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Just Tomato Soup


“What’s for supper”

A text message from my daughter interrupts my work just I’m about to finish up for the day. Annoyed, I ignore it, though I am dying to reply “idk, what are YOU making?” but I let the moment pass since it doesn’t serve either of us. I do ponder yet again why I don’t have the kids make more meals…and why I have kids in the first place.

I’m tired today. Some days, I just want to go home and curl up with a good book and fall asleep at 8. Some days I crave it so badly it brings a tear to my eye when I realize I just can’t today. I let that moment pass too.

I walk home and trip over everyone’s shoes at the front door. Then I grab my other mitts and shovel for the next half hour, listening to my music. I feel the cold air on my exposed face. It feels good to feel my heart pounding and I hear nothing else but my music and the scrape of the shovel. I could get them off their butts to help me. Yes, they should have had it done before I got home. I let them have their space and I greedily take mine. Outside, no one in my head or my ear. Just me and the winter. And the day melts away.

Back inside, I am asked again “What’s for supper?”

“Tomato soup and grilled cheese” I reply.

Yep, just tomato soup. No Facebook-worthy vegetarian gourmet meal. No old family recipe that I’ve been making for ages. Nothing that will find it’s way to a Pinterest board. Just tomato soup.

No Facebook-worthy vegetarian gourmet meal, just tomato soup.



I pull out the relatively expensive box of amazing organic tomato soup that I didn’t make myself but discovered that everyone loves. I start to warm it on the stove. I cut up the delicious Gouda cheese, and a little bit of the jalapeno Havarti. I slather butter on one side of some yummy, soft rye bread I bought yesterday. I grab a few slices of the ham I bought for lunches. I assemble and cook them into toasted, melty goodness and pour the soup into bowls. Cucumber slices circle the plates and I deliver them to children who stop what they are doing to exclaim “Thanks Momma!”

I love it when they are like little kids again. Gleeful, calling me “Momma”, full of excitement and gratefulness for one of their favorite comfort foods. It fills my heart more than the winter air did. We sit together and visit about any little thing that comes to their heads. I crumble exactly 5 perfect plain crackers into my soup. I’ve always done it that way. Exactly 5, gathered together and lovingly crushed and sprinkled into my tomato soup. And I am 13 again too. With my own Momma and brother and sisters, talking about nothing and everything all at once.

I love it when they are like little kids again.

Melty cheese is stuck to her chin and we laugh. I quickly make another for him. Suddenly I realize that he is taller than me and finally I understand why he’s always scrounging for something else to eat! My heart aches a little as I think about how quickly their older brother grew and now makes his own tomato soup in a different house, thankfully, not too far away. But away, just the same. My tomato soup silly evenings are disappearing fast.

I am savoring every moment with them, every simple slurp of their teen lives and the melty bites in between where they allow me to be their “Momma” even for a minute. Hugging me with my head on their shoulders now that they are so much bigger than me. I relish every complaint about the beautiful meals I make them that they like less because someday, I will be eating without them.

I am savoring every moment with them

It doesn’t matter what we eat. It matters HOW we eat. Take in every morsel with exuberance and with attention to who you are with. Put down your damn phone and be with the food. Be with them. Be with yourself for a few minutes. Indulge yourself with the expensive favorite dessert, the steak dinner that he made for you, the bowl of cereal you manage to squeeze into your morning, the apple at your desk.

Feel every single piece of life that it has to offer. No criticism, no guilt, no remorse that it could have been healthier, cheaper, easier, more gourmet. Just eat.

Tomato soup simple. Just tomato soup. Just for today.




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chick pea

Chick Peas and Vegetables with Coconut Peanut Sauce

This is a really quick, yummy recipe that is very easy to make. My hubby & I really liked it, but to be honest my kids didn’t. My teenagers don’t like too each much of anything I make unless it’s pizza. It’s been a difficult year dealing with their sudden teenager independence. They can eat a sandwich at this point or scrounge for whatever. I’m not making two meals, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If they refuse to eat it, that’s their problem.

