I’ve got to stick with my cooking and packing theme for another day, after all, it’s one of the biggest topics I get emailed about. More than anything, I want to convince you all that your health and weight aren’t the result of not enough pharmaceuticals or diet foods, but the end product of your everyday food choices and lifestyle habits. You Have So Much Power to Change Yourself!!!
I love all the new Paleo/ Real Whole Food recipe sites out there, and the Cookbooks that go with them are amazing (although I ONLY use the internet for my recipes). HOWEVER…… between the FoodNetwork, Food TV shows, the Cooking Channel, internet recipes, and food magazine covers and recipes, there’s this HUGE MISPERCEPTION that to make great food, you need to invest time, money, and a lot of effort. You. Don’t.
I rarely ever, ever, ever, make a “recipe” in the past couple of years. I don’t really need to anymore. I did when I cooked lowfat/lowcal, because you need a LOT of tricks to make bland, fatless food taste good, but that’s just not necessary when you use Real Whole Food with Fat Attached. Honestly. All the years of combing through chicken recipes, (I have one old cookbook called “1,000 Chicken Recipes”) , marinating the chicken, coating it, sauteing it, blahblahblahblah, and sometimes it still came out tough and dry. Now I buy bone in/ FAT ON chicken, pop it in the oven on 400 for 40 minutes with salt and pepper, and it comes out perfect EVERY SINGLE TIME. I slow roast meats with the “fat up”, with salt and pepper, and it comes out perfect every single time. I cook fatty lamb sausage, or pork and venison sausage, and don’t drain off all the fat, and it comes out perfect every single time. Vegetables?? Top liberally with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, and some hard grated cheese – it’s perfect every single time. I cut up potatoes or spaghetti squash, top with butter and cheese – everyone loves it. Kids eat vegetables when they have butter and cheese on them!!
My point: we’ve been corrupted by decades of low fat thinking and cooking. Good food isn’t hard, and it doesn’t need to be time consuming – recipes aren’t necessary. Real food mixes perfectly with good butter ( get some Kerrygold – it’s grassfed and sold everywhere), or good olive oil ( get extra-virgin, first cold pressed), good hard cheese, salt and pepper, and that’s good enough. Quit stressing yourself out that you’re not Martha Stewart or Giada. You don’t need to be.
Still worried about the fat? Please, go over my fat and cholesterol posts. Fat is GOOD for us; our body needs cholesterol; these are necessary nutrients, and best of all, they’re satiating. Repeat this: Real fats don’t make me fat; processed, refined carbs do. Eat Real Whole Foods, including fats, and you’ll feel full and satisfied. This is in opposition to eating processed, refined, or (most)restaurant foods: they’re full of sugar/flour/chemicals/and transfats that stimulate your brain into wanting more, and damage your liver, your immune and your digestive system.
Still worried because you’ve built such a high wall between yourself and cooking? Don’t be. Keep wrapping your mind around this new point of view: “Fat is good; cooking is relaxing; I can do this.” That said, use the cookbooks/recipe sites/magazines if you want to, I’m just saying don’t be intimidated or fooled into thinking complex, lengthy recipes are the only way to make a good meal because they’re not. Cook enough and pretty soon you’ll be comfortable taking what ever’s in your fridge and throwing it in the pan, adding a few herbs / spices and having it come out wonderful. Here’s what I’ve been making all summer: in a frying pan, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook down. Add a meat and some grated parmesan, and Wa La! it’s perfect.
Here’s something else we’ve done a hundred times this summer: eggplant or zucchini pizza. Cut zucchini into round discs, about 3/4 inch thick, or slice a medium zucchini length wise. Spread tomatoes or tomato sauce on, top with crumbled meat, some veggies, and plenty of mozarella, bake at 425 for 20 minutes. It’s delicious.
This weekend we went to visit one of our daughters at her college and attended a 3:30 football game (Oregon is AMAZING!), we packed our lunch and ate in the parking lot: a shredded roast from 2 weeks ago that we got out of the freezer before we left, and some raw vegetables. No, it wasn’t gourmet and it wasn’t even that delicious. It was just healthy food that filled us up. But we were going out to dinner and didn’t need to over-indulge. We were fine and that was even after a big leg workout for both of us that morning.
A lot of changing your weight and changing your health will rest on changing your view of eating and cooking. Real Whole Foods are delicious; they can also be simple and fast. Not every meal needs to be a culinary experience, but every meal SHOULD nurture your body and satisfy your mind. Real Whole Foods do that; processed, refined foods do neither.
Details on Weight Loss Strategies Classes coming tomorrow. This Class will focus on Food/Biology/ and the How-To’s of permanent weight loss, which is a combination of Real Whole Food and Positive Thoughts and Attitudes. Food is everything, but if you can’t break your self-defeating habits, thoughts, and patterns, you’re sunk. We’ll fix that!
This last picture is my sweet Reese and oldest daughter Megan. Talk about a positive image!