Happy New Year! I‘ve been on a much-needed hiatus from writing, busy enjoying family, travel, upgrading tech components (with a few more things to come) on my blog, AND creating flour sack kitchen towels! Here’s a peek:
Getting the towels onto the blog for sale is taking longer than expected, but stay tuned and I’ll release them to my loyal subscribers very soon 🙂
Now that it’s January, I’m ready to get back into creating delicious food! But it’s also a time when many of us consider what we’ll do better in the new year. We say things like “I’m going to get this bod back into shape,” “I’ll call friends and family more often,” “I’ll meditate every day,” or that old favorite “I’ll eat really healthy, cutting out sugar and white flour!” We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and get disappointed if we falter in our attempt to do something huge, all at one time. I can’t speak to spiritual or physical fitness goals you have, and I’m not a dietician, but I CAN offer some manageable things you can do toward healthier eating goals:
1) For the love of Pete (whoever he is) DON’T GO COLD TURKEY! After the onslaught of holiday eating, your body might benefit from a gradual transition. Example: if you want to eliminate carbs but love toast with breakfast, try swapping out that slab of white-flour with a whole grain slice, maybe even something sprouted if you feel adventurous. Try that for a week, see how you feel, then ween yourself off the toast in week two. Your body (and mind) will assimilate and you can enjoy your scrambled eggs and tomatoes without a side of resentment 🙂
2) Have healthy snacks available. One of my downfalls is Lay’s potato chips – classic, thin ones that are perfect by themselves or, Heaven help me, alongside a bowl of onion dip. But keeping unhealthy snacks in the cupboard is risky, and out of sight really does mean out of mind, so keep only good snacks handy for inevitable hunger pangs. I like to make small energy balls with oatmeal, warm almond (or peanut) butter & honey (for easier mixing), seeds or nuts, and dried/chopped dates – no specific; whatever I have that forms a ball and stays together. The natural sugar and complex carbs satisfy my cravings and give me energy. I also keep cucumber, apple and other healthy things chopped/in the fridge so I don’t have to prep anything when I’m hungry enough to eat the wallpaper.
3) Opt for fresh veggies and use canned ones for hurricane/blizzard readiness. In Florida, farmers markets are filled with seasonal veggies, especially leafy greens, radishes, beets, turnip, tomatoes, papayas, berries and more (and there are awesome places outside the Sunshine State that have healthy stuff, too). Stock up on a few, but don’t buy more than you can consume in one week!
4) Each week, buy one produce item you’ve never tried. If you see Watermelon radishes, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, heirloom tomatoes, or maybe that funny-looking Kohlrabi, put it in your cart. Trying new things is fun, it expands your culinary choices and makes you really think about the food you’re consuming. You can find recipes on the blog and you can even ask me for suggestions! Even if you don’t like it, you can still give yourself props for being adventurous.
5) Start with one meatless meal. Rather than eliminating meat immediately, try this one day each week by loading up on sautéed or roasted veggies, a baked potato, a healthy grain or squash in place of meat. When making soup, swap out typical meat with Portobello mushrooms – they’re sturdy and have umami flavor that can mimic meat. In salads, instead of meat, add roasted chickpeas. Work your way up to 2 or 3 days each week and keep going from there. But don’t beat yourself up if you crave a piece of chicken — moderation is key and self-flagellation is just painful.
6) Eliminate sugar gradually. Start with one day without sugar, then two days, then one week, etc. Small targets lead to big targets, and before you know it, you won’t miss it.
7) Make your own salad dressing. This may seem like a weird tip, but it’s a smart one. Store-bought dressings can be loaded with corn syrup, sodium, artificial fillers and calories you don’t need. Homemade dressing is easy, healthy and more economical. One of the most basic dressings is comprised of olive oil, lemon juice, salt/pepper, and maybe fresh herbs like parsley, basil or dill. Here’s a pretty universal recipe: 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/8-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, several grinds black pepper, shaken in a lidded jar. Consider doubling or tripling it to have it handy in the fridge for your next salad. Or, try one of these recipes on the blog: miso dressing, Asian-style dressing, citrus dressing, balsamic dressing.
Well, that’s it for now. I wish you luck in your healthier eating goals, and I appreciate you keeping up with My Delicious Blog. Happy 2019!