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Thursday, May 9, 2013

What's Cookin?

It's no secret that I'm a yo-yo dieter. My weight has fluctuated SO much in the last 5 years or so.........from marriage to pregnancy to post-partum and on to another pregnancy. I'm not disappointed with where I am today, even if I'm not at an ideal weight. To get myself back to a comfortable weight, I've always turned to cutting calories, cutting carbs, and/or exercise. Lately, though, I've had some different convictions. I haven't felt an urgency to drop a ton of weight or run a triathlon.......what I'm wanting is to just be healthier. I've done only a very small amount of research on the foods my family typically eats, and what I've found is scary to say the least.

I know that I have lots more research to do, but as it stands, I've got plenty of lifestyle changes to make now before I worry about more. I've been making some changes over the last couple months to transform my eating habits, re-direct my tastes and cravings, and hopefully soon have an impact on the things that Elliott and Scott (and eventually Liam) eat, as well.

As of today, my typical diet looks like this: fresh vegetables, meat (not necessarily lean or organic, but no overly processed lunch meats or canned meats), eggs, full-fat dairy products (greek yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, etc. No low-fat or fat-free items or flavored yogurts), fruit, berries, nuts and oils. I've personally cut out grains, wheat, pasta, bread, rice, processed sugars, and most importantly, artificial sweeteners. It hasn't always been easy, and I feel like I've still got a long ways to go until my diet is "ideal". Perhaps I'll never get there, but I like the path I'm on. Scott and Ellie are a little slower to be convinced, so most meals start off as one, and we alter their meals by adding a starch or carbohydrate.

I'm hesitant to do any more reading or research at this point, because I'm afraid of what I will discover. I've been horrified by some of the things I've learned.........I have no trust in the FDA, Monsanto scares the bejeezus out of me, and I have no words for how angry color dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs make me. I wonder if I continue this search, how will I possibly feed my family? I certainly don't want to poison us any longer, but it's a scary, expensive, slippery slope.

I will continue with the progress we've made, though. I've already learned that I cannot give myself "cheat days", and really even just a "cheat meal" can ruin my entire outlook and set me back more steps than you can imagine.

My goal is to eat real food, and soon I hope that my whole family will be eating real food. On this blog, I will occasionally share what I've been cooking (and eating, duh) to serve as an inspiration for myself. I'm not the best cook to begin with, so expanding beyond boxes of pasta and microwave meals has been a challenge. But this challenge has also been so rewarding! It's fun so far, and the food just tastes good!

Some of my favorite meals so far:

 Not a meal, but my go-to snack! It sounds plain and boring, but fresh veggies with some home-made ranch is a daily occurrence for me.

Turkey patty, broiled and topped with bacon and cheese! So yum! I like to eat mine with a large serving of baby spinach and tomatoes.

Egg whites with whatever else I can find in the fridge! This has become one of my favorite breakfasts, and I've tried a few different variations. I think one whole egg plus two egg whites is the perfect size, and I sometimes sautee some of the veggies before adding the egg to cook it all together. This is good with baby spinach too (I swear, I eat that stuff with everything now), and I've even topped it with pico de gallo and/or avocado. This is one area that I consider "adventurous" for me and I've been pleasantly surprised!

Zuppa Toscana a la Olive Garden. This has been one of Scott's favorite meals for a while now, and I realized that if I stop serving it with a huge hunk of white bread on the side, it's really not so bad for us! The soup consists of potatoes, sausage (the spicier, the better!), kale, heavy cream, chicken broth, and red pepper flakes. So easy and so delicious!

See, I told you my "cooking" skills aren't much to brag about. But I'm proud of myself for branching out, trying new things, and just making it all work. I've had some really terrible days, and I've had other days that I stick to my guns even if I want so badly to give in..........I want this to be a real, lasting, lifestyle change, and I know that this won't happen overnight. Stick around and see what else we feed ourselves! What are some of your favorite healthy meals?



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Jenn said...

You sound like you're doing exactly what we are, which is the best for us right now too. I know we still have changes to make, but I'm proud of how far we've come! Can you share that Zuppa Toscana recipe? That looks delish!!