So yesterday's blog post was about eating your weeds....which leads me to another observation. If you made that famous New Year's rsolution about losing weight, but haven't even begun to meet your goal...relax!!...now is the perfect time of year to try and actually be able to accomplish something. Starting diets in the winter is rather futile. Our bodies WANT to retain fat to keep us warm and we are more sedentary and crave foods that make us sleepy and content. It is mother nature's way of making sure we slow down. Now that spring is here and Summer around the corner, we already crave lighter food, want to get out there and be active and that anxious "Spring Fever" feeling is our liver telling us to follow those instincts. When you are out there gardening, mowing, hauling, playing and hiking, you may notice that even though you have worked/played hard, your food cravings are for more healthy fare and it takes less food to fill you up. So, take another stab at that healthy weight loss, but instead of some fad diet that may make you miserable, try these ideas:
1) Nibble on your garden as you work --pull a baby carrot, eats some raw peas/beans---and there is NOTHING like a just picked and warm tomato (my mother used to take a salt shaker out to the garden with her!)
2) When you get thirsty, instead of a soda, get that same refreshing, fizzy experience with old fashioned Switchel, a nutritious concoction that includes molasses, vinegar and ginger----it does it sound awful--but it is wonderful. Check out this recipe: http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/switchel.htm
3) Eat a small meal 5-6 times per day to keep your metabolism working and to keep you happy--every meal should include fat/protein/carbs. "Meal" can mean anything from a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit, to a sandwich or a salad with a protein source
4) Use your produce in imaginative ways to replace junk foods: veggie "chips" are popular now (kale, nettles, thin sliced sweet potatoes/parsnips/beets--marinated in olive oil and spices and then crisped in the oven), sugarless jams, fresh berries instead of candy......
5) Use "weeds" in everyday foods (be sure to identify your weeds with a good guide) : finely chopped dandelion and chicory leaves on pizza, wood sorrel or young dock leaves in smoothies, Queen Ann's Lace leaves on tea sandwiches, edible flowers (nasturtium, violet, daylily, daisy petals, violas, calendula, mallow, borage, squash blossoms...) can be sprinkled on salads or the bigger ones, stuffed with herbed cheeses. Talk about "eating the rainbow"!!!!
So simple... so healthy and it really brings the outside into your kitchen and family table. It's a lifestyle--not a diet.