Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby Steps to a Healthier Life

Baby steps. Baby steps. That's what I keep telling myself. But I'm terrible at baby steps. I want to do it all ~ all at once. Two days later, I fall off the bandwagon. (I can only diet for 2 hours at a time. Wry grin.) Last year, though, I started taking baby steps toward a healthier life. Some things worked, some didn't, but progress was made. Here is the short list:

In 2008:

What worked:

*Spinach smoothies (with banana, OJ, and frozen berries). LOVE. Still drinking 2-4 a week.

*Air-popped popcorn (instead of microwave popcorn). Daddy and the boys enjoy making popcorn. I just received a stove-top popper so I can make kettle corn! Yum!

*Local, natural pork. We purchased 1/2 a pig from our neighbor. The pork is soooooo delicious. We'll enjoy eating it throughout this next year.

*Had water filter system installed. Finally. No more bottled water. It was so inconvenient to drink water (so I didn't very often), and I hated all the plastic. Now our tap water tastes great!

*Caught up on dental work and had silver fillings replaced.

*Replaced swiffer mop with washable terry-cloth mop covers and natural spray.

*Organic oatmeal. One more choice for breakfast and Levi and Leif love it.

*Unbleached flour (white and wheat) from Bob's Red Mill (in Oregon). Natural and fairly local. I try to use a combination of white and wheat in baked goods.

*Began adding wheat germ to banana bread (we eat often). I love my recipe. I suppose I need to share it here sometime.

*(Whispering: Taking antidepressant/anxiety meds.)

What didn't:

*Reusable shopping bags. I always forget to take them into the store!

*Apple cider vinegar. I tried drinking a couple tablespoons in a glass of water with honey or maple syrup. Didn't last. I'm not sure why.

Goals for 2009:

*Severely limit Dr. Pepper. I'm working on this one, but it is sooooooooo hard.

*Drink more water. This happens naturally when I don't drink Dr. Pepper.

*Add green tea (or white, red...). I've been having a couple cups a day. Love Good Earth Lemongrass Green Tea with a smidge of honey. (And I'm not a tea drinker.)

*Add quinoa as a staple menu item. We've had this a few times now. Delicious with a splash of olive oil.

*More extra virgin olive oil. I've used extra light olive oil almost exclusively in baking and cooking for the last year or two, but I need to use the extra virgin olive oil when possible. Even better if I have a warm, crusty loaf of French bread to dip in it. Ahhhhhh.

*Edamame. I've purchased the dry roasted stuff with a little sea salt. Not bad. Crunchy and salty. Healthier than anything else I enjoy snacking on... Nice salad topper, as well.

*Buy reusable cloths for window cleaning. Done! I had some last year, but they disappeared. Just purchased a few more.

*Try apple cider vinegar again.

*Take multi-vitamin.

*Try reusable shopping bags again.

*Find local beef.

*Shop more often at farmer's market and local produce stand.

*Eliminate HFCS in our diet.

*Use more local honey.

*Eat out less!! (Both Russ and I love to eat out.)

*(No more diapers!)

*Floss teeth.

What baby steps are you taking this year to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family?


Anonymous said...

this inspires me to make a list! well, you inspire me in general. i will adopt some of your ideas. i struggled for at least 1,000 years with the idea of taking an anti-depressant. i was taught that christians shouldn't be depressed. they should rely on the joy of the lord. well, my sadness just got worse. bed was my favorite place. it was so hard for me to even go to the doctor for my medication. but i am ALOT happier/relaxed now and wonder why i didn't do it earlier! *cheers* my 13-year-old daughter doesn't know i take these meds cause her dad is one of those christians who believe what i was taught! he would so judge me!

Household6 said...

Love eating edamame. Some of my four boys love it as well. We get the precooked kind from costco, warm for one minute in the microwave and sprinkle with garlic salt. YUM!

Enjoy your site!


elleeyun said...

I have a swiffer mop, too, but would like to change. What natural spray do you use?
Thanks Heide.


Molly Anne said...

I'm working on the water drinking thing. I love tea! But I have to add something to sweeten it so water is really better for me.

I'm doing pretty good with the reusable shopping bag. I have one for my non-grocery purchases which is fairly small (so it limits my purchases, tricky!) and it also folds up and goes into my purse so I never forget it. The grocery ones I make sure to always keep in the car and in the front seat in my way if possible. That way I can't (in theory) forget.

I don't think you live in my area or I could hook you up on the beef front - I have two friends who raise cattle. Ah well.

