Monday, November 28, 2005

Discernment in Eating

One of the greatest miracles that happened to me when I entered Sacred Heart Novitiate was losing 80 pounds in one year! I entered the novitiate weighing 230 lbs. in May 2003. By the time we welcomed the next batch of novices in May 2004, I was down to 150!

Many people ask me how I did it. Honestly, I do not know exactly. I cannot pinpoint one reason to which I could attribute this tremendous weight loss. Was it sheer determination? Was it self-discipline? Was it divine grace? As I said, I don’t really know. But honestly, I have a hunch. There is one principle that I started to live by when I entered the novitiate which I think really helped me lose weight. What is this principle? Discernment in eating. Yes, as a true son of Ignatius, I sincerely believe that we need to be discerning even as we eat. Let me explain this principle briefly for the sake of those who might benefit from reading it.

This principle hinges on the basic idea that fat people do not get fat because they eat too much good food. They get fat because they eat too much bad food. The real overweights are those who just swallow whatever food is made available to them, regardless of taste, quality, or caloric content. In short, the obese do not discern when they eat. They just eat!

For those who want to follow my principle, my advice is this: before putting food into your mouth, discern first. Ask yourself: is it worth it? Will the satisfaction I derive from eating this, outweigh the consequence of additional pounds? Weigh the pros and the cons. Ask yourself: am I willing to get fat for this? If the answer is yes, then go ahead. Indulge. Feast if there is reason for feasting. But if the answer is no, then give it up. Don’t allow everyday dishes add unwanted pounds to your belly. Just eat enough so as not to make you starve. In short: do not deprive yourself of good food, but cut off on bad food. Fast on bad days. Feast on good days.

Let me share with you a personal recipe which has often made me say “yes” to the question “is it worth it?” I call this Novitiate Nachos because it was in the novitiate that I started making this, in one of those “special” days when I would allow myself to indulge. Yes, believe it or not, I was eating loads and loads of this even as I was in the process of losing 80 lbs.!

Novitiate Nachos
for a community of 30 people

15 medium-sized packs of Tostillas
1 pack of Sour Cream
2 packs of Kraft Eden Cheese
1 bottle of Mayo Magic
2 cans of button mushrooms
1 kilo of ground beef
2 bulbs of onion
10 pieces of tomatoes
20 cloves of garlic

Step 1: Prepare the toppings

  1. Saute the ground beef in onion and garlic.
  2. Chop the mushrooms and saute in garlic.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and onions.

Step 2: Prepare the sauces

  1. Osterize the remaining garlic.
  2. Whip the Mayo Magic with ¼ of the osterized garlic.
  3. Melt the Kraft Eden Cheese and mix the remaining ¾ portion of the osterized garlic.

Step 3: Fix everything up

  1. Arrange the nachos in a platter.
  2. Add the beef, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes on top.
  3. Pour the 3 types of sauces (garlic cheese, garlic mayo, sour cream)


sonoftheprodigal said...

there should be a "before and after" pic to accompany this article so that people may see and feel the difference.

Jessel Gerard said...

I agree with Weng. Joel, upload the friendster picture! Then many will be convinced that this might be the new principle in weight reduction! Baka ma-guest ka ni Cory Quirino sa TV!

Joel Liwanag, SJ said...

As requested, I'll be posting my Before and After picture. =)

Jeff Pioquinto,SJ said...


Jhaw said...

The photos made a lot of difference. This goes both for the the "before and after" picture and the nachos.

celia kusinera said...

How inspiring! Well done. I hope I can follow your footsteps ...