February 21, 2013
It’s been one of those weeks, where I had a big presentation on Monday, and instead of having that exhale moment where I go home, have a cup of tea and relax, I stay at work late, can’t sleep and generally don’t relax. I have upped my mug of tea quota though. So at least there’s that.
In other news: this justins chocolate almond butter needs to simultaneously get in my belly and out of my drawer at work, because it is delicious and very hard to not eat. I had some on a banana this afternoon for a snack, but eventually cut out the middleman and knife fed it to myself. I managed to stop before things got bad. Thank goodness.
Dinners have been a bit meh this week. But last night it was nice to finish off the last of our asparagus with this fun new salad recipe from an old vegetarian cookbook. Steamed asparagus, grape tomatoes and orange sections on a bed of spinach with a whip it up quick citrus vinaigrette. Easy, quick and a refreshing change from the heavy winter foods as of late.
Fear the purr.
January 31, 2013
After truly enjoying Michael Poblano’s Omnivores Dilemma, and in the spirit of.new year resolutions I’m squeezing some time in each day to flip through another of his, In Defense of food. I’m not too far in, but it’s already promising to be as mentally provocative a read as my first read. If I’m open minded about it, Michael’s writing brings up points that are worth more than a few seconds of consideration. This morning I read a quote that really resonated with me: “[If] foods are understood only in terms of the various quantities of nutriebnts they contain…even processed foods may be considered to be ‘healthier’ for you than whole foods if they contain the appropriate quantities of some nutrients.” Gyorgy Scrinis, quoted from In Defense of Food. As a healthy eater, who LOVES food, it really made me sit back and think if I cooked meals and food for the sake of their nutrients or not. And I think something like this rings particularly true for Vegans and/or vegetarians. When we exclude foods from our diet, a lot of time the focus is on what nutrients have we lost (not a lot, turns out) and how can we replace them. What turns most people off is the idea that vegans and vegetarians have to replace those nutrients with something fake (fake meat, cheese, etc). And to be perfectly honest, not all of them taste too terribly good. This past year, I’ve worked hard to limit my use of processed food as a crutch for the change in diet. The result has vbeen a massive increase in flavors that I try, can physically taste now and enjoy. I’m far more adventurous in the kitchen and very rarely ask if I’m getting all of my nutrients. By eating “whole foods” instead of processed nutrient counterparts, the hubs and I are getting a great variety of what we need. At least, thats been our take on things so far. But as always, being forced to reevaluate, like this quote did for me, is helpful to look at places that could use improvement. Interesting though, I know there are plenty of people, like my husband used to be (and sometimes still is), who eat only because it’s necessary for survival. Brandon used to claim that if they made a pill to provide everything that food did, then he’d take it. The process of cooking and creating a dish, then enjoying it slowly afterwards hold little romance for him. Whereas it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures for me. Which side so you sit on? Whew. Did that jumble of words even make sense? And just think, all of this from the first few pages… Hope everyone enjoyed their warm spell and are staying warm with winter’s revenge. Xo
October 15, 2012
Our weekend was truly a wonderful weekend. We took a day trip up home to see my parents and help out around the house and I was reminded how grateful I am to have a husband who loves my family as much as I do. And yesterday, we relaxed inside, watched some football AND got out to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we were having.
And I say we had a truly wonderful weekend, because in the long run, it wasn’t a bad weekend. But there were little things a long the way, mostly on Sunday that had me feeling pretty crummy about myself. Since I’ve been focusing a lot on what’s going into my body lately and the way my body reacts, I realized that after a week of eating ultra clean and healthy, I did nothing but feed my body with junk for the first part of the weekend. So the good thing about the weekend, is that I was able to look back and identify where I had made some less than stellar decisions along the way. Here’s what I learned:
1. On Saturday, I relied a lot on baked goods (mostly mine, and mostly healthy, but lets be real here…) and some convenience foods (sorry Sheetz MTO, but you and I are over.)
2. On Sunday, I had a cup of real coffee – mistake. I was jittery, my chest was tight and there was a definite strong reaction to the caffeine, even after only not having it for ~2 weeks. The minute I made myself a cup of tea, I felt 10x better, but was on edge and irritable for the rest of the day.
3. I started off pretty good with what I was eating, but ended up snacking on very salty foods. Eating without ever really being satisfied.
So how did I fix things?
