As promised, here is an expanded narrative on focusing on what you can eat, instead of what you can’t. Let me start with an example of how one’s day goes on a diet. Let’s say there was a family gathering over the weekend and your neighbor’s half-eaten chocolate cheesecake was leftover in your fridge. You go to work on Monday with your cooler of veggies and mid-morning you start saying to yourself “I won’t eat that cheesecake, I won’t eat that cheesecake, I won’t eat that cheesecake.” After a nice, lunch of spinach salad and berries you start to think of your evening plans and again recite your directive of “I won’t eat that cheesecake…and on, and on. Guess what happens when you walk into your kitchen that night! You have practically brainwashed yourself on NEEDING to eat that cheesecake because it has been incessantly imprinted on your brain all day.
Right now, in order to gain better health, I have decided to not eat sugar, flour, potatoes, rice, pasta, fried food, fast food, high-fat food. That said, I cannot eat some of my favorite happy foods: Buffalo wings, pizza, egg rolls, baked Brie, loaded potato skins. (See where the need to change eating habits came from?)
Sounds like there’s nothing left to eat if I take away all of my favorite comfort foods. But let’s be honest. For the short list of what has to go away as I adjust to some better choices, here are some great things that I can eat: eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, pineapple, bananas, strawberries, oranges, kiwi, apples, blueberries, grapes, pomegranate, pecans, almonds, cashews, wheat tortillas, wheat pita, salsa, hot sauce, marinara sauce, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, tuna, turkey, chicken, salmon, ginger, tilapia, shrimp, lobster, filet Mignon.
True story: yesterday I had nothing planned for dinner and started thinking that maybe my kids would like a pizza because when Mama diets the whole family diets. That pizza notion turned into thinking maybe I would make a homemade flatbread pizza with turkey pepperoni. Then I thought maybe a turkey burger instead, no wait, a black bean burger on a bed of lettuce and tomato. By the time I pulled into the drive, I was actually craving a black bean burger and that’s what I had for dinner. It was delicious! Lucky for my kids and husband they had all gone out for Mexican before I got home.