When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate
When life is sour, say thank you and grow.
|Bean salad gains its unique flavor from lounging in a sweet and sour marinade.|
This year for my "Going Clean in 2016" campaign that I kicked off the second week of January, I have further reduced the amount of unrefined sugar in my diet. I no longer add honey to my coffee, or any beverage for that matter, and I am consciously doing my best to identify and eliminate excess sugar from my diet whether it is refined or unrefined. I've been juicing vegetables everyday for a nutritional boost and I've started exercising daily. No matter what program my husband and I follow for improved health, one thing is for sure. He will not forsake Four Bean Salad. He loves it so. I documented his love for Four Bean Salad in this post with a recipe calling for granulated sugar.
What makes Four Bean Salad so delicious is the sweet and sour marinade. Honey is actually sweeter than granulated sugar, so it should not be swapped one-for-one in a recipe. For a non-baking recipe, to replace one cup sugar, you can reduce the same amount of honey by two to four tablespoons, depending upon your desired final outcome. We like the marinade to be on the sweeter side, so I reduced the amount of honey by 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup.
|Red bell peppers take the place of kidney beans in a paleo-friendly bean salad.|
I tried to strictly eat Paleo through the last months of winter and in to early spring of 2015 and found the kitchen prep too labor intensive. And this revelation is coming from me, a person who cooks regularly from scratch with whole foods and lots of organic vegetables. I really tried to stay true day after day, but on hectic evenings when I just needed to whip out a dinner, I did what I needed to do (without guilt, I might add).
I also went on a bit of a gluten bender this summer, especially with my trips to Denver, New Orleans, and Northern California. Life is short—I wasn't going to pass up trying a Po' Boy and Beignets in the Big Easy or Dim Sum in San Francisco or cup after cup of Linda's Aged Holiday Egg nog. (Seriously, that boozy eggnog is bomb.) I paid for it though around my mid section.
Much to my chagrin, I finally stepped on the scale on New Year's Day. After squinting to read the digits with my near-sighted eyes, I made a very sad frowny face, and then stepped off the scale. I may have even blurted, in an exasperated tone, a bad word or two. I didn't need a crystal ball with me in the bathroom to foresee my immediate future. I'd be joining the other millions of people who resolved to embark on a bright and shiny new year by undertaking a new eating and exercising campaign.
I have once again locked down my eating and exercising routine. Unfortunately, this is not my first weight-loss rodeo. It's back to careful eating, with a splurge here and there (I am human after all), and it's definitely back to the gym. Channeling Nike's slogan, I just need to do it. At least I can still have this Four Bean Salad as part of my forthcoming eating regimen. Hallelujah for small graces in the kitchen.
Paleo-Friendly Tangy Four Bean Salad