Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nutrition Journey 3: FAT, the good kind!

It's October which means Capture Your Grief is officially launched! I'm not sure how much I'll be participating but I look forward to seeing others contribute.

I figured it was time for another nutrition update! I left off with learning how to eat fat. After my second visit with the dietician, we talked about my usual meals and she said that it sounded like I was getting the hang of the pre- and post-workout snacks and my carb intake was looking good. But she suggested I work on getting more fat in my meals, to help with cravings and staying full, among other health benefits. I found a post by a blogger I'm not familiar with but whose post here is similar to what I learned in my sessions.

AUTUMN took this picture of me at the zoo. Didn't she do an amazing job?? And, check it out...I have a muscle!

Adding fat to my diet has taken a couple of visits to get right. I just had my fourth session and we were still increasing my fat intake! Isn't that a strange thing to say? It's kind of like how weird it felt to eat enough when I first started this process. Like I was doing something wrong. I'm glad I'm learning more about fat, though, because I've been thinking about how having a low-fat diet was probably as bad for Autumn as it was for me, with her growing like a weed and all. Plus, I've always had a sweet tooth and since I've been increasing my healthy fat, I find that I don't want sweets as much as I used to, even though they aren't FORBIDDEN DELICIOUSNESS.

An easy way to get some good fat into my diet would be with avocados but I'm afraid I'm one of those people who doesn't love them, at least not enough to buy and eat a whole one. So, I have other ways of finding my fats. For one, I'm using full fat dairy. When I make scrambled eggs, it's with a splash of cream and cooked in a little butter. I can't handle much more traditional dairy than that. But, I can eat yogurt so I buy whole milk yogurt. It's hard to find at the stores here! And when I do find it, it's almost always plain. Which is fine but I miss vanilla yogurt. When we were in Florida in July, I got SO EXCITED because Publix had whole milk vanilla yogurt. I think Mike thought I was crazy. A Whole Foods is opening up near me soon so I'm pumped about more potential yogurt options! Because...well, I'm a nerd.

Anyway, outside of dairy, I put nuts into my cereal in the morning. We cook in olive oil and have low-lactose cheese (usually aged cheddar) and hummus around all the time. I've been trying to vary up my snacks some with trail mix, kind bars, homemade granola, and other protein/carb/fat balanced foods. If you recall, nuts are one of the big things that "you should eat 1200 calories!" doctor warned me against. Thank heavens for second opinions, right?

Before I started this process, I was hungry all the time. Looking back, even though I rather thought I was eating enough, I was starving myself of fats and carbohydrates: the things my body needed to fuel my lifestyle. Today, if I'm hungry, I eat. The dietician gave me a hunger and satisfaction scale that helps, too, because I think I had forgotten how to listen to my body. The photo above is similar to the sheet she gave me that hangs on our fridge next to a list of snack combination ideas. I like it because it reminds me that if it's noon and I'm not ready for lunch, I don't have to eat! If it's 7pm and I ate dinner and I'm still hungry, eat some more! SO SIMPLE. Who knew??

I guess it's a little like martial arts. I tell my adult students that, at the beginning, martial arts is often about relearning how to walk and how to be on the ground, sitting and even rolling around again. Visiting the dietician has been that kind of relearning. Basics. 

Oh, and for some measurable results, I had my cholesterol rechecked when I had some other blood work done. In the past my total cholesterol has been up to 235 and it's genetic. My mom and grandmother are the same way. My total cholesterol is down and HDL is up. They calculated my cardiac risk. Average for women is 4% and I'm at 2% although on the surface my cholesterol still looks a little high. Weight-wise, I am holding steady although I've had a major increase in calorie intake. I've gained some muscle mass which is pretty cool. I'll do some measurements and pictures soon.

Next time! Not counting calories, protein, adjusting for insulin resistance, and a food diary!

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