Saturday, April 26, 2014

Can I Have a Glass of Water?

What is going on?  Just when I thought McDonald's couldn't get much more ridiculous...  First of all, I am completely against McDonald's.  I don't think anyone should eat there because what they sell isn't actually food.  There is no nutritional value there at all.  I can't remember the last time I even stepped foot in one.

But yesterday my husband forgot to take his normal breakfast to work with him so he stopped to get some hot cakes.  I guess you need some background.  My husband has improved his diet dramatically since I first met him a very long time ago.  The past few years he really stepped it up when he noticed the big effects diet had on his cycling.  He had to do something to combat the inevitable aging!  Now he is the one out there lecturing his friends about meat and dairy.

He still has a couple bad habits though.  The worst is his pop.  I quit drinking pop when I was 11 because I noticed it made me sick.  Therefore my daughter never did drink it.  Bill makes up for us though.  He goes through one of these a day:

Yes, I was horrified when he bought this thing!  Pop is his worst vice and overall he is pretty good but I guess everyone has something.  I am seriously irritated that it they charge only about a dollar to fill this thing up.  But that is a whole other rant.

So back to McDonald's.  He stopped and got hot cakes, no sausage.  Because he drinks so much pop during the day, he decided to get water with his breakfast.  He asked for a glass for ice water and was handed this:

He thought the cashier had made a mistake but when he looked around, other people had the same little cup.  This morning we measured.  It is a little smaller than the Dixie cups we keep in our kitchen.  You know, the little cups you use when you just need a sip of water to take a pill or whatever.

Why?  Seriously, why.  So we have people eating at a place with no healthy choices at all but they are trying to at least drink water and this is what you hand them?  Does anyone else find this as irritating as me?  It is as if they are making it as inconvenient as possible to make the most minor positive choice.  I shouldn't be surprised, I know, but this really just blew my mind.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Collard Green Smoothie

I've decided to jump right back into my healthy eating starting with my mid-morning snack.  Last weekend we went to Sam's Club and overall, their produce is too expensive but I always look anyway.  I'm glad I did because they had these huge bags of collard greens for $1.79 each.  EDIT - I just found my receipt.  They were actually only 98 cents a bag!

I got so excited, I bought two.  What am I supposed to do with all these collard greens?!  I've been eating them every day but I've still barely made a dent in the first bag.  I will say one thing I don't like about this bag is that the greens are chopped but they didn't remove the stems so you still have to go through and take all those out.  Not a huge deal but a little irritating.

So obviously, my smoothie had to have collard greens in it.  I looked through "Green Smoothie Revolution" by Victoria Boutenko and adapted her "Sweet Tart Smoothie" to what I had on hand.  It is delicious and I feel better already! As you can see it filled my glass to the very rim.  I have it sitting right in front of my computer screen so I remember to keep drinking it.

Collard Green Smoothie

1 cup collard greens
1/2 cup baby spinach and kale combined
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
3 Medjool dates, pitted
Juice of one lemon
1 cup water

Blend until smooth.

Too Much Stress!

The last couple weeks I've been under a tremendous amount of stress.  I'd love to get it all off my chest but unfortunately it isn't something I can talk about.  What I can talk about though is how I did exactly the wrong thing when all this turmoil began.  I quit exercising and meditating and started eating junk food.  Granted, my junk food isn't nearly as junky as the typical American diet but still it caused my body to get very confused.  I quit sleeping but then only had enough energy to sit around watching TV.

The worst of it is behind me now (I think) so I'm going to make it a priority to get back on track.  I bought plenty of fresh produce last weekend so our meals should be automatically more healthy since I don't want it to go to waste.  Also, I'm off work until next Monday so exercising shouldn't be a problem.

Even though I am disappointed with how I let this issue disrupt my healthy lifestyle, it provided proof that I've been doing the right thing over the past couple years.  Normally it would have taken much less stress to completely mess up my stomach, give me constant headaches, and kick my IBS back into full force misery.  None of that happened.  Yes, my stomach has been very quivery and nervous, but I've been able to eat and overall I've felt pretty good considering the circumstances.  I haven't neglected any of my other activities.  I still get up every morning, pack Kayleigh's lunch, fix breakfast, go to her track meets.  I'm really shocked at how well I managed to compartmentalize that small but extremely stressful part of my life so that it didn't interfer with the rest of my life.  Oh yeah, and poor Kayleigh had her birthday fall in the middle of all of this!

This has been rambling and incoherent but I guess my main point is that although I didn't keep up with my diet and exercise routine over the past couple weeks, the good habits from the last couple years helped get me through this minor set back without too much damage.

I have tons of planned blog posts that I haven't got to this month so I'm going to make those a priority along with getting everything else back on track.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Pasta

Last week was a mess.  We are still not completed done with the remodeling in the family room but decided to jump to the computer room anyway.  So now we have stuff from both of those rooms all over the rest of the house.  That clutter is enough to drive me crazy but then on top of it I didn't plan our meals last week so I feel like I'm living in chaos!

Last night I went through the refrigerator to see what produce needed to be used up.  When I don't know what to cook, I always start with boiling water for pasta.  For some reason I had three bell peppers in the fridge.  I'm not sure what I was thinking when I bought them but they were still in good shape so I started chopping them.

Our weather continues to be very winter-like and I think I must have just been fed up last weekend because I bought some tomatoes.  I never buy tomatoes in the winter because they just don't taste like anything.  I had a few of these raw earlier in the week though and they weren't too bad.

Once I decided to add those to the peppers I realized I basically had the same ingredients as we use for stuffed peppers.  Our favorite recipe stuffs the peppers with a rice and tomato filling so I took that idea but chopped up the peppers and put them on pasta.

For the stuffed pepper recipe, I usually use fresh parsley but when I haven't had any, I've been able to get by with dried.  Right now I have some growing in my window sill (ignore the filthy window - it's still winter here!) but there wasn't much so I probably only used about half the amount I would have liked.

It turned out really tasty and it only took a few minutes to make.  I was shocked!

Stuffed Pepper Pasta

1 pound pasta of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 bell peppers, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes or about 1 1/2 cups fresh
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I make a vegan version from Everyday Happy Herbivore)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Ground pepper
Garlic salt

Prepare the pasta according to the package.

Heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the peppers and green onion and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire, parsley, salt and pepper and heat through.  Combine the pasta and peppers and enjoy.