Tuesday, July 17, 2012


It seems I've taken another short hiatus. This time was unintentional! I read a fantastic article yesterday called "Keeping up to Keep Weight Off" about how difficult it is to continue losing weight once you've started, and to maintain an ideal weight. Although the beginning of the article is slightly disheartening, the overall message is exactly how I feel. One quote I loved was "If you hate exercise, it's a multiyear process to become someone who loves it instead. If you love fast food, you need to gradually shift your attitudes (and even your work schedule) toward being someone who loves cooking healthy meals. It's the process that creates the outcome. When you eschew quick fixes and become the process so that regular exercise and healthy eating defines you as a person, then weight eventually comes (and stays) off as a happy byproduct."

I feel like this defines my personal experience. I tackled food first (and continue to tweak what I do!), and in the last year or so I've become a person defined by regular exercise as well. I still wish I could do more, and I hate that my schedule forces me to be at the gym so often rather than outdoors, but I'm proud of myself for being the type of person who is defined by healthy eating and exercise. I love when people I've met post-fat tell me that they can't imagine me being overweight, it's probably the best compliment I could get.

Friday I went to a conference for the day. Anyone who has to travel for work knows that it can be super challenging to keep up good eating habits when you're out of your routine. Since this was a free conference they didn't provide food, which was actually a good thing for me! It was in Boone, and I was able to locate some amazing vegan options for lunch on Happy Cow. I ended up getting a quinoa, black bean & tempeh bowl that was enough food for lunch the next day as well. I also brought healthy snacks with me to help me avoid the temptation of coffee shop/vending machine treats.

Friday night's dinner: homemade pizza with spinach, green tomato, green pepper, red onion & banana peppers plus vegan parmesan cheese and lots of aleppo chili

Saturday was a half housework, half date day. I went to the gym in the morning, and it was not as peaceful as a Sunday morning but I still got a good workout. For our date we decided to check out the Super Global Mart in Charlotte. It was the most amazing international food market I've ever been to. It was the size of a Walmart and had produce that I'd never heard of (and I watch a lot of food shows!). The store was organized by cuisine, and it was really interesting how the same basic ingredients kept showing up in each area (beans, grains, spices, etc.). They had enough regular produce to make it feasible for us to shop there for a normal week. We're planning to go back once we're low on pantry and tofu items again. If you live near an international market like that I'd highly recommend checking it out for good deals on foods that are expensive in organic groceries. We got a jar of tahini from Lebanon for $4! We haven't ever bought tahini because it's usually double that amount. For the rest of our date we went to the NoDa neighborhood in Charlotte and had beers and food at Growler's Pourhouse. They make their own vegan chipotle sausage which was pretty good. Then we headed back toward home and stopped for sushi at a new place called Jia Asian Fusion. Their veggie roll had spinach in it, we will definitely be returning!

We have still been trying to use what we have in our pantry/freezer this week, and managed to spend about $60 on food for the week. I was hoping to give a recipe for lentil loaf that we made on Sunday, but it wasn't that good. It wasn't awful, and I'm still eating it as leftovers, but I wouldn't want anyone making it the way we did! We combined two recipes with what we had on hand and it was definitely missing flavor and a bit grainy.
So so Lentil Loaf with amazing mashed butternut squash and steamed broccoli
 Last night we had a wild rice edamame salad that we've made before and it was delicious, so I'll put our recipe for that instead!

Wild Rice Edamame Salad
(4 servings)

1 1/4 C rice (we used 1 C wild and 1/4 C volcano)
1 bag frozen edamame
3 large shallots, chopped
1/2 C white mushrooms, chopped
2 cups kale, cut in ribbons
1 medium carrot, we used our peeler to make strips
1/4 C pumpkin seeds/pepitas
Rice vinegar to taste
Sriracha to taste
Spices (garlic, ginger, salt, pepper)

Cook the rice in a rice cooker or according to package directions.

While rice is cooking, saute shallots and mushrooms until shallots are soft. Remove from pan & reserve.

Saute edamame until it's warmed through.  Remove from pan & reserve.

Combine cooked rice, shallot/mushroom blend, edamame, kale, and carrot with rice vinegar, sriracha and spices. Let sit for at least a few hours if not overnight before serving. When ready to serve, sprinkle peptias on top. You can eat this dish warm or cold.

Wild rice edamame salad with smoked tofu

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