Hi guys. Sorry I’ve been gone so long from the blog. I took a break to focus on my health and my stress management, and, am pleased to report great results. Blog post will be upcoming with all those details. But for now, I wanted to address a common question. Several of my friends and readers are also on their own journeys to health and wellness through real food, have seen the positive changes in my life, and have asked me to create a guide for food preparation and meal planning. I am happy to oblige. Hopefully, this post will be the first of many in a SINGLE GIRL’S GUIDE TO REAL FOOD FOR ONE meal plan and nutrition advice.
On my journey to health and wellness, I have learned my way around a kitchen. I believe that it all starts there. To be healthy, you have to cook your own food. Your own REAL FOOD. For real. Michael Pollan said that too. See?
When I say cook your own food, I don’t mean microwave a Lean Cuisine or other Franken-food “product.” PRODUCTS ARE NOT REAL FOOD! I am talking about true, one ingredient foods — beef, vegetables, chicken, fruit, etc. Food found in nature. Food your great-grandmother would recognize. Food NOT found in a box or package. Food found on the perimeter of the grocery store. Or, better yet, food found at your local farmer’s market. I am passionate about this point. You all know I typically follow a Paleo diet and that I am really into nutrition and how food can truly be your medicine. Since I removed all the “junk” from my diet, my health improved ten fold. Twenty fold! So, bottom line: eat real food! And to eat real food, you gotta cook. (Or be a “raw” person and just eat real food raw, if that is you thing.)
I know you might be thinking, “but I don’t have time to cook, Cyndi.” I feel you. Eating real food and using food as medicine will definitely increase the time you spend in the kitchen, and may seem uncomfortable at first. But, I can guarantee you it will change the way you feel about taking care of yourself. There is no higher form of self-care, I believe, than to give yourself the proper nutrients necessary for optimal health. An autoimmune thyroid condition and history of disordered eating, put me in a very unhealthy place. By deciding to cook for myself — and cook real food — I have drastically improved my health and my relationship to food and to myself. It is nothing short of miraculous. I invite you all to take this journey as well. From it, only good can come.
So, on to the plan, friends!
I typically plan on spending either half day Saturday or Sunday in the kitchen. Obviously grocery shopping also has to be planned prior to getting in the kitchen. I try to make lists and hit the grocery store one night after work (usually pay-day). In the beginning it is a LOT OF WORK and takes a LOT OF TIME, but I promise you, it gets better and you will get stronger, and fitter and faster — in life and in the kitchen. There are plenty of recipes that you will make over and over again and stocking the ingredients for those ingredients will become almost automatic.
One of my favorite things to make is from the Civilized Caveman Cooking blog and is his Paleo Banana Bread recipe, which I turn into banana bread muffins. http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/grain-free-goodies/paleo-banana-bread/
This recipe makes 12 muffins. I add dried fruit or chocolate chips sometimes to mine. Without those add ins, you can feel so clean knowing that the only sweetener in these muffins is the bananas themselves. What? NO ADDED SUGAR! BONUS!
I then put the muffins in Tupperware containers and eat them all week (and share them with my coworkers and my dad — even non-Paleo people LOVE these muffins). Here’s a couple pics from the batch I just made yesterday:
These muffins are a nice blend of protein / carbs / fat. Although I tend to try to stay pretty low carb, these muffins are just so easy to grab on the run and I’m frequently on the run.
I tend to make a lot of the same things over and over. And please note that I am certainly not a doctor or nutritionist. This is just what I have found works for me. I believe that no one can go wrong with eating whole food, however. But, as far as how much to eat and when … well, that is something you will probably have to play with in order to achieve the results you want.
There is so much more to say about this subject, obviously, I am certainly not advising that one can live on these banana muffins alone (even though they are AMAZING!), but I hope this post will give you a little taste of what is to come (haha — taste! like my pun?!). I am currently drafting my complete eating plan and will be posting it in the next few days. Until then, just ask yourself before eating anything: is this real food? Is it spinach? Or an orange? Or salami? Or black olives? Or an egg? Or BACON? (God, I love bacon!). If it is a one ingredient food, it is most likely real food and you should eat it and enjoy every delicious moment.