Are you hot to lose weight and be healthy but you’re overwhelmed by all of the crazy, conflicting information coming at you? Arrrgh! Is it Paleo? Vegan? Raw juices? Green smoothies? Raw food? Cooked food? High fat? Low fat? All protein? No fruit? Gluten free? No carbs? Cleansing? Help!
Wait! What happened to SUPER SIMPLE AND SUPER RATIONAL?
Seriously. What happened?
WHAT KATE MIDDLETON DID
I wanted to drop some pounds, so I started researching the best way to do it. I’m telling you – it’s nuts. There is so much conflicting information that it’s positively overwhelming. In the middle of trying to make sense of it all, I wondered how Kate Middleton managed to lose her baby weight and also lose whatever weight she needed in order to fit into her size minus- minus -zero wedding dress.
What I discovered about her weight loss program is what sent me over the edge, and caused me to wake up and create my own super simple, super rational healthy plan. Enough already.
Kate apparently followed some diet called The Dukan diet. For the first ten days, you’re supposed to eat ONLY protein plus oat bran. Nothing more. The book gives you fancy protein recipes so you don’t get bored with eating only protein for this miserable ten days.
I thought to myself, “Seriously? Are you kidding me? I’m going to eat only protein for ten days, followed by a very, very limited eating plan for the next several months after that – and that’s supposed to be sustainable and healthy?”
FAD DIETS DON’T WORK AND YOU KNOW IT
The light bulb went off. The words “Super Simple and Rational” came to me. Slow and steady wins the race. You can go on all sorts of fad diets to lose a quick ten pounds, but no human being can possibly keep up with this stuff. So the inevitable happens – you wind up reverting to your old ways again and then you’ve gotten nowhere.
Think about it. You do not have to be a diet doctor or nutritionist to figure this out yourself. I stopped and took a breath. I asked myself, “What’s super healthy and simple?”
Answer: Fruit, lots of veggies, some protein and some smaller amount of good carbs. (Not to mention simple exercise and simple stress methods, but more on that another time.)
Which food groups are sadly lacking for most of us – by a long shot? Fruit and veggies. And those are the two items that give us the absolutely vital nutrients that we need.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CANCER AT THE SAME TIME
But let me add a scare tactic about why you MUST stop with the unhealthy eating and crazy dieting, and eat more fruits and veggies.
Yesterday I met with three friends of mine. Two out of the four friends have cancer. Yes – two out of four!!! One of the friends works at a renowned cancer research institute so she’s up on the latest research. She said that among other things – there is a clear link between cancer and food. I asked her what food, exactly, should we be eating in order to stay super healthy?
SUPER SIMPLE AND SUPER RATIONAL: Lots of fruits and veggies, she said. And of course, it goes without saying, that you must also STOP eating ANY junk of ANY kind. That means NO processed food. “Processed food” means anything with a label of ingredients. She said soda pop, including diet soda, and processed meats are the worst offenders, followed by everything else with a label of ingredients. And she said to buy organic. It’s all about getting rid of the chemicals and adding in good, natural ingredients.
So let’s assume you’re not pouring chemicals down your throat with the above processed food. What most of us are not getting enough of are fruits and veggies.
MY SIMPLE, RATIONAL PLAN
How do we eat a simple, healthy and rational diet that’s super easy?
GO TO THE GROCERY STORE. Or go to the Farmer’s market – whichever is easier. Buy a bunch of fruit and a bunch of veggies. If you’re trying to lose weight, buy more veggies than fruit because fruit has sugar. But don’t skimp on fruit – it’s good for you. Just have more veggies than fruit. Don’t worry about which veggies and which fruit – just buy a wide variety and buy a lot so you always have them handy.
HAVE IT IN YOUR HEAD THAT YOU’LL EAT A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES THREE TIMES A DAY. Again, keep this simple. It doesn’t matter whether you eat veggies for breakfast and fruit for dinner. Just eat them three times a day. Don’t worry about getting the exact amount. The goal is to simply keep eating them.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, then have a bigger serving of veggies, and so on. Sometimes I might sauté a big bunch of spinach in the morning and I’ll add a couple of poached eggs. Or right now I’m eating a fresh orange as a snack. Make a veggie soup and bring it to work and then you have lots of veggies. Eat them cooked, eat them raw – it doesn’t matter unless your doctor says you shouldn’t eat raw. For instance, you shouldn’t eat raw if you have bloating problems. In that case it’s best to cook your food.
KEEP YOUR PROTEIN SIMPLE. If you’re not a great cook, then don’t stress. Eat only chicken, eggs and fish. Get a dozen eggs, and also a bunch of organic chicken and fresh, not farm-raised fish like salmon or halibut, and put them in the freezer. Now you always have chicken and fish handy. Find super simple healthy recipes online, like baked chicken or baked fish.
BUY HEALTHY CARBS. Here’s your list of good carbs: 1. Vegetables – all of them. 2. Whole fruits – all of them. 3. Legumes – lentils, kidney beans, peas, etc. 4. Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia, etc. 5. Seeds – pumpkin, chia, flax, hemp. 6. Whole grains – pure steel cut oats (not out of a box), quinoa, brown rice. 7. Tubers – potatoes, sweet potatoes. Here are the bad carbs: 1. Sugary drinks like soda pop and vitamin water. 2. Fruit juice – eat the whole fruit instead. 3. White bread. 4. Pastries, cookies and cakes. 5. Ice cream. 6. Candies and chocolates. But if you want a little chocolate, eat quality dark chocolate. 7. French fries and potato chips.
CLEAN OUT YOUR KITCHEN. Right now, go through your refrigerator and kitchen shelves and get rid of all processed foods. Now you won’t be tempted, and your fridge will have room for healthy food.
PREPARE HEALTHY SNACKS
PREPARE HEALTHY SNACKS. I found these on health.com. Having prepared healthy snacks ready to go is really important because then you won’t be tempted to grab something unhealthy when you’re hungry:
- Popcorn. Plain popcorn without butter and fake flavors.
- Nuts. Handful of almonds.
- Edamane. Buy frozen and then you always have them.
- Power Berry Smoothie
- Lentil salad with watercress
- Miso-glazed tofu
- Simple veggie tostada
And here are some healthy, simple dip recipes:
1. Avocado boat: 1/2 avocado filled with cottage cheese, or canned salmon or tuna. Top with a little balsamic vinegar for flavor.
2. Sunflower lentil spread on 1/2 avocado or on a romaine lettuce leaf, and make it a wrap. Here’s the recipe.
4. White bean and garlic dip: Rather than putting it on crackers, dip raw carrot or celery sticks, put in avocado half, Romaine lettuce leaf or simply eat plain.
I’ll be talking more about simple ways to be healthy and lose weight in upcoming posts. Tell me what works for you.