Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Taco salad, two ways

This version is the Fish Taco salad. The base is torn romaine, topped with warm black beans, sliced Belgian endive, chopped carrots and cauliflower, sliced green onion, cilantro and sliced avocado.
To cook the white fish (I used tilapia), squeeze a lime over the fish, season to taste with chili powder and cumin, and then broil for 5 or 10 minutes until the fish is opaque and flaky.

This version is closer to the taco salad most people know.

A bed of romaine lettuce, topped with warm black beans w/ sliced green onions, chopped tomato, yellow bell pepper, chopped jalapeno, chopped carrots, sliced radish, sliced avocado and a grated cheddar-Monterey Jack mix. The meat is lean ground turkey prepared with one packet of McCormick low-sodium taco seasoning.

The chips are Hanover White Corn Tortilla Chips. The nutrition information was comparable (given their size and portion size) to Baked Tostidos, and the price was much better.

Ideally, I like to make the freshest, healthiest food I can. Still, I work, parent twin toddlers and try to maintain a social life and sanity. Some days, I'd like to open a can of Spaghettios or call for a pizza, but I try not to buckle.

Reinventing old fuddy-duddy family-style recipes is kind of fun - and I'm starting to understand why they wound up on the American dinner table (read: they're effing easy).

Friday, June 5, 2009

A cheat-treat

What is it about a great workout that leaves you hungry and cheerful?

Oh, right, a calorie deficit and endorphins.

After a particularly good workout the other day, I wanted a treat, but I didn't want to ruin the effects of the workout.

I considered a new cheat-treat - something to satisfy a craving but is healthier than the craving itself. (My go-to favorite is a homemade skim mocha (a little light on the chocolate) with 94% fat-free microwave popcorn.)

I wanted chocolate-covered strawberries. What I made was this:

OK, so it looks kind of gross, but it was delicious. The Hershey's syrup was an experiment. It seemed like it could be awesome or disgusting.

What's in the bowl: Steel-cut oatmeal, sweetened with half a banana (mushed in), a sprinkle of wheat germ, a sprinkle of ground flax seed, a half a handful of sliced almonds, two tablespoons of peanut butter, sliced strawberries, topped with two tablespoons of Hershey's syrup.

WOW. The Hershey's syrup thinned a little as it warmed on the hot oatmeal. It was enough to satisfy my craving and fill me up. (I couldn't finish the whole bowl.)

This is the cheat-treat for strawberries-and-chocolate lovers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fruits of marriage

A supportive partner is imperative to a healthy lifestyle.

An armchair cheerleader who constantly brings home your favorite treats or refuses to cut back on bad cocktail hour habits doesn't want to help you achieve your goals.

You will eat those treats in moments of weakness, and (s)he knows it.

Someone who berates you for being overweight, argues with you when you're too tired for a workout, or gives you the look when you have a bowl of ice cream should be strung by his/her fat ass on the laundry line and beaten with a wooden stick until candy and toys burst out and rain to the ground ...

Then there would be more candy for you, and that would be a great party.

Thankfully, Patrick is one supportive skinny dude. He never, not once, not even a little bit, ever said anything unkind about my pregnancy weight gain or the length of time it has taken me to lose it.

His kind words and compliments, coupled with his support for my weight loss efforts, have kept me motivated and feeling good about myself.

Last week, my husband brought home a fourth anniversary gift for me. Traditionally, the gift is fruit and flowers. Healthy and beautiful and incredibly thoughtful.

Thank you, Patrick. My successes also are yours. Thank you for being my partner.