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Sam's Habit #1: Vegetable Attitude!!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

My number one good habit would have to be my vegetable attitude.
And this was not always true. Though we always had a salad and one or two veggies with dinner while I was growing up and I followed suit for the first two decades of adulthood in my own home, stomach problems through the good habit into a tailsping. So.... then I developed problems digesting most foods, especially veggies, because of a 5-year-long IBS, colonitis, divitriculitis triple whammy. Once it all went away, my doc stressed I needed to up my fiber -veggies galore- to avoid having some of the problems in the future. Took a dull diet plan and lots of meds to reach that point.

Vegetables were like condiments: I quickly plopped on the plate veggies that went with the meat and starches (potato, rice, pasta...) Now? Veggies are the main attraction, and the meat and grains are secondary.
How did this change evolve? Time, reading, and mostly.... because I spent lots of time, energy and thought to "working through" the SP Diet Stages. Yup, I'm a strong proponent of the Stages; they, with F.I.R.E. as their foundation, are what makes this site WORK!!
Why do I think the stags are so important? Start with this thought: Our habits are "where it's at" when we consider goals... and making changes so that we can attain them!

So working through the Stages gives solid focus - not skimming through the 'activities' and articles! - to better understanding ourselves, to unmasking ingrained habits... and deciding which ones may be undermining our efforts to make changes. Whether we strive to lose weight, strengthen muscles for an athletic competition, attack an existing physical problem or something else: the fact is that the best way to approach change is to completely understand what it is that we are trying to change. And the slow, methodical process of those Diet Stages can guide us toward where we want to be.... if we avail ourselves of the opportunity!

Let's talk about a few habits, here in my blog.

Since so many come here for weightloss or health, one of the first noticeable habits is how we perceive and ingest food. So actually, since food is a pretty broad category, I'd like to consider Habit #1 to be... Our attitude toward vegetables.

Consider the composition of the plate.
What is the balance? Are starches and proteins the main event? SHOULD they be what takes up most space?

A common habit among many people is thinking of vegetables as a last-minute side dish that 'has' to be plopped on the plate.... and usually its proportions are miniscule compared to the slab of meat and plopping of starchy-whatever that are there.
Anyone who has had cancer, osteoporosis or many other illnesses will confirm that the doctors and dieticians stress the importance of a wide variety of vegetables in the diet. Vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and not only can ward off illnesses, and help with weighty issues... and… sometimes we can slowly change the way we THINK about something... and that's what the SP diet stage about Habits helps us do! Heck, that’s what SP’s all about: making little changes that add up to create a better, healthier way of living, of Doing Life! The majority seem to join to lose weight or get a handle on an already existing health problem, but some join for support while training for sports, marathons, etc. It’s just all about health and whatever we need to do to make the most of what we’ve got. Veggies? They’re an important part of healthy living…

A good guideline for considering what vegetables to include in week's menu is to have variety.

Variety in type, in color. Selecting vegetables with deep or bright colors is wise, as is incorporating dark leafy greens. Compare nutritional information for iceberg lettuce to other choices and decide which is the healthier option for tomorrow night's salad!

When I first started to increase my vegetables, it felt like a burden. Since I don't like being bothered with food (am an undereater, and a person who when stressed or busy simply forgets to eat.... all day, until the headache can't be avoided), just thinking about vegetable selection as 'important' was a huge challenge. Over time - lots of it - my attitude changed from 'having' to include vegetables to (now) using a bikini plate 'formula' for meal-planning.

Vegetables are now the Main Event in my meals!
Frankly, that's a pretty healthy approach for the majority of people.
And truly worth your while to explore as an option... whatever your goals for healthy living may be!!
Not familiar with the bikini plate idea? Check out this article:
......... "The Bikini Diet
.................A Fun & Easy Way to Slim Down for Summer"
---------------- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian

I hope that after reading my thoughts above, you'll be encouraged to do a bit of introspection and if you don't already have one: I hope you gain a Vegetable Attitude. For your health... and... even enjoyment.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CTOMEK1-123
    I thought it was very well written Sam! Made me stop and think
    3201 days ago
    Excellent blog. I really love my vegetables. Growing up in Greece just after WWII, we relied on the land. Meat was maybe twice a year or Feast Days. We grew our own and now we learn a lot of those wid greens are so healthy. Go the greens (and all veg). emoticon emoticon
    3201 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon for veggies!
    3201 days ago
    I've got a veggie attitude but I did get some reminders from your blog. Thanks!
    3201 days ago
  • ZELDA13
    I was fortunate that veggies were always on our plates and used as snacks when I was growing up. At least 2 veggies and often a salad with dinner. My kids still love veggies also. When they visit, I still cut up a huge plate of cucumber, carrots, celery, peppers and broccoli and whatever else looks good, and they are now grown men. This is what they munch on. My new favorite is kale. I LOVE it as a salad! I tried kale chips and wasn't a fan, but raw-YUM!

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    3201 days ago
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