A space to post my thoughts and musings about anything. This includes but is not limited to community, politics, current events, dating, GLBTQ issues, favorite things, and stuff that would make your dead relatives blush. I am not afraid to go there, as some can attest.

August 22, 2007

Changing Habits

I got into some really bad dietary habits in the last 2 years, well for once, no more, I'm not doing that again to myself. I've been getting away from eating out lately, and reading the nutrition labels more so that I can figure out what's decent for me. This is what I have figured out so far:

1. Reduced fat can be a myth because often the manufacturers reduce the portion size. I did a comparison of reduced fat Cheez-Its vs Food Lion Cheese Crackers. While the reduced fat Cheez-it's were about 5 percent less in fat compared to Food Lion, their serving size was 27 crackers, while Food Lion's was 32 crackers. So that's about a 19% difference in serving size, and so the reduced fat savings are much less because you have to eat less crackers to achieve that value.

1a. Try to measure out your portions when it comes to snacking. Yes, I have sat and counted out 32 cheese crackers into a bowl and then put the box away so I don't overindulge.

2. Even if making your own versions of popular foods are about the same cost or nutrition value, you can avoid a lot of chemicals and crap in the processed food. Joshua got me hooked on mixing some strawberry preserves into plain yogurt since it makes a good strawberry yogurt. Well in making a comparison using Food Lion Non-fat Plain Yogurt and Food Lion Strawberry Preserves vs Food Lion Non-fat Strawberry Yogurt, nutritionally their serving sizes together are about the same, and the cost is about the same. However, in making my own yogurt, I am basically eating cultured milk, strawberries, high fructose corn syrup (okay so that's bad), sugar, pectin, and citric acid. If I ate the Food Lion Strawberry Yogurt, besides the above ingredients, I'd get a number of chemicals, dyes, and preservatives. Mmmmm, algae or crushed beetles anyone?

3. It's really easy to get decent food and shave off the fat. Case in point is Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans. They taste great and have no fat, plus they have lots of fiber, which is good for cholesterol. The one problem, it's a bit high in sugar, so not so great for those prone to diabetes.

4. Nayonnaise mixes great with tuna fish, including the fat free version. So you can make a completely fat free tuna fish sandwich if you combine it with a fat free bread. Throw a little hot sauce in the stuff and you've got a great lunch.

I'm sure I'll have more as time goes on, but it's a good start. I'm already developing a better mentality about how to handle myself nutritionally. I'm teaching myself how to take care of my cravings. I can tell I must be doing something right for my body because now I'm craving the worst stuff, yet I'm not touching it right now. Sure I do occasionally indulge, but now it's more of a treat than just a regular meal. Did I make and eat some rice krispies treats? Sure, but I did stretch it out for a few days, and I haven't eaten any for a couple of years, so it was a special treat.

I also do have the occasional bad moment, last night I was starving after getting home from rehearsal, despite having eaten dinner beforehand, and I had cheddar cheese and crackers. That's not something I should be eating, but oh well, as long as I don't start eating it every day. Still, tonight I whipped up some tuna and nayonnaise and had that on crackers...much better for me.