The only way to change is to change. If you want to feel better and lose weight then changing-the-diet is in the cards. Here’s the thing, weight loss doesn’t have to be hard or daunting. I have a simple philosophy that will bring you relief and motivation. Get this, it’s back up by science. It’s easy: TAKE. IT. SLOW. Read my four tips for making the change and don’t forget the yummy recipe!
Changing the diet isn’t something I could do cold turkey. In fact, I’m allergic to turkey! Hence the going slow part. With a gradual approach, you’re more likely to stick with it and for longer if not forever! Chris Kresser uses the words, “shrink the change“.
The 4 Tips
Change Tip 1
The trick to eating a healthier diet is to clean out the bad stuff, call me Sherlock-Homes. I repeat, when you take a gradual approach, this gives your body time to adjust and not be shocked. If you go too fast, it could backfire and you’ll be headfirst in the bag of cheese puffs…not to mention gain even more weight! The cool thing about gradually reducing the bad stuff, like sugar, is that your body will start to crave healthier foods. You’ll feel better and the sugary snacks will start to be too sweet. Interesting, eh? The bottom line is our bodies will feel cleaner and they’ll want more of that awesome clean energy.
Change Tip 2
Awareness. Sugar was my number one weakness. It still is, but I’m now aware of my consumption and I know my limits. I sound like an alcohol disclosure. When I adjusted my intake of the sweet stuff the ‘less is more’ philosophy kicked-in. My taste buds became more content and my body was a happy human. Did you hear that? I didn’t give up sugar completely, I just cut back immensely. With that said, I wanted to share with you what I used to eat for lunch and what I’m eating now for lunch.
What’s for lunch?
Back in the day of wanting to lose weight, I would only eat a salad for lunch. It contained greens, Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and maybe fresh broccoli. I didn’t have any protein or cheese. Just veggies. I chose whatever salad dressing sounded good, however, I would dip my fork in the dressing before I stabbed a helping of lettuce. Not too shabby of a lunch; but for me, it didn’t hold me over, which lead to a Snickers Bar in the afternoon, and then a hefty snack after work. Can we say blood sugar on the fritz?
Change Tip 3
First things first here, know your body. If you need protein, get protein with every meal. Whether its nuts, clean meat, or dairy (if you can tolerate it) make sure you get enough protein into your diet. There are a few reasons why. Protein helps you feel satisfied longer, it gives you energy, and need I say meat is an excellent source of B12, B6, zinc, and iron to name a few?
It builds muscle mass, and it’s especially good after a workout. Add a little vitamin C to the mix and you’ve got a digestive helper and a hand at iron absorption. Listen up! The meat won’t make you fat unless it’s highly marbled or fatty, and your watch portions. Choose lean beef, grilled chicken, grilled or baked fish, lean beef, or pork loin. Don’t be scared to add it to your diet or your salad. Remember portion-control is king.
Now a day my lunch looks a lot different. For a healthy powerful lunch, it’s best to make it with your bare hands. What’s the simple in that? Everything. Sure cooking can be a lot of work if you have that mindset; but if you switch your thoughts of creating an experience your meal will be a lot more satisfying. You may laugh, but I dare you to try it. For instance; I am constantly busy all day long, so lunchtime is a big break for me. My apron comes on, my mind turns off, and my hands focus on making a good meal. Making our own meals forces us to slow down and engage all our senses, which is part of the ‘satisfying meal’ experience.
Change Tip 4
Okay, okay, okay…you’re at work and can’t make lunch. That’s okay! You have a couple of options for a healthy clean lunch; the most obvious is to make it the night before. The other is to choose simple, limited, ingredient dishes when eating out. For instance, a 100% beef burger without the bun paired with a side of steamed veggies or a cup of clear broth soup, is a great lunch. It’s not heavy in carbs (bread or pasta) and it’s high in protein.
Keep it simple
Think ‘simple’ when at a restaurant and think portion control! As for drinks, you know what I’m going to say…water without ice. Hey, it may be a little boring, but your body will be quieter and happier. You may not even need to drink water with your meal. Too much aqua with food will cause a lot of vitamins to flush through your system, plus it will take longer to digest the yum yums.
The new lunch
Let’s cut to the chase and get to the recipe. This recipe is one of my favorites. It’s low carb, high in multivitamins, and low in inflammation. I call it “Autumn Awesomeness”. There are only 6 ingredients! And it’s oh-so-good for your body. Enjoy!
- small cast iron pan
- baking sheet with parchment paper
- knife and cutting board
- 3 Organic Curly Kale Sprigs
- 1 c Baked cubed Butternut Squash
- 4 Strips of grilled chicken or 4 GF Chicken nuggets
- 2 TBSP Dried Cranberries or Cherries
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil 1TBSP for frying kale, 2 TBSP for topping at the end
- 1 pinch Salt
- Heat cast iron pan on low.
- Wash thoroughly, pat dry, remove stalks, and chop. Put chopped kale into the pan. Then add 1 TBSP olive oil. It might get messy and splatter if kale is not dried off. Be careful.
- I pre-roast an entire cubed squash. 350 for 40 minutes. Just toss a little olive oil and salt in before baking. Tip: Costco usually has raw cubed squash. Do not use frozen squash! You can also peel and cube your own squash.
- After kale is charred and well cooked, wrap a dish towel around the cast iron panhandle and put kale on a plate.
- Take leftover chicken, pre-cooked grilled chicken (Costco), or Gluten-free chicken nuggets. Microwave for the allotted time, or cook in your cast iron pan to warm. When done, put on top of kale.
- Add squash to kale and chicken. Sprinkle dried cranberries on top. Drizzle olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Delish!
- For added flavor, add thinly sliced red onion, roasted pecans, or crispy bacon!
You probably saw that you need a cast iron pan. That’s right. Cast iron all the way. Here’s why: it’s what the pioneers used; no seriously, they had some things figured out and cast iron was one of them. It’s nonstick, chemical-free, adds iron to your food…this is great for us who have anemia. It’s versatile, you can use it on the stovetop, in the oven, or on a campfire! Cast iron has a long life span, and it’s super easy to clean…they don’t require soap! Oh, and cast iron is less expensive; on Amazon, the small one is less than $10 and Prime! Plus you could probably use it to lift weights. Ha ha ha! Hands down, the best pan out there. My favorite size is the small one. You can get one here if you don’t have one. Or click on the picture below for more details.
As for Olive Oil, not all oil is the same. You gotta watch out for scammers. What I mean is that some companies claim it’s 100% olive oil, but in reality, it’s not. They add soybean or sunflower oil to it. Ick! So how do you tell? This can be tricky. The oil needs to be First Cold Press and come directly from the juice of the olive. And secondly, it must be the only ingredient. Easier said than done. I did the research for you and my favorite safe, real, olive oil is California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Everyday). I know what I’m getting and it’s delicious. You can get it on Amazon. Or click on the picture below for more details.
By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly, LLC All Rights Reserved.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.