Pieces of Me

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Just 5 Days

In just 5 days, my body has adjusted quite well to this clean eating.  Remember, when I say clean, I mean mostly organic foods, no refined flour, limited sugar, and no processed foods.  I still have my decaf coffee with milk (although I’ve also been drinking caffeine free tea).  I’ve actually been doing really well, which surprises me.  I’ve packed my lunch and snacks for the week, and stayed away from the sweets and junk at school.

That is until yesterday.  Wednesday evening was a rough night for us.  Cayden woke up around 2 am with a fever of over 101.  He doesn’t tolerate fever well – cries, thrashes, and just wants to be held.  Making for a very long night.  Thursday was the last day of school for Noah’s Ark.  When I woke up, I put on my clothes, brushed my teeth, gathered up Hannah and my stuff, and headed out the door.  I did remember to grab breakfast and some fruit, but I completely forgot about lunch.

When I arrived at school, I decided that I would partake in our final Pizza Day on campus.  No more Pizza Day next year as the rules for food change with the licensing of the facility.  I got myself 2 pieces of cheese pizza. 

It was Splash Day – so fun and yet so crazy – we took the kids outside, with their water stuff and their lunches – we were going to have a picnic.

Somehow, I lost my fruit.  So I ate the two pieces of pizza and then had a tiny piece (and I mean tiny) of cake leftover from the PreK Celebration.

Within 30 minutes, I felt like I was going to die.  My body reacted in a way to the food I ate like it has never before.  It was so angry at me.  Let me tell you – lesson learned.  No more junk for me.  I don’t ever want to feel like that again.  EVER.

Which takes me to my case in point – I’ve felt amazing this week.  I’ve had more energy, I’m sleeping better, and I have less anxiety and just a better mood.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I really do believe in what I’ve been reading.  If I hadn’t, yesterday convinced me.

So without further ado, I am going to make myself share these recipes with you.  Of course, only the ones we’ve tried.  I’ve got a couple more to make this week, but a few involve one more trip to the grocery store for a few items.

Lunches -

baby spinach with avocado, pomegranate, and sunflower seeds (serves 6-8 as a side salad) – okay, I have to admit with this one, we didn’t have the pomegranate.  I just couldn’t find this fruit anywhere.  Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, or maybe it’s not in season.  Regardless, the pomegranate was omitted from my ingredients.

  • 1/2 t grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 t grated lime zest
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 large shallot, quartered
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 10 ounces baby spinach lives, cleaned and patted dry
  • 2 T sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 avocado
  1. In a blender, combine the orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, shallot, olive oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with cold water.  Cut the pomegranate in half through the tem.  Hold on pomegranate half under the water and remove the seeds with your hands.  Drain the seeds well, discarding the membrane.  Set aside 3/4 cup.  Reserve the rest for another use.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, all but 2 T of the pomegranate seeds, the sunflower seed, and about 1/4 cup of the dressing.  Toss gently to coat.  Transfer the salad to a platter or individual plates.
  4. Pit and Peel the avocado and slice it thinly.  Arrange the avocado slices on top of the salad.  Sprinkle the reserved pomegranate seeds on top.  Drizzle with the reserved dressing and serve.

Calories: 136.7, Fat: 8.6 g, Protein: 2.9 g, Carbs: 15.5 g, Sodium: 159.2 mg

Health Benefits: Anti-Cancer, Heart Healthy, Boosts Immunity, Improves Digestion, Healthy Skin, Boosts Metabolism, Anti-Inflammatory

tomato, avocado, and cheddar burrito (serves 4) – We didn’t have any tortillas so I improvised with this one and just ate a salad.  Instead of the tortilla, I had 2 cups of romaine lettuce and spinach.

