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Dinner, Last Night – Invent!

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Okay, so for those of you who have been around me often enough – you’ll know that I LOVE cooking and I will often experiment with different food. Usually, this is inspired by what’s available at home, something I’ve seen on t.v., or in print somewhere.

For dinner yesterday, it was one of those times. We had some sweet peppers that needed cooking… so I cleaned and sliced them along with a little bit of onion and garlic.

I threw those into a food processor with a little olive oil and water. Seconds later it was all liquid. I placed these into a pot, added tomato chunks and their liquid into a sauce pan. For a little added flavor I dashed in some chili powder and a twist or two of black ground pepper.

In a deep skillet, I sautéed onion, mushroom and sliced up healthy versions of chicken sausage. None of the bad stuff in there.

Another pot was heating up pasta.

On the side I prepared steamed broccoli, grated vermont sharp-cheddar cheese, and pineapple chunks.

Each person then served themselves a bed of pasta and built their plate with the ingredients above. Very yummy!!

Extender-S

Extending Leftovers!

A couple of nights ago, we made a quick tomato-based pasta sauce for dinner. We topped rotini with the sauce. We prefer fresh flavors, so I used a healthy portion of our own canned tomatoes from this past season along with a baseline marinara from Barilla. Add to that, ground turkey sautéed with plenty of onion, garlic and home-grown bell peppers and you have a tasty meal. We typically add or own mix of herbs and spices to punch up the flavor. Using more of our own vegetables helps to lessen our sodium and sugar intake vs. conventional store bought brands, while improving the overall flavor. This sauce is quick, doesn’t heat the house up too much, and is usually ready to go before the pasta is ready to serve.

The next night, we had plenty of leftovers. What to do? We picked more fresh peppers and a zucchini. Rowdy grilled the zucchini and peppers, while I heated the leftovers in the micro. Once grilled, I chopped up the zucchini and mixed it in with the hot pasta dish. Additionally, I steamed some broccoli to serve along side. Not only even more healthy, but also gooood looking!

Ice cream: 1/2 the fat, no sugar added, fresh raspberries, topped with chia seeds.

I’ve Lost 25 Pounds Since January

Ice cream: 1/2 the fat, no sugar added, fresh raspberries, topped with chia seeds.

It’s not really about the vanity of having a trimmer me, it really is a health issue. High blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, psoriatic arthritis, a family history of cancer and diabetes… well, there’s plenty of reason to be “cleansing” the system and working toward keeping some things at bay, if not away.

None of us can control how or when genetics or some unforeseen circumstance will come into play that let’s us know that we’re only human, and not super-human. We have all seen examples within our networks of friends, family, and business associates where someone has been taken by surprise by a disease or physical malfunction like a “surprise” heart attack.

I’ve participated in the care-giving of family members and friends. I’ve witnessed other family members do the same. I’ve felt what this does to my own psyche and watched how it affects others. Over the years, I’ve made fits and starts toward watching my weight, and being careful about what I eat. I’ve had varying degrees of success. The bottom-line was that I was doing things that I knew were not healthy for me and by the time January of 2012 rolled around, I was weighing more than I ever had.

Aside from being grossed-out by myself and all of the associated feelings about it, I just did not want to be found as the one who didn’t gracefully at least try to heal myself. Nor did I want to become a burden to those around me who I love and care for. Nor did I want the quality of my life or the options of for my healthcare to be limited by what I had responsibility over. So, I called up the inner-bandwagon and began to confront myself. What worked before? Why did I fail? The first answer – extreme dieting and cleansing. I got myself down to 180 lbs. comparatively quickly. I also wound up eating far too much calcium and having two kidney stone attacks – one for each side. I certainly did not want to do that again. The second answer was simple. Once down to 180 lbs., I wanted to stop being hungry and I wanted to figure out how to enjoy food again. After all, I do love food! So, I slowly started to re-introduce foods into my diet that were part of what my social circle were enjoying. Socialized eating grew into cravings and secretive eating. My brain’s pleasure centers were getting confused and that began a spiral toward where I landed up in January. I needed to control myself, be aware of what I was doing, and take responsibility.

What was going to work for me this time? How was I going to make the very real change toward healing myself, feeling better, and having it last long-term? In truth, this journey has just begun. I have more than 25 pounds more to lose to get to where I would like to be. I’ve hit a bit of a plateau. How am I going to continue to use what I’ve been doing but break-through this current barrier? I have a plan and now. I’ve already taken the first steps in that plan in taking responsibility for my own health and well-being.

Everyone needs support during critical moments of their lives. Here’s your invitation to join me in my adventure – and find the same support for yourself, if you are looking for that in your life. I ask nothing of you, but to read. You may find these posts helpful as you follow my journey. If not, enjoy the many other things that there are to read on this site. Next up, what did I do first?