A diet is defined as the kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats. “It’s a lifestyle,” is what my mom always corrects me with. A diet isn’t necessarily only eating foods that are considered healthy, it is a food plan that should be monitored closely. Personally, I go through weeks of eating the same foods: turkey and cheese sandwiches, kale salads, Goldfish, Cape Cod Chips, and cereal. I do love to cook, but I’m also a busy student, employee, friend and daughter. I usually take the easy way out when the clock hits seven p.m., but it is important to keep an eye on your body and notice it’s changes.
By the fifth week of buying the same 13 things at the grocery store, I began to think that maybe I should reevaluate my diet. I go to hot power yoga classes four to five times per week and my body is burning a lot of calories and fat. I realized that I wasn’t getting enough healthy fats and proteins in my diet to sustain my body weight…
AKA I found out my boobs were shrinking and I had a mental breakdown.
So I received some recipe tips from my coworker that was also weirdly worried about my eating habits, and made my first few new recipes!
Despite the fact that I despise avocados (for the exception of three weeks out of the year) I know I should eat them. I bought one on Sunday to use in a smoothie, and I couldn’t even taste it! It was disguised underneath all of the flavorful and sweet fruit I put in. This is a great way to eat things that you don’t like. You can still satisfy your pizza craving but get veggies for toppings instead of pepperoni or bacon!
Zoodles are my new thing. They are different vegetables, usually squash, zucchini or potato that are strung into the shape of thick spaghetti pasta! I think zoodles are more flavorful and obviously more healthy than pasta. But if that’s not your thing, then whole grain pasta is a great alternative too. Most grocery stores pre-prep zoodles so all you have to do is saute them with some olive oil or rice vinegar! I made lemon and garlic baked salmon with my zucchini zoodles, topped with feta cheese and yellow cherry tomatoes…SO GOOD. No lie, I think I should have gone to Johnson and Wales instead of URI. Maybe I will in my second life.
One super important piece of advice that my coworker offered me was the idea of continuously altering the same recipe. Say you start with a basic basil pesto and pasta dish with grilled shrimp. FYI if you freeze pesto sauce in ice cube trays, two cubes are the perfect serving for future pasta dishes. The next time you wanted to make this recipe, you could use chicken or maybe a different pasta (even zoodles). You can even make a different sauce like a creamy avocado dressing or use different types of cheeses.
The best chefs became chefs through wingin’ it in the kitchen. You have to be open to trying new foods, letting it taste like crap the first few times and spending a little bit of money on fresh produce. You also should plan ahead before going to the grocery store. Look up recipes and make a list of what you don’t already have. Go out and wing some recipes based on your dietary needs!