How to Lose Weight, Keep it Off and Lead a Vibrant Life FREE Workshop

Podcast: Simplify and Thrive: Mastering Systems for Effortless Healthy Living


Simplify and Thrive: Mastering Systems for Effortless Healthy Living

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena. I hope that you are feeling amazing, amazing, amazing today. Okay? Today is story time. I have got a couple of stories to tell you. The first story I want to tell you is called The Chocolate Cake Story, and here's how it goes.

The Chocolate Cake Story: Finding Balance in Indulgence

My son, who is 15, he loves, loves, loves making chocolate cake now. Admittedly, he makes chocolate cake for birthdays and special treats. It's not something that he makes every day, but my son doesn't do things by halves. He's not the kind of person who takes on board what I'm trying to teach him about healthy eating. He's like, "I'm gonna throw in loads of sugar and loads of flour and loads of chocolate and loads of cream."

And he ends up with this decadent, amazing chocolate cake, which is great for birthdays and exciting things like that. Now I like to cook in a slightly different way. My idea of cooking is to make things as healthy, as tasty, and as easy as possible. So I like those three things. Tasty, healthy, easy. And a side note on tasty, your taste buds really change the more you eat healthily.

Rediscovering Tastiness in Healthy Eating

So if you are currently eating lots of processed junk food, which contains sugar and salt, then you need those flavors. The sugar and salt for food to sort of reach that threshold of flavor. Whereas when you stop eating those sugars and salts, you don't need so much so that fruit and vegetables have that natural burst of flavor that you can now taste.

Mummy's Yummy Chocolate Cake: A Healthy Twist

So I like to make things tasty and healthy. So one of the things I do is I make what is called mummy's yummy chocolate cake. And this is essentially an ine or eggplant brownie. Now I don't want you to think brownie. If you think chocolate brownie, you are going to be sorely disappointed.

Essentially what I do is I take an INE or several ine, 'cause I live in Spain and it's one of like, you know, the things that I can get lots of here. And you boil it up and you use that as the base. It is basically carbohydrate and you use it as the base of your cake, your brownie, and into that. Well, it changes every single time I make it.

Balancing Health and Enjoyment

But essentially I add healthy things like coconut. I might add chia seeds. I would like to add chia seeds, but if I do, my kids don't eat them. And I add dried fruits and nuts and different things like that. Now, I might add a bit of oil. I might add some eggs to bind it together depending on how. How I'm feeling.

So it's sort of a recipe that is a very versatile recipe and it's healthy. If I'm feeling really, really adventurous, I might put a teaspoon of honey in or two teaspoons of honey. Now the question I want to ask you is on one hand we've got this chocolate cake, which is super, super decadent, and we are thinking about the impact that it has on our health.

Sugar Comparison: Chocolate Cake vs. Aubergine Brownie

And on the other hand, we've got enjoyment and getting a balance between enjoyment and health and how can we measure the two? Now, this is not very scientific, so just bear with me. But like it is difficult to quantify these things. So if we have a think about those two cakes and we just think, okay, we're gonna measure health in terms of added sugar.

Decoding the Sugar Equation

Because added sugar is, you know, an important factor. And really, if we are thinking about weight and weight loss, it all boils down to sugar. Essentially, it all boils down to white, refined carbohydrates and how much carbohydrate you are eating. And side note, I'm not saying you have to have a low carbohydrate diet, you need carbohydrates.

Decadence vs. Regular Delight

Your body, unless you are on the ketogenic diet, your body uses carbohydrates as fuel, and that's okay. Fuel in the right place is what we need. So let's have a look at my brownie. It's got one teaspoon of honey in it, which is the same as a teaspoon of sugar. Yes, honey is the same as sugar, basically. So that's five grams of sugar.

