Saturday, April 09, 2011


Ah spring! I have hyacinth, Grecian wildflowers, and crocus coming up in my yard, which is always very cheering. However, rabbits or deer or squirrels seem to have dug up most of my crocuses. Annoying. I'm so sick of the stationary bike and elliptical and I can't wait for it to be just a bit warmer, so I can bike outside.

My March commitment to eating for health wavered a bit. On the one hand, I've been eating more vegan meals than ever -- even when eating out, I have looked for a vegan or at least vegetarian option. I've walked 10,000+ steps a day on most days, as well as doing cardio on the stat bike or elliptical 5-6 days a week. On the other hand...I had a few episodes of overeating. I won't call them binges because I didn't end up eating so much that I made myself sick. It was more like consciously choosing to overeat because I was anxious/bored/feeling powerless. I had days when I chose not to use food and I felt so strong and capable of dealing with any and all emotions that I wondered why on earth I ever chose the opposite. Then there were the days when I ate another piece of toast, another piece of dessert, another whatever until I was way overfull and feeling hopeless that I'll ever be a normal eater. Our neighborhood contest ended (whew) and we came in last place this time. I lost 7 lbs and dh lost 20 or so, but everyone else was far more into it this time. That's okay -- if we'd won a second time, I would have felt guilty. I ended March weighing pretty much the same as I did at the beginning, which is okay, but not very exciting.

I've been reading the revised version of Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I'm not sure what is revised about it. It's been a while since I read the original, so I don't remember it all that well. Anyway, you certainly can't argue with the results. People with cholesterol levels below 100 (that's TOTAL cholesterol!)? Yes, please! However, I just can't imagine being able to eat only two grain servings a day and no bread, no pancakes, no ice cream. Well, he does say you can eat those things occasionally, but that you should stick to a vegan, super low fat diet 90% of the time. I have gotten to the point that I eat 2 servings of fruit, 6+ servings of vegetables, and 1/2-1 cup of beans on most days. I've cut way back on cheese, having only a sprinkle of feta on my pizza or salad occasionally. I eat meat only about once every few weeks, if that. I can't really remember the last time I did eat it. I've been using unsweetened almond milk in my morning oatmeal. I am still enjoying greek yogurt though; I just don't care for soy yogurts. I probably eat too much nut butter, and have still been eating too much sugar. Dessert -- my eternal temptation. I have only 1/2tsp of sugar in my morning cup of coffee, and none in my oatmeal as long as I have half a banana to cook into it, but still long to eat ice cream, cookies, and graham crackers. I had chocolate in my cupboard for so long that it went past the "good by" date, but if cookies are around, I have difficulty sticking to just one and difficulty not eating one or more every day. I'm still hoping that I can move even closer to the "Eat to Live" way of eating. My doctor is sending me for bloodwork and, since I haven't been taking my cholesterol medication on any sort of regular basis, I'm a bit nervous to see what the results will be.

I decided last week that I'd treat my carnivorous family to a week of meat-filled meals. They had been uncomplainingly eating meatless meals for weeks, so I wanted to treat them. I made steak, roast, pork chops, ribs, and bacon all in the space of ten days. That didn't work out too well for anyone except my husband. My 13-year-old announced that she wanted to become a vegetarian after watching a movie in school about slaughterhouses, and my 8-year-old ate only a bite of two of each meat. Today she told me that she is a vegetarian. Huh. At least that daughter likes beans. So, I am back to meatless meals most of the time. Poor dh will have to get his meat fixes when we eat out. I will cook meat for them sometimes -- they both still love bacon -- but mostly will skip it. Here is one recipe that was a fair success with all. They ate it with flour tortillas:

Ethiopian Vegetable Stew -- makes 6 cups
1T of olive oil
4 c coarsely chopped cabbage
3 c chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp turmeric
2 c water
2T tomato paste (did you know you can buy tomato paste in a tube? genius!)
3 c carrot chunks (1 1/2-2-inch pieces)
3 c green beans (about 1/2lb)
1 1/2c potato chunks
1/2 tsp salt (I left it out and let people salt at the table)
1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat the oil over medium-high and add cabbage, onions, and garlic, Cook about 4 min, til cabbage is wilted. Stir in turmeric.

Add water and tomato paste; stir until combined. Add the carrots and green beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 1/4 hours. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper; simmer, covered 25-30 minutes longer. Add 1/4c additional water, if necessary.

I think this would have been good with eggplant, summer squash, or zucchini added too, though I wouldn't put it in until you add the potatoes. Otherwise, mush. This picture doesn't make it look all that appealing, but it was tasty. The lighting in our house is TERRIBLE. Everything looks yellow.