Last week, I mentioned one of my new 4-Leaf clients who was beginning to establish her 4-Leaf routine — starting with breakfast. She was traveling and was doing her best to eat better while on the road; sending me this follow-up email:
It was tough on the road at the graduation…but your impact is already felt. For breakfast at the Hampton Inn, I actually had oatmeal and a banana. That is new for me. Three dinners out at steak houses — I was meat free. I had onion soup and salad one night; and a big spinach salad another night (dressing on the side). My big sin was a few chopped eggs – I ordered a side of string beans and a baked potato. The next night I had onion rings (too greasy I know) and a huge wedge salad with dressing on the side. I am, as they say, easing in.
Now at home — and Sean made steamed kale with garlic, chopped red cabbage – scallions, wild and brown rice with peas — all delish. Now I need to be more consistent. Travel is challenging.
Jennifer is going to be fine; she is jumping right in, has already figured out a 4-Leaf routine that works for her at breakfast and has survived a challenging trip to her daughter’s graduation from college. She has a very supportive partner and is well on her way to the 4-leaf lifestyle. Like Dr. Hurley (our poster boy) in Boston, Jennifer wants to be our poster girl — and I already have her “before” pictures.
Remember Jennifer; it’s not about weight-loss; it’s about vibrant health — shedding the excess weight is just an added bonus.
Now on to lunch and dinner. My own routine is pretty much the same breakfast and lunch every day — then I go out for dinner every night for my variety. I understand that my routine just won’t work for most people — so let’s work on a little more 4-Leaf variety for those lunch and dinner meals.
On the Meals 101 page, I mentioned a routine recipe in the New York Times. While it is rarely a 4-Leaf meal, it can easily be modified to make it one. In order to make it a satisfying 4-Leaf meal, their featured “healthy meals” usually need some combination of the following:
- Removing the oil and cheese
- Adding more whole plant calories in the form of grains or legumes (Most of the NY Times meals derive a lot of their calories from oil and cheese; so just replace them with the good stuff and eat all you want.)
- Paying attention to the fat content in nuts, seeds, avocado and tofu (remembering that if you want to lose weight, that you’re going to need to get less than 20% of your calories from fat — even plant fats)
Today’s NYT recipe (See picture above) is a tasty-looking quinoa, lentil sprout and arugula salad (see link below my name.) People keep asking me for recipes for 20 or 30 4-Leaf lunches and dinners — or meal plans for a month. While we just don’t have it yet; our 4-Leaf team may offer that in the future; but for now, I am reminded of the old adage “Better to teach a man to fish rather than give him some fish.” Now, I don’t eat much fish, but you get the picture.
Toward that end, just keep re-reading everything on our 4-Leaf page and you’ll soon get the hang of it. As you know, this stuff isn’t rocket science; it’s simply eating the natural diet for our species.
And since we call ourselves the “smartest” of all the species, we shouldn’t have much trouble figuring out what we should be eating.
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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Quinoa, Lentil Sprout and Arugula Salad – Recipes for Health – NYTimes.com.
Here is what I did when faced with the need to make the change: I went to the vegetarian section of the public library. I chose a few of the large, encyclopedic cookbooks (like “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” and “1001 Low-fat Vegetarian Recipes”), and used my book-reading time to acquire knowledge. There is a learning curve when you used to plan meals by a “roast, chicken, pork chop, fish” rotation. Now it’s a Mediterranean/Indian/East Asian/ Other rotation. Donna Klein has some good, fast-cooking books taking advantage of salad bars and pre-chopped ingredients. Choose a few books, try them, and if you like them, purchase. If they aren’t “low-fat” or contain too many fake-vegan processed ingredients they won’t work long-term, but you learn to recognize that. Take your time and explore.