Thursday, October 22, 2009
Kat: Teaching Myself New Tricks
About a year ago I was feeling pretty crappy. I got sick frequently, did not have a great deal of energy, and just felt gross. All I wanted was to feel better. I decided that I needed to start with the basics and eat healthier; because everyone knows if you put crap in, you're going to get crap out (is that really a saying!?!?)
My first step was to cut out processed foods. This was fairly easy for me since I was never a huge junk food eater, nor a soda drinker. Next, I amped up my fruit and veggie intake...also not very difficult for me since I loooove eating plants.
I once heard a nutritionist say "you can't get fat if everything you eat is cooked by YOU". Meaning that even if you eat similarly to what you would have at a restaurant, there is no way that you can pack as much crap into the food as they can...simply because you don't know how to. I took this to heart and was onto my next challenge: cooking the majority of everything I consumed all by myself....and learning to do it in a healthy and appetizing way.
This can seem like a pretty overwhelming task to take on, but it really doesn't have to be. When I started this process, I found it helpful to look at the things I already loved to eat (like pizza, canned soups, Chinese food) and tried to make that food myself at home. If I was craving pizza, I would make it at home with tomato sauce, cheese, and veggies on a pita. If I wanted soup for lunch everyday, I would make a big pot of it on sunday and save it to eat throughout the work week. Craving Chinese take-out? I've got a great recipe for you...
Eat-In Stir Fry
Sauce (got this off of All Recipes.com, but quadrupled the amount!):
1 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Stir-Fry (be creative with the veggies...it's not a science!):
1/2 head broccoli
1 red bell pepper
handful of green beans, trimmed
1 medium sized onion
3 cloves garlic
1 green onion
16 oz shrimp (you can replace with tofu or just ignore all together)
1. Roughly chop veggies
2. Mix sauce and set aside
3. Grill/saute shrimp in a separate pan until cooked
4. Saute onions for about 5 minutes and then add garlic, cook for 2 more minutes
(Sometimes I'm amazed my tiny stove hasn't died yet...)
5. Add rest of veggies and continue to cook for about 5 minutes
6. Add sauce and shrimp and heat through
7. Turn off heat and let sit (sauce will thicken) for a few minutes
8. Garnish with green onion & serve immediately over rice, or my favorite, soba noodles!
....this dish is just as delicious as take-out!!
Sure, I eat the "real" stuff every once in a while, but I consider it a treat. It feels great to like what you cook even more than what you can get from a resturant. Knowing what's going into your body feels pretty amazing, saves money, and it doesn't taste that bad either.