On to the recipe!

Chick Peas & Veggies with Coconut Peanut Sauce

This makes a lot. I don’t know if it would freeze well, Likely, but I haven’t tried it. I just had this for lunch for a few days.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 whole bell pepper (I used two kinds, so 1/2 of each – it’s prettier!)
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (I like lots)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (I used a mild one and it wasn’t enough zing – use a spicier one if you like spice)
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (not the sugary Krap – I mean Kraft – kind)
  • 1 can (398mL or so) coconut milk (found in the International section of the grocery store in case you’re wondering 😛 )
  • 2 cans (398mL or so) chick peas (make sure you drain and RINSE these or you’ll be farting up a gas cloud)
  • 1 can (398mL or so) diced tomatoes (I save $ and buy the big can & use 1/2 for this and 1/2 for a chili later in the week)
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach (I used super greens – use whatever you have in the fridge. You have greens in the fridge, right?)
  • salt & pepper
  • peanuts to sprinkle on top

How To:

  1. Get your rice cooking while you make this – I don’t want you to forget in case you’re one of those people who don’t read through a recipe BEFORE you start cooking. (Shut up! It was just that one time 😛 )
  2. Cook the onion & bell peppers in the coconut oil in a large sauce pan (like the one in my pic above) for 8-10 minutes (until soft)
  3. Add the garlic & curry powder, stirring to mix
  4. Add the peanut butter
  5. Gradually stir in the coconut milk until everything is smooth
  6. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach & mix for about 5 minutes
  7. Add salt & pepper to taste & simmer everything for about 7 minutes – long enough for you to tidy up the prep mess!
  8. Serve over rice with peanuts sprinkled on top.

Less than 1/2 hour and your done. Very easy cleanup – the hardest part is chopping up the onion, cry baby! This isn’t a really strong flavor (that’s why I’d use more curry). However, your kids might like it better with less spice (mine wouldn’t eat it anyways because god forbid it has color in it; but yours are likely better behaved). It’s really quite a simple meal and very filling. There’s lots of protein to keep anyone going for a while.

This literally takes about 20 minutes to make and less than 10 to cleanup. Your claim that it takes too long to make something healthier for dinner is moot when making something this simple. Yes, it could be even healthier if you avoid the canned options here and go for adding your own cooked chick peas & tomatoes and coconut cream from raw powder instead. I’m going for a compromise (and I use organic whenever I can afford/fit it in).

As I mentioned, there is a lot of food here, so not only do you have a supper ready; put the leftovers together in a container and you’re done for lunch the next day. Don’t be a goof and push it to the back of the fridge. Put it right in front of your coffee cream so that you have to move it in the morning to get to it and then you’ll remember what’s for lunch.

How about you? Do your teenagers eat what you make or do they bitch and moan like mine do? Tell us your story in the comments!

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raspberry ice cream-edit

Lunch Lunacy

I have been ranting a lot with my husband about this topic. My kids are pretty much teens and have begun to flex their independence muscles. This is a good thing, but at times I have been getting extremely frustrated. I know that they are frustrated with me too because I’m constantly throwing it out there at them and I get the eye roll and ignored.

It’s hard not to make a big deal about it. My only excuse is that I’m so passionate about this.

What is it?

It’s eating a decent lunch…

Not a bunch of crackers.

Not just an apple.

Good grief, certainly not the cafeteria food she now has access to and he sometimes does in the “canteen” or whatever they call it.

Not NOTHING for Pete’s sake!

I admit, it’s been quite the journey for them the past couple years. An about face from where we were (eating tons of pre-made meals & take out) to eating raw as much as we can and a lot more healthy homemade foods. We did discuss it – I started it for my own personal journey and they wanted to join me. They were younger and much more eager. They have learned so much about labels and ingredients. They have been teased and bugged about their healthier food options in their lunches. They’ve been in arguments with cousins about what labels mean. They’ve been missing many of the foods we used to eat often and now only have as a “treat”.

