I almost feel like this is a taboo topic for a (formerly?) anorexic blogger, but lately I've been thinking about how I should probably start eating healthier. Not "go on a diet" healthier, but the basic "more fruits and veggies, greater variety, and fewer salty snacks" type of healthier. Basically I've slipped into this rut of eating the same carby/snacky things all the time while my fruit/veggie and meat/protein intake has declined.
I assume that it is news to approximately none of you that my diet has very little variety. This is a product both of the eating disorder and of a general laziness/lack of interest in food or cooking. I still have anxieties and hang-ups about food, so it's easier to eat the same thing day after day and not think about it. Plus, cooking is not fun to me. I have zero interest in it whatsoever. It is not a creative activity for me; it's a chore.
|Not my thing.|
At the same time, I have been sloooowwwly increasing my intake over the last year or so. I have gone from semi-restricting (not full-on, but certainly not enough) to eating a normal, healthy number of calories. The lack of variety, though, means that this increase has essentially come through eating more of the same things: more plain chicken, more peanut butter, more cereal, more bread, more Clif bars, etc. I haven't really expanded my horizons in any significant ways; e.g. exploring new cuisines or food groups. The list of foods that I Do Not Eat is still a mile long: ice cream, white bread, most cheeses, pasta, candy, pastries, rice, beans, white potatoes, cous cous....obviously, I could go on. There are many many others that are "allowed" in theory, but that I don't ever actually eat either because of a million other logistical reasons: I don't know how to prepare them, they're expensive, they don't fit into my "routine" calorie-wise etc. etc. etc. Plus the fact that I am beyond busy and don't particularly want to spend my precious free time thinking about or preparing food.
So now that I've inundated you with excuses...here is the result of the above trends: over the last several months, I've noticed that I eat a super carb-heavy diet. My go-to snacks and lunches are generally some combination of toast with peanut, bagels with peanut butter, bananas with peanut butter (are you sensing a pattern?), pretzels, crackers, and Clif/Luna bars. On the nights when I get home late, I usually have something like a peanut butter sandwich or oatmeal for dinner because I don't feel like cooking a "real" dinner (with meat and vegetables and stuff). And dinner is pretty much the only time I eat vegetables (other than sometimes snacking on baby carrots during the day), so cutting out a "real" dinner means that I get no vegetables at all.
Additionally, I still tend to semi-restrict early on and eat the bulk of my calories later in the day. This means that by the time I get home at night, I am STARVING and hit the pretzels, carrots, etc. mindlessly. It's not at all that I overeat; just that I substitute that mindless, starvation-induced snacking instead of preparing a full, wholesome meal. And if I get to the end of the night and realize that I'm way short on calories, the way that I make it up (or at least come close) is through a bowl of oatmeal with - depending on how many calories I need - a tablespoon or so of peanut butter mixed in.
I am having this weird conflicted sense of pride for letting go of some of my compulsions (e.g. a year or two ago, I NEVER would have eaten a handful of pretzels without counting them out first and beating myself up afterwards) but also worried that I'm not fueling myself properly. This time it really is a question of food quality more so than quantity. Peanut butter is a gift from the heavens, don't get me wrong, but it certainly doesn't contain all the nutrients one would hope to get in a well-balanced diet.
|I buy mine 40 oz at a time|
In conclusion, my diet contains a ton of carbs and peanut but not many fruits and vegetables. I've also gotten into this unintentional habit of eating very little meat; sometimes I go several days to a week without any. It's not planned, and I have no intentions of being a vegetarian; I like meat and would like to eat more of it, but somehow it's fallen through the cracks.
So I guess my goals are as follows: (1) Re-balance my calories a little better throughout the day so that I am not blind with hunger by the time I get home and can't make healthy, rational choices. (2) Incorporate fruits and vegetables throughout the day, not just at dinner. (3) Find protein sources other than peanut butter.
Any other thoughts? I know I've written about the variety issue before, so I apologize if this was kind of repetitive; just needed to walk myself through it.