Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Common Sense Approach

I was chatting with a member who told me that she wants to take the Just 10 Challenge, but she's just not ready to give up certain foods. I told her that she was in luck, because the Challenge is not about giving up food.

The Challenge is about normal, healthy eating. It's about giving some thought to your food selection so that you get nutritious food, but not being wary or overly restrictive so that you miss out on enjoying food. It's about balance: normal, healthy eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important part of your life. And normal, healthy eating is flexible; it varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, and your proximity to food.

When it comes to weight loss, there are a lot of lies, distortions, unscientific thinking, and shameless contortions of logic out there. But Jacy Shaffer, our Registered Dietitian, takes a common sense approach to helping you lose weight based on sound science. No cleanses, no eliminating certain food groups, no counting calories or points; it's simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

The Just 10 Challenge is client driven, as is Jacy's overall approach to nutrition coaching. She does a lot of listening and learns about your behaviors and habits and then meets you there. She understands that change is hard and that most people resist it. Heck, she knew going into this thing that a lot of my family's traditions revolved around food. And yet, she never once told me to avoid certain foods, in fact, she encouraged me to enjoy every bite. But, she also helped me devise a plan and equipped me with tools to stay in control and suggested ways of incorporating an "activity element" (that was her sweet way of telling me to get off my butt) to counteract the time I spent sitting around the table at family gatherings.

Over the past weeks, Jacy has only shared recipes with ingredients that she knew I liked and would help lower my cholesterol. She didn't suggest eggs for breakfast because she knew they weren't a viable option considering that I eat at my desk every morning. When I told Jacy that I liked to bring salads for lunch, she suggested adding farro as a healthy whole grain addition. OMG, life changing. Not only is faro delicious, it's a great source of fiber and protein. I love the crunch it adds to salads. Check out Trader Joe's 10 Minute Farro. Ten minutes and voila.

Having a plan is more than half the battle. Finding recipes that are both delicious and nutritious is the goal. So, let me share some of my favorite recipes:

I am a fan of one pot meals. I've never met a soup or salad that I didn't love. Check out Pinch of Yum's bowls. I highly recommend all of their recipes...delish, delosh. When I'm not perusing Pinch of Yum....

Two Peas & Their Pod is my go-to website. I made this Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas for dinner the other night and could have eaten the whole thing by myself. I was looking forward to leftovers, but my family enjoyed it as much as I, so, yeah, unfortunately, no leftovers.

Cookie and Kate is another of my bookmarked food websites. My neighbor unloaded pounds of zucchini on me this past weekend, so I whipped up some zucchini bread. Which I call vegetable cake. I knew that getting my 16 year old to eat a bread with zucchini in it was going to be hard enough, but if I used whole wheat flour instead of white, chances were going to be slim. So, I stuck with white flour and my son gobbled it up. Deceptively delicious, right?

And last, but not least, chickpeas. I. Love. Chickpeas. Any way, shape, or form. I love 'em in a salad, roasted, or mashed up as hummus. But I recently came across this recipe that combines two of my faves: chickpeas and pasta. It's a simple recipe that doesn't sound all that yummy, but trust me, it's to-die for: pasta con ceci.

That's all I've got for this week. I've got the early shift at the Fitness Center tomorrow, so I've got to hit the hey. With any luck, I'll dream about pasta con ceci all night...

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