Tuesday, 5 October 2010

On the brink...Part Two

Welcome back ~ just as I promised, here’s Part Two!

So with which change/challenge shall I start? Perhaps I should simply follow the King’s advice to Alice: “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop”. Take a deep breath, my dears, this may be another of my epic posts ~ but never fear, if you start to flag we can always take another little break until Part Three ;-)

Actually, I think I shall begin with that perennial favourite: diet. Oh, don’t worry! I’m not going on a diet, I’m simply changing my diet ;-) And no, that isn’t slimming-by-another-name!

I’ve thought long and hard about the many different ‘diets’ I’ve tried over the years ~ and there have been plenty to think about, I can tell you *sigh* What stands out most in my mind, though, is how I have never stuck with any of ‘em ~ well, except for ‘old faithful’. I’m pretty sure you will know that one: too much of the not-so-good-for-you-stuff, which in my wisdom, I decided to combine with the waaaay too little exercise routine to create the woman I am today ;-D I’m making light of it, I know, but really it isn’t much of a joke is it? However, what’s done is done; that’s in the past but I must live in the present, with an eye to the future.

At various points in my life, I have been a vegetarian; I have also been a vegan, diet-wise at least. To be honest, eating a vegetarian diet didn’t make me feel any better ~ health-wise ~ than eating meat does. I found myself substituting the flesh foods with cheese and quorn. The former didn’t help my ever-expanding waistline and the latter ~ well, I just got a bit tired of it really. From time-to-time, I also found it rather difficult to swallow the quorn for some reason ~ I’ve no idea why that should be, though.

It was a totally different matter when I was following a vegan diet, though, which I did for about two years before my lackadaisical attitude got the better of me. I gradually started to feel so much better in myself; as an added bonus, my IBS symptoms were greatly reduced, practically non-existent, in fact and I shed a fair amount of weight too. My ‘excuse’ for stopping was that I lived in a household of meat-eaters, and it was too time-consuming to prepare a different meal just for myself. Which was a very poor excuse, actually, since I don’t work outside the home, and have plenty of time to prepare any kind of meal I put my mind to!

Naturally, once I was back eating like before the weight piled back on ~ plus some more, just for the fun of it ~ and my IBS symptoms returned too. And this is where I have been ever since. Some time back I publicly declared that I was never going to follow a weight-reducing diet again; since then my eating habits have deteriorated even more than before.

More recently, I decided that the way forward was to follow a similar diet to that of my Grandma. She made virtually everything from scratch and ate wholesome meals with local ingredients from the shops in the village. She ate breakfast, dinner, tea and supper but none of her meals were the mega-portions we tend to eat today. She also ate cakes and tarts, but they were homemade, small and she only ate one for tea ~ no snacking on them throughout the day! Grandma was active; she walked or cycled most of her life, never had a car, worked in her garden, kept her house spotless. Not only was she physically active, she worked her brain too with all the sewing, knitting, reading, etc that she liked to do.

Just like all the other bright ideas I’ve had over the years, my ‘Grandma diet’ never got off the ground either. Oh no, I’ve been far too busy with "I’m not blaming anyone else for being the way I am, I admit that it’s my own fault that I am fat, unfit, unhealthy and spend too much time doing nothing-much-at-all with my life" to actually change things ;-)

But I am drawn back to the vegan diet, not least because I know how much healthier I felt. So that’s where I am headed :-) I cannot say, hand on heart, that I will be following a totally vegan diet, rather it will be ‘vegan-ish’ (now, where did I come across that ~ it’s not a word made up by me so I take no credit for it!). For a start, I have various things in the larder that will need using up such as reduced-calorie salad cream; I’m not going to simply throw foodstuff away! I will, however, re-stock with vegan alternatives as much as possible :-)

Over the years I’ve built up a lovely library of vegan cookery books that I just haven’t used, so I am really looking forward to trying out the recipes in them and discovering new, vegan, ways of making old favourites.

I think this change is going to be fun AND healthy!

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