Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

It's What I Ate Wednesday and I remembered to take pictures!  I am feeling accomplished.  I took a trip to Trader Joe's this week, so you may notice a theme in my eats.  I hadn't been to TJ's in a while; possibly I was going through withdrawal.

I started my morning with super simple shake.  Unsweetened almond milk, frozen banana, and frozen strawberries...blend.


When lunch time rolled around I was ready for the Thai Vegetable Goya I picked up at TJ's for lunches.


These are one of the easiest bring to the office lunches ever.  I throw them in my lunch container frozen then when it is lunch time I put a wet paper towel over them and heat them in the microwave until they are hot (about 3 minutes if they are fully frozen).  Delicious.

Question.  Is it wrong to have these napkins in your office?


I didn't think so either.

My snacks throughout the day were all from TJ's.  See.  Theme.


Lentil and potato crunchy curls, a hand full of macadamia nuts, and four chocolate covered pretzels.

In the afternoon I needed a break from my desk and a non-fat latte was calling my name (or at least the name of my heavy eyelids).


Eyelids that were looking particularly fantastic yesterday compliments of my new Clinique cream eye liner. 


I finished off the day with sauteed red shrimp (yep, from TJ's) over pasta.


If you have never tasted red shrimp you really should.  They taste like lobster.  I sauteed them with tons of garlic, sea salt and a little butter; then tossed them with pasta and sprinkled with green onion.  Delicious. 

I hope you are having a yummy Wednesday!








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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Last night Daniel and I went on a walk.  I decided to concentrate on enjoying the workout and feeling how my body felt during the walk (a recommendation from the book Intuitive Eating).  I left all devices that track time, pace, and distance at home.

 
It was a nice stress free walk and it felt really nice.  My body approved.

My mind, on the other hand,  was unhappy with how dark it was outside and how Daniel has tricked me into watching The Walking Dead with him.  I admit I was on the look out for zombies.  Sigh.  I much prefer walking during the daylight...much easier to see the flowers (and zombies).

(source)

Have you heard of Princess Sassy Pants & Co?  If not you must log into Facebook immediately and follow her.  She puts out some of the cutest pictures and quotes and I love having them in my feed.  This one particularly spoke to me this week as I am concentrating on listening to my inner voices.










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Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend Confessions

I spent time reading Intuitive Eating over the weekend.  I will be honest the book scares me a little, but that's what moving outside of your comfort zone is about, right?  I am only in chapter 4, but so far the idea of being an intuitive eater is to abandon diets (in the sense of restricting foods, calories, or anything) and focus on your body and what it is telling you it needs.

Why is this scary to me?  Well, I have spent years trying to listen to my mind when putting together eating times and meal plans.  This whole listening to my body thing is different.  I like the idea though.  Here are the principles that they list for being an intuitive eater:

(source)

The other part of this concept that is frightening is that for the first phase while you are re-evaluating or repairing your relationship with food you have to be okay with putting any weight loss goals on the back burner.  They should take second seat to this relationship establishment.  How different is that for anyone who is trying to get in shape?

The book indicates that once you have a healthy relationship with food your weight will normalize to a healthy weight.  I like the idea of having a solid relationship with food where I don't feel any guilt for my choices and I don't feel the need to over eat on a type of food because I feel like I will be deprived of it later.

I also really like this idea:


How many times have you felt you are eating something that isn't really satisfying you because you feel like it is the right thing to eat?  I know I do it kind of regularly.

I still have my own opinions that I will use in addition to ideas from the book.  While I would love to have a better no guilt, no deprivation relationship with food, I would also like to eliminate some processed foods and incorporate more whole/clean food choices.  These are changes I was already making in my life.  I plan to still include those.  I do plan (as suggested in the book) to remove the feeling of guilt in all food choice scenarios.  No matter what.  There is no reason we should feel like we do not deserve to eat or to take good care of ourselves.

I hope you have a happy, healthy week!









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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recipe Wednesday

Don't you hate it when life interferes with your blogging time?  Lol.  At long last my recipe for stewed cucuzza makes the blog!  Without further delay...

