Today was weigh-in day and I’m down 26 pounds. It’s cause for celebration, but not with food. I’m learning not to use food as a reward. There won’t be any Snickers bars or Big Macs today–just a few champagne corks popping inside my head.
My successful diet began when I vowed to get off Omeprazole (the generic equivalent to Nexium). As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t think that would ever be possible. I had frequent and terrible acid reflux and problems with digestion for the past several years. But I took Hippocrates’ advice (“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”) and started researching.
What I found was that I was not only eating the wrong foods, but too much of them and too near bedtime. Once I cut out the acid-causing foods, and changed my nightly eating habits, the acid went away as if by magic. I haven’t had a pill in five weeks–and I never thought that would be possible.
An outgrowth of the acid-reduction success was that I began to lose weight, which I attributed to lower-fat foods and fewer quantities of foods in general. Braced by this success, I pushed further and decided to tackle my stomach issues. I took the plunge and gave up anything that might contain gluten or lactose. Yes, I gave up bread and dairy.
I honestly didn’t think I could give up chocolate bars, milk, cheese, and yeasty rolls slathered with real butter. Just didn’t think life would be worth it. But you know what? I feel so much better that it is indeed worth it. And I didn’t just give up things so much as replace them with something else. There are alternatives to bad habits.
Which led me to the Paleo Diet. You may have heard of it. It just kind of fell in with where I was in the no dairy-no gluten phase of my diet plan. On the Paleo Diet you don’t eat grains (bread), and you don’t eat dairy (butter, milk, cheese, etc.).
But you can have chili–and it is delicious. I found a recipe that I’ve made three times now. And it’s very simple to make. You could add onions and beans if you like, but this recipe doesn’t call for it.
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 3 Tbs. cumin
- 2 Tbs. chili powder
- 1 28 oz. can of tomatoes
- In a hot skillet brown the ground beef. Drain the excess oil and set beef aside.
- In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the ground black pepper and diced green pepper. Saute the green pepper for at least two minutes until almost soft, stirring to prevent burning.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute more. (No more than one minute–you don’t ever want to burn your garlic).
- Add tomatoes and spices. (If whole tomatoes, cut them up before adding). Bring to boil.
- Add ground beef and just enough water to cover mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours.
- Return to Fried Red Tomatoes and tell me you loved it. (or hated it, or changed it, or are thinking about it). 🙂
© Wade Kingston