Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Resolving to Evolve

It’s January 31st, and I’m a month into a number of personal resolutions. To some people, most people, stuff like this is nonsense. A day is a day and a year is a  year, and they don’t ever change their habits or lifestyles. It is what it is. And maybe you are perfect, or maybe you don’t care, but I am neither. I want more.

I’ve found that I need to set guidelines, tricks for my mind to remember and goals that will motivate me, otherwise, nothing will ever change. I have a default setting, and it’s lazy and involves pizza.  We all make mistakes, but I do All I Can – that is what Sharon Van Etten is singing at this very moment as I am writing this. Fitting. True.

Happy to say I’ve stayed 98% true to my ‘No Wheat January’ goal. Made an exception last Friday for a beer, lest I die by whiskey old fashions, but have maintained the diet otherwise. No bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, etc. etc.  I feel great.

But going without has taught me something about extremes, and the way it can be compensated by other things that aren’t necessarily good. For February and on, I need to evaluate finding balance. Not the ‘all or nothing’ propositions that resolutions often are.  Strive for improvement, but don’t over-correct.

Moving forward, I’m still saying no to wheat, but if I’m eating out with friends and there’s shared things, I’m not going to say no. My lifestyle isn’t going to be reworked.

Some of my other resolutions have been additions, not prohibitions, and they will continue. Daily multi-vitamin and salmon oil pills. Regular shots of wheat grass (yum). Fruit Every Day (my new motto) – I like an orange for breakfast (blood oranges are in season and are delicious) and some other type of fruit for afternoon snack. Vegetables, Vegetables, Vegetables – in multitude and with variety. I cooked a collard green side dish the other weekend, great stuff. I made a beans and root vegetable variety stew (carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes), also great. Experimenting with new vegetables is making me a better cook, on top of the number one reason why I do anything, it’s fun. Throw in stretching, exercising, and drinking lots of water, and I’m built to last!

So that is what I have going on, in addition to lots of other personal and professional goals that I’m not going to spell out.  But they are in the same vein – daily and weekly goals that help remind and motivate me to do certain things.  And if you haven’t set any resolutions for yourself yet, it’s not too late. In fact, I found one article suggesting February is a better time to start anyway!

I’m inviting everyone to join me in my top goal – Fruit Feb. I’m doing 2 pieces a day, you can go with one.  But make it every day!

Benefits of Fruit

• Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
• Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
• Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, anthocyanins. These compounds, firstly, help body protect from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and secondly, help body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant values which is something measured by their "Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity" or ORAC.
• Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some "blue fruits" like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberries, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.
• Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants which helps body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs in the human body. The overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite!

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