PPB: Primarily Plant-Based

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Vegetarian, flexitarian, vegan, freegan, whole foods, plant-based, gluten-free, no sugar, organic, low-carb, Paleo…seriously, what am I supposed to eat? Not even a diet of water and supplements is safe!

I’m landing squarely in the “mindful eating” camp, the place where informed decision making and good choices reign supreme. It’s no different than life, for crying out loud. Educate yourself. Make smart choices. Be forgiving of yourself. But push and challenge yourself too.

I love meat. Nothing like a good steak. And I pride myself on my ability to really get my money’s worth out of an already-cheap rotisserie chicken from BJ’s. But at the same time I’m aware of the drawbacks of eating too much meat. Too much anything. Of simply eating too much. I come at this now from a point of exercising a bit less (ugh!) and weighing a bit more (double ugh!) (and weighing more but still in my acceptable range) and as I type I realize that I am always going to have to be vigilant and attuned to what I am doing…even if it’s understanding and accepting some not-so-good choices.

Finding new recipes and feeling like I’m getting the right nourishment and all that is a great challenge. It’s fun trying new things. I’m making my own nut milks and nut butters. I’ve given my new Veggetti a good workout. And I’ve also adapted some of my long-time favorite recipes to be meat-free.

Here’s a favorite, and instructions are how I did it yesterday (it varies):

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
Serves 8

Heat a small layer of water in the bottom of a saucepan and add diced onion (1, sweet), peppers (2, one red and one orange), and jalapeños (2, unseeded, but I like hot stuff) and start sautéing it. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and some hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot).

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of dry quinoa according to package directions. When it is done, add it to the veggies, and add another dose of spice (chili powder, cumin, etc.). Give it a stir and let it sauté for a bit. Then add two cans of rinsed and drained black beans (for me it was Goya low sodium), two 14 oz-ish cans of diced tomatoes, two 32 oz cans of kitchen-ready to orators, a helping of the spices, and let it simmer for a while. Until it’s hot and you can’t wait any longer! I serve mine with Trader Joe’s FF sour cream and some shredded Mexican cheese blend.

Yum. And super-healthy. Per MyFitnessPal? 392 calories, assuming the pot makes 8 servings. Enjoy!l

Remember, you are the only one lucky enough to be you, so don’t squander that opportunity. Go. Start. Now. Do. Be. Just go.

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Burn To Earn. Don’t Forget.

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Simple math, burn to earn, expend more than you eat. Sounds implies right?

Great reminder in my inbox this morning that prompts this post, coupled with the fact that today I’m sweating my total intake and I’ve already been to the gym AND haven’t even had lunch yet. Ouch.

Some days it happens. But this email stated that being off by 100 calories a day can lead you straight to 6-10 pounds overweight. So if you’re trying to lose weight, or think y’re trying, you have got to avoid self-sabotage. I am telling you, it’s very rare that I underestimate portion size, and I’ve been weighing and measuring my food for about a year now. And this is why I still do. I work too hard to inadvertently undermine my own efforts.

Yesterday, on Facebook, a friend was mocking Kelly Ripa’s admission that she counts out 8 pistachios and adds them to her yogurt. Whether or not she is too skinny has no bearing…if you want to measure accurately, you have to measure.

So, if you’re just starting it and don’t want to commit to a food scale, count, measure, whatever it takes…just right-size your portions. Keep track of what you’re eating and what you’re expending. Tell the truth. Overestimate food and underestimate exercise. But you do need to count or measure. And I can’t stress enough that you need to write it down. I use MyFitnessPal. Check it out. But you can use whatever works for you. Find out how many calories you should be taking in to achieve your weight loss/maintenance/gain goals and stop taking in more than that. See? Simple. 😉