Conversations about optimal health.

Habit #6 – Shop where wellness is supported.

I love shopping at Wegmans’ Grocery Stores and Trader Joes but I find that I’m continuously triggered by their displays and choices. Even with a list, impulse buying and grabbing unhealthy food is hard for me to control.

My goal for the next 40 days is to stop eating refined sugar and flour and at Wegmans’ the baking aisle which leads to the deli aisle which leads eventually to the snack aisle is too much temptation. So I’ve started shopping at the local Coop which is set up with healthier options. Local produce, nuts, seeds, protein powders, dried fruit, whole wheat sour dough bread baked on the premises, organic dairy and eggs from free range chickens are available along with local dairy options. The meat counter is like an old fashioned butcher’s shop where grass fed beef and free range chicken along with pork from humanely treated hogs is handed over by an actual person. There is one snack aisle which I can avoid.

Based on past experience I decided that shopping at the Coop versus a mainstream store would be too expensive. To test that decision I went to the Coop with a list and a budgeted amount that I would normally use for Wegmans’. I was surprised to see that I spent the same amount on healthier options. So for me, the local health food store is a better place to buy food. At least for the next 40 days and then I think it will become a new habit.


Habit #5 Measure all Fats

It’s so easy to add extra calories with fats. One tablespoon of oil has 100 to 125 calories. So if you don’t measure you will end up with more fat in a recipe or on your food than you need. Keep a tablespoon measure handy and when you are making a peanut butter sandwich use 1 Tblsp per slice of bread. I know, the TV ads always show a whole knife full of peanut butter spreading like a tsunami over the bread, however, it’s surprising how far 1 tablespoon will go to make a satisfying sandwich.

Mayonnaise, cooking oil, olive oil, butter, nut butters and salad dressings w oil all need to be measured if you want to improve your diet and lose weight. For most recipes it only takes 1 tablespoon of oil to sauté an onion. Or when you eat a salad place the dressing in a small container to the side of your plate and dip your fork into the dressing before you fork up your bite of salad. Fats add flavor so add them to your food, just get into the habit of keeping track of how much fat is in your diet by measuring it before you eat.

Overcoming, Results and Rewards

Following my new habits for the first 90 days produced measurable results, especially with weight loss. It was an exciting time, the visible changes motivated me to continue with my wellness plan. Then, the second 90 days, not so much. This is the time when my new habits were tested. Life and the deep triggers toward addiction surfaced. The question on my mind was, “will I be able to do this long term even if the results are slow?”

I realized that longterm change is harder when there are challenges to my new routines. Family gatherings, birthdays, eating out, emotional upheaval all happened in July. Also, a set point in my weight loss continued for the whole month. My usual go to for handling challenges is sugar but that is off the table now. Like I said earlier, this was a testing month. Do I have the right habits in place to make healthy choices no matter the circumstances?

The answer is yes and keep going no matter what. August has been a breakthrough month. Less weight and making healthy choices even when traveling. I’ve eaten a sugary dessert 4 times and actually left one dessert uneaten because it wasn’t worth the calories. I no longer have to think about my new habits but I do have to keep logging my food choices. There is still an urge to return to former unhealthy ways when I’m tired or discouraged. So on to September and the next 90 days. I will keep you posted and if you are stuck in your journey toward optimal health trust your new habits and don’t give up.