For cleaning rags, etc. I've always used old cotton clothing or towels that get holey or ratty. Once they accumulate you can get a nice stash, just cut or tear them into workable sized pieces and when they are dirty just throw them in the wash!

Unknown said...

ooooh. I can relate on SO many levels. Very motivating and encouraging, go Heidi go!! *grin*

heather said...

Good to see the progress and the goals. I think lists like this can be very helpful. It is good to look back on the progress made, especially on those days when it feels like no progress is being made! Due to our moving situation, I totally missed the new year and resolutions and all that. I normally do that. This year I am just trying to temporarily establish myself in a new place. I guess that is about what I can handle for now. =)

Ruth said...

I really need to make a list. I have developed some better habits, but my list (in my head) is not as thought out. What cloths do you use for windows? Are they something specific or just cheap washclothes?

Barb said...

I've cut way back on caffeine. I used to have 3 cups of coffee a day. I'm down to 2-3 c. a week. I'm drinking lemon water (3 litres) a day, exercising 5-6 days a week and eating little to no sugar.

I feel so much better but I know I can relapse so easily and too quickly.

Anonymous said...

Antidepressants and anxiety meds...Who knew? Thanks for keeping it real. I love a blogger who keeps it real. I like your blog even more now. You're definitely someone I would enjoy having a cuppa tea with. P.S. My healthy babysteps...Eating more blueberries. I've been adding them to our daily smoothies. Also less sugar for all of us, less clutter in our home, less computer time and more green tea for me. I'd also love to take a Tai-Chi class again. We'll see. All the best!

thebookbaglady said...

I've been taking some baby steps in the form of vigorous walks for several months now. It feels great, although I lost a little ground over the holidays (that sounds better than saying I've put some pounds back on).

I was captivated by the tea photo--I drink several cups of that very tea everyday! It is also wonderful iced. Our whole family now loves the tea and we've seen our immune systems improve with the antioxidants. One fun thing...always read the tea tag. I post the good ones on the fridge. :-)

carole said...

Oooh! A list! Thanks for sharing yours. It's good to be prompted to look back and think of the improvements we've made and the areas we'd like to tackle next. I *love* tea and have gotten out of the habit of drinking it since I ran out of my loose leaf supply and it just isn't quite as good from a tea bag (I blame it all on the friend who first gave me a few loose leaf teas).

I would really like to do the whole house water system. $$$$ Some day...

Thank you for sharing honestly with us.

Katrina said...

That photo of the green tea is so pretty that it makes me want to maybe give it another try (grin). I, too, fall off the bandwagon far too quickly... but I'm trying! I enjoyed reading and I hope you do great this year with all this... wishing you the best.

jodi said...

i feel so much better when i do the acv thing daily--my trick is 2tsp acv (organic, with the mother in the bottle) with 2tsp blackstrap molasses and about a shotglass full of warm tea (red roobios vanilla or chai is good). stir it all up and drink as quickly as possible. it still tastes pretty bad, but it gives me such good energy!

do share what filter you put in, i have a feeling we're going to need one in our new house (if we ever get around to that....)

be blessed-

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi!

Could you put apple cider vinegar in your salad instead of drinking it, or is there a specific reason you need to put it with water? Anyway, that's what I do! ;)

Jennifer said...

Love this list. Those baby steps ended up getting you pretty far.

I must admit I am completely unaware of the benefits of apple cider vinegar. I'll have to check on that...

Heidi said...

Ellee~ I use Melaleuca products for most of my cleaning supplies. I don't know if you've ever heard of those before. There are so many natural (or environmentally friendly) cleaners available now. I think I would try Simple Green (available at Costco) or plain vinegar (which is what I use for my laminate flooring) if I didn't use Melaleuca products.

Ruth~ I use microfiber cloths which work better for windows than washclothes. I'm sure you could purchase something like them at Target. Old t-shirts work well, also.

Jodi~ I'll have to check on the water filter. We went with Culligan and rented one. They service it and deliver the salt for the filter. We had a lot of rust and sulfur in our water. Blech...

Thanks for all the cheers, tips, and sharing! I love it when you all participate in the conversation!!

Laurel said...

THanks for the encouragement on all fronts Heidi. Hmmm, if I would just eat ONE more veggie a day that would be a big baby step. Of course I use the "living in Nepal" excuse for a lot of things (e.g. they don't recycle - at all). On the other had there are a lot of things I make rather than buy because you can't get them.

Anonymous said...

We love this quinoa side dish.

Anonymous said...

Could you possibly share your spinach smoothie recipe?
Thanks for being so honest on your it even more now!

Silly Bus said...

It is a very nice and good post. Keep up the good work.