Commit to Fit | Week 14

Author | Commit to Fit 2013 Winner, Judith Zissman

It’s been a challenging few weeks. Nothing catastrophic, but just challenging, the way life is sometimes. My son is teething and standing, both of which interfere with his ability to nap, which then starts a cascade of crankiness. I’m in the midst of some discussions about the future of my work life, all of which are interesting and exciting, but which will potentially change my day-to-day life significantly. And finally, I’m finishing up a round of lengthy medical treatments for my iron-deficiency anemia.

My nutrition and exercise efforts have been harder to manage, but have not slipped in priority. That said, I had a somewhat ridiculous grocery store moment on the way home from the hospital the other week. I wandered through the store a bit distracted, trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I found myself reaching for (and purchasing!) some comfort food: a delicious slab of Whole Foods Three Cheese Ciabatta. I can’t find the nutritional information online, but I think we can all agree that it’s right up there with kale on the list of foods you should eat regularly if you want to live forever.

When I reviewed my food choices for the week with Sarah, I mentioned that this was probably not my best choice for my current fitness and nutritional goals, and Sarah suggested that a good guideline to consider would be to have 80% of my food choices come from superfoods.

Over the past few years, we’ve all heard a lot about these superfoods. Everyone has a slightly different idea of what this means and what foods count as superfoods, but for the most part people agree that these are nutrient-rich foods that have significant benefits beyond the caloric energy they provide.

These benefits might include antioxidants (important for protecting and repairing our cells), anti-inflammatories (to reduce the inflammation that causes chronic disease), essential fatty acids (important for brain and heart health) and other key nutritional boosts that are crucial for health.

Here’s a list of some common superfoods, and a list of less common superfoods. Personally, I’m going to skip the Elk Antler Velvet, but many of the foods on these lists are the foods I eat every day, and I feel pretty good about my choices. I eat blueberries, kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts most days, as well as steel cut oats, lentils and beans, yogurt, tea and oranges.

I’ve noticed that when I get tired I tend to default to carb-heavy foods, like a lot of people do. This makes sense on some level: the body wants quick energy since it’s not getting enough sleep. And maybe this, along with the intangible benefits of comfort, satiety, deliciousness, are the superpowers of cheese bread, even if those benefits don’t really measure up in terms of the fat and calorie expenditure. And those kinds of superpowers are probably best as an occasional single-serving treat rather than part of the weekly grocery haul.

Overall, my nutrition and exercise efforts for this first quarter of my Commit to Fit year have been really satisfying. Billy and I checked my measurements last week, and I’ve lost 20.5 inches from various parts of my body, with an average of almost two inches from each area. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I feel like I’ve lost 20 pounds a million times before, so it doesn’t feel like a tremendous accomplishment, but losing 20 inches really does. It’s exciting!