Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Frugal eating

Now that the living situation 2011 is more or less completed (well, still "moving" but lease signed on new apartment and I am in transition through April), I am moving on to improving my health 2011 in a more fcused way.

Oh, and because the all-consuming student project is over and the alternative is doing my own research... wow, distractions masquerading as health concerns. Good for me!

  • I will sign up for a new series of yoga classes (8-10 weeks)
  • I will make certain to ride my bike to school twice weekly (which means pre-planning my a.m. adventures) or three times total for 30-minutes each
  • I will embrace 3 meals/2 snacks a day, including high protein, no alcohol, fresh fruit & vegetables menu plan
I want to improve my basic physical health and get on the way to losing twenty pounds or so. I am most concerned, really about my joints and lung capacity more than anything. My heart, cholesterol, and moods are good and strong, so it's mostly about maintaining my independence by keeping able.

Thee's suddenly a lot of buzz on this side of the ocean about the Dukan diet, because it is being "Americanized" -- meaning published by Crown. On sabbatical in Fall 2008, I got interested in the Dukan diet and, between August and December, lost fifteen pounds, tightened up my flesh, and came home looking and feeling so much improved people commented on it for two months... but by summer I was back in the same kinda lousy shape.

What did I like about Dukan's diet?
  • focus on portion -- which is easier in France than here (no "all you can eat" buffets, no super-sized servings). In France the only thing that gets served in heaping portions is salad.
  • focus on lean protein, fresh (meaning organic) vegetables and fruit
  • integration of both oat bran and water
  • elimination of sugar including alcohol (even wine!)
  • intelligent, mindful eating that sets up a lifestyle, not a "diet" as if it is over once I hit a number on a scale
Why is this about new frugality?

First, taking care of my health saves money down the road by keeping me active, happy, connected, and upright keeps me out of the hospital, doing my job, and well, happy. Happy for insurance, happy for me.

Second, eating like this -- even with a focus on fresh, organic vegetables and organic, lean meats and fish -- again saves money in the long run because I eat less but better food. It requires cooking -- no fast food or processed food -- which again requires more mindful planning and eating. But better ingredients in, better life out.

Third, abstaining from alcohol will definitely save money. I drank wine at home and cocktails or beer at restaurants, which regularly ran me $6 to $20 per meal. While drinking more water will improve my skin, my hair, and my whole system... and it's free. In fact, drinking cold water burns calories.

Fourth, Dukan's diet builds on moderate, daily exercise in your routine, like walking or biking, cleaning, carrying groceries. Parking farther away at the grocery store, biking to the grocery store (easy in the new apartment!), and this again initiates a pattern of consistent, engaged exercise. An evening stroll. Yoga classes. And free exercise -- like walking or biking -- improves my health and saves money.

Dukan does build in pleasure, as well. Once you've established a "lifestle" of healthy, mindful eating, there are two meals weekly that include "all you can eat" and wine and sweets. What I loved, however, was that I quickly grew out of wanting the carb-loaded pasta, bread, or wine I had been downing and felt both full and replete without a sugar craving. I literally stopped buying or drinking wine, bread, pasta, potatoes, pastries, candy and anything else that had these ingredients. I felt satisfied and fueled, had energy, lost weight without gym humping, and the only thing I didn't ever enjoy was the French version of cottage cheese, which is more like a "light" sour cream. Ugh.

Overall, that's the end result. Improving my health and, as a side bonus, saving money now and when I'm 70 and still have the same hip/knee/shoulder joints, am mobile -- which for me means walking, not riding a moto-car because of weight, overburdened joints, weak lungs. Not paying loads of money for prescriptions for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., etc., etc.. Right now I am lucky: a middle-aged woman without daily medication, no serious conditions, and good mental health. I want to stay that way, especially as my baby-boomer peers continue to age right alongside me while the monies for public health care dwindle.

1 comment:

  1. This is the first I have heard of this diet...sounds similar to what I eat already, except I do like my beans. Are those in this diet?


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