Did you ever hear the quote, “why reinvent the wheel”? You probably have…and if not, then you might be living under a rock. Check on that, okay?
Today I want to talk about why we complicate dieting. So many of us go through the hassle of searching for recipes and foods that are free of all different kinds of things. Gluten, salt, sugar, carbs…on and on and on. I get it. I understand why people try to cut or eliminate these things, especially for medical reasons. I do it, too. I watch my carbohydrate and fat intake. It’s quite effective for weight loss. But I most certainly DO NOT spend hours searching for dinner recipes with weird ingredients just to say I’m eating healthy. Yes, I am guilty of concocting dessert and cookie type recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth without ballooning my waistline. But I love to bake, and not only healthy things. If it stays in one spot long enough, I will toss it in my fabulous Kitchen-Aid mixer and see what sweet delight comes out. I just love baking. Period. But for the rest of the day- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the meals in between, I use tried and true go-to foods. I am NOT reinventing the wheel. I prepare my meals by proteins, carbs, and fats. I don’t see meats, vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, etc. This method has helped me to structure my eating better. I make sure I have the big three accounted for every meal, all while choosing variety in those categories. And I eat what I like, not what someone has told me is “healthy”. I’ve been hooked on mangoes recently. Healthy? Yes. Is that why I’m eating them nonstop? No. I also eat breakfast at 3 P.M every day because I like to. I guess I’m a rebel like that.
So, what do I mean by eating without reinventing the wheel? See below:
You really can’t get much more basic than that. Chicken, eggs, fruit, and a muffin. Choosing a healthy eating lifestyle doesn’t take rocket science or even a lot of time in the kitchen for that matter. None of those meals above took more than 15 minutes to prepare. And it takes even less time when you cook a large amount of protein (like chicken) at the beginning of the week and have it cut and ready to go for any meal. If you can use a crockpot and some basic kitchen utensils, you can most definitely do this. The chicken you see here is grilled, but you can also throw a load of chicken breast in the crockpot with some water (maybe some salt and pepper, too) and ignore it for a few hours…and BAM you’ve got enough chicken for pretty much an entire week! It’s that simple.
So what are the benefits of eating like this?
Number one: if you have items pre-cooked, prepackaged, and ready to eat sitting in your fridge, then you are less likely to stray from the healthy path. It’s there, it’s ready, and there’s no thinking required.
Number two: you already spent money on the food that you have pre-cooked and prepackaged sitting in your fridge, so you will be less tempted to spend more money on ordering a pizza. (Who else is guilty of buying a whole load of groceries, then when the time comes to cook it after a long day of work, you’re too tired and opt to eat out instead?)
Number three: by planning ahead like this, and setting aside an hour or two on a Sunday to prep your meals for the week, you have now given yourself more free time from meal planning and cooking during the week. Less stress!
So this all doesn’t sound all that complicated, right? Chicken breast, fruit, vegetables, maybe some rice or potatoes. These are all items that are most definitely at your local grocery store. You won’t have to go on some website to order finely ground Brazil nut powder or some other strange ingredient that someone told you is a staple in a healthy diet. We didn’t reinvent the wheel, we just went back to the basics. I guess it’s kind of like a “caveman” diet. What did people do long ago before grocery stores and organic eateries? They hunted their meat and gathered their fruits and berries. Maybe you never thought of it like that, huh? Makes sense though. Simple, basic, and also healthy. Plus, if you’re prepping and planning, and eating your chicken and vegetables, then you probably have a little room for a piece of chocolate or a pumpkin cookie (see my page Eat It Up for recipe). All in moderation. Plan, prep, and eat 80% healthy so you don’t have to feel guilty about partaking in dessert on occasion.