There is the answer to why it is difficult lately.

It now becomes a battle of denying them foods they think they want instead of encouraging them to eat the foods that are healthier choices. I help people in the store all the time with that. I share that my personal journey with food turned completely around when I stopped thinking of it as denial and started thinking about all the great, yummy foods I do get to eat! Why have I stopped doing that with my children?

It’s partly because they do contradict me more to flex their muscles, as I mentioned above. But, I also think it stems from a lot of my guilt around feeling like a “less cool” mom when I don’t serve the foods their friends eat. I then do my usual over-compensation for my guilt and let them have the “treats”. And when I tell them it’s a treat, I imply that the other food is not. DUH!  Of course they want the treats more. They are still people! We all want things that we think are “special” (and even a little bit taboo).

It’s also because of their environment/peers. I now get to work in an environment where my “granola” lifestyle is part of my work! They have to go to school everyday and be faced with less than satisfactory choices. They have the knowledge now to know that these foods are not healthy, but I’m sure they must get sick of constantly knowing it’s not as good for them yet it’s everywhere and everyone else eats it. On top of that, they have been actually teased about the weird foods they’ve eaten. Let’s face it, as teens, they are much more influenced by their peers. I would be sick of the constant battle too if I were in that environment, especially as a teen trying to be “accepted”.

I have struggled with the answers for this since the start of the school year. My daughter in particular seems to be eating less healthy food and more “junk” food. She’s got so many more options at her new high school. She’s got a busier schedule. She has her own money to spend from her job. I’m sure she’s under a lot of pressure to “fit in”. Plus, the poor girl has a sweet tooth like her mother. My husband and I have talked about this a lot lately. What should we do, how can we help them? I’ve been buying way too many “compromise” type foods that I’m not happy feeding my children just to get them to take something for lunches. It makes me squirm and have a split personality: the mom who knows what her children need to be eating and the mom who is trying to keep the peace and have things “easier” rather than causing upheaval. I’ve not been true to myself in trying to please the kids and keep things on an even keel.

We had a chance to talk some more when the kids were gone yesterday. It was partly spurred on by our budget chat.

It is waaaayyyy cheaper for us to eat healthier. I’ve proven this several times. Those foods cost more money and do very little to actually fuel their bodies & minds. I’m so done with this “compromise” that really doesn’t work for me. It’s going against my beliefs.

However, I need to approach this in a positive way.

There are a lot of healthier options that I know they love to eat. An example: fruit salad (homemade). It takes a little planning and preparation that I simply just haven’t done lately. I haven’t recruited help in this either like I have done. Again, because it’s easier to just do it myself. But….it’s not really easier because this whole thing has been bothering me so much, plus, I have other things to do than do all the work myself.

raspberry ice cream-edit

SO, the ACTION plan:

  1. Meal planning on Sunday will again include the iPod-lazing-on-the-couch-teens. They actually don’t complain about this when I ask them what they want.
  2. Grocery shopping will include shopping for only those items on the above list.
  3. The word “treat” will be used to describe awesome healthy goodies that we discover. Again, when I empower them to find these, they have fun and come up with some great stuff! Raspberry “ice cream” is a prime example!
  4. I will have some understanding of the pressures that they are under eating around their friends. They know what’s healthy and what’s not, they’ve learned what I’ve learned. I will let them make the decisions at school/among thier friends without giving them a hard time about it. My snarky comments on these choices does not help them make the choices, it only makes them feel worse. And as I say to customers – whatever food you choose to eat, ENJOY it with all your heart. Your body will use it accordingly. I’m nicer to my customers than I am to my kids.
  5. Learn more about ways to encourage teens to eat healthier. Yeah, it was easier when they just did what I told them too. But…on the bright side, now that they’re older, we can have even more awesome conversations and foods that they make!

I know I’m not alone in this struggle. I talk to moms every day about this. I learn a lot from other moms. I know you can too. We are putting on an event where we can all learn more about making healthier lunches for our kids (and ourselves!)

