My Inspiration - Mindfulness
What do I mean by mindfulness? When it comes to my intake of fuel (food) it is about taking the time to prepare an attractive and nutritious meal, sitting down and being aware of what I am putting into my body. This has helped to eliminate the mindless eating that I have done for many years. What a difference this has made in my efforts to live well.
As a first step in learning to be mindful, I made a commitment to climb out of my rut and improve my experience of eating. I was in a HUGE rut with my Weight Management Program – eating on the go and eating the same thing over and over again. My personal commitment began with a challenge to create unique, tasty, attractive and healthy meals using Health One Meal Replacement. Like many of you, I do not have a professional culinary or dietary background. But I had prepared healthy meals for my sons as they were growing up; and, I do enjoy cooking. So with the knowledge I had, I began looking at recipes and photos of food. Then I started to experiment. This is where the fun began!
Some of the steps I take before beginning to create a new recipe:
- Find an existing recipe that might be converted successfully.
- Ask some questions before you begin. Questions like:
- What is the base ingredient that may be replaced by HOMR?
- Does this recipe require leavening?
- Does this recipe require thickening?
- Will the recipe require additional sweetening?
- Take the recipe and go down the list of ingredients.
- Keep a list of additives and their calories for a quick reference. You may visit my blog No Longer a Grim Girl for a list of low or no calorie additives that I use on a regular basis. www.CalorieKing.com is also a wonderful reference that I use.
- Identify ingredients that must be substituted to not exceed the allowable additive calories. My goal is to keep additives at 80 calories or less. The lower the better without sacrificing taste.
- Learn the role of various additives. Some examples are:
i. Gelatin and pudding thicken.
ii. Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Eggs or Baking Mixes that include yeast provide leavening.
iii. Pudding, fat-free cream cheese or sour cream provides moisture.
Now it’s time to begin to experiment. The quantity that you make will most likely be your biggest challenge initially. If you’re like me, I was used to cooking in family sized quantities; and, I took family size portions. The change to “cooking small” takes some thought and practice.
Here are the steps I take when I begin to cook an experimental recipe:
- Document EVERYTHING! If it is a success, you will be able to make the recipe again and again.
- Ingredients – make a list.
- Quantities – measure them exactly! I have a little measuring cup that measures by tablespoon and teaspoon.
- Steps – what you do first, second…
- Baking temperature, baking time or refrigeration time
Presentation – Make it pretty – YOU deserve it!
- Serve food on a small plate – like a salad plate. Your plate will be full and give the illusion of more.
- Color – one thing my mother taught me was to always have some color on your plate – some green beans or a few strawberries. If you’ve visited my blog, you’ve seen that I’ve even put edible flowers on a plate to add some color.
- Set the table. Whether you are eating on a kitchen stool at your breakfast bar or at the table, make it look nice. Use a placement and a napkin.
You’re probably saying. “That’s great for you, but I don’t have the time to do all of that.” You don’t have to come up with great recipes on your own. The Health OneMeal Replacement facebook page and my blog have a lot of fun recipes. And, please know that these more involved recipes do not make up all of my meals. I still have my quick and easy favorite recipes that I make up in quantity for breakfast or lunch. And I have multiple shakes during the week. But at least three times a week I treat myself to a sit-down meal that is special.
My hope is that you will share my inspiration to become more mindful while learning to live a healthy and happy life.
No Longer a Grim Girl