Thursday, February 20, 2014

More is More

Sometimes I feel like all I do is eat.  I remember when I used to eat whatever happened to be in the cupboards or fridge and didn't give a lot of thought to quantity or quality.  One of the things I've noticed when eating clean (as in whole, unprocessed foods) is that we seem to spend a lot more time eating.  Clean foods tend to be lower in calories and fat.  Once your body begins to accustom itself to less of the processed foods and refined sugars, it seems to process the real foods it's receiving more efficiently, so eating when  you're hungry rather than by the clock becomes the norm.  Smaller meals more often mean that I rarely feel that ravenous feeling I used to get between meals, and when I am hungry, it's now a whisper rather than a shout.

Tonight's dinner is super light and super filling.  I really like stir fry because it's so versatile.  Take whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.  If they're a little old, this is the perfect way to use them up.  And almost any combination of veges, with or without meat, can turn into a dinner so tasty you'll forget it's healthy.  I found this great article a while back on that shows you quick ways to put things together for fast stir fry with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge.  And this particular stir-fry is a go-to meal if I'm short on time as the prep time is very short.  Start to finish, this takes me about 20 minutes.

Pepper Steak Stir Fry

Stir fry
1 lb. cheap cut of steak sliced thinly across the grain
1 Green bell pepper
1 Red bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
1/2 Red onion sliced
1 clove fresh garlic minced
(I also had some mushrooms that needed using, so they're in there too though not part of the usual recipe)
Olive oil

1/2 c. red wine (you can omit this if you'd like and double up on the water)
1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. beef bullion 
1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 Tbsp. corn starch

Melt the bullion in the warm water, and then combine all of the other sauce ingredients and mix well.  I like to marinate the meat overnight when I can.  It just gives it a much richer taste.  But this will work just as well if you don't have the time.

Get your veges sliced before you start the oil to heat.  As with all stir fry, you need to have everything you need ready before you start cooking.  

In a large-ish skillet heat about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Remember, the flash point of olive oil is much lower than vegetable oil, so don't leave it alone on the stove once you kick up the heat under the pan.  It will heat and burn very fast.  Add in your garlic first and saute it for just a minute or so.  

With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the marinade and add it to the heated oil and garlic.  Set the marinade aside.  Stir the steak and garlic well until the steak is almost done but still slightly pink.  

Add in the rest of your veges and stir well.  Stir it often so that the veges get done about the same time throughout.  You just want them to be warmed through, still nice and crisp.  

When they reach this point, stir your marinade to get the corn starch from the bottom where its settled, and pour it over the meat and vegetables.  Turn the heat down and allow this to simmer for just a bit stirring pretty constantly so the sauce will thicken.  If you don't cook it long enough, the corn starch doesn't incorporate well, so make sure you let it simmer just a bit.

You're ready to eat!  Ladle the stir fry over warm brown rice or cooked soba noodles, or just eat it as it is if you're watching carbs or calories.  

Here's our food for the day:  

Breakfast:  Overnight Fridge Oatmeal with Bosc Pears
Snack:  Green juice
Lunch:  Salmon steak and pearl barley
Snack:  Chocolate milk and a Beachbody P90X protein bar
Post work-out recovery drink
Dinner:  Pepper Steak Stir fry over brown rice

Breakfast:  Sprouts 6-Grain Hot Cereal with honey, and coffee with homemade creamer (recipe soon)
Snack:  Dried bananas and papaya
Snack:  Oatmeal Muffins to Go
Dinner:  Pepper Steak Stir fry over brown rice

So it's been a few weeks now...what changes have you made?  What differences, good or bad, are you noticing in how you feel?  I've heard from a few of you (though I wish you'd share on the blog so everyone can hear your awesome stories!) who have made some easy exchanges, some who have been working out and eating clean, and some who have lost weight.  

Remember, it's all about the little changes and being kind to the body you have.  Not the body you want, the one you live in right now.  After all, it's going to be with you for the rest of your life regardless of what happens to it in your combined future.  And the you that you are now is the basis for the you that you will become.  Give it a hug for me!