31 Days to a Better Diet: The roundup days 1 - 14
Posted by kathryn in Uncategorized
It’s now well into the second half of August, which means we’re also over half way through the 31 Days to a Better Diet series. How is everyone going?
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We’re half way through a month of posts on the topic of how to make your diet better. It’s not about broad, sweeping changes. Instead every day I’m suggesting a smaller, more easy to implement challenge designed to change what you eat and make your health better.
What’s happened so far.
In the introductory post I asked you to make a commitment.
Over the next month, how much time do you realistically have to make changes to your diet? It’s easy to over-commit and end up disappointing yourself, when you don’t follow through.
Being realistic is an important part of changing your health.
It’s easy to lose track of what you’re eating. You may think your diet is full of vegetables and well balanced, but is it really as good as you think?
When changing your diet it’s important to get a clear picture of what you’re doing now_, so challenge number two was to "_record everything you eat for seven days":/blog/2008/08/02/day-2-keep-a-diet-diary-for-a-week.
Eating a variety of foods is important. It’s the easiest way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
There are so many wonderful foods out there, it’s a shame to restrict your eating to the same foods week in and week out. On day 3 I asked readers to eat something from a food group they rarely consume.
In my opinion, one of the most useful things for making it easier to eat well at work is a stockpile of plastic containers. These make it easier to take your lunch to work.
Which saves money, but also means you can control what you eat and avoid the high fat, high sugar, high sodium options found in most food halls. “Get some plastic containers”:":/blog/2008/08/04/day-4-build-up-a-stock-of-useful-plastic-containers.
“I’ve learned to include ingredients I really like that may not be super low-cal, but are healthy and filling and make a salad something to look forward too”.
A post asking what are your hunger signs? It may seem like a funny question, but many people don’t know when they’re hungry, which is a problem. If you’re day is structured you may never get to the point where you’re actually hungry. People also mistake other signs for hunger, such as dehydration and tiredness.
On day 6 the task was to get acquainted with your hunger signs.
A task designed to increase cooking skills and confidence: take an ingredient from the back of your pantry and include it in dinner. Using up ingredients from the cupboard is a great way of increasing the scope of your diet. You already have the ingredient in the house. You’ve already been persuaded to eat that food. Now you just need to cook it.
A reminder to take some time over your meals. If you gobble down your food, thinking about everything but what you’re eating, how can you possibly be satisfied with your food?
This challenge was to switch off the TV, eat away from your desk, use a knife and fork. Savour, enjoy your food and spend some time over your meals.
This task was the second guest post in the 31 Days to a Better Diet series. This time from Mike Kinnaird of Habit Guide. Mike’s suggestion is to create a structure to your diet
This can be repeated each day and provides a simple framework, which takes the guesswork out of nutrition. Save yourself some time and create a structure.
Fitting all the vegetable serves into a day can seem overwhelming. However it’s much easier, if you spread the vegetables out. Adding a few to all your meals and snacks sets you up to easily reach the five a day target.
The challenge on day 10 therefore, was to include vegetables in every meal . . . even breakfast.
You might understand that criticism from others can affect your confidence. But did you know criticism from yourself can be even more damaging?
Negative self-talk can be constant and unrelenting, distorting your perceptions and making you feel bad. This post is about tuning in to your self-talk about food.
Another guest post, this time from Cassie of Veggie Meal Plans.
“I’ve learned to keep convenient vegetables and fruits on hand so I can add them to my plate with minimal effort. I don’t always have the energy to tackle fresh artichokes, but usually manage ten seconds to slice a cucumber to put on the side of a bowl of chilli.” Add more fruit and vegetables to your plate.
To avoid food becoming too much of a routine, my suggestion in this challenge was to flip your diet and _spend the day doing the opposite. Every time you eat something ask yourself what would I normally do – and then make a different choice.
Do the opposite, or just do something different. Get out of your routine and your comfort zone and flip your diet.
One easy way to increase the variety of foods you eat, is to change your bread.
Choosing a different loaf means you’re still eating a food you know and are used to, but you’re also adding to your nutrient intake. It’s a simple way to get that little bit more variety in what you eat. Don’t go for the same old thing, choose a different bread.
Others blogging about the 31 Days to a Better Diet series
A number of bloggers have been tracking their response to the challenges online.
- Tara has a round up of her first 14 days on Should You Eat That
- Battered Suitcase has been posting regular updates on her reactions to the daily tasks.
- Thermomixer took the Day 7 challenge of making something new for dinner and cooked a Shaddock & Shrimp Salad.
- Jenaveve from August Street has been following along.
- Grocer has posted details and pictures of what she ate during the first eight days of the challenge on Animal Vegetable Mineral
- Kalyn’s response at Kalyn’s Kitchen to including vegetables in every meal was a gorgeous looking red kale and onion breakfast frittata.