Grab your tickets right now to Healthy Lunch, Happier Bunch (here in Olds at Health Street Tuesday, October 8th 6:30 to 8:30):


Fast Leftover Steak Fajitas

It was CRAZY hot here on Tuesday night. The usual 20+ weather became a muggy 35+! It was waaay too hot to cook, but Bruce and I figured out a great way to quickly use up some leftovers! This is another simple, budget-savvy and very fast weeknight meal. No need to turn on the oven or even the BBQ again! Just a quick warm up on the stove! Grab your team and get this done FAST!




  • 2 tbsp olive or camelina oil
  • juice of one whole lime
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • sea salt & pepper
  • leftover steak – about two – sliced in strips, about 1 1/2 inches long
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion – we used white
  • 1 sliced and diced bell pepper – we used the last bit of orange & yellow & that we had in the fridge!
  • 4 tortillas
  • grated cheese

How To:

  • Mix the oil, lime juice & spices together in a bowl.
  • Heat this mixture on medium temp in a pan
  • Add steak and peppers and stir until heated through and peppers/onion are cooked to your tastes – we did about 5-7 minutes
  • Serve warm on tortillas with salsa, cheese and/or fresh guacamole (I basically mash an avocado, add some lime juice & salsa & voila, that’s the quickest fresh and good for you!)

Serves 4

This is really easy and doesn’t use those salty, chemically-laden spice “mixes” from the store. Use whatever “Mexican” spices you have to jazz up the sauce. I would have added fresh cilantro if I had any. It’s also a great way to use that leftover steak. You do not want to waste those expensive cuts that you always BBQ too much of!

Meal Planning and using up leftovers is what we do! Get our meal plans delivered straight to your email and eliminate the “What’s for supper?” question! Click on the badasses below to find out more!

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Quick Crock Pot Pork Chops

Here’s another really quick and simple meal for those busy summer time nights. This takes only a few minutes to prepare in the morning. It’s then ready to eat when you get home!

crock pot pork chops



  • 4-6 lean, boneless pork loin chops
  • 4-5 organic carrots (chopped bite size)
  • 2-3 parsnips (or other root veggie like potato or sweet potato, chopped bite size)
  • 1/4 chopped white onion
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced or whole (we like whole)
  • 1/2 cup regular BBQ sauce (we use a sugar free one)
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Place thawed pork chops in bottom of crock pot
  • Add veggies & garlic
  • Pour BBQ sauce & water over all
  • Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Serve with a green salad. I sometimes do individual salads so that each person gets the veggies & dressing they like. This keeps the peace on a busy night and the kids are more likely to just eat. The kids can even build these themselves while you’re dishing up the hot stuff. Have lots of varieties of veggies to choose from. Mine is simple baby mixed greens, some tomato, feta, cuke and some tamari dressing that I had on hand.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Pancakes!



My first experiment with this pancake recipe was just sugar and white flour free. It has now evolved to include dairy free (yep, even the chocolate chips are dairy free!!) and gluten free. These are a hit in our house; topped with real AMAZING maple syrup straight from a farm in Quebec (we have it at Health Street!). These are so simple & easy that you CAN whip them up on a weekday morning! Really! I’m a Simple Life Celebrations Gal – it has to be simple and few dishes!


  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk – the kids can’t tell, believe me. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk would be fun to try
  • 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil (we don’t use canola oil at our house anymore)
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp gluten free baking powder
  • sprinkle Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour (yes, buckwheat flour is not wheat and is gluten free)
  • Enjoy Life Mini-Chips – dairy, nut & soy free
  • solid coconut oil for the pan


  • Beat eggs in a bowl big enough for all the pancake mix
  • Add milk & coconut oil & agave and whisk together
  • Add the baking powder & salt and whisk to blend well
  • Add the flour and whisk. You can add more almond milk at this point if the batter is too thick. It depends on the size of your eggs
  • Melt a little of the solid coconut in the pan
  • Pour by the spoonful into pan to make individual pancakes
  • Sprinkle a few chocolate chips into the wet side of the pancake
  • Use the solid coconut oil between batches to keep the pancakes from sticking. I only use about 1 tsp per batch.