  • 4 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 T thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 ounce low-fat Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 firm, ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  1. Position a rack 4 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler to high.  Alternatively, have ready a cast-iron griddle or other heavy bottomed pan and when ready to cook, heat it over medium-high heat.
  2. Lay the tortillas on the work surface.  Arrange the tomatoes in a straight light down the center of each tortilla, slightly overlapping them and dividing them equally among the 4 tortillas.  Diver the onion among the tortillas, evenly spreading it down each row of tomatoes.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of each.
  3. Carefully slide one tortilla onto a rimless baking sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 1 minute.  Or transfer 1-2 tortillas to the griddle and heat until the cheese is melted a bubbling, about 2 minutes.
  4. Slide the warmed tortilla onto a plate.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  5. Meanwhile, top the warmed cheese with 1/4 of the avocado slices.  Grind a little black pepper on top, if desired.  Tear 2 basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle over the vegetables.  Tops with 1 cup of lettuce and roll up the burrito into a tight cylinder.  Repeat with remaining burritos.
  6. Slice each burrito in half and serve.

Calories: 260.5, Fat: 11.8 g, Protein: 8.3 g, Carbs: 31.3 g, Sodium: 223.7 mg

Health Benefits: Anti-Cancer, Heart Healthy, Boosts Metabolism, Healthy Skin

Dinners – we had to vary from our original menu.  Halibut is $19.99/lb and I just wasn’t paying that much.  I’ll check Central Market next time.  I’ve also been told I can substitute Pacific Cod for Halibut and it will be just as good.

almond-crusted chicken breasts (serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds, toasted
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 t grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 t dried rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 (4-5 ouce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, place the almonds, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, garlic, and salt.  Process until coarsely chopped; the mixture will be a thick paste.
  3. Arrange the chicken breast halves in a baking dish.  Divide the almond paste and spread on the breasts; pat down to cover each breast completely.
  4. Roast in the oven until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer reads 165-170, about 10 minutes.  Loosely tent with foil and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Calories: 293.3, Fat: 17.4 g, Protein: 30 g, Carbs: 4.2 g, Sodium: 194.2 mg

Health Benefits: Anti-Cancer, Heart Healthy, Boosts Immunity, Improves Digestion, Boosts Metabolism, Improves Mood

grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce (serves 4) – This is the one dish my children asked for more of.  Soooo good!  Sooo easy!

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 T packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 lb. skirt steak
  • Olive oil spray, for the grill
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Add the parsley and oregano leaves, and pulse until the herbs are coarsely chopped.  Add the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  2. Place the skirt steak in a shallow pan and pour 1/3 cup of the chimichurri sauce over it.  Turn to coat well.  Cover and refrigerate, preferably for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.  Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.
  3. If using a gas or charcoal grill, spray the grill with olive oil and prepare a medium-hot grill.  If using a grill pan, spray it will olive oil and heave over medium-high heat.
  4. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare (yuck – we cook medium here).  Let stand on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes.  Thinly slice the stead and divide among four plates.  Top each serving with 1 generous teaspoon of chimichurri sauce and serve.

Calories: 339.2, Fat: 25.1 g, Protein: 24.3 g, Carbs: 2.9 g, Sodium: 193.2 mg

Health Benefits: Anti-Cancer Heart Healthy, Boosts Immunity, Boosts Metabolism, Improves Digestion

I know I’m missing a few and I’ll get them posted soon.  That’s just a lot of typing which equals a lot of time I could be doing something else.  LOL


Anonymous said...

The burrito sounds so good! I'm going to have to try some of these, trying to eat healthier here too. Are you still doing WW?

bodyhacker said...

Everything sounds fantastic and great job with eating healthier! We actually just wrote an article on clean eating yesterday if you are interested. http://bodyhacker.com/2010/05/21/what-is-clean-eating/

Also wasn't sure if you ever tried the La Tortilla Low Carb/Low Cal wraps? They taste fantastic and only 80 calories for their large size. We use them for all of our meals such as breakfast (egg burritos), lunch (wraps such as veggie, fruit or turkey), dinner (pizzas, quesadillas) and also for snacks.

Hope you can enjoy and keep up the great work!