Before I start this article, I want to make it clear that I am NOT a nutritionist or expert in the field of health. What I am is a 67-year-old mother of five adult children who recently lost about 15 pounds rather effortlessly, and I thought you might be interested in knowing how. So do your due diligence on the internet, and you will see how various nutritional folks are touting this method.
Portion size took a big hit in the past century.
Let’s start with a bit of history. In the 1960s, the average person's fat consumption was about 45%, and obesity was about 12%. Now in 2016, the fat consumption of the average person is about 33%, and the obesity rate in America is around 50%. What has happened and why?
Nothing like the “real thing.”
Since I can look back at my life and the eating trends, I can say that before fast and packaged foods came into being, people generally made everything from scratch. They used natural ingredients versus names you can’t pronounce. We used whole milk, real butter (not margarine), full-fat or homemade mayonnaise, real cream, full-fat cheese, natural non-nitrate meat, and other whole foods which had not been processed. Milk didn’t come in 1% or 2% fat. It was just regular 3% whole milk. And cheese and all of the other aforementioned foods were generally pretty simple. People were thinner, furniture was smaller, and people didn’t eat the massive-sized portions we are now served in American restaurants. We didn’t have the amount of obesity in children and the challenges resulting from being overweight. We ate SMALL, RICH, and REAL in our portion sizes and food choices because that's what was available.
Avocados provide a rich source of natural fat.
Nowadays, if one goes to a restaurant in America, the portion sizes are massive. View the movie “Super Size Me” if you want to see just how big!
Thus, this past summer of 2015, my dear husband, Michael, of 36 years, stated, “We need to start eating smaller portion sizes.” He said that out of the blue, but I knew he was right. The only challenge with that concept of "eating small” is that I figured I would starve to death, for he was preparing the dinners, and they would be ½ a chicken breast with some salad and dressing. That was it for dinner. I acted like I really liked his cooking, but, in truth, I was in rebellion. I knew I couldn’t go around hungry if I could avoid it, so I decided to start eating SMALL, RICH, and REAL and see what happened. That was in July 2015. By Thanksgiving 2015, I had lost about 10 pounds by eating SMALL, RICH, and REAL, and by February 2016, I was down about 15 pounds, and Michael was down 10 pounds—all without any additional exercise. I was shocked at our results. We both needed new (used) clothing since everything was falling off, including my underwear.
Since then, I have researched the web and found that many nutritional researchers are even advising SMALL, RICH, and REAL. So to give you the full scoop, this is what my eating habits look like.
Morning Coffee– with Sugar in the Raw and lactose-free half and half Breakfast— gluten-free cereal, whole milk with dried fruit and nut mix, or eggs and toast and butter, or a corn muffin with butter and lactose-free cream cheese
My fruit and nut mix. Combine nuts and fruits that you have in your pantry to start with. This gives you an easy way to use up what you have.
Lunch— one piece of gluten-free bread, real cheese, non-hormone/ non-nitrate meats, pickles, fruit, carrots Afternoon Snack— apple with peanut butter, or whole-milk 5% Greek Yogurt with a bit of jam or honey, or a hard-boiled egg, or several slices of cheese along with plain green or black tea Dinner— Scotch with seltzer water or a glass of wine, grass feed meat or organic meat if possible, organic salad with as many interesting vegetables as desired, whole-fat home-made salad dressing or a good natural full-fat dressing such as Newman’s Own, and a small amount of starch (1/4 to 1/2 cup) like a potato, brown rice, or gluten-free pasta
Dessert—organic fruit, or more of the fruit and nut mix with some chocolate chips, or 2 or 3 Hershey Kisses
To help keep hunger at bay, I drink six to eight glasses of filtered water a day or have a cup or two of the aforementioned teas. It is easiest to carry around a water bottle each day and fill and drink it twice. That is pretty much about it. And it is about that simple. The real and rich foods keep me full, and when I dish up a portion for myself, I try to eat about half of what I used to. Or if we ever eat out, Michael and I split a meal–about half in half. And since we have been following this plan for months, I have noticed that I no longer seem to crave sweets like before. Odd but true.
Try to use organic fruits and vegetables, if possible.
I have not been at this weight for decades, and I want to mention that I am a Weight Watcher’s Lifetime Member and still haven’t been able to get to this 127-pound goal. And I am staying at my 15-pound loss rather effortlessly. If the weight does creep up on the scale, as it did last week, I refocus on SMALL, RICH, and REAL more thoroughly, and it starts to go back down to my 127 ideal weight. I will add too that I take a probiotic pill once a day for good digestion and daily multiple vitamins, and we use lactose-free and gluten-free products since I have lactose and gluten intolerance.
This is a “diet” I can really live with for the long term. It makes me wonder, too, that if the brain needs “fat” to function, what are we doing to our thought processes by avoiding it? Personally, I think I am thinking more clearly because of the natural fats. Besides, if I have to compare this food plan to another country’s eating habits, I would view it as the way most French and Mediterranean people eat– SMALL, RICH, and REAL– as natural and wholesome to the earth as possible, which makes these food choices viable long-term alternatives to “low fat” eating.
So give it a try if you want, and let me know your exciting results. God Bless Your Efforts!
Give this Lenten Small, Rich, and Real Lenton Friday Meal a try.
EASY SMALL, RICH, and REAL CHILI—serves about 6
2 cans of chili with beans (read ingredients and make sure you know what each one is–Annie’s Chili is a good choice) 1 can of kidney beans—drained and rinsed 1 cup of brown rice prepared according to directions with about 2 tablespoons of butter spices of your choice optional
Cook the brown rice and heat the contents of the three cans. Serve the chili over the rice along with a nice salad. It rates as a #10 with my husband!
QUICK RANCH- STYLE SALAD DRESSING
This keeps well in the refrigerator and is a thick dressing. It can be thinned with a little whole milk if desired.
1/2 cup real mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
or 5% Greek yogurt 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon garlic powder freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients and store them in the refrigerator. Great for dipping vegetables.
Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author
The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.