Understandably the posts on nutrition, wellness, and habits are getting further and further apart as the habits establish themselves. That is, in of itself worth reporting. Too much commentary is focused on “fast” – however, I recognise the power and motivation of fast results empirically, I would argue we need to include wellness and habits. “Fast and sustained” – sorry Dr Micheal Mosley.
Nutrition, wellness and habits broad view
I’m still eating a predominantly Mediterranean diet though certainly enjoying eating my home-baked sourdough bread and sauerkraut. I continue to seek out new food experiences and education. Healthier breakfasts, better nutritional combinations, time-restricted eating (TRE), two course dinners, fasting if I need to. Take-out rarely ever features.
I’m keeping up with my every morning exercise, 2 x 50 reps push-ups from my knees and the morning walk. I have listened to the first two ‘Thursday Murder Club’ audio books from our local Hampshire library Borrowbox service. I am still walking the long way around, taking the stairs, park and walk and so on.
To these nutritional and physical routines, I have made more effort to talk with my family and friends, and learning how to home-bake sourdough. The bake two, gift one, now a habit too. I have even assigned time to carve some ‘spurtles‘ – basically a porridge stirrer. Foraging is a possible area of interest too combining with the home bread-baking.
Day to day
The frame of work and school (as a parent) has made sticking with these routines easier (after the summer school holidays) and I would say now that they are habits. Dark mornings certainly demand more of you. Dark-cold morning I think will up the anti again. I do continue to monitor my weight, though less frequently, with the intention of keeping my body composition and weight within a corridor of 160 to 165lbs. I am leaner and more muscular – which is of course heavier.
For the most part I am sticking with my time restricted eating (11am-8pm), lemon water before my walk, coffee after my walk, breakfast at break or late morning, and taking full advantaged of the wonderful salad bar that we have at work to bring home a salad every day to have with my dinner. Quite often the salad is the main stay of my dinner (colourful leaves, olives, tomato, sun-dried tomato, three peppers, carrot, sweetcorn) adding various fruit, (apple, pear, satsuma, orange, nectarine) nuts, seeds and protein, often fish. Desert is almost always Greek yoghurt and warmed fruit. An eight hour window or 16:8 routine.
So the rhythms of the working day dictate I typically eat two meals. Late breakfast and a two course dinner. This has bled into the weekends.
Without question, pre-made breakfast and the two compartment containers promote that positive breakfast start and I rarely have the same breakfast twice in a row. I really do enjoy my homemade X10 granola, overnight oats or full fat Greek yoghurt, berries and toasted seeds.
As for main meals, I do enjoy the salads and I really love the legumes and beans. I still have every intention of learning how to cook some curried dhal as my winter warmer, I’ve got a mushroom barly risotto recipe on my to cook list and keeping an eye out for a preloved pressure-cooker or pressure saucepan. I am preferring the ‘set and forget’ digital cooker but £80-100 is a bit much for faster cooked beans. Rather bizarrely for three weeks I couldn’t buy anchovies in any of the main food stores, not Tesco, Sainsbury, Co-op, Lidl or Aldi. I understand these are not everybody’s favourite food however they add bags of flavour to various dishes and I love them on salads and with sourdough.
Maintaining body composition over improving it
Moving to a maintained diet rather than trying to improve my body composition is, quite understandably, a lot more enjoyable. When I do move out of my 160-165lb corridor, scheduling a fast or deficit for a short period of time of a few days (2-4) is not much of a hardship or that big a step away from the norm. These 2-4 day “diets” often redeem swift 2-4lb loss – that is with keeping up hydration. It is good to know and remind yourself you are in control.
For most people, and me included, snacking is always going to be difficult to avoid. Even when helped by TRE. With three children in the house there are plenty of snacks at arms reach. Biscuits, mini cakes and crisps, then in the bottom of the freezer, ice-cream. Interestingly, now I find the shop bought ice cream very sweet, almost too sweet. I have made and enjoy nice-cream almost as much.
I tend to reach for the mixed nuts, dried fruit and seeds. I know I take too many handfuls, yes there’s sugar in the dried fruit, (cranberries, raisins, sultanas, apricots and dates) however this is at least a “good choice.” I do enjoy an individually wrapped 85% dark chocolate bar from Aldi. That is the point, one individually wrapped bar means I don’t stuff a 200g bar – which is easily done.
The press-ups and walking, the wellness-active, is healthy heart and mood stuff, but little more. I have a more athletic shape (that has only recently become noticeable to others) and smaller collar size, reduced from 17″ to 15.5″ and I have had to get some new clothes.
#159 with hindsight do I crave or miss any foods?
I don’t crave any one food because I don’t exclude food. Nor alcohol. Day to day, I eat “clean,” and make the effort to eat better nutritional combinations, more protein, side vegetables, legumes, beans, fermented foods, and add fruit, nuts and seeds and snack on them too. I almost always prepare two courses. Alcohol has never been a large part of my lifestyle but when I eat and socialise, I enjoy a glass or two or bottle.
Here is a good example: I love the social event of antipasti, meats, cheeses, wine and good conversation. However I now choose this option less frequently, and when I do, I eat less and pair back the meats and cheeses with a wider variety of better choices; beautifully cooked vegetables, fresh leaves, pieces of fresh fruit, aromatic beans, homemade chutney and of course a freshly home-baked sourdough over shop bought cheese biscuits.
I can safely say the only foods that I miss having as frequently are pasta and ice-cream. I love all Italian food or at least I love what we would consider “Italian family dinners” knowing that in reality the Italians would often have a range of dishes, sides and salads with their pasta dish, where as we would typically have a main pasta dish. And ice-cream with a movie – with fresh coffee-walnut or cherry-almond nice-cream offering a decent challenge.
Now maintaining my body composition, having improved my nutrition and kept wellness-active, I choose to enjoy all of these things.
Looking to bring up the #200.