Monthly Archives: June 2009

A Realization, About 12 Years Too Late

Two of my co-worker friends and I made plans to go to Willy’s for lunch. I love getting the Willy’s Salad with Tofu. It’s tasty and filling and I think around 400 calories since I don’t get cheese on it. When we got there, however, there was a line out the door. So we scrapped the plan and went to Einsten Brothers instead since it was next door and we wouldn’t have to drive somewhere else.

An hour or two after eating my lunch, I felt so sleepy. I looked up the nutritionals of what I had (I can’t help it) and although what I had, the Veg Out sandwich, was one of the lower calorie items on the menu, it still had like 70 grams of refined carbs. No wonder I was so tired.

So here comes the realization. When I was in high school, we were allowed to leave for lunch. There was a shopping center next door that had amongst other things, a bagel place. I used to go there and get TWO plain bagels. By plain I mean without any toppings. I thought I was being healthy. I was still very much stuck in the fat = bad mentality and didn’t pay any attention to calories or ingredients or anything else. In my mind, if it was lowfat, it was fine to eat as much as I wanted. And, because it was lowfat, it didn’t fill me up, so I ate a lot. I also drank regular soda every day. And then I would fall asleep. In class. I was known for sleeping during class in high school. And now, years later, I realized that the sleepiness was me crashing from eating mass quantities of refined carbs and sugar for lunch. If only I knew then. I guess that’s just so it goes.

For dinner tonight, I planned on having a greek salad but I was starving when I got home so I threw together some other stuff and made the salad to have for tomorrow’s lunch. Leaving it in the fridge for a while will allow the flavors to meld anyway. Isn’t it pretty?

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This was simply 1 green pepper, 3 roma tomatoes, some artichoke hearts, a container of low-fat feta, 1/2 cup sliced olives and piece of toasted pita dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and basil.

I don’t know about you, but the mosquitos are driving me insane this summer. I am particularly sensitive to mosquitos, I think. My mother used to tell me that it was because I was so sweet. Although, I’m sure everyone’s mother tells them that! Check out my face. Itchy!

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Interesting Day

Today was very interesting for a couple reasons. I’ll give you the non-food one first because I have less to say about it.

I normally work 8:30-5:30. Some people in the office are 8-5 and others 9-6 but everyone has a 9-hour day with a 1 hour lunch. Today the CEO sent out an email saying that effective tomorrow office hours will be 9-5 with a one hour lunch. We are all really confused. I mean, I’m happy; I can sleep longer and leave earlier but why did they do it? Everyone is salary; nothing is changing monetarily. They just shortened the day by an hour. I would understand if they were cutting pay because they were cutting time worked, but they’re not. Very, very odd.

Okay, here’s the food related interestingness. (That’s a word? It didn’t highlight it as a mis-spelling.) My friend Emily and I went to a raw foods seminar at The Living Foods Institute. It was actually her idea but being that I’m interested in pretty much everything having to do with food and health, I readily agreed to come along. I really didn’t know what to expect and, for whatever reason, was a little scared. We got to the place about five minutes late and there were already about 50 people sitting in chairs. The first thing that they did was make a smoothie. I know it had celery, apples and coconut oil in it, I forget what else. It was okay. I wanted to love it, but I didn’t. It had a weird, grainy consistency.

After the smoothie, they handed everyone a small plate of food. Score! I hadn’t eaten dinner so this was much appreciated. It had a marinated kale dish, raw hummus, flax crackers, some sort of banana-coconut thing and something else that I wasn’t really sure of. Everything was pretty good. I really liked the kale.

Besides feeding us, they also talked about raw foods (duh). I was actually sort of surprised about how much I already knew about this type of lifestyle. I guess an addiction to reading food blogs and scrounging for healthy recipes will do that for you. I have mixed feelings on the subject. Some of it makes a lot of sense. When you’re eating raw, you’re eating whole foods that have more nutrients and you aren’t putting chemicals in your body. I get that. It’s great; I totally agree. But then there were some things that I was skeptical about. They told a story about a man with a face tumor. According to the speaker, he did this 12 day class (which btw is $5000) and the tumor went away. Things like that I have much more trouble buying into.

There was also a lot of talk about positive affirmations and how your thoughts can harm you if they are negative. At the end of the class, the speaker had us say a bunch of affirmations out loud. I felt silly doing it. I’m not sure if it was because I was with my friend and she wasn’t really saying them? Aside from feeling silly, it actually did hit a chord because I have been trying very hard, and succeeding somewhat, at eliminating negativity directed toward myself. I read When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But) about a month ago and it really helped me realize that being so down on myself and expecting such perfection (for me it was/is food related, but I guess it could apply to anything in life.) just leads to a lot of guilt because a lot of what I was down on myself for was inevitable. So it was interesting that they incorporated this emotional aspect into a discussion about ways to heal your body.

I’m not making any attempt to change the way I eat except what I said at the beginning of the month which is to focus on non-processed, whole foods. I’m fine if they’re cooked, I’m fine if they’re raw. I just want them to be healthy and tasty.

Polenta Pie

I’ve had a log of polenta in my fridge for a few months now. It seemed like every recipe that I found used the instant kind and not the roll so to the back of the fridge it moved. Until today. I finally found a yummy sounding recipe and I even had more than half of the ingredients on hand. Funny thing is, I found this recipe in my saved recipes file on my computer. Guess I should have looked there first. I have a little habit of saving too many recipes and then getting so overwhelmed by the choices that I don’t make any of them. Maybe I should stop looking for new ones until I make some of the ones I already have. I have the same problem with cookbooks.

Anyway, I present to you, Polenta Tamale Pie.

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I’m pretty sure that this recipe comes from Vegweb. I didn’t exactly have the correct amounts of everything and, oddly enough, what I used worked even though I used the correct amount of some ingredients and less of others.

Polenta Tamale Pie

Ingredients

    1 lb. ground soy meat (I used 12 oz of Quorn)
    1 16 oz. jar salsa (I used 11 oz)
    1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
    6 oz. (~half a can) vegetable broth (I used 4 oz of some onion soup that I had in the fridge)
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (I didn’t use this)
    1 1 lb. roll prepared polenta, sliced into 1/3 thick rounds
    12 oz. soy cheese (I used roughly 6 oz of part-skim mozzarella
    cayenne pepper, ground cumin and garlic salt, to taste
    safflower oil, for sauteing (I sauteed in cooking spray)

Directions:

Defrost and saute soy meat in a bit of safflower oil for around 5 minutes or until heated through over medium heat.  Add salsa, black beans, broth, cayenne, cumin, garlic salt and half of the cilantro and simmer until mixture thickens.

Oil 9×9 glass baking dish.  Place approximately 1/3 of polenta in bottom of dish.  Cover with 1/3 of soy meat mixture and then 1/3 of soy cheese.  Repeat layering twice more (at least this is what I ended up with – a total of 3 layers), top with remaining cilantro and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.

You may choose to broil for 30 seconds or so in order to crispify top layer of soy cheese.  Serve with a light salad.  Yum.  Very tasty.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch She’s Just Not That Into You which I have from Netflix. I heard it’s not that good, but I’ll give it a shot.

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