Changing Food Is Okay, Too

Yesterday I discussed changing athletic gears and today I’m talking food gears. I eat healthy and I treat myself when I want it so I don’t want you to read this thinking I feel deprived in my lifestyle. I guess you can sum it up with Spring Fever is making me want to overhaul and try new things and that includes food.

We’ve been gluten free for Logan for a bit and it’s just easier if I don’t eat many things that resemble the gluten type products. Logan has a few waffles and muffins we keep and I make the boys gluten free pasta every week. I don’t really have food sensitivities to my knowledge other than beans are definitely my magical fruit (so I avoid them but love them) and meat fills me up where grains leave me hungry fast.

Lately, I’ve been thinking maybe I need to just switch things up and include a little more diversity to my menus. I love salads so I eat them ALL THE TIME. I like proteins and have ate a protein with every meal for so long it’s hard to not have a fridge stocked with chicken, steak, and fish most of the time. I think I want to mix it up, though. I would like to make some more creative entrees and see how I feel.

It will change my prep a lot. I definitely can knock a week of food out for three people in about two hours. That’s OK. I don’t mind spending more time in the kitchen. Since my laundry room is right off the kitchen I might get caught up on that!

Guess there are a couple of fears I have.

1) What if the new food doesn’t fill me up?

2) What if I gain weight?

I know y’all must think “she’s as crazy as we are!” It’s hard to admit I don’t have everything together and buttoned up, but I’m human. I wasn’t genetically blessed with a thin body and it’s work for me to keep the weight off. I’m not kidding. It’s WORK. I struggle with food, thoughts, self-esteem, training, all of it. What keeps me from going back is that I’m OK with the struggle. A LONG time ago I accepted the fact it won’t be easy but it’s just what I have to live. And because of that I have built a nice, safe set of personal boundaries to operate in that work without driving me insane.

I talked to my therapist about this last week and late last year. She said, “Your boundaries have worked. There’s nothing wrong with boundaries unless they cause anxiety or disrupt other areas of your life.” I thought about this, talked to Chris, talked to her and I am fine with them. Now I’m ready to stretch the boundaries, try new things, and trust ME more. It’s not that they interrupt my life but like I said yesterday I want joy in all areas of my life which includes food. I’m sort of bored with my food. I’m OK with being bored because it doesn’t make me eat junk but I sure don’t want to live life boring either.

Maybe it’s all the years I have said out loud to all of you that your body won’t fail you if you listen. That’s hard to believe but I’m listening and decided what’s the worst that can happen? I don’t like what I’m doing and I go back to what works. Guess what? That’s fine!

That’s the long way to say I’m going to get more creative and diverse with my food. I’m going to listen to my body. I found a couple of things I want to try when we get back from Vegas next week. I may find more but these look super easy to do, change up, and add to my routine.

The Shrimp and Grits recipe I will probably use chicken just because it lasts longer. I can make this up and reheat each day for lunch. I’ll add a serving of roasted vegetables to this. The next one is a sandwich. I’m thinking I’ll use Ezekial Bread or GF bread and probably make a turkey breast in the crockpot for the meat. The bacon I can cook up on Sunday. Really all I will have to do is slap it together and this will be breakfast with some berries. Dinner I will stick with my salads for now so I’m not blowing the doors off the comfort zone. I will use some of the turkey to make cobb salads.

It’s funny how when I decide to change I go full force into new things. Not sure where all this will take me but I’m curious about this new phase of my journey. It seems to be less structured. I can only hope I’m ready for that.

SHRIMP AND GRITS RECIPE
4 cups water
1 cup stone-ground grits
1 tablespoon organic, unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup low-fat, organic shredded cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
4 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1/2 cup scallions, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro

Bring water to boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. Cover to keep warm.

In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper and zucchini, and cook until tender, about 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, scallions and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp just turns pink. Add lemon juice, zest, paprika, pepper and herb of your choice, and stir. Remove from heat, and serve shrimp mixture on top of grits.

TURKEY AVOCADO AND BACON SANDWICH

Ingredients 

4-oz. roasted turkey breast (or sliced deli meat)

½ avocado, sliced

4 tomato slices

4 strips bacon (or turkey bacon)

¼ C. arugula

4 slices whole wheat bread

Directions

Toast whole wheat bread, or place under a broiler set to low until golden brown. Set aside.

Cook bacon to package ingredients. Set aside.

Lay out two slices of bread and place arugula, bacon, tomato, turkey and avocado on top.

Use any condiment of choice if needed.

  • Wow, that sandwich looks WONDERFUL. That might need to go on my prep list this week too! I’m so tired of salads at lunch and this looks like a nice change. We have the fresh strawberry stands open now too … GREAT idea!

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