I absolutely agree with the old adage that it’s the little things in life that count. In the midst of a crazy-busy day, I love taking a moment to slow down and truly enjoy something simple. But as much as I benefit from it, sometimes remembering to do this takes a little effort on my part. Especially if I’m adjusting to a new routine. We humans are remarkably adaptable to change, but that doesn’t mean we always like it. Giving up favorite foods or habits is hard, and when transitioning to a healthier lifestyle we have a tendency to focus on the stuff we think we’re missing out on.
I’ve had to give up a lot of things that I used to absolutely love. But they were things that, in the long run, were doing me more harm than good… Like the fantastic sandwich shops and bakeries in my neighborhood (which I now pretend not to notice as I hurry past), pasta, bagels, crackers that I don’t have to make myself, beer… This autumn will mark my first “Primal” football season, and that will be a bit of a challenge for me. I don’t recall ever sipping a nice, complex glass of red while surrounded by the ever-present dollar pitchers at the local sports bar.
But I’d rather focus on the wonderful stuff I can enjoy. Some are things I’ve always loved that just happen to fit snugly into my Primal lifestyle, and some are recent discoveries that simply add to the bliss. So here they are, in no particular order…
Homemade Coffee Creamer. I mix heavy whipping cream with a little liquid Stevia, some cinnamon, and good quality Pure Vanilla Extract. (Make sure to buy one that doesn’t include corn syrup in the ingredients. Some jerk brands sneak it in, and still call it “pure.”) Every day I go into work looking forward to my morning coffee.
Breakfast. I was always a grab-n-go kind of girl. Bagel, muffin, pastry, Pop-Tart, whatever was quick. I didn’t have time to sit down to bacon and eggs in the morning. (Besides, according to “conventional wisdom” we’re not supposed to eat that anyway, right?) Once I started making time for an omelet, frittata, or just simple scrambled eggs in the morning, I’ve found I can’t do without it. I’m more focused, I rarely feel like snacking, and sometimes I don’t even realize it’s “lunch time” until I look at the clock.
Grilled Filet Mignon. My daddy raised a meat snob. Growing up, one of the things I most looked forward to was my dad grilling steaks. Seriously, the man could teach a master class in choosing a cut of meat, seasoning it, building a charcoal fire, and grilling to perfection. Although I now eat steak much more often than I did when I was a kid, it still feels like a special occasion every time.
Dates. If you have a sweet tooth and haven’t tried these yet, go buy some right now. They’re high in sugar, so they’re definitely only a “sometimes food”, but they’re wonderful if you’re craving something creamy and sweet and chewy. Better than breaking down and eating cookies or candy. If you lied to me and said that caramel is made from dates, I would believe you.
Roasted Garlic. If you’ve missed the link in previous posts on how to roast garlic, here it is again. It makes anything better – salads, grilled or roasted veggies, eggs, chicken, steak…seriously, anything. My favorite way to serve it is on almond flour crackers with goat cheese. But this stuff is so good you can eat it alone.
Hiking. I’ve loved hiking for years, but I can be inclined to just power through – sometimes thinking of it only as a workout instead of actually experiencing my surroundings. Now I remind myself to stop and soak in the atmosphere once in a while, and I’m always glad I did.
Red Wine. Specifically a good, full-bodied Cabernet. I’ve always been a bit of a lush when it comes to the red stuff. The fact that it’s actually healthy for me to imbibe while I test a new recipe or chat with a friend? That’s just a bonus.
Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar. I found these dark chocolate bars at…where else?…Whole Foods. But I’ve seen them at World Market as well. It’s expensive, but it’s the kind of chocolate bar that you snap one piece off of and that’s all you need. One bar can last me over a week, even if I decide to share with the husband. And it tastes like heaven.
Cooking. Is it odd that I find chopping vegetables sort of soothing? I never really cared for cooking before going Primal, but I really look forward to it now. I suppose it may have something to do with my…
Improved Mood & Energy. It sounds cheesy, but there are times during the day when I just have to stop and marvel at how good I feel. I rarely experience those days where you just feel “blah” for no reason. I’ve always been known to have a temper, but I don’t get mad as easily as I used to. I’ve started waking up without needing an alarm. I feel more rested throughout the day. I just feel better.
So those are a few of my favorite (Primal) things… What are some of yours?