Knowing what you want allows you to stay on track but still have the flexibility to have a treat here and there without feeling like you've derailed yourself. Let's face it, none of us is going to eat perfectly all the time. Within every balanced nutritional plan, there is plenty of wiggle room for an indulgence. I have found more often than not that when I'm too strict nutritionally I either feel deprived with food and wind up splurging on more than what I need or I end up not feeling well physically and mentally. When our nutrition is not balanced, when we are all or nothing, it will eventually show up for us.
This past week I went to the farmers market and also a pit stop to my local trader joes. I grabbed a few of my favorite veggies like broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, yellow/red/orange bell peppers, shallots, delicata squash, sweet potatoes, and salad greens. Instead of having to clean, chop, and cook each night when I get home, I took one hour and washed, chopped, and bagged the veggies so that I can just toss them in a frying pan with some coconut oil, pair it with a protein source, and a salad, and boom....dinner is ready. Whatever is left over goes with me for lunch then next day.
I like to keep things simple, clean, and on the table within 20 minutes of entering the kitchen. I keep my seasoning cabinet loaded with my favorite dried herbs and pick up whatever fresh herbs that are in season from the farmers market....you can never go wrong with basil as it seems to go well with pretty much everything. The simplest of recipes can be brought to life with fresh and dried herbs and a pinch of sea salt.
Keep organic frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer to add to smoothies for a quick breakfast. Take left over roasted veggies, heat them up, and puree them with a broth of your choice for a quick bowl of warming soup. This time of year I like to eat lots of sweet potatoes, winter squashes like delicata, kabocha and butternut.....so those are always on hand and ready to be roasted with a bit of avocado or coconut oil, cumin, and sea salt. Make enough to last you several meals but not so much that you'll get bored and wind up wasting it. Plan ahead but be practical with how much of the same thing you will eat for several days.
Allow yourself 1-2 meals out a week to break up the monotony. Every Wednesday I pick up lunch or eat at Wholefoods in La Jolla. I try as hard as possible to stick to similar choices at home, but it's nice to have a little change. On the weekends I will go out and usually have a little something off the beaten path as a treat. However, I feel so good from the choices I make during the week that I tend to still order something in line with my regular diet. Nobody likes to be side lined with a belly ache the next day when it could have been avoided.
*Roast some delicata squash with coconut oil, sea salt, and some cumin powder at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown or pierces easily with a knife.
*Add to the squash some broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, and shallots tossed with some oil the last 12-15 minutes of roasting. Don't over roast as you don't want mushy vegetables.
*Place on top of a bed of lettuce with a protein of your choice (chicken is my go-to)
*Top with coconut aminos and some Macadamia Nut Oil or a dressing of your choice.
The delicata is so light yet incredibly satiating and incredibly low in calories. So if carbs is an issue for you, this is perfect because it will help keep you full without all the extra sugars and starch you get from grains and tubers.
The holidays can be a challenge with all the tempting food, drinks, and festivities. And although we should be enjoying ourselves, it's not so joyful come the beginning of the year when you're struggling to lose the unnecessary weight gain and feeling toxic and sluggish. Celebrate....YES!!! But still be conscientious and preemptive. You can plan and be prepared so that when it comes time to celebrate, you don't completely sabotage all your efforts from this past year.