A lot of people have asked what kind of diet I am on and I find it really hard to answer because I don’t believe I am on a diet really but more of a food reprogramming of sorts. I know what’s good for me and I believe that most people know what’s good for them. I’m pretty sure that most of us know that a piece of fruit is better than a bag of chips, and that a nice piece of broiled chicken is better than a deep fried one. WE KNOW THIS! Yet, it is so easy to make bad choices and easier yet to turn those bad choices into habits.
So, what’s my diet? It’s buying the best food available and affordable to my wallet. Food that I like and food that I know is good for me. I keep good food at home so cheating becomes something that happens outside and not on a regular basis. I understand that for those of you with kids or big families this can sound hard but it is never too early to teach children or to late to teach adults how to make healthier choices; so get everybody on board. Roommates too if that’s your living arrangement. Tell them it’s an experiment and give it a time limit (at least a month). It is very likely that after a month everyone will be on board to continue. I have found that losing weight is a team effort. You need to get as many people as you can on your side and kick the skeptics and party poopers to the curb.
Learn about food. Read, read, and read some more. Read books, magazines, blogs, health sites, etc. Ask questions. Ask why. A lot. Each body is different, our tastes are different so you can’t expect that what works for somebody else must work for you. Find your way.
So what’s for lunch? Today I tried a new recipe. As I am writing this I already had lunch so I can tell you that it was fabulous. I made Pasta with Anchovies and Tomato but of course gave it my own twist. I added cayenne pepper instead of adding dried chilies and parmesan because I thought I should… I don’t think I will do it next time only because I felt that the parmesan overpowered the anchovy taste. I tried the sauce alone and it was amazing. Here’s why I chose this recipe:
- Pasta is yummy – I used whole wheat thin spaghetti
- Cherry tomatoes – Smaller tomatoes pack more lycopene (antioxidants… we want those) but all tomatoes do as well as other bright colored veggies.
- Anchovies – Well aside from the amazing taste, these little fishies are one of the five Omega-3 champs.
- Garlic – good for the heart and a natural antibiotic to name a few reasons to eat it everyday.
- Olive Oil – also good for the heart.
- Cayenne Pepper – A little secret weapon known to “help burn calories and curb appetite, especially in people who aren’t used to eating it” (that’s me).
I paired this with a glass of cold Hibiscus tea with no sweetener. There is no strong evidence of it’s dietary benefits but some studies have found some benefits. It beats just water and it’s pretty to look at. That counts too, no? 🙂
Anywho… this is my point. Every ingredient in your plate should have a good reason to be there. Choose wisely. Remember that Knowledge is Power. Here’s a list of great books about food. I am biased towards anything by Michael Pollan and I really enjoyed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life but there are many to choose from. If there’s a book you’d like to recommend please let us know in the comments.