Now don't worry if you don't use grams, this is still gonna make sense to you. And let's just say to be really, really decadent, I've put two teaspoons in. So we've got 10 grams of sugar in my cake, which is for the whole cake. That's not per slice, that's for the whole cake. Now, in my son's cake, he has put 400 grams of caster sugar in the cake, and that is not including the chocolate, and that is not including the cream, and that is not including the flour.

And the flour basically gets broken down into sugar. The moment you start eating it, you've got this enzyme in your mouth called saliva amylase, and it starts breaking flour down into sugar.

Healthy Indulgence and Finding Real Enjoyment

Now my cake hasn't got any refined sugar in it. It's got Obi, which is carbohydrate. It has got coconut as well, which is fiber and a bit of carbohydrate. So we're just gonna compare the sugar today. So we've got 400 grams in the whole cake. And 10 grams. So the cake has 40 times as much sugar, not including all those other bits and pieces, which aren't as good to use.

Balance and Preference: Enjoyment Analysis

So let's just go with the cake has 40 times as much impact on your sugar levels as the ine brownie. So my question is then, do you get 40 times as much enjoyment from this cake? Now this is where you have to bear with me, and in order to answer this question, you need to. Enjoy the bean brownie at least a little bit.

Choosing Regular Enjoyment Over Occasional Indulgence

So some of my kids will not eat it because it's got beans in it, and they don't like beans. They won't touch beans. Strangely, my most picky child likes this cake and he calls it mummies yummy chocolate cake, and he really likes it. So I said to him, okay, Sebastian. If you had a choice between having chocolate cake every single day and bean brownie every single day, which would you go for?

Okay. That's just a no-brainer, isn't it? Of course, he would like chocolate cake every single day. Okay, so we are looking at the number 40. Let's have a think about, you know, once a month if you could choose, would you have the bean brownie every single day? Or chocolate cake once a month. Hmm. I'd rather have the bean brownie every single day than have the chocolate cake once a month.

Balancing Indulgence and Everyday Choices

So interesting. He's saying he prefers to have the bean brownie regularly than have that treat from time to time. Now, I said to him, well, would you rather have the bean brownie or the chocolate cake? The chocolate cake once a week. So you know, looking at one in 10, one in seven, and he said, Hmm, I don't know.

But basically he decided on the cake, but it wasn't easy for him to decide. And this is my message, this is what I'm trying to illustrate with this.

Balancing Health and Enjoyment: Finding True Pleasure

And this is my message, this is what I'm trying to illustrate with this story, is that we think that decadent treats, junk food, or it doesn't have to be junk food, it can be homemade treat food, is yummy. It's delicious, it's enjoyable, but really when we get down to it, how much enjoyment do you get from that cake?

And even my children who are what I call glucose-seeking missiles, by the way, it is normal for humans to be glucose-seeking missiles. It is part of our human drive that is a drive that we have to seek glucose. And I think in order to turn that off, you really need to train yourself. And actually, where my clients get to and myself, so anyone who hangs around with me for long enough and listens to what I say is gonna get to this stage of, "Hey, you know what? I actually don't like that stuff anymore. I've taught myself that it's not good for me and that I don't enjoy it, and I can see that I don't enjoy it as much as, you know, I thought I did," and I've been through this journey myself as well.

Rediscovering Pleasure in Healthier Choices

I used to love, my favorite pastry is like an apple slice, and it's got apple and custard. I love custard. Custard is a thing that I really love. So this pastry has pastry custard and then apples on top. Now the apples on top, you might think it's healthy. It's not healthy, it's just pretending to be healthy. Okay? It's not as bad as totally, totally highly processed food. It is homemade, but it's more the anticipation of having it than the actual eating it.

So, you know, you get excited and think, "I'm gonna go to the pastry shop and I'm gonna buy one of these things." And then I would have it and think, "Oh, it was a little bit burned, or, oh, it wasn't actually as exciting as I thought it was eating it. It was just like eating something else." And when you really pay attention to what you eat, you get to this stage.

Navigating Social Situations and Healthy Choices

And I know that my clients get to this stage of being in a social situation. A social situation is I think one of the most difficult pieces to navigate and learn. And they go to a social situation and they are offered stuff and instead of just saying, "No, I don't want it," and really thinking they do want it, they genuinely go, "No, I'm fine. Thanks. I just like, I don't want it. I'm happy. I don't want to put that stuff into my body." And they don't feel deprived and they don't feel hard done by. They are just somewhere. Some other people are eating food and that's okay, and they're perfectly happy not eating food.

Healthy Eating Can Be Fun and Enjoyable

So my takeaway message from this story is, healthy eating can be fun. You can get enjoyment from it. And actually when you really look at the enjoyment that you get from not eating, sorry, from eating not so healthy foods, a lot of it is in your mind. As opposed to the actual food. Yes, I know you get a sugar rush. You do, but you get used to not having that sugar rush. So that was story number one.

Effortless Healthy Eating: The Bean Chili System

Story number two is this, and it is the story of my bean chili. Now, before I tell you about bean chili, I want to tell you about, let's call her Jane. Jane does not have bean chili in her life. In fact, she doesn't have a system in her life and she is busy and she wants to eat healthy foods, so she decides, "I'm gonna eat this healthy recipe." She's just signed up for Dr. Alina's healthy recipes. She's like, "Great, I've got a whole load of healthy recipes. I'm gonna make this healthy recipe."

Creating Systems for Easy, Healthy Meals

And one healthy recipe she found looks great. Actually, this one let's, let's say it wasn't Dr. Alina's, 'cause mine are all much easier than the recipe that I have in mind. Okay? This recipe in mind is cauliflower and lentil and a salsa verde. Now, a salsa verde is not normally something that you can buy in a packet like pesto. Everyone can buy pesto and salsa verde isn't difficult to make when you know how, when you are used to doing something, it's really easy. But when you don't, the salsa verde is gonna be like, "Oh, I'm looking at these ingredients. Have I got all these ingredients?" It means mint and thyme and anchovies and all of this stuff.

Overcoming Recipe Overwhelm: The Bean Chili Solution

So yes, I've got this seemingly easy recipe, but I've never made it before. But it's okay. I'm prepared. I've got my cauliflower, I've got my lentils, and now I come home from work. I'm tired, I'm busy, and what happens? I just think, "Oh my goodness, I do not have time to. Or energy to try this new meant recipe, which is, you know, I have to go and read it. I have to figure out what to do. Because life is just busy. I've got caught in traffic. I did all of this stuff."

A Routine for Success

Now let me tell you about my Wednesdays, okay? Summer holidays as I recall this. But normally my Wednesdays is what I call my crush day. Like, you know, my kids have got this extra school activity and another extra school activity and I've gotta call in the evening. It's one of those days where it's just like, "Oh my goodness." Dinner is just slap in the middle of everything and it's so difficult.

Mastering the Routine

So on Wednesday, what I do is a bean chili. And my kids all eat bean chili. There may be a few complaints, but they do eat it. It's really easy for me. Yes, I soak my beans overnight. You don't have to soak your beans overnight, but I do. 'Cause I can't buy black beans that are cooked here at my local supermarket. But so I soak them overnight and that takes me a few minutes.

Preparation is Key: Setting Up for Success

And then in the morning, I know what I'm doing. Okay? So the first time I made this recipe, I don't even remember when that was. I had to think about it a little bit. But now I know the recipe and it takes me literally five minutes. I drain the beans, I save the water 'cause we have a drought here and I give it to my plants. Five minutes. Fat chili is in the slow cooker. And then I leave it until whenever I go and look at it later on at lunchtime and think, "Oh, it's done." And I turn it off. And then I might make my kids like a bit of rice. I do vegetables for myself or something else. I might do a salsa, something else to go with it.

Reap the Rewards of Routine

So it's not just beans and that's it. Wednesday dinner taken care of. So easy. So easy. Do I do anything else on Wednesday? No, because it would just be difficult for me. It would just make this huge great hole in my day. Do I do new recipes at other times? Yes, I do, but I make sure I do them at the weekend or at a time when I'm thinking, okay, I can experiment a little bit, or even a recipe that I've done before, but not one that I do frequently.

The Power of Systems to Make Healthy Eating Easy

Now, with my bean chili, I also do more than I need. Which means that my son, who is 15, the one who likes to make big chocolate cakes, he likes to eat slightly differently than we do. Partly during his school time. He has a different timetable than the rest of us, so it does make it slightly complicated, but so I do extra and he can go and help himself to chili during the day. He likes to have a lunchtime wrap with some chili and some cheese, and I'm perfectly happy with that. And the other thing I do is save enough for all six of us to have nachos and on Friday evening, we have some nachos. Those are a bit of a treat with our chili and some cheese and a delicious salsa, and the kids love that, and that is so easy. On Friday. All I have to do is heat up the chili and prepare the plates and put it under the grill and the salsa. But you know, it doesn't take very long. It's not about like, oh my goodness, now I have to sit down and cook dinner for me. Those are two really, really easy recipes that I have in my routine, in my system, in, you know, what do I call my meal planning things.

Unveiling the Workshop: Simplify and Thrive

So I hope that you can see that when you have a system that works for you, it becomes so much easier. I don't have to think about what I do on Wednesday. I don't have to think about what I do on Friday. Why? Because it's just part of my system. Yes, I may have to think about some of the other days. It kind of depends on my routine, but it's so much easier when you know what you are gonna have when you come home from work and you're like, okay, it's either already prepared, great, or I know what to do and it's all set up and it's not gonna take me very long, then that makes your life so much easier. It's setting yourself up for success.

Embrace the Journey to Effortless Healthy Living

So why am I telling you about systems? I'm sure you're all thinking, yeah, we know about systems because I promised you that I would be doing a workshop this week and I have set a time and a date, so I put it to the vote. And gave everybody a list of six possible titles, two of which I realized were quite similar. And everybody voted on the systems. So that is what the workshop is gonna be, and it is this.

Creating Your Own Healthy Eating System Workshop

Details here: 

So the two titles I gave you were "Create Your Own Healthy Meal Plan that you'll stick to" and "Create your own healthy eating system that works for you so you can lose weight" and I realize that the two of them are basically the same thing. So it is now combined. Create your own healthy eating system, stroke meal plan that works for you so that you can lose weight and be healthy and get all of those things. And that is gonna be happening on August 30th at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, which is 6:00 PM UK. Oh my goodness, my brain can do maths. I'm so proud of myself.

Now, this is gonna be a paid workshop. It is gonna be $50 to join this program, and I really encourage anybody who signs up to turn up live. Now, I know that it's, if it's impossible to find a time when everybody can turn up, so there will be a replay. Now, you can't sign up right now. What I will do is next week I will put out the payment link and people can sign up for it, but keep an eye out for it and if you do sign up and you have any questions that you want to ask, obviously if you can ask them in advance and I can make sure that I can incorporate them in the presentation. And obviously there will be a time to do Q and A at the end. But the idea is you are going to create your system. Now, you may not create an exact system for every single day, but if you walk away from that workshop with two or three of your days of your week, like your worst days of your week, and you have a system for those days of your week, that my friends is an amazing win. Now the idea is that we do the whole week, but we will see how we go. And I think sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming. And one thing that I would say to you is, I can give you a zillion new recipes. This isn't about new recipes. This is about finding ways to use the things that are already working for you and how we can adapt them and make them healthy and easy and tasty.

So my friends, sign up for that when the link comes out. And I look forward to doing this new and exciting workshop. Okay, have fun. Bye-bye.


Take Dr Orlena's "Why Do I Overeat Quiz?"

 Take the fun quiz to get clarity on why you overeat.

What's really going on for you?