NEVER BE FOOD DEPRIVED AGAIN
This time of the year its easy to find ourselves craving foods that make us feel warm and fuzzy. With the holidays, parties, and snowy nights it’s easy for this to spiral out of control. We then find ourselves saying the all familiar words, “I need to get back on track” or (especially with new year resolutions right around the corning), “I need to start dieting again.”
I hear this from people I coach all the time:
“Well, I got pretty off track this week but I am going to start back up on Monday.”
And these words just make me want to cringe. When did we start defining getting healthy and feeling better in our own skin by how much we have to deprive ourselves?
Here’s a #MNML fun fact: I don’t believe in deprivation and I don’t believe in extremes when it comes to our health.
We shouldn’t have to be deprived in order to feel healthy!! Are you with me?! Today I am sharing a post full of golden nuggets for you. Learn how to stop telling yourself you "can’t have" that doughnut and instead, figure out a way to allow these things into your life in a way that makes you feel empowered, instead of deprived.
First, lets get our minds right. If you find yourself wanting something sweet, salty, heavier that your typical food (creamy, cheesy, higher in carbs) acknowledge that feeling first—without immediately acting on it. Decide, specifically, what you're craving and then sit with that for a while. When we create this space, we can decipher if a craving stems from emotion or boredom first. Read a book, turn your focus back to your work, go for a walk, play with your dog. If an hour or two passes by and you are still finding yourself wanting whatever it was—then allow yourself to have it. This is mindful eating.
Another option is to turn whatever it is that you're craving into a healthier version of its original state. Over the years, I've compiled several recipes like this and I can’t wait to share more with you. This week—I tried a new one. If you missed Monday’s blog post—click here and check it out.
Here’s a step by step guide of how to healthify a recipe. I'm going to use the chicken and dumplings recipe I found and made over this week as an example.
Start by looking at the ingredients. If there are several processed or pre-made food items in the recipe, there’s a good chance you can make your own from scratch. In this recipe the two processed ingredients I noticed were the canned cream of chicken and celery soup and the biscuit dough to use as the dumpling.
From here, decide which ingredients would be manageable for you to make from scratch—and keep your sanity in mind. I mentioned Monday that I am the worlds most pitiful baker. Therefore, making the biscuits this recipe called for as dumplings from scratch was out of the question. Plus—I fricken love biscuits. I wasn’t going to risk making them myself and then not enjoying them. I opted to buy an organic pre-made biscuit dough and decided to search around for an alternative binding agent for creaminess instead of the canned soups.
The substitution I found uses milk, flour, cornstarch, and butter. I subbed in coconut milk to cut back on dairy however, I strive to live in a world that no longer fears real true butter. If it’s organic, grass fed, or high quality: butter it up, baby.
Next, look to see where you can add in more veggies. This will make the recipe more nutrient dense which will, in turn, allow you to eat less while still feeling equally as full and nourished. Greens like kale, spinach, arugula, and spring mixes can be added to almost any recipe. I chose to grab some kale and toss that in to the crock pot at the end of this recipe’s cooking journey.
Some other tips:
- Watch out for recipes that suggest things like bacon, cheese, sour cream, or mayo as toppings—you will survive if you use less than what they suggest, I promise;)
- Cut back on the animal protein—the original recipe called for 4-5 chicken breasts. I cut this back to 3 because I’ve learned my body doesn’t need quick that much animal protein in one meal.
- Use the best ingredients you can—I could have easily purchased the Pillsbury Grand biscuits that were half the price of the organic brand I bought. After reading the ingredient label on their packages however, it was worth it to me to spend a few extra dollars on an organic version. Use unsalted chicken stock—to me this is a no brainer, I would much rather add in my own salt so I know exactly how much I am adding.
- No recipe will be ruined by adding more vegetables—I doubled the amount of carrots and peas, added fresh celery (instead of cream of celery soup) and kale. On days I felt extra hungry, instead of scooping another spoonful into my bowl I add in an extra handful of raw kale or a spill from the bags of frozen veggies I had left over before I reheated my meal.
The results speaks for itself
Original recipe macros:
73g carbs (from biscuits, peas, carrots)
23g fat (from canned soup and biscuits)
55g protein (all animal protein)
Make over recipe macros:
55g carbs (biscuits, peas, carrots, kale, celery)
18g fat (from organic butter, coconut milk, biscuits)
26g protein (from plant--kale and animal protein)
The difference here is where the macros are coming from. Can you swap out some animal protein for plant based protein? Can your fat come from a better source? Can make your carb sources more complex? Focus less on the numbers and more on where the calories are coming from. It just so happened that when I healthified this recipe the macros also improved! Depending on your goals and your body you could easily add more chicken for protein, add lentils to avoid animal protein all together, toss in extra veggies, or top with avocado for extra healthy fats.
That's all for now, stay smpl.