If you are a woman who is dieting, there is only ONE meal choice that is perfectly acceptable. One meal choice that will NOT have someone raising their eyebrow at you and saying “Are you sure you want to eat that?” This meal choice is also my least favorite in the whole wide world.
It was 2007, and I had just committed to a new diet plan. I had some baby weight that never really retreated, and it was time to reinvent myself.
I was doomed to fail even before I began.
You may have heard of the diet plan. In fact, you might be on it right now. They have a lot of bars that they offer in the stores that are packed with protein, and have names like “Chocolate Fudge”. This diet plan is a sensible meal plan, but focuses on restricting carbs.
That is, the carbs that taste good.
For one whole month, I swallowed food that tasted like cardboard with a splash of vinaigrette. I chewed through rough stems and roots and somehow kept my teeth in the process. I wrapped my lunch meat in beds of green, instead of my beloved tortillas.
In other words, I ate bunny food. I ate salad instead of sandwiches for one whole month. This plan was supposed to help me develop healthy eating habits. Instead, I developed a distaste for dieting.
Don’t get me wrong- if you love to eat salad, then there is nothing wrong with gnoshing to your little heart’s delight. But, if you are reading this blog, or have a significant amount of weight to lose, then salad is probably not on your top ten list.
I have never been in love with salad. The only good part of the salad is the fattening, greasy toppings you put on it. However, I am also not immune to the pervasive diet messages that tell me a dieting woman should eat more salad. So, I tried it for one month. And failed miserably.
As you reflect on your dieting history, have you choked down foods that you detest? Have you spent a lot of time preparing a bonafide healthy meal, only to stare at said meal and dream it was a greasy burger? Have you left your carefully prepared salad in the fridge so long that it no longer resembles food?
What do we learn from eating bunny food? Sure, we know that bunnies are lithe and healthy creatures, because they eat greens all day. But, they are also fast and anxious creatures who rarely get a chance to relax.
What I learned during that month was that the right diet had to work FOR me, not AGAINST me. The right diet wouldn’t just include foods that I know are good for me, but also foods that were good for my soul. The right diet doesn’t take an hour to prepare something that I dislike chewing on for 10 minutes before throwing it away. The right diet allows me to enjoy family favorites while still exploring new foods.The right #diet isn’t about points, calories, or servings, but about #energy, satiety and pleasure. Click To Tweet
In other words, the right diet for me does NOT include boring bunny food. P.S. For some examples of lettuce-free salads, go HERE.
As we approach Easter, where a bunny lays a chicken’s egg, let’s look instead to our fine feathered friends as role model for a good diet.
Here are 3 lessons we can learn from eating like a bird, not like a bunny.
- Eat small quantities throughout the day
Usually, eating like a bird means you hunt and peck, but don’t actually consume much food. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Birds actually eat A LOT of food given their weight. However, their stomachs are too small to eat like gluttons. Even if your stomach is not small, you can pretend like it is.
Eat a smaller portion every time, and watch the weight effortlessly disappear.
Watch this video on effortless portion control!
- Get your seeds
Think sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia, flax, and hemp. These tiny powerhouses pack nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, vitamins and omega-3s.
Protein keeps you full while fiber and vitamins help you get through your day without any…ahem, traffic jams. You can add seeds to your cereal, smoothies, trail mix, or even as a coating for your meat. Ground seeds can thicken broth-based soups as a vegan option, or provide additional nutrients to your baked goods. I like to add sunflower seeds to my homemade bars, or snack on pumpkin seeds.
Seeds load you up on protein and healthy vegan fats.
- Save it for Later
Sure, most birds just eat on the fly, but some birds are savvy enough to save their food for later. You have seen pelicans, right? Also, some birds save their tastiest morsels for their children. I’m sure you have brought home treats for your little ones, right?
The best part of saving for later is you get to enjoy your food not just once, but many times, or see the joy on your childrens’ faces when they get to taste.
Bonus Lesson: Sing Good Morning
One of the most beautiful sounds of spring is the sound of a cheerful bird singing a song to the sun. When I was visiting my in-laws in India, a crazy rooster would shout “cockadoodledoo” even before the sun had risen. This fella was in the middle of one of the most crowded cities in the entire world, and probably had a less than glamorous life. But, he still took time to stop and sing “good morning”.
Even if you are not a morning person (raise hand), you can always start your day in the most peaceful and contented way possible. Every day is a good day!
Have a leisurely cup of coffee, read quietly for a few minutes, breathe deeply, or even pray.
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