Are you on my level?

Here we go all. Day 1 of my lifestyle change. So as if it’s not already bad enough that it’s Monday and I have a night class tonight, I also am embarking on healthy eating. So far? Blah! Breakfast consisted of bran cereal that tasted like literally nothing with almond milk. (I used to be a HUGE avocet of rice milk…but more about that later.) So far, so bland. But that’s alright. It’s a step in the right direction. I may even eat a fruit for my morning snack today. Yes sir, you read it here first, I am going to eat a piece of fruit. (For any of you who don’t really know me, I am a vegetarian that eats very little vegetables. And almost no fruit. The fruitiest thing in my diet is wine.)

So as I jump forth into this new territory of conscious eating I had to have some sort of backbone and goal to motivate me through this. I found a pretty cool book called “Eating for Health” which is part of the Teach Yourself series and is written by Sara Kirkham. In it I found a little quiz that tells you which level you are at on the “health scale.” At one end of the spectrum, 1 is Junk and 10 is Optimum Nutrition. Ideally you want to be at a 10. I am between a 4 and 5. That’s freaking’ terrible.

Anyways, the chapter goes on to describe how to achieve a 10, or at least how to try to achieve a 10. Our bodies, as well as any other changes we want to achieve, can only adjust in stages. So I need to make realistic goals. I can only aim to make a few changes to move to the next level. Bottom line…I’m not going to be at 10 by the end of the week. So what realistic goals do I have for this week?
1. No alcohol.
2. Consume at least one serving of fruit and at least two servings of veggies a day. (We’re suppose to eat like 5+ servings of this stuff a day, but hey, I said realistic goals.)
3. No white icky carbs like donuts, cakes, etc.
4. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
5. No use of the salt shaker.

Let’s see how today goes. I already am bored, but I need to redirect my thinking. I eat to live, not live to eat! Here’s the quiz from the book…see what level you’re at!

How many servings of fruit and vegetables do you eat a day?
a. One or less, and unlikely to be fresh
b. 2-3
c. 4-5
d. 5+

How much water do you drink each day?
a. none
b. only if I am thirsty, or in coffee and tea
c. A couple glasses a day
d. 8+ glasses

What sort of carbs do you eat?
a. Croissants, doughnuts, cakes
b. French bread, white bread, white rice
c. Grain breads
d. Whole wheat/whole grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta

What type of proteins do you eat regularly?
a. Ground beef, processed deli meats, hot dogs
b. Yogurts, milk, cheese, meat products such as bacon and sausage
c. Mainly red meats including pork, lamb
d. Mainly fresh fish, soy, nuts, and/or some organic meat

What types of fat do you consume?
a. Lard, salad dressings, sauces, margarine, a lot of refined fats (biscuits, pastries, etc.)
b. Butter, vegetable oils, limited amount of refined fats
c. Vegetable oils for cooking, low fat spreads
d. Olive oil for cooking, vegetable oils for salads, no refined fats

Which of the following fibers do you eat regularly?
a. White bread, breakfast cereals (think typical kid’s cereals)
b. Bran
c. Whole wheat cereals, oatmeal
d. Fruit, veggies, brown rice, oats

How much alcohol do you drink?
a. Above 8 (10 for men) drinks weekly, drinking either every day or binge drinking on weekends
b. Between 6 to 8 (8 to 10 for men) a week
c. Between 3 to 6 for either sex
d. Under 3 a week

How many drinks of coffee, tea, or pop do you drink each day?
a. Over 6 cups (are you crazy?)
b. 3-5 cups
c. 1-2 cups
d. None

How often do you eat sweets, refined convenience/ready-made foods?
a. In every meal or several times a day
b. At least once a day
c. Few times a week
d. Rarely

How many meals do you eat each day?
a. I often miss meals and have coffee and/or snacks instead
b. One of two meals, I usually miss breakfast and eat more later in the day
c. Usually 3 meals a day, including breakfast
d. I eat throughout the day including breakfast and healthy snacks

 

How’d ya score?

Mostly a’s: Place on the optimum nutrition scale: 2-3. You do need to change your diet. You need to limit the use of convenience foods, reducing salt and sugar intake, and drinking less coffee, tea and/or alcohol. Increase your servings of fruit and vegetables and eat regularly through out the day.

Mostly b’s: 4-5. Some changes need to be made. Look at the questions which you answered b or a and try to improve specifically on those areas. Altering different areas of your diet slowly without too many drastic changes is the best way to adopt a healthy diet and improve your health.

Mostly c’s: 6-7. You eat better than most people but would still benefit from a few more changes. Most of your diet is fairly healthy but you may want to cut back on coffee, tea, alcohol or sugar. Address specific questions that you answered a, b, or c to.

Mostly d’s: 7+ Well done. You are already close to eating an optimum nutrient diet. Look back at the questions you answered a, b, or c to and improve on those particular aspects of your diet.

See you tomorrow-Happy Monday!

 

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