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things to remember

26 May

Progress not perfection. That is my goal.

I got these little cards forever ago, I am not sure if they were from my dad or something I bought for myself. They’ve been with me through many “diets”, “life plans”, etc., sometimes living on the mirror in the bathroom, stuck to my computer monitor or on the back of the door next to a weight chart. The only one that has survived the move to this apartment contains that reminder and is on the fridge now.

This is the most difficult thing for me. Some people might confuse my messy apartment or my weight issues with not caring or being lazy, something I often accuse myself of when I let the negative self talk get the better of me. But it’s really more like, if I can’t to it perfectly, why do it at all? That leads to procrastination and/or overextending myself which then leads to giving up and eating a whole pizza. I plan plan plan and try try try then I get overwhelmed and then I am just done. I ran into this last week and it took me awhile to recover from it. I got caught up in cooking lots of things ahead of time for the week and before I knew it, my kitchen was a mess and I didn’t have enough energy left over from the cooking and shopping to get it back in order again.

So this week, I learned that my kitchen does not have to be clean for me to cook for myself. Yes, the dishes have piled up and I need to do creative rearranging to get counter space but still. It’s better to use my energy to take care of myself first and then my apartment/kitchen second. I learned that I don’t have to eat something I don’t like just because I spent an hour cooking it. And pizza rolls on Friday night are not an excuse to avoid eating well for the rest of the week!

I am also quite proud that I went over a week without eating out or ordering in once! I did grab food on the way home tonight because I went to happy hour and I was really hungry, so I knew I would not be in the mood to cook when I got home. It was actually disappointing, as I went to an Indian place I used to go to all the time and they changed some things not for the better. Was the universe trying to tell me something?

I had my first Diet Coke in almost two weeks with my disappointing meal and I did not enjoy it either. So I am pretty happy that I have survived giving up the Magic Elixir. I am still experimenting with the sparkling lime water/pomegranate/cherry/agave drink. I have noticed that I drink less of it in once sitting than I did Diet Coke. I am trying to just focus on the fact that I am nourishing my body with antioxidants and all sorts of other good things that are in the juice. It’s very hard for me to not try to count all the calories and measure everything and try to make it all fit into a perfect little box. I know that some people find success that way but it has never worked for me. So I am focusing on making small, positive changes and I think switching from chemically soda to real fruit juice, in moderation, is a good positive change.

i ate some spinach and i liked it

18 May

The BBQ chicken from Sunday was quite delicious, as was the cabbage slaw. Both made an excellent lunch on Monday. However, the egg muffins, well, they are a work in progress. I overcooked them and they stuck to the muffin cups. Oops!

Today was Amy’s Tortilla Casserole & Black Beans Bowl which was a little bland but still tasty. The slaw went well with that.

And then for dinner!

Yes, folks. That is spinach in there. AND broccoli. I KNOW! I had some WestSoy Thai Sesame Peanut baked tofu and peanut sauce from Whole Foods, so I grabbed a little bit of broccoli and a bag of baby spinach on my way home. Sauteed some onions and the tofu, then tossed in the green things and a sauce that included the peanut sauce, soy, and some hot sauce. Stirred it all together and served it over a small serving of white rice. It was DELICIOUS! I was quite shocked how much I enjoyed it! I only ate half so I have some for lunch tomorrow. I even added some more spinach when I put it in my tupperware, as I think I could handle more and be okay. Yay for vitamins!

Right now I am cooking some sort of mystery sweet potato BBQ chicken spinach muffin loaf things for tomorrow’s dinner. IDEK! I am experimenting and probably failing. But I have decided to have no fear in the kitchen and cook relatively healthy things that I enjoy. Baby steps baby steps baby steps.

one of these things is not like the others

14 Sep

I am not feeling very wordy so how about we just take a look at what I’ve been eating the last few days (pardon the crappy cell phone pics!):

onethingnot

I think #1 needs no introduction. Basically, I did not plan carefully on Friday and a lack of breakfast (and coffee) left me very very vulnerable (hunger-wise and emotionally) at the end of the day. I ate McDonald’s. A lot of McDonald’s.

But I got up the next day and had a good breakfast, a decent lunch and #2 for dinner. What you see there is some tasty Five Star Foodies artichoke burgers (which they were out of when I went to Whole Foods yesterday! Boo!), grape tomatoes and, last but certainly not least, the magic golden-crusted Brussels sprouts that I am kind of addicted to for real.

#3 is my first attempt at huevos rancheros . Not very pretty but definitely tasty. And #4 is the chicken tacos I had for lunch using this recipe for slow-cooker chili chicken. (Which, btw, made a ton of chicken, so I think I’ll be having more tacos later in the week and maybe tortilla soup and possibly some enchiladas!)

I am not going to beat myself up, as 3 out of 4 isn’t bad. The poor planning lesson is one I have learned before. A few thousand times. But I picked myself up and dusted myself off and had a pretty good food weekend, all things considered. Plus, I think I’ve planned pretty well for this week, too. So I guess we’ll just see how that goes.