Well first and foremeost, I made the committment to seriously cut back on the caffeine. I do truly enjoy the taste of coffee, so I’m going to stick with decaf when I really want the richness of coffee, but for the most part bring on the herbal teas! Celestial seasons just came back out with my favorite holiday tea, Candy Cane Lane.
And for more immediate relief, I took a nap. A rareity for me, but totally worth it. Dozed off for about 15-20 minutes and woke up with the idea of “starting my day over”. How’d I do it?
1. We got outside There’s a trail that we discovered last weekend that’s not too far from where we live, so we went out for a short (1.5 hr) walk. Neither of us wanted to get into bed at the end of the day and think “did we even DO anything today?”. Not only was it a great way to get in some execise and QT together, we got to see people smiling and dogs that were outrageously happy to be outside. I love when i’m reminded how easy it is to be happy. Being outside cleared my head and helped my get back in a great mindset.
2. We ditched the menu
For dinner last night I had big plans for some vegan mac & cheeze. Something comfy and cozy for the end of the weekend right? In theory, it would’ve been great. But in actuality, its the lat thing either of us wanted. If I refer back to what I’m reading about macrobiotics, all of the food I’d been eating this weekend had been very constricting and salty and to balance that out I was craving a lite meal, with lots of veggies that were more expanding (think, veggies that grow UP, rather than down, like a potato or root veggie). So we ditched the menu plan and zoned in on the veggies. If it was green, I NEEDED it. I had a big plate of steamed baby bok choy (LOVE), kale, zucchini and yellow squash and some cremini mushrooms. All drizzled with some Ume Plum vinegar (or hot sauce on the kale, i’m obsessed, what can I say). It was still the perfect way to end our weekend and ended up being more satisfying and cozy than the mac & cheeze would’ve been.
I’m maintaining my trend with an early morning Body Pump sesh, a lunch bag full of oats, veggies and grains and DECAF. I’m still recovering a bit from all the sludge I put into my body this weekend, but I feel pretty good about stopping the cycle the best way I knew how and learning its ok to simply start over sometimes.
How was your weekend friends? Ever take a close look at how what you’re eating really makes you feel? For the first time ever, the veggie wrap at Sheetz made me feel awful and really made it hit home how much better I feel after just a week of greens, grains and healthy eating.
July 23, 2012
I made another round of roasted cauliflower this weekend. I chose to spare you the details :)
I also made homemade peanut butter cups.
But I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do things like this :).
These are adapted from yet another recipe from The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone. I’m not quite satisfied with them yet, but they’re still a tasty little indulgence sitting in my freezer.
With all of the food posts lately, ya’ll are going to think the only thing I do anymore is eat :) But I’ve been getting myself back into the routine of working out again, slowly. Last week, I got in 3 of my shorter training runs, my yoga and both days of lifting. I did a run/weights set on Saturday, which is unfortunate in that the only thing I wanted to do on Sunday then was enjoy the gray morning with some coffee, enjoy the afternoon watching some TV with my husband and avoid the humidity in the evening. But I did all of this, with the little sneaky thought in the back of my mind that come today, I’d get my long run in. Did I? Didn’t I? You’ll have to wait until next Marathon Monday to find out :-O
Food wise, you’ve noticed I’ve been focusing a lot on some simple lunches filled with veggies and my dinners have been summer influenced dishes. Lots of corn on the cob and salsa, plus a self-indulgent night of easy peasy pasta with some veggie- meatballs. I’ve been pretty boring in the kitchen lately, but I find a lot of times in the summer, that happens with me. I’m not in the mood to cook or be creative, to turn on my oven and bake something fun. Right now its all about lite and fresh and SIMPLE, which is pretty healthy too, as it turns out. We’ve been starting to get antsy though with our menu planning, so I feel a cooking change coming on soon.
What about ya’ll? What do you do to get out of a cooking rut?
July 19, 2012
So, i’m still on this roasted cauliflower kick.
Yesterday I served it as a topping for a vegan ceasar salad and loved the pairing. Today, with some leftover noodles from last night’s dinner, I opted for a pasta salad of sorts.
I wanted to keep it really simple, so I paired the noodles and roasted cauliflower with some red kidney beans and a whipped up easy sesame vinaigrette. The result was a lite tasting, but delicious pasta salad that had some protein and veggies, and was perfect for a summer afternoon lunch.
The sesame dressing was simple combination of sesame and olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste and was a great compliment to the whole thing. I almost think its a salad worth serving at a picnic!
Short and sweet today! Hope everyone’s week is going well :)