This isn’t so much about creamy avocado. Nor is it about unctuous, oily sardines, crusty toasted bread or even fruity olive oil. This is about weight. My weight, your weight and Alton’s weight.
Have you seen Alton Brown lately? Yes, that’s him. Or half of him. Alton recently dropped 50 pounds, and after circulating rumors of tropical diseases or exotic parasites, Alton revealed his slimming secrets. And actually, it’s not a secret at all.
Cutting down on desserts, exercising often and consuming a steady diet of sardines and avocados helped Alton achieve his svelte new figure. Don’t be surprised, all that fat in avocados is good fat. And sardines have loads of omega-3. But this isn’t a health blog. Instead I’ll tell you it’s delicious, and can easily replace a subpar workday lunch, even if you’re not trying to lose 50 pounds.
People are always asking about my weight, stunned that I stay slim while writing a food blog. It’s genes, they always say. And yes, I have skinny kin (some too skinny–that’s a different story). But when I turned 25, a roll here and a bulge there told me it was time to monitor what I ate. Monitor. What a sour word in the context of food. Counting every crouton in your soup, tracking each morsel of artisanal cheese, carefully placing an exact number of noodles on your plate. I’m sorry, that’s not for me, and honestly, neither is any kind of portion control.
I am not a weight-loss expert or nutrition guru (my opinion on portion control gives that away), but if you want to know how I attempt to keep my 5’6 frame at 128 pounds, here it goes…
I go to the gym, and I work hard. I run under 8 minutes per mile, I pile on the resistance in spin class, and I lift until I can’t in the weight room. I do this because I love to eat (and have pent up aggression, but whatever, leave me alone.) I don’t eat sugar often, but not because it makes you fat. I don’t crave it. I do crave cheese. And wine. And things soaked in olive oil. And so I enjoy these things, accompanied by vegetables, so I don’t overdo it.
I bring lunch to work. Things like this sardine avocado sandwich, but also roasted chickpeas with rice, leftover pasta with vegetables or grilled cheese made in the lunchroom toaster. As my co-workers heat up minuscule low-fat, frozen meals, they comment that I’m lucky–I eat what I want and don’t gain weight. Not true. I eat almost what I want, I exercise to make up for it, and I stay away from things like pre-packaged meals and sugary drinks.
I realize this isn’t feasible for everyone, and who am I to tell you how to live. But if you do want advice? Enjoy what you eat. Appreciate it. Especially if it’s sardines and avocado mashed onto crusty bread and doused with olive oil.
p.s. If you have questions about my diet, ask me in the comments section. I promise to be honest.
Allison, what do you eat for breakfast?
I don’t really eat breakfast (gasp!). I’m not hungry in the mornings, and why should I eat when I’m not hungry?
Sardine and Avocado Toast
One serving. (Adapted from Alton Brown)
1/2 ripe avovado
1 tin sardines in olive oil
Freshly baked bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Brush bread with olive oil and toast until golden. Scoop out avocado into a small bowl and mash with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt.
Mash sardines into another bowl. Spread sardines onto your bread, and top with avocado. Drizzle olive oil and a tad more lemon juice on top. Alternatively, you can top with the leftover oil from the sardine tin.