One of my favorite things to do on Mondays is make our healthy menu for the week. I look forward to hunting down new, healthy recipes and making a list of all the goodies I will need to purchase at the grocery store. I have heard some friends comment on how much they loath planning and preparing meals but I get so much joy out of it!
Pinterest has really given me some great new ideas and I love having the ability to organize all my ideas in one spot and to share my findings with my friends.
This week I am really excited about our menu. Tonight we are having homemade chicken gyros with homemade Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce with Tomato, Olive, Basil, Mozzarella salad. I am so excited to see how it turns out! Tuesday we have bible study so we will probably just have leftovers (which is fine with me!) Wednesday we are having Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken (Ken is going to love this!). On Thursday we are having Chicken Salads with homemade buttermilk dressing (only 40 cals!) with homemade garlic bread.
I usually eat leftovers for lunch and the ladies oooh and ahhh over my previous night's creation :) I have found this to be a secret of success. Its okay to love food. In fact, I encourage it! Every other attempt I have made at losing weight included some type of deprivation that was intended to 'cure' me of my love of food. Food can be a masterpiece and just a little bit of tweaking to our palates and thought processes, we can enjoy it AND lead a healthy lifestyle.
Eating foods in moderation (even if they aren't 'diet' friendly) allow us to truly enjoy them. If you really, really love cheesecake (like me!), doesn't it taste all that much more glorious if you treat it as a treat that should be enjoyed and not gorged upon? Learning new tricks in the kitchen that actually allow you to taste the vibrancy of foods instead of fats and oils allows you to enjoy and celebrate food. Steamed green beans taste sooo much better than beans sauteed in oil. Because you can actually taste their freshness! You might have to give it a couple tries but once you retrain your palate, food tastes sooo much better!
To me, an apple is one of God's most glorious creations (that might or might not be an exaggeration) but when I was used to eating foods flavored with fat, I couldn't truly enjoy a fresh, crisp apple. Apple pie? Oh yeah! But I couldn't taste the true beauty of an apple.
I am kind of rambling here but fresh food is such a passion of mine now. If you struggle with including fresh foods in your diet or just don't like vegetables, I challenge you to keep trying new foods or find different ways to prepare the foods until you find a way that you like. If you only like green beans (or whatever) sauteed in olive oil, eat it and slowly decrease the amount of oil. Eventually, you might find that you DO love the taste of the food without all of the added calories.
Just like I said, know that it IS okay to enjoy some of your favorite higher calorie foods in moderation. Just last week we had Chicago deep dish for dinner. I enjoyed every single bit of it and truly savored it. I'm going to say it again, it is OKAY to love food you just have to learn to harness that love :)
Here are the links to some of the meals we will be having this week. Enjoy!
Chicken Gyros: annies-eats.com/2009/06/
Tomato Salad: www.kalynskitchen.com/20
Thai Noodles: www.eat-yourself-skinny.
Buttermilk Dressing: allrecipes.com/recipe/lo
Have a fantastic, healthy week my friends!