Once I realized that I needed to eat better I started buying more fruits and vegetables. I put a fruit bowl on the kitchen island and my veggie crisper in the fridge has lettuce and tomatoes and fresh broccoli. Sounds amazing, right! As it turns out, I hate veggies. I hate onions and peppers. I gag on Kale and I can’t stomach squash or beets. The idea of radishes makes me vomit just little into the back of my throat. Celery is the vegetable version of the devil to me and carrots are the anti-food, but cucumbers aren’t so bad! I can stomach cabbage, as long as it’s wrapped around a gob of beef and smothered in tomato sauce, but that’s about my limit. So, I thought my idea of keeping healthy would be to pack my lunch bag full of “healthy, nutritious fruits!” Sounds good, right! I would get to the office and rather than pick from that plate of cookies that someone put out in the break room, I was able reach into my bag and nibble on an apple or have a handful of grapes! I became very proficient at picking out the most perfectly ripe mangos. The trick is to pick them not by color but by firmness. Too soft and they may be brown and mushy on the inside. Too hard and they’ll too bitter. You have to get them just between and they’re perfect. I was amazed at how well I was doing and proud of the choices I was making. The only problem is that I was getting way too much sugar in my diet!
Despite how much healthier an apple is over a candy bar, snacking on an apple, and then mindlessly grabbing for grapes to hold you over until lunch is just loading your body with sugars. Just one cup of green, seedless grapes hold 25 grams of sugar and 110 calories. With the cup of yogurt I was eating (65 grams of sugar and 160 calories) I was getting way more sugar than I needed. Rather than my body burning calories, it was burning sugar and carbohydrates. Meanwhile, the excess calories are being converted over fat because my body is starving and afraid that I won’t be eating for a while.
So how can I correct this?
First of all, I need to cut down on the fruits that are highest in sugars. I also need to get over my dislike for vegetables. I mean, I can get some cucumbers and broccoli to replace my grapes and mangos. I can make more salads and incorporate brussel sprouts into my lunch meals (I actually like brussle sprouts). I do like spinach, so I can make salads from spinach, but I need to stay away from the canned spinach, which is extremely high in sodium.
I’m looking in my lunch bag for today and I have a ham and turkey sandwich with American cheese. When I enter that meal into my food journal, it shows as being more than 500 calories and having more than 2,000 grams of sodium. (sigh) I’ll be donating my lunch to the homeless and ordering a salad today. Perhaps a spinach salad?