A quick, easy, healthy and CHEAP pineapple treat
Let's be real. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to go on dangerous fad diets, get yelled at by a personal coach "the Biggest Loser" style, or buy expensive workout equipment to keep from turning into a blob (or for that matter, to shrink from blob size back down to regular size.)
Getting healthy, just like many things in life, is all about common sense and small steps. In the movie "What About Bob?" neurotic psychotherapy patient Bob (played by Bill Murray) takes the baby steps concept to the ridiculous extreme. Baby steps through the office. Baby steps out the door.
Hey, it's true. Small, reasonable changes can add up over the long run, leading to weight loss. It's the best way to lose weight and keep it off, and a tactic that is recommended by the experts. Here's a quote from mayoclinic.com:
Baby steps to the supermarket. Baby steps picking out healthy foods, and baby steps replacing junk with delicious, healthy grinds.
A mindblowingly good meal
For this recipe, which makes a great quick breakfast or lunch, you'll need only three things:
- A thing of cottage cheese
- A can of pineapples
- A thing of blueberries, or a pack of dried blueberries
That'll cost you less than $5 at the grocery store, and you'll probably be able to use the ingredients to make two meals. That's $2.50 a meal. Not bad, eh?
Wait until you taste it. The citrus zing of the pineapples are perfectly offset by the chunks of cottage cheese. The blueberries sweeten the deal. I used a pack of dried blueberries, but you can also go fresh if you want. I find that the low fat cottage cheese tastes about the same as the regular kind, so I go ahead and use that to cut down the calories.
Oh yeah, and here's how you make it: plop it all together in the cottage cheese bowl. That's it.
You don't have to be rich to lose weight. You don't have to be a master chef, either. And you don't have to be a food nerd.
Here's one good general point to keep in mind: the less processed the food that you're eating is, the better.
Technically these pineapples are "processed" in that they are put into a can. Many fruits are shoved into cans that contain sugary goop. Stay away from those. But these pineapples are okay because the sauce is 100% pineapple juice. So, it's all good.
Unlike most other diet plans, the rules I follow are flexible. With any luck, the "just use your brain" diet will catch on, blow all the other scams out of the water and go global.
The evils of processed food
If what you're eating grows on trees, bushes, or in the ground, whatever... generally it's going to be much better for you compared to a food that is mushed around in a factory beforehand, pressed into TV dinners, broken down with enzymes, etc.
Eating factory food is like outsourcing your stomach.
When humans were evolving, we didn't have machines to grind up our food for us.
If you consider what goes on inside of a food processing operation, it's almost like these factories are serving the same function as mother hens. In much the same way that hens gnaw up worms and feed the ground up bits to baby chickens, giant factories grind up our food and then plop that slop into packages or squeeze it onto conveyor belts, so that other machines can then mold it into sausages, string it into Twizzlers, or pump a donut full of cream. We're attracted to this trashy stuff because the human body is lazy. It doesn't want to do all of that digesting and gnawing.
Eating factory goop is gross, when you think about it. But there is an entire industry built up around pushing this stuff down our throats, and not enough people around willing to speak up against it.
How processed food took over
On the other side of the coin, we have... ATOMIC FOOD ™
I call food that is normally used as ingredients ATOMIC FOOD because these are the elemental foods that we use to make other food products. But also, I like the sound of it. It makes it sound as if what you are going to eat will give you super powers. That isn't exactly true, of course, but then again it kind of is. Having more energy, concentration and focus definitely gives you an extra kick.
According to the USDA, processed food is:
“Any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling.”
Preparing food makes the food easier for the body process-- which is why foods that are cooked, boiled, ground up or prepared in some way usually taste better because the body is able to process them quickly without having to break anything down.
If you're getting started with your weight loss plan, go ahead and eat only unprocessed, ATOMIC foods for a while. Stay away from predigested goop.
More diet stuff
Lots of little snacks all day: it doesn't work!
I'd like to officially announce the death of the annoying "many little healthy meals" diet. Right here. Right now.
Treat this delicious, protein packed dairy and fruit combo like the full meal it is. Don't make a little snack out of it, please.
In the early 2000s, a charismatic guru named Bill Phillips tried to apply a "lots of little is a lot of good" philosophy to meal planning. His book, called "Body for Life" went big and after that, people in offices everywhere were noisily opening up funky smelling tuna packs, cracking open crinkly bags of chips and scratching around in Triscuit boxes all day long.
Small meals. Baby steps. More eating. Weight loss. Losing weight.
Nope! Everyone kept getting fatter.
As it turns out, the many small meal philosophy was all wrong. Check out this very well researched article from the Chicago Tribune. Here are the basic points:
- Snacking all day does not improve metabolism
- Snacking all day does not curb appetite (it encourages overeating)
- Snacking all day does not help diabetes
- Snacking all day does not help build muscle mass
All of those points are backed up by studies that you can research yourself by checking out the article.
The big secret: BE NORMAL
The key to healthy eating is to eat foods that are not processed. Unprocessed foods are not melted, twisted into strings, calcified, crunched, baked, boiled, strangled, liquefied, blended up, or doused in chemicals. In other words: they are NORMAL foods.
Healthy dieting involves eating three (not 10) meals per day. In other words, the NORMAL amount of meals. Losing weight also involves something fairly ordinary: math. Take in less calories than you burn, and bingo. Your mass decreases.
Remember: just because everyone is doing something weird, doesn't make it not weird. Don't pay too much attention to what everyone else is doing. There's an obesity epidemic sweeping the US and the world. Why would you do what everyone else does, then? It's like jumping off the bridge because your friends are doing it.
When it comes to diet, what everyone else is doing is wrong. No doubt about it.
So, stick to what is reasonable, use your head, and you'll find those extra pounds melting right off of your body.