Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trying Something New

I have cooker's block.  I'm having a hard time coming up with new recipes that are even the remotest bit interesting.  Well, at least up to last night!  I'm hoping that the bad streak is over and I am now once again capable of coming up with food ideas that we won't completely hate or become tired of.  

Here was last nights fare.  I used some tomato basil fettuccine noodles that I'd forgotten about that we picked up last year (or the year before?) on one of our adventures.  And I've gotta say, this was absolutely stinkin' fantastic.  Here's the recipe (and yes, I totally named it after myself):  :)

Pasta Melanesca 
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
8 oz of dry pasta of your choice
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
A good sprinkle of red pepper flakes
2 Roma tomatoes (or 1 cup chopped tomato any variety)
1/4 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/4 cup red wine (or substitute chicken broth)
1 Tbsp. Oregano (I used dry.  Double this amount
1 Tbsp. Basil                       if you use fresh herbs)
Salt to taste
1 grilled chicken breastm chopped or shredded

Cook the pasta al dente to your own liking.  Heat the olive oil in a fry pan big enough to fit all of the remaining ingredients and saute the fresh garlic, onion, and bell pepper along with a good sprinkle of red pepper flakes for 2 minutes just until the veges are soft.

Add in the tomato, parsley, olives, wine, chicken breast, oregano, and basil.  Season with salt to taste. This doesn't make a sauce.  It just seasons the fresh vegetables.  Make sure that this is heated through completely and allow some of the wine to cook off.

Drain your pasta well.  Add it to your plate and top with a good scoop of the vege mixture and enjoy!

Here are the stats.  It took me approximately 20 minutes start to finish.  The longest time spent was chopping the vegetables.  This serves two.  Well, it might serve more, but we were super hungry after working out, so let's just say it serves two, but they're nice big portions! :)

Time Spent  20 minutes.
Calories        326
Fat                  2.1 g
Cholesterol     30 mg
Sodium        1438 mg
Potassium   495.3 mg
Protein          22.1 g

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Beginning...Again

So I guess I'm NOT alone.  I've heard from a number of your over the past month or so who (like me) have apparently been struggling with motivation.  And I tell you (like I tell myself) that sometimes life just happens. Sometimes it's all we can do to keep up with the things we have to do to keep moving, and that doesn't include actually physically moving.  Over the course of the last 6 weeks when I've not been moving regularly, I've gone through periods of chiding myself, guilting myself, eating poorly sometimes out of sheer rebellion, and generally feeling pissed off that I just.  don't.  care.  

In the meantime, summer has started.  Everything is green and fresh and new. And though my resolve hasn't quite dug in yet to the degree that it sustained me up until about 6 weeks ago, I'm really going to try to leave the rebellion and guilt behind and just try to grab the rails of that wagon once again.  As it happens, over the course of the last 6 weeks that I haven't worked out regularly or even eaten well (there were THREE pizza boxes in our trash can when I took it to the curb today...I hang my head in shame), I haven't suddenly gained the 20+ pounds I lost over the course of the last year, nor have my arms and legs become sticks devoid of the muscle mass I was slowly increasing.  And when I walked 3.5 miles yesterday around the lake, I didn't drop dead of exhaustion.  This leads me to believe that A) I'm an idiot; and B) I've not done permanent harm to by fitness.  

That being said, I owe YOU an apology.  I dropped off the face of the blog and in doing so, I've let you down.  For that I am genuinely sorry.  There are no excuses.  

We hit a wall.  Can't eat another mouthful of brown rice, quinoa, or grilled chicken breast.  So this week, Rik sat down and gave me some recipes that he wanted to try for something different.  Yes, some of the recipes contain chicken and some contain brown rice.  But they DO represent a change while still maintaining a clean eating regimen.  I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon working on these and they went really quick. I didn't take the usual step-by-step pics to post to you, but I didn't want to let that keep me from posting altogether, so I'm going to just post pictures of the finished products along with their recipes.  All were super easy to do, basically adding all of the ingredients to the bowl at once and giving them a good stir.  A few aren't original recipes of my own creation so I will link their source.  

Vegetarian Black Beans and Rice

1 cup Cooked brown rice
1 cup Cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Roma tomato diced
2 Green onions diced
1 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pan and heat through. Make sure you stir it frequently.  

This is a fantastic and tasty way to use up the rest of your brown rice or bean leftovers at the end of a week.  I had cooked rice from Thursday that needed to be used, and a Ziploc bag full of half the black beans that I cooked (cooked too much) last month, so this literally took me about 5 minutes to make.

Serving Size:  2 cups
Calories   380 
Protein     17 g
Carbs      70 g
Fiber       17 g
Fat            4 g

Lentil Lime Salad
1 cup Cooked green lentils
1 medium carrot, shredded
3 large radishes chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 Celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh Cilantro
The juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Let this sit over night to blend.  

This recipe is based on a Beachbody recipe of the same name.  It can be found here.  I just added more vegetables.

Serving size is the entire recipe.  
Calories   326
Protein      19 g
Carbs        49 g
Fiber         18 g
Fat             8 g

Southwestern Salad
2 cups Cooked brown rice
1-1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup Frozen corn, thawed
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 Green onions, chopped
1 Medium jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/4 cup White wine vinegar
1/2 cup Fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Chili powder  

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator for flavors to combine.  

This recipe is a Beachbody recipe found here

Serving size 1 cup
Calories   157
Protein      5 g
Carbs     26 g
Fiber        5 g
Fat           4 g

Chicken Salad
9 ounces of grilled chicken, shredded or cubed (this is approximately 1-1/2 chicken breasts grilled or 1-1/3 cup shredded cooked chicken in total)
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (I used Veganaise)
1 Stalk of celery, chopped
1/4 tsp. Thyme
Salt to taste

Shred or dice the chicken.  
Add in the yogurt and mayo.
Add the celery, thyme, and salt to taste.  

This is enough for 3 sandwiches.  If you use 2 slices of sprouted whole-grain bread, the stats are as follows:  

Calories   349
Protein      35 g
Carbs       33 g
Fiber          6 g
Fat             8 g

So that's it.  This is what's in our fridge for the week for lunches, along with the usual bags of sliced fresh vegetables and, now that summer is almost here, tons of fresh fruits.  Sigh...I love this time of year.  And it doesn't appear that we gave up and returned to the couch to sit and grow rotund.  So if we can do it, so can you.  Thanks for helping me get motivated.  :)  See ya soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Single Post...

This short video made me cry.  Granted, it doesn't take much most days.  Especially lately for some reason. But it made me wonder.

Say I succeed and lose the weight I want to lose.  Then what?  

Will my skin ever be tight enough?  My stomach flat enough?  Will the loss of the 2 inches that I've had in height since my accident continue to bother me?  Will I ever be able to keep the sun spots off my face for good?  Will my arms ever be strong enough?  

The change that hasn't happened yet is the one in my head.  The one that tells me, regardless of how my outside is shaping up, that it's not as good as.  That it's not good enough.  I say I want to be healthy.  What I hear in my head is, I want to be perfect.  But I'm finally realizing that's an unattainable goal.  Not because I couldn't get into the picture of health at a weight good for my height and age, but because it's not possible in my own head.  And I'm not alone.

How sad is that?