Tag Archives: dieting

Eating for pleasure

Over the last several months I’ve incorporated less processed, more nutritionally-dense foods into our diet, and I’ve been tracking all my calories/work outs and now I’ve almost achieved my goal weight. Or, in other words, I’ve been eating for pleasure while picking foods that optimize my family’s health.

For a salty snack we make kale chips in the afternoon (sea salt, lemon juice, dash of olive oil cooked at 350 degrees for thirty minutes) and after dinner we have been enjoying vegan lavender and lemon tea cookies and double chocolate cookies from recipes listed in The Vegan Table.

For Ryan’s birthday, I wanted to bake him a cake that wouldn’t raise our glycemic index too much.

Here’s my recipe:

1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cups baking powder
1 1/2 cups Red Mills Gluten Free Flour
1 cup Splenda
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix and cook for thirty minutes at 350 degrees. For frosting I mixed 2 tablespoons water, 2 cups Splenda, 1/5 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of a butter substitute.

Top the cake with cacao nips (an antioxidant powerhouse and a healthier alternative to chocolate.)

Delish!

We really enjoyed this cake. Granted, Splenda and artificial butter are low-fat but are also processed so we save them for special occasions. After indulging in our dessert (tasted a bit like angel food cake) we didn’t feel a sugar high and I didn’t gain weight despite my two or three slices of bliss.

After Sofia’s swim lesson this afternoon I am making Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese pizza from My New Roots. I don’t have time to make flatbread from scratch so I’m picking up some semi-fresh naan from the deli section at Target.

Have a great weekend! And please send any healthy vegetarian recipes my way 🙂

Victoria

P.S.
Thank you for reading my blog.

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Kale chips, sweet potato fries, pumpkin couscous and chickpea popcorn was dinner the other night.

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Eating for Michael Bloomberg

Most of us make bad decisions sometimes when it comes to food hence the invention of black forest truffles, chocolate-avocado smoothies and other works of pure genius (the vegetarian version of In & Out’s burger.) I also understand obesity is one of the largest (public) health concerns yet, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sodas really irks me.

I am totally for food (and voter) education but his proposed ban reeks of classism; I mean, if we are banning all foods that potentially lead to being overweight, then who is going to march into the Waldorf-Astoria hotel and arrest the chef behind their signature “salad”? Two tablespoons of mayo per recipe!?! What were those senseless fat-promotors thinking?

And if Mayor Bloomberg is banning sugar-filled soda drinks, well, he should definitely STOP ALL NEW YORKERS FROM FLYING TO PARIS: aka city of crepes and sinful croissants!!!

All I’m saying is that if he can’t stop rich people from eating unhealthy food once in a while, then he can keep his hands off my pudgy, middle-class hips.

On another note, if you are reading this sentence it means you are actually reading my blog so thank you Katherine–my kind, brilliant neighbor. I really enjoy having a voice, even if you are the only person who reads/hears it.

Have a good night!

Eating for Pitta

When I feel anxious I usually turn to my kitchen. I know my food cravings are largely emotional, so I’ve decided to look to Ayurvedic medicine–an Indian practice of treating the mind and body–for my calming solution.

Several years ago, I visited one of the most well-known Ayurveda centers in the world: The Ayurveda Institute. I was referred to a highly recommended Ayurvedic doctor, who explained there are three essential constitutions–I think of it as types of energy but I know it’s more than that–a person can have (a combination of these is also possible): Vata aka air, Kapha aka water and Pitta aka fire. You must know your constitution to understand what your body has in excess. After this, the imbalance can be treated.

For example, I am Pitta (fire) therefore I need to work on cultivating Kapha (water). I went to The Ayurvedic Institute to treat an acidic stomach. The herbs and dietary recommendations I was prescribed helped me. Since I am a fire-y person I was told to wear blue, say relaxing mantras and eat foods that lacked the usual spice I crave. The idea that what we crave to eat is bad for us was a new idea for me; when I crave a food sometimes I wonder if it’s because of a nutritional imbalance whereas in this tradition the craved food is the result of excess.

So this week I am consulting a book I bought at the institute, Ayurveda and the Mind, to cultivate balance. I will let you know my results.

You can learn what your constitution is by going here.

Eating for Stress Cues

The other day I told my husband I believe I eat too much food out of stress and his response was, “I didn’t know you’re unhappy.” I’m not unhappy–ever since we had our second child in February, I’ve been at my happiest. But I think it’s a common misconception, stay-at-home moms aren’t supposed to experience stress, right? We are with the people we love more than the world 24/7 so how do we know anxiety. Our Western culture is also so enamored with money that the non-money producing spouse is often seen as having the easier, cushier job because we have no economic power. Yet, to care and love for a child means HAVING AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT a.k.a. giving a shit about our kids’ well being and that’s where stress sometimes enters the picture for me.

So, I’m trying to breakdown when I get stressed out so I can become more aware of my emotional eating triggers. Basically, I’ve noticed three situations so far where I want to down all the chocolate hidden in our kitchen pantry:

1) We are running late for an appointment in the outside world and my oldest daughter is not cooperating or the baby needs a diaper change, feeding, etc.

2) One of my kids is hurt, emotionally or physically.

3) I cannot get two minutes to myself as in I haven’t been able to keep the door closed when I go to the bathroom because somebody is asking for something from me.

According to a book review I read in the Wall Street Journal here, cortisol (stress hormone levels) rise in men and women when they feel anxious or under pressure and that causes a propensity to eat junk food. Totally been there.

So the next time I’m late for my daughter’s doctor’s appointment I’m gonna keep a closer eye on my trigger hand and make sure it doesn’t find its way to the pumpkin seeds. Or, try my hardest in the moment because most of the snacks I down I’m not even really tasting.

What about you? Do you know your emotional eating cues?

Eating for Power

As a stay-at-home mom I don’t always feel like I have power outside my household. Frankly, I don’t even feel like I have power to take a shower when I want or sit down and relax. The problem is sometimes I don’t like feeling powerless, even when the lack of power is my doing–me saying I want to put my kids first–and I turn to food.

I am powerless, half of the time, to culinary temptation.

I can’t always DO what I want or get my family to behave accordingly to plan so I eat. At least I can choose what food goes in my mouth.

Of course, this power is the kind that ultimately makes me feel like a failure. I look at myself and feel like a sub-par wife/mom/friend/daughter because I’m overweight so when I go out in the world I feel even more powerless.

But I am not a victim: I’m guilty too.

Guilty of not treating my kids and husband with the respect they deserve all the time. I feel powerless so I make them feel powerless too by not listening fully. Certainly, not doing justice to the ideals of attachment parenting. Sometimes I feel like I’m 85% great at fully supporting my children’s needs but that other 15% potential gets wasted. I’m too in my head and not present enough to always parent fully.

Do other moms feel this way too? Because for me the problem isn’t just about eating too much food–that’s more of a symptom–and if I can somehow work out this issue with my weight I truly think I’ll improve as a mom.

Power, it’s what we have as consumers of food and also what we have as parents. I love the idea of attachment parenting because it has to do with not making kids feel powerless. I don’t want my daughters to feel any more powerless then the world already does. As a person so entirely grateful for the gift that is my children not making them feel powerless seems like the least I should do.