Step one – find a way to learn what is really healthy and what my body REALLY needs.
You see, when deciding that I wanted to eat healthier, I ran into a bit of a problem. I felt like I really didn’t know what foods are healthy. That's a little embarrassing to admit, but as I said before, there is so much information out there, and it all seems to be conflicting. I have felt so stressed out shopping for food, because everything I looked at seemed dangerous.
That red meat? Evil! – too much fat!
That pasta? Evil! – too many carbs!
Carrots? Evil! – too much sugar!
Milk? Evil! - no cow's milk for humans!
(Well, if you can't eat meat, pasta, vegetables or milk, what CAN you eat?!?)
Ahh! My busy mind was going in circles. I thought I was going to lose it. I was afraid to eat anything, would get frustrated, and end up eating garbage anyway.
I had thought about going back to some programs I had tried in the past, but if they didn’t work, then they're definitely not going to work now that I have a baby to take care of. My husband and I figured that we needed to see someone with actual training and knowledge based on science – no gimmicks, no fads. We decided that a Registered Dietitian would be the way to go, because they have specialized training (in New Brunswick, at least a bachelors degree and internship.)
Last night was our first meeting. It was eye-opening. I got a lot of information, so I’m going to try to deal with it one step at a time.
The first thing we looked at was Canada’s Food Guide.
I’d seen it a million times. I’m sure every Canadian has. Same old, same old. But wait, apparently I hadn’t really paid enough attention to it because my eating was WAY off.
Based on the food guide, this is what I should eat each day:· 7 servings of fruit and vegetables
· 6 servings of grain products
· 2 servings of milk and milk alternatives
· 2 servings of meat and alternatives
Just looking at the number of servings was surprising. I went into this thinking I didn’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and loved carbs a little too much, but thought I was doing well with the meat and milk groups. Protein is good, isn’t it? Eggs, chicken, beans, nuts – all good, right? Milk, yogurt – yummy and healthy! Apparently they are, but not too much!
When we started looking at serving sizes, it became blaringly obvious that we were overeating – even on the good stuff! Our meeting was at a grocery store, and we actually went out into the store to look at serving sizes. The shocking food was meat. One serving size of meat/fish/poultry is 75g or 100g raw. One steak that we would typically cook was almost 3 servings! That’s more than what I’m supposed to eat in one full day!
I felt like I really should have known all of this! How foolish that I didn’t! It’s Canada’s Food Guide! I’ve seen it in different forms since elementary school!
I got more information than this, but this is what I’m dealing with now - food group balance and serving size. Baby steps. It’s important, so I want to do it right.
Do you follow Canada’s Food Guide? If you do, give me some tips! If you don’t, feel free to share what works for you. I love a good success story!