With the holiday season here, I can’t stress enough how important cooking at home is for your health, and your wallet. Do you find it hard to eat your vegetables? Read this article as you navigate the holidays and strive to eat the right things every day.
You’ve probably started to realize that weight loss and weight gain are related to patterns. Weight gain usually comes from the learned patterns of eating more in the evening than in the day, of missing meals, of how we deal with stress, of choosing only a few foods to eat and of cooking the same foods the same way.
It’s this last one I’m dedicating this blog to since this pattern can potentially unravel and unburden us from the majority of other weight gain patterns. Naturally, releasing ourselves from patterns of weight gain means to create patterns for weight loss.
One of the first patterns of weight loss is to move something from our subconscious, where we don’t even think about it, into the conscious, where we are aware of it and can work with it. I’d like you to think about two things:
First, what do you and I ALL have in common in our kitchens that simply collect dust, and are rarely used?
Second, how many recipes do you prepare your suppers, lunches and breakfasts in a week?
If you are trying to lose weight, I already know the majority of your answers to these questions. I know this because the patterns of weight gain are entrenched and common amongst anyone wishing to lose weight. You likely will agree that the most decorative dust-collector in a kitchen is the stack of cookbooks, and that you really only cook a handful of recipes across an entire month or a week.
An unused secret weapon in losing weight is to bust open the cookbooks; ESPECIALLY the vegetarian ones. Anyone can cook meat, as demonstrated by any man who never steps foot in a kitchen but is an instant expert with a BBQ. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not what we get too much of that adds to our waistline but what we get too little of: vegetables. It’s so important that you eat your vegetables every day! The Step In the Kitchen cookbook is a great place to start.
There is a simple way to use a cookbook and a difficult way. Most people choose the difficult way, which is to sift through the pretty pictures, find a recipe and then go buy the ingredients. That method takes unnecessary time and creates barriers to simply making the food.
Instead, buy an on-plan vegetable, preferably one you’ve never cooked before, and then look for a recipe for that veggie when you get home with it. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have all the ingredients. Recipes are merely guidelines, and you can fudge what you don’t have. The first time you make a recipe, it takes more time as you figure it all out. The next time is faster since you have an idea of what you are doing, and the third time you don’t even need the recipe since you remember what to do (hopefully).
This is the secret to increasing your food variety and to making yourself an efficient cook. Like anything, it takes a little effort at first, but if you do a new recipe once a month, I guarantee you will completely change your food choices and patterns within a year. If you choose a new recipe more often, that change comes more rapidly.
My first time doing this was with parsnips back in 1996. I remember it well, and I will always be thankful for the experience that started my transformation into being the healthier person I am today.