Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness guru. I am sharing what I’ve learned through research and experience; you all must use your own judgment in deciding what is best for your and your own health, including checking with your doctor before beginning any exercise or dietary program.
The day I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes, my doctor sent me to a nutritionist. I needed a refresher course in the basics of healthy nutrition, and I needed to learn how to choose and prepare foods that would prolong the life of my dying pancreas. My first homework assignment from the nutritionist was to purge my kitchen. As in get home before husband and offspring, pull out a contractor sized garbage bag and toss away every crumb of processed non healthy food in the house. She meant chips, cookies, candy, shortening, overly salted prepared frozen food, ice cream, soda and sports drinks. Did I do it? You can bet your sweet patootie I did. I’m in charge of the procurement, preparation and presentation of all food in the Pea household, and if I was going to dive head first into a healthy lifestyle, I was going to take the rest of them with me!
The whole point of the homework was to Proof My Space – that is, make it a safe environment for me while I relearned the basics of healthy eating. Remove the temptation in front of my face while I reined in my eating habits and detoxed from my carb loaded sugar frosted lifestyle. The plan was to replace the garbage with healthy choices such as fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein and low-fat dairy products.
(Aside – In all honesty, it wasn’t too terrible on the rest of the family, because growing teens are totally starving all the time and will pretty much eat anything you set in front of them. I also made a house rule that if anyone just had to have nacho cheese Doritos or Fudgsicles, they had to buy them with their own money. Funny how much more appealing apples, celery and peanut butter became if Mom was paying for them!)
I’m just about at goal weight now, and my home is still a Food Safe arena. Oh yes, there is ice cream in the freezer for Mr. Pea and the Offspring, but I’m okay now with leaving it there. I don’t feel the need to go out to the garage with spoon in hand and eat half a gallon at a time. My fridge is loaded with fresh produce, and the pantry is full of low sodium, whole grain goodness.
I’ve also created a Food Safe Space at the office. I do NOT have a candy dish on my credenza anymore. I have a fruit bowl. Everyone in the office is welcome to help themselves, just as they were welcome to my candy dish. See? I’m actually helping others to get and stay healthy!
It’s full of my current favorites – Honey tangerines and Opal apples. And a random pear from last week. You NEED to try the Honeys. Don’t let their ugly peels deter you – low acid citrus with a mellow, honey sweet flavor. The Opals are just as fabulous! The flavor of golden delicious, with the snap and juiciness of a Honeycrisp, as well as the most incredible golden-yellow color.
Proof Your Space(s). Keep the Faith.