I choose to look at my evolving relationship with food not as a diet but a lifestyle change, which I believe is the only way to be successful. I’ve been thinking about diets for a variety of reasons.
My most recent inspiration for this post was an article from a friend in my Facebook news feed about the “soup diet” saying “must try” but I can tell her from personal experience you will lose weight but most likely gain it back because it’s not a sustainable way of eating. As we head into the season of New Year’s resolutions we are bombarded by promises of miraculous weight loss with weight loss programs, diets, and magic pills.
Perhaps diets work for some people but they’ve never worked for me so my goal is changing how and what I eat. I’m fortunate to have time away from work allowing me to kick start my change but I know I could have done this while I was working. When I was working it was just easier to find excuses to not eat healthy but that’s all they were, excuses.
With all my excuses gone I did a complete overhaul in my kitchen and changed the way I shop. The simple fact is if you keep healthy food in your kitchen you will eat healthy food (See my somewhat depleted healthy snack corner in the pic above). Depending on what I want to eat that week I sometimes have to go to the store a couple times a week but I plan it into my grocery budget for the month. These trips are usually under $10 because I’m just adding in fresh ingredients to the staples (rice, proteins, beans, pasta, etc.) I’ve bought during my big trip to the grocery store.
I’m finally learning to enjoy new foods but it took experimenting and research. Each time I went shopping I would pick out fruits or veggies I’d never tried and either find a new recipe or incorporate it into an old one. This required research sometimes but thankfully there’s no shortage of information that will tell you how to pick out avocados (which I’m obsessed with now) or eat a dragon fruit. I continue to experiment so I don’t get bored plus the more healthy alternatives I find the easier it gets to stay on track.
I still slip up but when I indulge I try to put a healthy twist on it. Last night I wanted nachos so I decided to indulge the craving but added some leftover salmon. An avocado, a scoop of sour cream, and a spoonful of pico all mixed together with it and it was delicious. In the past I would have included about 1/2 cup more cheese.
It’s a constant process but I’m getting further away from craving foods I used to enjoy such as fast foods and frozen foods. I’ve been thinking about chicken strips lately (one of my staples a few months ago) but I’m going to buy some chicken breasts and make my own with some sweet potato fries, which actually sounds better than a fast food meal or a bag of frozen breaded chicken. I’m starting to crave the healthier foods because they’re not some strange food choice but simply a regular part of my diet.
I limit certain foods especially processed foods. I look for fresh ingredients or simple foods, trying to avoid ingredients I can’t pronounce or don’t know. I’m still working on serving sizes, cooking smaller portions and to stop eating when I’m full; however, I’m happy with the changes I’ve made and that I’m finally learning to love food instead of just mindlessly eating.