Better Diet Challenge Week 1 & 2 Round-up

I was meant to do this last Monday. Hmmm… doesn’t life get in the way sometimes! It was my birthday last weekend, so I was quite busy with all thos celebrations. Then I had 2 assignments due at uni this week, which is kind of annoying so early in the semester, but at least they are out of the way now. So, how have my diet changes been going?

Loose ends from last week:

Diet Diary – Well I kept an honest & accurate food diary all of last week and although I haven’t put it through my nutritional analysis program yet, I have learnt quite a lot from the experience.

What are your patterns? I tend to eat breakfast quite late (or sometimes not at all) and it is usually something very light. I need to get into the habit of starting my day better & having something more than a mug of Milo! Also I eat too much junk in the evenings, after dinner. I need to start replacing the chocolate with fruit or something healthy.

Were you surprised by the diary? Not really, as I am studying nutrition I was already quite aware (& ashamed!) of the pitfalls of my current diet.

Do you eat what you think you eat? Yeah, I was already pretty conscious of my eating habits, I know I need to change them!

When are you most likely to over-eat? When there is chocolate in the house! When I have friends over, we have weekly girls nights and I think I need to start making fruit salad to share instead of us scoffing down chocolate or chips or ice cream. Also after dinner is another weak time for me, I always crave something sweet after dinner (pretty much as soon as I have finished eating my meal) and this usually takes an unhealthy form. I am going to try and ignore the craving for half an hour and if it persists I will eat fruit.

When are you most hungry? I don’t really get hungry times, just cravings.

Eat from a food group you rarely eat – Fish update!! I had tuna on my sandwhich last Wednesday and absolutely loved it, I had it with avocado, mayonaise, mustard, lettuce & tomato and it was great. However, I didn’t use the whole can and left the rest for the next day – big mistake! It was so much fishier on the Thursday and I think it has unfortunately put me off tuna again because I haven’t been able to touch it since. Ick. I think I will give Salmon a try as a couple of people have told me it is less fishy. Also, on Saturday we had fish & chips for lunch and I got some grilled fish, I would normally just stick to the chips & potato cakes. The fish was really nice and it filled me up a bit so I didn’t eat many chips, which was a bonus. The hard thing is making it a habit to eat more fish, I think that will take some time.

Plastic containers

- Unfortunately I have been too busy with birthday celebrations over the weekend and university assignments this week that I haven’t had time to clean up my plastics cupboard. Next week perhaps?

Day 5 – Salad Splurges

I’m not much of a salad eater, especially in Winter. I think my main problem is that I am not much of a greenery fan, I don’t mind baby spinach or regular lettuce occasionally, but rocket and all those bitter ones are really not my thing! After this daily challenge I have been trying to eat more salad. I’ve had a really nice salad the last couple of days for lunch – no greenery in sight. I just halved some cherry tomatoes and baby bocconcini, dolloped some basil & cashew chunky dip over the top and drizzled it with some balsamic vinegar – delicious! I also really love a warm salad with roast pumpkin, red onions, baby spinach and pinenuts. Maybe I will make that for dinner over the weekend.

Day 6 – Do you know when you’re hungry?

This is a bit of a problem for me. Ever since I got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes I don’t really feel ‘hunger’ all that much anymore. The problem is that when I was on multiple daily insulin injections I had to eat at regular intervals to keep my sugar levels stable, so I was just in the habit of eating at certain times. If I left myself without food for too long I was not only going to feel hungry, irritable and have lower concentration as most people would, but I would be risking my sugar level going too low and possibly even going into a coma.

Now that I am on the insulin pump I have a bit more flexibility with my meal times (without getting too technical, there is no ‘background’ insulin that causes peaks and troughs in my sugar levels), but I still tend to eat at regular times. I am just in the habit of doing so and if I happen to leave a meal too long I am more likely to feel like I ‘should’ be eating rather than feeling a rumble in my tummy. Sometimes if I leave it too long I get a headache or in rare ocassions my sugar level drops.

I would really love to get back in contact with my hunger mechanisms because at the moment I just eat what is on my plate without really thinking about if I am full or not. I don’t like to waste food and I usually decide on my insulin dose (which is based on how much carbohydrates are in my meal) before I start eating – because it is much easier to judge what a plate is worth rather than how much what I have just eaten is worth. So I am going to work on getting around that in the next week, judging it before hand but not taking the insulin until afterwards based on how much I eat. I’m going to eat slower and be more conscious of what I am eating and try to get back in touch with my hunger.

Day 7 – Practice cooking & make something new for dinner

So I haven’t done this one yet, but I love the idea of it. We are moving soon and I swear there are things in that cupboard that have moved house with me 5 or 6 times (I rent and move around a lot!). This week I am going to use up at least 2 things out of the cupboard.

Day 8 – Spend some time on your meals today

See Day 6 above.

