A key ingredient for any diet is preparation, so I researched the meaning behind the Scout motto “Be Prepared”. According to Wikipedia, the Scout Motto means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY (and yes, the word “duty” is in all caps).
–Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
–Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.
I like the second part of this definition in particular. If you don’t have a healthy body, you cannot perform all of the duties that life requires. Let’s face it, people are always busy these days, juggling many different jobs and responsibilities. I often wonder how someone like my sister is able to hold down a successful career while raising three active boys. How can someone with that type of schedule have time to eat properly? Preparation!
It’s so easy to come home after a long day at work and grab the first thing that pops out of the frig. Or swing by the drive thru of a local fast food joint. But if your frig and pantry are well stocked with delicious and healthy options, it becomes much easier (and cheaper) to eat well.
So on Sundays, my only day off, I spend a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing meals and snacks for the week. This is where your crock pot can become your best friend. A chili made with lean beef or turkey and a variety of beans can be a great way to sneak in some veggies if you add bell peppers, onion, celery, whatever you like. Make sure to brown the meat before adding it to the crockpot. The Internet is chock full of chili recipes that can be tweaked to your liking. Top with a little bit of shredded cheddar and chopped avocado and you have something that will stick to your ribs in subzero temperatures. While the chili is cooking, I like to roast veggies in my oven because they are easy to pack for lunch and taste good either warm or at room temperature. You can add them to a salad or use as a side dish. Almost any vegetable would work with any spices that you prefer. Just dice up some squash, eggplant, onion, even cauliflower and broccoli and make sure that it is spread out evenly on a baking sheet being careful not to overcrowd. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over everything and toss around to coat each piece.
Sprinkle some garlic, sea salt, and pepper and then roast on 420 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes. My oven is smaller than a normal oven because it is actually a double oven, so it seems like it gets hotter than it should. For a normal sized oven you may want to crank up the heat to about 450 degrees. While that’s baking, saute some spinach, onions and mushrooms together which can be used throughout the week to make omelets. Buy seasonal fresh fruit in bulk to take advantage of cheaper prices. If you can’t get rid of your sweet tooth, try cutting up an apple and dipping it in Walden Farms zero calorie caramel sauce (I buy it in the Produce section of ShopRite in the Festival). Is it just as good as Broom’s Bloom ice cream? Of course not! But it temporarily solve your sweet craving.
So I supposed that is why the scale is still not being tipped in my favor.
Til next time…