The Almighty Zoodle

Pop quiz!

What’s your #1 go-to dish??

You know, the one you make when you literally cannot think of anything else to make? Or when you’re tired and just need to cook something from memory instead of staring at Pinterest boards and recipes and trying to remember how many tablespoons of cardamom to put in before it simmers… or was it teaspoons? Hmm…

You know what I’m talking about, the meal you’re probably ashamed to admit you eat as often as you do.

I have a few actually, which makes for a pretty easy week most of the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just thrown some ground meat in a bowl with some lettuce, sprinkled some cheese, diced up some avocado and a few (20) dabs of my favorite spice, Tabasco sauce. I can eat this every single day, the only reason I don’t is because I start to think someone might see me and have me committed.

My other favorite is zoodles and meatballs.

I know what you’re thinking: There’s nothing quick or effortless about zoodles and meatballs. But you see… I always keep meatballs in the freezer. I usually buy ground meat at Costco or Sam’s, and as soon as I get it home, I make a bunch of meatballs, even if there are meatballs already in the freezer. They aren’t just used for “spaghetti” night either, they make a great snack on their own. Since giving up pasta – a decision I do not regret – I also spiralize zucchini every single week to just keep in the fridge. So when Husband walks in the door and I’ve been knee deep in homework and forgot to make anything to eat, meatballs go in the oven (sometimes in a frying pan), zucchini goes in the bowls, et voila! We also keep a giant vat of the husband’s homemade spaghetti sauce in the fridge most of the year – and he says the recipe is super top secret. In a pinch though, Mario Batali’s tomato basil pasta sauce only has 4 net carbs per serving!

Today’s lesson is how to store your spiralized zucchini for a week in the fridge:

Continue reading “The Almighty Zoodle”

Thought of the Week

We spent this week in class discussing how MyPlate (formerly the Food Pyramid we all know and love) came to be. I’m curious how many of you actually heed the government’s MyPlate advice in your daily life? 

To say intentionally vague things about the politics behind a government giving out health advice, here’s a quote from my professor that really struck a chord with me:

“Healthy”

Perusing the internet today for a group presentation and I came across a blog that gave a recipe for “Healthy Sugar Cubes”.

Wait… what?

After reading the post, I kinda sorta understand where the blogger was coming from, buuuuuuuuut… it made me think about the vast number of things you can find a recipe for on the internet where someone just put the word “healthy” in front of whatever it is. I haven’t actually tried it, but I bet I could find a recipe for “Healthy Margarine” somewhere out there.

Monthly PSA: putting the word “healthy” in front of something, doesn’t make it healthy. Make sure y’all are reading and thinking about what you’re actually doing in the kitchen!

Happy New Year. 

Hey look, that’s me, being miserable after still having the audacity to believe that flying across the country was a good idea  9 days post-op.

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In fact, it was not a good idea. Not a good idea at all. The backstory here is long, but suffice it to say that I went in for a little rotator cuff repair, and came out with my bicep being reattached instead. It is exactly as “ouch”-y as you imagine.

Another thing happened though. I subsisted solely on saltine crackers for a few days, until I couldn’t keep even those down. Bye bye ketosis.

But hey, it’s the new year, and bad habits – even those formed out of a post surgical drug haze – are ready to be broken.

Did everyone restart their diet/workout routines yet?

* Part of my 2017 goal list is to utilize this page more.  have a bunch of stuff I can’t wait to share – I just need a little extra time to type it all up with my one good arm.

Apropos Of Nothing

I’m really excited about the wine party I hosted last week for a group of friends. So excited that I got a chance to show off my hosting skills. I had cheeses – shout-out to my Whole Foods cheese lady, she keeps me in tasty cheese heaven-, regular grapes, frozen grapes (ice cubes for your wine!), festive take-home wine glasses, tiny forks, and other snacks all ready to go!

Oh, and cat wine. I mean, I think it was a Riesling, but what’s important is that it’s in a bottle shaped like a cat. So, yeah, cat wine.

Can we talk about that little bowl of pepperoni chips up there for a second though? I spent an hour making merlot meatballs for this shindig (which were delicious and I HIGHLY recommend making making them for your next wine gathering) but these pepperoni chips were the star of the party. Who knew? 

  • Preheat your oven to 375° (Fahrenheit) 
  • Line pepperoni up on a cookie sheet in neat little rows. It’s okay if they are close to each other, they’ll shrink. 
  • Pop ’em in the oven for ABOUT 10 minutes but you’ll want to keep a close eye on them.*
  • When they start to brown on the edges take them out, and quickly transfer to a wire rack to cool and harden. I placed a paper towel under the rack and then a other on top of them to soak up the grease. 
  • Et voilà ! 

