I learn new things all the time. Like this week I learned that I can get a free copy of the New York Times every single day in one of the buildings I have class in. I took advantage of this new discovery on Tuesday morning and (after reading up the turmoil in Libya) immediately flipped over to the Health section, where I was delighted to find an article on why going easy on yourself is a good weight loss and health tool. Finally! Vindication! I swear I’ve been telling people this forever and no one wants to listen.
Apparently they did this study where they had two groups of women taste-test candies and doughnuts. One group of women was reassured that they shouldn’t feel bad about eating the foods because everyone in the study had to do it, so it wasn’t a big deal. The other group of women wasn’t given any such reassurance. You would think that the ones who were told it’s okay to eat the sweets would be the ones who ate more, right? But . . . no. The group of women who wasn’t given any reassurance and were feeling guilty about what they were eating were actually overeating because of their guilt about it. So counterproductive.
There’s more in the article about self-compassion and further details about the study. It’s a great read, especially for anyone who is struggling to lose weight and deals with guilt eating. Read the full article on the NY Times Well blog here.
(Keep reading for more commentary on how letting go of negative emotions helped me. . . and for the frittata recipe!)
What I loved about that NY Times article was that it rang true to me. There was a time in my weight loss where I was obsessed with perfection. I had foods labeled into “good” and “bad” categories. Into “allowed” and “forbidden” groups. But the problem was (and still is, if I ever try to banish a food) that telling myself that something was bad and not allowed made me want it more. And then when I finally did cave, I would end up overeating the thing that I had banished in the first place. So instead of planning to eat dessert at a party or at dinner, I would then go hit up the grocery store on the way home and end up eating 3 or 4 servings of whatever my stomach wanted right then. So counterproductive.
Lesson of the day: you’re probably never going to be able to eat PERFECTLY. But who cares? Why live if you can’t have your mom’s cream puffs or that creme brulee when you go out to dinner or a cupcake at your friend’s birthday? In the wise words of my darling grandmother: if you can’t have chocolate, you may as well forget it! Well said, Grandma. Well said.
And now that we’ve had our lesson of the day, we move along to our recipe of the day. This was my very first attempt at making frittata, and I must say it turned out rather well. I have a bad habit of buying lots of vegetables and letting them go to waste, so I decided to clear out my drawer and this just seemed like the right combination. You can use any kind of vegetables here, and you could even add a little cheese to the top before you put it in the oven. Using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites is also an option (America’s Test Kitchen says that 5 whites to 1 egg is the perfect frittata ratio, but I didn’t have that many eggs in the fridge today).
My favorite thing about this frittata? Because I only cook for me, I have leftovers! I don’t have to worry about cooking breakfast again until Saturday. Amazing.
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, chopped (I use the kind from a jar. . . so easy!)
1/2 zucchini, cut into cubes
1/2 small onion, diced
3 oz baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup spinach
Preheat broiler. I used the low setting to make sure the eggs would cook all the way through.
Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk well with a dash of salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil on medium heat in an oven-proof skillet (or whatever you have that can go in the oven. I used my trusty enameled cast-iron dutch oven). Add garlic and cook for a minute, until fragrant. Add zucchini and onion, cook until until starting to go soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they get that nice sauteed look and onion is translucent. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
Add eggs to the vegetables and and stir briefly to combine. Let cook until the bottom of the eggs are set (I waited until the eggs on the outsides of the pan were visibly done). Transfer to oven and bake under broiler for further 4-5 minutes until eggs are fully set.
You can get all fancy and flip the fritatta onto a platter to serve. I didn’t, and I’m guessing it tasted the same.