A Follow up on Healthy Eating (Plus Yoga)

I recently mentioned that I’ve been on a healthier diet again. I thought I would write a little bit more about improving my health. It’s a little bit off-topic, but since we’re talking about fitness and nutrition in the forum, I thought it might be interesting.

Years of sedentary computer work has not been good for me, and I gained weight. At my heaviest, I was up to 215 pounds. I’m now down to 177 pounds. I only need to lose three more pounds to be within a “healthy BMI” range. My target weight is probably about 165. I haven’t been doing any significant exercise yet, but have just begin with yoga (more on that below).

Here’s a photo from a couple of days ago with my belt set to its former notch:

Belt showing weight loss

My belt

A Sample Day’s Eating

This was lunch/breakfast at about noon:

Healthy breakfast

Healthy breakfast

From the top and going clockwise:

  • Raw sauerkraut
  • Amaranth
  • Mashed parsnips
  • Bitter melon with almonds
  • A small avocado
  • A spring onion
  • Lentils
  • Center: squash soup

Dinner was similar, but no bitter melon, and the addition a little tahini and some steamed greens:

Healthy dinner

Healthy dinner

The only other things that I ate were: an apple, a banana, a pear, a few raisins, and a few walnuts. I probably would have had a third meal, but I’m limiting my eating to an eight hour window each day, and there wasn’t enough time.

Even today, I don’t feel like I was starving myself. I could eat more, but I don’t feel overly hungry. If I were eating a lot of refined food, like white bread, it wouldn’t have as many nutrients, and would probably feel more hungry for the same number of calories. Everything I am eating is nutrient dense though.

Some Dishes

I’m not concerned with taste as much as I am with nutrition, but I like most of the food. I sometimes add sliced spring onion to the top, but that is largely for extra nutrition.

A red spring onion

A red spring onion

Mashed Parsnips

Since I’m not eating potatoes or other nightshade family plants, I decided to mash parsnips. I dice them into large chunks and then steam them before mashing them.

Mashed parsnips and steamed rutabaga

Mashed parsnips and steamed rutabaga

Lentils and Beans

If I have time, I brown the onions, garlic, ginger, and fresh turmeric before adding the beans and water, but, other days, I just put everything in a pot and boil it.

Lentils

Lentils

Typical ingredients:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Dried and/or fresh turmeric
  • Spices: cumin, fennel seeds, black or green cardamom, coriander, fenugreek seeds
  • Lentils or other beans
  • Water

Squash Soup

For squash soup, I either steam the squash or brush with olive oil and roast it in the oven at 400 degrees.

Roasted kabocha squash

Roasted kabocha squash

Because I don’t like squash flavor very much, I try to offset it with leeks. This dish has basically the same spices as for lentil soup.

Sautéed leeks

Sauteed leeks

When the leeks are soft, they get pureed in a food processor with the squashes. One container of soup gets put in the refrigerator, and two more in the freezer. I try to eat a little bit every day, because of the high vitamin content.

Squash soup

Squash soup

Bitter Melons

Bitter melons are an acquired taste, but they are very addictive. They get sauteed with spices and almonds.

Bitter melons and almonds

Bitter melons and almonds

Yoga

After getting my eating sorted out over the past two or three months, I’m now trying to work on exercise. I am out of shape, so I’m starting just with yoga.

My main inspiration is Arthur Boorman, though I’m using a different yoga book called Yoga for Your Life. I’m only on the second week, but I already feel much better. I’ve gone through parts of this book before, and I remember feeling great after about six weeks.

I will add walking and other exercises soon, as my hands allow. Weightlifting would be my preferred activity, but, unfortunately, it is not an option at the moment. I have chronic hand injuries that prevent me from even lifting light weights with my wrists.

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