Cathy’s Special Diet Plan
The season of eating is upon us….extra delicious foods and treats abound from Halloween through the New Year and sometimes ’til Superbowl and Valentine’s Day. I thought this was the perfect time to answer a question I get asked rather often, which is 1. “Are you on a special diet?” Or 2.”What do you eat?”
Here’s the answers:
2. Whatever I want
That being said, whatever I want is food that makes me feel good. I do not count calories or portion control, to me that takes too much time and energy. I want to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I am not blessed with the type of body that is thin no matter what, if I eat too much or the wrong foods I gain weight just like everyone else. I also need to exercise – luckily I enjoy the kind of exercise I choose and it makes me feel good.
Over the last 15 or so years I’ve learned that just because something is delicious doesn’t mean it makes me feel good and hence I no longer want to eat things like pancakes, candy of any sort, donuts, soda, tons of caffeine, etc. Even my love of ice cream has been reduced to mainly vanilla with an occasional topping of fruit less than once a month or so.
So essentially, I eat very mindfully and over the years have learned what works for my body and what doesn’t. I go for real food – to me that means minimal or no processing, no artificial colors or flavors, no hydrogenated oils. Fresh fruits, veg, lean meat, a few grains, the occasional potato, eggs, avocados, seeds, yogurt, some cheese, healthy fats, occasionally a pasta dish, and legumes like lentils, chick peas, kidney and black beans make up the majority of my day to day eating. I don’t use any sort of powders in my smoothies, to me they are just another processed item. I do take a couple of vitamins that help keep my emotional and electrical systems in balance.
I rarely eat restaurant food, definitely less than once a week unless I’m out of town or my schedule is crazy that week. If I do go to a restaurant I go for ones that use fresh food, which typically means avoiding large chain restaurants. Eating from a restaurant two days in a row is weird for me. I also limit raw/uncooked food. I will eat salad, a couple of times a week in the summer and the rest of the year I try for 1 a week or so.
I don’t have designated “cheat” days – if I’m reeeaaaallllly in the mood for a cookie or brownie or whatever, I make some with sugar, butter etc., eat a couple and give the rest away. I figure real, homemade treats are just that-a treat and not full of preservatives or any of the above mentioned additives. Desperate for fish ‘n’ chips? I’ll go enjoy them with a glass of wine. A little joy and pleasure is fun and doesn’t leave me feeling gross because I eat so little sugar, unhealthy fats etc.
I have effortlessly maintained my weight and clothing size for at least 10 years. (With the exception of early 2010 when I need to gain weight, which was weird for me)
A typical day might look like this:
Upon waking, a cup of warm water (I drink warm water all day long)
small cup of 2/3 caffeinated coffee with 1 tsp. brown sugar and 2 Tbs. 2% milk
fruit smoothie at room temperature with 1/2 cup greek yogurt and 1 Tbs. ground flax; 1 slice ezekiel toast with sunflower seed butter
leftover dinner or something like tuna salad, soup with cheese slices, halibut and steamed veggies
cheese slices (sometimes wrapped in a corn tortilla), pumpkin seeds with dried fruit, occasionally a piece of fruit though I prefer a little protein that takes the grumble out of my tummy yet lets me teach my evening classes without feeling gross
some sort of cooked veggies and meat, maybe steamed veg and fish, chicken stir fry, chili, kale chips and steak, etc. I go for about a half a plate of veg and hand sized serving a meat (my hand is small, a palm size isn’t quite enough for the amount of exercise I get)
glass of red wine or 1 – 2 oz of mild liqueur (this goes into the pleasure category)
1 square of pure dark chocolate
I’m not saying that you should eat this way or that how I choose to eat is perfect. I’m just letting you know what works for me and that I believe we can all maintain healthy bodies without being on any type of diet or plan. Have more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll happily answer.
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If you enjoyed or were inspired by what you read, please comment below, Like, Share, and Tweet. With Gratitude, Cathy
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