Pork Tenderloin with Apple Reduction: The Lucy Diet – Control vs. Choice

Pork Tenderloin with an Apple Reduction Sauce: The Lucy Diet Part II – Control vs. Choice.

Pork tenderloin is seasoned with a dry rub and seared in a little olive oil. Vegetable broth and fresh apple are added to braise the meat. While the tenderloin is kept warm, the sauce is reduced and pureed. Return the tenderloin to the pan briefly to finish cooking and coat with sauce. Slice and serve with fresh roasted vegetables or salad.

[single_recipe slug=’pork-tenderloin-with-apple-reduction-sauce-and-roasted-vegetables’]

The Lucy Diet Part II:  Control vs. Choice

If you have control, it seems you give up choosing what you want to eat and if you choose what you want to eat, you lose control of the diet. Again, we go back to attitude here. What seems like a dilemma similar to the chicken and the egg is really more intent rather than philosophical question because you are choosing what you want to eat, every time you put something into your mouth.  No one shoves that whoopie pie or bag of salt and vinegar chips in your mouth; you do it. You work for the money, shop for the chips and then shove them down. I’m no food lawyer but that belches intent to me. I don’t believe temporary insanity for a moment. Even with a small bag of chips, you have to move hand from bag to mouth at least 6 times and, even the most sympathetic cookie-crumbs-on shirt- jury of peers, can’t in good faith believe that rapid fire shoveling is completely without intent. So, you must choose wisely what goes into your mouth, and here’s the important part, you have to like that choice. Pre-made meals designed to simplify control are fine until you feel deprived and your enthusiasm for doing the right thing wanes. You don’t have to be handcuffed to a bland diet but you do have to like the feeling of being in control, for the right reasons. Here are two key components for balancing control vs. choice:

1.  Become a food snob.

I don’t believe this “eat to live not live to eat” crap. Food is aesthetic, pleasing, tied to our memories; it is not merely a survival vehicle. Don’t buy tasteless food. Yes, good food is expensive but so is obesity. Quality equates to taste and the pleasure of eating and being discretionary about what goes into your body is what will make you successful. The bonus – eating good food is good for you so by being a food snob you get both the epicurean pleasure from food and the physical well being benefits. Judge your food. You are worth it.

2.  Now that you know you are worth it, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

Don’t give up your cravings, evaluate them with your “I am worth it” eye of inspection, and ask the question, “Is it worth it?” You have to be a hard judge about your cravings, if you are going with the pleasure of the mind and taste buds rather than the health of your entire body; you have to make sure it is worth it. Take French fries for instance. They have to be perfectly cooked hand cut fries or I toss them out. Oh, I haven’t given upmy French fries, I just expect them to be perfect; I’m worth it and they better be too or I’m going to toss them out. Eating a bag of frozen fries at 11PM is not being a connoisseur of French fries; it is probably the munchies or depression.

For example, an after dinner attack of “wouldn’t something sweet be nice” recently led Dennis and me out to a restaurant for just a peek at their dessert menu . A big shout out of respect to the server for her patience and honest answers:

Us: “Hmmm, cheesecake sounds good. Is it homemade?”

Server: “Honestly, no. It’s frozen but it is a good frozen.”

Us: “What about the strawberries on top, are they fresh?”

Server: “No, canned.”

Us: “Well, what about the chocolate torte, is that homemade?”

Server: “Yes.”

Us: “Is the whipped cream with it homemade?”

Server: “No.”

Us: “Is the chocolate drizzle homemade?”

Server: “Hershey’s.”

Us:  “Thank you, but it just isn’t worth it to us.”

Homemade whipped cream or a scratch cheesecake would have got our attention but further investigation of the quality of the ingredients and preparation led us, as food snobs, to determine that those choices were not food items worth it to us.

Look for part 3 of the Lucy diet where I’ll discuss the three most important steps to becoming a food snob.