I am sharing this updated post on eating and cooking healthy now because EVERYONE is talking about their WELLNESS with our current situation. So even at 73, this is what I do to maintain my weight year after year.
Here are my 8 steps that I follow:
As I have said many times, I am a foodie! Meaning that I love to eat yummy food that is healthy most of the time. I also know that unless it is fast, easy, it ain’t gonna happen in my world. Of course this is not the case for special meals and special times but most of our struggles occur in day to day eating. This is exactly why this post is for all of you trying to either maintain your weight or lose some weight. Just like I am constantly striving to maintain and not gain!
So remember as you read this post, it is not that hard! However, it does not magically happen or by good intentions either. I know this because I have been in slumps and have to talk to Mitzi and tell her to get over herself and do what needs to be done.
For so many of us, it’s the same song, different verse: “I need to get this weight off! I don’t have time to cook! It’s only me or me and my partner/husband! When I get home, I am way too tired to think about cooking! I have no idea what to cook that’s fast, healthy, and tasty!”
Sound familiar? Well of course it does and it happens to ALL of us.
As so many of you know by now, my response to the understandable reasons why so many eat out, don’t eat, have cereal or popcorn for dinner, or just order pizza is simply this–just keep it simple sister or mister!
Here’s how I do it.
Better decisions at the grocery store = better decisions at home
1. Have a plan.
Without a plan, it’s Russian roulette at meal time–you can’t cook what’s not in your home. If you are going out to dinner, maybe a bread-heavy sandwich at lunch is not a good idea because those carbs are not our friend. I love bread and pasta, but it does me in every time I don’t control my carb intake. If I want to enjoy the bread and olive oil at dinner, I’ll have a salad or lunch without heavy carbs.
2. Choose the protein
Speaking of those carbs, here is how I decide what to eat or cook.
First I choose my protein. Whether grilling lean burgers (yes we try to eat grass fed beef),cooking salmon, chicken or other lean protein will determine the rest of the meal. I keep it very simple. All I need to do is add a salad, or steamed broccoli, or baked sweet potato, etc.
A big mistake many of us make is skipping meals, especially breakfast. Our bodies are like cars that need gasoline to go. Without food, our metabolism thinks it can coast and it won’t rev up. It is opposite what one would think would happen.
Skillets and soups are a super easy way to incorporate tons of veggies and protein into a meal
4. Eat tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.
I know, I know, what about the sugars in fruit? See next point please…
Everyone has a different combo of foods that works for them. For me, fruits are not a problem in weight management if I don’t overdo it.
5. Drink water
Add fresh citrus and cucumber to your water for a flavorful spin!
6. Clean eating is best
In basic terms, clean eating is about eating fresh, whole, non-processed foods, and trying to avoid pre-packaged options. Tip: the outside isles of the grocery store are mostly fresh foods such as produce and meat. It’s those inner isles with the chips and other snacks that get us off course.
7. 80% OF THE TIME, I COOK OR EAT HEALTHY; 20% OF THE TIME I COOK OR EAT WHAT I LOVE OR WANT.
My basic cooking and eating philosophy hasn’t changed in 20 years. These days, I am incorporating many more different types of foods, without question. But my basic philosophy on cooking and eating remains unchanged.
Obviously, this is not an exact formula that I follow, but let me give you an example. We are blessed to have our nine grandchildren in Wichita at different times throughout this summer. My cooking and eating plan for all these visits is to enjoy foods they like, while adding some healthier alternatives here and there. And you know what else? I am going to enjoy every ice cream treat, every bite of pizza, and have a s’more with them over our fire pit!
But to be in preparation for that 20% time not cooking or eating my normal way, I am trying very hard to eat and cook smart while it is just Bob and me.
Meal prepping for the week ahead is an excellent way to curb temptations. This dinner of leftovers was even better the next day!
8. Besides cooking, choose healthy take out options.
I am so very fortunate that I not only love to cook, but I love eating good food. Nevertheless, my life is often crazy busy, and this is when I buy a ready-to-eat roasted chicken and go through the salad bar. If fast food is the only option, I try to go with healthier options at places like Panera or Chick-fil-A.
Yes, you CAN eat healthy at an airport!
All of these food images are meals that I have cooked or prepared except the airport image. As I have writen many times and in my book, the chapter on Routines, I do not do Keto, weight Watchers, or any of the other planned diets. Why?
Personally, I firmly believe being disciplined enough to incorporate the points in this post, year after year, I have maintained a healthy weight plus an energy and a zest for life that many much younger than me do not have.
Please understand however, that I also do a lot more to maintain my over all health (chapter on Routines) But what we eat is a huge factor that will determine what our futures look like. Only by taking care of ourselves, will this vitality and a zest for living each day be possible.
But mostly what I want to leave you all with is life is short and fellowship and food are some of the best parts of life. So by learning the secrets of how to enjoy food while still managing weight, we can indeed have our cake and eat it too!
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