Well, here we are. Tomorrow will be April 1. Where has the time gone? Wasn’t it just January 1, 2014? Remember that day? That was the day you pledged to reclaim your life. You pledged to get going on getting healthy and you pledged to make changes in your lifestyle to get there.
Well, you’re in luck! Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and there’s no time like today to get started. The first day of spring has arrived and already we are having more sunny days than rainy days. And even when it rains, we can grab an umbrella, put on a jacket and a warm hat, and get out there and move. The walking paths are calling us.
I’d like you to consider making another pledge and that’s to put an end to dieting! Let’s face it. Diets don’t work. If they did, most people wouldn’t have fluctuations in their weight. They wouldn’t experience losing 10, 20, 30 or more pounds only to have it creep back because they “move away” from their “I’m on a diet to lose weight” plan where they restricted their calories, restricted their food portions, restricted their food choices, drank a special tea or ate a special soup, or tried to play around with the fat, carbohydrate and protein ratios on their plate.
The number of people who successfully lose weight through dieting and KEEP IT OFF for the rest of their lives is less than 2 percent. That means fewer than two out of one hundred people. That means 98 people who lose weight, by following a diet, gain it back. When you cut back on the calories to lose the weight, you lose both fat and muscle. However, once you’ve reached your goal if you fall back into old patterns and eating styles, the weight you regain will come back mostly as fat. And you will most likely regain back more weight. Thus, waistlines are bigger. And that is why the world is faced with an epidemic of obesity.
My plea to you: Make a pledge today to put an end to dieting. Instead pledge to make superior eating choices. It will transform your body. It will put an end to your food cravings. By making superior eating choices you will not only lose the excess weight, you will keep it off. You will reclaim your life.
For breakfast: Eat an intact grain: a grain that is still in its original form like steel cut oats or old-fashioned oats. Add a serving of fruit like blueberries or strawberries or sliced banana. Add some ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
For lunch: Eat a huge salad of nutritious greens (romaine, arugula, baby spinach, or Boston lettuce) with shredded cabbage or kale, tomatoes and shredded onion. For added veggies choose from: red and green bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms (see below), onions, cucumbers tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas. Use a healthy dressing, preferably one that is homemade. Eat a fresh fruit.
Eat at least 1/2 cup (preferably closer to 1 cup) of beans a day: black beans, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, cannellini, great northern or navy beans, etc). Eat a bean burger, some veggie-bean soup, or sprinkle the beans on your salad.
For dinner: Eat a simple cooked vegetable-based entrée. This can be a hearty soup, a vegetable chili with tempeh or tofu, veggie broth-sautéed veggies with tempeh, roasted veggies. Include in your entrée green veggies as well as, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, peppers. Have a fruit dessert — either frozen or warm like a baked apple.
Eat mushrooms; and when you do, they should be eaten cooked. When eaten raw, the simple white, cremini, and portobello mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine. Cooking them eliminates their agaritine content. This is something I’ve just discovered recently myself. Cooked mushrooms are also higher in nutrients. That’s because cooking removes the water, concentrating their nutrients and flavor. Store them in a paper bag in your fridge, but not in the crisper drawer. If you leave then in a plastic bag; they’ll get slimy. Mushrooms only last a few days, but you can still use them for flavoring even after they’ve turned brown. Best to bring them home and sauté for use during the week. Freezing is a great option if you can’t finish them up in a few days.