Living by design is a key to a more joyful and energetic life! Extra weight can rob you of vitality and put you at greater risk for a myriad of life-robbing chronic diseases. Find creative ways to ask yourself good questions about your eating patterns and discover your tendencies and temptations. In my Wellness Coach training at Mayo Clinic, I learned that gathering information was always the first step to any health improvement endeavor. This information can be used to “tell yourself the truth” and find simple ways to START SOMEWHERE making small, personalized changes that are based on your own strengths and lifestyle.
If you are interested in losing weight and/or changing your eating pattern, keeping a food and mood diary is a great strategy to help you get started. Gather the following information for two weeks before you make any specific changes by writing down:
- How you feel before you eat
- When and where you eat
- What and how much of each item you eat and drink
- How you feel after you eat it
Mountains of research has been done in the area of food diary work but I think it is great to record your mood too. Much of our intake is emotional eating rather than real hunger pangs.
Here are four expert tips to help a food and mood journal work for you:
1. Define your reasons for taking the time to keep a food log. You must know what insights you hope to gain by recording the information. Whether it is to be aware of food triggers, sugar cravings, or just to evaluate nutrient intake, be clear with yourself about your intent.
2. Use a format that works for you. Don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. This is your information and for your eyes only. People are loaded with unsolicited advice when it comes to weight loss.
3. Be sure to include the nibbles and bites between meals. I’ve found that these are the places that calories and blood sugar dysregulation like to hide! An extra 150-calorie drink each day can add up to a 15- to 17-pound weight gain in just one year.
4. Remember that it is not about perfection. Give yourself grace! Every single attempt you make at recording your practices and tendencies gets you a step closer to making lasting, significant changes.
START SOMEWHERE paying attention to the habits that are charting the course for your future. When you know where the trap doors are, you can start learning to navigate around them. Because “what fires together, wires together,” it may take time for lasting change but it is always worth it. You can do it. I will help you.
Roasted Veggie Pitas with Avocado Dip (Pinch of Yum)
You will need:
For the avocado dip:
2 ripe Avocados1-2 cloves Garlic2 tablespoons Olive Oil2 tablespoons Water (more as needed)a handful of Cilantro1/2 teaspoon Salt1 teaspoon Cuminhalf of a Serrano Pepper (more or less depending on how much heat you want)Juice of one Lime
For the veggies:
2 heads Cauliflower, cut into small florets2 14-ounce cans Chickpeas, rinsed and drained1-2 teaspoons Chili Powder1-2 teaspoons Garam Masala1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper if you want spicyOlive Oil for drizzlingSalt and Pepper to taste8 small Whole Wheat PitasGreek Yogurt for topping
Here’s the drill:
Veggies: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pat the cauliflower and chickpeas dry with paper towels. Arrange in a single layer on one large baking sheet or two baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices. Give the pan a gentle shake to sort of mix things around. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stir, and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes. The cauliflower and chickpeas should be golden brown and the chickpeas will be semi-crunchy.Avocado Dip: While the veggies are roasting, puree the avocado dip ingredients in a food processor. Set aside.Assembly: Spread each pita with a spoonful of avocado dip and top with roasted veggies. Sprinkle with extra salt, pepper, cilantro, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
BE INSPIRED with this quote! “Do not fear failure, but rather fear not trying.” (Roy T. Bennett)