Holley Johnson Grainger
March 04, 2011

I first learned about the 12 Healthy Habits at a staff meeting in October 2010. Being a registered dietitian and always striving to "practice what I preach," I barely blinked an eye at being able to complete most all of the habits each month. I know, I sound like a Healthy Habits snob, don't get me wrong. I love my fair share of chocolate, red wine, ice cream, and eating out, but making healthy choices, cooking, and working out are a part of my everyday lifestyle. I'll admit, a few of the habits were going to challenge me, but I was ready to go and ready to encourage my husband to adopt the habits as well.

And then everything changed...

January came and the habit of Eating More Fruits and Vegetables was the last thing I wanted to think about. I was 8-12 weeks pregnant during the month and in the "throws" (literally) of the first trimester yucks. I wish the habit of the month had been to eat as much starch and sour candy as possible because I would have succeeded with flying colors. Instead, I gave myself a big FAIL for this habit! The thought of my go-to weeknight veggies like roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes made me cringe, my favorite snack of hummus with English cucumber slices and baby carrots literally brought tears to my eyes (seriously, I cried), and don't even get me started on the smell of broccoli. It was a disaster! Not only could I not eat fruits and vegetables, but I couldn't even drink juice. January Score: F


The second month's challenge to Get Moving fared a little better but was still a pretty big bomb. I went back to doing bootcamp one to two days a week with the necessary modifications to not overdo it and walked whenever possible. I had no idea the taking 2 months off and adding pregnancy to the mix would make a semi-challenging workout almost impossible. I was more focused this month on achieving the healthy habit and did okay--not as well as I thought I would do back in October but not a total fail. The other good news was that the "Eat More Fruits and Veggies" habit from January was slowly coming back into play. Veggies were still the enemy, but at least apples, oranges, pears, and grapes tasted good and didn't make me cry. February Score: C-

Month three...Get Cooking. I'm 16 weeks and life is improving. My so-called "frenemies" who lovingly and patiently promised that I would once again be able to eat cheese, bell peppers, a salad, and chicken weren't lying to me after all (thankfully, they're back to "friends"). Having barely stepped into my favorite room in the house for two solid months as well as sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store crying (are you detecting a pattern...?) on the phone to my mom or husband because I didn't want to go in are slowly becoming memories of the past. I've found that while cooking certain foods still challenge me greatly (sorry raw shrimp), I've learned that if I can get in and out of the kitchen and make something quick and easy, I can create a healthy meal that tastes good. I'll admit I'm spoiled because I've tried over 600 of the Cooking Light Dinner Tonight recipes over the last three years (I'm the DT video gal on MyRecipes.com), so I can quickly choose an easy recipe from a long file of favorites. Any of the Dinner Tonight or Superfast recipes on CookingLight.com are sure to make my goal of achieving the March HH slightly easier. March Score: B- (with the hopes of bumping up to an A by the end of the month).

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