The reason I changed my eating habits a few years ago was for health reasons, not because I wanted to be thin. Losing forty-five pounds certainly was a nice side-effect, but that was not my motivation.
I used to eat the power porridge above almost every morning topped with whatever fresh organic fruit I have on hand. Find the recipe here.
On most days, I have breakfast a couple of hours after I rise and lunch late in the afternoon. Two small meals a day are enough for me because I am not doing a lot of physical labor or working out at the gym. I do go for a long brisk walk every morning that the weather allows. I am very active all day. I try not to sit still for more than an hour without moving around. I sip water throughout the day, and I never drink sodas.
The picture above shows you what I have for a late lunch each day. Start with a bed of organic baby greens. Add steamed broccoli, peas, a little baked sweet potato, or any vegetable combination you like. I almost always add about a cup of some beans. (If you don’t cook your own dried beans, buy the kind with no salt added and organic if you can find them. Rinse thoroughly and store extra in the fridge.) Some things need to be baked or cooked for us to digest them well. For example, I steam broccoli for about three minutes.
I do not eat bread, croutons, cheese, dressings, or oils regularly. If I use dressing, it is always Primal Kitchen Dressing with Avocado Oil or an olive oil and balsamic vinegar combo. Combining full, healthy fats with your salad helps the body to absorb the vitamins and nutrients.
In the winter months, when fresh organic fruits and vegetables are not as available, I use frozen organic fruits and vegetables often. I especially like sauteed onion, mushrooms and garlic cooled and added to a large green salad. (Again, you can save extra in the fridge.)
Now on to this next picture.
I bought this mix at the health food store to serve with a glass of wine when I have guests. Looks healthy with all those nuts, seeds, and sesame sticks, right?
I don’t know what was added to it because it was bought in bulk by special order with no label (not from bins). For a few days, I was guilty of having a handful after each meal with a cup of hot tea as a little dessert. After about a week of this bad habit, I had a headache, my joints and muscles ached, my sleep was often interrupted, my mind was very foggy, and my digestive system was wrecked. I felt as if I had been poisoned. I felt almost as bad as I did five years ago when I started this healthy eating journey. I finally realized that the mix pictured above must have all those ingredients that I cannot digest. Within two days of ridding my body of even this small amount of processed food, I am back to my healthy, happy, sleeping well self.
Not everything you buy in the health food store is healthy. Almost all processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup and preservatives at a minimum and many more chemicals on average. Some say read the labels, but I avoid buying or eating anything that even has a label. Fresh, raw, organic plant-based food is what I consume most often.
I have seen stock boys reach into bulk bins with their dirty hands to steal a few nuts while they are working. Kids can’t resist those that are at their eye level. The stores rarely, if ever, clean those scoops or bins, so I never buy bulk items unless it is something I am going to wash or cook before eating. All stores and restaurants have bugs. Containers are not entirely closed, are they?
As in my fashion choices, I keep my food choices fresh and straightforward. My quest to learn which foods serve me well never ends. I will continue to share what I learn.