As part of this new me, I’m making a simple change to my lifestyle that I’m already seeing benefits from. No my gentle reader, this is not some New Year Resolution to lose weight, and exercise. It’s not a resolution in the sense that I started these changes before Christmas. And it’s not directly about “losing weight” but more about just being healthy. Also, while I say it’s a simple change, there is quite a bit of effort in it (for me at least). And yes, I have been seeing some unexpected dividends already.
So what is this change? It’s not a diet per se, but the fact that I’ve stopped eating out and have started preparing my own food. Rather than go to dinner at restaurant and spend $20 to $30 a person, I’m actually shopping and preparing my own food (and spending less). And, I’ve found out I really enjoy cooking!
- I control what’s in it:
- No heavily processed foods
- Minimal preservatives
- lower sodium, and much less fat
- I control the portion size: No “bigger than life” proportion sizes offered at many restaurants
I can’t point to any specific event that created this shift other than I was just getting tired of eating out. My wife and I have taken several small cooking classes at a chain that sells upper end kitchen supplies (stainless steel and enameled cookware, food processors, and the like) and I had learned some new cooking techniques so I started trying them out at home. Around the first December I started cooking at home two to three times a week and testing new ideas. Then at Christmas, several friends commented that it looked like I was losing weight. My wife agreed saying that she thought that eating my home cooked meals was “doing me some good”. Then we went to visit relatives out-of-town and guess what? We ate out all but 2 meals that week. When we got home I felt bloated and sluggish. I weighed myself when we got back on the 27th and found I had indeed put on several pounds and I went straight back to cooking my own food. And sure enough, the weight started falling off immediately.
So what am I cooking and eating? First off, I try to buy items with as few ingredients in them as possible. For instance, no margarine or cooking spray. I use either butter (cream and salt) or olive oil, I avoid high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners (my diet Coke is my only vice and exception). I buy meat and chicken from the butcher counter at my local grocer, along with small amounts of produce. About the only thing processed I buy is bread. I make a small, 2-egg omelet for breakfast with a little cheese and some sautéed mushrooms. I usually make a sandwich out of chicken or roast beef from the deli (not the prepackaged brands, but from whole roasts or chickens that have to be sliced in the deli), then a cup of yogurt. For dinner I’ve been using the beef and chicken along with produce sautéed in butter. And most importantly… They are appropriately sized portions! I’m not eating a 14 oz. rib eye steak or an entire deep-fried and battered chicken breast. I’m cooking a 4 to 6 oz. piece of meat seared with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe some garlic then either grill them or parboil them with wine. I LIKE it!
Who knows, gentle readers, I may be in that sext, slinky dress before I know it!