There are so many recipes out there, talk about overwhelm!!!
I have about ten recipe books and how many recipes do you think I have tried? Try none. No I lie, I think I have made about two things when I was on holidays and had time to study it, get all the ingredients, was in the mood, had the time to do it and most of the time while the end result was delicious, it took far too long to prepare and you polish it off in five minutes while the washing up takes another half an hour!
Just not practical in the time vs benefit equation.
Then in the attempt to be ‘different’ with recipes they include weird and wonderful ingredients where you have to buy the whole packet and use a teaspoon of it and waste the rest because nothing else you make has that in it. No wonder the 4 ingredient recipe books are such a hit.
Now the point of my ramble is that I agree with the 4-ingredient mob and their ‘quick as a flash cooking’ and you get the drift of the way I want my cooking to be. Part of the issue with me and weight loss in the past was that the preoccupation with food was part of the problem, so in order to not to dwell back in that murky place, the approach has to be quick, simple, done – then get on with the rest of your life. Rather than obsess over 50 different ways with chocolate. Get another hobby!
You still have to eat every day though, quite a few times a day, and therefore you still need some material to work with and a handful of dishes that you know how to prepare without thinking and an occasional dip into something new without going too crazy.
So while writing my book and trying to find recipes for things that I like taste wise, are really healthy, that suit my weight loss goals and the speed of cooking factor, I have found it really difficult to find things I like or that suit what I am trying to achieve.
For example there is a fantastic recipe on another blog, for Caramel Fudge, just three ingredients – perfect from the simplicity point of view, my kind of easy. And if you were moving from processed foods and refined sugar, again this would be a fantastic choice – much more healthy. However one of the three ingredients is a whole cup of dates – uh oh!
Fails the weight loss criteria.
Do you know how many carbs there are in dates? About 20 carbs in each one, so blowing your daily limit of carbs with one bite! And I find this kind of brick wall with most of the recipes I see – bananas included in smoothies (too many carbs), oats for breakfast (too many carbs), beans in chocolate fudge (too many carbs) and it goes on and on.
And you may be thinking, hang on a cotton pickin’ minute, they are all healthy foods right, so why are you carrying on like a pork chop? Well see, what happened to me was that I was hanging on to the last 5-7kgs because of a carb overload in my diet – and I didn’t even know it! As soon as I figured it out and just ate as much as I wanted of things that didn’t have carbs in it (or not much anyway) is when real results started to happen – effortlessly.
So some people bag the whole low carb thing but I don’t want to work out like a maniac because I hate it, so just being generally aware of the carbs in what I choose to eat, means that I don’t have to punish myself physically to burn it off, which suits me perfectly fine.
So in the said recipe above, it was:-
2 cups of desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
Whizz in a food processor, flatten in a tray and freeze
Super easy which is perfect but 240g of carbs – OMG!!
So you are not going to eat all of it at once, I get that, but even if you cut it up into 20 pieces, one tiny piece is 12g carbs which only leaves you 8g of carbs left for the rest of the day (20 carbs a day for weight loss.)
And if you relax this rule for other foods you eat too like the bananas, maybe rice milk, or you eat chickpeas/hummus then it all gets out of control very quickly even without touching a piece of bread or pasta. And you wonder why you can’t lose weight?
When really, all you have to do is be aware of this stuff and make/eat things that support your weight loss/maintenance plan and so you avoid the inevitable creeping weight increase when you don’t notice.
So in the recipe above, we can still make this however instead of the carb blowing dates, we can replace it with:-
– ½ cup coconut oil
– 2 TBS maple syrup
And if you still want the date taste, then throw in one or two.
Total carbs in the sweetener – 27g carbs in 2 TBS maple syrup and 40g in the 2 dates (see how crazy on carbs they are) and so that is still only 67g carbs for the whole batch vs 240g. So then if you divide it into 20 pieces again you are only looking at about 3g of carbs per piece.
So all I’m saying is that if your weight is an issue for you then IT MATTERS! (If you left the dates out all together it would only be 1.5g – now you can eat 2 pieces instead of 1 and still be on track.)
So my quest is to scour all the millions of recipes out there to find the easiest and best and tweak them if I have to, like above to match all my criteria and keep my happy body weight. And hopefully help you too!
A hunting we will go!
*Join us! One email only every fortnight with healthy recipes, what I’m trying out that week, thoughts, weight loss tips, insights & fun. If it doesn’t feel right after a while then unsubscribe at any time. But for now we’d love you to join us for free – click here.