Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unintentional Healthy Habits

So in 2007, I ranted and raved about diabetes, a vegan diet, and the Skinny Bitch series of books.

In 2008, I talked about how the things that are delicious are not always the pillars of healthy eating.

And now, in 2010, I am here to say that in some small way, I have incorporated more healthy eating, a sprinkling of exercise, and even a few vegan dishes into my diet, and I suppose I'm all the better for it.  REMEMBER:  I am not a CDE, a doctor, or a registered dietitian.  I'm just telling you my experience here.  YMMV.  Or, possibly, YDMV.

While admittedly, I have not seen the endo enough times over the past few years--used to go every 3-4 months, current track record is more like every 6, gotta work on that one--at my last visit, I had lost about 12 pounds since the last time I had been in, and my cholesterol had been significantly lower.  Over the past year or two, I've been avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup-laced products when I can, and I'm trying to buy more natural/organic/sustainable foods when I'm out at the store.  I've tried establishing a Wii Fit routine, tried taking walks now and then for fun.

However, I've been unintentionally making healthier choices all year round.  First of all, I live on a one-way street, so in these past two years, I typically have to park halfway down the block from my front door.  This instantly incorporates a small bit of walking into my day.  Now add in the fact that restaurants, a movie theater, and the library are also within walking distance of my house.  That means more walking, as Matt and I typically dine out about once a week at our favorite microbrew pub, and I am a library junkie.

My number two healthy change fell into my lap in the form of a new gang of vegan friends.  These friends also have a penchant for throwing fabulous potluck dinner parties, so Matt and I have been striving to concoct actual vegan dishes even though we are omnivores.  (We think lazier omnis may show up with a bag of veggie chips and hummus and call that good enough.  Hey, it's delicious, but not exactly on-theme for a vegan tea party or a vegan burrito bash.)  I am not going to speak for or against a vegan lifestyle/diet here, but I will say that I respect the choices of my friends, and for the most part, I try to honor those choices when I'm around them.

A vegan diet won't cure diabetes, because as we all know, there is no cure for diabetes.  However, I'm sure any diet that gives you more proteins from chickpeas, black beans and tofu brings some kind of positive change for your body.  I know with my vegan friends, I am always eating more veggies, fruits and whole grains.  Carbs are still carbs, and fats are still fats, regardless of their exclusion of animal products.  And believe you me, I have had some of the most delicious vegan cakes over the past year and a half, including my own birthday cake.  (If you see this, thanks, Michelle G.!)

If you want to go vegan, or start an exercise program, or both, please do your research first and check with your trusted health professionals.  Just remember, I'm not a health professionalAt all.  However, the above-mentioned unintentional measures I took for better health have seemed to help me in some small way.

So here are my 3 completely unprofessional top tips for an unintentionally healthier lifestyle:

1.) Move to a neighborhood that forces you to park on a one-way street.  If you're bad at parallel parking (like yours truly), you'll park further away from your house and walk more.

2.) Move to a town where things you like to do are at least 2 to 2.5 blocks away.  Walk there a lot.  Even in winter.  I suggest investing in snow boots.

3.) Befriend nice, hospitable vegan folks who are good cooks, and expect homemade hummus alongside delicious vegan cupcakes.  Don't forget to bolus.

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