10 Ways to Have Fun When Eating Right

IMG_3958“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.”
-Maya Angelou
“I get way too much happiness from good food”. -Elizabeth Olsen

“Learn how to cook- Try new recipes. Learn from your mistakes.  Be fearless.  And, above all, have fun!” -Julia Childs


It’s a common misconception.  When people hear of diet, they think “I am going to be so deprived.” Or, “eating healthy is boring.”  Bet yet, “this is going to suck!”  I have noticed how many people decide not to take action because of their preconceived notions.  They look at a decision or commitment they want to make.  If they even suspect any negative connotation to a decision, they run the opposite way or rationalize why its not worth it.


However, the truth is that there are pros and cons to every decision out there.  For example, unexplainable taste and joy of eating french fries and cheeseburgers is a pro.  But, weight gain, bloating, and drowsiness could be considered cons.


I propose you look at eating right or dieting in a different way.  Focus not on the downside, but on the positives.  You have the power to make nutrition and eating well fun!  Here are some examples:
  1. Experiment with bright colors- orange, red, green, blue, purple, yellow etc.We eat with our eyes and bright colors make people excited!
  2. Switch things up.  For example, switch between, chicken, shrimp, fish, and other lean meats
  3. Mix 2-3 food groups into 1 dish.  Instead of having 3 separate food groups on a plate, mix them up in a salad, pasta dish, soup, or rice bowl for example!
  4. Try different herbs and spices.  Each herb and spice contribute different nutritional benefits.
  5. Mix up your cooking techniques.  Grilling, baking, broiling, barbecuing, and others change the taste and experience of the meal
  6. Change your eating environment.  We tend to get bored by sitting in the same spot-  eat at your table, outside, or at a friend’s house!
  7. Cook with a friend!  Sharing an experience with a loved one will make it more pleasurable.
  8. Try ethnic dishes or flavors you haven’t tried before: sushi, curries, Mediterranean, Asian.
  9. Flavor your water differently. Infuse it with citrus fruits, mint, or even ginger!
  10. Listen to your favorite music!  We tend to be happier and more willing to try something new when we’re jamming to our favorite toons.
Obviously, these are just 10 off the top of my head!  There are plenty of other ways to make eating healthy a fun experience.  Which is your favorite?  Comment below!
As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Dear Fruit

Dear Fruit,
I want to apologize to you on behalf of countless critics out there.  They have villainized you.  They have hurt your reputation.  Most specifically, they have blamed you for making people gain weight.  In their defense, their logical thinking makes sense.  We know as a fact that calories from sugar make people gain weight.  To their defense, you carry alot of sugar inside you.
But, it’s not your fault.  Their way of thinking is skewed.  They do not understand.  They do not understand that two forms of sugar exist in the world: added and natural.  You contain the latter.  Your sugar comes from the real you, not from a factory.  What people fail to realize that what you lack in ounce you gain in tons.  You provide nutrients, fiber, water, and other heath promoting ingredients.  You bring joy to so many people with your sweetness and refreshing texture.
On behalf of those who do you wrong, I want to apologize to you.  I am saddened to observe how people mistreat you. They place you in a category where you do not belong.  But, it’s not your fault!  I encourage you to never change.  Continue to bring people joy and excitement when they eat you.  People will sort their own beliefs about you soon!
Sincerely, An Apology

Dear Water

Dear Water,
 
Hey pal!  How are you?  It’s been a long time!  Seems like forever since I drank you.  I used to drink only healthy fluids out of the fridge including milk, some juice, and of course you!  Oh, how I recall taking long gulps of you ice cold.  You were so refreshing and made me feel so great!
But then, something happened.  All of these new options took my attention away from you.  I was pulled by their attractive packaging and awesome claims.  They came in sweet and sour flavors and had sexy names like “blueberry blast” and “rocket fuel”.  How can I resist?  There are some many options out there.  Why choose one, especially if that one is as basic as you?
I regret to say I made a mistake.  These drinks gave me so much joy and energy in the beginning.  But, they eventually took from me too.  They took away my healthy body and sapped my energy.  I grew jittery and high on sugar.  My waistline kept growing and growing without me realizing it!  I now realize that you were there for me all along.  In fact, I realize now I can flavor you with natural juices and in other ways to make you taste better!  I want your cool, refreshing, clean taste and that way you made me feel again.  Will you come back to me?
Sincerely, I want you back

