The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


May 3, 2010

Weekend eating

I've been trying to eat more healthily for the past two months.

For the most part, I've done pretty well. I've increased the amount of fiber I eat, I try to get enough protein throughout the day and I am limiting my intake of carbohydrates and sugars.

I've lost 13 pounds. Don't misunderstand me, the numbers on a scale aren't terribly important to me. I think physical fitness is more important than a person's weight.

However, as someone with specific health concerns, those 13 pounds represent steps toward lower cholesterol and blood glucose readings. I won't know for sure until my follow-up bloodwork in a month, but my guess is that my positive life changes will be reflected in those numbers, too.

Although I've done fairly well overall, this past weekend was difficult for me. On Friday night, I had a hard time pacing myself on tortilla chips at a favorite Mexican restaurant. For Sunday lunch, I grudgingly (and crabbily) opted for whole-grain bread when I really wanted white bread on my submarine sandwich, and Sunday night I had a strong craving for sweets (especially chocolate). I gave in and had one Thin Mint, followed by a large slice of honeydew melon.

Weekends are hard, because they're a time of leisure. Our society associates leisure time with food: popcorn at a movie; snacks in front of the television; peanuts and beer at the baseball game; dinner dates with our loved ones; leisurely Sunday meals with our families; coffee-hour treats after worship.

As I've tried to eat more healthily, I've had to work hard at de-emotionalizing food. It's been a struggle, but having made (mostly) good choices despite temptation this past weekend, I know I can keep it up.

Oh, and my first issue of Clean Eating magazine arrived on Friday. So the next time I'm having a difficult weekend of cravings, I can whip up a no-bake chocolate-orange cheesecake that weighs in at 166 calories (and 13 grams of sugar — from raw honey) a slice. (I'll let you know how it tastes in a future post.)

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