Last week my husband (Del) and I did something crazy…
We decided we would get seven solid hours of sleep – and we would try to exercise at least sixty minutes every day of the week.
Because Del works early in the morning, we decided we would get up at 4:30 am and then I would go exercise and he would go to work (yes, we went to bed at 9:30 pm each night). Del would then exercise after work.
We decided to get sleep and work out because… we just decided to try it for a week. It was not a New Year’s resolution. We don’t need to lose weight. Both of us are fairly healthy. Prior to getting seven solid hours of sleep, our sleep patterns were erratic and ranged from 5-10 hours with periodic napping.
Wednesday night – after a mere four days of solid sleep, Del looked at me and said “I feel amazing. I haven’t felt this good since, well, I don’t know when.”
Then I said another idea, “What if we actually lived how scientists recommend? I mean, what if we actually ate according to the food pyramid AND got seven hours of sleep AND exercised?”
And ANOTHER crazy idea was born.
Starting Sunday we are going to spend one full week eating, resting, and exercising according to recommended amounts. We are going to do this just to see how good we will feel afterwards (or bad, because you just never know).
The path to better health had already been paved with changing our schedules (quite drastically) to sleep more and to exercise. So, of course, the next logical change was figuring out how to alter our diets. We did this by, picking the pyramid, figuring out what we needed to get, and SHOPPING!
STEP 1: Picking the pyramid… or plate?
Since we are already getting enough sleep and exercise – the first task was to select a food pyramid. We quickly found out two things. First, food pyramids vary by country and/or culture. For example, The Latin American pyramid recommends you eat fish or shellfish daily, while the Mediterranean diet recommends fish on a weekly basis. Second, we found out that the US food pyramid was replaced with a plate (see: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/). Thus, the pyramid we were looking to recreate within our own diets had been replaced. Being crazy – yet simplistic – we opted for the plate program.
Step 2: Breaking down the plate
Daily, the plate recommends the following-
- Grains – 5 ounces a day (60% whole grains)
- Vegetables – 2 cups a day (11% dark green, 29% red/orange, 7% beans/peas, 28% starchy, 25% other)
- Fruit – 1 ½ cups a day
- Dairy – 3 cups a day
- Protein Foods – 5 ounces (with seafood twice a week)
Step 3: The shopping list
1 box of Quinoa
2 Whole grain pizza crust
1 box Whole grain instant rice (because I’m not taking 2 hours to make rice)
4 Red Peppers
1 crown of Broccoli
1 bag of Spinach (not frozen)
1 thingy of frozen Brussel sprouts
1 pound of Carrots
3 Sweet Potatoes
5 pounds of Apples
3 pounds of Oranges (when will nectarines be back in season #firstworldproblems)
1 gallon fat-free Milk (and lactose-free, sigh to lactose)
4 pounds of Cheese (YES!)
15 oz Cream Cheese
32 oz Coffee Creamer
3 pounds Chicken
Fish of sound kind (which I never eat)
Sliced Almonds (I already have oats and will make granola for breakfasts)
Step 4: Each, watch and wait………….