Miso Crazy and DNW!

9 Sep

I did not want to make a post tonight. I still do not! But  I am doing it!

I DNW to cook dinner. I wanted to come home, sit on my ass watching some Supernatural and just stuff my face with whatever and not have to stand in the kitchen cooking up a bunch of healthy shit. Or cooking up additional shit for lunch tomorrow and Friday. But I fucking did it. (OMG SO MANY DISHES TO WASH! DNW!)

And now I am so very tired. I feel like I have to push myself SO HARD to do these simple, everyday things and stay SO FOCUSED (I typed FUCKED first, ha!) on it that I am drained for just about everything else. I know, I know that it gets easier, but right now, I just want to eat a whole pizza and sleep for a week.

There is a little voice inside of me, that troll I mentioned before, that is telling me that it’s just easier to be fat and unhealthy. I mean, it’s only really painful when I leave the house and people stare at me funny. Or I have to go shopping. Or walk up a flight of stairs. Or think about going on a date ever. And I still have to deal with that stuff even if I am eating better right now! I can’t even stuff my face to deal with that shit! How unfair is that? DNW!

Now, that I have the whining out of the way, let’s talk good stuff! *deeeeep cleansing breath*

Yesterday, I made this miso soup recipe from 101 Cookbooks and it was very very tasty. And then, as part of my continuing effort to incorporate veggies using the magical broccoli slaw, I wipped up a version of this miso dressing except I used wasabi paste instead of mustard and it was also very very tasty. I poured half of it over half a bag of the broccoli slaw and added about 1/3 a cup of mandarin oranges and let if marinate overnight. Then I had it along side the leftover miso soup for lunch. SO GOOD! And now I have enough of that amazing dressing for a spinach and chicken salad tomorrow for lunch. To round out this miso crazy portion of my week, I also made this cashew ricotta “Italian pizza cheese” (I substituted some leftover sun-dried tomato pesto) to have with carrots for a snack tomorrow.

Phew. I am tired just typing that and I haven’t even gotten to the most interesting part of the day:

I ATE BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND LIKED IT!

I know! I KNOW! So crazy. Once again, 101 Cookbooks came to the rescue with her AMAZING golden-crusted brussels sprouts! I have been staring at that recipe for, like, a year. It sounded so simple and tasty. I finally got up enough nerve to try it out and I have to say that, yes, it as good as it looks! I used the aforementioned pesto to make one of these baked stuffed chicken breasts and they went very well together. And no pasta or rice as a side dish! I can honestly say that I am sitting here quite satisfied in my stomach.

I will confess that yesterday I baked up this spinach/herbed goat cheese/ham/egg beaters casserole that I had planned to eat for breakfast for the rest of the week and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. For some reason, breakfast is the hardest part of my day. It doesn’t help that no matter how I walk to work, I pass eleventy billion places to get breakfast. But I don’t trust myself to have things like bagels or bread for toast in the house right now. And, god, my coffee maker is NEVER going to get here. I’ve basically been telling myself that it’s not a big deal since I am not eating out any other meals but eventually I am going to have to deal with the mornings. (Also, I went to bed early last night so I could get up and do some exercising but that didn’t turn out either!)

Basically, I think the point of all this is that I am still struggling to find a balance between taking care of myself and being realistic about what I can accomplish and also figuring out when I am being a lazy wimp and when I should push myself to go that little bit extra when I am really feeling the DNW.

are you ready for some spinaaaaaaaaaaaaach?

5 Sep

Today is the first official Saturday of college football season! *\o/* When I got up this morning, one of the first things I wrestled with was, “what to eat while watching all this glorious football?” I have to say that even at 10:30am I was so tempted to reach for the phone and just order a big pizza to eat on all day. I had to take a lot of deep breaths, think about my current favorite happy place, and mentally review the contents of my kitchen to keep myself from a pre-planned carb coma.

I went with some scrambled Egg Beaters and diced ham and a pinch of cheese with salsa, a half a slice of whole wheat pita and some cantaloupe for breakfast instead. So, victory! Then, for lunch, I had a spinach salad with goat cheese, cranberries, sliced almonds and homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And then a little yogurt with almond butter for dessert.

I ate spinach. That was not in a cheesy fatty dip. While watching football. Please, mark this date on your calendars!

I am not going to lie, though. It was fucking difficult. I do a lot of looking at the clock still instead of listening to my body. I feel hungry? confused? all the time if I am eating non-greasy non-starchy things.  So a day inside with nothing to do but hide the phone to avoid takeout is actually pretty difficult. I feel kind of silly saying that but there it is.

Of course, while watching the games, I’ve been browsing Healthy Yum, which is just fantastic. It’s a nice way to get a variety of healthy things to consider. I found some good stuff to add to my delicious. (You can see whatever I’ve added lately on the right sidebar there! *points*) I think maybe that was a little too much obsessing about food for the day but I got some good out of it, so I am not going to beat myself up about it.

