Some of you know I only post here when random thoughts I feel strongly about pop into my head. I am not the most consistent blogger. There are so many fitness blogs out there, and most of them just repeat themselves or jump on the latest bandwagon of ‘secrets to weight loss or a flat tummy’ (sorry) which is fine because they will always reach somebody who needed to hear exactly that message right then in order to start their fitness journey. Personally, I guess I just need to write when I need to “talk” to myself and put my thoughts into written words.
I returned from Norway a couple of weeks ago and just had a revelation when it comes to diets and healthy eating. The people who seem to be naturally slim and fit, are active individuals and healthy all around, do not obsess about what they eat. They (most often) choose wholesome food: grilled chicken or fish, some vegetables, a splash of olive oil and they even allow themselves a couple of spoonfuls of dessert. But the key here is they don’t overdo it, but they enjoy life, food and the company around them. There is no “forced” thinking like “oh no, that has too much sugar, fat, carbs” etc. They have a glass of wine in good company and allow themselves a piece of cake when they are celebrating someone’s birthday, because that makes them happy and that is what they feel like. How rebellious!
Nobody obsesses about food more than Americans, and nowhere else in the world are there as many obese individuals. In the supermarket isles, there are now more “low fat”, “non fat”, “no sugar” products than ever before, which also equals PROCESSED foods. Just because a food has some (healthy) fat, does that mean it’s bad? Of course not, as long as you are not binging on it. And that’s just the problem: For those that preoccupy themselves with “bad and good” food, think they can eat twice as much non fat ice cream, because after all – it’s got no fat, right? Eating becomes more of an all engrossing activity rather than what it’s supposed to be: nourishment and enjoyment.
When I lost 30 lbs some years ago, I ate all the foods I was told later on when I started competing, were labeled BAD. I had pita bread and hummus, beans, fruit, Ezekiel bread, cheese and olive oil. And guess what; I was much thinner than I am now (not that that is a goal of mine), I just ate a certain amount and didn’t obsess about food items I couldn’t have. My body got all the major food groups, so there were no real cravings at all. I want to stop looking at certain foods as “bad” and just eat wholesome, natural foods. Have you ever noticed that when someone tells you you can’t have something, that is all you think about? I noticed that big time when I was prepping for my first show, and as a result I ended up binging after my competition. Did it feel good? Was I satisfied afterwards? Not really. There was no enjoyment in eating until I couldn’t eat anymore.
As I read status updates and blogs about competitors going through their “on season” diets, none of them sound happy. They are hungry, irritated, frustrated and feel weak, they think about food 24/7 and they cannot WAIT until after the show to… eat! Not good food, but what they want to eat are crappy things like Dorito chips, Oreo cookies, hamburgers and french fries… All this just to achieve washboard abs for about 1 day. Hmm… yes sure it is fulfilling to know you can reach a goal like that and to know that you can actually gain the “discipline” to get down to single digit body fat, but it’s only temporary. I don’t want to live my life holding my breath waiting for a specific date, I’d rather learn to enjoy life every day, and perhaps when I’m back to my normal self with a more relaxed attitude to eating, then decide on a new competition date.
So my goal for the coming months is to regain a healthy relationship with food. Eat when I’m hungry but not too much. Just allow myself to eat whatever I want as long as I can pronounce the ingredients, and is something I can find at my local farmer market. Enough already with the “sugar free syrups” and the artificial crap, which doesn’t taste good anyway. I may not give up my protein powder, but then again I only eat that once a day after my workout anyway. I think all of this is possible, I think I can have a ripped body and still enjoy life and food. Imagine that! Food for thought, and if this has made you hungry, I’m leaving you with a balanced, healthy recipe that you should not feel guilty about eating – but not too much of it, remember? ! Makes for a light, delicious dinner this weekend and is super simple to make. I’ve borrowed this recipe from Jillian Michael’s, as she was partly responsible for my first weight loss (I did her online program years ago). Happy eating!! 🙂
ALMOND ORANGE RAINBOW TROUT WITH CHIPOTLE YOGURT SAUCE
Adapted from “Master Your Metabolism Cookbook” by Jillian Michaels
For Rainbow Trout:
Olive oil spray, for baking sheet
1/3 cup (1 oz) sliced almonds
1 slice whole-wheat bread, torn into pieces
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
grated zest of 1 orange
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 (4 oz) rainbow trout fillet, rinsed and patted dry
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
For Chipotle Yogurt Sauce:
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped, plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil.
Begin fish: In the work bowl of a food processor, place the almonds, bread, garlic, orange zest and cayenne pepper. Pulse several times until roughly chopped. Pour mixture onto a shallow plate.
Prepare Chipotle Yogurt Sauce: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the chile and adobo sauce, garlic, lemon and orange juice, blend to a smooth paste. Transfer to a small bowl, add low fat yogurt and stir until combined. Taste and add more lemon juice or some salt if desired. Set aside.
Season trout with salt and pepper. Brush top of each fillet with the nonfat yogurt. Press the yogurt coated side of each fillet into the almond mixture. Place the fillet nut side up on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until fish is firm and not translucent in the center, about 10 minutes.
Spoon the sauce onto the plates, place a piece of trout on each and serve with rice or potatoes of your choice.