Eat Well, Move More

{December 29, 2012}   Simple Spaghetti

Simple Spaghetti and green salad

Simple Spaghetti and green salad


Dinner tonight was refreshing and satisfying. After months of just eating, and not well, I needed to cook, actually cook for myself.  I’ll confess that the past month has been more full of eating take out or “quick and easy” foods that are not necessary good for me.  I blame it on not having the energy or desire to cook.

Dinner tonight was simply spaghetti and a green salad. Something about a nice steaming pile of spaghetti and tomato sauce makes me want to eat a salad. The two just pair together nicely. The spaghetti is comforting, and the salad is energizing.  It was the simplest meal to make.  Nothing fancy. Just good food.

My Simple Spaghetti:

  • Spaghetti
  • Canned Italian style diced tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Basil, oregano, garlic, sea salt, other spices as desired
  • A wedge of Laughing Cow tomato basil cheese (I was out of parmigiana)

Cook the spaghetti to al dente, then strain & rinse. Mix in about a teaspoon of olive oil and return the spaghetti to the pan.  Mix in the canned tomatoes and spices, warming over low heat for a few minutes.  Remove from heat and mix in the wedge of cheese until melted.  Serve with a green salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette dressing.




{June 25, 2012}   A Delicious Twist on Oatmeal

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that “I just don’t do that oatmeal thing”.  Oatmeal in the traditional sense just does not sit well with me. The texture is just, well, yucky. My children are staying with me, so I was looking for recipes to stretch some pantry items (such as oatmeal) and make a healthy breakfast. I stumbled across this fabulous recipe at A Cozy Kitchen.  I had the strawberries (in the freezer) and the oatmeal, so we gave it a go. This was fantastic!  No gooey oatmeal texture, not a cookie either.  It was a delightful springy, muffin like experience.  We used double the strawberries and it turned out just fine.  Check out Adrianna’s recipe linked below.

Some of the best stuff isn’t planned. And today I present you the most delicious accident that’s happened in a loooong time. You’re actually supposed to be staring at cute little baked oatmeal cups. I pictured you whipping them up

via Strawberry Vanilla Bean Baked Oatmeal.

Adrianna’s photos are much prettier than mine. But this was my first try at making this recipe, and this was the piece I was able to salvage from my hungry children.

{June 10, 2012}   Bloggity Blog Blog

Tonight’s stir fry dinner with chicken, bok choy, celery, carrots, orange bell pepper, green onion, snap peas, water chestnuts over jasmine rice. Sauce was a simple citrus ginger-soy sauce.

I hadn’t intended to let days, or even weeks, go by without posting to this blog.  The past couple of weeks have been stressful, full of busy-ness and interruptions. The desire to write has been buried under a mountain of comfort food. There has been pizza, macaroni and cheese, lattes, and ice cream. That in itself is not a bad thing,  if in moderation. I’ll admit moderation has not been my strong suit lately. The walking, however, has been consistent, increasing in both time and distance.  I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that, as I get the eating well part back on track. Tonight’s dinner, for example, was far more satisfying than the pepperoni pizza I had consumed several days ago.

Life does get in the way, but I think I need to make myself a commitment to regularly update this blog. I’ve decided that twice a week should be the minimum.  So this week, I’ll resume with the photographs meals, slip in a few recipes, and share my workouts.

I also owe myself, and whatever handful of passerby’s, a few “before” photos and measurements. Tracking my progress is necessary, so that I don’t lose my motivation.  I don’t like photographs of myself, and my body image issues are creeping up again.  I have a couple of creative ideas for posting my “before” photos, and I hope they turn out well.  I should have those up later this week, as well as my “starting point” measurements.

Now, how often to update the “progress”?  Weekly seems to frequent. Monthly perhaps?

{May 14, 2012}   Good Morning Sunshine!

This is how I start my day. 

Poached eggs with slightly runny yolks, over a bed of spinach, are my Sunshine. I just don’t do that oatmeal thing in the morning. It’s a texture thing. My gag reflex thanks me for choosing otherwise. Not to mention the color of oatmeal is well, oatmeal and boring. I love color, bright vivid color in my food. Sometimes there is a small bowl of berries here as well.