And now for dinner I am experimenting with adding more veggies to things I already like! I am making my favorite comfort food: macaroni and beef! But without macaroni and with the addition of 2.5 cups of broccoli slaw to bump up the veggie quotient (a trick I learned from Hungry Girl). So far, it’s tasting pretty good. I am debating on whether or not to add a little bit of whole wheat penne.

Tomorrow, there may be leaving the house to go hiking. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

hack it

8 Apr

I have been kind of obsessed with this recipe for Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger, Soba, and Fried Pork Crumbles from the Apartment Therapy Kitchn. They call it a “hack” because it’s not really a home-cooked recipe but I didn’t really care. (I made some squash soup a few months ago and while it was very tasty, there was SO MUCH OF IT! Cooking for one is hard!) The first time I saw it, I had to have it. Of course, I had no idea what miso was and whether or not I needed to buy some ginger or any of that. I just knew I wanted it!

After some poking around at TJs and WFs (and a little miso assistance from my friend Jenns: “Is it in the spice aisle, Jenns?” “Noooo. Try next to the tofu, crazy!”) (I paraphrase), I finally gathered enough ingredients to give it a go this evening for dinner.

All I have to say is YUM! Seriously. YUM! Now, I must admit I skipped the ginger and the garlic and I used dried cilantro because I live alone and I am not going to buy a big thing of ginger and cilantro. I am not really fans of either in large quantities and the idea of putting pork in a pan with oil in it was kind of boggling my mind (and the sausage was already Thai spiced) but it still turned out fantastic.

I halved the recipe, naturally, and used one of these tasty sausages. It’s not something I ever thought I would want to eat but I am really glad I put half of it away for lunch tomorrow before I ate my dinner because I would have scarfed down every last bite otherwise.  Next time, I will try to up the spice quotient a little bit but I was certainly very satisfied with how it turned out this time. I ran it through SparkRecipies and got pretty decent numbers for one filling (thanks, soba noodles!) serving:

  • Calories: 396.5
  • Total Fat: 12.4 g
  • Total Carbs: 64.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
  • Protein: 16.7 g

In the future, I might try to have some sort of salad on the side (perhaps this, another recipe that has been on my mind since I first saw it) (I wish I understood how flavors go together better!) or at least an extra veggie of some sort.

That makes two nights in a row of cooking triumph, as last night, I took a soup from Sunday night that was “meh” and turned it into a dinner I really liked. More gold stars for me! And yummy soup to look forward to for lunch, too!

my darling clementine

1 Apr

I’ve been craving fresh fruit lately (probably because of the recipe surfing and saving I’ve been doing) but my kitchen is such a mess, I haven’t been up for buying them. But it got to be such an obsession, I picked up a bag of these

to keep at my (much neater) desk at work. Yeah, it would make more sense to clean my kitchen but baby steps! I am trying my darndest to go with any healthy impulse I have, no matter how wacky/expensive/complicated/whatever. And not to let any sort of “well, first I need to x/y/z before I can [insert healthy thing here].”

For instance, two weeks ago, I accidentally bought approximately a billion bottles of  cdk instead of       diet-coke1.

It was pretty traumatic at first. But then I started to notice I was sleeping better. Who knew not having one two bottles of regular Diet Coke after 6pm would be bad for sleep! Okay, I totally knew that. I just didn’t know it, you know? Now I am contemplating using this mistake as a way too ween myself from Diet Coke (at least at home) all together. There are many reasons to do so, really. It’s expensive, heavy to carry,  and full of chemicals. Plus, I think that I eat more when I drink soda with my meals.  I haven’t committed to giving caffeine up completely (omgcoffeeilu) but I think this is a baby step I can handle.

You see, summer is coming and I have nothing to wear. I mean, things fit okay but I have clothes from a few years ago that don’t and my favorite pants are starting to wear out. And since we all can’t be Lady Gaga, I’m eventually going to have to buy new ones, which can be rather complicated for someone as short and round in the middle as I am. If I could just get some of my spare tire to migrate down to a badonkadonk, my shopping would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, fat doesn’t work that way so I’ve got to toss out the spare tire so I can fit into actual petite pants.

I’ve been reading this dietgirl-us-covergif from the Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl for inspriation. I can still remember finding her early on in my diet blogging days and following her progress. Along with Lose the Buddha, her site is one I would recommend to anyone curious about how it really gets done. Of course, both of them have busted a lot of lard in the last eight years and I’m pretty much right where I was (size wise) when I started this thing. I try not to let that get to me while I am reading the book and just focus on the fact that it can be done and that there is a pot of gold lurking out there somewhere at the end of the rainbow. I get afraid sometimes that I’ll have to be obsessed with this stuff for the rest of my life and I get tired even thinking about it. But both Shauna and Erin show that you can get a point where maintenence is just part of a regular day and that getting healthy doesn’t have to consume your every thought forever.