Have you ever heard that saying, “once a fat kid, always a fat kid”?
Oh no? You haven’t?
That’s probably because I made it up 🙁
I was chubby as a child and I feel like my whole life I have battled my weight – whether it was warranted or unwarranted. I have tried every diet under the sun over the course of my life, always looking for the best way to maintain a reasonable weight: The South Beach Diet, Fit For Life, The Alpine Ski Diet, Weight Watchers, Doctors Hospital Diet, The Rotation Diet, The Zone Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, The Atkins Diet (which is today’s Keto), The Paleo Diet, Volumetrics Diet, The Zone Diet, The AIP Diet, Whole 30…the list goes on.
Yup, I’ve tried them all. That’s a whole lot of time wasted on something that, if it wasn’t for the emotional part of eating that goes along with it (which is a whole other blog post), could easily be solved with a little bit of sensibility. My favourite go-to authority in this field is Michael Pollan (who I actually did a blog post about...you can read it here). His advice is sensible and not trendy!
So, through all my years of “research”, I learned a few things…
- Eat real food – not stuff that pretends to be food.
- Be mindful of why you are actually eating (you should only eat when you’re hungry and not when you’re angry/lonely/sad.etc..).
- Watch how much you eat (game changer for me…at one time, I could easily out-eat a football player).
- And, no matter what, eat lots of veggies!
That brings me to this post.
I used to work at a cooking school that rented it’s space out to Weight Watchers and, although I wasn’t a member at the time, I overheard their “diet talk”. And the one take away I took from the program was:
Fruits and vegetable are free (no points!)
It actually made me think more rationally about this whole diet thing. Every time I was running out the door and was tempted to grab a muffin, I would always think, “if I was on Weight Watchers, I’d have to figure out how many points are in this muffin but an apple is free, sooooo….”
Because of this, I always have a ton fruits and veggies available. And because vegetables are generally lower in natural sugars, they seemed to be a good choice. The thing I learned to do was always have a big dish of yummy veg in the fridge at all times. And, sure, having a platter of carrots and celery at the ready are great, but to me, that screams diet food (sorry you have to forgive me, but that’s the fat little girl rebelling again!). I always like to have a bowl of delicious veg cooked with a ton of flavour so when I’m eating it, I feel like I’m happy (and not eating sad diet food).
Enter in one of my favs…spicy cabbage!
I know what you’re thinking…cabbage is not sexy.
You’re right. It may not be that sexy, but man can it be tasty (if it’s cooked right!).
I will tell you that cooking cabbage can be, well, smelly (yup…it’s all that sulphur!).
But it is chock full of goodness (hello Vit C, Vit K and fibre!!) and it is super cheap..
Just slice it really thin (yes, this is where your handy, dandy mandolin comes in!!) and you are ready to rock and roll!
Cook it up (directions below) and keep it in your fridge all week!
Serve it with other veggies you might have (like peppers!), add a protein and you have a mighty fine meal.
The protein can be meat (I cooked up some kielbasa and serve it with some homemade mustard…super yummy!!) or some spiced up tofu, or even a fried egg!
It has some kick from hot sauce and some tang (and more health benefits) from apple cider vinegar…a great side dish if you ask me!
I even eat it as an afternoon snack with some crumbled feta and a glass of tomato juice (I’m weird like that!).
So, although having a plate full of this super yummy, super healthy, super filling veg isn’t as eye-popping as a donut, it will fill your belly with so much goodness, you’ll be patting yourself on the back in no time for eating a super delicious meal AND being healthy!
Sautéed Spicy Cabbage
This side dish is healthy AND is so versatile...it can be served with almost anything! Freeze any leftovers for a quick healthy lunch!!
- 1 small white cabbage (about 10 cups shredded)
- 1 large onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup water, divided
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp thyme (you can omit this or sub in any spice of choice)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp hot sauce (change amount according to your taste)
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
With a sharp knife (or a mandolin), thinly slice your cabbage and onion.
In a cast iron pan (you can use any pan but cast iron gives a nice smokiness to it!), add in the olive oil and heat over high heat until very hot.
Add onion and cabbage and stir to coat in oil; cook on high heat for about 5 minutes (the bottom should start to caramelize)
Stir well and add 1/2 cup of water; stir again and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the rest of the water and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring as the cabbage softens
Add 2 tsp salt and spices, then add the apple cider vinegar and hot sauce; stir well and cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium low (stirring) until cabbage is soft and to your liking.
Stir in the parsely and serve as a side dish.