Sunday, April 4, 2010
I hate diets. They never work. I am told that your metabolism will eventually catch up to anything that you are doing. So, a new diet will work for a short while, then your body adjusts and it stops working. There’s even a fancy term for it... they call it Plateauing. Personally, I call it stubbornness. My body revolts against anything that it doesn’t want to do. When you tell me I can’t have something, that’s the only thing that I want. At that point my whole world turns OCD.
We all know that too much of anything is bad for you, especially in the red meat genre. One main problem that I have is portion control, and a love for beef. I do love vegetables, though. I have often joked that I could be really happy being a vegetarian. Although not a traditional vegetarian. I am not at all satisfied with a plate of steamed vegetables and a no-dressing green salad. From my childhood I have carried a love for soups, gravies, and sauces. I need texture too; crunch, spice, and above all good flavor.
So, I have formulated a new plan. I call it Hybrid Veg-a-holism. Defined by me as generous portions of my beloved vegetables, flavored with limited amounts of broth, and healthy meat products. I will eat vegetarian several days a week to start, then if all goes well, perhaps increase. I need to take it slow and see what works for my body and lifestyle.
Now I don’t really know that much about it, but I do know there are degrees of vegetarians. I could never make it all the way up to Vegan ( no animal products of any kind). But there are Veg-a-holics that only eat chicken and fish. They also eat cheese and eggs. That’s where I am going to start. I am also not going to give myself any hard and fast rules that I will immediately be tempted to break. So, if I occasionally (and I do mean occasionally) want a fat juicy burger, then I can have one. But, as a general rule, for my eating habits at home, I plan on going healthy hybrid.
Here is my own version of a recipe that I got from a fellow blogger who calls herself the Skinny Chef ( 2010). She recently posted an idea for Lentil Tacos. Here is my own take on it.
Take 1 8 oz. can of chicken broth, combine with 4 oz. water, and 8 oz. of dried lentils. Boil until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (approx. 30 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (remember lentils take a lot of spice) and 1 small finely diced onion. Cook until tender. Add 1 package of prepared taco seasonings, or your own taco spices to taste. Adjust the amount of liquid if necessary. Once the lentils are soft enough and the seasonings are right, use this as a replacement meat mixture, and prepare tacos as normal. I like the crunchy taco shells that you can buy at the store. I put shredded cheese, refried beans, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes on mine. Top with hot sauce, and enjoy. When I ate them I was so satisfied with the familiar flavor of the spices and the traditional crunch of the taco shell, I didn’t even miss the meat. My daughter (another original carnivore) loved them too. We decided that this definitely was a meal worth doing again. Another idea is to take the spicy lentil mixture and make lentil tamales with it (recipe to come in another blog posting).
If I can get enough good tasting meals that will satisfy me, then this whole hybrid healthy eating thing might just work. Just don’t tell me that ‘I can’t’ have something. It’s all over at that point.
Help me get through this, please. Send me your ideas for your favorite meals that could easily be converted. I will try them all and post the results, good, bad, and ugly. In the meantime, try the lentil tacos and let me know what you think. I would love some feedback.
Today is also Easter Sunday. He is Risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!
Psalm 23:6 "...my cup overflows."
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Bionote: Lori is the author of three business books, numerous church skits, and several articles. She lives in Sacramento with her two children, two dogs, and cat. She loves to hear from her readers, so please email your thoughts and questions.