Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Post Christmas Detox

We all do it in January, right?
We pledge to eat healthy, join the gym, or use the gym membership we have, to walk everyday, stop drinking diet Coke, or whatever our weakness is.
We bemoan our holiday over indulgences and pledge to get back on track so we can look good by swimsuit weather.

Well, I won't be looking good by swimsuit season.  I will, in fact, be looking like a beached whale when I hit the sand with my kids.
I will be wearing a mumu, not a bathing suit.
But that doesn't mean I don't have other goals.
It doesn't mean I don't have some detoxing to do.

And while you may have only to recover from the month of December, I have to recover from October, November and December.
Right before I got pregnant this time, I finally lost the 10 pound I gained from the last pregnancy.
It is much harder to lose weight when you don't have a baby to nurse.   
The weight loss felt great.  I joined the gym and began embarrassing myself in aerobics classes and fit into some of my post William pants.  (I couldn't eat dairy for a year after William was born and it was the best weight loss tool I ever had.  Let's hear it for babies who can't digest milk!)
But in no time at all, those 10 pounds were back on my hips and then some.
You can read about my ridiculous first trimester weight gain here.

I know I am supposed to gain weight when I am pregnant.   
And to be honest, I am not horribly worried about the weight gain--I always lose it thanks to nursing and birthing 10 pound babies.  And I have never been one of those cute, skinny all over except for a baby bump, kind of pregnant ladies. 
Before I ever had babies, I had birthing hips!
Mostly I just felt unhealthy.
Like I couldn't eat much of anything besides buttered toast, cold cereal and Top Ramen for months.
Very few vegetables or well rounded meals passed my lips during that time.

My family suffered too.
I can't tell you how many times I served them burritos, or cereal for dinner.
Add weeks of Christmas treats to that and we were all ready for a detox of sorts.

I started with breakfast.

My kids had eaten bacon for breakfast 3 days in a row.  The grandmas love to spoil them with bacon.
So the day after Christmas, I whipped up smoothies for breakfast.

Almond milk (high in protein)
Frozen, wild blueberries (the color and the seeds are so good for you)
Banana (potassium for my leg cramps)
Strawberry Kefir (healthy bacteria)
Ground flax seed meal (more nutrients than if you leave the flax seeds whole)

They were delicious and the kids, like always, love them.
I finally felt like the mom I like  to be. (at least in the food department)

I also served baked oatmeal.

I know I have posted about baked oatmeal before.
Several times in fact.
But when something is a favorite, it bears repeating.
I added dried cranberries before baking.
They were plump and juicy when the oatmeal came out of the oven.

Don't get me wrong, bacon and pancakes are a great treat for breakfast, but we just can't do that everyday.  We're not working on the farm all day.
Starting the day with breakfast like that made me feel better, even mentally, than I had in months.
Feeding my family well is one of my favorite things to do.

Another goal of mine is to drink more water.

I never do drink enough.  Especially when I'm pregnant.
I crave orange juice, lemonade and chocolate milk when I am pregnant.
I can't get enough to drink, and it is never enough water.
Simple solution: adding citrus to my water from the plethora that fill our trees.
It helps the water go down easier.

And finally, I am working on dinners.

I can't even tell you how great it feels to want to cook again.
It's like I have been given a new lease on life.
3 months of hardly cooking a meal is a life time for me.
Frozen meals, boxed meals, quesadillas, and beans from a can do not count as cooking in my world.

So I've been reading my cookbooks again and planning menus.
I am mixing it up a bit by cooking more vegetarian.
It was Aaron's request.
I love vegetables far more than meat, so I was on board immediately.
It has been fun to try new recipes and figure out how we can get 3, 4 or 5 servings of vegetables in a meal some way other than salad.

Here is one of the first recipes I tired.
It's easy, because when you cook vegetarian, pasta is an easy place to start.

The recipe is: Pasta With Roasted Vegetables and Arugula
I love roasted vegetables, and I adore arugula, so it seemed like a winner.

You can find the recipe here but read my notes before you make it yourself.

Roasting the garlic and tomatoes is essential.  It adds a depth of flavor you can't get otherwise.
Don't substitute onions for shallots.  The shallots have a milder flavor and are delicious when roasted.
Make sure the pasta is cooked al dente.  Otherwise it will get mushy when you add the veggies.
I didn't add olives because I was out and didn't want to make a separate trip.
I think you should add the olives.
Adding pasta water to the pasta and veggies as the recipe says, doesn't really make a sauce.
In fact, I still found the pasta kind of dry and boring.
I added 1/2 a cup of low fat, ricotta cheese and stirred it up in the pasta.  It added a nice finish to the dish.
Use arugula not spinach, and use more than they say.  It is so good.
Like most pasta dishes, this one tastes even better for lunch the next day.

Like I said, this was an easy one--not much of a stretch for me.
But last night I made Israeli cous cous with asparagus, roasted brussel sprouts and carrot ginger soup.  (don't know  Israeli cous cous?  here is one of my favorite ways to cook it)
And let me tell you, it was good!
Tonight I am making rice tacos.
Hopefully I'll be able to share some of my favorite new recipes here.
Like the carrot ginger soup.
Check back for it.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!
Love from,

PS. Thought I knew how to get back to my old header and to fix it, but alas, I do not.
So please excuse my mess until my man gets home and he can fix things up around here for me.  


Lillian said...

Yum, Yum are my favorite cookbook. Dad and I had rice tacos last night. I think they are as delish as they were when I first stated making them when Stan and I fist married and went through our health nut faze.
Love you!

simply brookes: said...

G, love your clean photos and clean eating.


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!
Everything you make looks so good. You are natual & real artist.