I love to make food from other cultures. Today I created a new spin on my one of my faves….Lebanese.
Homemade tabouli salad made with quinoa instead of bulghur, Lebanese meatballs, lemon zest hummus and cucumbers.
Healthy, fresh, delicious.
This is my version of Tabouli salad:
1 cup tri-colored quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch fresh curly parsley
1 bunch fresh mint
1 head lacinato kale
1 box grape tomatoes, diced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring quinoa to a boil in 2 cups of chicken broth. (You can use water instead, but I like the flavor the broth gives to the salad.) Reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and place in refrigerator.
Wash all greens. Remove stems from the kale, and process the parsley, mint and kale in a food processor until minced. Dice grape tomatoes. Zest 1 lemon. Juice your remaining lemons, and toss all ingredients together with salt and pepper. I really like lemon, so I zest a little extra and then serve with a lemon wedge to drench the meal in yummy tartness.
This is high in protein, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. You gotta love food that tastes great AND makes you glow!
Just finished up my morning yoga.
Yep. You read that right.
Yoga is about strength. And flexibility. And taking the time to focus and meditate and breathe.
It’s not about being skinny. Or having a peach-toosh. Or even being bendy.
I do what I can, and guess what?
Each day I can do a bit more.
And I will not quit this time. I don’t have to be perfect. Or weigh a certain number.
I just have to keep moving.
So get up today. If you took zero steps yesterday, take 5 today. If you haven’t stretched in a while, start with a few bends.
All together now….progress not perfection! Keep it moving, lovey.
P.S. LOVING that Facebook tagged my sister here because face recognition thinks this pic is of her and not me. Tee hee!
Sometimes you can do everything right, and the scale still doesn’t move.
When your cheerleaders sound a million miles away….
When last month’s pants still technically fit but are very baggy….
When all the kale, chicken breast and ice water in the world can’t fix your eyes….and help you see your transformation, you take photos. And see this.
I am stronger than I was 6 months ago.
I can do 10 minutes of The Beach Body workout now instead of 12 seconds.
I can walk 5 miles with zero foot pain.
I can do sit-ups! (Whaaaaa?)
My body works again. After years of pain and immobility….I feel free!
And that feels better than any stupid number looks.
Thanks to my peeps at Community Bariatrics for helping me regain control. I love you dearly!
I discovered something yesterday….
It is possible to make a completely delicious lasagna, without the noodles.
Here is what I did.
I sliced 2 zucchini in long, thin slices. Then I browned them on both sides in some olive oil, and drained on paper towel.
I made a sugar-free marinara sauce from scratch with spicy turkey sausage.
I made the cheese layer with full-fat cottage cheese, egg, parsley, garlic, and a bit of fresh Parmesan.
I used shredded Mozzarella for the 4th layer.
I served it with a salad, and it was SO good! Learning to reduce unnecessary carb intake while increasing veggie intake is a beautiful thing.
Yes this takes some effort. My recipes are rarely simple. But I’m worth it.
And so are you.
2 large zucchini, cut into long, thin slices and then browned on both sides in some olive oil
2-28 ounce cans of no-salt added diced tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
6-8 fresh basil leaves
1 pound turkey sausage
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley (or 2 tbsp dried)
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the marinara sauce first. Heat the oil over medium heat in a stock pot. Add the garlic and cook until slightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Reduce to medium low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
Brown the sausage and drain. Add the cayenne pepper. Add to the marinara sauce.
Now prepare the cheese mixture. Add all ingredients for layer 3 to a mixing bowl and stir well.
Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
Ladle in some marinara to cover bottom of dish.
Place half of your sliced, browned zucchini as your first layer, like you would lasagna noodles.
Scoop in half of your cottage cheese mixture, and spread evenly over the zucchini.
Add enough marinara to cover.
Scatter with half the shredded mozzarella.
Repeat with other half of ingredients.
Bake for 45 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. Then uncover your lasagna and bake for 15 minutes more so the cheese will brown.
Whew! You’re done.
This makes 12 big servings. Or 472 bariatric sevings.
This morning my hair stylist called to cancel my appointment because he has the flu.
So I’m opting for a day of self-beauty instead.
Winter is hellacious on the hair and skin. (As is weight-loss surgery.)
So here are my recipes to keep myself glowing and looking healthy:
1. Sugar Lip Scrub:
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 drops almond or vanilla extract
Scrub gently on lips and then rinse. The sugar scrubs off the cracked skin, and the olive oil moisturizes.
2. Coconut oil/Lavender Conditioning Wrap:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp lavender oil
Mix oils together and pull through your hair. Comb through and wrap into a bun. Let sit for an hour, then shampoo well, twice. No need to use your regular conditioner. Air dry.
3. Salt Body Scrub:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
5-10 drops of essential oil, your choice
Great for exfoliating. Concentrate on upper arms, elbows, knees and lower legs. Rinse and pat dry. No need to apply lotion after. Note: do NOT do this after shaving. O.U.C.H.
