In January, I set a goal to include more fish in my diet …
I did fairly well, eating fish eight times during the four weeks. I also ordered fish when I went to a restaurant during the month.
We tried a couple of recipes. The Hearty Salmon Chowder is always good. The Tuna-Kidney Bean Salad was a bit bland for my liking – good ingredients could be improved with some mayo.
The path to wellness is never easy and I discovered that I have to modify my enthusiasm sometimes … eating more fish than usual gave me a flare-up of gout. Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood and results in attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis. In my case, the joints of my toes become inflamed and sore. Sources say fish can cause a flare-up. I also have had gout attacks from eating asparagus.
I intend to keep eating fish, just in moderation. From this adventure with eating fish, I have discovered:
a better diet begins with the grocery store
use ‘eating out’ as a way to make better eating choices
Two weeks ago, I pledged to eat include more fish in my diet for the next month. I thought I’d do a mid-goal review of how I am doing.
For the first two weeks, I have included fish in my meals more often (at least twice a week). We’ve bought more fish than usual at the grocery store and tried some new recipes.
I went out with friends last evening and took a different approach to ordering in keeping with my goal. Usually, I order some sort of chicken dish. Last evening I had a good look at the fish menu choices and picked the ‘Arctic Char’. To quote the menu: ‘a Nova Scotia fish to fall in love with, seasoned Cajun style and dressed with a citrus hollandaise sauce serve with charbroiled carrots, zucchini and rice pilaf’.
Well, I am so glad I tried something different! The Arctic Char was so good, similar to salmon. Delicate taste, no bones and so good with the charbroiled carrots! I went away from the table feeling satisfied but not over-stuffed! This is a good choice from an environmental point of view too since Arctic Char is a sustainably farmed fish.
My learning from my fish-eating challenge so far …
♦ to try something new when I go out to eat – a great way to increase the fish in my diet
I began my weight loss and wellness program on November 23, 2013. Since then, I have been tracking my eating on most days using the ‘app’ called ‘MyFitnessPal‘ (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/). The ‘app’ helps me record what I have eaten and tracks nutrients so I will know at the end of the day if I haven’t had enough calcium or fibre. Gradually it builds a dictionary of your usual foods, so entering the food gets quicker with time. The ‘app’ also allows you to track exercise and the water you drink.
Last evening, I decided to have a look at what I have eaten to try and identify some patterns, to see where I have gone wrong, and to know what I have done right. Since November 17, 2013 (one month ago), I have kept a record of my eating on 19 of 30 days. A simple look at what I have eaten during those days shows me some interesting facts that I can put to work in my future wellness endeavors:
◊ during those 19 days, I ate ‘out’ on five occasions
on three of these, I kept my calories at the restaurant below 500 🙂
on one night, a dinner with friends, I made a bad meal choice followed by a high calorie dessert – I suffered with salt overload for the next five days!
one lunch meal – you won’t believe this one – we had a best poutine challenge (Dairy Queen versus McDonalds) – over 1600 calories wasted on ridiculousness!!! 😦
◊ I was within 200 calories of my goal for the day on 8 days 🙂
◊ on several days I could have saved about 300 calories by limiting my cheese serving size – if I had only 1 ounce of cheese instead of 3 to 4 ounces, I would still have met my calcium goal for the day and saved the calories, salt and fat.
◊ foods I seem to have a hard time limiting: chocolate, potato salad, chicken pot pie and cheese
◊we have developed a habit of eating salad once or twice a week, and chili con carne at least once a week – good choices, high in fibre and nutrients 🙂
◊ as I’ve reported before, I went to two parties during this time and ate responsibly at both 🙂
◊my potassium intake is below what it should be on most days – an increase in fruit and vegetables should fix this
Keeping track of my food intake has value beyond the day – weeks later, I can use the food diary to help me make better eating decisions!
Do you keep a food diary? What has it taught you about eating well?