Here I am! Today’s the day! Diet Central . . . only not, it’s Healthy Eating . . . read on . . . enjoy the MUSICA! Comes with crazy love, as usual!First off, we should define diet. You can’t understand a word until you get the pure dictionary definition:
1. restrict oneself⚡️to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
“It’s difficult to diet.”
synonyms: follow a diet, be on a diet, eat sparingly, abstain, fast.
I’ve never cared much for the word Diet. You can probably tell I don’t like “restrict.” And also not wild about “sparingly.” The entire subject has always been confusing, seems more for selling books than anything else . . . low-fat, no-fat, low-carb, Mediterranean, Vegan, Atkins, cabbage soup only, the Blood Type Diet, Volumetrics, Paleo, Nutrisystem, the Baby Food Diet 😳, too many ~ and none of the ones I tried over the years “took.” Pounds kept sneaking up on me despite the fact that I’m a life-long walker! Just wasn’t enough, I guess. I think another synonym for “diet” could easily be “failure.” All I really wanted was a little balance! So I just call my “diet” Whole-Food Eating because it’s not a diet, it’s how my mom fed us. Simple, healthy, balanced, nutritious meals. Your basic protein, roughage, fiber, fats, the stuff that feeds your brain and gives your life zing. And, best of all, I discovered there is absolutely NO reason comfort food can’t be good for you.💖
Look at that! Yum! I’ve been talking about healthy eating on most blog posts since February . . . as I’ve gone along I’ve been showing photos of meals ~ some Girlfriends have been asking for more, so I thought I’d post the entire thing. There’s no calorie or carb-counting with this way of eating, I really made it up ~ you fill your plate and eat it all ~ cravings go away, and it’s all due to plain-old-fashioned, healthy, common-sense, whole-food eating.
It all started when I began to see (for the first time because I honestly did not know it was a real “thing”) the detrimental effect of STRESS on my body. I wondered why, no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. I was getting fluffier all the time. So, I went ALL OVER the Internet to learn about invisible stress and how chemicals like cortisol produced by the brain effect our health without us even knowing it, and how I could get my brain to produce more good chemicals and less of the dangerous ones.
I learned a lot . . . there are many ways to reduce stress, everything from exercise to meditation to aromatherapy (Google for more stress info if you feel you need it), but one way to make an instant change for good is to cut out white flour and sugar. Stress LOVES sugar and together they run you down, wear you out, and make you fat, then if you aren’t careful, they give you diabetes. If you change no other part of your diet, this will give you a very wonderful head start toward better health. Learning about stress just led me naturally to a re-education of food.
I learned that fats are good (if they’re the right kind, just Google “good fats” if you want to know). That “good, fruity, olive oil” in the recipe above is wonderful for you! Alcohol, on the other hand, is full of sugar so I decided to save it as a treat for when we go out to dinner.👍 Water is important too. If you don’t like to drink water, add ice, a little juice or mint to make it taste better, and take it like medicine if necessary. Eight 8-oz glasses a day is perfect. There IS such thing as too much water, so don’t overdo it, but it’s a very good secret weapon for a whole variety of reasons.
I know we don’t all have the same tastes, I’m only telling you about what is working for me, but I’m sure with a little editing, you can find something out of all this that will work for you. I researched healthiest whole-food eating and generally speaking, I discovered that the very healthiest, fiber-rich, stress-fighting foods that fill me up and leave me happy and satisfied, are these:
For breakfast, it’s usually Bob’s Red Mill thick-cut organic oatmeal (which, btw, is naturally gluten-free), sprinkled with crunchy, chopped mixed nuts and seeds, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, and/or chopped apples ~ I pour toasted-coconut/almond milk on my cereal (new to me and I LOVE it) and there’s also coconut-almond cream for my tea. Sometimes breakfast is grapes, blueberries, watermelon chunks, with good granola and a little yogurt.
We have lots of salmon, chicken, grass-fed beef, omega-6 organic eggs, and salads with all kinds of crisp, fresh, organic greens and veggies. More: grapefruit and avocado salads are so refreshing in the summer, a baked sweet potato (wash it, rub it all over with butter, salt it, bake it at 375º, slit open, sprinkle with
seeds, have butter if you like, be sure to eat the skin. Or, make this killer sweet potato recipe. Delicious peas, roasted carrots,
cauliflower rice, brussels sprouts, pea pods, broccoli and broccoli slaw, green beans, pickled onions, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, quinoa (which is good with everything, esp. avocado and hummus, see p. 84 Girlfriends Forever for delicious recipe), organic canned kidney, black, or white beans (Google for some easy recipes, or try my bean salad recipe). Beans are a good side-dish with everything, love those gigantic white beans, I never paid much attention to them before, they’re delicious and they’re good for you! There are also these wonderful veggie-based noodles called shiritaki I found at our supermarket, the brand is Pasta Zero . . . with them you can make full-on spaghetti with either turkey or beef meat-sauce (buy sugar-free organic tomato sauce in a jar, add it to sautéed chopped onion, garlic, crumbled burger, sprinkle with fresh basil).
