I've spent so many days over the last many years of my life trying to drop 10 pounds.
First it was vegan, then it was paleo. Then it was just perfectionism. Often down on myself for eating the "naughty" stuff, the last 3 years have been me trying to carefully pick low-carb, grain-free, all-greens eats. Avoiding decadence and eschewing cravings.
And all the while, I've lost zero pounds.
True fact: I've actually gained 5.
I finally decided it was time to do a proper diet for the holidays
Not the regular diet. The kind where I skip out of the "no's" and "can't's" and "shouldn't's". The kind of diet where I go on a diet from diets. And just let my body and my cravings determine what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.
I know there are people with legitimate food issues. I'm a big believer in eating nourishing, plant-based foods.
But after two months of giving "intuitive eating" a try, I'm down 4 pounds and up ninety four bacon-biscuit-waffles.
Apparently, this is what happens when you let your heart decide what it wants to eat in the dead of winter:
- Your heart goes to the store begging for waffles. But you don't want to be baking all day, so you figure a pack of biscuits, embroidered with bacon and waffled in le waffle iron sounds like a pretty okay hack.
- It spots blackberries, and instantly decided jalapenos should be their best friends. All blanketed in a threesome with golden raw honey.
- Fried chicken, of course, is a perfect match for abovementioned waffles. But then your heart spots coconut and does so love coconut.
- And since Christmas is exactly 11 days away, the pecans start singing to you from the bulk-foods aisle, begging you to enrobe them in meyer lemon rind and coarse-ground turbinado sugar.
And, you're all "of coursssssee that's all I wanted to eat on this chilly, snowy, sub-zero winter day" as you curl up in the Coffee Nook, plate piled high with honeyed blackberries and bacon and waffles and coconut chicken.
You wash it down with chai tea-infused beer and shot of coffee for dessert. Because what else would you do?
And since you gave your heart exactly what it wants, turns out, it really only needs a couple of bites of this glorious flavor explosion.
So next day, you step on the scale and say "oh! how nice! Waffles and a bit of weight loss."
What a thing.
As I'm growing a wee bit older and a helluva lot wiser, one of the things it's nice to learn: letting go is almost always exactly the right answer.
Unless, of course, you're talking about Dieting from Diets.
In which case, hold on tight, baybee. And enjoy the menu.
For the Candied Pecan Streusel:
- 3/4 cup pecan halved
- 1 meyer lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Blackberry Jalapeño Honey:
- 2/3 cup Nature Nate's Raw and Unfiltered Honey
- 2 cups blackberries
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- pinch salt
For the Coconut Fried Chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken tenders
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup finely shredded coconut
- fresh ground pepper
- coconut oil for frying
For the Bacon Biscuits:
- 1 (8 oz) jar refrigerated flaky biscuits (or your favorite biscuit dough)
- 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
In a medium skillet, heat all ingredients for the pecan streusel together over medium heat. Stir constantly, until mixture begins to bubble and caramelize. Continue stirring, just until sugar begins to turn slightly golden. Spread onto a piece of parchment paper. Allow to cool. Once cool, crumble coarsely.
Return skillet to stovetop. Add honey, cooking just until very warm. Add blackberries, vanilla, jalapeno and salt. Remove from heat. Stir. Set aside until ready to serve.
Salt chicken tenders with 1 teaspoon of salt. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Place eggs in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, stir together tapioca, coconut, salt and pepper.
Dip chicken into eggs, then into coconut mixture, back into eggs, then back into coconut mixture. Fry in oil, until golden brown on both sides. Continue until all chicken pieces have been cooked.
Meanwhile, press biscuits in chopped bacon. Cook until golden in a waffle iron.
Serve waffles topped with chicken, blackberry honey and pecans. Serve with tea-infused beer for extra perfection.