{May 11, 2012}   Calories Schmalories

I don’t count calories.  What?!

Yes, you read correctly. I have not counted or tracked calories in years. Long ago, I gave up tracking and calculating the exact grams of carbs, sugars, fat, protein. Yes, I know it sounds like an oxymoron, especially coming from someone who will be blogging about weight loss, health, eating right, etc.

I do understand the concept of counting calories and the many theories of how calories play a part for weight gain, weight loss. Calories in (diet), calories out (exercise) as the simplest. The theory that our bodies metabolize different types of calories differently, and the recommended scientific ratios.  I’ve read the research and agree that what we put into our bodies to fuel and the energy we burn will affect our mass, our weight, our body shape.  Counting calories and understanding how calories work in relation to a healthy weight has its place. I simply have no desire or need to count calories and track every single morsel numerically. In school, I greatly disliked Mathematics. I am right-brained. Simply put:  I do not speak numbers.

Once upon a time, I obsessively counted calories, fat grams and sugars, and I would,  with much scrutiny,  calculate the exact amount of output (exercise) needed to expel the calories I had input.  This time in my life was a dark time, obsessive and unhealthy. This was a time in my life that I struggled with an eating disorder, which I will share with you another time.

A few years back, I was tasked with meticulously planning meals structured according to Phase One of the Atkins’ Diet.  Food choices were extremely limited, only certain number of grams of carbohydrates (including fiber) was allowed, etc.  Plan and preparing the meals was tedious and boring, and above all, frustrating. If I deviated just a little bit from the “prescribed” plan, well, let’s not go there. Let’s just say, that I was not the one partaking in the diet plan. I prepared the meals for someone else.  I found it extreme, incomplete, and far more complicated than necessary. It was certainly not satisfying, as I witnessed frequent binges and straying from the plan.  I was urged to join in following this plan, but instead, I chose another path.

I have been a (an on again/off again) Weight Watchers member.   Yes, there is tracking and counting involved in the WW plan, but I found it a simpler method. It satisfied the small part of me that tends to obsess; it gave me something to track.  There are fewer numbers to track, healthy goals, and far less complicated. At least, it was for me.  Most importantly, beyond the tracking points, WW taught me very valuable lessons that have made it possible for me to feel confident in eating without counting calories.

  • Writing it down and keeping a food journal made me more aware of what I am eating. This behavior encouraged me to more carefully think about what I put in my mouth.
  • Choices and options were plentiful, as were the consequences. If I chose foods that were more convenient (prepackaged, fast food, etc), then I ate less often and felt unsatisfied. If I chose “real” food, such as fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, than I could eat more frequently and feel more satisfied.
  • Moving my body “bought” extra points that I could choose to eat or not. Again, choices.
  • Thoughtful choices bring positive results and success.
  • Accountability is powerful. Support is imperative.
I haven’t attended WW meetings in several weeks, for budgetary reasons, but I have not left behind the tools. I still have them available to me, and refer to them often.  Am I tracking points right now? No. Why? Because at this new starting point, I’m keeping it simple.  I will most likely return to counting points and attending meetings, but for now, I am excited about this new freedom I have found.
I had a realization a couple of weeks ago, an epiphany. I have the tools I need to be successful in my desire to return to a healthy weight, to reach the jeans size that I will feel good in, and to improve my overall well-being. I know the difference between food that is “convenient” and food that is real and beneficial (Some would call this “clean eating”).  I know what is needed to move in the direction I want to head in.  If I eat real food and make an effort to move my body more, then I will reach those goals without overwhelming myself or stressing out about the numbers. And I can enjoy…
I have a found a new passion and enjoyment in photographing the food I cook. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with food most of my life.  I choose to embrace the “love” part of that relationship. I love food. I love to eat. I love to cook. I love to create dishes that appealing and colorful and tasty.  Seeing the pictures brings me joy and reminds me of my success with being able to make good choices in food. If I am eating well, I do not need to worry about the calories so much. In fact, when food is elegant and appetizing, I tend to eat less of it, because I savor each morsel. And I don’t like to mess up my creations so quickly.
So…I will choose to Eat Well…and enjoy it.

et cetera