For far too long we have been influenced by weight loss and diet regimes that profligate the idea that we should prohibit foods we love. First fat was bad, then sugar, now we are being overloaded with messages that tell us we should be eating mainly fruit and vegetables and juicing everything to lose weight! No wonder we are so lost. Every aisle of the supermarket is filled with all sorts of diet foods, and diet versions of our favourite foods. They have even now developed a 'low-fat cream' - isn't this an oxymoron?!
I love living and eating in Dublin, Ireland. However, while I was on holiday last year- a two week cruise around the Adriatic- I discovered that unwittingly I had ended up in a pseudo-science experiment for the taste buds. We were travelling on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, a cruise with an illustrious past, favoured by the British Royalty no less- five star all the way! There was fancy fine dining with silver service and we were required to get all dressed up in our glad rags for the evening meal. It was truly magical.
A diet filled with quality food
However very quickly I noticed something inescapable, the food on-board- which was beautifully prepared and presented- couldn't hold a candle to the simple fare we were eating on the islands and inlets we stopped into each day. The fresh food simply **TASTED BETTER**. It was fresh, less salty, bursting with flavour, simple, uncomplicated and so fabulously filling.
While this is something I have been an advocate of for a long time- good quality ingredients and fresh produce (the ultimate key to achieve weight loss) - the contrast in our daily fare was so striking that it left a lasting impression. I still remember the mouth-watering simple Greek salad we enjoyed in a tiny little restaurant in Crete (see the recipe below).
Now I am not suggesting that we all hop on the first plane to Greece, considering the country's financial climate it's probably not the best idea right now. However the message is simple:
EAT WELL- and you will eat less!
Do your very best to eat good quality ingredients- you will taste the difference and as a result YOU WILL EAT LESS because tasty food is packed with flavour! Weight loss will be a joyous consequence.
I think this really counts with vegetables and fruit. Always, where you can, buy organic. I order from the organic supermarket and they deliver to my door. I get a MASSIVE box of fruit and vegetables which are in season and so taste delicious! This box costs 20 euro (including delivery) and consists of the bulk of my food shop for the week! Buying organic doesn't have to cost the earth. We should aim to eat less, waste less and eat well.
Enjoying our food is the key to developing a healthier relationship with food.
This goes for sweet things too- you are MUCH BETTER OFF spending 3 euro on a 100 gram bar of delicious, organic fair-trade chocolate than you are buying a mars bar or a multi-pack of bars for the same price. You will eat less and savour the delicious flavour- win win- right?
- Know your food budget and make it count.
- Remember if it tastes amazing you will need less of it to feel full as you savour each mouthful!!
Time and again it is recognised that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest for us- those who eat this diet, on average live longer and are healthier. The bonus is that the Mediterranean diet is so yummy!
So, I've included an amazing recipe below. Check it out, eat it, savour it, and enjoy every bite! If you are looking for more support in your weight loss journey- drop me a line and I will respond from my psychotherapy office in Dublin, Ireland!
Mouth-Watering Greek Salad:
· Roughly slice a couple of deliciously ripe tomatoes per person.
· Roughly chop half a cucumber.
· Peel and thinly slice a red onion.
· Add Kalamata (black) olives.
· 200g of feta cheese- cut into thick slices or go authentic and leave it as one big slab on top of the salad!
· Add half a thinly sliced green pepper.
· Most people use dried oregano, but it is much better with fresh- Scatter either over the salad.
· Add a splash of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
· Optional- add a squeeze of lemon.
· Sprinkle with some sea salt flakes.
· Toss together and pile on to a small dish and ENJOY!!!
Make sure the tomatoes are really ripe and juicy- this is key! Also the cucumber should be chilled and from the fridge, resist the desire to peel it. This salad must be served cold to be truly refreshing.
Remember if you are looking for more support in you weight loss journey get in touch!
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