Healthy(ish) Living: Mixed Results

In early April I posted about my hardcore goals of living well & healthy while on residency at Jentel in Banner, WY. Well, call me idealistic in that sense. Once I got situated at Jentel and you know how much I loved it there, there was a quick camaraderie with the other residents and it was suggested by Joyce (who'd been at Jentel previously) that some groups tended to cook each night for the group. This could cut down on shopping costs and also make for a good rotation of varied eats. As we saw when looking through the "memory books" that this was indeed something that many of the groups did often and many kept schedules and took pictures and there's a growing Jentel recipe book chock full of international eats!

So, once it became a group thing rather than an individual thing for eating and also the fact that I have crap willpower things changed a bit. Plus, chocolate was everywhere! Everywhere I tell you! (Two words: M&M Pretzels.)

So to look at the points I posed for myself let's see how I did, shall we?

1) Eat very little red meat. Result: Fail. Since I didn't eat ham or pork some of the alternates that were provided to me was beef. We also had a rotation of goods or overabundance of certain meats and that left beef as a substitute. I cooked very little beef only two servings for myself, but consumed many tasty treats by others that included it. I'm not complaining.

2) Very little if any baked goods. Result: Fail. Beyond the constantly refilling bowl of M&Ms there was also brownies to welcome us there for our first evening meal. We had some nice festivities including Joyce's delicious apple tart and as a way to get rid of excess items Rachel and I baked towards the end to try and get rid of perishable goods. I also had to try Java Moon's delicacies such as their pumpkin bar (really a cake, ok and their strawberry scone, very good). Plus, a friend/co-worker purchased a large Zabar's NY chocolate package for me and that couldn't go to waste, could it?

3) Eat at least 3 servings of fruit & veggies a day. Result: Success! Finally! Since my fellow residents were quite health concious there was always salad available with a meal of a nice veggie side and as pre-dinner apps we'd eat carrot sticks or celery sticks with hummus. During the morning I ate at least two servings of a fruit and also like some natural applesauce with my pretzels.

4) Bake rather than fry items. Result: Success! Like I said in my post I often do this at home so it wasn't a big deal to apply this while at Jentel either.

5) 1 takeout meal a week. Result: Major success! Once a week Karen was kind enough to drive us into town to try some other eateries in the area and for us to get a break from cooking and cleaning. So we didn't go out often. Mainly stayed in and cooked for ourselves which was the point, really. We went to Oliver's, Silver Spur, and Lulu's Cafe and tried Java Moon's items once we went into town every Thursday. I also did a quick Arby's trip one day. Love that stuff.

6) Eat more fiber. Result: Fail. I did end up eating oatmeal cookies. (See week 3 post of Joyce's huge cookies.) Karen turned me on to quinoa pasta which is heavy in protein rather than carbs and I ate artisan multigrain bread every so often but outside of that and wheat thins, little additional fiber added to my diet. Oh, I did have Kashi cereal which is more fiber enriched than your everyday General Mills stuff, but still I could've done better.

7) Snacks should be 100 calories or lower. Result: Mixed. I did make sure to eat the serving size for items like pretzels and wheat thins and crackers. I ate more cheese so that could've added some items but got low-fat as often as I could. Karen also introduced me to kale chips which I love! I can't imagine those are more than 100 cals per serving if you eat less than a bunch or half that. Tasty snacks. Of course snacks also included sweets like M&Ms and desserts (cookies, tart) so this fluctuated.

8 ) Incorporate seafood as much as possible. Result: Mixed. Mixed because, like I said, we cooked for each other a lot and I wasn't always in control of meals. I bought a lot of shrimp and made 5 meals from it including a large one for the group, bought some shrimp scampi and also salmon and we had fish tacos (a la Lisa one evening) and even when we went to Lulu's I ordered some salmon, so I think I did okay.

9) Exercise at least 40 minutes a day. Result: Not a fail, but not satisfactory. Some of us residents spoke about these ideals we had about coming into our residency. What happens when on residency is that you work and you work and you work. Especially if you know you won't have this time after said residency ends. So, it was like a work day and as time wound down it came time for us to put in OT! Add on top of that fluctuating weather where it snowed all day and/or rained and you have not good walking weather. When I walked I walked for over an hour and I did this on a few days. I also exercised in my room for at least 30 minutes of cardio a handful of days also. Surprisingly I saw that I did lose weight as per the scale in my bathroom. I think it was from eating less often and eating more veggies and fruit as snacks and in meals. Plus the place itself was huge so that helped getting from point a to b.

So that's my tally of excuses! Wasn't easy in the least but creatively I got a lot done and was happy I didn't add too much weight. My first week home however has been horrid and sweets abundant from co-workers so we'll see if I can try to apply said rules to my daily life rather than when I'm away.