50/50: Try whole foods instead of a dietI hate diets. They just don’t work. You’re changing a long-established pattern of behavior for a brief time and then expecting it to stay changed once you’ve achieved your goals.
By: Susie Ekberg Risher, INFORUM
I hate diets. They just don’t work. You’re changing a long-established pattern of behavior for a brief time and then expecting it to stay changed once you’ve achieved your goals.
Unless you’re making changes that make good sense to your body, your chances for permanent success are slim. I understand the need for eating less if you eat a lot, and for moving more if you don’t move, and for eating cleaner if you are a dirty eater. But let’s get down to business: What really works?
It makes sense that our body has its own beautiful divine intelligence. Left to its own devices, it will let us know what it needs, and we can then take the necessary steps to support it.
And no, your body will not want a Snickers bar or to lie around all day.
It is designed to move, to have a steady stream of energy and fluids. It’s designed to stretch and breathe deeply and be happy. It also makes sense that we should be able to get all the nutrients we need by eating a broad range of food – in moderation.
I’ve heard so many people say that they couldn’t live without sugar and junk food and fast food. When I tell them how I’m eating they say, “But what DO you eat? There’s nothing left!”
Simply put, when you eat whole food (not in a package) you have unlimited possibilities. But you need to start cooking, not ripping open boxes. You need to start shopping and chopping instead of handing your money to a fast food worker. Running into Dunkin’ Donuts does not count as an aerobic activity.
It takes time to make healthy choices, but you can also make double batches and freeze half for later. Ultimately you’ll save a lot of time because you’ll have more energy to get things done and spend less time being sick.
To prove that healthy eating is delicious eating, I want to share one of my favorite all-time recipes with you. It’s really healthy, and more importantly tastes delicious. It’s from my daughter, a great cook who is also dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.
We share recipes that we’ve found, which is a great idea when you’re looking to make some changes in your cooking. Ask friends and family who are good cooks and healthy eaters (Pinterest is a great resource for finding specific recipes like “gluten-free crockpot chicken recipes”).
I’ve learned that when I make good food, I breathe in the good smells and take time to really savor every bite. I always feel so happy by the end of the meal.
So whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian or an omnivore, it is possible to eat a lot of really great things that will make your body say a huge thank-you.
Kari’s Turkey Chili
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, squeezed
1-2 bell peppers (I use one green one red for color.)
½ sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans stewed tomatoes (be sure to use stewed so you’ll get that amazing juice)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use black beans)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 pound organic ground turkey
2 tablespoons chili powder (I use Penzey’s Chili 9000 – it has lots more spices in it)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 cup water
Pour the oil into a large, heavy saucepan; add garlic, sweet potato and peppers – cook for a while. In a different pan, cook the ground turkey and drain. After about 10 minutes, add the chili powder, cumin and oregano to the vegetables and cook a little more.
Add the stewed tomatoes and juices, kidney beans and chickpeas, tomato paste and ground turkey, water and bouillon to the vegetables.
Cover and let cook on medium for an hour, stirring occasionally. Yum. Really, you may as well just make a double batch right away. This freezes perfectly.
Susie Ekberg Risher is a writer living in Fargo. Follow her on a yearlong journey to lose 50 pounds – half through emotional work and half through physical effort. Readers can reach her at email@example.com.