Hey Gorgeous -
I have a confession to make. I'm having a love affair. We're still in the early "dating" stages, but so far it's delicious. Taking it slow, because I want this relationship to last. My husband actually knows all about it and supports it, because he's starting to see the benefits :-).
My new boo's name is H.C. - that's short for "home cooking." The reason this love affair is working is because I'm making time for him despite my crazy multi-tasking life. As with all lasting relationships, I give him quality time. The time (no matter how small) that I set aside is devoted to him and him alone.
I give him time because now I understand how important it is to have him in my life. Now I understand that when H.C. is present, I look better, feel better and can be better for all of those I love.
I'm realizing that the more time I spend with H.C., the more time I actually want to spend with him. He's kind of infectious that way =). I see the benefits not only just for me, but for my family, which makes our relationship all the more important.
You may be curious how I began this love affair. Well, I heard about him. I mean, he's pretty popular in the healthy lifestyle world. The problem was that I pretty much had an organ reject to him - like a BIG organ reject. My mother certainly provided well rounded "healthy" meals (of the time), but candidly, she's a not a big H.C. fan either. I didn't grow up around a passion or love for cooking, and I've just never been one of those people who "likes to cook."
I started by looking at my talk. The word says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." - Proverbs 18:21. So true. First things first, I stopped saying, "I don't like to cook," "I don't know how to cook," and "I don't have time to cook." Those phrases are just straight-up offensive and disrespectful to H.C. and are certainly not "speaking life." Instead, I started to find strategies and simple ways to spend quality time to kick-off our romance as we continue to explore and get to know one another.
Here are a few of my strategies:
1) Making a Spiritual Connection
The word says in Corinthians 10:31 -
"Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God."
I believe that H.C. can fit in there as well. Whether you eat, drink (or cook), do all to the glory of God =). When you truly connect with and take responsibility for your temple, you begin to connect with the fact that your body is 100% naturally made by God.
God also gave you an abundant buffet of 100% natural yummy goodness to fuel your body optimally - to give you the energy, creativity and confidence to do all that He has called you to do. The win win is when you connect your spiritual walk with your whole body health journey to truly release the power of transformational change in your life.
Having H.C. in your life is an act of gratitude, self-love and loving those you share H.C. with. Don't let the "Big Food" Industry fool you with "shiny", convenient, lab created and nutrition-poor foods at subsidized bargain prices. It's these man-made and processed foods that are fueling the obesity epidemic. Yes - it does take effort and quality time to make your relationship with H.C. work, but it's all worth it.
Begin your romance by making a CHOICE and a commitment. Connect with your Big Bold Why. Why is it important for you to be in better whole body health? Make the connection that when you cook and prepare food at home and eat label-free food from God's buffet, not only is it healthier with fewer calories (ding ding ding - weight release!), it is also a spiritually infused act of putting your temple in a ready position to do and be all that God has planned for your life.
2) Power Up Your Produce
I begin each week with a basket and refrigerator full of produce to play with. Whether I roast, bake, steam or smoothie, I always have options to plate or to snack on. I have my staple fruits and veggies, but then stay open to what's on sale or is calling my name. It brings me joy when I see the colors of the rainbow on the plate that's in front of me. Strive for the 5 colors every day - green, red, orange-yellow, blue-purple and white-tan.
3) Cook Once - Eat Twice!
I love this familiar mantra and the Ben Franklin quote:
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Some basic planning keeps my relationship with H.C. on track. And when I say basic - I mean BASIC. If I leave it to chance, our relationship will suffer along with the state of my health. I'm still growing in my goal to have a weekly practice (planning for the week ahead), but for now I am happy with planning for the day before. I call it a "10 Minute Take-Off." 10 minutes before you go to bed, write down your plan for your meals and snacks for the next day. And if there's any prep you need to do - get it done, so eating the next day is effortless, efficient and enjoyable!
When you batch cook for multiple days then you're ahead of the game. I will roast two pans of roasted vegetables and eat and snack on them throughout the week. Cook a double batch of brown rice or quinoa - eat some, stores some and freeze some for future use.
And there's nothing like a one-pot meal soup, stir-fry or stew that you can eat, store and freeze for the future.
4) Excuse Proof Your Eating
Keeping your freezer full of fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to excuse proof your eating and spend some quickee time with H.C. Whether it is organic beans or broccoli or fruit for a smoothie or a leftover that stored. There's never a reason why there isn't something healthy for us to eat in the house. My fridge, freezer and shelves are always stocked with a clean eating choices.
5) Keep it Spicy!
I personally don't enjoy "hot" spices, but my relationship with H.C. is certainly spicy. Turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon, cumin, sea salt, Italian Seasonings, herbs, international flavors, you name it. It's all about experimenting with the flavors you love to change things up and add variety to the same protein or vegetable.
6) Use the World's Largest FREE Cookbook
If you don't know how to get started, start with Google. Great search words are "simple", "healthy," "sugar free", "clean" and even "vegan." Whatever food you have in the house (chicken, beans, carrots, onions, etc.), there is a new adventure that you and H.C. can try.
There are of course days when I don't feel like being bothered and the thought of home cooking really gets on my nerves. But all in all so far so good. I'm building this relationship to last a lifetime. And I do believe, with God's help and with really connecting with the benefits and how H.C. makes me feel, we're going to make it for the long haul.
I encourage you to spend some time with my guy tonight. I think you will find the benefits, too. Gotta run! H.C. and I have a date tonight =)!
Blessings & XO!