23 March 2013

One step closer to fresh, and other thoughts on food

--ABM and I are finally on the same page when it comes to healthy eating. Not the same sentence, mind you (he had us on a severe low-carb regimen for two months), but at least we are on the same page. This means that we are bringing in more fresh foods to try. Since I am home all day and I have the kids to help me, a task like dicing fresh onions instead of using a bag of frozen ones from Walmart doesn't seem like such a chore. We probably won't go so far as eliminating all processed foods, but we are getting closer to simple old-fashioned eating.

--This week, I tried cooking spaghetti squash as a replacement for angel hair pasta. There was a sticker on the squash that gave cooking instructions: prick the squash with a fork, microwave for 15 minutes, bake in the regular oven for 60 minutes, then cut open. I've since learned that I could have stopped after the microwaving because the squash was done. Anyway, after I cooked the squash I added my favorite jarred spaghetti sauce. I didn't like it at first, but I'm glad I followed my instincts and put the leftover squash in the fridge. After a couple days, I reheated it with some cheese and mild Italian sausage. That made all the difference. The sausage added more flavor, and I think sitting in the refrigerator helped the texture of the squash. I would be willing to cook spaghetti squash again, especially since it would save me 180 calories a cup over pasta. This is one low-calorie substitution that doesn't feel like a sacrifice.

--Smoothies have been on my list of recipes to work into my diet for a while and I've finally started to do it. Calcium is one nutrient that I sorely lack, as evidenced by how easily I break myself! I remember being told by a doctor once that I have the bones of an 80-year-old woman, and I doubt the situation has gotten better over the past 20 years. Drinking smoothies seems like a painless way to increase my calcium on board, as well as up my fruit and veggie intake. So far, I've mainly been using strawberries, bananas, and peaches with milk. I tried spinach once and that was pretty good. Next on deck is carrots. 

--It's time for me to start thinking about having a spring vegetable garden. I've skipped gardening for the past several years for various reasons, but it would be a shame not to plant something this year while I am unemployed and have the time. I must resist the urge to go overboard, however. The seed catalogs always tempt me into believing that I can handle more than is realistic. Right now, my thoughts are to plant tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, and chives. Hopefully I can stick to that!
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