april, month one. healthier living.
i have never been one for eating well. between sweet tea and chips and pasta and all the bread you can imagine, the term "health nut" has always escaped me. i have also managed to stay my same weight and size for many years, and i suppose, because of that fact, i never think too much about changing the way i eat. but, just because i wasn't putting on the pounds, that didn't mean i couldn't, or shouldn't, be more mindful about my eating habits. there are many other reasons for me to eat better. and so i have. i have started eating better. granted, it has only been a week, but it's a step (an extra step toward extended happiness).
i no longer have a giant mcdonald's sweet tea every day (okay, i'll admit. somedays, i had two). i try to avoid the chips and dip, my favorite snack food in the world. and i'm trying to mix it up a bit and get away from the nearly-all-carbohydrate diet i was previously consuming (i do love my carbs).
i have been doing my research. i looked for foods with healthful benefits that would help inside and out, that would help me feel better, and that i could easily eat on a daily basis.
-almonds-good source of vitamin e and protein, antioxidant, cholesterol reducer, and (my favorite) a wonderful way to improve skin complexion and glow.
-kiwi-good source of vitamin c (the same, or a little more, than an orange, with fewer calories), and also great for the skin.
-broccoli, red pepper and tomatoes-also high in vitamin c.
-oatmeal-contains antioxidants, whole grains, and is good for the heart.
-yogurt-great source of potassium, protein.
and water, water, water
(more on the benefits of these foods later)
i even tried making a healthy mexican meal one night which turned out to be a bust, thanks to the addition of greek yogurt, and the subtraction of another one of my favorites, sour cream. note to self, healthy "guacomole," made with edamame, is weird. just plain weird.
i have also been fixing dinners more frequently than before. previously, i would have reached for a frozen dinner, a fast-food meal, or some (delicious) prepared pasta product. instead, i'm taking the time (thankfully, i have more time these days) to cook and to cook thoughtfully. the recipes are easy and quick and do not require a lot, or any crazy, ingredients. without these three key points, i would not be cooking. more on the recipes another time.
so, how does eating differently relate to happiness? personally, it makes me feel better, plain and simple. food and mood go hand-in-hand, i have found. the more i eat better, the easier it is to avoid "bad" foods and to want to avoid "bad" foods. and it makes me feel pretty good to want a healthy snack instead. "bad" foods made me feel bad, period. they are heavy, overly filling, and tend to weigh me down. with good foods comes good feelings, knowing you're making a thoughtful decision about the way you can feel.