Thursday, February 27, 2014

Battle of the Bulge: Change That Can Be Kept

In order to maintain a healthy diet, it is imperative to make the diet a habit, not a task. 
I have fallen off the wagon for a day, sometimes two. That is also necessary, because it reminds me that even if I slip up, it's not the end. I know how to clamber back aboard, but I just want to wallow off the road for a bit. 

Studies have been claiming recently that adult obesity can have its roots in childhood, when habits are forged. I was raised with pretty good habits, and I have acquired even more recently; believe me, it would have been easier to tackle those latter stages when I was 5. 

Yet slowly, gradually, even glacially, my current high-fiber, greenery-laden, nut-munching menu has overtaken my life to the point that without oat bran, I am bereft. 

Mark Bittman, who has dubbed me "Flexitarian" (by proxy), shares some tips is "Sustainable Resolutions for Your Diet." Fads don't offer lasting change. Good habits do.
Of his pointers that appeal to me: 

(1) Buy less, but better quality. Then make the most of it with hefty vegetable-based sidedishes or soups. Meat should not be the main focus; it should be regulated to the status of commentary.

As a sidebar, cholent is an example of how those on low incomes stretched a scrap of expensive meat. There is a ridiculous amount of flavor that can be extracted from dead animal when even a small bit (i.e. turkey neck) is added to a soup, for instance.

(2) Frozen fruits and vegetables are so convenient. If I make a last-minute supper, I can rely on sautéing an onion then adding frozen spinach, peas, and broccoli. Then I don't have to cook as much (whole-wheat) pasta, which gets mixed together with the veggies. If it is readily available, it will be utilized. 

(3) Vegetables for breakfast! Sounds mad, but only to the pancake-flipping American; other cultures have been eating green first thing in the day forever. I've often consumed butternut squash soup or pan-roasted cruciferous for breakfast. Satisfying, weight-loss friendly, and healthy. A triple threat.    


FrumGeek said...

Meh. Too green for me. I usually have a bowl of cereal in the morning, and some sort of meat based dish sometime late afternoon, and throughout the day/evening i eat 4 or more fruits.

Princess Lea said...

I haven't had joy with cereal; I get so hungry before lunch that cardboard looks tasty.

So which cereal do you eat? All I have is pretty scrumptious high-fiber twigs and such, but still get ravenous.

FrumGeek said...

Usually Cheerios (regular or honey nut), Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, or Golden Grams.

Princess Lea said...

! So much sugar! (Except for the Cheerios.) Lucky ducky that you can eat it every day. :)

FrumGeek said...

So could you, of you run 7 miles a night ;)

Princess Lea said...

Run? Me? Hell no.

Tovah11 said...

Will you please at some point give us your recipe for cholent?

Somehow I feel that would be the antedote for many of my ills. lol.

Princess Lea said...

The cholent at this point in time (which has been recently resurrected; my house was cholent-free for many years) is a mash-up of leftover paprikas, barley, and adzuki beans. There kinda isn't a recipe.

As long as the grains are whole, the meat is fowl and not red, and there are beans, all is well.