4. Avocado Face Mask:
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tsp raw honey
1 drop eucalyptus oil
I drop mint oil
Put the avocado and raw honey in a food processor. Blend smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add oils. Stir. Apply to face in a thin layer and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Super moisturizing. Plus you can eat the other half of the unused avocado. Win win.
5. ACV Foot Softening Bath:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 gallon hot water
15-20 drops of essential oil (I like mint)
Soak your piggies in this concoction for 15-20 minutes. Use a pumice stone to remove excess skin, if you have one. If not, just pat your feet dry, cover them in coconut oil, and put on some heavy socks. Your feet will feel like you had an expensive pedicure.
You’re welcome. xoxo
The scale isn’t moving much but I sure am. And I can still look and feel great at any weight, dammit. We must take care of ourselves, my loves!
Get your glow on today.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
The scale hasn’t moved in weeks.
I have a choice.
I can get all pissed off about a number and some gravitational pull….or I can be thankful.
Thankful I am healthier.
Thankful I can walk FIVE MILES when 6 months ago I couldn’t walk five steps without hurting.
Thankful I feel like a million bucks.
Thankful I can knit this gorgeous matching hat and scarf.
Thankful I have finally learned from some dear friends how to apply makeup so I look like a glowing snow bunny. (ctc)
Do I still have more weight to lose? Hell yes.
But am I more than a number?
Ahhhhh social media.
Where photoshop and selective truth-telling makes us all seem like models and riders of unicorns.
But what’s left when the 100 retakes and the good angles and the graphics are taken away?
I want to be authentic. But what if that means revealing love handles? Or double chins? Or a face without makeup? THE HORROR!
I ate like crap during the holidays. There I said it. I’m pretty sure the only veggies I ate were salsa and the green onion in some cheeseball. I ate too much, too many times per day, didn’t get enough fluids, and slacked on my vitamins.
And what’s my result?
My weight is the same. But my mental state has changed. I don’t have the same pride in myself. I am tired. And grumpy.
Choosing indulgence over discipline does something to my brain. It makes me sad.
And that’s not who I am.
I’m not about being perfect or even beating myself up for poor choices.
I AM about feeling great. Being strong. Loving myself. Walking in victory.
That’s more difficult when I’m weighed down by guilt and cheeseball.
Yet another lesson learned.
Let’s make good choices for ourselves, and be real when we make mistakes.
There is power in vulnerability.
Okay people! I have had many folks ask for this recipe, so here it is. I created this to use as a salad dressing that isn’t oil based, so instead of oil I use canned coconut milk. I buy the coconut milk and the almond butter at Trader Joes.
This is fantastic over garlic chicken, salad, veggies, all kinds of things. I drizzle this over Asian slaw mix, water chestnuts, grilled chicken and chopped cashews.
Whisk all ingredients together over medium-low heat. Enjoy!
Happy 2016 all. I have resolved to make no resolutions for the new year.
You know why?
New year’s resolutions are crap.
We all know that the weight gain and subsequent guilt of the holiday season forces us to make resolutions that will be drowning in cheese sauce and margaritas by next week.
Come on now.
We have to do better EVERY day. Not just the first 2 weeks of January.
I am not perfect. I still weigh more than both of my tweens put together. Weight loss surgery does NOT fix everything. It is merely a tool to help. I still mess up. I ate sugar more than once this holiday season, and paid for it. But more often than not I’m MAKING BETTER CHOICES! And I’m making progress.
My tips for improving health, vitality and energy are the following:
1. Every single morning, before you do anything else, drink 32 ounces of water. No exceptions.
2. I eat either avocado, coconut oil or bone broth every day. Good fat and collagen are important. When you remove fat completely from your diet, you may be thinner but you’ll look haggard. And aged. So eat some good, healthy, natural fat. (Ask a dietitian if you don’t believe me.)
3. Choose real food over convenience packaging. A homemade chopped Thai salad takes the same 5 minutes as heating up a frozen “diet” meal laden with chemicals and void of nutrition.
4. Move your butt. No excuses. I have fractured my feet THREE times. I was hurting. A lot. So when I started, I couldn’t even walk to the fridge without getting winded. So the first week, I walked to the end of my driveway. The next week, I pushed myself to the end of my neighbor’s driveway. Every week I pushed myself past another driveway until I could lap the hood as many times as I wanted. Now I’ve lost 90 pounds and can walk anywhere.
5. Every single day, just do the best you can today. Stop beating yourself up for last night’s ice cream and cookies. Stop focusing on the 20, 50 or 100+ pounds you want to lose. Just do better today. You can do anything for one day. And then when tomorrow becomes today, do it over again. Before you know it, 5 months of todays will have passed, and you’ll be healthier. It works.
Progress, not perfection my friends. Happy 2016 to us all.