“F” Words

 

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“I’m talking about pursuiting it in your heart! Like believe in it! Having faith! 100%! That whatever it is you set out to do, that you can do it!” – Eric Thomas

“If you don’t trust, you will die physically if not emotionally.  To do anything in life, you must have faith” -Tony Robbins

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” -Steve Jobs


I recently read a book that totally changed by perspectives and priorities. “The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck” is a highly acclaimed New York Times Bestseller by Mark Manson. Don’t let the vulgar title fool you. this book is chalk full of real advice and a fresh perspective. For the most part, Mark explains that most peoples cares and priorities are out of alignment. H suggests that society teaches us the wrong things to care about. These lessons include but are not limited to being liked all the time, following all the rules, having a ton of things, and making a boat load of money. He stresses that putting too much emphasis on these things will ultimately leave people empty and hating their lives. After reading this book, i came up with my own “F” words to live by.

Faith– Having a belief bigger than myself provides me with a strong positive outlook despite challenges. I believe things will turn out well no matter the circumstances.

Focus: Life becomes what we focus on. We have unlimited choices, options, people, etc. to define our lives. Our mood and out look will even change depending on what we focus on. We can choose to focus on the positive aspects and be optimistic even in the most dire of circumstances.  It may just be harder to find sometimes.

Family: Love them or hate them, your family will always be around. They are there when we are born and most of the time stick around until the end. We all have a unique connection with our family from day one and should celebrate that fact.

Friends: Our friends are basically an extension of our family. They fill in the gaps that your family cannot. They understand and empathize your situations and can be trusted to always have your best interest at heart. The best of friends pick you up and love you when you are at your lowest.

Food: Most people do not realize that food fuels your body. It is like gasoline for a car. Foods provide so much of what our bodies need each day- water, energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals just to name a few. If you want to feel better and look better, prioritize choosing quality and natural foods in your day.

Fluids: Our body is made up of 60% water. Let me say that again, we are made up of 60% water!! So then, why is it that we do not drink enough h20?? Simply put, most people do not prioritize water for one reason or another. Maybe they think it tastes bland. oO, they don’t “feel” thirsty. The fact is, we are really bad at identifying thirst. We are usually dehydrated by the time we feel thirsty. Or, we confuse thirst for hunger and eat excess calories.  Do yourreelf a favor and drink more water and low calorie drinks.

Fitness: Our bodies are meant to move. They are designed to move in all directions and ways. Why then do we stay at rest in front of our tv or at our desk? Because it’s easy of course! Well, lack of motion is detrimental to your body and mind. When we exercise, we improve our physical body. Exercise even improves our mood and clears our thinking. Go out and move!

Society has become a world of unlimited options. We have so much at our fingertips and can access virtually anything we please. But its important to focus on the important facets of a healthy individual. Prioritize these “F: words and see how your life changes! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!!

Egg Head

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“Say!  I like green eggs & ham!  I do!  I like then, Sam-I-am! Green Eggs & Ham, Dr. Seuss

 

“If you could choose to master a single ingredient, no choice would teach you more about cooking than the egg. It is an end in itself; it’s a multipurpose ingredient; it’s an all-purpose garnish; it’s an invaluable tool.’ -Michael Ruhlman

“I love eggs so much!  I feel like my day hasn’t started until I have had my eggs.  I’m probably going to die from high cholesterol!” -Norah Jones

Every day, we are bombarded with marketing messages and half truths about many products or commodities.  Companies like to highlight the best and unique qualities of their offerings to make people become customers.  The marketplace is highly competitive and each company needs to stand out to consumers in some way.  Sometimes, companies and the general public even demonize products to make others look good.  For example, consider hygiene products.  Some commercials marketing body washes, toothbrushes, or shavers put down older, yet still effective products in their category.

One food that carries a bad reputation is the egg.  The egg has a rough and interesting history in nutrition.  Sometimes, it is seen as a gold standard of lean protein.  I’m sure you have heard the saying “the incredible, edible egg.”  Sometimes, the public has demonized eggs for their cholesterol content in the yolk.  They believed that the cholesterol in egg yolks raised blood cholesterol and lead to heart disease.

