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Kitchen Chat and more…
I did it! I said it, I called it a “diet!” One of the most controversial words in the weight loss language. I’m sure you’re more than familiar with the concept that all successful weight loss stems from the statement “It’s NOT a diet, it’s a Lifestyle” and the zillions of experts who say “diets DON’T work!” I’m not exactly sure those folks are right…
Now, before you assume I’m a punitive quack, let me explain the reasons behind my madness. Trust me, it’s not as scary as you might think and it might actually help ease the weight loss process for you and help you get all the way to the golden arches of that healthy lifestyle we all so eagerly await.
There are like six simple definitions of the word diet and it essentially boils down to a group of foods being eaten by a certain group of people. So at the end of the day, we all follow a diet, it’s just that some are inherently healthier than others. No matter how hard you try, you’re always going to need to eat, meaning you’ll always be following a diet. It’s just which diet you choose to follow that matters.
The conception that diets don’t work or the fact that the mere mention of the term “dieting” sends us into mild state of depression stems from an overly restrictive, unsustainable, unsatisfying and often simply unhealthy set of parameters that certain diets dictate.
People do some crazy things to see the scale drop and drop it will. But when a restrictive diet fails to teach you anything new, you’re left with no new skills and no ability to keep the weight off. You go back to your previous lifestyle that got you in trouble in the first place and you’re no better off than you were (potentially worse off depending on how bad the diet was).
At the end of the day, to lose weight, you still have to create a caloric deficit and you need to learn to do something different than you have been doing if you have been maintaining the same weight and/or even gaining for some time. It will also involve a little bit of restriction. It’s true that you can “have your cake and be skinny too,” but you just can’t have ALL the cake 😉
All that said, here are the three components of the best diet for weight loss:
Here’s the best part! When you pick a “diet” for weight loss that has the three components above, you will seamlessly transition into this new “healthy lifestyle” that is like an upgraded version of your weight loss diet. You can still follow the core principles of your weight loss diet, but you get to sprinkle in more indulgences because creating a caloric deficit is no longer important. And maintaining your weight is easy because you’re not eating more food than your body needs. The lifestyle is the way you ultimately live life. Your “diet” teaches you how to make it healthier.
The best weight loss diet is one that rooted in balanced nutrition but does involved some restriction. But you don’t have to do it forever. When you pick a diet that is healthy at the core, it’s like a “bootcamp” for what the rest of your life will look like. But rest assure that once the weight is gone, you’ll get to loosen the reins a little bit and let loose a little more often.
When and if weight starts to creep back on, then you go back on your “diet” for a bit until you’re back in the body you love. It’s not an all-or-nothing approach, it’s just a small shift of gears until you get back on track.
This post is essentially the root of how and why I created the Clean & Colorful Solution and why we opened the Clean & Colorful Kitchen in San Diego. The fundaments, which I call the 4 Universal Diet Truths, are things anybody can do forever. You will feel better when you do these things and they support a healthy body:
That’s the lifestyle, but learning to do it requires some education and that’s why I have a 28-day meal plan, recipe guide, workout plan, grocery guide and more. After the 28-days, you’re locked and loaded with so many new skills to incorporate into your lifestyle, you’ll have a hard time picking the ones you want to stick!
I could write an entirely separate post on detoxing in 2017…the good, bad, dangerous and glorious. Bottom line: not all detoxes are created equal. Some are as bad as the most notorious of “diets” from the 80s and some are an awesome way to boost your body with high quality micro and macro nutrition that can leave you feeling amazing.
Of course our Clean & Colorful 3-Day Detox Kits (select detox at the top menu to see variations) are awesome and we created them with the same philosophy as the full 28-Day Program. It’s restrictive in that you’re boosting your body with only high quality plant power, but nourishing enough as it contains juices, smoothies and soups so you’re packed full of fiber, protein and healthy fat. When you’re done, you’re left with an arsenal of recipes and good habits you can use in your forever-healthy-lifestyle.
Healthy eating is not always easy, I mean obviously. If it was, we wouldn’t be struggling with the obesity and lifestyle disease rates we’re seeing today, right? Depending on your lifestyle, there can be a variety of barriers. In my two decades of experience, it generally boils down to one of these I’ve listed below. Can you, or do you know someone who can relate?
There are other less common ones too, but I’d say those make up the majority of reasons we don’t eat better on a regular basis. And trust me, I can relate to all of them. I grew up on Skittles, Captain Crunch Berries and Tuna Casserole. These were the perks of being raised by a single dad who was truly awesome, but our diet quality was not the priority. Over time, I’ve overcome them all (most of the time) and I’m truly passionate about helping others do the same because I believe so strongly in the power of food. My goal is to provide solutions to all barriers to healthy eating.
This is why I came up with the Clean & Colorful Solution because it was something everybody could do and with the right support (and of course motivation), all these barriers can be overcome. Today’s topic is near and dear to my heart because I have lived on a budget nearly my entire life. And even if I was showering in cash, I’d still be a bargain shopper, it’s in my DNA 😉
Of course where you live and shop will impact the total cost of these items and shopping in season also helps keep cost low on produce. But generally speaking, these are your winners because not only are they inexpensive and full of quality nutrition, these are truly some of the most versatile foods. These are all staples in my house and I geek out all the time over how many awesome, nutritionally dense meals you can get out of these winners.
