[Health and Nutrition] Progress report

After almost a week of trying to adjust my dietary habits, I’m definitely struggling. I’m trying to take a similar approach to that of my gym membership; just take it day by day, meal by meal. If I manage to eat just one meal a week that is perfectly balanced, that’s a step forward. It’s so easy to get dragged down by the idea that you’ve undone all your good work for the day if you ate a good breakfast and lunch but junked out for dinner. I need to see it as a great achievement in getting ANY meals right on target.

I have a habit of looking at things from the perspective of “what I didn’t do” or “what could have been done better” instead of acknowledging the big and small strides I’ve made towards improvement. I have to get rid of the idea that if it’s not 100% all of the time, then I haven’t accomplished anything. Every time I bring in a lunch instead of buying something quick and easy is a victory. Every time I refill my water bottle instead of buying a diet coke is a step in the right direction.

I’ve also been getting really bad headaches on the days that I eat the best. I’m pretty sure that there must be something that I’m missing (not enough protein? Not enough food?). I’m trying to keep a good balance but I may need to do some tweaking. I’m going to have to talk to my doctor about it when I see him again or perhaps book an appointment with my naturopath.

I’m sticking with it though. Some days I’m right on target and some days I’m not. I’m learning to accept that this is okay and natural as I’m adjusting to such big changes. The way I see it, it’s just like anything else, it will take some time to get into the habit of making the better choices and eventually it will become second nature. I’m putting my impatience off to the side and accepting that things won’t change completely overnight.
RE: Getting bad headaches on days you eat better

You could be getting them because you *aren't* eating the bad stuff -- just like with, say, caffeine withdrawal, you could be sensitive to some additive or preservation you normally have (salt immediately springs to mind, and related hydration issues) and eating better is dropping your levels of it.

I can't remember - have you ever been to talk to a nutritionist? We went to one regularly for a time and she really helped us figure some things out.

I'd actually thought that it might be kicking a an additive/preservative type of thing but forgot to mention it in the post. Salt (and fats) are the first things that spring to my mind also.

I haven't gone to a nutritionist simply for the sake of my wallet. I think I might have to save up for at least a couple of consultations though.
What I know about nutrition is limited to what I learned when I was pregnant, and then feeding a toddler, but I remember finding some comfort in the notion that not every single meal has to be perfectly balanced. Eating a bunch of fruits and veggies one day, and then a bunch of proteins and grains the next, is probably ok, as long as it's balanced on average. (I remember being really anal-retentive about food when I first found out I was pregnant, so this concept was a huge relief.)
Yeah, that's what I'm noticing too. I think my biggest thing is making sure I'm getting the protein. I can be bad for just grabbing some grains and salad type of things and not getting much meat protein. The grains have some but not enough and it's not the same for iron.
Oh, I know. Protein and iron especially are difficult.

I've got one tip, though--some of the grocery stores around here sell pre-cooked rotisserie chickens. Like, the entire chicken. For about $7. I don't know if your grocery store has this. But it's awesome for a fast, easy dinner, and then later you have all this leftover chicken. Good to add to salads, or make a sandwich/wrap out of, or, like, put in spaghetti sauce or something. I love it, cause I hate to cook, and this is so easy.