Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spa eating at home.

The trouble is we  no longer need to cook!
Like sewing, cooking is now done in bits and pieces and food stuff can be pulled off the rack the way we pull off the rack the elements of our ensemble.

But, unlike clothing which can be shed or added easily without changing our chemistry, food does just that: Food changes what we are, how we behave, what becomes of our organs, bones, brain power.

I've slowly changed my shopping habits and my cooking habits, thinking more like a chemist assembling the elements of a prescription, than a stylist assembling elements for a show. It does not help me to watch food shows, or download recipes, or worse, pick up ready to eat food at the supermarket or drive-through. What helps me is to think of myself as the Surgeon General.

My shopping list:

1.Vegetables,leafy greens
2.Vegetables, bright colors
3. Vegetables, variety of textures
4. Fruit, variety, whole, fresh and frozen
5, Dairy, Greek yogurt, butter, milk, cream
6. Grains, whole grains,  breads, pasta
7 Fish, whole, sustainable, freshest available, or frozen; Chicken, turkey, lamb
8. Condiments, spices, oils, vinegars

Typical meals:
1.breakfast: whole grain toast with butter, poached egg, 1/2 orange
2. mid-morning snack: 1/2 cup of yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of honey, 1/2 cup of berries
3. Lunch: salad with home-made vinaigrette, grilled fish, 1/2 apple
4. mid-afternoon snack: 1T nuts
5. Dinner: Roasted chicken breast, cous-cous, green beans.
6. dessert: poached pear with a dollop of real cream

Eating this way allows us to consume all our greens before they spoil. A whole chicken is cut up and the carcass goes to make the stock which I use to cook rice or cous-cous in. Any leftover becomes the next day's lunch entre. I cook very little pasta or rice, just enough for one meal. But, I do cook extra meat to go in a salad or in a soup the following day.

DO I look at recipes and drool? Yes! I look at a recipe and deconstruct it to fit my lifestyle. Instead of spaghetti and meatball, I will cook a bunch of spinach, add a few strands of spaghetti and dress it all with the juices of the fish I've cooked.  Instead of cake and ice cream, I serve poached fruit and a spoonful of real cream whipped with 1/2 t of sugar.

We have been eating this way for a while; my husband has lost over 30 pounds, and has come off his diabetic pills. Our health and energy have improved; and most important, we are not depriving ourselves of anything. If we overdo it, we immediately feel by the way our bodies respond.  

We go out once a week or so, to try new things, to get a break, and when we are out of town on business trips.
Our trick, always have a salad to start a meal, share an entre, or order a la carte.

Too hard to eat this way all the time?
Try it on weekends.
Or just for one meal.
Soon, you'll be craving these simple ways to add nourishment and good habits to your family life.


  1. I prefer to not eat meat more than once a day. and always eat fresh.

  2. Your basket of summer goodness always makes me sigh. But you are so right, eating good food will take most people off pharmaceuticals. As "they" say, stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store if you want to be healthy. Good to see you!

  3. I love your shopping list. I see the great wisdom of the way it is written. I think subconsciously I have been thinking this way about what to buy when I go shopping for groceries. I just bought a Vitamix. I am trying to incorporate more healthy food into our diet this way. Realize, I have not done much cooking for years. Now, I am working hard on changing my ways. I agree with you on the recipes. I find myself cooking more the way you do in an attempt to simplify and use what we have on hand.

  4. We are three years into our wellness program and our bodies have adjusted as well. We eat much more fresh produce and my body craves it if we are out traveling too long. It takes time and commitment but is well worth the effort.

  5. Wow, that's great about your hubby losing the weight and being able to go off the meds! I eat lots of salads and seafood and veggie meals too, with a splurge of Cajun cuisine about once or twice a week. :)

  6. The AMA may have you arrested! Good job for finding a wonderful, tastey solution to health and wellness. I'm finally trying to cook for just 2! When I over do it I give away the extra. I'm going to expand our garden this year and go back to preserving like I did years ago. We can control how we age!

  7. I think enunciating these and thinking about nourishing ourselves healthily is the first step to taking care of our bodies. Great post!

  8. Such a wise way to eat! Sounds delicious too!