The next step, if I was to get healthy, was to remove all the food I should no longer eat from my house. I didn’t want to throw it all in the trash so I packed it up and gave it away. Some things were easier to pack up than others. It was going to be a lifestyle change and I hoped I was up for this challenge.
With the bad food gone, I went out shopping for more suitable foods. My cupboards, refrigerator and freezer now only hold things that I can eat. It is mighty hard to falter and go back to old habits when there are no bad foods in the house anymore. Removing temptation is both smart and effective!
WHAT DO I EAT NOW?
The challenge to a new way of eating is a new way of shopping. The old familiar parts of the grocery store are no longer places where I will go. Once I get used to this, it will be easier and easier to keep stocked up on the staples that I need.
I admit I do have a slight advantage when making this change. I have spent a lot of time off and on being vegetarian and/or vegan over the years. I was no stranger to making tasty food that fulfilled most of these new rules I am living by. There are different challenges this time, those will be written about in future posts.
For now, I just had to stock up on things that would be filling as I transitioned. I stocked up on legumes… many many different types of beans and nuts. I had a lot of healthy grains already in my house so I didn’t need those, but I definitely needed more beans, and I needed to buy brown rice, and some healthy pasta. I paid very close attention to the labels on everything I purchased. It is amazing how many foods have hidden sugars, cholesterol, fats and sodium in them!
I also stocked up on fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. These are great to have on hand, and should be included in almost all your meals. Berries and bananas are especially great. They are full of vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. I also purchased some clementines to satisfy any sweet tooth that cropped up. I added an assortment of broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, onions, peppers and some other veggies that I can incorporate into meals. I also purchased some super firm tofu, which is a quick and easy meat replacement in stir fry, and some texturized vegetable protein, which is awesome in sauces and recipes that call for ground meat. Another great ground meat substitute is lentils. They have to be one of the most versatile foods I have ever eaten, so I always have multiple varieties on hand.
Another great thing to do at this point is to READ. Learn all you can and get inspired by healthy recipes so this is as easy a transition as it can be. Some suggestions are The Plant Based Diet for Beginners and The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. Heart Book: How to Keep Your Heart Healthy is a great option to learn more about coronary artery disease. It is the number one killer in America. Finding out you have it can either be devastating or transformative. I choose transformative, which is why I am making the changes. “Glass Half Full” is much less stressful so I choose to look at this as me finding out BEFORE a catastrophic heart attack that I needed to make some changes.