Day 9 – Create a structure

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now. I’ve always just found it so complicated with all the different things that you need to fit into your day. But I guess I should get used to doing it myself before I need to advise others on how to do it! I think my major problems are that I don’t eat enough snacks (due to my lack of hunger mechanism), which means it is very hard to fit everything I need into my day. As mentioned earlier, I then get very hungry after dinner and end up eating junk. So, first step is figuring out what I need to eat each day.

I know I should be eating 5 serves of vegetables & 2 serves of fruit each day, and I also know I usually fall drastically short of this! I also need 2-3 serves of dairy a day & at least 4 serves of grains/cereals/pasta/etc. Most Australians eat way more protein than they need to and after doing my diet diary for uni a couple of weeks ago I know that I do too. So, I have come up with the following structure and I am going to try to stick to it as much as possible this week and see how it goes.

On rising: Fruit

Post Exercise/Breakfast: Grains & Dairy

Lunch: Grains, Protein & Vegetables (2)

Afternoon snack: Dairy & Grains

Dinner: Grains, Protein, Vegetables (3)

Post dinner: Fruit & Dairy

Day 10 – Include vegetables in every meal

I’m not so sure about this one. I mean, I agree that it is a good idea to spread them out rather than trying to eat them all at once, but I just don’t see myself wanting to face vegetables first thing in the morning. I don’t mind a lovely baked breakfast with mushrooms, tomatoes, etc on the weekend, but for some reason during the week I just can’t see myself doing it on a regular basis. Maybe it is the time factor.

As you can see from my structure plan above, I do plan on starting to eat more vegetable for lunch. For me, this would normally only consist of some lettuce and tomato on my sandwhich, so I am going to broaden my horizens there. Add more vegies to my sandwhiches, or have vegie sticks with some low fat dip. Just mix it up a little.

Day 11 – Tune into your self-talk

I think my self-talk usually goes along the lines of “It’s too hard to eat healthily”, so I need to work on that, which I am obviously doing at the moment. I also do fall into the trap of telling myself “I can’t have chocolate/chips/ice cream in the house or I will have to eat it all”. I’ve already started working on this one when I was given 2 boxes of chocolates for my birthday last weekend and I have made an effort not to eat them all at once. In fact, I didn’t touch either box for 5 days and a week later I still have over 3/4 of them left. So that is pretty good, I also shared some with my boyfriend so I won’t have to eat them all.

Day 12 – Mindful eating

See Day 6 above.

Day 13 – Opposite day

I’m going to try this one this week as well. Although, I am already making quite a few changes that would go against my usual decisions anyway. I think this one will be good to keep in mind in the long run when I start getting stuck in ruts again. It will be good to use it to challenge what I am doing and get back out of the ruts.

Day 14 – Choose a different bread

As someone who used to work in a bakery, I find this one quite interesting. It was amazing how angry & annoyed people would get if we had sold out of their favourite bread. It used to amuse me to no end how abusive and childish customers would get simply because we didn’t have any more wholemeal, or even sometimes if we just didnt have any wholemeal with poppy seeds (but there were plain wholemeal or wholemeal with sesame seeds still on the shelves). People are so stuck in their ways that they couldn’t bare to use the opportunity to try something different (even something as small as trying a different seed or different shape!).

When I was working there I got to try lotsof different breads because I could take whatever I wanted at the end of the day (with the rest going to charity). However, since I have finished up there (about 2 months ago), I haven’t been as adventurous with my bread. Partly because I am not so used to paying for my bread! But this week I am going to be a good girl and buy something other than the really bad for me white bread I have got into the habit of buying now. I like bread with grains, I don’t even know why I am buying the white bread!

Apologies for the really long and wordy post. I will try to make sure I do this weekly from now on so it isn’t such a huge post! Oh, and I promise to write about a recipe again soon.

2 thoughts on “Better Diet Challenge Week 1 & 2 Round-up

  1. Why should you apologize about writing a long post?

    Which nutrition program do you use, and is it available out there somewhere (hopefully for free)?

    For the tuna: make it all up into a tuna salad, and then it won’t bug you the next day. Try adapting this recipe maybe. What we used to do when we would eat tuna, though, was to include diced apples, curry powder, raisins, spicy wholegrain mustard, mayonnaise, and diced onion. That way, there was really no question of it being fishy!

  2. I like your day 11 entry… don’t you love/hate getting chockies for your birthday??

    Happy birthday by the way! I hope it was a lovely one.

    And I’m with you – I have to promise to do this weekly because I started off with the food diary bit… and left it there! Bad, bad, bad. Life gets in the way of blogging sometimes, hehe.

    On the tuna – I love tuna. But there’s some canned varieties that are a bit blerk! Try a few different ones. I don’t mind the one in olive oil; the plain one in springwater is VERY tuna-ish, if you know what I mean, so if you’re unsure about it, maybe try a couple of others. And they’re great with a bit of cottage cheese stirred through…

What do you think?