I love to cook. I love making a meal out of food grown from the earth. I love having one idea when I start cooking and finishing with a totally different creation. I love sharing my creations with Karel and I love being proud of the food I put into my body.
So proud that I love taking pictures of my creations because after the meal is finished, I can still enjoy the beauty of my meal with a photo.
But I'll be honest. These creations are not made on a starving stomach. I believe that eating habits throughout the day, set us up for good behaviors in the evening hours. But most importantly, I want to feel better after I eat, than when I started. If we eat when we have low blood sugar or when starving, there is a large chance that we will overeat or choose quick, fast blood-sugar raising foods. Ultimately, the goal to feel great about the food we put into our body is replaced with an uncomfortable feeling that can not be undone.
I don't believe we can always be 100% perfect when it comes to controlling our blood sugar. There's no reason to have a "perfect" diet. However, by listening to the body, it's easy to recognize when the body needs to eat in order to fuel the cells in the body and this allows for a consistent, quality life.
One helpful suggestion in enjoying a satisfying dinner meal, is to enjoy a small pre meal snack. It's up to you as to what you want to snack on but always keep in mind as to what you will be eating for dinner and how much. I firmly believe the every meal/snack should compliment the previous meal/snack or upcoming meal/snack. One should never be nervous about eating "calories" before a meal because you need calories to live, every day. It's up to you how you budget your calories and how you choose to nourish yourself.
If you are concerned about eating a snack before a meal consider this.....
A ~50-150 calorie snack may help you prepare a satisfying, nutritious dinner so that after dinner, you feel better than when you started. Thus, the 50-150 calorie snack + x- calorie dinner that you are enjoying in the evening should leave you very satisfied with little need to overindulge later in the evening. Imagine the simplicity of a less than 150 calorie snack having the ability to "save" you 200+ calories in the evening from overeating out of stress, boredom or exhaustion. This tip works very well before a pre race meal as well as eating out or at events. With a balanced diet and the ability to honor hunger with a healthy relationship with food, you should eventually find yourself enjoying the evening hours without any guilt, overwhelming feelings or negative body image.....thus allowing you to get a good night of sleep and feel rested for a fantastic tomorrow.
We have all heard the saying "if you aren't hungry enough to eat an apple, you aren't hungry enough." When it comes to meals, I see nothing wrong with an after meal small snack to finish off those little lingering cravings. But there is a big difference between a 300 calorie bowl of ice cream or cereal and a 40 calorie piece of dark chocolate, a tsp or two of peanut butter, 3 walnuts or a few grapes.
Always consider the composition of your meals for if you are focusing on a balanced, varied diet, you should not feel the need to eat a large amount of food, 30-60 minutes after a meal. Sure, it may happen here or there but be mindful of your day and how you can "tweak" things for tomorrow. Ultimately, never be so hard on yourself that you feel you are uncapable of change. Stop the excuses and don't be afraid to try something new. A healthy lifestyle is created from consistent habits that make you feel great.
Here's a great tool for you to use when planning your meals (and snacks) in the diet. Source found HERE.
For the Heart Wise
program that I have been part of for the past few months, we teach a similar diagram, developed by the Baptist Medical Center Heart Wise team.
I hope you enjoy my latest creation! Be sure to tweak it to make sure it leaves you satisfied after you finish...and of course, yumming is encouraged as you enjoy your meals!
Sauteed cabbage, onions and garlic w/ millet and arugula
Purple cabbage (chopped, remove outer shell)
Stewed tomatoes (no salt added) canned
White onion (chopped)
Garlic (thick slices)
Veggie meat (Boca crumbles)
1. Preheat large skillet to medium heat.
2. Add a little oil to cover lightly the bottom of the pan and cook onions and garlic until golden brown.
3. Add a little water to lightly cover bottom of pan and add cabbage. Turn to low heat and cover.
4. Prepare Millet according to package (allow up to 30 minutes)
5. Add more water to help w/ stirring of cabbage and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
6. When cabbage turns almost soft (take a bit, if it is super firm, continue cooking unless this meets your consistency needs), add veggie meat, a dash of soy sauce, tomatoes (I used 1/2 large can) and 1 tbsp tahini paste. Stir well.
7. After 2-3 minutes, turn off heat and add seasonings to your liking (parsley, pepper, etc.)
8. Prepare your plate w/ 1 serving millet in shallow dish and combine w/ large serving of cabbage mixture (plan for leftovers!). Toss in bowl and top w/ arugula and cheese.
Recommended pre meal snack: 1/4 -1/3 cup Daisy cottage cheese + small orange or pineapple chunks.