Losing Weight for Foodies

By Patrice Lockert Anthony

portion-controlDo you ever feel like fate is directing your course? Or that maybe Benjamin Franklin was wrong, and a divine Being is intimately involved with our day-to-day existence?

I've been rummaging through old boxes filled with even older paperwork. One of the boxes burped up an old copy of Food and Wine magazine. Nothing life altering in that ... until I noticed that pretty much the entire issue was devoted to losing weight and living a healthier existence. And to whom did the magazine turn to delve into the matter? The ultimate foodies: chefs. Why was I leaping for joy, you ask?

Most of us are under the delusion that to lose weight — to be healthy — we have to give up our pleasure in food. We think (believe) we must give ourselves over to the bland, the blah-ness of calorie counting, sauce-less veggies, and ho-hum food prep. It's a lie — a myth! Gather round while I share the 411 of weight loss for foodies. It's about flavor. Where there is flavor — real flavor — there is satisfaction. Where there is satiety, you'll find portion control. Where you find portion control, you'll discover lost inches and pounds.

Losing weight for foodies is all about falling back in love with what drew us to the kitchen the first time. Flavor, texture, color, aroma, sound. Listen the next time you're in the kitchen. All those lovely sounds, each different. Slicing, chopping, cubing; each makes a different sound. The whir of the food processor. The bubbling of the sauce. The sizzle of the olive oil. Listen to the hiss as you steam the vegetables. Feel the foods in your hands as you select them from the garden, pulling them out of the ground; the weight of them as you carry them to the kitchen. Hear the water as you wash them. Sense the wonder of the tastes merging. The knowledge that what you've prepared is nourishing you and your family. These are the things that made foodies of us. We delight in food, from the garden to the table. When we go back to honoring that path, that journey, the pureness of the walk from garden to table, our health will follow.

To be fully engaged on that walk requires giving up junk food, processed foods, most sweeteners (especially artificial), and food ingredients that give us nothing in return for our love. You'll figure it out along the way. It won't feel like sacrifice. There is no sacrifice. You have great, glorious, healthy food in place of junk, illness, and compromise. Tastes of the season. Aromas, textures, and flavors that make our several senses hum. There is no sacrifice here. Only goodness.

You've just plated your dinner. You're staring at it. Admiring it. You can feel your mouth watering in anticipation of the first bite. It's a swordfish steak served on a bed of nutty brown rice (gently flavored with nutmeg), draped in saucy puttanesca. Plump tomatoes, capers, Greek olives, and artichokes ... "Oh my!" On the side, a salad of fresh wild greens, grape tomatoes, English cucumber, and diced jicama, served with a light vinaigrette. Calorie count: about 400. Not bad for a bit of divine delight. You'll add calories by pairing wine with this meal, but if you want to do so, try the Lieb Family's Pinot Blanc 2011 (about $15). Bonus "get" is that all the ingredients for this foodie love fest (except for the swordfish and the wine) may be purchased at GreenStar.

You want to join me on this journey now, don't you? You don't want to just sit back and observe anymore. It's okay. You can admit it. Come on into the kitchen with me. Just leave me a little elbow room. And that beautifully cured cast iron skillet, over there, on the baker's rack? Hands off.

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