How did you lose the weight?
Did you have surgery? Did you take drugs? Are you ON drugs?
I love it when I’m asked, because, I hope, it means someone has noticed, but they don’t always seem to buy my response. Perhaps it’s too simple.
And who could blame one for questioning the ‘less food, more movement’ answer, especially in light of what might seem ample evidence to the contrary. Those frequent photos of decadent meals, jovial happy hours, the occasional exotic hot spot, oh how perfectly high calorie it all looks! A veritable Bacchanalian feast! How could I possibly eat all of THAT, and still lose, or at least maintain, the recent weight loss?
Well, friends, the answers are simple. I don’t eat it all.
I eat a little. The more indulgent the meal, the less I indulge. I pack up at least half of every fete, feast, plate, and bowl, and make that the next day’s lunch, or even a few lunches.
And I’ve learned to maximize the calories I do ingest.
I choose nutrient-dense, high fiber foods with full flavor, and I keep those prepared, ready to grab and reheat from the fridge, because if it’s not there, I’m all the more tempted to stop by that In-and-Out Burger stand just recently opened only blocks from my doorstep when hunger strikes.
Is it all that simple? Did I just start eating clean and moving my body every day, and watch the pounds slip off, never looking back?
I’ll share more about my weight loss over the past year, the pratfalls and pitfalls, the struggles and successes at a later date. But it's Monday. Today, let’s just get practical. Let’s get down to the daily bones.
This combination of superfoods--high fiber lentils and antioxidant-rich spicy curry paste, makes for a hearty side or entrée, and goes the distance (15+ grams per cup, cooked) in helping you reach your recommended intake of fiber for the day.
It’s quick, healthy, and simple.
And simple it best be. Because when I’m hungry, I’m in no mood for…..oh I’m just in no kind of decent mood at all.
Yield: 2 entree, 4 side dishes
1 cup red lentils (or substitute any lentils you have on hand)
1 can coconut milk (approximately 13 ounces)
1-2 T (according to your tolerance for spice) prepared Thai curry paste (or make your own if you're adventurous! I use this recipe.)
2 cups chicken stock (I use low-sodium), vegetable stock, or water.
Combine all ingredients, above, in a heavy, medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a simmer, covering.
Lentils cook quickly, so keep an eye on them, stirring every five minutes or so, as they break down into a type of pulse, called dahl in Indian cuisine. Dahl, or dal, or daal, or dhal, can vary in consistency (and spelling!) from a thick and chunky paste, to a thin stew or soup. Adjust stock or liquid to obtain the consistency you desire. I've added one and a half cups, and cooked over a low simmer for 30 minutes.
Now, is this fancy? No. But it could be. You could add all manner of herb, spice, liquid, and vegetable. You could even add protein in the form of meat, tofu, and/or cheese (I've garnished my bowl with homemade labneh, a Middle Eastern yogurt/cheese that's just a tad tangier, and thicker, than sour cream.) Depending upon the time, talent, and resource of the individual cook, you could make it as fussy as you wanna.
I think I'll keep it simple. It's Monday.