I truly feel bad for Paleos because they don’t get to incorporate these beauties into their diet. They are a protein from the earth (plant based) and full of fiber and other minerals like calcium, potassium, and folic acid. It will vary per type, but on average a 1/3 cup serving has about 80 calories and 5g of both protein and fiber.
When you buy them by the can, they are like a buck for 3.5 servings. When you buy them by the bag and boil them yourself, they are like a buck for 14 servings! Plus they taste better, have less sodium, less anti-nutrients and freeze like champions. I use beans in every salad, hearty bowl, omelet and even brownies!
Eggs are great because they last forever (well, like a month), are a great source of protein (6g for less than 80 calories for a whole egg) and also have important vitamins like Vitamin D and B12 and are staples in many recipes.
The Fat Burning Veggie Scramble is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. You can pack in all five colors easily and stay full well into the late morning. You can also hard boil them to have them on hand as awesome, portable, nutrient dense snacks.
Bananas are filled with fiber and of course potassium and have about 100 calories making them a great addition to breakfast or as a grab-and-go snack. They will vary in price depending where and when you buy them, but generally they are less than a $1 per pound.
I love them fresh to put on top of toast with peanut butter, in optimized oatmeal and as the base to my all-time favorite healthy dessert. If they are past their prime, you can peel then and freeze them for smoothies making them a safe produce investment knowing they will never go to waste.
Even though the cauliflower lacks the vibrant color of many of it’s counterparts, don’t let that fool you. It is a nutrient power house! An entire head can run as low as a buck and have only 145 calories with 12g of fiber and 11g of protein! It also houses key nutrients like Potassium, Iron, Magnesium and Vitamins B6 and C.
I like to call cauliflower the chicken of vegetables because it will do whatever you tell it to. You can chop it up to mimic rice, mash it into look like mashed potatoes, boil and blend as a base for many creamy/cheesey sauces and even flatten it out into pizza crust.
If you judge veggies by their color like I do, then you know these guys are good for you. Regular white potatoes aren’t all that bad (when they aren’t buried under cheese, bacon, butter and sour cream), but sweet potatoes win the nutrition war because their vibrant orange color comes from Beta Carotene, making them a very good source of Vitamin A.
Sweet Potatoes will cost you less than a buck per pound and make an awesome side dish to French Toast for breakfast in lieu of hash browns when roasted. They are also delicious mashed, cut up and baked as “fries” and tossed in the crockpot for vegan or turkey chili.
I like celery for a few reasons. It’s not something anybody craves or is really stoked to eat, but it’s essentially a zero calorie food (one cup has about 16 calories) with a few important nutrients like Potassium, Vitamin A and C. It provides a ton of water and crunch making it incredibly satisfying and a good craving kicker. An entire stalk/bunch is usually about a dollar or two and will last quite some time once washed and stored in the refrigerator.
Because it contains so much water, it’s a great staple ingredient for Basic Green Juice and makes a simple snack. It’s a great replacement to processed, calorically dense and nutritionally inefficient chips or crackers. You can also use it to add bulk, texture and flavor to tuna salad and save yourself from being buried under too much mayo or sour cream.
Carrots, like their orange sister the Sweet Potato are also a great source of beta carotene, making them an amazingly dense source of Vitamin A. One cup has 50 calories and about 4 grams of fiber and cost less than .70 per pound. Baby carrots are higher in sugar than the larger ones Bugs Bunny eats, however I don’t know of anybody whoever became overweight from overconsumption of baby carrots.
Carrots, similar to celery make great, simple grab and go snacks that provide a ton of crunch and water. They are an excellent vehicle to deliver yummy dips like hummus to your mouth without an inefficient chip or cracker. The Italian Carrot Salad is one of my all time favorites and is perfect for these warm Summer months.
Dry oats should be a staple in everybody’s pantry, and not the little microwaveable ones with added sugar. The giant, cheap cardboard canister of plain old quick oats will do perfectly. You can grind them up to make oat flour and use in lieu of refined white flour and will deliver 4x the fiber and double the protein and a few bits of bonus iron as well. Oats should run you about a buck per pound, they last forever and are good for so much more than oatmeal in the morning.
In addition to power packed hot oatmeal, try this overnight oats recipe to maximize your time in the kitchen and have an awesome grab and go quality breakfast in the morning. I also use oats in pancakes and as an incredibly satiating ingredient in my favorite fat burning smoothie recipes.
Canned tuna in general is a bargain, but when on sale, you can get it for like $1 for a 5 oz can. In that tiny 5 oz can (when packed in water) you’ll get about 200 calories and 40g protein. This is hands down the most affordable source of animal protein. Tuna is also low fat, yet a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and comes with a good bout of Iron, Phosphorus, Niacin, Selenium as well as Vitamins B6 and B12.
The shelf life of a can of tuna is 2-5 years making it virtually impossible to waste and great to have on hand all-the-time! In addition to being the main staple in that Tuna Casserole I grew up on (thanks dad!), you can used canned tuna in salads and sandwiches. It is awesome runner fuel when paired with white beans and wrapped up in this satisfying lunch!
There you have it! If these foods are not staples in your pantry they should be. They are certianly all staple in our Clean & Colorful pantry along with nearly 100 other health boosting foods. We are smart and savvy when it comes to selecting the best foods for our customers so we can keep our prices reasonable and still deliver healthy, delicious food that helps you look and feel great. If you haven’t already, place your order from our Kitchen today, you can subscribe and save and get 5 meals delivered to your door weekly for just $70!
Is there a different finance friendly healthy food you love that I’ve not listed here? Share it in the comments!