To be healthy and happy, you have to eat that way
I like to think that I eat pretty healthy.
Mind you, you can find the occasional bag of chips in my cupboard, but overall, I eat pretty well.
The key to this? Eating locally, seasonally and in moderation.
Now, 15 years ago, doing that never entered my mind. Working long hours, the only thing that I would eat at work all day was a few nubbins of crusty bread with leftover butter.
Not a meal by any means.
Upon my arrival home, a much needed and deserved glass or two of wine and of course my favourite snack of cheese and crackers.
My eating habits were pretty bad. Needless to say, I often found myself binging on fatty, salty and processed foods.
The result of all of this?
A constant headache and an extra 20 pounds to my five-foot-one frame.
What made me change my ways? Well, the fact that my pants no longer fit was a pretty big factor. So was the feeling of melancholy and malaise that came from eating so sporadically and horribly.
Fast forward to today. I have two kids and still have a hectic schedule, but I now make the time to eat properly and make sure that my family has healthy, balanced meals.
It also doesn’t hurt that I hit the gym three times a week, which is now a must if I want to feel energized. This muscle lady is now a lean, mean, fighting machine.
My weight has not fluctuated in two years and stays at a steady and healthy 105 pounds. And keep in mind, that is all muscle.
Why the rant on eating healthy and healthy habits?
It is due to a comment that was made recently about a few of the food columns and how we do not promote healthy eating habits or provide recipes that do not include butter, cream and other goodies.
In all fairness, some of the recipes that I post certainly are not for the faint of heart, but nowhere do I ask you to make and eat it all.
I always say, moderation, moderation, moderation!
A pat of butter here and a splash of cream there is way better than a heaping spoonful or two of over-processed, chemically made, fat-free or low-fat food.
What would I prefer to eat or feed my kids? A warm, sun-kissed strawberry fresh from the field or a processed and fat-free version of one in a bar?
Are many of us missing the big picture?
To be healthy and happy, you need to eat that way too. Bright, vibrant colours and locally grown food. Red raspberries, rainbow swiss chard, super green spinach or even yellow zucchini.
It is not any harder to cook at home from scratch than it is to open a box or can. Spend an hour a week, planning your meals and make a list to take to the market. Load up on the veggies and fruits, then get them washed, peeled and cut for easy access.
Soak some beans overnight and cook them the next day. Perfect for a soup, stew or pureed into a super scrumptious dip. Boil some eggs and keep them for your lunch or as an easy and satisfying snack.