Sorry folks for the light posting last week; between August 28th and well, now, I’ve been enjoying an extended birthday celebration visiting with friends and family, even managing to wedge a mini getaway to Montreal in the midst of it all to visit my sister. It’s been refreshing because it’s all been so laid back and well, easy. I enjoy the company I keep, I have great conversations, and I get to eat (and eat, and eat, and drink!)- so what’s not to like?
Well, perhaps there is one thing to dislike. As a a result of all this merry-making, I’ve been feeling a little less than stellar. Too much eating out and alcohol coupled with not enough exercise and suddenly I’m more beach ball than beach babe, so September is going to be focused on establishing healthy habits and getting back into routine, which is where my friend kale and other leafy greens are coming to help.
I already eat a lot of leafy greens – kale, spinach, collards, arugula, bok choy – you name it and it’s probably sitting in my fridge right now. But in setting this month’s featured ingredient as leafy greens, I’m also setting an intention, which is to focus on my health again – and while I know that kale won’t save my health, it’s a token of what I want to achieve. There will be a lot of sauteed vegetables, salads, and smoothies but I’m hoping to discover other techniques along the way.
As a former detox/cleanse junkie, I’ll say from the outset that this month is not either one of these things. I’m still going to go out (I’m actually heading out to lunch after this posting) and I’ll enjoy a variety of foods, not only those with unpronounceable names or that have been blended to oblivion or dehydrated but my menu will be decidedly less deep fried and a lot cleaner. The reason for this cleanse and detox aversion is that I find cleanses don’t work and there are many who will agree. Instead I am a firm believer of moderation over deprivation, and deprivation is what I feel when I’m on a cleanse/detox. Temporarily restricting my food intake only makes me covet the foods I shouldn’t eat that much more. Even if I didn’t eat it before the cleanse/detox, once I’m told that I can’t have it, it’s all I can think about. I also feel deprived and eat more of the things I am allowed in order to try and compensate for that feeling, which goes against my goal.
I’ve tried many types of eating plans and gathered interesting insight here and there but find that ultimately, most of them are too restrictive to the point that they’re unsustainable. You can chalk it up to a lack of willpower or what not but it’s true. Instead what I’ve learned is that we should work towards a healthy sustainable lifestyle with more whole foods and vegetables and try to minimize take out/ prepackaged goods. If smoothies and juices happen to work their way into your diet, helping you to get your required daily servings, that’s great but I implore you to reconsider going on any type of crash course detox plan.
In case I haven’t been clear, what I’m talking about are those “get slim quick” type of diets and NOT lifestyle (vegetarianism/veganism) or medically required diets of any sort. Stick to those.
Before I leave you I wanted to write a quick note about smoothies vs. juices. If you’re looking for juicing recipes, unfortunately you won’t find them here because 1) I don’t have a juicer and 2) I prefer smoothies because they keep me feeling full for much longer. There are a lot of debates online about the merits of smoothies and juices, pitting the two against one another and many of these discussions center around fiber, vitamin intake and absorption, and digestibility. I’m not apart of that debate, I’m simply choosing smoothies for preference and convenience. I don’t even have a fancy blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, which most die-hard smoothie-ers (?) swear by, and only have a simple Hamilton Beach that my father-in-law gave me, which gets me by on a day to day basis.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a fantastic Labour Day with their friends and family! Posting should return to normal this week.