Summer is around the corner, although in many places, it still feels like winter.
Soon enough, the weather will be hot and it will be time to break out the clothes that consist of less material. A lot of us dread this time of year, especially when we’ve put on weight and want to avoid anything that shows the real shape of our bodies.
I am one of those people.
This is the first year I find myself more mindful of my eating and really wanting to be healthy.
Do I want to look like actress, Halle Berry?
But I am not about to put that kind of pressure on myself.
Just like cooking and living the general dream process, it’s so much easier to live in the present but with a reasonable plan that works for you personally.
In one of my past blog posts I mentioned that hindsight is 20/20 and although I gained weight as a result of poor living habits and stress from surviving Hurricane Katrina, I finally came to the realization that my weight gain actually started around the year 2000.
The fact still remains that here and now, at this moment, I am far too many pounds overweight and have been blowing it off too many times. I wanted it but I wasn’t willing to work for it and guess what? I didn’t want it bad enough.
If you don’t start really finding what personally works for you regarding what you put in your mouth, you don’t want it bad enough either.
I have pictures of 2 bathing suits that I refuse to rid of. I vow to buy at least one (especially since I found out the other is 500 and the fact that it can’t get wet).
That’s right, one cannot get into the water with this… I digress.
This year I’ve experimented with different foods and I’ve become more aware of the source of what I am eating and I’ve discovered logic in this. If you eat something and you don’t feel well afterwards ( which includes feeling sluggish, tired, cloudy in the head ), it’s not for you.
Each of us are a unique being and our chemistry is different so what works for one person may not work for another.
I’d like to share with you what I’ve discovered is working for me so far and why.
I hope that it is a helpful guide for you to do your personal eating exploration so you can wear your dream bathing suit.
9 Nourishing Staples to Help you Lose Weight
I’ve never gotten into rice. For years I said “rice is boring”. Now, I can’t get enough of it. It’s light, it’s clean and it’s from the earth. You may be saying, “Yeah, but I’d much rather a nice bowl of angel hair pasta.” Well, sometimes I would too and I will have some, but a very small amount. What has blown my mind is that I don’t crave pasta much anymore because I have really thought about what pasta is: flour, eggs and water.
If you mix flour, eggs and water before it’s rolled and formed into the beautiful strands and shapes, it’s disgusting.
Every time I wanted pasta (which was a lot), I would visualize a bowl of flour water and eggs mixed together. That took care of my craving. I also have irritable bowel syndrome and NOTHING will help my stomach spasms and get me back on track like rice. Think about it– In Asian countries, the people eat rice as a huge percentage of their diet and they are some of the healthiest people on this earth.
Fresh fish. Not the crap sold in bags that is frozen with preservatives. A nice piece of salmon, raw or seared with some capers and lemon or fresh tarragon and avocado. Fish is something else that when I eat it, I get full but I don’t find myself saying “OH MY GOD, I am so full.” It’s another clean food and it’s from the sea.
Not the yogurt with the fruit on the bottom.Plain, low to no fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. Cut some pineapple and drizzle some good quality local honey and maybe some pure vanilla extract on the yogurt if you want to cut the tartness of the yogurt. The other great thing about Greek yogurt is that you can make tzaziki with it and use it as a spread for a gyro or on some grilled chicken (but remember, check the source of your chicken).
If the chicken was shot up with antibiotics and hormones and also was in an inhumane environment, it was abused, neglected, stressed and unhappy. That will be passed on to your body and as a result, your body won’t change to a healthier state which is necessary for your weight loss.
Load up on them. In New Orleans, we learned how to cook red beans and rice before we could walk. We learned to cook them with ham, lots of sausage, sometimes butter at the end to make them creamy and, are you ready? They were served with a breaded pork chop and hot-buttered, french bread. Did I say it’s not orgasmic? No, but if you don’t find alternative ways to cook beans, you might as well wear a tent on the beach.
There are a million ways to cook and eat them. Throw them in with fresh spinach, red onion and some good quality pure feta cheese with a red wine vinaigrette. I also eat tons of black beans cooked with onions and lots of cilantro sometimes topped with low or non-fat sour cream. You can also put a piece of chicken or pork on top with some fresh avocado slices and rice or wrap it alone or with some grilled shrimp in a low carbohydrate, high-fiber tortilla with real cheese (grate it yourself) and trust me, it will keep you full for a long time, even with gas
All of them. Read the label. Remember to look at the source.
7. Vegetables and Fruit:
All of them. Fresh or even quick frozen as long as they are pure. Not canned.
Squeeze a half of a lemon in a cup of hot water and drink a few cups a day or one in the morning. This is a natural detoxifier and lemon water makes your body alkaline. It also curbs your appetite and cravings.
That is all I will share this week and don’t forget to go to your ” pantry list” and use seasonings, marinades and herbs to make things taste good. Remember, if it comes from nature and is not modified with artificial things, it’s good. If it’s made by people in a factory, forget about it.
I promise you that your body will feel better and thank you by ridding of all of the crap that’s accumulated for many years. It’s a slow process but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Now, there are exceptions to the rule:
- Reward and celebratory meals.
- When you are sick of eating so clean.
Blow it out every now and then.
The other thing that will guarantee your weight loss success is what television character, Sargent Cater used to scream at fellow character, Gomer Pyle all of the time, “MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!” (Refer to 8 Women Dreamer, Heather Montgomery’s blog posts. She lost over 80 pounds and she didn’t do it by sitting around).
This week I leave you with one of my favorite things to eat which gives me energy and never makes me feel bad. Feel free to e mail me if you would like recipes or more creative ideas for eating healthy but eating well.
Pan Seared Salmon with Artichoke Hearts and White Wine
- 4 (4-ounce) salmon filets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus 1/2 cup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt Freshly white pepper, to taste
- 2 cups artichoke hearts
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly rub the salmon fillets with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season the top with salt and pepper. Sear salmon in a hot skillet on both sides and set aside.
If you wish to finish the salmon in the oven for a well done piece of salmon, put salmon in the oven in a separate pan.
Pour white wine , garlic and artichoke hearts in the skillet that the salmon was cooked. Sauté until the artichoke hearts are heated through and the chardonnay has reduced by half. Season with salt, pepper and basil.
Top salmon with artichoke mixture.
To all your culinary dreams,