Today I was supposed to get blood work. I wanted to only do one test at a time to save cost. I have other very important financial obligations. I did not want to choose between, so I was going to do one or two in sets. I am one of the millions of Americans who does not have insurance because of a preexisting condition. I can get insurance, but it is a pain to try to work with the system. Also, the premiums are vastly more expensive.
I asked about doing one part of blood work, then the woman giving me a ride told me I would need to get separate forms for each test if I want to do it that way. This just means going back to my doctor and get new forms. I wish I had known the price from the beginning, but anyway . . . c’est la vie.
The blood tests are important. I need to know some levels of a medicine I take as well as cholesterol levels and other stats. I’ll be calling the doctor’s office to make sure to order a new set of testing forms. We’ll have to try this again. I’ve been meaning to do it for too long. With the medicine I take, blood levels are essential.
Despite my commitment to an overall healthy lifestyle, I do not always eat picture-perfect foods. I almost never eat cheese or other dairy or eggs or real butter. I especially do not like to eat animal flesh of all types.
Yesterday I had a major transgression in the dairy department — Domino’s Pacific Veggie Pizza. They made a mistake and forgot my thin crust. I don’t mind too much. I try not to be too hard on delivery people and waiters. It was tasty, but I wouldn’t do it often. I feel somewhat sad for the lives of the animals, but I know it is better for me personally not to kill myself with obsession. Many people would say I should be more vigilant, and I would see your point. I would have been in that camp about ten years ago. Moderation is more my style these days, and I have my reasons to include mental wellness as well as the physical. It’s a balancing exercise. It’s okay for me, and I live with my imperfections as a sign of emotional health.
One cheat is not a recipe for disaster, however. I do not do this every day. Most of the time I eat a diet (not a fad diet, but here where the word “diet” should be interpreted to mean the menu I choose to compose for my daily eating) consisting of whole grains, leafy greens, some starchy veggies (little) such as peas or corn, fruit, a bit of soy, beans or other legumes, occasional nuts and fats from seeds and healthy oils like safflower or olive. I consume vegan versions of luxury items like cheeses. I do not like to have them very often as they are high in fat and expensive.
Some of my favorite things to make are big salads with lots of stuff: organic sprouted tofu cubes, maybe alfalfa or clover sprouts, tomato, bell pepper, spinach, mixed greens, Romaine lettuce, big red lettuce, artisan lettuces, shredded cabbage, grated carrots, various beans and leftover whole grain pasta. Sometimes I like beets, which make the salads extra yummy. Fruits are a welcome addition, too. I like dried fruits in moderation: Apricots, dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, pineapple. Sometimes a trail mix will be good over a salad, especially if it has nuts or seeds. Raw broccoli, cauliflower and even zucchinis are good. Dressing can be low or non-fat like just a squirt of lemon or vinegar, sometimes more robust like a tahini-based dressing or maybe even a bottled dressing with quality ingredients.
Cooked vegetables include spinach, kale, chard, bok choy, broccoli, summer squash, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots, peas, and more. I would love to try a few more like making my own roasted beets or a bit of roasted yams/sweet potatoes. I’m not as good with the oven as I would like to be. I love bell peppers. I love tomatoes, especially Romas when they are cooked nice over some whole wheat pasta and some fresh basil, and some good quality extra virgin olive oil. Heirloom tomatoes are a special treat in the summer time. My father (God rest his soul) used to grow the best tomatoes from starters. There are old stories of him feeding me cherry tomatoes in our old greenhouse when we used to live in another area. I don’t remember it, but the story makes me happy; also, I digress . . .
I like soups with lots of vegetables, whole grains, beans/legumes, maybe tofu, diced tomatoes, organic vegetable broth, good seasonings and love.
For holidays, sometimes I get special meals because as I said, I’m not as good with the oven yet. The only thing I can make consistently with the oven is a large vegan lasagna, which may not be considered healthy. This depends on your perspective. I am sure it could be converted to a more health conscious version.
My lunches and dinners are kind of interchangeable. They are also inconsistent. I like a lot of variety, but I am selective within that as illustrated by my dietary preferences already discussed.
A few weeks ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and stopped my routine of planning out my meals in advance. This was my strategy for a while, and I’ve found it to be the most effective for me. It creates self-discipline, which is something I do not always have naturally and something I really have to strive to create within myself. By planning my meals in advance, I do not have to think too much. The next level of planning would be to do as some others advise, make both my meal plan and my meals at the beginning of each week so that I know exactly what I’m eating and everything is organized. It would take so much guess work and labor out that I would just enjoy the benefits without the stress.
Now is the time for change. Step 1: Make a meal plan, with estimated prices. Step 2: Make a list. Step 3: Shop. Step 4: Make meals. Step 5: Separate daily meals into containers, bags, etc. Step 6: Go over meals online in tracker.
With exercise, I can also plan: three days a week, I can do a full-body strength training based on workout videos online. In the mornings, I can wake to yoga and meditation. At night, I can also meditate. Five days a week, I can do cardio. Two days a week would be my rest days except for meditation and maybe yoga. This is a plan I can write by hand on the wall, post online, tick off mentally, etc. It will be good for all areas of my health: physique, energy, mental, spiritual. So I’m ready to work. Next step, get to work.
I have just now made a sketch of a plan. The words are just words until they become actions.
Let’s go. 🙂
- Want To Eat Healthier, Now What? (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Roasted Vegetables (maryebryan.wordpress.com)