Throughout this past fall and winter, my husband Luis and I have been experimenting with food. Not experimenting as in “Let’s try all kinds of insane new recipes!” But experimenting as in “Let’s try something new because we’re getting bored eating the same thing every day.”
Our experimentation didn’t stem from a lack of motivation on our part. Au contraire! We like trying new food, and Luis loves making up new recipes. Instead, we were just too busy to cook something fresh and ingenious for dinner every night. By the time we got home from work, we were exhausted and hungry, and all we wanted to do was eat. We needed something simple and filling, and our ideas ran the gamut, trying to figure out what it was.
For a while it was those microwaveable packages of Uncle Ben’s rice. We’d go to the grocery store and get enough packages to last us a full week. In addition to splitting an Uncle Ben’s packet every night, we’d also have bland cooked turkey.
Unsurprisingly, we quickly grew sick of eating so much rice and turkey. So we switched it up to a more enticing dish: rice, stir-fry and turkey/beef/chicken. Every night, we ate the same combination for dinner. It was loads better than our previous mealtime go-to. Not only were there (frozen) veggies on our plates, but we’d also added some variety by occasionally throwing in beef and chicken.
Fast forward a few months and we were tired of seeing mushy rice, vegetables and gray-looking meat on our plates. It was around this time that Luis discovered The Diet Cure, a book by Julia Ross. Instead of highlighting calorie counting and a specific diet regimen, the book discusses the significance of amino acids, avoiding stress eating and how a low-calorie diet is tied to mood problems.
Ever since encountering The Diet Cure, Luis has worked to improve our overall eating habits. Rather than eating rice and turkey every day, we’ve started experimenting with different recipes. We cook chicken and potatoes in a crockpot. We eat kale or spinach for lunch and dinner. We’ve amped up our intake of beans, cottage cheese, bananas and celery.
Instead of our shopping cart being overfilled with carbohydrates and frozen vegetables, our cart looks a little more like this:
The change has not only been good for my physical health, but also for my overall wellbeing. Here are three major changes I’ve noticed:
- I’ve started to look forward to meals. Rather than dreading the usual rice and meat dinner, I’ve found I’m actually excited to eat every afternoon and evening. I’m not just eating to get sustenance and feel full — I’m also eating to enjoy my meal.
- I’m not as tired. On the old nutrition plan, I was feeling constantly tired and exhausted. But now that I’m eating more balanced meals, I’m not as sleepy and lethargic all the time.
- I’m not as hungry between meals. I won’t deny that I love snacking. But before, I was hungry even after I ate dinner. Now, I’m getting more protein and I’m not craving unhealthy snacks (like excessive amounts of chocolate and peanut butter) after dinner.
Luis and I used The Diet Cure to revamp our eating routine. We carved extra time out of our schedules to ensure we could make healthy — but still fairly simple — meals. If you’re feeling as tired of your same old meal as we were, consider ways to rethink your eating habits and maybe picking up a copy of Ross’ book.