Thursday, January 21, 2010
My Healthy Eating Plan... and other signs of an impending middle age
Is it just me or is the entire nation on a diet? The media has tapped into the results of a collective holiday binge and are now advertising fat-free/low-cal/high-fiber up the big fat wazoo. Mags from the tabs to Martha and the big O are offering slim-down plans. Everyone I know is enduring some specific spartan regime, which renders their holiday indulgences a beloved memory. I myself am not immune to this national craze, nor the disgust that floods me when I catch a look at my jiggly wigglies. I finally got to the point one needs to get to before throwing down the brownie and french fries and declaring "Enough!". When overeating fatty sugary food has become a habit and isn't even about pleasure anymore. When your digestive system feels wrecked. And a sluggish malaise has settled upon you.
I'm not one for diets, any sort of regiment or rules in general makes me feel trapped- not too mention deprived, and ultimately I just flick it away. Instead I have embarked on a "healthy eating plan". It's not a revelation: Fresh fruit and lots of veggies, low-fat natural yogurt and milk, whole grains, and light proteins like fish, soy, and an occasional piece of chicken, a small amount of fat in the form of olive oil and avocados, a fistful of cashews here and there. It's been going pretty well so far. I've tried kale and love it! Greek yogurt is a treat, and I live for my daily cup of coffee. I'm flooding my body with 6-8 glasses of water a day. I'm also trying to excercise. What I miss most is cheese, butter, and white bread.
I've churned out a few good dishes that pack flavor and a fair amount of heft. I found a great recipe in Everyday Food that I healthfully elaborated upon. I think I'd eat this brown rice salad even during my periods of overindulgence, I'd pile it alongside the panini and the iceberg bleu cheese wedge, before digging into a slice of chocolate cake, after nibbling on the cheese platter.
Brown Rice Salad a la Greque
Toss about 3 c. cooked brown rice, 1 sliced cucumber, a few handfuls of baby spinach, 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill, juice of half a lemon, 2-3 tbsp. red onion, small dice, a healthy sprinkling of fat-free feta alltogether in a large bowl. Add a couple of tbsp. of your favorite low-fat dressing (I used Italian, but Balsamic Vinaigrette is good too) and some salt and pepper. Mix well.