Image courtesy Flickr/Amy Moss
Weight loss is one of the happy side effects of the Happiness Diet. When you wean yourself off fake processed foods overloaded with simple sugars and unhealthy fats, it’s good for every part of your body, not just your brain. You will have more stable moods, better focus, more energy and you will also lose weight. A recent email from a Colorado woman named Rachel (excerpted below) shows how a simple Happiness Diet approach to your food can improve your life in the New Year, and give you a new, leaner physique!
Rachel from Colorado, writes:
Like most people, I resolved to lose weight and get healthy in the New Year. Now, over the past eight weeks on the Happiness Diet, I have lost 26 pounds and taken six inches off my hips and waist. Best of all, I feel great – happy and emotionally content.
Since moving to Colorado, I had been moving towards eating more local, organic, and sustainably raised foods. I had joined a CSA [a Community Sustainable Agriculture buying group] and shopped regularly at my farmer’s market and local co-op. But before the New Year, probably only 20 percent of my diet was “happiness diet” foods.
Starting the Happiness Diet was easy! After reading the book (with the list of 100 reasons not to eat processed foods), I switched to mostly local foods and nearly 100% organic foods. I am lucky that I live in a town that has lots of reasonably priced organic and locally produced foods. Researching local sources and shopping frequently has allowed me to opt for grass-fed meats and dairy, and to cook all of my meals from whole ingredients.
I realize that not everyone can take the time I dedicate to daily shopping and cooking from scratch, but there are some things I learned to make following the Happiness Diet easier. Joining a local CSA is a great way to support your neighborhood farmer while getting fresh, healthy vegetables and meats. Local farmers’ markets and co-ops also favor healthier food options. I invested in a pressure cooker, which allows me to cook and freeze batches of beans, legumes, and grains for easy prep later.
The real secret, though, is planning ahead. On Saturdays, I usually plan my meals for the week – using cooking magazines, recipe websites, and the Happiness Diet book itself. With my meals mapped out, I can either do all my shopping and chopping at once, or take a more day-by-day approach, depending on my schedule.
I also keep a list of Happiness Diet’s top mood foods and food combinations (page 52) to help guide my menu. I am not a seafood fan, so getting plenty of omega-3s has been a challenge. Luckily, I found this fantastic recipe for tuna casserole from Cooking Light (Jan/Feb 2010) – though I substitute whole milk for reduced fat milk and cream cheese and I use all organic, sustainably harvested ingredients.