*Before reading this post, please note that I am not a nutritionist, doctor or any other health professional. Parts of this post may trigger those who have struggled with eating disorders. Please do what’s best for you and proceed with caution. You are welcome to skip to the recipe and the end of this post! 🙂 *
I have a dirty secret: I have a bad habit of snacking too much at night. I know my issue is not on the extreme end of the overeating spectrum but I would say it’s not healthy either. Considering I try to eat three meals a day, it is more of a 4th unnecessary “meal” usually of processed crap.
It feels like kind of an “empty, gnawing feeling no amount of food can fill” (I loosely paraphrased this from Sophia). I find myself doing it when I’m sad, anxious or stressed. Or all three. I don’t know if it’s classified as binging, but people who collect too much crap don’t like to be called hoarders. So…
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a total sabotage to my quest to regain my “happy weight”. Because I need to be held accountable. Because it’s something I’m working on. Because it’s something I can’t solve on my own. Because somewhere, someone might be able to relate. Because when you reveal a vulnerability, it seems to not seem like such a threat. Because they say admitting is the first step to recovery. And because *dang it!* this is my blog and I’ll write what I want!
SO. Here are the things that seem to be working for ME:
1. Eat 3 square meals, at the table. Instead of mindlessly munching here and there. Mindlessly munching = many empty calories and no fruits and vegetables.
2. Get enough protein. This is one I’m still working on as I tend to associate protein = meat. I’ve been eating a lot of ground turkey and fish lately. Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are other go to choices. Despite my husband’s protest, I have a love affair with beans. Black beans are going to be incorporated into stuffed peppers later this week!
3. Stick to regular exercise. This one is kind of tricky because certain exercise namely running or BodyPump can make me RAVENOUS. I’ve figured out that eating a handful of almonds and a prune or two (yes, I’m eighty) gives me just enough fuel to get through those without feeling like there’s chunks of food jumbling around while I’m trying to exercise.
4. Get cut down tv time. This is a big pitfall of mine. When I do watch tv, I have to be doing something with my hands. Things that seem to help include: sipping from my water bottle, painting my nails (a little harder to munch when I don’t want to nick my polish), playing games on my iPhone or laptop.
5. Get off the couch. I’m too ADD to just sit and stare at the tv. Plus, too many times, I’m just mindlessly zoning into whatever is on. Last weekend, I didn’t turn it on once. I got some deep cleaning done that was overdue. I finished my latest read (it was excellent by the way), read some magazines, did some organizing, spent time walking Hunter and just enjoying my house and the spring weather. It was great.
5. Drink more water. I don’t know who came up with this, but so often when you think you’re hungry, you’re really dehydrated. Chugging water can get old, so I add in herbal or green tea (iced or hot) or pull our my juicer attachment for my magic bullet.
6. Don’t buy crap. First of all, I’ve been eating healthfully at least 80% of the time my whole life. My body rebels against me when I eat much junk. Tastes good for a minute, hurts for an hour. 😦 Sure, I still have Annie’s mac n cheese in the pantry, 10 kinds of cheese in the refrigerator and dark chocolate in the cupboard. But if it’s not in the house, it makes it a hell of a lot easier not to be tempted.
7. Choose calories wisely. In case you haven’t noticed: I bake. Weekly. Sometimes twice in one week. Baked goods are often in supply at my house. Just yesterday I thought to myself: “I have no baked goods in this house– how did this happen??” Here’s my logic: I’d rather eat a homemade baked good than candy or mass produced cookies from the store. It ALWAYS tastes better if it’s homemade. Also, giving away extra baked goods is a great way to make friends. 😉
I’m not perfect and I’ll probably still fall off the wagon. But I’m coming to realize that the only person in my way is myself. And if I really want to change something, I will. As my husband loves to tell me “Don’t try: DO.”
This wasn’t intended to be a heavy post so here comes the fun stuff. I got this excellent recipe from the May issue of Glamour and it is supposed to improve your skin. Either way, it’s a tasty homemade soup packed with vitamins and all that good-for-you stuff.
I’m always not a fan of pureed, one consistency soup, especially store bought stuff. It reminds me of baby food. However, once in a while, I come across a recipe that is too good to pass up. Or makes me curious enough to test it out.
Gather your ingredients.
This is the fun part. Get out your blender/food processor/Magic Bullet. Don’t forget to remove that lemongrass before going to town. After you’ve blended all the soup, return it to the pot and add orange juice and sour cream. Heat for a few minutes if you want to serve it nice and hot.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped or half of one jumbo onion
3 tbsp. minced fresh ginger or ground ginger from a jar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces or zest from one lemon (unless you have other plans for lemongrass or can buy only 2 stalks, I’d go with the zest. I currently have the remaining lemongrass rotting in my fridge)
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 lbs. carrots, chopped
3 1/2 c. water
4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. light sour cream
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and butter over high heat. Add the garlic, onion, ginger, lemongrass (or zest), coriander, cumin and cinnamon. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the onions soften, being careful not to let the mixture burn.
2. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the carrots and 2 cups water to the pot and cook, covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are softened.
3. Add the vegetable broth to the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the pieces of lemon grass. Working in two batches, ladle the soup into a blender or food processor and puree.
5. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot. Add the orange juice, 1 1/2 c. water, and sour cream. Stir until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Heat the mixture for 3 or 4 minutes over medium-low heat; you can also serve it cold. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish.
Got any dirty secrets/bad habits you want to share?
Aaand if not, what’s the best thing you’ve cooked lately?