15: Rearranging Food to Fit Your Life
If you are new here, I typically write about faith, hard knocks, disability, parenting…that stuff.
I do LOVE food. I may not have written about it in 300 days, but I’m still head over heels for the stuff. 🙂 …and I love prepare it too!
Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
― Harriet Van Horne.
I’ll admit it. I was the kid serving up tunafish and cinnamon. In my 30’s I still love to play out the creative process in the kitchen. And yes – some family members still have a hard time trusting me after that tuna! I like to think I’ve improved, and whether of not I have – slicing and dicing and prepping elaborate meals? Well, it’s not so easy any more!
When it comes to making healthy meals that fuel my need to create, FOR THE FAM, and around therapy schedules, homework etc? That is when all gets complicated.
The health nut in me has a hard time fitting “healthy” into the little slots of time and energy that are afforded in our home.
So today I share a quick and easy recipe that emerged from our chaos…
AND the idea behind it.
Make a bridge.
Recently my grandmother and I talked after the doc advised that she change her diet. She’s eaten McDonalds for the better part of her life, and she told me that she had no idea how to transition, how to find healthier foods that actually taste good to her.
This actually makes sense to me.
When it comes to “health food,” and health food stores, – the old school american diet seems miles away, and anyone from that school of thought can quickly feel like an outsider. This is hilariously illustrated in “Surviving Whole Foods“, but BEWARE if you mind language you’ll want to skip it – for sure.
Back to the point, I say make it work for you in achievable steps, not bounds. Build your own bridge, and put the effort into making steps that are small enough to sustain.
If you throw out your entire bridge quickly it won’t stand! Build the thing poorly and collapse is inevitable…and don’t you dare try to give my grandmother kale juice, that would be a bridge a mile wide in a minute.
Call me crazy (I know some of you are!) but hot dogs wrapped in collards or swiss chard are truly worth a try. I only switched out a couple of ingredients, and the condiments do a lot to make it taste similar.
There is FAR too much guilt in the kitchen. Forget about how wonderful everyone else cooks, how skinny they are, their bigger paycheck or organic groceries.
Give thanks for what you have, and get creative!
Think quick, simple, and sustainable changes:
- Use good oils – oils that are more refined and processed don’t get stored and processed by your body so well. Wholesale stores usually offer large bottles of organic olive oil
- Don’t forget the FLAVOR.
- If you LOVE Kung Pao chicken, either make your own sauce or buy one and pair it with brown rice, chicken and RAW celery (it really does taste better crispy!)
- If you can’t get over hot dogs, make hot dog salad w/ your favorite condiments as the dressing
- Buy within your budget, and if you can’t buy all organic that’s OKAY. You can pick up some local produce for cheaper, and buy organic 10 or 20% of the time. That’s something. (I do not buy all organic.)
- Find produce you actually like and pair it with other things you like. (If you hate bananas and force yourself to eat them – your health kick won’t last long and you won’t want to come back anything soon!)
- Try to add fresh produce to every meal
- Don’t make plans you can’t keep
If you are looking for bigger change,
- I recommend doing a 3 week cleanse as laid out in Clean (although I don’t subscribe to Dr. Junger’s religious beliefs, the idea of de-clogging your gut once a year and eating more raw nutrients is a really good one.
- Weight Watchers is also a GREAT program that is sustainable as you train yourself in better habits and BALANCE (They plan in a little indulgence and even getting off track, but you have to pull yourself in and FORGIVE yourself when you do – a lesson that takes TIME, practice, accountability and support.)