Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting consistent


I read a lot of blogs for different purposes. Some of them are long with paragraphs, some are mostly visual, some are only recipes, and some have a combination of everything. I'm wondering the best way to go forward from here. I tend to be the type of writer who gets into a flow of writing and that makes my posts long. I wonder if anyone has actually read through them entirely or if people skim or get bored while they read. I tend to like the blogs I read that have entries similar in style each time. I know what I'll be getting out of them. I think that's what I've decided to strive for in the future. I intended this blog to be about the things I do to foster health and well-being in myself. To me this includes some key items: food, exercise, learning, and emotional well-being. Here is my first attempt at styling my blog in a more consistent manner:


Monday

Food
I ate my typical breakfast: sprouted grain bread with almond butter and a banana. Lunch was the toppings from my veggie pizza mixed with Barilla Plus penne (my favorite pasta option) and an apple. Dinner was amazing 3 bean chili (recipe and photo below). Snacks for the day were yogurt, a Luna bar and oatmeal.

Exercise
I took my regular 15 minute walk on campus, I usually try to do it half way through my day to help take a mental break and keep my body moving. I did strength training on Sunday, so I used the on campus gym for the first time and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. It was weird exercising next to people that I know. I've never really had that experience and it made me feel a little self-conscious. I think I'll still use our gym here but only as a last option.

Learning
I'm still reading "Crazy, Sexy, Diet". More on that later.

Observations
I'm planning to do this daily so I'll save the deep thoughts for Tuesday :)

Tuesday

Food
Typical breakfast. Lunch was leftover chili and an apple. Dinner was a chickpea salad, recipe and picture below. Snacks were a mini Luna bar, almonds, and oatmeal.

Exercise
I took my normal 15 minute walk on campus. I was feeling tired and slightly under the weather yesterday but we had gorgeous weather here. It's been over 90 for almost a week, and it will continue to be 90-100 for the foreseeable future, so yesterday's 82 degrees and sunny was the perfect weather for a hike. I did the normal .9 mile Backside trail. I got up in 18.5 minutes which is the best time yet. I spent a few minutes at the top soaking it in, and then headed back down. I ran after I got past the first big incline, but then I got a side stitch and had to stop. The only good thing about being forced to walk down was that it gave me more time to enjoy the views!



Learning
Again, still reading "Crazy, Sexy, Diet". I'm getting a little overwhelmed by the information in the book. I do like the writing style, and would especially recommend it for people in my life who don't enjoy reading.

Observations
Part of why I'm getting overwhelmed by the book is that I feel like it's nearly impossible to live by all these rules. She talks a lot about alkaline foods vs. acidic foods, and luckily most of what I eat is alkaline anyway. She also focuses a lot on eating your veggies mostly raw and this is something I don't currently do, nor do I know if I want to. There was a section on combining foods and that was really over the top for me. I also read an article online yesterday about the best way to eat fruit (their recommendation was by itself and at least 3 hours after a meal or 1 hour before a meal). I already tend to feel obsessive about my food tracking and if I tried to combine foods this way I'd be over the top. I still like to enjoy my food even though I'm being more conscious about it. I also read the chapter on liquid nutrition. I like the idea of it, but I don't know how practical it is. To make the green juice she recommends requires a juicer (which I do have), and then 5-10 pieces of veg/fruit a day. That's a little tough on my budget!




Veggie Chili
makes 6-8 servings
 
3 cups dried beans (we used pinto, black and petite white) soaked in water overnight
Dried chiles of your choice
Garlic
1 medium onion, quartered

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 fresh hot peppers (we used hot banana), seeded & chopped
1 large yellow squash, chopped
4 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off cob
Spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt & pepper)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh salsa
1 bottle of beer (optional)

1. Drain beans, place in crock pot with dried chiles, garlic cloves and onion. Cook on high 3-6 hours until beans are tender.

2. Saute onion, peppers and squash in oil for 3-5 minutes until onion is starting to turn translucent. Add fresh corn and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add spices to vegetable mixture. Add can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and fresh salsa.

3. Remove chiles, garlic and onions from beans. Save the garlic, chop & add to chili. Pour beans into pot with sauteed vegetables. When the chili is starting to bubble, add beer. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook another 15-30 minutes.

4. Serve with your favorite chili toppings. I kept is simple, cheddar and scallions.



Chickpea Salad
makes 2 servings

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 medium red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium cucumber, peeled & diced
10-15 sundried tomatoes, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
4-6 artichoke hearts, quartered

Red wine vinegar to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Spices (oregano, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Salad greens

Combine everything but feta and salad greens. Let sit overnight if possible. Serve salad on top of a bed of greens (we used baby spinach & kale) with crumbled feta.

Feel free to substitute veggies of your choice. Carly skipped the green pepper and added halved cherry tomatoes to hers.

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