So unusual for Home And Spirit, I have started a nutritional diet series. I will be back to writing other posts about interior design and spirituality in the not-too-distant future. However, as I have decided I needed to change my eating habits, I thought it might help those of you who also want to become more healthy to share the journey with me. This article is third in the series.
The reason diets fail us is usually because we are trying to lose weight in a way that is unnatural. Think about this if you will: What kind of foods were created for humans to eat? Was the first man and woman given protein bars and diet shakes to eat? Were there springs of artificially sweetened and coloured diet drinks? Of course not. Nor did the first humans only eat one or two kinds of natural food. They ate what they could hunt or forage which they knew were good for food. It is a natural thing for humans to want to try new flavours and to have a varied diet.
Now I want you to think of everything you have eaten (that you can remember) in the past week. Make a list of what you remember eating. Now look over the list and picture all the food in your mind. If you are like most people who don’t have a nutritionally sound diet, you will notice perhaps that all the food you have been eating are pretty much the same colour—beige or beige-y. Pasta, white rice, bread, buns, doughnuts, bagels, French fries, fried chicken, potatoes, cheese etc…beige, beige, beige!
What I want to challenge you to do is to make your diet vibrantly colourful. I want your weekly food to change from this:
From the last post, Understanding Our Relationship With Food, we looked at a list of fruit and vegetables. You may have tried some that you really like and some you don’t like at all. You may have even tried some that you are willing to give a second chance and there may be some you never heard of. Did you make a list of your favourites? Now add those you are willing to try or try again. BUT remember this is something I am also doing and I am not about to make it difficult for myself either. Time is very very precious to me. Taste is also important. So what I have decided is to do things very gradually. I know more or less where I ultimately want to be but I am not putting pressure on myself and I am not in any rush because what I want is to eventually have a permanent feel-good healthy diet which I am happy to adhere to with no difficulties whatsoever. I also know that realistically, it is going to take me some time to get the hang of shopping in a new way because it is not going to be the same as it was before. Also, for this to be successful enough for weight loss and vibrant health there will have to be several habit changes and most of us are not going to be able to do it all at once. I think that is another place where failure is bound to happen. In my opinion, it is wa-a-y too challenging to go from being a couch potato and eating…well potato chips and pasta to having fruit smoothies and running marathons overnight. Now if you are dismayed, don’t be. Just be patient and breathe a sigh of relief because it means this is going to so much easier than you thought.
Step 3: Add some colour to your groceries this week
1. Add some new vegetables to this weeks grocery list. As this is your first week, plan to serve some raw vegetables you and your family (if you don’t live alone) wouldn’t mind eating. Raw carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers, courgettes are good raw but so are brussel sprouts or red peppers.
2. Add some new fruit to your diet this week too. Explore the aisle at your supermarket; buy some favourites and add something exotic you never tried before such as custard apples or dragon fruit.
3. Find an easy vegetable soup recipe (or get a recommendation) or try this yummy vegetable chili I found on Mastercook:
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 15 ounce can black beans
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, then add sweet potatoes, carrots and bell pepper until onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium low, and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine well.
Simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until flavours have mingled and vegetables are cooked.
Makes 5 servings