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Rhode Island, United States

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Doing my best

Happy 4th of July!! 

Although I'm currently not the biggest fan of the establishment that runs the good ol US of A, it was the country I was born in, and I appreciate the freedom I have in it and therefore I'll celebrate the holiday. It is, of course, a great excuse to have a barbeque ;) 

So as you can tell, I'm back from camp for a bit! Only today, but the one day off was much needed, that's for sure. 

From tick bites to ant attacks, bat rescues, crazy cleaning escapades and contaminated water I am sure glad to be home!!

It is EXHAUSTING to say the least, but I must admit I am loving it
I had one day off earlier this week, but I was far too tired to post anything! 
In general, we only have about 1 day off every week or so, so posting is definitely going to be limited. 

But I can tell you this much: Only two weeks into this, and my perspective on food and eating habits is already changing drastically. Not necessarily my own habits; more the way I apply my own personal beliefs on healthy eating to the traditional American diet that is served at camp. Now, the foods are not all that bad- there are a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables available, but the main qualms of the nutrition of the basic American diet definitely arise: white bread/pasta/ rice, high fat meats, salad dressing, cheese, butter/cream/mayo laden dishes, processed cheese, sugary cereals, juice mixes and flavored milks. 

Avoiding all of these foods is fairly impossible. I'm given food to eat, and it's good food, albeit not nutritious, so I'm grateful for that. I'm not going to starve myself or feign an allergy in order to avoid the unhealthy aspects of camp dining. Because lets be real; that would be even MORE unhealthy. 
So I decided to strategize. How was I going to reach my goals for staying healthy at camp, without making eating difficult? How was I going to get good nutrition, as well as enough food to keep me energized without gaining weight?

My first strategy of trying to keep portions in check worked for a while. I would eat what was served, until I was full, and then stop. I got in my fruits and vegetables, calcium through skim milk and yogurt, but I still wasn't eating very healthy. 

For example- 
June 28, 2009 
Before breakfast: 2 dates 

1 sausage 
1.5 chocolate chip pancakes with syrup
1 small yogurt 
fruit salad 
coffee with skim milk 

Sausage and peppers in a bulky roll 
Salad with Italian dressing
Bite of chicken salad 


Chicken with vegetables and rice (in a creamy sauce)
Cherry Italian Ice 

Shack party treat: 1 piece chocolate cake

A week or so went by, and I wasn't feeling too hot. I would have spurts of energy, and then serious drops- i attribute this to the abundance of white carbohydrates and lack of fiber in my meals. My stomach wasn't always feeling the greatest- probably the excess fats in the meats, and I would be hungry soon after I ate. This resulted in a lot of snacking- sometimes good (i.e. puffins, trail mix) and sometimes not so good- I ate a lot of cookies and peanut butter m&ms. My pants were feeling tighter and there was no doubt in my mind I was gaining weight. 

I like the place I was a while before camp. Before my last week of stress eating, that is. I don't know how much I weighed, but I know I felt good in my body. I'm not tiny any more, but I'm not big. I felt I was a good weight for my height, I felt strong and comfortable in my clothes. This is the way I want to stay. 

So I decided I needed a revision to my strategy. To up my energy, to avoid gaining excess poundage- although if I do, I know it won't be hard to get back to my happy weight once I get back to my healthy habits at home; I'm not stressing over this, and keep me a healthy role model for the girls. 

So here is my plan: 
  • Make the most of what I have. There is a full salad bar, fresh fruit, skim milk, and a cereal bar always available. 
  • Don't always eat everything that is served; especially if it's not even appealing
For example: For breakfast the other day, we had pancakes and sausage. While I like 
sausage, I know it's not a healthy choice, and I don't really like pancakes. So I opted to nix 
pancakes and sausage option and go for some cheerios with strawberries and banana and a 
peach yogurt instead. I made the most of what I had and didn't eat pancakes just because they were available.  It filled me up and made me feel a lot better than a heavy pancakes and sausage breakfast ever could. 
  • Choose leaner options when available 
  • Reduce my consumption of: sweets, processed cheese, white bread, extras like butter and dressing
  • Fill up on vegetables and fruit and have less of fatty entrees 
When I'm home, I try to fill up on veggies, fruits and healthy fare. I try to eat greek yogurt, fruit and nuts or cereal, fruit and soymilk for breakfast, and have a healthy lunch and dinner, but still indulge a bit on foods I can't have at camp. The other day my mom and I went to the Picnic Basket for my favorite turkey sandwich, and we had Broccoli Calzones for dinner. Last night I went to Crazy Burger with my friend Katrina, and we got Mushroom Burgers and Sweet Potato fries, with Frozen Yogurt for dessert!

So that's where I am now. We'll see how it goes, and I'll report back with how the changes are making me feel. 

For now, I need to get some healthy exercise and cookout shopping in! I'll post again later!!

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