Your Eating Habits Won’t Change in 2013

Posted on January 3, 2013

There’s a huge difference between being conscious and being well-informed.

That being said, I have always been relatively health conscious, yet not informed enough to make sound dietary decisions. Through being conscious I’ve learned that our bodies are amazingly complex machines and they’ll usually find a way to recover from whatever we toss into it. That is, until our plan (or lack thereof) backfires and our body asks us, “what the fuck are you doing?” (Your body may be better at articulating; mine has a mouth from Jersey.)

Each year Tanya and I try to improve our knowledge on nutrition, health, wellness and exercise. We made huge strides in 2012 mostly by eating out less and investing what we used to spend on processed garbage on fresh produce instead. When we dine out it’s a treat, more-so for budget reasons, but also because we want to know exactly what is being put into our bodies.

The wife and I sporadically worked at Ruby Tuesday from 2005-2010 and consumed an abhorrent amount of frozen burgers, oil-soaked fries, butter-draped vegetables and sugar-laden sodas. For food service employees, this diet is the norm because it’s easier and it’s cheap. You also have to take into account the hours that these foods are being consumed. It wasn’t absurd to finish a dinner shift after 12:30 AM on a weekend. Naturally, I haven’t eaten in eight hours, I’m freakin’ starving. Do I want to drive down the road to the McDonald’s, go home and open a Lean Cuisine or get off my feet and sit down with my friends to enjoy a ginormous cheeseburger? I blame a huge portion of this on the practice of food industry HR departments giving discounts on food to employees. Brilliant strategy there. Make unhealthy food cheap as a “reward.”

Years of toxic eating like that will lead to health issues later on even if you manage to exercise on a frequent basis. Last year, Tanya and I vowed to at least keep track of exactly what we were eating (mostly accomplished by eating in and purchasing ingredients individually.) However, if we were going out to celebrate an occasion, we’d probably surrender our conscience and let loose. Go figure, right? Treat yourself by eating processed food. What a concept, America.

Recently, we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives. I’m a huge fan of documentaries, although I take everything I watch with a grain of salt. My take from these two movies is there’s no denying that as a nation, and individually, we can make better choices about how we consume and that our knowledge of nutrition sucks.

That said, Tanya and I have gone to an almost entirely water-based fluid diet, drinking 60-120 ounces per day and cutting soda out almost entirely. The occasional beer or glass of wine is here to stay.

As far as food goes, we eat dinner in almost every day and on occasion visit Subway (veggies/wheat bread,) Whole Foods or the like. We both bring lunch to work everyday instead of ordering in/eating out as well. (The cost savings alone is worth it!)

People will always tell you “eating healthier costs more!” Well, yea, I realize that. It does mean a higher cost of groceries, but if you eat out less then you’re most likely offsetting costs. The fact is that I’m willing to invest in my body and health rather than a meal out. Put a cost on that.

So again, we’ve made progress but we’re nowhere close to being truly healthy. We’re really interested in learning about nutrition and what a healthy daily intake should actually look like. On top of that we’re looking to replace a lot of the meat and dairy that we eat and find protein sources in other foods. Perhaps we’re on our way to vegetarian status, who knows? Is life without bacon one worth living? We’ll see.

To reference my first New Year’s resolution post, making small adjustments helps you make long term goals happen. It isn’t going to happen overnight so take it day by day. Learn in increments, digest what you like and throw out things you know you won’t maintain.

Here’s a great post (and another one here) from Peter Shankman on how he transformed his life by getting up earlier and paying attention to his daily habits. I usually avoid headlines that offer life-changing advice, however, those two links honestly will.

If you have any rants or stories about eating I’d love to discuss! Advice or resources that you found helpful are also welcome.

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