Maybe The Solution Can Be Found In The Kitchen
Looking for the best diet to meet your goals in 2023? According to the US News and World Report, there are many to consider.
- The Mediterranean diet sits in the number one position for best diets overall.
- Looking for weight-loss? Weight Watchers ranks number one.
- The Keto diet tops the list of best fast weight-loss diets.
When I look at all of this, I only think: Seriously?
As you scroll through any of these, it seems to be more of the same.
We know for a fact that the standard American diet (known as the SAD diet in the industry) just isn’t cutting it. It’s opening up the potential for lifelong disease and unhealthy eating patterns.
But what is the alternative?
If you’re going to strive for one, the Mediterranean seems okay, focusing on fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, extra virgin olive oil, while limiting red meat and saturated fats.
For all the others, “diet” says it all. You’re either ON a diet, or you’re OFF. As soon as you stop participating in said “diet”, all of your old patterns come back into play. Weight comes back on. Inches increase. And those old feelings creep up faster than ever.
What’s a person to do?
Why the best diet isn’t a diet
The word “diet” has two meanings.
The first is what’s overwhelmingly taken over our mindset and understanding. It means:
A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.
We’ve associated “diet” with being “bad.” We’ve associated “diet” with restrictions. We focus on what we can’t have in order to gain short-term results. So we say things like:
“I’m losing twenty pounds for my class reunion.”
“I’m losing weight to fit in a swimsuit on my next vacation.”
“My cholesterol is high, so I’m watching what I eat.”
And we march through SAD conditions, feeling even worse when we “cheat” on what we’re supposed to eat.
Now let’s look at the second definition:
The kinds of food that a person habitually eats.
In this instance, it’s all about regularity. It’s what someone eats without force or consideration. You eat it because it’s readily available, and comes naturally to you.
See the difference in the way you look at the top diets listed above?
The Mediterranean diet leans toward a lifestyle diet. Weight Watchers and Keto are all about restrictions.
Counting what you can’t have is a surefire way to find failure when you simply can’t stick with the demands.
Getting back to simplicity … with a modern twist
How old is the modern grocery store? You might be surprised to learn it’s just over 100 years old. And, no surprise here, it was very much an American phenomenon for the first few decades of its existence.
Piggly Wiggly opened its doors in Memphis in 1916, giving the power of selection to the shoppers instead of allowing the clerk to fulfill a shopping list. And oh, did supermarkets grow! Big food corporations knew they hit paydirt as people would move up and down the aisles, throwing in items obliviously as they shopped.
Today’s grocery stores average 48,000 square feet. That’s about the size of an average American football stadium. It’s filled with over 39,500 products, all vying for your attention.
Think our ancestors from the late 1800s would be surprised? (Or maybe horrified!)
Choice is a good thing. Or is it? The more businesses tried to create things we’d buy, the more they cut corners.
Turns out, the best way to eat isn’t by eating something that can sit on a shelf with an expiration date far into the future. It starts with simple foods that look Gorgeous sitting on your kitchen counter. They make Gorgeous meals. And are just as healthy fueling your body.
What if we made a modern “diet” even simpler?
Broccoli’s good for you. So is kale. What about sweet potatoes? Or lentils or beans? A banana? A cherry?
It can grow complicated quickly. Especially when you start assigning different point values to different foods. Is this good? Or is it bad?
I think an easier way is to think like your great-grandparents (or whoever was alive before the 1900s.)
What would they eat?
With that in mind, shop away!
Because they wouldn’t have been able to buy processed food in a package where you can’t read the ingredients. Other things they never ate would include:
- Anything with high-fructose corn syrup
- Anything “hydrogenated”
- Anything with corn oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc
- Anything with artificial sweeteners
- Anything with dyes or preservatives
- Anything with MSG
- Anything that wouldn’t rot within a short timeframe
- Fast food – anything you can order at the drive-thru
What else would you add to this list?
Now let’s put it all in the kitchen
Here’s how my kitchen is laid out.
I have a refrigerator stocked with produce. Every shelf is lined with produce I recently picked up at the market. I wish I had a farmer’s market year-round – not so in the Pacific Northwest. So from October to May, I shop at my local supermarket. I select the one with the best produce section, organic only please, and pretty much include every item they have in the produce section.
I have a freezer stocked with more veggies and fruits. Frozen is the best way to lock in the flavor and have access to things you can easily add to your recipes. My smoothies use frozen kale, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and peas. No greens go unused in my household; if they are still in my refrigerator a few days after purchase, I make sure they’re cleaned and throw them in the freezer.
My pantry is filled with natural products that don’t have to be chilled or frozen. Dried beans. Canned beans. Lentils, grains, and legumes. I have an entire shelf dedicated to the foods I use to make my own granola – quinoa, oats, nuts, and seeds.
I like to think if my great-grandmother stopped by today, she’d feel right at home in my kitchen. Sure, she might gently touch the microwave or dishwasher, eyes wide in amazement at our advances. But when she opened the pantry, she’d pull things out and get busy making a Gorgeous meal.
It’s more than a diet …
It’s a lifestyle.
p.s. Want this to be the year you go plant-based for good? That’s why I’m super excited to share my 21 Day Gorgeous Wellthy Kitchen class with you. I’ve created a journaling experience that allows you to take a look into your world and discover where you need a shift in mindset, to be able to be more aligned with your plant-based goals then ever before. Want to join me?