Eating Like an Olympian for Weight Loss Success

Sure, the commercial says they will eat like Olympians at McDonald’s, but I assure you most Olympic hopefuls don’t hangout at fast food restaurants.

True, they can eat a lot of calories…and need to…because they burn off so many with their hours of physical activity, but to achieve and maintain their lean look they still have to eat foods that are healthy for them and support their body and mind.

In our efforts to achieve and maintain our weight loss success we too must eat foods that support our body and mind. That doesn’t mean we deprive ourselves of all our favorite foods. On the contrary putting foods we love on a “bad” list does not help us reach our goals–and can actually hinder our success. While the athletes don’t hang out at McD’s it doesn’t mean they NEVER eat there if that is food they really like.

You can also eat any food that you really like…moderation is more important than a strict, all-or-nothing attitude about food. And whether we are working at losing 10 pounds or 110 eating a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats keeps our bodies functioning best, our minds sharp and reduces our cravings for less healthy treats.

Eating to lose weight doesn’t have you have to reduce your menu to a short list of foods. That could get boring really quickly…another sure fire way to fall off the wagon. It also doesn’t mean you have to buy foods that are billed as “low fat” or foods with little taste…or tastes you don’t like.

It might take a little more effort to shop for healthy foods and prepare them…especially if you are used to finding your food at the drive-through…but if you want your Olympic dream then you do have to pay a small price.

For this month, experiment with at least one new food that you can prepare quickly and healthily. Our goal is not to spend our lives in the kitchen…so what can we do that is quick and easy, that tastes good and fuels our body.

I had seen kale in the market for years and never knew what to do with it…it was an unfamiliar vegetable to me. I knew it had a lot of nutrients in it…and one of the benefits of trying new foods is the more varied your diet is the wider range of nutrients you get. So I bought some…and beauty of the internet I Googled how to cook kale and found several recipes.

Here’s one that I adapted that is healthy and easy and quick–it only takes about 15 minutes total to prepare!

Steamed Kale

Kale: about 1-2 pounds…if you are making it for your family and have another vegetable or salad, buy a pound…or make more kale and no salad.
Extra virgin olive oil about 1 tablespoon
Garlic–you can use fresh…and I love fresh garlic, but if you want to save time have a jar or crushed or minced garlic in the frig and use it. About 1/2 tablespoon crushed from a jar…for fresh try 1 large clove.
Lemon juice–again, you can squeeze fresh lemon juice, but for the time-challenged look at pure lemon juice in a bottle. Just make sure it is 100% juice…no lemonade, k? About 1 tablespoon…I squeezed 1/8 of a large lemon

The amount of the oil, garlic and lemon juice will vary depending on your taste and how much kale you prepare.

Put approx 2 inches of water in a pot that has a good lid. For healthiest results, use a steamer. Get the water boiling.

While the water is heating up cut up the kale…including the stems. It will look like a lot, but it cooks down significantly, so definitely cut up more than you think you will be able to eat…if you make too much, not to worry you can reheat left-overs or put them into an omelette!

Once the water is boiling, add the kale to the pot and put the lid on.

Steam the kale for about 5-7 minutes depending on your taste. In general, foods hold more nutritional value with less cooking.

While the kale is steaming, get a small bowl and mix the olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.

Once the kale is done, drain it and pour the olive oil mixture over the kale, tossing or stirring the kale.

Serve warm.

I also tried another vegetable this month for the first time–kohlrabi. I was visiting my mother and she said her father used to grow kohlrabi in his garden, so we bought some. I told her I didn’t know how to prepare it…she said they always ate it raw! Hard to beat raw vegetables for quick and easy…peel it and enjoy. It was quite good! Kohlrabi is a relative of the cabbage…but looks and tastes nothing like cabbage.

I also found some recipes online which I haven’t tried yet…but if you want to experiment with cooking kohlrabi, again do a Google search. When you find a recipe you like, be sure to share it here…here’s one again featuring olive oil and garlic that takes little time to prepare and cooks in the oven so you can be doing other things: Roasted Kohlrabi

Another kohlrabi recipe that sounds yummy…but takes more time…is to make a coleslaw out of it, this has cream, but a much healthier version than pretty much any store bought coleslaw: Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw

So whether you pick kohlrabi or kale or another vegetable, winter is a great time to experiment with vegetables. To achieve our weight loss goals we want to have the majority of our complex carbohydrates come in the form of vegetables and fruits…and since many of our most familiar staples are either not available or are flown in from South America at this time of year it is time to ranch out a little. You may find a new favorite…or at least add a little variety to your meals…and variety does make it easier to adhere to a healthy eating plan which is important for weight loss success!

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