Weighty Matters

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Foods Previously Untried

We had our bi-weekly delivery of organic produce arrive at work today.  My share had plums, pears, apples, bananas, spaghetti squash, grape tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, lacinato kale, yams and broccoleaf.

I’ve never heard of broccoleaf, but it’s exactly what it sounds like – the leaf of the broccoli plant.  It is touted as a superfood.  Here’s some of what  I read when I Googled it:

  • One Broccoleaf serving provides 100% of your daily value requirement for vitamin C, essential for immune health during this cold and flu season and tasty green provides more calcium than a serving of Kale.
  • BroccoLeafs are also an excellent source of vitamins A for healthy skin and vitamin D for mood and bone health.
  • Like all members of the Brassica family (cruciferous vegetables), the Broccoleaf is a powerful anti-cancer food.

Uses include throwing some in a smoothie, adding it to soup, using it for a wrap, making a sort of egg-cheese-veggie casserole or, to cut to the chase, pretty much using it any way that I might use kale or baby spinach.  I’m pretty excited to check it out tomorrow and in the days ahead.

Until a couple of years ago, I don’t think I ever knowingly ate kale.  I purposely avoided spinach, unless it was in a mayonnaise-laden dip, and would not have spent any amount of time musing other possible uses for a large, leafy green.  My how times have changed.

I was out to dinner with friends on Saturday night.  Went to a restaurant that had a lovely selection of “small plate” menu items.  I chose a dish that featured pork belly with manchego grits and fried green tomatoes.  Normally, I would not even have tasted the tomatoes.  Tomatoes and I have a strange relationship.  I really don’t like them raw — unless they’re chopped up and seasoned in salsa.  I love tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes, but that’s where my affection ended.  Or so I always thought.  I looked at my plate, tasted the excellent pork and cheese grits and then thought, “Oh give it a shot.”  I cut into the tomato slice, tasted it and said, “Yum.”

Since having weight loss surgery and embarking on the whole effort to eat healthier, I’ve been more willing to try foods I previously avoided or ignored.  Some, like baby spinach, kale, and beets have greatly surprised me.  I not only like them, I look for ways to incorporate them into my eating.  Others, like any kind of fish, I’ve really tried to like, but have not been successful at cultivating any enjoyment from tasting or eating.  You win some; you lose some.

On the flip side, there are some foods that I ate all of the time, that I craved, that the smell of alone could nearly cause me to salivate.  Nowadays, I can’t stomach them.  They hold no appeal.  Any fast food restaurant hamburger, for example.

Food become sort of an adventure along the way.  I like thinking about it in constructive ways, such as how will I prepare these healthy, vegetables to make delicious dishes?  This is much better for me than the old destructive pattern of just seeing food as something that I wanted/needed/craved all of the time.

Right now I’m contemplating how I can turn the grape tomatoes and green pepper into some sort of fresh sauce to go over the spaghetti squash.  I love to search food sites and just type in potential ingredients to see what comes up.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still love a lot of less-than-healthy foods.   I can very easily binge on chocolate, cookies, okay, almost any dessert.  Sadly, I still need to work on that whole “moderation” thing.  However, I keep trying to expand my food horizon by being willing to at least try things I wouldn’t eat or try before.

How about you?  Share with us about a food that’s a recent discovery for you!

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Getting the Why

I don’t know why it is so hard sometimes to make the right choices and so much easier to make wrong ones. What complicated maze of crossed wires between our psyches, emotions and bodies redirects us from the obvious best options and leads to us taking an unhealthy course of action?

To great extent, choices are a matter of black and white. You either do this or that. Humans being humans, we lighten the black and muddle the white to create various shades of gray. In that gray we screw up sometimes. It’s like a fog obscures the issue and blankets our common sense just long enough for us to make the wrong choice.

Don’t ask me why I’m in this pensive, philosophical mood of confusion tonight. Overall I’m in a good place. I’m not perfect and I eat wrong more often than I’d like, but I’m not rolling into relapse. Honestly, I feel strong and able to balance my urges and occasional missteps with healthy choices and positive actions. I know the “what”. Tonight, I’m just caught up in the “why”.

It’s funny because I’m not usually a “why” woman. A long time ago, I decided that I didn’t need to know why I did certain things. I just needed to not do them, regardless of whether I understood my motivations or loss of motivation, depending on my actions. The bottom line is that this is still, well, the bottom line. When the choice is between a positive action or a negative one; healthy choice or unhealthy; I need to choose positive and healthy versus the alternatives. Even if I have excuses or imagine there are good reasons, that justify the opposite choices, I need to ignore those “whys” and stick to what I know is right for me.

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