Low carb and delicious! 
*True story, a friend of mine attempted these a while ago and not only did she make pepperoni hockey pucks in 10 minutes time, but she also turned that poor poor cookie sheet into charred metal. So moral of the story is that not everyone’s oven is the same, and you better watch your chips! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whew! It’s been a while, hasn’t it ? I’ve been busy trying to stay afloat in chemistry because knowing how to calculate the wavelength of light is super important. I’ve also been busy learning about the many varied principles of food and food preparation, which involves cooking and eating so many things that are NOT low carb. It’s all about the grade y’all.

In the name of science, this semester, we’ve made:

French Fries

Souffles

Breads

Cakes

(okay, I’ll admit, that cake was made by me for Thanksgiving at home, BUT, it’s for extra credit in class, and it was halfway devoured before I could even take a picture of it, so it still counts)

Anyway. I really interrupted my Gilmore Girls Revival-fest to take a moment to express my thankfulness to all of the people who have helped guide my decision process thus far. I had the opportunity to help teach a healthy cooking class for 3rd graders last week. They were such a joy to work with. We made sweet potato black bean quesadillas – which I was fully expecting them to “yuck” away in protest, but they didn’t. It has never been clearer to me what I want to do with my life after school/internship is over with. Sharing nutrition knowledge with these kids and seeing their faces light up as they got to measure out their ingredients and sneak a little taste before cooking it was just an exceptional feeling. If I could bring that kind of excitement to 100 kids every day for the rest of my life, while helping to get them on the right track nutrition wise, I’d die a happy lady.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to go back to school and learn a new craft so that I can give this experience to as many kids as possible in the future.

FYI For The Week

In our Food and Nutrition classes we learn all about “essential” nutrients – you know… water, the vitamins and minerals our bodies cannot produce on their own, etc. These things are called essential,  because it’s essential that we literally and actually put them into our bodies, or else we won’t function correctly. 

I was doing a bit of personal (read:non-academic) reading and came across this:

… and I just thought you all should know. 

Now repeat after me: I do not need to eat these carbs. I will not die if I don’t eat these carbs. There is no such thing as an essential carb.

Say it… saaaaaay iiiiiiit! 

… 

… 

THERE! See, you feel better already!

Denial

I’ve been avoiding pretty much all things having to do with my health recently. I just… didn’t want to face the facts, which are that, my right rotator cuff is done for!

It would end up being a very long story, but to summarize, I got a shot at the doctor’s office, the needle was placed in the wrong spot and it resulted in a torn rotator cuff. I haven’t had the MRI to confirm this yet, but every single doctor I’ve seen has bet their mortgage that it’s a tear based on my symptoms. The internet tends to agree.

Anyway.

Because I was being stubborn and didn’t want to admit that I could no longer use my arm for workouts, I just stopped working out altogether. Smart, right? It was really easy to just bury myself in my school work, and pretend that I was getting enough exercise by walking from class to class – our campus is NOT that big. I have a hundred projects going on, Chemistry class, am busy trying to rack up volunteer hours, and also at some point I’m actually learning about food and nutrition – luckily for me, I already know a lot of this introductory stuff, but that probably won’t last long.

The real problem is, I have certain workouts that I enjoy and I basically hate doing everything else. I don’t like being outdoors in general, so any of those “you don’t need a gym to do this” workout plans are a no-go. I really love yoga and Piyo and lifting heavy weights. I get bored easily so I need something that I’m struggling to keep up with. As you might imagine, basically all that is left with an immobilizing shoulder injury is a stationary bike (if you can ride without holding on) and walking (running is agitating to the entire shoulder region). Alas, today, day one of Fall Break from school, I got myself together and went to the gym. If you ever needed confirmation that getting back to the gym after time off is hard, here it is: IT’S HARD. Be a friend, don’t do that to yourself.

Also, have I mentioned that I hate the treadmill?

But, I have a goal:

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Gotta get into these pants by Thanksgiving!

So, if I’m going to make that goal, I have to be friends with the treadmill until this shoulder gets better. If anyone has any wonderful workouts that don’t involve the shoulder, please share with me!

What Am I Doing Here?

 

Well, it’s kind of a long story…

I love food. No, no that’s not quite it… I like to eat! With my affinity towards eating, also comes the common struggle of staying fit. Once upon a time, every doctor, fitness professional, or person otherwise labeled as a health guru of some sort told me to eat more fish and vegetables and I’d be fine.

K, wellllllllllllllllllllllllll,

YOUR GIRL IS ALLERGIC TO EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF THE SEA.

Just eat seafood.

I needed a plan B. I did what any American would do, I bought Nutrition for Dummies. That book was the single best thing that ever happened to me. It helped me sift through all of the “eat this not that” mumbo jumbo that flew in the face of the other “wait, that’s terrible for you, don’t eat it” information that we are constantly bombarded with. Beyond helping me sort through my own dietary needs, it also piqued my interest in the science of food, and why we eat, and why we’re told to eat certain things. I feel like I have a pretty firm grasp on all of that now but (even with the ever-evolving science), but why should anybody believe what I say?  Continue reading “What Am I Doing Here?”