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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mama Fitness: Nutrition and 2 Recipes

Nutrition...and will-power. We all know that we need to eat less sugar, fat, meat and caffeine and more fruits and vegetables and chocolate. I made up that last one, just to make us all feel better. We must drink more water and less beer, even less wine, which is a true tragedy. 

Life is just too short to constantly deprive yourself of what you love each and every day. Why bother? The weight isn't exactly flying off anyway. Enjoying a good meal is akin to enjoying a beautiful piece of artwork, a master novel, a night at the symphony or a hike in nature. Unless you have a cold, or a headache or a twisted ankle, then all of those become simply a chore and a bother and even painful. 

There is the reason, the one that has meaning and enduring value...health. If I am not healthy enough to enjoy the pleasures of life, great and small, they are worth nothing. This has to be my motivation, because fitting into the pants I wore two years ago compared with a good Bordeaux, a steak and homemade fries, with pumpkin pie for dessert, just holds no water. Yes, I am sick of being 25-30 pounds overweight, but life is short...and I will try to remember that I will enjoy it more and longer if I am in shape. 

I am in the middle of a little "jump-start" cleanse to losing weight. This time I have prepared enough smoothies, recipe below, for 5 days, and I am trying nutritional shakes made for diabetics to help me with the faintness and hunger tremors that usually make me give up on living and cleansing at the same time. 

The key will be to eat and drink in moderation after my cleanse. So often I tend to start a cleanse before a big event and inevitably the event means food; an anniversary, a family celebration. Then I eat too much and think: what the heck, I messed up again, it was all for naught, I'll start again on Monday...does this sound familiar? 

All right, so let's get off the "poor me" binge eating wagon and onto a healthier lifestyle, for real, for life.

Here are two recipes I use for a cleanse of 3 or 4 days, the first one is savory, inspired by postpartum French women I had my exercise classes with years ago (the government health-insurance allows for 10 sessions of abs and kegels with a physical therapist post-baby), the other is with fruit and greens, a little sweeter.

Bouillon de legumes:
Leeks (cut in half, soak, scrub out dirt, slice into 1/2 inch pieces)
Carrots (sliced)
Cabbage, broccoli, whatever else may be in the fridge, no potatoes or starches

Boil all ingredients, with a little salt and a lot of water, for 45 minutes, strain and drink warm or cold. You can eat the vegetables as well, if desired, or puree the whole thing.

Green smoothie:
Green leaf lettuce
Spinach
Kale (if you do not have thyroid problems)
One cucumber
Blueberries
Strawberries
Water

Blend all ingredients to form a liquid about as thick as soup. It will be watery, compared with my yogurt, berry, banana, almond milk and orange juice smoothie.  I pack them into individual cups; about 5-6 oz. each, seal with a little saran wrap and have 3 a day. 

I still drink my tea and coffee with almond milk, and as I mentioned, have nutritional shakes to survive the yucky feeling I get from fasting. How do you cleanse/detox/start your healthy diet over after over-indulging for too long? 

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