Saturday, April 09, 2011

Spring!

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.

11 comments:

Mary said...

Your stew looks great. I will have to try it. Thanks for your post. Yes, I love Texas. This is a great state. I'm so happy I moved here. All the best, Mary

P.S. Good luck with your weight loss. In addition to Nourishing Traditions, see if you can pick-up a copy of A Life Unburdened: Getting Over Weight and Getting on with My Life, by Richard Morris. The Forward is by Sally Fallon. Richard lost 150 pounds by ignoring the "experts" and has kept it off for years. His wife lost a bunch of weight too. He changed/saved my life...

Mary said...

Oh...and I added you to my blogroll.

All the best,

Mary

Heather AKA Prusha said...

Yum!!! Looks Great! I gave you an award on my blog today :)

http://belleofthedesert.blogspot.com/2011/04/versatile-blogger-award.html

dhana400 said...

his is such an awesome recipe. I can’t wait to play with it!

Edward Platz said...

Everything looks yellow...and YUMMY!!!
Hello there!My name is Edward Platz and I admit it:I am into home cooking recipes.Why?
Two years ago, I was 34, overweight and have all the related problems: health problems, family problems, emotional problems…
At this very day, after 15 month of smart fitness training, not only that I have lost 54 pounds of body fat, but I also succeeded in building a lean and much stronger physique. I am in the best shape of my life and as healthy as I can be!
Today,I am a full time single parent of a 7-year-old daughter. I have a very demanding job. And, according to my doctor, my biological age is now, no more then 27! In addition, my ex-wife thinks I am super hot…
Well, what do you think about that? …No, not about the “ex-wife thing”…
At this very moment, I can live the life most people cannot, because I decided to do what most people do not: start a very smart fitness program and a very tasty diet plan.
Yeah,Home Cooking Rocks!

Trading Weight for Peace Together said...

Yum, it looks great, yellow or not! Just added you to our blog roll, thanks for sharing such great ideas!

Lisa said...

That looks so yummy! I am going to be looking for new healthy recipes to share with my readers. Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Take care,
Lisa

mkweber517 said...

Yes that does sound amazing. I love anything that you can throw all in one pot and make a delicious meal. Simplicity is key!

BTW - if you haven't seen it yet you should check out the recipes from extreme makeover weight loss. Each monday at 10 there's a new quick and easy and of course HEALTHY recipe. The one from this week's show looks AMAZING!

FLANK STEAK WITH BOURBON BBQ SAUCE

Ingredients:
1½ Ibs. flank steak
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ large onion, chopped
1 tsp. chopped garlic
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
½ small can tomato paste
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup water
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup apple juice
½ large dried ancho chili, seeded & cut in small pieces
½ Tbsp. ground cumin
¾ cup bourbon
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions:
1. To make BBQ sauce, heat ½ Tbsp. oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add
onion and garlic, saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set
aside.
3. Brush flank steak with remaining 112 Tbsp. olive oil, season with sea salt and
pepper.
4. Grill steak over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, brushing with BBQ sauce
before turning over. Remove from grill and let sit for ten minutes before slicing into
thin slices across the grain.

Serves: 4
Calories per serving: 350 (with 2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce)
Calorie equivalent: 5 oz. protein, 1 fat

Note: Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Recipe courtesy of California Health & Longevity Institute

Dave said...

Way to go. You open up to everyone and that is the main ingredient in weight loss. Myself I dont prefer to eat vegan style. Its for the already thin people. Eating vegan can put your body in hibernation and cause you to store fat. The human body and its muscles can fall off to fat without the proper amount of protein. You can replace some meats nuts and seeds though. Which can give you mono-unsaturated fats (good fat) and a good source of protein. You may want to cut your craving by have organic dark chocolate three times a week. Everyone loves chocolate. I started in a contest one year ago with 12 friends and now I'm a trainer at the gym. Lost 58lbs. and now I want to help others reach their goal.

Good Luck and you should be proud of yourself everyday just for being lighter then you started out.

Dave

Daniel Wychor said...

Keep up the good work! I believe understanding temptation and limiting its power is the key to lasting weight loss. When we can resist temptation, we can control binging and over eating.

Healthy Waist said...

That looks so delicious and healthy!I am going to be looking for new healthy recipes to share with my readers. Thanks for sharing it.