy.  So I thought I would answer some of questions (ie defend myself) right here, in case other readers were wondering the same thing.


MY ANSWER: I eat more food now, more happily, than at any other time in my life.  I don't concern myself much with what I can't have.  I prefer to focus on what I want to have more of.  More vegetables.  I try to eat one pound of raw vegetables and one pound of cooked vegetables every day, as per Dr. Fuhrman.  Do I weigh and measure vegetables? No.  I just keep the idea in my head that vegetables are the single best thing I can put into my body.  There are so many wonderful and creative ways to eat them that it is impossible to get bored.  And once you begin eating this way, the effect on your body is so dramatic (increased energy) you crave the energy fix like a drug.


MY ANSWER: Once I began eating a lot of vegetables (and more fruits and beans) there wasn't so much room left in my tummy for other stuff.  And my body was so well nourished that I no longer had cravings for all sorts of other things.  Some people have even called those types of cravings "toxic hunger." Your body wants to be nourished and when it is not, it sends out very powerful "feed me" messages.  But if you are not giving your body the nutrients it really needs, it just keeps asking you to feed it.  And you just get bigger and bigger if you feed into this.

So the answer is this: No food is off limits whatsoever, but meat, dairy, pasta, refined sugar, etc.  just naturally became these once-in-a-while things.  I can't even call them "treats" because I don't find them to be any better tasting or more satisfying than what I am eating normally.  But, if I am in a situation where I don't have access to the foods I normally eat and I want to partake, then eating them is no big deal at all

No, I am not a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., etc. I am not constantly stressing about food that I "can't" have--it's not like that at all!


MY ANSWER: I only do exercise that is fun for me.  I have found that pilates on the reformer machine, power vinyasa yoga, brisk walking and occassional tennis are all really fun for me.  Who doesn't want to have as much fun each day as they can?  So I have scheduled into 6 out of 7 days a week some fun!  Do I work out 6 days a week?  I'd like to, but more often than not life gets in the way a little.  A great week includes 5 work-outs. 

If you don't like exercising, chances are that you haven't found what is fun for you.  Try lots and lots of different classes and workouts until you hit on what you love.  Then schedule the fun into your week.  Don't wake up everyday thinking, "Maybe I'll get to the gym today."  Know exactly when you will be there each week and exercise will become a happy thing for you.


QZB said...

Love it! It's very true how satisfying fruit & veg are once you reacclimate your taste buds. I'm not yet at two lbs produce per day, but I'm working on it!

I love your definition of movement as fun. I am looking for alternate winter fun, as what I most enjoy is walking outside with my dogs. I feel intimidated by the classes at my gym; do you have any suggestions to make it a little easier? Is there gym class etiquette to follow?

Thanks for another great post. I look forward to them!

Wendy said...

Fear of gym classes-I have two suggestions.

One, go with a friend. You can give each other moral support.

Two, get over your fear. Or at least learn to live with it. If you limit yourself in life to doing only the things that you are comfortable with, how far do you think you are going to get?

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions on how to respond to the usual questions! I'm just starting with Dr. Fuhrman's program but as the questions about my "diet" come up, I'm prepared to say that I'm not dieting anymore (reducing food intake, weighing and measuring servings, etc). I want to tell people I'm just eating healthy!

As for exercise, I've found that my iPod, loaded up with fun dance songs from the 70's and 80's, gets me moving! Dancing around the big open space in my basement for a 1/2 hour or more is FUN for me!

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I would love for you to try the Latin Fusion class at the gym with me sometime! It's my new found love! I've always loved to dance, but this is beyond normal dancing because it focuses in on movements that do more for your body than just burning calories :) Let me know if you are ever interested!!! Oh...and I bet you never thought I would try that crazy Bible bread that you guys always talk about...and I did! And it was actually really good! Keep up the awesome blog...I love reading it and slowly it is inspiring me...and the fact that my mom was recently diagnosed with celiac disease...which is hereditary. I bet most of your recipes are gluten free! We are excited to try some of them!


Anonymous said...

Can you give an example of what you might eat in a day to make it 1 pound cooked and raw veggies. I think I need ideas from you on this.
Years ago I took Jazzercize and liked it better than just aerobics.

Wendy said...

No latin fusion for me! I'm terrible at following choreography!

As far as eating the pound of cooked/pound of raw veggies per day, I don't weight and measure but I do the following: breakfast is a smoothie with fruits, greens, and flax or chia; lunch is usually vegetable soup and/or salad (with a little bit of cheese sometimes); and dinner is a combination on any given day or veggie soup/veggie stew/salad/cooked greens. There are also nuts, beans and nut milks strewn into my diet, and sometimes whole grain pasta or other whole grains like quinoa, bulgar, millet, etc.

I know this doesn't sound exciting, but there is a whole giant world out there of amazing recipes. I am never bored and missing animal based food. So I don't stress out about exactly the weight of the veggies I am eating because I know that that I am eating the maximum amount of plant based food that I can fit in my stomach!

wife2abadge said...

I've never found ANY exercise I truly enjoy - and believe me, I've tried a zillion things. I kind of like bike riding and used to like skating (til I broke my elbow). However, I look at exercise like something I just have to do - like wearing a seat belt or wearing sunscreen. It's become such a habit now that I rarely have to force myself. It's just a part of my life.

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