New Directions

December 31, 2010 in General, Health, Weight Management by Mary Ireland

I'm sure that many of you grew up, as I did, with the instructions to eat everything on your plate. I think that the idea was more not to waste anything rather than making sure that I got all the nutrients that I needed. Not wasting was an important concept to learn; it was a difficult mindset to overcome in my efforts to exercise portion control. Two little thoughts helped me to succeed. One was that if I didn't waste it, I would waist it. The other was that the food looked better in the trash than it did on my hips. Perhaps these two ideas will help you to "waste" some of the holiday food that has appeared at your house -- throw away all of foodstuff that won't contribute to your good health in the coming year.

In Break free from traditional eating style , Jennifer Motl discusses using "tapas-style" eating -- having appetizers or small dishes of different foods. In her article, she present various ideas for healthy small dishes including dips such as baba ghanouj (eggplant), hummus or bean dip with veggies or whole grain crackers for dipping. Other ideas for small dishes are smoked fish, nuts, grilled portobello mushrooms and tabbouleh. I like to have a variety of steamed vegetables such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale and carrots. Corn tortillas heated in the toaster oven and filled with avocado, tomatoes, sprouts and a tablespoon of beans or whatever else I happen to have handy is one of my favorites. One caution when eating tapas meal: watch your portions. You might want to use a plate to know exactly how much you are eating.

The tapas meals are especially good for families with picky eaters or when only one member of the family wants to change eating habits or restrict calories. I really love the variety and meal preparation seems more like an adventure than a chore. I feel freer to not eat big portions. Tapas type meals are just one of a variety ways that you can use to change your approach to the eating. As you go into the new year, be creative - it is International Creativity Month you know. Find things that work for you. Find ways to get rid of ingrained ideas about meals and such things as eating everything on your plate.

A big snow storm here in the mountain west has dumped 25 inches in the last 48 hours. For over 24 hours, the road to my community was closed and we didn't had power. As one of my neighbors observed, "It is 19 outside and a toasty 54 inside." Fortunately we did get power restored before it got really cold - it is 8 degrees as I am writing this. During this time, I've had a chance to implement the tapas style of eating - whatever small portions of leftovers in the refrigerator plus tasty Christmas treats like the Sweet Fire pickles and jalapenos from my sister and yummy dipping pretzels from Dr. Grandma with black bean dip. Don't wait for a power outage, try new ways of eating and making positive changes in your lifestyle. Make this year a great one for you by breaking away from ideas that have held you hostage to poor eating habits.