I use just one bowl to mix everything in. I know that the “rule” is to mix the dry ingredients together first, THEN add them to the wet. It’s just quicker to do it this way and mixes well; so there is no need for two bowls in my opinion. I prefer coconut oil in the pan simply because it is WAAAYY better for you (yes, it’s a fat – it’s a good fat and actually helps reduce cholesterol among other health benefits). This adds to the “staying power” of the pancake as well. These are filling and actually good for you and the kids! As I mentioned, these are simple enough to make on a weekday morning – feed the kids as you pull off each batch. The Enjoy Life Mini Chips are sweetened with a little bit of brown sugar and only have 3 ingredients. It is still “sugar” – but less refined and being “Mini Chips” the kids only have a few of them to get that “chocolate chip” treat! Skip them if you want completely sugar-free.

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Shawna’s Simple Hamburger Helper

As you know, we love, LOVE to simplify! We are all busy, and it’s very easy to resort to eating out or eating something that doesn’t make us feel good. We’ve all done it. It’s time we get over our mistakes; understand that we’re not alone and then try again another day. I decided that I was going to make something good for us and quick and easy for a busy Thursday night last night.

Tinkyada PenneI didn’t want to resort to the highly processed “Hamburger Helper” like I used to! Instead, I came up with my own that was just as easily prepared and was gluten-free! It took less than 1/2 hour to get it on the table. We ate it so fast that I forgot to take a photo!

Here’s my simple recipe:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Tinkyada Penne (or other gluten-free pasta)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green onion (optional), chopped

Brown beef. Add water, penne, salsa & corn. Simmer for 15-18 minutes (rice pasta takes a little longer than regular pasta noodles). Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese until melted through. Serve immediately with green onion sprinkled on top.

We like to add more “spice” to ours, so we added Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or you could use a spicier salsa.) You could also top with a dab of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serves 4 (You could also add some black beans to make it “go further” and serve 5 or so). Make it even faster by browning the beef ahead of time (when you buy a big package of beef at the grocery store, brown it up and freeze it individually, ready to use for these kinds of recipes! That’s planning ahead! Plus, only one mess to clean up!)

Let us know how it worked for you and any variations you made. We love your feedback!

Did you know: We have created a meal plan just for YOU! It was created to help you find that balance between healthy (mostly!) and simple recipes with ingredients that you can actually find at the grocery store. It is called Bad Ass Meal Planning.

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We teach Meal Planning Classes? Yep! Get your group of gals together and let’s learn how to eat healthier AND save money!! Contact us to set up your custom class!

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love, LOVE hot spinach artichoke dip. To the point where I would eat the entire thing if my hubby would let me get a cracker in edgewise! The only trouble is that the original recipe has a TON of cheese in it: an entire block of Philly cream cheese + 1/4 cup parmesan + 1/4 cup romano + 1/4 cup mozzarella melting and gooey on the top! The health benefits of spinach and artichoke is completely lost in all of that dairy! Not to mention what all that dairy does to the pipes…just sayin’…plus it has mayo which just isn’t something I want to eat anymore (are there any “real” ingredients left in today’s mayo??)

So…I was determined to figure out a way to make it healthier yet still delicious. No cheese and no mayo (so vegan) yet still devour-this-now-it-is-awesome good. Well….I did it!!

spinach dip


The primary ingredient is a separate recipe (at the bottom of this post) of a cashew “soft cheese”. This is a little expensive to make, but Philly cream cheese isn’t cheap either. I also always like extra garlic in anything I can put extra garlic in, so I add chopped garlic pieces to the dip just before putting it in the oven. My recipe uses nutritional yeast which is an excellent source of vitamin B12 (and makes everything cheesy good without the cheese!) It also uses avocado which is a good-for-you-fat instead of all that cheese (the cashews are good fats too).