Stewed Cucuzza
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, diced
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 29 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water (also used to get the extra sauce and tomatoes out of the cans before adding)
  • 1 scant Tbsp sugar
  • 1 scant tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like things spicey)
  • 1 - 2 cucuzza squash, seeds removed and cut into bite sized pieces
I realize for a lot of you cucuzza might be a squash you have never heard of.  For me, it brings back memories of childhood.  My mother is Italian American, but her parents were the children of Italian immigrants; many parts of the family were born and lived in Sicily for some of their lives.  My grandfather used to grow cucuzza and my grandmother used to stew it.  I am sure at some point this recipe involved fresh tomatoes and sauce, but this recipe with the cans is less time consuming and delicious, so we will go with it.  Sorry Granny and Grandma Margaret if it offends you.


Heat olive oil in a large stew pot and saute the onion until translucent.  Add the garlic and saute a minute more; then add the sauce and diced to tomatoes.  Use your cup of water to get the last bits of good stuff out of the sauce and tomato cans and then add to the pot.  Add the cayenne and bring to a low simmer.  Allow it to simmer 20 - 30 minutes.  Prep your cucuzza while your sauce simmers.

Since cucuzza might be new to you, let's talk about how to prep it.  You want to peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler.  The skin is waxy and hard and does not cook well.


Once that is removed, cut the cucuzza into two more manageable pieces and then split those length wise and remove the seeds with a spoon.



Once the seeds are removed, cut them in half again the long way and then slice into bite sized pieces.


Cucuzza has a wonderful flavor and remains intact and slightly crunchy after stewed.  It is great.

After your sauce has stewed for 20 - 30 minutes, add your sugar.  This helps cut the acidity in the tomatoes.  You want a scant tablespoon, possibly even 3/4 of a tablespoon.  Stir that in and then give your sauce a taste.  If you need a little salt you can add it in now.  Then add your cucuzza and simmer.


I let mine simmer at least two hours.  The flavors just gets better the longer you leave it simmering.  If you are looking at my pot and thinking that is a lot of food, you are correct.  It freezes beautifully (who just though of Steel Magnolias?  Only me, okay).  I always freeze about half the stew pot in various size containers.  It is great for quick weeknight meals; pull it out of the freezer and into a pot and heat on low until hot.  Couldn't be simpler.

Once your cucuzza is ready serve it over pasta, rice, quinoa, hard boiled or fried egg, or chicken.  Serve it over nothing and eat it with a spoon, it doesn't matter.  It is delicious.  I love to bring it to the office for lunches.

Don't be jealous of my fancy ziploc china.

Now, if you see a cucuzza in your market, buy it and give this a try.  I have a feeling you will love it too.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekend Confessions

Hello all!  It is great to be back with you.  I was utterly uninspired last week and had nothing to share so I didn't.  :)

I have been feeling guilty about what I consider over eating which leads to binges and eating too many calories and then eating too few calories and then eating too many...and then feeling guilty.  Weird little cycle there isn't it?

I read about a book called Intuitive Eating that sounded very interesting, so I picked it up to read.


So far I am liking it.  I haven't gotten to the part where they tell you what intuitive eating is, but the preface and the first chapter talk about how if you define a diet as a restrictive eating plan to lose weight it will always fail you.  A diet should be a way of eating and nourishing your body - a forever type thing, not a temporary thing.  Right up my alley since I am trying to do away with the restrictive weight loss diet.  I will let you know what I think of the whole book once I am finished.

In other news, Daniel and I have been visiting Canino's Produce Company to pick up our fresh veggies for the week.


I love it!  I am so happy we started making this a regular trip.


It is fruit and vegetable heaven!  Do you make farmer's markets a regular stop for your produce?

The bonus about Canino's is that they carry cucuzza!


That's the Italian squash I showed you originally in this post.  Tomorrow my recipe for stewed cucuzza will finally appear on the blog.  YAY!  It's delicious.



Have a fantastic week!!!








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