Trying to eat healthy, again

Standard

I have joined an exercise group. After almost half a year of leaving my last workout place, I have found a new place to go exercise. This place is probably just as far from my home as the old place was, but it is a bit less expensive, it has a facebook group which creates a sense of community, and it focuses a lot more on the eating healthy and staying accountable bit.

I have been going to this place for about two weeks and have realized how much I missed lifting things and pushing myself. I also realized that I enjoy exercising, but that my real issue is in the kitchen. What I mean is, I’m not great at portion control, love to bake and love chocolate a little bit too much. It’s not like I stuff myself with three Big Macs every day, but I do go through stages where I over eat things that I shouldn’t.  As I have mentioned before, I don’t want to not eat things or exercise to fit some standard of society. I want to eat healthier, because when I have eaten healthier in the past and exercised in the past, I feel great, have energy, am more productive, and do more active things.

Taking this in to account and having this new support, I have decided to give it a shot (once again) and try to eat healthier meals, that I like. I want to embrace those food that I enjoy and make them healthy. I love ice cream, so I bought Halo Top, which is a low calorie ice cream alternative (and the flavors are banging). I love breakfast, so I bought a mix of pancakes that is Paleo, which basically means its free of wheat and sugar. They were really filling and tasted pretty good.

IMG_9022

Paleo Pancake Mix from Birch Benders with local blueberries.

I love to bake, I have found recipes that either are lighter than their counterparts or include healthy ingredients. I made a pound cake with coconut oil instead of butter, and used a lot less oil than a 1:1 butter substitution. I made a chocolate zucchini bread, that had really little sugar and you could not tell had zucchini at all (even though I put three of those babies in there). I bought a brownie mix that was made with whole wheat and had tons of antioxidants. All things were yummy and other people tried them and enjoyed them.

IMG_9021

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake, made with coconut oil

IMG_9020

Chocolate Zucchini Bread low in sugar.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another thing I have been doing is making an effort of going to the farmers market and buying at least one vegetable option for the week and one fruit option. I have bought micro greens, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, and some peas. I have also been growing some of my own veggies.

FullSizeRender 5

I have some Brussels sprouts, two kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, rosemary and strawberries.

 

My next adventure will be baking with gluten free, wheat free flours. We will see how that goes.

As for the pound cake recipe and the chocolate zucchini bread recipe here are the links (I did make some adjustments to them, mostly using less sugar or fats):

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

The Inquisitors Tale Food Inspo

Standard

I have been thinking about all the ways in which the books I read inspire my day to day. For a while now, I’ve been toying with this idea as I’m reading a book thinking about what it inspires me to do. Sometimes I read books that make me reflect, question and even change my attitude. There’s also books that inspire my fashion, my food choices, and even make me try new things. I read a lot of books, this year alone looking back at the Goodreads Reading Challenge I have read 67 books and the year isn’t even over. Many times I’m reading more than one book at the same time, which for the purposes of blogging can make it tricky. I have not devised a system yet, but I wanted to blog about one particular book that was standing out of the others.

I read a little bit of everything, specially now that I have gotten into literary/book related podcast, I have many list of books I want to read. This book in particular might not be everybody’s cup of tea, specially if you think it’s meant for a younger audience, which is ok, but you would be missing out in a cool book.

Here is the Book:

The Inquisitors Tale or The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

By: Adam Gidwitz

What is it about?

This book follows these three children, all have felt alone in their respective villages/homes and now find themselves together under weird circumstances. They are pretty unique, each has a sort of gift and their paths unite. I have not finished this book, so right now the story is being told by different people who have encountered the children, I don’t know if they will also have chapters. I’m more than half way done and this has not been the case. This is sort of a medieval tale with characters retelling the adventures of the children. It’s a funny book with a message. It’s fast paced and never boring.

What did it inspire me to do?

Most of the retelling of the kids story is happening at an Inn, where all these characters are drinking beer and sharing their respective parts of the story as I guess the Inquisitor (in the title) listens and tries to make sense of the story. We recently hosted a dinner party and our fridge is full of beer and cheese, so I decided to make Beer Cheddar Soup. I felt it would be something the people at the Inn would probably have eaten.

I searched the internet for a couple of recipes. I went for the crock-pot version of this soup, here are a few recipes for it:

Family Fresh Meals

Crock Pot Ladies

My Crock-Pot is a tiny one and I didn’t have heavy cream, so I had to adjust the recipe some what, but the main ingredients were there.

The end result was a rich soup, not creamy but heavy in flavor. I could picture the people at the Inn eating this, in really cold weather, specially if there wasn’t much meat to go around. It was definitely fatty, but I’m not complaining, it was delicious with a slice of bread.

If you read the book or make the soup, I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Centered

Standard

Whenever I take fitness into my own hands, I have a lot of struggles. Mostly because I find my self wanting to maintain a balance between how I should feel about myself and what I want to look like. I want to be fit and healthy for the right reasons. Because it is not only good for your physical health, but also good mentally, and emotionally. I want to be fit and healthy, because I want to be the best version of myself. I want to be fit and healthy, because it helps with my anxiety. I don’t want it to become a comparison to fitter people. I don’t want to be fit and healthy, because society wants us to believe being overweight is awful. I want to exercise because it makes me feel good.

However, I’m not immune to insecurities, and do have episodes of feeling bad about my body, nitpicking tiny imperfections, and letting it get me down for no good reason. This is what I struggle with. I wish I was beyond all this crap. So what do I do?

I try to accept the doubts and remind myself of the real reason for me exercising. I accept that their will be low times, I’m not always going to look great, but the reason for me exercising and trying to eat healthy is not to fit into society standards. At the end of the day I have my motivations clear and this always helps keep me centered. The fact that I’m not trying to achieve perfection, but trying to be my best keeps me grounded. Reminding myself of all the other things I have going for myself, things I enjoy, and of course the people in my life, helps me stay balanced.

Alfajor

Standard

I’ve been thinking of traveling a lot lately. There’s a desire to run away and explore places where they don’t know me. The truth is I feel stuck, in between jobs and questioning every decision that has brought me here. I started reminiscing about a trip I took to South America when I was in high school. It was missionary trip to help a small community in Paraguay get some houses built, but it was also a cheap way for a teenager (myself) to travel to some awesome places. I have a lot of good memories from that trip; I visited the Machu Pichu, I met interesting people, and I ate good food. Some of the best times were past while we waited at the airports or bus stops singing Silvio Rodriguez songs or sharing a book. I also remember that with the extra money we had, I (always having a sweet tooth) would buy these chocolate covered cookies called Alfajor. They came in this red wrapping with some type of elephant-esque character in them. I was in such a sad place that I decided I would make these cookies at home. I did not rest until I found a recipe I could follow and spent a good 6 hours in the kitchen just preparing, baking and decorating the cookies.

I’ve always found cooking and baking to have a meditative effect on me, just clear my mind and let my hands work. This doesn’t mean that these were miracle Alfajores and all my issues are now fixed, but it did serve as therapy. Even though, I may think changing my settings and starting anew is an option, the truth is I will always be me no matter where I go. I may not be proud of all my past choices, but I did learn from them and much like the alfajor recipe, I can apply some of those old experiences to my current life.