Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm working on my diet. No, don't mean diet in terms of restricting food intake to lose weight. I mean diet in terms of the overall overview of what I eat.

My big diet/eating success came sometime last year when I realized that having breakfast everyday had become a habit. Until last year I hadn't regularly eaten breakfast since high school and only then because my mother had made it a habit when I was growing up. When I moved out, eating breakfast everyday went out the window as quickly as vacuuming weekly did.

Strangely enough it was my early morning swims that got me back into eating the "most important meal of the day." I realized I had way more energy if I had something to eat prior to swimming. There was trial and error - gels, energy bars and anything with lots of dairy proved to be very bad ideas while oatmeal was perfect. Oatmeal had the added benefit of needing more time to make thus requiring me to get out of bed in time to make it, thus making me more able to catch my bus (don't ask me to explain Alison Logic, just accept that it works for me and move on).

Then it occured to me that if I could make and consume a bowl of oatmeal in time to leave the house at 6am I should be able to do the same when I was leaving at 7:30. Voila, a habit was born!

My second diet project was to spend less money on food. No, I didn't start dumpster diving or coupon cutting, I stopped buying lunch. For those people who are lifelong brown baggers this may not sound like a big deal, but for someone who is organizationally challenged and also happens to work in the midst of the lunchtime Mecca that is downtown Vancouver, this was a challenge. I stocked the work freezer with bagels, the fridge with veggies, made mega slow cooker meals and other dinners that produced lots of left overs and so far have managed not to buy lunch once in 2009. Not only have I been saving money, I'm eating far healthier meals.

Having had success with the no buying of lunch I decided to cut back on other unecessary dining out. You know, the take away Thai on nights when I just didn't want to cook or delivery pizza because I survived Tuesday. I'm giving myself one dine out meal a week (no carry over from past weeks and no borrowing from future ones), be that lunch, brunch, dinner, what have you so I can't waste it on something pointless. Exceptions to accommodate events such as the March/April birthday-o-rama (I have too many friends who're Aries) will have to be made but in general it's working to get me to spend a bit less. Oh yeah, and eat healthier food.

So my new dining challenge is fruit. I need to eat more. I've been trying to incorporate two fruits per day but haven't had much success. I manage lots of vegetables, just not so much on the fruit front. I'm not quite sure how to get this campaign to work, maybe I need some good Maoist sloggans or a serious incentive, I'm just feeling a little uncreative. Suggestions are welcomed.


Amy said...

I'm the opposite. I have trouble eating enough veggies but fruit for me is easy. I take at least 1 piece (apple or orange) to work and eat it at my desk around 10 when the belly demands food but it's still too early to eat lunch. And then I try to have one either when I get home or as dessert after dinner. Sliced apple with a bit of cheddar cheese or peanut butter is fab.

Alison said...

Part of the problem is that fruit on its own doesn't fill me up, it just delays the onset of snacking. That said, Honey Crisp apples with aged cheddar are currently one of my favorite things. Unfortunately I keep running out of cheese.

For dinner I use a two veggie rule - I must have two different veggies, they must be different colours and only one can come from the freezer or a can/jar. As lunch is usually left over dinner this covers me for veg for the day.