I’m back, after kicking myself for getting discouraged and eating a food I KNOW makes me sick, then being sick all yesterday. But today is a new day.
I don’t know what it is about Mondays — most people hate them, but some use them as a starting point for a new goal. Like, for instance, the start of a diet, or an exercise plan. It’s like a bunch of mini-New Year’s resolutions — 52 to be exact. I’ll admit that when I am thinking of starting to change an eating habit, I always look to Monday. I don’t know if I am looking for that “last-hurrah” to indulge on the weekend, or if I think maybe somehow I’ll be able to keep better track of my progress. I suspect it’s the former rather than the latter…
There is something inherently flawed here though. If I am changing an eating habit it is usually because I have researched something and found that it would be more beneficial to change my ways…whether that means to deny myself something I have previously included in my dining repertoire or whether I am adding something that could benefit me in some way, such as bringing down my glucose levels. Whatever the reason, I have to ask myself why I wait?? If I am doing something that is harmful to my health, why put off correcting the issue???
I have to think that it has something to do with the psychology of food in general. Most people do not eat for optimum health and survival. Most of us consume calories for the pleasure of eating, or to “cure” depression, or to stave off boredom. Or maybe even because we have food addictions, even if we are not aware that we have them. So thinking about food as medicine or as something that can either help or harm us on the smallest molecular level is not too common.
As I have quoted in other blog posts, Hippocrates – often considered the father of Western medicine – said “Let thy food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be thy food.” Good advice. So, what makes people often ignore such sage wisdom and put off changing their eating style? One of many reasons is that over time, our taste buds may become dulled and not able to discern the simplistic pleasure eating can be. I know that in my quest to change my own eating habits, I have tried harder to let the phrase by Hippocrates be my mantra in the kitchen — and although I am still tied to a traditional American way of eating in some regard, many processed foods have been shunned in favor of more healthful options. I have found that once you begin to change your palate, you will not be disappointed with the vast array of foods there are and the literally thousands of food combinations you can find.
While I am still experimenting with baked goods and such, I am learning to lean toward better-for-you ingredients. Believe me, other options may take getting used to — but maybe not. One of my newest finds in the ice cream world, for example, is a brand called Coconut Bliss. Be warned — it is pricey. But isn’t my health and the health of my family worth it? Of course! It contains simple, healthier for you ingredients that let you indulge. I’m eating the dark chocolate, which is made with four ingredients, period — organic coconut milk, organic agave syrup, organic fair trade cocoa and organic vanilla extract. July is, after all, National Ice Cream Month and being the foodie I am, I know I don’t want to miss out! I mean, why eat a lot of things when you can’t pronounce most of what is included on the ingredient list?? With Coconut Bliss, I don’t even miss the cream! In fact, I’m determined to now start experimenting with my Cuisinart using coconut milk. Seriously! And I am not affiliated with this company in any way – these opinions are my own, given with no compensation whatsoever — but I can’t resist sharing amazing food finds. Especially when healthy. And it’s kinda cool that ice cream actually can be a healthy treat, in moderation. My pint is lasting me, because it’s so rich and delicious that I only enjoy it two tablespoons at a time…for real. Sans toppings too. Incredible…
Overall, I am starting to believe that if God didn’t make it, it probably doesn’t belong in my body anyway. The flavor combinations that you can come up with using fresh — and when possible, local — ingredients will do your taste buds (and body!) good — much better than anything you can buy boxed or canned. It’s a challenge sometimes, especially when you might be shopping with kids. But certainly worth experimenting to find new foods and recipes that appeal to you. My own homemade blue cheese dressing for instance, courtesy of The Joy of Cooking cookbook (one of my standard favorites and on the Hope Chest list for my daughters), is one of my son’s favorites (and he usually hates that kind!), less all the artificial flavors and preservatives. It’s actually kinda nice not seeing the kids get too hyped up on over-processed, over-sugared or -salted treats because I’m trying to seek out better options or, when I have time, make them at home.
Tonight’s menu is a simple tomato pie (homemade crust, homemade mayo!) with fresh ears of corn-on-the-cob. Simple, healthier than most things, and the epitome of an easy summer supper. Summer and fall are great times of year to transition to a better-for-you eating plan. I am still working my way toward better eating options, one day at a time.
The point is not to wait. The internet makes it more than possible to find incredible recipes for almost any and every thing. Start today, now. And, ironically, today is Monday!