Here’s a quick Simple Life Gal trick too: I mix the entire thing up in a Pyrex bowl so that I can just put it in the oven after it’s mixed. This way, only one dish! Simplify, Simplify!!

If you’re in the mood for more recipes, Krystal created a great eBook “Spicing Up School Lunches” – add your email address to our list (up there in the top right corner of this page) and get access to it for free! And don’t forget that our other ebooks (Click the Products page) are full of Simple Life Gal tricks and tips! Get all three for just $9.99 (regular price $14.97). And if you like this Simple Life Gal recipe, you will LOVE the amazing (yet simple) Filet Mignon dinner we share for your “Date Night In” in our Simply Sexy Date Night Package ($19.99 for the entire package that includes recipes, ideas and workbooks to bring that spark back to your marriage!)

steak dinner

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 cup cashew “soft cheese” (see below for my recipe for that)
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I would rather use coconut oil because of the high temperature, but it is a short cooking time so olive oil is OK here)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (if you don’t know what this is or where you can get it, visit me at Health Street)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped spinach (if using frozen, thaw & drain first)

Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to oven-ready baking dish. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until bubbly & slightly brown.

Cashew Soft Cheese

This is a vegan “cheese” replacement. It isn’t cheese, but I don’t know what else to call it. There are a ton of recipes out there using nuts to make “cheese”. This is how I made mine this week:

  • 2 cups raw (or at least unroasted) cashews
  • 1/2 cup alkaline water (we have a special Santevia water system that alkalizes our water. You can use regular water too)
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (yes, REAL lemon juice! not the stuff in a green bottle!)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar – this is so good for you! (if you don’t know what this is or where you can get it, visit me at Health Street for this too!)
  • 1 tsp chopped onion (or onion flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend (you’ll have to stop and scrape down the sides as you go) until creamy. You won’t need all of this for the artichoke dip, but you can use this on pizza, as a “cheese” dip or wherever you’d like! Use within 2 days.

Our Badass Meal Plans have the meal plan, recipes, AND grocery lists! Click the picture of the badasses below to subscribe!

A Meal Planning Gift to You

meal planning

On Saturday Shawna and I enjoyed a lovely latte at our favorite coffee shop! We decided to grab our new cookbooks and favorite recipes and compile our meal plan for the week. All we needed were our recipe books and binders, our handy weekly meal plan sheet and a pen. It was a nice way to visit, share ideas and get a healthy meal plan for the week!

Why do we meal plan? There are several reasons for meal planning and the biggest reason for me is to save time during the week. I save time trying to decide what to eat, get the groceries for that meal, and then prepare it. By doing up a meal plan I can prep ahead of time and have all of the ingredients ready to go.

What are other the benefits of meal planning?
● you will eat out less
● with a plan you will eat less pre packaged meals
● you will always have the groceries that you need
● less food waste because every food on your list will have a purpose
● you will save money
● you will eat a good variety of meals
● you will be eating healthier
● your family can participate in the meal plan
● you won’t have the stress of trying to figure out what’s for dinner
● less time wasted figuring out what to eat and grocery shopping
● less trips to the store means less impulse shopping and temptations

I would like to give you a template for a meal plan that I made to help you get started and on your way to healthy, happy meal planning!

Click here to download your copy: Weekly Meal Plan

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Bon appetit!



The Die in Diet

I originally wrote this post January 3, 2010 on my personal blog. I wanted to share it with you here because I still strive for the same things. I still eat food and refuse to “diet”. It has been a long, hard road but my relationship with food has changed. On January 2, 2010 – I weighed 175 lbs (down from 190 lbs the January 2009); I now weigh 155 lbs. I don’t really focus on these numbers, I just wanted to make the point that it is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, not a diet that got me here.

I hope this helps you to get rid of the “DIET” and join me and Krystal in CHANGE instead! We love you!

My first breakfast today (yep, I’m a Hobbit – I have more than one breakfast!)

first breakfast

From Cafe Cevraini, January 3, 2010

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions to go on a diet?

