Chef Marian – Health is Wealth

Can you believe that Health is Wealth? Well, maybe if your not in your 20’s. In my 20’s I was invincible. I never worried about consequences once I made my mind up to do something. And it was in junior high I started smoking (another fabulous addiction) and in my 20’s that I quit smoking. I made my mind up and that’s all there was to it one, two and three times. Lucky for me, the third time was a charm!
It’s the same for sugar. I don’t think we even realize how much sugar we eat or even how often we eat sugar. I mean, sugar is NOT a food group. But I’ve met many people who consume it like it is. I mean how you can walk by the donuts in the case screaming ‘eat me’, and not take just one? How can you cruise by a Baskin Robbins and not get their Chocolate Chip Mint ice cream? And then you think: “It would be great to have a pint in the freezer, great to eat that rolled in their fudge for your birthday, and you’re really off to the races!

Worse yet, I made friends with my local B & R Store Owner and got the double pleasure of being happily welcomed and sat with and talked to every time I went in. After all, I am a Chef! And there’s lots to talk about! lol

But that did have to stop. Last year just before Thanksgiving, as I have done for many years now, I remembered that we gain a minimum of 10 pounds during the holidays, so I gave up sugar. That means no pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, no desserts for Christmas, and certainly no desserts for New Year’s Eve.

But it’s way more than that. This past year I added two more components: no alcohol. No animal. Whoot? Yes. Read it again. NO Sugar. No Alcohol. No Animal (no animal protein, no butter, etc).


And it’s always a test for me to see how long I can go. This year I went all the way past my daughter’s wedding in March. So that’s before Thanksgiving to the end of March. But I won’t kid you. I did find myself slipping here and there.

But here’s the good news: I slipped here and there, but I did not gain 10 pounds in that time frame. I lost 10 pounds! And here’s what I learned: I am now 80% vegan, 80% sugar free, and 90% alcohol free. So unless and if it’s a really good bottle of wine, or something I have been craving, I’m not drinking! I find that if I have a hankering for a white wine with a pear nose and have a great menu to pair it with, I’m going to use my 10% and make sure I am satisfied. Satisfaction in moderation. It’s a good thing!

And I am totally aware that wine turns to sugar. Totally aware that pasta and bread turn to sugar. So now I am starting to see these things as sugar. It’s a baby step that sometimes wins and works, and sometimes I say ‘what the heck’ and go for it anyway. But we are talking about Mindfulness here.

I have told you about my 3 Bite Rule (go back to my article called “Baby Steps to a New You)”. That has been a big help.

I now think of weight in terms of health. Am I eating whole foods/whole grains more times than not? Can I picture it growing in the ground? Yes. And believe me, it took more than overnight to gain weight, and it takes more than overnight to change your thinking about your health.

Lucky for us, we live in California where it’s cool to be healthy (unlike the midwest where they look at you like you are crazy if you won’t eat meat). Chefs don’t mind accommodating you here and when they don’t, they politely tell you: “The chef graciously declines changing his ingredients”.

But don’t let that stop you! Make good choices! Don’t ever deny yourself (3 Bite Rule). And be Mindful of what you are actually eating, by reading labels and keeping track of what your body is digesting. And remember to read for continued Support, Restaurant Reviews and Nutrition News.

Health. Wealth.

You can have it all!

Mad thanks to those of you who forward this article and post it to your social Media!

Healthy, Happy Eating,

Chef marian name