I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and last night, upon seeing an Instagram post by my friend, it really struck me that food is a big issue for many. My friend's post showed a plate filled with the following: spinach and tomatoes, cooked in oil and garlic, then tossed with feta; grilled cauliflower; and tofu. A comment below the photo asked "How can you possibly get full on that?"
I know how the commenter felt. I, too, once believed that I couldn't be satisfied without a plate full of something that seemed substantial, like steak or a plate of pasta. While the reality is that cauliflower on it's own will make you feel full, forgetting all the other fibrous (filling) veggies, it's more about what we are accustomed to seeing on our plate and how we register what we think is a full plate.
When we diet and we make food the enemy, it makes sense that eating clean would feel like an uphill battle. Saying no to something that doesn't make your body feel good (but your mind wants) feels like deprivation. But it should feel supportive. If your goal is to have more energy all day long, saying no to a caffeinated beverage seems contraindicated, when in truth, removing the caffeine and eating energy producing foods like oatmeal and bananas will provide energy naturally.
Changing the way you eat to be healthier and help your body perform in a more optimal manner is a good thing to do, but not by making those foods that do nothing more than satisfy the taste buds, bad. Sometimes a processed food full of sugar and artificial dyes is just the thing you desire, and there's nothing wrong with eating that (once in a while).
A friend of mine just embarked on a popular shake supplement to lose weight (because, she said, "it works"). You drink a shake for breakfast and lunch and have a "sensible" dinner. Well, maybe it works because you are calorie deprived, or maybe for other reasons of which I'm not aware, but it's a temporary fix. Eventually, the weight you lose in crash diets comes rolling back on. Diets don't work. For my friend, it's simply to kick start her healthy eating plan, but personally, I couldn't do it.
It's preferable to eat whole foods that nurture our bodies and provide nutrients to keep us strong and healthy. Our bodies are machines, and the better the stuff we put in, the better they will operate.
Tonight, as I made a modified copy of my friend's Instagram post (spinach, tomatoes, feta), I felt blessed to be able to eat such a tasty meal. My appetizer was a single serving of cottage cheese. Not because it will help me lose weight, but because it tastes good.
|My favorite pizza slice. A grandma slice topped with spinach, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes from Roma Pizza.|
And today's lunch? A slice of pizza topped with vegetables, followed by a small scoop of ice cream. No foods are off limits. I try to avoid processed sugar because, if nothing else, sugar feeds cancer. Still, a little scoop of ice cream on occasion isn't the worst thing.