In fact, the bullied egg is just an egg.  It cannot take on properties such as good or evil.  It doesn’t think or do anything.  It’s just an object until people act upon it in some way.  In most cases, eggs can contribute to a healthy well rounded meal plan.  Some reasons why eggs are great include:

  • They provide a good source of lean protein; 7 grams per egg
  • They do not cost a lot
  • Each egg contains only 75 calories
  • They are low in salt
  • They are low in carbohydrates
  • They are extremely low in saturated fat
  • They are versatile and fit with many other foods

These benefits and nutrition facts are just the beginning.  I’m sure you get the picture so I won’t drone on about it.  The next question is, “How do I eat my eggs?  Here’s a list to get you started:

  • scrambled
  • fried
  • overeasy
  • “sunny side up”
  • in an omelet
  • on whole grain toast
  • over whole grain oatmeal.

Eggs can be a tasty and versatile addition to a healthy, well rounded meal plan.  They are easy to cook and do not cost much.  Be wary of the reputation(s) the public puts on certain foods.  They are not always accurate.  As Always, Easy, Move, and Improve!

Kitchen= A Cooking Lab

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“The kitchen’s a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It’s biology, chemistry, physics. Yes, there’s history. Yes, there’s artistry. Yes, to all of that. But what happened there, what actually happens to the food is all science.” Food critic-Alton Brown

No-one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” – Chef Julia Child

“It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavors when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” – Chef Rocco DiSpirito

Every now and again, I get inspired in the kitchen.  I look at things a different way and want to experiment.  I come up with concoctions that some people would consider weird or odd.  But, to my surprise they come out quite tasty!  For example, I make a  cookies and cream protein shake in a shaker bottle with milk and ice after my workouts.  One day, I decided to blend my same shake with a scoop of hazelnut chocolate spread. It came out AMAZING!  I was wowed by the taste and texture change!  Another time, I needed to make a quick meal.  We had cooked noodles already, but I wasn’t feeling red sauce.  Instead, I mixed 1 tablespoon with a few shakes of garlic powder, minced onion, and parmesan cheese.  Viola, homemade garlic parmesan pasta sauce!

I’m sure most people would say these recipes are too simple or easy to make.  But, I just want to make a point here.  You can view your kitchen as a science lab.  You see, cooking is a form of science.  Different cooking methods use heat, cooling, mixing, blending, and others to create chemical and physical changes to the ingredients.  When these ingredients react and/ or interact with each other, the possible combinations are endless!

Long story short, cooking is a skill.  Anyone can learn the skill.  It comes with trial and error.  It’s ok to move out of your comfort zone in the kitchen.  Trying something new can be an exciting experience.  That’s how you can get better.  The resulting dishes you make may surprise you!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

*Readers: Have you ever cooked up anything in the kitchen that was new to you?  How did it go?  Comment below and let us know your experiences!*

Rise Up

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The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise. -Miguel C Cervantes

The greatest glory in living lies not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall” -Nelson Mandella

We never lose our demons, [Mordo]. We only learn to live above them. -The Ancient One, Dr. Strange

You will, at some point in your life, be confronted with some kind of adversity.  It’s more often than not a universal given.  Some people would disagree with that statement.  But, life was not meant to be easy.  Obstacles and difficult decisions present themselves when we set goals and go after them.  The bitter truth is that we all fall.  What matters most is that we pick ourselves up again.

This concept can be applied to health goals.  Say you are looking to lose weight.  Along your journey, you find yourself in this situation.   Dessert was way too tempting at the restaurant. You decided to treat yourself since you are out with your friends.  The next day rolls around.  Because you had dessert yesterday, today wouldn’t hurt right?  A snowball effect occurs. The discipline and food choices haven’t been easy. Now, the discipline has fallen away and bad habit takes over. You have fallen off the proverbial “wagon”. So, you revert to your old habits.  In this case, you have two choices: keep falling behind, OR rise above your obstacles.

Consider sticking to a workout routine.  You begin with high expectations.  You have energy and motivation to get started. You are loving your workouts.  They are fun and exhilarating.  But, at some point, you plateau.  The workouts aren’t as fun anymore.  Your energy isn’t there.  You’re not seeing progress as fast.  Your’e discouraged.  What do you do?  Stop going or rise above?  I’ll give you a clue: it’s the latter.  Decide to rise above the negative feelings and doubts in your mind.  Once you do, you will enter the next level of progress.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!