About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hey Good Lookin! Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Without a doubt, one of the biggest changes over the last decade in my life has been the change in my palette, taste buds, food choices and diet. I grew up in a household with five kids, so meals were about convenience and speed. Five kids were doing five different activities at all times, so we didn't pay much attention to having "well-balanced" meals. We ate well, by God--almost too well! Even in high school, I recall walking to McDonalds damn near every day after school and BEFORE field hockey practice. Ewww...No wonder it took me 15 minutes to run a mile around the track!  Taco Bell was a regular meal too because it was cheap, convenient and tasted good after a night of drinking too much :-)   Just the other day, Shawn asked me if I ever really thought about what I was eating back then, or if I ever made a connection between my weight and my diet since I'm so obsessed with it now.  It was an interesting question because I DID know that all the crap I was eating (hello fried chicken sandwiches at Burger King-with mayo) certainly was responsible. I was incredibly active as a kid, but didn't really give a shit about what I was putting in my mouth. My friend Kim and I worked in the "Snack Shack" at Swimland pool and in between selling Fun Dips and Frozen Reesee Cups, we were eating them.  Why? Because we were bored, it was there, they tasted yummy and all of my "skinny" friends were eating the same foods with no problems. I guess I thought I was "just built this way."

That being said, as a teenager I tried all of the usual diets that everyone was trying, but I never changed my style of eating. I would do the typical diet deprivations (hello Cabbage Soup Diet, Slim Fast, etc), but they would never last long. I knew I was overweight and it bothered me, but it never really inhibited me from doing anything--well, except for dating and wearing a swim suit in public!

Yes, it's pretty amazing to do marathons, triathlons, Ultra-Marathons, Ironmans, etc. But, completely changing the way I think and feel about food has probably been the most profound change, much to the chagrin of my Mom who has to buy "healthy" food when I go home.  I realized I officially turned into "that girl" when I left Bikram yoga class with my yoga mat, recyclable Whole Foods bag for my wet clothes, and headed home to make a green smoothie. Whhhhaaaatttt??  Who is this chick?!?!? Holy crap--it's me. I actually laughed out loud that I painted the Austin hippie granola picture without even trying. Doing my part to keep it weird, I suppose.

So yeah, I try to make a green smoothie at least 5 days a week. What the hell is a "green smoothie?"  A green smoothie consists of pretty much any green veggie you can come up with in the fridge. I like to mix it with some protein powder and fruit for sweetness and to give it more of a "smoothie" consistency.  The other day, I made a smoothie that consisted of spinach, cucumbers, celery, 1/2 grapefruit, pineapple chunks, apple and carrots...nothing like getting your daily allotment of fruits and veggies in one drink. And the best part? It's real food...not processed juices. not powdery, fake veggies. Just a blended mix of goodness. Now, I'll admit. It doesn't always look pretty, but neither does a ham and cheese omelet.  Just sayin'.

Not that I'm totally turning into Rachel Ray or anything (shoot me if I do), but I went a little hog wild at Costco last week and have turned into a cooking machine since I now have enough food to feed a small country. I've been experimenting with tons of different flavors, meals, etc.

Here's a little sample of the past week's menu:

1.) A batch of quinoa with kidney beans, tomatoes and green chiles--great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Served by itself, over a salad, over steamed spinach or kale, yummers. So much protein and fiber. Just ask hubster.

2.) Butternut squash enchiladas- steamed spinach and butternut squash and mashed them into tortillas along with Quorn fake meat crumbles, peppers and enchilada sauce. Added some spices and had a fiesta in my mouth!

3.) Simple whole wheat pasta noodles made into a lasagna/casserole. I throw in tofu, fake meat crumbles and tons of veggies including broccoli, spinach, corn, sweet potato wedges...bake like a lasagna and Vivo Italia!

4.) Last night I even whipped up a vegan meatloaf. Say what? What the hell is a vegan meatloaf? I didn't know either. In fact, I've never made a meatloaf in my life, but I followed the Engine 2 meatloaf recipe and also made it up as I went along. The loaf (ugly word) was a mixture of tofu, fake meat crumbles, dry oats and mixture of  Whole Foods nature burger. I also sauteed onions, garlic, carrots and celery and mixed that in as well. Threw in some spices to give it a kick and had a killer meatloaf last night served with a side salad and steamed butternut squash (with a sprinkle of cinammon and maple syrup)...and vino.

5.) Homemade hummus--I'm not so good at the consistency of this one, but I basically blend chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and some jalapenos to create hummus with a kick. For lunch, I made a hummus wrap, but instead of a tortilla, I wrapped it in a big collard green leaf.  It was hummus, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots. So freakin' good!!!

Needless to say, I've been eating lots of leftovers this week, but have been enjoying the variety immensely. I've been stealing recipes from books, websites, restaurants, etc. and try to recreate it. I know this is so 1968, but it makes me feel good when hubster walks in the door and says, "Damn it smells good in here."  I'm also grateful to be married to a man who will eat ANYTHING!!!  (Thank you Kay Barrett for that!)


IronSnoopy said...

Thanks for posting some of your eats! I'm working very hard on cleaning up my diet and it's great to get some more new ideas. :-)

michelle said...

the butternut squash enchiladas sound "yummy"!!

Anonymous said...

Imma have to try that hummus with a "kick". I have "crack like" cravings for hummus with veggeis and Stacy's pita chips.

amybee said...

I hear you on the follies of youth. My regular lunch for most of my senior year in high school was a fish fillet with extra tartar sauce and a huge order of fries.

My, how the times have changed! Your recipe ideas sound very yummy, but I'm not sure I can get my head (or lips) around a green smoothie quite yet.

Kristen's Raw said...

I LOOOOOVE Green Smoothies - YUM!

21stCenturyMom said...

Now we have 2 things in common - black Mom shorts in the early days of running and a rich history of fad diets as a teen. I can't wait for the next one to reach the surface. Maybe it's this - I love, love, love butternut squash.

I made a thing the other night where I just put onions, cut up butternut squash, potato, and sweet potato. Bake in the oven at 350 until everything is nice and soft - yum.

ShirleyPerly said...

This post is timely! My hubby is on a vegan like diet and I need more ideas on things to feed him. THANKS!!!

Coach Liz said...

I'm still having problems with the "fake meat crumbles". Not sure why. My hat is off to you for your ability to stick to a meat free diet. I don't know if I could give up eggs.