As advertised, there are almost ZERO calories in shiritaki noodles, no flour, no carbs, but lots of good healthy fiber, totally satisfying, so anti-“diet,” anti-“restricted,” there are no words. Sprinkle with Parmesan for perfect comfort food. Less than 100 calories in that bowl⤴️! But who’s counting!? Have two! Or make chicken-noodle soup with them, with good healthy chicken stock and all kinds of veggies. Yum.
Another favorite is toasted whole-grain Ezekiel bread, which I eat maybe three times a week … with butter, and a sprinkle of seeds ~ or mashed avocado with salt and pepper. Have it with scrambled Omega-6 free-range eggs and a side of steamed veggies. Or have the toast with this! ⬇️
Meals like this are quick to make: Flash-frozen veggies like organic peas and green beans make life REALLY easy. So do the canned organic beans.
Last night for dinner I had two scrambled eggs, steamed spinach, and half an avocado sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Chile-Lime seasoning.
HEAVEN. Takes about 15 minutes to make. And plenty to eat . . . this is a “skinny” dinner . . . if I ate this every night I think I’d lose a pound a day. But I don’t. It’s ALL about health for me, not really about losing weight although that and getting a better understanding of stress was my original goal ~ I didn’t care how long it took, I just wanted me back.
I set times of day for eating. I don’t eat until 8 am even though I get up very early, I have two cups of tea and do my stretches then begin making oatmeal at 8am. I start lunch around noon or when I feel hungry and then dinner at 6pm. I stick to that as best I can. I hardly eat between meals, all those cravings have left me, but if I have to eat something, it’s ALWAYS healthy, a piece or two of celery dipped in organic hummus, a cup of yummy Bengal Spice tea with almond cream, usually takes away any random cravings. Guacamole with plantain chips.
OR, a square of “over 70% cacao super dark chocolate” is a WONDERFUL after-lunch treat. Now I just want to lose a few more pounds, start wearing my cute belts(!) again, and STAY this way. And since eating healthy never leaves me hungry, because I LOVE the food I’m eating, because it’s SO simple, I think I can do it.
If you’re already on your way or if you’re about to jump in, Good Luck! Hope this helps! Eat well, move more, and don’t be too hard on yourself, you are wonderful just the way you are. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Start slow. ❌⭕️
Shirtaki noodles (made from root of the konjac plant, a pure miracle), at supermarkets.
Bob’s Red Mill makes Organic Oatmeal, and lots of other wonderful products.
Also, Ezekiel Bread, and Califa Farms Toasted-Coconut/Almond Milk and Coconut-Almond Creamer. (Never thought I’d say this, but I LOVE this stuff in my tea and on my cereal, do not miss milk at all.)
Mixed seeds: get them at Trader Joe’s, or here: Amazon
Make or buy clarified butter, it takes high heat, scramble your eggs in it . . . melt in pan, get bag of organic cauliflower/broccoli “rice” and saute it, salt and pepper and Yum. Fast and easy. Have it with sweet potato and salmon.
Other good oils, coconut oil, avocado oil. ~ Olive oil YES, but it’s not good to use for high-heat cooking, put it on your salads.
Here I am, bringing the requested Blueberry Angel Food Cake recipe from Heart of the Home (the new version) to a Fourth of July party . . . Lot’s of sugar but very delicious, always a hit, and rules ARE made to be broken! I follow most of the rules at home, but I’m happy to break them when I go out!
it’s a good thing!
So much happening at the Studio, here’s a quick review!
Did you get your Year in the English Countryside 2020 Calendar? If you preordered and you don’t have it yet, you will! Kellee and Sheri sent out over 900 of them this week! Yes, they’re here! Dying to know what you think? Because it was a new format for me, mostly photographs, we only had the England Calendar up for presale, but the rest of them have arrived too, the Mini, the 12 x 12 Wall, the purse calendar and the large Blotter Calendar!
And this! My brand new “Isle of Dreams” Giclee Print has finally come in! A limited edition of 750, all hand-signed and numbered. A keepsake, for anyone who’s been to the Island and fallen in love, and for all those still dreaming. Fits a standard 11″ x 14″ frame. Read more HERE.
I’m in love with the paper! It’s so thick, just like watercolor paper . . . acid free and archival too!
And the Zinnias are back too . . . watercolored flowers from my Holly Oak garden, summer of 1984, before Heart of the Home, and hanging in my Studio ever since!
Signed and ready to go!
And YESSSS! The newest cups came from England for approval. And they got it! They turned out SO gorgeous! Supposed to be here by September first, and if that isn’t perfect timing for fall, I don’t know what! Something wonderful to look forward too! See their bottoms and backsides HERE!
We still have a few of these left, I ordered enough so we would hopefully have them for Christmas this year, and so far so good! Bottoms and backsides, HERE!
(PS Save the fire for when the cups come in!) There’s more, but it’s time for me to go! And I have to save some surprises for next time . . . I have a good one coming!
Love you guys! Stay cool! Have fun. Spread the love. xoxoxo
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