In the last year I have switched up my already healthy eating to healthy eating that has helped me get a lot more lean and strong. For the first time, I found myself able to shape up without feeling like I was denying myself any of my favourite things. Now I have a friend who is making some similar changes - GO DANIEL! - so I thought I'd post some of the things that have worked for me. Please feel welcome to try them, and to share what has worked for you.
One enormous influence is the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.
Pollan has a simple philosophy for healthy and sustainable eating:
Not too much
That's pretty easy! For me, it boiled down to cutting out the few processed and packaged concoctions that I eat. (If your Grandma wouldn't recognize it as food, it's not food.) Then I looked at my typical plate, and doubled or tripled the proportion of plant to other stuff. More veggies, less starch, protein and fat. I like to eat a lot, so I began eating a LOT of fruits and veggies. Luckily I like to cook, so I kept it interesting by looking for new ingredients and combinations. Try this salad (from 101 Simple Salads for the Season by Mark Bittman of the New York Times)
"2. Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing."
It is astonishing, and big bowl of this yummy concoction, eaten along with my humble tuna sandwich at lunch makes lunch so satisfying. Here's another - a new twist on pasta salad:
"85. Mix lots of arugula with somewhat less cold whole wheat penne, lemon zest, olive oil and Parmesan. The idea is an arugula salad with pasta, not a pasta salad with arugula."
This one is sufficient for a meal if you eat a big bowl. I spring for the good parmesan and put dime-size shavings of it through the salad. Yum. Also, lots of pepper.
Last 2 recipes for now, but more to come if you like them:
What I had for breakfast today
small handfull of dried cranberries
glob of yogurt (fruit sweetened or not, depending on your taste)
handful of toasted whole almonds
sprinkle of granola
Core and chop the apple (leave the skin on). Mix it with the cranberries, almonds and yogurt, stirring it up to coat the apples. Sprinkle some granola on top. This recipe is mostly fruit and very filling.
What I make for breakfast (or lunch) when I want a "big breakfast" (what I made my son for breakfast this morning)
chopped bell pepper - whatever colour you like
chopped red onion
cherry tomatoes - halved
whole grain tortilla
cilantro (if you like it)
Saute the pepper, onions and cherry tomatoes in a small frying pan with olive oil. When they are partly cooked, make a nest in the middle and break the eggs into the nest. Proceed to cook the eggs however you prefer - scrambled, easy over or sunny side (my favourite). Near the end of the egg cooking, put some feta on top and cover the fry pan with a lid to steam the veggies and melt the cheese a bit.
Heat up the tortilla in a microwave or the toaster oven or big oven, or in another frying pan, just to warm and soften it a bit.
Put the tortilla on a plate. Slide the cooked eggs and veggies on top of the tortilla. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, salsa and sour cream.
***Olive oil, sour cream, chocolate, cheese, butter, wine... all of these things are part of healthy eating. The trick is to get the right proportion of these into your everyday eating. I'm pretty generous with olive oil because it has lots of health benefits, and I include my other "craves" whenever I want them, but in reasonable portions, and not when I am starving hungry and likely to eat a whole bunch. So enjoy a blob of real sour cream on your tortilla. The big pile of veggies and satisfying protein of eggs will ensure that you don't consume a whole tub of the cream.
That's all for now. I hope these are useful tips and recipes. Enjoy your exercise, enjoy your food. Love yourself and the planet and the people around you. Cook for yourself and others. Enjoy when others cook for you.
question: who cooks for you?
mompoet - part chef, part owl