February 9 is fall off the wagon day. That is when the number of visits to fast food restaurants outnumber gym visits. In other words, new year’s resolutions are discarded. If you made a promise to yourself to eat better and work out and are sticking with it, congratulations!
The beginning of the year is when many people resolve to improve their habits and gym memberships spike, online searches for healthy eating abound and workout gear goes on sale. However, a personal trainer or nutritionist will tell you that any program that is not sustainable is a waste of time and energy. People are always looking for the silver bullet or magic pill that will give immediate results with minimum effort. That is why every few months or so it seems a new weight loss fad appears and tons of people hop on the bandwagon.
Here’s my take on this phenomenon, any change in diet that leads someone to feel better about themselves is not bad. Every “new” eating plan will have adherents who swear by its efficacy and results. Unfortunately, many will realize they cannot live on protein alone, or they want to have a piece of bread or an apple or they don’t want to eat like a caveman and then they will end up back where they started and looking for the next trend. So recently, when a friend was talking about how she has been following the Keto diet my first question to her was did she feel it was sustainable. I was impressed when she was able to outline not only the science behind the diet, including how it is designed to avoid insulin spikes, but also that she has been sticking to it for the last four months, including through the holidays. For her, this diet fits her eating habits, allows her to enjoy food without guilt and she is getting results. She is someone who has tried many diets and has lost weight only to put it back on. The Keto eating plan is working for her and she sees herself continuing to follow it because, while it takes effort to ensure she eats accordingly, she truly likes what she is eating.
That is the key. Many people profess to me they could never be vegan or vegetarian, but it is an eating plan that works for me. I would never advocate someone jump on a fad diet, but, as with everything, there is always an exception. Judging someone as silly because they are trying to find a way to eat better is not the way to keep a friendship. They may just have happened upon the answer to their desire for results and sustainability. People come in all shapes and sizes and eating plans will be different for everyone. The most important part is to find a plan that you will stick to and is not focused on one food (yes, a grapefruit diet will make you lose weight, but seriously?) or food group. Also, do your research, including checking with a doctor or nutritionist to ensure you are getting proper nutrients.
This week’s recipe is based on one from Forks Over Knives, a vegan eating plan. I made this recipe and liked it well enough, but I think it needs some tweaks. They call them chickpea nuggets, a take off on chicken nuggets, but I felt it was more like falafel with breadcrumbs. Just like with the myriads of diets out there, this recipe could be perfect for someone and need modification for someone else. Let us know if you make them and if you make any changes!
from Forks Over Knives
3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs (I used panko that I pulsed in a food processor to make it finer)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked, brown rice
1 medium shallot, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon dry basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten