January is around the corner and undoubtedly you are thinking about ways to bring out the better you. Whether it’s health-related, a career change, personal growth – you name it, you’re thinking about it. You do this every year and by the 10th day (if that long), you’re an epic fail. But I’m here to tell you, you’re not! Eating healthy is typically part of the top 10 goals for the New Year.
The key to tackling change is to do it in small doses. And by small, I mean micro small. If you are like most and have a laundry list of resolutions, I recommend you rip it to shreds this very second. It’s daunting to try and tackle it all at once and it feels even worse when you don’t tackle it at all.
Stick to one! If the choice is eating healthier which is typically in the top 10 of annual New Year’s resolutions then break that resolution down into little bite-size pieces. Here are a few suggestions to making a lifelong change and introducing these changes in weekly stages.
- Week 1 – Download an app that allows you to plan and track your meal intake in terms of nutrients, grams, calories, measurements, etc. – Track everything! Not only is it fun and addictive but you become more aware of what you’re eating. Just don’t be that person who is tracking everyone else too. Remember, this is just about you.
- Week 2 – Cut back on portions. You’d be surprised at the impact and how many calories you shave.
- Week 3 – Take existing dishes you love and create a healthy twist. For example: a dish you typically fry, try baking it instead.
- Week 4 – Obtain one or two new recipes a month starting with my Chickpea Pizza. Don’t torture yourself with healthy dishes you don’t like. Only stick with the ones that are tasty and satisfying. After all, you should always find pleasure in food. Even the healthy ones.
I’m not a health specialist but I do know a thing or two about taking small steps to achieve a long-lasting change.
There is strong Italian influence when it comes to Argentinean cuisine. This particular dish originates from Northern Italy and is served as a side dish to pizza in Argentina. Alone, as served here, it is a great gluten-free meal. Chickpea flour, a staple in India is the main ingredient. Despite its high carbohydrates content, it is also high in protein compared to other flour.
- 2 ½ cups chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2-2 ½ cups water
- 6 slices Serrano ham (optional)
- Whisk the chickpea flour together with the salt, 3 tablespoons olive oil, parmesan cheese, and a generous amount of ground black pepper.
- Whisk in 1 ½ cups of water until well mixed. Set aside for about a half hour, to let the flour absorb some of the water.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When hot, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pizza pan, (we used a 13×9 pizza stone) and heat in the oven until very hot.
- Stir more water into the batter until the batter is thin enough to pour. Remove hot pizza pan from oven, and pour batter into the pan. It should make a thin (about 1/4 inch) layer.
- Place in the oven and bake until fainá (flatbread made with chickpea) is golden (about 12-15 minutes). Inside will be moist and outside will crispy. Let cool for a minute or two. Cut and serve.
- For variety, top with Serrano ham and serve alongside a mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.