Simple Living Leads to Simply Better Eating
Living with less means having more time for what matters.
For me and My Person, our most important shared 2015 Resolution is to make better nutrition choices, lose weight, get in shape, and lead a healthier life!
We've been doing pretty well so far.
1. We've been seeing a nutritionist who has guided us. She has given us a dietary framework to keep in mind, book suggestions, and a sense of balance. We're fortunate that nutrition visits are part of our insurance plan. Knowing that we're going to see Samantha, keeps both of us accountable for making better food decisions.
2. I'm using Pinterest to collect different recipe choices. Some gluten-free. Some paleo. Some vegetarian.
Whatever looks delicious and within reason for my cooking skills. While I am not Julia Child, I'm also not without some cooking merit. I'm actually getting pretty good at adapting recipes to suit our tastebuds.
3. The recipes we try and love, go into Evernote for safekeeping. The Evernote web clipper makes saving the recipe details quite easy.
Clipping the recipes into my own Evernote notebook also means I can keep my own notes about how I've adapted or modified ingredients, cooking time, or some other aspect of the recipe.
4. Every week we decide together what we're in the mood for, make a shopping list, and go grocery shopping for those ingredients. For fresh ingredients.
We're buying mostly organic, which is more expensive if we merely look at the short-term cost. Thinking bigger picture, however, both of us are losing weight. I'd much rather pay more for delicious food now than healthcare procedures down the line.
5. After reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and UltraMetabolism by Mark Hyman, our pantry is full of ingredients that we recognize. We're reading every food label, so we can pronounce everything that goes into our bodies. What's in the pantry? Here are some of the staples we use:
- variety of beans
- variety of lentils
- quinoa flour
- ground flaxseed
- gluten free rolled oats
- almond butter
- diced tomatoes
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
6. The refrigerator has more fresh fruit and veggies. Apples and oranges are staples. Then I'm buying cauliflower and broccoli to dice up into smaller snack-sized containers. Sometimes I buy a variety of peppers to slice up into snack containers too. All of these veggies go great with homemade hummus.
7. Since watching the documentary Fed Up, we have not purchased any Oreos! Instead, we've found these other snack options, which we love even more.
- Squarebar ~ I consider Squarebar to be the Lembas bread of protein bars! They're organic, gluten-free, vegan, GMO-free, and don't use refined sugars! And with five different flavors, it's the protein bar to rule them all! Seriously, these things are delicious. You can buy them off the company website or at Amazon.
- Nana Joes Granola ~ Our new comfort food is granola. No more mac and cheese clogging up our arteries. When we need a little something something to fill our tummies and calm us, we grab some granola and milk, and nosh away. The Trifecta Blend is our current favorite!
- Dark chocolate chips, raw almonds, and raw cashews mixed up ~ If I'm working away on the computer, a few handfuls of this trail mix goes a long way. Okay, sometimes, I pick out the dark chocolate chips and eat them solo. But mostly I stick to this yummy mixture.
- Banana and flax seed "crackers" ~ I was trying to figure out how to get more Omega-3s into our diet. I searched for flax seed recipes on Pinterest and found this gem. These crackers are easy to make. The biggest hassle is getting them onto the cookie sheets. These pair well with almond butter or peanut butter. Yummers!
7. And we're cooking together. My Person mostly makes eggs and hummus, but he's willing to help out with smaller dicing, slicing, and mixing tasks that I need help with as I'm putting meals together. Our favorite recipes are the ones where I can make extra portions to freeze.
- Hummus-Crusted Chicken, which we refer to as chicken-encrusted hummus because we're weird, is easy to make, freezes beautifully, and tastes amazing! It's a one-pan wonder! Check out the recipe at Gimme Some Oven.
- Lentil Spinach Soup is another staple. The prep time on this recipe is a bit longer, but once I get the soup simmering, it's easy to clean up and I know I'll have multiple portions, including several that will freeze well. Check out the recipe at The Garden Grazer.
- Lentil-scallion-goat cheese fritters are another favorite. I usually prep the fritters on one day, leave the patties on baking trays overnight in the refrigerator, and fry them up in olive oil the next day. The keep really well and pair well with a variety of veggies. My Person and I are currently partial to eating them with Salsa Verde. Check out the recipe at Perry's Plate.
8. None of these recipes or snack ideas require lots of fancy gadgets either. The one kitchen tool that I can't imagine parting with is my hand-held dicer. I use it for chopping up anything. I even use if to dice up and partially puree garbanzo beans for hummus. My hummus may be a little lumpy, but it tastes great!
If we were not dedicated to living more intentionally, I don't think either of us would be this invested in preparing and cooking healthy meals together. Minimalism has helped us focus on dietary goals that are achievable for both of us. I don't think either one of us has ever eaten such healthy food as consistently as we have been for the past several months. We still have some milestones to reach, like making exercise a regular routine. But we're making progress and shedding the pounds!