In December 2017 I had to have knee surgery. I tore my ACL, Meniscus and MCL with one false jump on a trampoline. More about that surgery and recovery (still going) in a future post. I still have PTSD and can’t bring myself to write about it now! Truth.
Prior to surgery I had always been someone who worked out. I did a good mix of cardio and light weights. Thanks to my workout program, a reasonably healthy diet and genetics I’ve stayed in shape. But that all came to an abrupt halt when the exercise had to be put on pause for nearly a year thanks to a very difficult recovery.
I found myself gaining more weight than usual. My diet become uber important given how sedentary my life had become. Notice I didn’t say “dieting became uber important.” Diet and dieting are two different animals. The first I’m all for. The second I’m not. One is a life change, the other is a quick fix and will not sustain itself.
I called the physical trainer I used before the surgery to ask about my diet. She encouraged me to make five changes. All of them small changes, but all of them doable. When I stick to these changes I absolutely see changes. When I don’t stick to them for a few weeks those jeans get tight again. Oh, the rollercoaster of womanhood and aging! Here are her suggestions:
Protein, protein and more protein
Add as much protein as you can to your diet. It fills you help, it the only thing that makes you build muscle and is essential to maintaining and losing weight.
I make hard boiled eggs to have ready for snacking. In the morning I eat three eggs, all with the yolks. She recommends one yolk and two egg whites but I’ve recently had blood work done and my cholesterol is in tip-top shape. Yours may be different so watch the yolks. Keep the egg whites though! Throughout the day when I’m hungry I grab another egg or two.
You can scramble the eggs, cook them over easy, however you want, but eggs are your friend!!! Make them accessible.
Say no to Sugar Comas
Sugar is super addicting. Once you have a taste you crave more. It’s true. There’s science on this. Test it – have some cookies in the morning and see what happens to what you eat the rest of the day. The less sugar you eat, the less you’ll crave it! I promise!
That yogurt lowfat you’re eating thinking it’s healthy? Look at the label. Chances are the sugar percentage is either the same or higher than the fully leaded kind. Examine all labels for sugar and protein. Buy for high protein, high fiber and less sugar. I’m a Greek Yogurt lover (but not brands like Chibani or ones mixed with fruit!!! That is not the same! Read labels. They are so much sugar!I love the Fage 2%. Mix in some berries and you are set.
In Case of Emergency break Glass
We all have days when it’s impossible to stop and eat healthy. Keep protein high snacks everywhere – your purse, your car, the diaper bag, hidden in your bra, wherever. The protein snacks will fill you up, lower your sugar cravings and you’ll stay on track.
Well. Darn. You know what I’m going to say. And I’m looking at myself here, too on this guys. I’m super guilty of this! Wine = waisted calories and lots of sugar. You know it’s true. I know it’s true. But it’s so upsetting. I try to cut as much as I can while being realistic.
My husband recently switched to La Croix on weekdays and alcohol on weekends. It’s helping so much! Now if only I could make the switch! The weeks I cut back I see an almost immediate difference in my belly size!
Flush that stuff out! Fiber is filling and essential. Be conscious about your fiber intake and supplement if necessary.
Suggested Food Changes:
- Eat Granny Smith apples instead of Red Delicious. Granny Smith apples have less sugar and more fiber!
- Get your sugar from fruit.
- Use almond butter instead of regular peanut butter. Mix Almond Butter with celery for a great combo of protein and fiber. I can’t help but add raisins (ants on a log anyone?!) because I love the sweetness but I try and resist the sugar on days I feel strong! 😀
- Great protein snacks – eggs, almond butter and celery. I also buy protein bars – but watch the labels!!!! They can be deceptive!
- Buy a pre-made rotisserie chicken to have around for snacking.
- Skim Mozzarella Sticks are good protein snacks, too.
- Almonds are an awesome snack, but don’t overdo it. You need to restrict the amount to maybe 12-15 maximum. Trader Joe’s sells them in individual packs so I throw some in my car and purse to have in emergencies! Be sure to buy raw almonds. Nothing else on them like salt!
- Add some Fiber One into your cheat cereal. I do this so I get some fiber while still getting some sweetness.
- Lentil soup – look at the labels. Find some healthy versions and heat these up for great snacks or lunches!
- My black eyed pea recipe is crazy healthy and delicious. Really excellent source of both fiber and protein! Read that recipe here!
Those are all pretty easy, right? For me it’s about just being more aware of my food and not “dieting.” I do not believe in dieting. Make better choices, move your body and you’ll be fine. We’ll all be fine. We don’t need wine. We can do this. Whose with me? OK crickets on that, but how about eating green apples instead of red? We can do that, right?! 😂