I had a chance to be home with family and friends for a long weekend recently, and had a wonderful time. It seems that as spring arrives, gatherings with loved ones tend to follow.
I have the great fortune to be friends with the authors of this epic book. I have been sending my patients to Bill & Hayley’s site The Food Lovers Kitchen for tips, recipes and menu planning for years. I am really excited to have the opportunity to both taste test some of these new recipes as well as preview an advanced copy of the book.
Let me be clear: THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!
One of the components to a holistic approach to a healthy life is social health. I can’t think of a more common way we express this than gathering around a table for a meal with those we care about. Social connection is vital to health.
One of the difficulties I run into when trying to help people make healthier food choices is that they often equate healthier eating with restriction and giving up that which they ‘love’ most. It’s true, new healthy eating strategies will ultimately result in ditching some things we are truly nostalgic about. We have a lot of emotion tied to food because of these gatherings and the folks that go with them. This makes it doubly hard to change.
The trouble I see is that many of our traditions are rooted in horrible food habits. Even as simple and ‘American’ as the PBJ sandwich. AKA the sugar-legume-sugar sandwich. The ice-cream truck. The hot dog and hamburger at the ball game. The church potluck of empty calories. The Easter & Halloween sugar fest.
Yes, changing our mindset and eating habits requires some ‘loss.’ But I’ll ask you the obvious question: What can you gain?
I’ll tell you that since switching my diet to a Paleo/Primal or hunter/gatherer way of life, I’ve never eaten better. I’ve tried new foods. I’ve tried old favorites in new, healthier ways.
I DO NOT FEEL RESTRICTED!
Sure, it’s still tempting to go to the drive-thru window and scarf a few sugar bombs (donuts). But I do not miss the ensuing crash, bloating and digestive distress that always used to follow choices like that.
We mistakenly think that new healthy habits are formed by behavior modification and will power. The truth is that change must first occur between the ears. Diets fail because there is a perception that there is an end. There is no end to a healthy lifestyle. Diets also fail because we start by trying to change our behavior. We need to shift our belief systems first. This happens when we educate ourselves and conscientiously choose to see food differently.
I don’t see a dessert tray. I see diabetes. I’m not tempted by pizza because I know that gluten and dairy (casein and lactose) intolerances are the most common cause of leaky gut and auto-immune disease. I pass on ice cream because I know it passes back on me
I’d encourage you to evaluate your belief systems about food and the gatherings that often go with them. Instead of continuing old unhealthy family traditions, lets make new healthy ones the norm. Investing in a great resource like Gather can help this shift occur. The authors have developed a healthy meal plan for almost every occasion. I guarantee these meals will help make you feel like you’re not missing anything.
Besides, at the end of the day the only thing you’ll really be ‘missing’ is the ill effects of poor food choices.
Pick up your copy of Gather: The Art of Paleo Entertaining today!
(Our finished plate: General Tso’s chicken, stir fry veg and shrimp fried cauli rice)
Finally – I’m so excited about this book, I’m going to giveaway one copy of “Gather: The Art of Paleo Entertaining!” To enter, simply leave a comment here on this post. Tell me why you’re excited about this book! One comment per person. Comments must be entered by Sunday, May 5th 12:00am midnight EST. A winner will be randomly selected and notified on Monday, May 6th 2013 at 8am EST.
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