January, You Make it Hard to Love You
Already tired of getting barraged about diets, fitness and all the usual New Year's resolutions blah-blah from every quarter? Are you done with every other TV ad being about some diet or another?
Well, apologies, but that's totally what I'm going to talk about! Heh. Sorry.
January is the most guilt-ridden month of the year. Most of us have eaten our weight in Christmas cookies and melomakarones, and then we start feeling like one of those blobfish. Put that guy on a couch with a big mug of coffee and it's basically me.
Blobfish are proof that the gods have a sense of humor.
Poseidon - I'm making this new species of fish...
Aphrodite - Oooh, make it pink!
Hermes - Give it a big honkin' shnozz!
Poseidon - A fish with a nose? Why?
Hermes - For the lulz! It'll confuse everyone! It'll be awesome - just do it!
Poseidon - *sighs* Alright...
Hades - Make sure it looks like it needs antidepressants.
I have had many long and tiresome adventures in dieting. Low fat? Done it. Are you telling me, missy, that I'm supposed to give up olive oil because it's a fat? Don't make me go all Greek witch on you and curse you and your descendants in perpetuity. I did the cottage cheese and melba toast thing, too. Remember melba toasts? They're a tempting snack choice for anyone who's ever thought, "Hey, I wonder what rattan tastes like." Let me just break me off a piece of patio furniture to enjoy with my lemon water! Low carb? Sure. At first blush, the idea of a pile of bacon topped with melted cheese and a beef chaser sounded awesome.
Either I was going to lose weight, or the sides of my heart would blow out like an old tire.
I did lose a bit of weight at first, but it was unsustainable. I craved baby carrots, of all things. A world that tells you fruit, beans, pasta and wine are to be avoided is not a world I want to live in. And no bread??? *internal screaming* Online programs? You bet. I met wonderful online communities, who encouraged each other and held each other accountable, but ultimately just commiserated about how s-l-o-w the process was and how we weren't losing the weight. The only thing I haven't tried is any plan that mails you processed food in box. I'm sorry, people - I know that lots of folks have had success with these kinds of plans, but meat was not meant to last unrefrigerated in your closet for months. It just wasn't. Don't send me letters - take it up with Mother Nature. It's an affront to the natural order of things. Some dark necromancy has been worked upon your Chicken Parm with Linguine if you can put it in a cabinet and still eat it a whole trimester after receiving it. As for me, I'm DONE. I have reached Peak Diet. My metabolism up and hobbled off to an assisted living facility in Florida a few years ago, and hasn't even bothered to send a postcard.
So let's talk less about losing pounds (although you may well do just that) and more about eating healthy, the way our Greek relatives and ancestors did. I'm talking about the Mediterranean Diet, of course - the one that keeps coming up as one of the top - if not THE top - diet for health, flavor and sustainability.
(And yes, I'm aware that the Western diet has crept into the Greek diet, but let's focus on the positive here.)
This month we're going to focus on some Greekish takes on this old-yet-new-again way of eating, with quick, healthy and delicious meals. We'll start off with a shopping list , so you can have some things tucked away in your pantry and get off on the right foot.
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