Sensible eating for healthy weight loss: my best practices and desired habits

I have put on some extra weight and I want to take it off. I already eat a fairly healthy, mostly Paleo diet. I was thinking about the mindset and habits I want to cultivate. I’m looking at what’s worked for me in the past and some new best practices.

Twice since 2000, I’ve lost weight: the first time, I lost 35 pounds, of which 20 pounds crept back on for a few years, and then I lost the 20 pounds and kept it off for a few years. Those 20 pounds have crept back on over the past 7 years.

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Courtesy: Diethunters.com

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Juicing with watermelon

This summer,  I’ve had a blast making juices with watermelon as the main ingredient. Seedless watermelons are so easy to work with, abundant, and inexpensive. You start with the sweetness of the watermelon and add layers of flavor — sour, hot, herbal, fragrant, smoked, savory, and/or salty elements — to that yumminess.

Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 2.57.45 PM.pngAlthough I make a lot of juices that are all veggies (green) or veggies plus one fruit (usually brown!), for some reason it seemed important to keep this juice red in color, so I didn’t add kale, spinach, or parsley, which I’m sure would have made the juice more nutritious, if less pretty to look at.

I had fun combining watermelon with other flavors. I don’t measure, so measurements aren’t included. Make watermelon the most abundant ingredient, because it’s where most of the juice comes from. After that, use your tastebuds and common sense! Continue reading

Morning green drink nourishes, improves health and energy, staves off hunger pangs

These days I’m doing Functional Movement System training 5 days a week and doing 15-20 hours of massage per week. Just had my 62nd birthday, and I’m feeling pretty darn good! Illness, including even seasonal allergies, seems to be avoiding me.

To keep my energy levels high and to feel great, I’m making a green drink each morning. Here’s what I put in it*:

  • IMG_4171A small handful of berries. I used blueberries today. They contribute to brain health.
  • Another fruit or combination, like apple, banana, or pineapple. I find green drinks most palatable when just mildly sweet. Avocado is good, too.
  • Greens. I add a big handful of power greens (chard, kale, mizuna, and arugula), enough to cover a dinner plate well. They add vitamins and minerals and fiber and other healthy benefits.
  • A chunk of ginger root the size of the end of my thumb, for digestive health.
  • Same size chunk of turmeric root, an anti-inflammatory.
  • A bit of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, up to a tablespoon, for alkalinity, nutrients, and to keep candida levels down (if I haven’t already drunk it in a glass of water).
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil for energy.
  • A half scoop of whey powder for protein. (I use a half scoop because I am small.)
  • 12-14 ounces of filtered water.

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Mild green smoothie has only 5 ingredients

Usually when I make green drinks, I add a lot of ingredients. Besides a base of coconut water, I add several green veggies like celery, cucumber, kale and/or chard and/or spinach and/or parsley, garlic and/or ginger for bite and medicine, lemon or grapefruit juice, and a bunch of extras, like hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, maca, turmeric, spirulina.

Today I decided to simplify. I poured about 10 oz. of coconut water into the blender and added a thumb-size chopped chunk of peeled ginger, the juice of 1 small lemon, a small avocado, and 1 bunch of spinach. Five ingredients, blended after each addition.

It tastes mildly sweet, with just a bare hint of bite from the lemon and ginger. I think this is a green drink that everyone might like. No strong taste, and the texture is very smooth, thanks to the avocado. It’s thick enough to make the straw stand up.

No need to add fruit to make it palatable. I notice that juice bars often add bananas or apple juice to their drinks. I imagine this is in order to please the sweetness-skewed tastebuds of people accustomed to the Standard American Diet.

I don’t have anything against fruit. It’s got a lot of great nutritional benefits. But sugar is sugar, no matter the source. I’m cutting way down on it, especially the really sweet fruits, and I feel better, more stable, for it.

I have had cravings, though. I think sugar has an addictive quality.

Just part of my food evolution….