>> Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Woah! Healthy lunch alert! This is what I ate Sunday afternoon to power myself through the rest of the day. A month or so ago, I might have laughed at this almost-pornographic display of fruits and veggies (plain kale? no way!). And I certainly would have never expected them to actually fill me up as a meal on their own. And where's the bread?!
What I've learned in the past two weeks is that avocados are my favorite thing ever. I've known of this love for quite a while, but I have always paired the green mushy stuff with mozzarella (and drizzled with olive oil, etc.) to feel entirely satisfied. Now, just slap on a few fresh slices of tomato, and I'm good to go. Even without the ciabatta. I'm becoming quite fond of rice cakes and their cheery crunch.
Here's the scoop:
- I've maintained the 2 pound weight loss I reported on day 2 . . . and added (lost?) another since (yup -- 3 big ones!). I'm not really trying to shed sizes or anything, I'm happy at my current weight -- however, it's definitely an added perk, or I wouldn't have listed it first.
- My energy level is stable and much higher than before. I'm not dipping into food comas as much during the day. And this is doing wonders for my after-work running.
- I'm not craving the "bad stuff" as much anymore. I typically nagged Stephen to have "pizza night" every week. Usually on Wednesday. And now I'm looking forward to making my own healthy pizza sometime this weekend -- dough with added flaxseed nutrition and all -- because I don't want all the white bread and SO MUCH cheese. Also, I'm not forking over a daily $1.50 to my "dealer" (of candy bars) at work anymore. So long, vending machine!
- I'm eating breakfast. Every. Single. Day. This one's important. Since I started slurping smoothies, I find I get excited for 'em . . . so I make the time each morning. Before, I was split between cereal, oatmeal, eggs, etc. And I never got my sh*t together and actually made anything. I'd wander through my mornings half-dazed, just waiting until lunch.
- Because I'm not craving the "bad stuff" . . . we're spending less on going out to eat. This weekend I want to stay in and cook and million awesome meals/snacks/desserts. Not really feeling up to consuming that restaurant-sized pound-o-pasta I usually get at our favorite dinner joint.
- I'm not eating EVERYTHING detox. Meaning, I have a beer every now and then (in fact, I had one on Monday night). I also eat a lot . . . and eat dessert quite frequently (as in . . . every day). But what this new way of eating has helped me to do is stay pumped about consuming gross amounts of fruits, veggies, and stop eating ONLY white bread, cheese, refined sugar, and repeat. Even without 100% commitment, I'm enjoying all these health benefits and more.
There are a variety of other positives I'll save for another post. Specifically related to mood, body stuff, and a category I'll call OTHER for now. If you're not just waiting to slap me at this point (I honestly don't feel like the food I eat makes me better than anyone else, as the photo above of us sitting in a large chair overlooking the world might suggest), you can enjoy this easy veggie chili recipe! And even if you are ready to give me a black eye, because even I get super-duper annoyed when people go on and on and on about how awesome they're eating -- like I just did --etc., it's a good recipe . . . so keep reading!
I seriously think kale is like a happy pill or something.
What you'll need . . . (makes a lot -- good for several meals!)
- 1 large eggplant (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 large bell peppers, cored, seeded, diced
- 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including liquid
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1-2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 15-ounce can of white beans (drained and rinsed)
- 15-ounce can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 15-ounce can of corn (the salt-free kind, drained and rinsed)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Method . . .
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Roast eggplant by scattering cubes onto a rimmed cookie sheet covered in foil . . . and bake for approx. 30 minutes. Stir once during baking process. Then set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and throw in the onions. Cook until glassy (4 minutes). Add garlic and cook one minute more.
- Then add to the stock pot the zucchini and bell peppers. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Add in all other ingredients -- including the eggplant -- and heat until boiling. Then bring down to a simmer (over low heat) for 30 minutes.
- Season as desired with the salt and pepper.