Are you tired of watching what you eat? Me too.
Recently I had a thought, what if I was my ideal weight? What would I eat if I didn’t need to lose a few pounds? The answer came surprisingly quick. I’d eat like a French woman. I’m sure that means different things to different people, but in my mind it was fresh, whole food that is delicious and satisfying with the occasional indulgence. I remembered the book I got from my mom, “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” I decided to finally read it. Author Mireille Guiliano recommends eating a variety of foods, mostly in season, in reasonable portions. Fresh food is preferred to processed and truly enjoying your meals is very important. This is the philosophy I’ve been craving all along. It’s not about depriving oneself or eating diet substitutes. Food is meant to be enjoyed!
Meanwhile, full of excitement and motivation, I finally worked up the courage to tackle a cookbook I received as a gift (in fact I has specifically asked for it): It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow. I don’t generally use cookbooks because, Google. This book was worth it. It won me over with the fresh-faced photos of GP and the beautifully photographed meals. I remained very skeptical that it was “easy”. After I tackled the shopping for a bunch of ingredients, many of which I don’t ever buy, the assembly was simple. The first thing I tried was chicken tortilla soup. Not only was it easy, but my whole family liked it. Maybe loved it. My picky 9-year-old son ate a meal with multiple green things in it including zucchini. It was such a big hit. I made smoothie bowls, sheet pan chicken, etc.
Both of these books have changed my life. I learned that where I thought I hated cooking, I was just bored. I was constantly buying and cooking the same foods over and over and my tastebuds had lost all interest. In an effort to please my family, I had narrowed our cuisine down to so few things that they were bored too, and hesitant to try anything new. I also learned that the more I cooked, even complicated recipes, the more confident I became and the more fun I had. And of course the more healthy we eat, the more energy we have.
I hope you check out one or both of these books, and try cooking something new. Or buying something new. I find that I don’t put things on the grocery list anymore just because we ran out of it. I plan out a few new meals, a few old standards and make my list from that. I think our food bill has gone down. I use more leftovers and I waste less food. (I’m probably the last person on the planet to figure this out.)
Oh, and I’ve lost a few pounds…