|I posted a few days ago about how dieting, or rather the lifestyle change known as Phase 1&2, doesn’t have to be a culinary doldrum. It can be quite the opposite. For those of us who are foodies, Phase 1 can be a foray into heretofore undiscovered flavors and textures, all while doing your body a wonderful service.|
It is wonderful when those two things coincide.
Coming up with ideas can be tough, though. I feel like this is a part of the whole paradigm of “going on a diet”. It seems like everywhere you look, there is something that you can’t have, and any idea you have for breakfast, lunch or dinner isn’t ok. When I first started trying to live by Phase 1 and 2 standards, I had to change my paradigm. The Phase 1 isn’t limited, it is exclusive. You aren’t limited to eating only a few things, you simply exclude the things that cause poor health. That those things that cause poor health are so pervasively ubiquitous is an indictment of the American culinary tradition and really puts the current overall state of American health into perspective.
As much as I love food, I would never claim to be a wonderful cook. I’ll leave that to Denni. (And believe me, I’ve had the privilege of dining with Denni; every single time, it has been an unparalleled experience.) But as most single 20 somethings must, I cook for myself quite often, and I thought I’d give you a few ideas about what I do for meals.
Bacon and eggs, however delicious uncured, thick-cut bacon is fried in an iron skillet is, can get a little old. It can also, for some, be a little heavy. I have a concoction that really helps get my day started, and I think I’ve posted it on here before, but I really can’t say enough about it. It is one can of Amy & Brian’s coconut juice, half an avocado, a spoonful of almond butter, and a handful of frozen berries, blended together. It is creamy like a smoothie, and filling. Other mornings, a grapefruit and half a raw avocado are all I need to get going. If I’m on Phase 2, I’ll make steel cut oat meal, and add a table spoon of butter, two tablespoons almond butter and one table spoon Artisana coconut butter, The coconut butter is a heavenly, decadent staple in my cupboard – I highly recommend it.
Usually, I like to make a big salad. Fellas, there is nothing unmanly about a salad, especially the one I make. I take mixed greens, sliced onions (I prefer white, but whatever you like), avocado, cucumber and mix it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I’ll two table spoons of goat cheese, half a pound of turkey, and two strips of freshly fried bacon, chopped up, which helps melt the cheese and warm the salad up. You will never believe how much flavor and satiation could come from something that is on your “diet.”
Usually this is more simple, but rarely less flavorful. I like to pan sear steaks or ground lamb with diced peppers and onions. I also love to bake asparagus on 400 with a little olive oil and sea salt – it is best when the ends are a little crispy. If I make a steak, my favorite accoutrement is guacamole. I know this sounds weird, but I actually learned this a 5 star restaurant, and it works. Fresh guacamole is easy for even the worst chef to make, and, no offense to any people who have done this, but I really think you are a sucker if you buy it from a store. Making it fresh takes less than ten minutes and you can completely customize it. I use a couple avocados, juice of one fresh lemon and one fresh lime, copious amounts of fresh cilantro, freshly diced onions, freshly diced jalapenos, fresh-pressed garlic and sea salt to taste. Guacamole has got be one of the healthiest condiments you can use, and the taste is decadent. I’ll simply eat it with a spoon sometimes!