You Can Do It: Badge #41

July 23rd

You can do it

It’s been quite a while since I’ve browsed my copy of “You Can Do It” — a book blogging project I’m doing with Aimee. Rather than do the badges in order, I’m skipping ahead to badge #41: Eat It.
Essentially the idea is to take a closer look at what you are eating, see how it makes you feel, eliminate junk and add more healthy stuff. This isn’t that big of a leap; I’m neurotic about what I eat. I grew up in an athletic home. My mom taught aerobics for ten years, my dad and brother were great swimmers, and I’ve recently dug in my heels to become a triathlete. You feed your body crap, you feel like crap, you swim/bike/run like crap. Einstein, I’m not.
So, knowing how to eat healthy is in my DNA. Doing so habitually, and eating an appropriate serving size, is not.


Fruit-free breakfast that screams: time to go to the grocery. 1 cup of fat free cottage cheese, one Western Alternative bagel, 2 tablespoons of fat free cream cheese: 272 calories, 1 gram of fat, 38 grams of protein.

Specifically the badge suggests you:
1. Food journal for a week to take a nutritional inventory. I like Sparkpeople. It’s free and comprehensive. Also, I like having a buddy. Colleen encouraged me to stop drinking soda and I feel worlds better having made this little change.
2. Follow the guidelines. Know how much you should be eating vs. how much you are eating. Here’s a great tool.
3. Learn serving sizes and how to read nutritional labels. (I am also on alert for high-fructose corn syrup in my food. It seems to be in everything these days and there is nothing about “corn” or “syrup” that is going to make me healthier. In simple terms: the feed corn and other grains to animals to fatten them before slaughter. Old McDonald, I’m not.)
4. Make a meal plan and shop with taste in mind. Fresh produce and spices are easy and healthy ways to make your meals much tastier. This is an area where I need to change; I go to the market about once a week and never have enough produce in the fridge. With my new job, I’ll walk past the market each way everyday and I hope this helps nudge me to be different. Also, I’m getting more involved with the Phoenix Farmers’ Market.

I also figure a great way to have ready access to fresh produce is getting off my lazy duff and gardening. I’ve lamented countless times how my patio garden is tiny and gets the wrong sunlight and a dozen other reasons why it won’t work to grow a thing. However, the main reason nothing has grown is because I haven’t been here long enough to keep it watered and pay it enough attention. And frankly, I want a magic garden too! This resource for Phoenix gardeners and my new schedule are giving me hope this will change.

Peter Hoffman was recently interviewed in Bon Appetit. Hoffman is the owner of several restaurants in New York City and is a champion of buying local, supporting farmers’ markets and eating healthy food. A bit I enjoyed, while we’re on the topic:

Bon Appetit: Why should Americans support local farmers’ markets?

PH: Buying from local farmers is about getting off the grid — not the power grid, but the food-system grid. Money stays local, our outlying regions can remain agriculturally productive, and the landscape is preserved. The food tastes better because it hasn’t traveled as far and is fresher.

Bon Appetit: If someone says to you ‘I don’t shop at farmers’ markets because they’re too expensive,’ how do you respond?

PH: Get with it. That is the real cost of food. Vote with your fork and your belly, and support the opportunity to buy directly from farmers — and eat better food by buying from them.

Getting with it, Peter.


Posted in
Get Fit, Goals, Journal, Kitchen Talk, Public Health, You Can!
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14 Responses

  1. As I’m sure you already know, white bread = instant shot of sugar. Go for multigrain! Healthy eating is in my DNA too and I love the challenge of constantly improving my diet. Bagels, unfortunately, are one of my weaknesses…

  2. Cheers to eating healthy. I need to check out a local farmer’s market soon.

  3. As I finish my french toast lol. Some day I’ll get healthy again. Unlike you I was born to the yo yo dieter which I seem to have inherited.

    Whenever I’ve been to our farmer’s market the prices are usually less than the grocery store. But I do live in CA, home of the high mark ups.

  4. Good for you, Kelli, and congratulations on your new badge. I’m quite enjoying adventures with this book and learning a lot in the process.

  5. Good job Kelli. Congrats on your new badge. I wish we had a local farmers market in my town, the closet is 30 miles away and while that doesn’t seem far, some days it really is.

  6. I like Sparkpeople too. It’s a little bit tricky to count calories when you cook from scratch (unless you can add up all the ingredients somehow), but it is worthwhile to try to figure out what is going in your body.

    Love the part about the farmer’s market too. Wish we had one, I would totally shop there!

  7. Can I get a badge too? Just teasing, sorta… I have been following the four points this month and am feeling better already.

    I was raised by two totally different eaters. Mom was more of a yo yo dieter and Pops is an athlete. I toggle back and forth, but am trying to create my own path and stick to it – it probably leans more toward the athlete and paying more attention to how food makes me feel… not ready for a triathlon like you – volleyball and softball will do for now 🙂

    Keep going Miss Kelli. You will earn you badge quite soon I am sure!

  8. I am assuming you’ve read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver? I am actually reading it AGAIN right now, for inspiration! 😉

    I am currently on a “diet” of only whole foods – no white flour or sugar, limited dairy (cutting back on cheese – eeek!), no soda, nothing processed.

    Dang, it’s HARD. All I want is nachos…my fave. ;(

  9. I’ve been thinking about this since I signed up for my CSA. I’m definitely eating healthier, and eating out less because I know I know I have a huge box of veggies in the fridges.

    I love how you love writing letters. I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s so hard for me, and I love getting mail! I think that will be my mid-year resolution, at least a letter a month.

  10. I gotta say that I get more and more irked lately when I try to shop. I have a family of four (one who is no longer just eating formula) and I am desperate to give them organic, healthy food. I want to be able to shop locally and set a good example. But how to do organic/locally grown foods when I have a budget to go on. I worry more and more about the country’s obesity epidemic when the number lower income and no income families are increasing. $10 gets you tons of junk food, but maybe only a pound of apples and a loaf of bread. For example, I can get 1.5 lbs of cherries at a farmers market here.. and if I’m lucky, maybe 85% of those are good enough to eat. Or I can pay $8.99 and get 3lbs of cherries from costco, and each red cherry is nearly perfect. I really worry about this, but for now, I just do what I can for my family..

  11. Great post Kelli, I found this so helpful and informative. I have found that I tend to eat better if I shop in small quantities more often. I also do the bean thing. They freeze great. Soak them up, simmer for awhile, and freeze. But it is all baby steps, hard to break some of those habits.

  12. Um, yeah. I know how to eat healthy. I know what portion sizes I need to eat, I know what quantities and combinations of protein, carbs, fruit, veggies and small treats make me feel good, make my hair glossy and my skin breakout less, and make me feel better after exercise. But do I follow it? No! Why not? Don’t know!

  13. Rachel,

    I am Greg Peterson’s ‘blog guy’, and I wanted to thank you for publishing the link to his Planting and Harvest Calender.

    If there is anything I can do for you please don’t hesitate to ask.