Embrace Simplicity

If I haven’t mentioned, I really like to cook. Creating delicious food is absolutely one of the most exciting parts of my life. I’m constantly experimenting in the kitchen, in fact, I’m practically in there from the time I get home from work until I go to bed. Many times, dinner is new and exciting, and sometimes is a real work of art!

Lunch is a different story altogether. As much as I enjoy trying out new recipes and expanding my culinary horizons, I’m a simpleton at lunchtime. You can almost always assume my lunch will consist of protein (many times in bean form), fruit, and always, ALWAYS a salad (usually of gigantic proportions). I know, BORING, right? Example of boring below: a week of lunches in a row.

Yum! Sometimes boring is best, and food doesn’t have to be fancy to taste good. When I was studying to be a journalist (that didn’t last long), I learned the commonly used acronym KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid, which happens to apply as equally to food as it does to writing news stories. Isn’t it nice to know that eating healthfully doesn’t have to be complicated? It doesn’t get much easier than tossing some chopped tomato and cucumber with spinach, does it? Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and bask in simple salad scrumptuosity. Dump a bag of dry beans, a small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, serrano pepper, and salt in your crock pot before bed and have a week’s worth of beans ready to go in the morning. A healthy lifestyle is not sustainable or realistic if food preparation is consistently time-consuming and inconvenient. Embrace simplicity!

Even more important than simplicity of preparation is simplicity of ingredients: the fewer, the better. This is the Skinnyfat mantra, really. Less is more. Eat food how it came out of the ground or off of the tree or vine. Though it’s convenient to drive to the nearest McDonalds and pick up a quick lunch, there is absolutely nothing simple about a Big Mac. Here is the ingredient list for the Big Mac bun from the McDonald’s nutrition site:

Big Mac® Bun: Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide, soy flour), calcium propionate and sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin, sesame seed.

Let me stress: that’s just the bun. Do you even know what half of that stuff IS?? And if not, why in the world would you want to put it in your body? What’s more, the few recognizable ingredients such as enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and soybean oil offer no nutritional value whatsoever. Nada. Zip, zero, zilch. Empty calories. The only thing your body will do with those ingredients is turn them into fat.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share the ingredients I use when making bread:

Flour, water, yeast, honey, salt.

That’s 5 ingredients compared to McDonald’s 34. Unfortunately, the majority of us are programmed to actually prefer fatty, sugary, processed foods over natural foods. Learn to enjoy the taste of whole foods. Tastes change with time, believe me, I used to HATE salad! I didn’t start eating salad until probably 2 or 3 years ago, but now I’m an addict. Once your palate is accustomed to food in its natural state, the way it was meant to be eaten, processed foods filled with chemicals, additives, and preservatives will become nearly inedible. Eating should be a pleasurable AND healthy experience, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Train your taste buds to recognize and adore real food and healthy living will be a delight.

Embrace Simplicity!

~Becky, a skinnyfat girl keeping it simple, stupid.

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