This post is documentation to my efforts to cook and eat healthier. In no way is it interesting or amusing—it’s simply a pat-on-the-back (a one-man circle jerk, if you will) and a motivational tool to keep me on track. The last several months have seen an overhaul of my cooking and eating structures. About a year ago I began on-again/off-again dieting. Whenever I picked a diet back up I tweaked my methods, sometimes taking more extreme measures and at other times being lax. Each time I became comfortable enough in a new healthier routine to take it to the next level. My current level entails preparing about half of my meals at home with fresh, natural (and often raw) groceries.
I eventually enlisted helpful tools: Pinterest and health food blogs to give me recipes and inspirational jumping-off points. I also adopted a strategy: Pick a few healthy foods I’ve come to enjoy and design meals around those groceries. These ‘foundational foods’ can help me begin a recipe or simply round one out. They are spinach, arugula, cauliflower, sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, gala apples, and nuts.
My goal is not only weight loss, but also improved energy & sleep, better skin complexion, and any other perks generally attributed to an improved diet. With nearly a year of this effort under my belt, I’ve fine-tuned my methods to include most of the foods I enjoyed before the change—just in a healthier way. Getting to that point took a lot of trial, error, and frustrating disappointment, but I’m here. In the same way that folks say “I didn’t like such and such before, but I’ve eaten it so much that I’m used to it,” I too have thankfully grown accustomed to my new way of cooking, eating, and altogether thinking about meals. When I cook now it’s typically from scratch (no microwaves or box mixes) with only fresh meats, vegetables, and fruits. Sometimes I’ll incorporate pita, naan, rice, or oatmeal for a touch of something hearty without taking a gateway to carb utopia (i.e. a focaccia roll w/ rosemary and olive oil. My mouth—it waters….).
A more recent stage of my never-ending trials was blending. A friend explained his blending habit to me and shared a recipe during a Megabus trip back from New York City: water (with a little coconut oil), 2 carrot sticks, 1 cup spinach, 1 cucumber, 1 apple, 1 naval orange peeled, blueberries or acai berries to taste, and 1 cup greek yogurt. The excitement was tangible, so much so that when I made my Wholefoods trip I became overly ambitious, drunk on the notion that I might regularly (and so easily) consume so many fruits and veggies I don’t enjoy by themselves. I grabbed things that didn’t even make sense together, such as blackberries, papaya, and lime, envisioning the blender as a sacred space where everything was possible, where things made sense and tasted delicious merely because they were healthy and made of fruit…. Needless to say, that is not how food works, and my effort was a puke-worthy bust. Blending Test #2 took place shortly thereafter, and its scale was prudently downsized. I restricted myself to only water, 1 apple, 1 orange, 1 chunk of pineapple, and 1 slice of cucumber. This trial went better, but the orange is still far too overpowering.
My blending stage also coincided with the advent of my new cayenne pepper supplement ritual. This wonderfood helps to ease and regulate digestion, prevent migraine headaches (with which I am afflicted), stimulates circulation in the body, and much more.
The next health adventure will be a cleanse beginning Saturday. Previous cleansing ended in constant, debilitating stomach cramps, and I’ve been avoiding another attempt. However, the product recommended to me this time is Colonix, which is supposedly light enough not to interfere painfully with my daily functionality. I realize a cleanse isn’t necessary, but I foresee it adding to my heightened sense of inner hygiene, my newfound “mother nature karma”, and lastly helping me cheat to kill a few more pounds. And with no concern for debilitating cramps this time compounded with the discount I received for the product, I can’t see a downside to this. You win, advertising. We still need to talk about other things, but this round is yours…..
I’ll conclude this self-flattering post with a look back: While the initial goal was only weight loss, as this journey progressed I gained additional goals, all piling on top of each other and becoming a doozy to consider completing. I now additionally want tone and definition to my body, much more energy, better sleep, and I want to disassociate myself from synthetic foods and drugs to a greater extent. The presence of a Wholefoods nearby makes that last goal actually a cakewalk, providing I continue to be willing to pay the higher margin. I should now take this opportunity to give a shout out to my unofficial diet umpire: my manfriend, who tells me “No” when I ask him to and who is always willing to explain the nutritional facts on packages, translating crunchy nonsense into carb-hungry womanzilla-speak for me.