Dec 16, 2011

Know Thyself : Food and Nutrition Self Assessment

english breakfast under water... by austinevan

When I first learned about my so-called essential hypertension, the first thing that came to my mind was the food I have been eating for the past few years.  Ever since I started living independently, I could not vouch for the nutritional value of what I am ingesting.  There was a time when I became a fast food junkie when I was just in my mid to late twenties. That was the time that I was going out a lot, and eating out seems to be the more convenient choice.  I don't smoke or take alcoholic drinks, but greasy fast foods laced with a lot of artificial seasonings and generously sprinkled with salt and monosodium glutamate has finally taken their toll on my body.  Where I work, the foods served in the canteen were no better, if not worse than fast foods.  Add to that dangerous combination is that when I do get to prepare my own food, it usually comprise of instant food such as noodles.  

In essence, I am literally digging my own grave with this kind of lifestyle.  I am now in my late thirties and should still be in good health.  But having to take Losartan for now says otherwise.  I don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life.  So I know it's more than just lowering my blood pressure with this medicine.  

A few months back when I started on my medications, I have also started to make some changes in my eating habits.  Truth be told, a lot of people say that I have slimmed down considerably.
I wouldn't believe them at first because I thought it's only because I was wearing better fitting clothes.  I have always worn loose clothing, those that do not show the female form.  I guess I like to keep people guessing hahaha!  Recently, I have been wearing form fitting ones so I thought that it's just a visual trick that the people are seeing.  Just to put an end to the "debate", I began taking my weight at least on a weekly basis.  My weight ranges from 119 - 121 lbs.  I stand at 5'3" and according to this nifty ideal weight calculator from Health Status I fall within the ideal range.  The people are right after all.  I realize, maybe that is the reason I can wear form fitting clothes now.

Alright, you're probably asking what I did to achieve that.  It's practically a no-brainer when I think about it.  Just the lifestyle self-awareness already points me to where I should start.  Here are the first few steps I have taken on the journey towards a healthier living.

  1. Avoid dining out.  This takes care of the greasy, salty, and what-have-you's stuff.  Realistically speaking, we cannot altogether avoid eating out, but by making an effort not to, this makes a lot of difference.  If you're used to everyday fast food, limiting that to half the time is already a significant step.
  2. Eat the right amount.  Simply put, do not over stuff yourself.  The Japanese calls this hara hachi bu that says you eat until you are just 80% full.  I could not actually measure that, but I get the concept.  I guess it takes practice to know when you are at the 80% level...and a lot of discipline to hold yourself from reaching the 90 or 100 mark.  On rare occasions, I think I still hit above the 100 mark.  The keyword there is RARE.  Sometimes, we overindulge but as long as it is not a habit, I think that's just fine.
  3. Eat the right food, and may I just add, real food.  Generally speaking, the less a food resembles its raw, original state, chances are that it has undergone so many processing and has a good chunk of additives that go with it.  Our best bet for real food are fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  In the past few months, I have been eating more veggies together with the staple rice instead of meat.  I think, this alone significantly melted away those extra pounds.  I used to weigh 128-130 lbs.  Still within the ideal range but I kind of feel heavy with that already.  Eating raw meat is probably unthinkable to most people.  For my part, I could only go for sushis and sashimis, but no raw chicken or pork or beef.  I still include meat in my diet once in a while, but it's mostly white meat (fish and chicken). 
There are a lot of areas for improvement when it comes to food and nutrition.  Taking these steps, for me are just for starters.  I must say, the results are quite encouraging and I feel better about myself. 

24 comments:

  1. I'll add to the list: Sleep well :D Kapag onti ang sleep, nakakataba pa din.

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    1. I agree! sleeping helps a lot in maintaining healthy weight as well as energy for the whole day. Me, I tend to eat junk when I lack sleep. lol :) Thanks for sharing :)

      http://your30somethingmom.blogspot.com/

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  2. I am thinking about avoiding eating out, aside from it saves me money, I can avoid those greasy fatty foods that is not good for me:)

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  3. What great tips you have :-) I do appreciate them :-) We seldom dine out which is a great thing.

    http://www.tropical7107islands.com/2012/05/postcards-for-a-friend.html

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  4. Thank you for all the tips, I am trying to eat well balanced meal but its really hard.

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  5. since i've got gallbladder polyps, i was advised to avoid foods like softdrinks, chocolates, spicy foods and fried foods. most of the time, i failed to discipline myself, lol.

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  6. Great information. I will have to consider changing our eating habits since we're (hubby and me)getting heavier by the minute. And we both have family history of diabetics, high blood, cancer and the like.

    Thanks for posting!

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  7. Health and wellness really depend mainly on the food we eat. And of course, Our lifestyle.
    Thanks for sharing this helpful info.

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  8. will avoid eating out! i need to lose weight. thanks for sharing! this is really helpful :)

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  9. thanks for this informative post. I think its easy to eat a lot than to resist eating, but it is good to know that you keep on resisting eating too much, most specially the junkie

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  10. NOTE: To the bloggers who commented using intensedebate, you're probably wondering where your comments are. It is not displaying here, a minor glitch with the comment system of blogger and intensedebate plug in. Not really sure how to fix that, but your comments are not lost.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and suggestions.

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  11. it's really important to eat healthy and take care of our body.

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  12. Oh my, I'm guilty with some of the activities you mentioned - eating out, overeating...
    Thanks for the tips!

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  13. Avoid dining out. Ouch. Guilty girl here.

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  14. Good to know that you are feeling better sistah! Keep up the good work dear :D
    I'm glad to see as well that you're on the list to visit. Y'know what I mean hehe I've been busy recently so I haven't hopped much.

    edit: sorry to say but I hate captcha!

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  15. I should really follow #1. :D But lookie up there, I'm in good company. Haha. But I will really try dining out less this June.

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  16. Keep up the good work. I too am aiming to eat more healthy and lose another 5kg to get to my ideal.

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  17. Thank you for the tips.. Me too at young age I'm already hypertensive due to working schedules and the choice of foods according to my Doctor.

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  18. this is a really nice tip for healthy living. having a green healthy life is what i always desire.

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  19. I am very conscious with our food. I alternate meat, vegetables and fish at home. But once a week or sometimes once every two weeks when we go out I allow myself to indulge. I'll eat whatever I want healthy or not healthy. hehe

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  20. It's only lately that Ive been conscious on what I eat. I tend to eat more veggies now too. But I still have lots of things to change in my diet.

    As they all say Health is Wealth.

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  21. Most of the time, I failed to watch my diet. I think, I just need to be firm with myself.

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  22. I am very guilty of not watching what i eat..but I plan to eat healthy soon..I just need to motivate myself more.. --MommyLES

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  23. This is a very informative post Aileen! Somehow, I feel guilty as I am the person who loves to dine out and try new foods served in the resto. Maybe I should consider going a bit meatless. Thanks for reminding me.

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