Anyone who has known me for a good period of time KNOWS that I struggle with my weight. Constantly. I am always trying to eat healthfully without going overboard. I have hung around the “disordered eating” space most of my life, although I’ve left a lot of those patterns behind since I had my girls.
This pregnancy, I’ve been hyper-conscious of taking care of my health, because of the obvious: geriatric pandemic pregnancy. I tried to take a different approach this time, though, and it really seems to be helping me. Instead of trying to eat LESS, I’ve been focused on eating MORE.
As in, MORE fruits and vegetables.
I broke it into four monthly goals:
November: Eat a fruit at every meal – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
December: Eat a veggie at breakfast.
January: Eat a veggie at lunch.
February: Eat two veggies at dinner (white potatoes don’t count).
When you add it all up, it’s a lot of produce. I’m not limiting anything else pe se, but when you put a fruit and two veggies on your plate at dinner, there’s not a ton of room for much else. If I’m still hungry, I’ll go grab seconds, and I don’t feel bad about it. And I’m super-confident this baby is getting all the nutrients it needs.
Breakfast is probably the hardest/most boring. I often have a smoothie with spinach in it (or sometimes carrot or cucumber) and lots of fruit…frozen mango, pineapple, banana, with a side of avocado toast. (I’m not concerned about sugar/carbs, but I don’t add juice or anything else. Just straight fruit/veg.) If I’m sick of smoothies, I’ll have some kind of microwave veggie omelette in a cup with grapefruit. Not a lot of variety here! I haven’t figured out how to have veggies with yogurt or veggies and oatmeal and like it.
Lunch is easy…we almost always have leftover roasted broccoli or brussel sprouts or salad greens and I have an apple or pear most days. IMO, these things go with EVERYTHING. Sometimes it’s PB&J, sometimes it’s a big, noble salad, sometimes it’s ramen. After a couple of months, adding fruit and veggies as a side to ANYTHING is becoming a habit.
Dinner looks the same as it always did…with more produce at the same time. We always had SOME kind of veggie, so we just had to add a second. (I allow beans to count in a pinch if we are out of salad.) The girls have always eaten SOME kind of fruit at dinner, and I just had to put that on my plate (and Don’s!) as well.
Doing this in little monthly chunks made it pretty easy to accomplish! Starting with fruit was smart, because it requires ZERO effort, really. It was usually there, I just needed to be disciplined enough to choose it. The veggies needed a little more forethought (having spinach and salad on hand at all times, cutting peppers for omelettes in advance, buying some frozen items for last-minute veggie emergencies).
I’m hopeful these new habits stick once I’m back out in the world. It’s pretty easy to follow routines when you’ve barely left the house in a year. The challenge will be thinking ahead a bit and making this stuff happen when I’m regularly bringing carryout home for dinner after a long day of travel or eating lunch on the road with a colleague most days. But just like everything with the pandemic…if I just wait, this will all work itself out. More to come!