I have to first mention the finale of the NBC show “The Biggest Loser.” As anyone who has read my columns would know, I’m a big fan of the show. Sure, I had some issues with it in the past, but lately I believe the show and its contestants have finally realized that it is much bigger than a simple reality game show. It is truly changing people’s lives. Not only the contestants, but those who are inspired at home to follow along in the journey to a healthier lifestyle. This season’s winner was a 26-year-old girl who started the show weighing 258 pounds and ended up losing 121 of them, which is almost 47 percent of her body weight.
All I can think about, when I see pictures of her smiling face, is how drastically her life has changed. Not from the $250,000 she won, or what I am guessing will be multiple celebrity endorsements deals coming her way, but the fact that she is healthy. Sure she looks great, but can you just imagine how great she feels? How much easier it is in her daily life, how much her health has improved, how much better she feels about herself, knowing that now there’s nothing she can’t do.
The other thing I wanted to write about was actually a request from a friend of mine who always reminds me that she reads my articles. So to her, and other loyal readers out there — thanks. My friend had said to my wife that she was curious about our food preparations for the week we do every Sunday. It’s something I’ve mentioned before, but she was looking for detail.
The saying goes that not planning to succeed, is a plan for failure. So I like to think of my Sunday ritual as my plan to have a successful week of proper eating. Basically, my wife and I take one to two hours every week, plan out our meals, and cook those foods that would take time we may not have after a busy day of work.
It almost always starts with us cooking up enough chicken breasts to be used for a few lunches and dinner during the week. We may end up preparing the chicken differently for each meal, but we get them cooked so all we have to do is reheat them. Then we move on to our other “proteins.” We may cook a turkey meatloaf, or some fish or maybe just brown some 97 percent lean ground beef with a little seasoning. From turkey tenderloins to chicken sausages, there are plenty of healthy choices, all of which can be made in advance.
With that in mind, we start planning our side dishes, such as wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes. Some of them we make for a specific meal. Others we just like to have on hand, in case we need to throw something together. Through trial and error, we’ve learned how much to make, so they don’t end up going to waste.
Then, it’s on to the salad. Alison and I have a salad every day for lunch, so we make a huge tupperware container filled with fresh vegetables. In fact, it usually doesn’t last the week and we often have to make another batch to get us through. I believe many more people would eat a salad if they didn’t have to make it every time they wanted one.
Finally, it’s on to the snacks. That’s right, you can eat healthy and enjoy snacks, you just have to enjoy healthy snacks. We make our own granola, home-made protein bars and roasted nuts. If you start with yummy, but healthy ingredients, and put them together, chances are you can make your own tasty treat that will be much healthier than anything you can buy at the store.
We all live busy lives, and often times when it’s time to eat, we don’t have the time to make something healthy, so we reach for the most convenient solution. Which unfortunately is often always the unhealthiest. So do yourself and your family a favor. Sit down, plan out your meals, preheat the oven, and get to work.
Mike DeCinti can be reached at email@example.com or 910-827-2439.