How many of you are starving right now because you didn’t eat breakfast?

How many of you feel guilty about all the stuff you ate over the holiday?

How many of you love good food, and resent yourself for deciding that “I’m not eating that from now on”?

MANY of us are there.

I have been there.

I am not claiming to be an expert or a dietician or someone who has any training in nutrition at all. I am only telling you of my experiences and what has worked and is working for ME in the hopes to give you some ideas of how to get off the “diet train”.

In my opinion, dieting IS equivalent to dying. What do I mean by that?

Denying yourself food that you enjoy, even love, is not living your life; in essence, dying. Because if you are not living, what are you doing then?

Skipping meals is just plain not healthy (especially breakfast, girls – you know who you are!), starving yourself is definitely not healthy. And then of course, it follows with binge eating. The yo-yo effect of eating this way does a lot of damage to your body. Not taking care of your body is equivalent to letting your body die.

Another “foot in the grave”: Beating yourself up about what you ate yesterday or even two weeks ago! Forgive yourself! Let it go! Being so hard on yourself isn’t good for your body, your spirit or your mind!

Don’t get me wrong – I have done ALL of these things. I still do these things! I am not perfect and don’t expect myself to be. What I am trying to do is just let it go. When I make a mistake; trip and fall down – I just get up, dust myself off and try again.

I no longer believe in diets of any kind. I have tried so many I can’t even count! Ones like SlimFast, Atkins, South Beach, severely reduced calorie intake, grapefruit etc. etc. Some have worked – I’ve lost weight while being faithful to them. But they are so restrictive and I was filled with such RESENTMENT towards them, they were impossible to keep on top of!

We are imperfect beings. On top of that, when we hate something, like dieting, it is extremely difficult to overcome our desire to get the hell away from that which we hate: the diet! We feel like we are dying!

Thus, the diet doesn’t last, we “fall off the wagon”, and gain the weight back, and then some, because our bodies are so upset and we binge on the foods we love that we’ve been denying ourselves!

What has worked for me over the past year is this: I eat. Period.

There have been days where I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast (what is it with women and breakfast!??) There have been days where I’ve gorged on greasy burgers. I definitely eat food that I love like pasta and cheesecake and stuff like that. I had a couple months (November and December 2009) where I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch and I’d binge on whatever I could find at night. I was not taking care of myself and I knew it. I was letting stress control me, and not taking care of me just made it worse!

But…I don’t do that every day. And I don’t beat myself up when I eat these things or forget that meal. I wake up and decide, today, I am going to eat better.

My “eating better” is this:

  1. I eat often – at least 5 times per day.
  2. I eat foods that are going to actually do something for my body; from all the “food groups”.
  3. I try not to eat “crap”. But when I do, I try to only have a few bites. And don’t get mad at myself for doing it!
  4. And I don’t eat too much. I just eat enough for that moment. That may be something I love, but I try not to “pig out” on it.
  5. When I’m hungry, I try to think about why I’m hungry. Am I just bored? Am I eating to deal with stress? Am I actually thirsty? When was the last time I ate something? What did I eat last? Then, after I’ve thought about it, then I’ll decide.
  6. I don’t deny myself food that I love. At all. Life is too short to be denying myself anything. If I love it, do it! For crying out loud! What is the big deal? I am not harming anyone or anything by enjoying food that I love. It may be 3000 calories, but so what? I am not doing that every day, just once in a while. What is the harm? If I did that everyday, yes, that would be harmful. But, everything in moderation, right? Most of the time, especially when I’ve been eating really well and feeling really great, I find that I only need a few bites of the food I love to be satisfied. I don’t feel like binging, because I haven’t made it “taboo”.

Food is meant to nourish us and is a gift to enjoy. It should not be an enemy. We don’t need the “Die in Diet”. We need to live, laugh, love and to me, dieting gets in the way of that.

My Happiness Project focus for January is Fitness – thus, I’ve been focusing on getting back to my regular workouts and eating better. So far, so good! ;)Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

Now, go eat something good for you! ;)