Why I don't diet
You can often see me indulging sweet, salty and savory treats across my stories. I guess its confusing and I get a lot of people asking me how I keep my weight down and stay skinny. Before I share more recipes I want to share with you my lifestyle in the kitchen. My answer in a nutshell is I compare my diet to a Parisian. Parisians don't diet they ENJOY food of all types, like me.
Don't get it twisted I am not claiming to be a fabulous French girl. I drink cheap wine (with ice), know nothing about art (except what I think looks visually appealing), drink cream in my half calf (or very mild) coffee, always talk about my sale purchases, and rarely spend designer dollars, all these things they would never do. However, French women are super slim, often having lots of bread, sweets, butter & dairy (fats) and are rarely hitting the gym, again like me. Everyone is left confused how they stay slim, its a lifestyle not a diet! I've also adopted this lifestyle for my kids. I'm not the "just one more bite mom" ( pediatrician recommended, studies show that leads to obesity later in life) and sometimes we even have ice cream for breakfast. It's okay the Parisians do it! Here are some of my "rules" but the first rule is throw the rules away!
A little overview before I begin to give you an idea of the lifestyle as a whole. I don't have rock hard abs, but I am happy with my body! I do enjoy the occasional run but laying on the couch sounds good too! I do love to have cake but I also enjoy a power smoothie with flax, wheat grass and mineral water. I do love pasta and carbs but I also love zoodles (veggies turned into noodles)! I love a ground beef flamed burger with bun but I also love a black bean burger no bun. I love water but a good old beer or glass of wine here and there sounds good too! The key is to be able to enjoy food of all types and never be to hard on yourself. If you are okay with all that then continue reading this post is for you!
- Don't deny it, limit it-- chances are if you want something your going to eat it anyways! So just add things you can't live without to your weekly shopping routine. I don't mean fill your whole cart with cookies but choose one or two packs of something sweet to take home. When you feel that desire for a sweet bite of something, go for it, just don't eat the entire pack. You might be surprised at how many days go by till you remember you even bought cookies, or maybe you have to throw half the pack out since they spoiled! Trust me, if it's accessible and allowed (key word allowed) you probably won't even want them as bad! The second part to this is don't eat huge portions of the really rich fat stuff, just limit it to a small amount of pasta and then get your fill on a fresh salad and veggies on the side.
- Hydrate,hydrate,hydrate -- The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is drink the rest of the 16oz glass of water I went to bed with. It's typically around 8-10 ounces left. I then have my coffee after that. My day consists of drinking at least 60 ounces of water, which happens to be my main source of liquid. That much water will change your life for the better, take away headaches, joint aches, water retention, gives you energy and over all well being. It also helps you feel more full and you will find yourself eating smaller size meal portions and it helps your body stay clean & lean. Allow yourself a glass of wine or a beer but don't over indulge on a daily basis. I also like to try to throw in a fruit & veggie smoothie as often as I can with flax, chia, hemp or any trendy super food of the moment.
- Stay active! -- As a mom of two littles I rarely have time to hit the gym. In reality sans kids I wasn't a big gym rat but I always loved to do activities through any season. As a mom my favorite workout to do is take both girls on a jog (invest in a good jogger). We "try to find the mailman", try to catch trains going by or try to guess the color of the next car that goes by us...etc. We make our workouts fun and when the girls are enjoying it I enjoy it that much more! Maybe you want to do a few family yoga moves together before bath/bed to get out that extra bit of energy in the kids and the kinks you built up from carrying that heavy car seat around all day. I like to run around with Arabella by playing tag, freeze dance or chasing her and it burns a lot of calories. Whatever works for you incorporate it with your kids if you don't have time outside your routine (this way your kids will learn working out is fun)!
- Have your bread and butter too! -- I eat a lot of carbs and fats. I don't eat them all day long though, if I have toast in the morning I try not to have carbs the rest of the day or if I go all day without carbs I like to have a fresh baguette with cheese, oil or butter at dinner. Try to find a heart healthy butter or a low fat cheese that you like and don't overdue it with the heavy dairy but still do it! It's all about the balance!
- Fresh is best --In the summer we eat so much fruit, veggies and herbs. It just tastes better when locally in season. Fresh herbs will also give your food so much more flavor and richness. If your going to have a heavy meal of pasta and carbs, season with fresh herbs and just don't eat more than one portion (and go light on the breakfast,lunch & snacks). In the winter and off seasons try to go for what's in season for that extra jolt of flavor.
- Compensate for Indulgences -- I ALWAYS over endulge for parties, holidays, vacations, dinners out & sundays (yes every Sunday is my cheat day) it's one of my "unrules". This means lots of slices of pizza no room for salad, multiple trips to the buffet, double up on desssert. However, I always get back on track and compensate the next day with simple salads and extra water.
- Cook at home-- Not only is the restaurant loading up on fat but also sodium (aka water retention). That's why it tastes sooooo good! We try to dine out or carry out just once a week. You would be surprised what is really in something that you think is healthy while dining out! At home you can control exactly what you are adding to your food! Cooking can be fun as long as you have the right mindset.
- Shop Mindfully-- Buy fresh when possible at farmers markets and fruit stands. Less is more on the ingredients lists (I try to aim for 4 or less) and if you can't pronounce the ingredients don't buy it, this can also apply to indulgences which also makes them less bad for you! My shopping cart is always mostly full from the outside isles, less processed items.
- Enjoy your fruits -- French have fresh fruit, blended fruit (smoothie), fruit in their salads, pizzas, breads, for dessert etc. eat it straight up or anyway you choose! It helps detox your body and keeps you healthy.
- Take time for meals -- eating is a pleasurable way of life for Parisans. Take time to have meals with your family if it's possible and schedules allow. Make your food pretty it tastes better and visually seeing is part of enjoying. Make cooking fun for your kids, let them taste test as you cook and give advice/feedback and "play" safely in the kitchen by letting them help cook. Make healthy choices just as fun for them as unhealthy choices.
- Simple tips for Moms of babies and tots without going to much into it. --I did baby led weening method with a little bit of spoon feeding till age appropriate. Breast feed as long as you can if you can it's beneficial for both of you. Try to eat dinner as a family and always allow littles to try new things and eat what the family eats, I have backups just in case. Don't get upset if they don't like it, you don't want to associate something tried for the first time with negative vibes. I never say "just one more bite" and then you can have your ice cream or whatever because I don't want the ice cream to be the reward. I want my kids to enjoy all their food not just sweets. You can google some of this & I would be happy to go into more Parisian Kids in a future post!
I hope this was informative and next time you see something healthy OR a giant piece of cake going through my feed you understand the whole Iifetstyle. If anyone has interest of me going more in depth on any of these points please drop me a note!