The cat’s out of the bag…I don’t cook!

The cat’s out of the bag…I don’t cook! I eat healthy and balanced meals, but most of the time I don’t do the cooking. Truth be told, I simply do the preparing and the arranging on the plate; for me simple is what’s it’s all about. I’ve said it time and time again, losing weight and maintaining weight loss should not be difficult. This includes not having to create complicated meals. When I was heavy, I used every excuse in the (fat) book to avoid having to go on a diet. If one of your worries, fears, or excuses is that you don’t know how to cook (or don’t have time to cook), I’ve got you covered…

I lost 110 pounds over ten years ago and I’m still going strong. I can assure you it’s not because I’m a whiz in the kitchen. Healthy options are everywhere you go these days: grocery stores, restaurants, fast food joints, even food trucks are serving healthier fare. Eating right and living healthy is BIG business, and food purveyors know it! This lends a helping hand for a guy like me who doesn’t have the knowhow, or the time to make a home cooked meal. I have been able to maintain my weight partly because I know how and where to easily get my healthy eats. Once you have a basic understanding of nutrition, including calories, fats, carbohydrates, etc., I think it’s really more about being prepared than anything else, aside from reigning in your willpower of course. Whether you’re eating at home, or going out, you have to be prepared. (Lots more about everything to do with eating in my upcoming book “Lose Weight, Find Yourself! 6 Steps to Having a Healthy Relationship with Food…Bite by Bite and Pound by Pound.”)

Now I know you’ve been reading my blogs regularly (if you haven’t, then we need to talk), and therefore you know I’m a believer in the art of grocery shopping. Grocery shopping gives you the tools you need to conquer a successful week of eating. (If you had a do-it-yourself home improvement project, wouldn’t you go to the hardware store first to get the necessary supplies?) Planning out your meals, and spending money on those meals, will keep you free from lurking temptations and bad choices. Next time you go grocery shopping, take time to stop by the prepared foods section. Whether you’re at a specialty type store like Whole Foods or a conventional grocery store, you can always find lots and lots of great options in the prepared foods section.

Here’s just a few prepared lunch and dinner ideas to look for: chicken salad, tuna salad, grilled chicken breasts, grilled fish, pasta (preferably whole wheat with veggies, nothing with cream sauce), grilled / steamed / roasted vegetables, sushi (preferably made with brown rice), bean salad, or even a pre-made sandwich…the choices are endless. A warning about prepared foods: beware of hidden ingredients, and remember just because it’s vegetarian or vegan does not mean it’s light! The more preparing the novice cook does at home, the better. By prepping your own meals, you can be in control of the amount of butter, sauce, mayonnaise, and other sneaky ingredients that can add unnecessary fat and calories to your meal. For example, if you’re planning to have a side of mashed potatoes, buy roasted red potatoes that are most likely seasoned and tossed in some olive oil. When mealtime comes around, re-heat the potatoes and mash them yourself.  This way you can add one serving of whipped or light butter, or light sour cream, keeping your calories and saturated fat in check. I assure you if you were to buy premade mashed potatoes, there will be unnecessary amounts of added butter, salt, and even heavy cream. We don’t want anything heavy in our food right now, especially cream.

For the restaurant lovers, here’s a tip: when you go out to a restaurant, do yourself a huge favor by taking a few minutes to review the menu on online. This way you can make smart choices without the added pressure of the server breathing down your neck, or having to pull out your calorie counting app in front of your co-workers or friends. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Furthermore, I find that if you’ve already made up your mind what you’re going to eat, you won’t be tempted to order a more fattening appetizer or entrée as you sit at the table reviewing the menu, salivating over all the extra yummy goodness.

As usual, I hope these little small steps help you make big changes! I invite you to click on the “Work With Me” tab to your left and find out about personal grocery shopping consultations available with me here in NYC. Stay healthy and happy!