We belong to a gorgeous old Church in a historic area right along the Mississippi River. Nearby, there are lots of cute little restaurants and cafes, one of which we used to visit many Sundays for breakfast after Mass. This breakfast is HUGE and dirt cheap, at just over four dollars for a plate heaping with grits, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and toast. We haven't been in a couple of months because of various reasons (time, money, not wanting to clog our arteries weekly). So I had the brilliant idea to patronize this awesome little diner after Mass last Sunday.
While we waited for our meals we really enjoyed ourselves reading the paper, sharing great articles we were reading and even making a list of things we want to do and place we want to visit this summer. The only thing we needed to make this perfect was that big steaming hot plate of fat-filled breakfast food.
But honestly, we were let down. The food didn't taste as good as we remembered and we felt crummy the rest of the day. We both agreed that Chris' veggie omelets were far better in taste (and obviously loads healthier) than our greasy diner meal.
This is both sad and great news. Obviously we are really starting to enjoy the dietary changes we are making in our life. The healthy food we have been eating is not bland, but full of flavor. One of my favorite things has become a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and green onions (both from our garden) on sandwiches, salads, etc. I love how our new diet makes me feel strong and energetic. I don't feel that "heaviness" I used to feel after meals, and I fill up much faster on the nutrient dense food instead of empty calories. Although I still crave some junk foods, I ALSO crave well-seasoned grilled chicken and potatoes, black beans & rice, roasted broccoli and fresh avocado.
This doesn't mean that our entire diet is healthy. The past couple of weeks have gotten super busy with end of semester work and I have picked up fast food (and felt gross for quite awhile after). We have enjoyed a few treats. Chris bought some ice cream a few days ago per my request, and we've been enjoying a cup of ice cream in the evening for the past few days. Sometimes after a rough week there's nothing better than a good frozen pizza, heated until cheese is bubbly which we devour while watching The Office. But I think the point is that overall our diet has changed, that ice cream and fast food aren't our "norm" anymore.
There are so many benefits to our new diet - better digestion, more energy, weight loss, and I can't even tell you how much my mood has improved. I was having really awful mood swings, and I did some research between food and mood. I have learned to watch out for my triggers and have greatly reduced them in my diet (or cut them out completely). For me this means excessive caffeine and refined sugar, and I'm still identifying others.
I think my new food rules are these: To eat consciously, aware of how food affects me. Don't eat to excess. Don't make anything completely off limits - indulgence is good for the soul.
And speaking of comfort food...Happy Cinco de Mayo! One of my biggest comfort foods is Mexican/hispanic food. Here is a picture of some homemade tamales we used to have on every mission trip to Mexico.