Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Accidental cake

Yes, I seem to have accidentally made a cake this morning.

Breakfast:

Well you see, these were SUPPOSED to be “bars”, but as I made a half recipe that wouldn’t fill a sheet pan, I had to make it in something else. This cake pan was too small for all the batter I had, so it turned more into a cake than bars!

Oatmeal, Banana, Applesauce Bars

Taken from: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Oatmeal_-Banana_-Applesauce-Bars-Recipezaar

Ingredients Serves 5
1 12 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
12 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
34 cup melted butter (cooled)
1 cup brown sugar
12 cup sugar

34 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups old fashioned oats
2 12 bananas (smashed)
1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Spray 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
3 Combine: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon in bowl set aside.
4 Combine: sugars, and butter and beat with mixer till well blended.
5 Add applesauce, eggs, and vanilla beat with mixer till smooth.
6 Add bananas with mix and mash by hand or with mixer (I’ve done both).
7 Stir in flour mixture till just combined.
8 Stir in oats.
9 Pour into greased pan.
10 Bake till golden brown, about 20-30 minutes depending on oven.
11 Cool and cut into bars!

*Picture shows how much of this cake I ate for breakfast. I took the rest to my brother’s house where me, him, my sister in law and their 2 friends ate the rest of it. I was happy to spread the joy as this cake was downright delectable! Make this recipe, it is quite good! I had no butter at the time, so I ended up subbing vegetable oil, and man am I glad I did! This cake was so moist!

Lunch:

PB&J.

Dinner:

My brother, sister in law, their friend, G, and I all went to see the Avengers! Again! We stopped at a restaurant for drinks and a couple appetizers.  I had a dark stout with 1 pretzel breadstick and 2 large shrimp. After the movie, we had pumpkin beer tasting at my brother’s (and of course the rest of that cake). We played game and munched on gummy bears and trail mix. When I went home, I had ice cream. So my evening was sort of…inconsistent with food. I didn’t have much of a real dinner. I just did a lot of snacking, which is not something I normally do.

At least I didn’t have to eat all of that cake.

Exercise: 5 mile walk

Curiosity!

Incredibly proud of myself! It’s so much easier not to skip meals when I’m at home and HAVE to eat all these fresh fruits and veggies. I hate wasting food so damn much. Also, working makes me hungry.

I was VERY disappointed in myself though for waking up late…my brain didn’t get me up until 7:40!!! Why did it do that?? I went to bed…well…early enough…I mean I was talking with G until 1 AM, but really 5.5 hours of sleep should have been plenty! Sad.

I got my yoga in today. I can’t believe how friggin busy I’ve been lately and how often I’ve been skipping this. It always makes me feel so amazing. My back was just crying to be stretched out. I feel great!

Breakfast:

Strawberries, Peaches, White Nectarines, and Cherries with Greek Yogurt and Granola

GORGEOUS food!!! I’ve missed my beautiful food pictures dearly! So fresh and delicious!

Lunch:

Tomato Salad

2 small Tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/4 cucumber, cut into large chunks
Fresh Corn, cut off of cob
1 large slice Vadalia Onion, chopped
1 small Carrot, sliced
Fresh chopped Basil
Red Wine and Pomegranate Vinegar
S&P

*With this a also had a small apple. I love my food!!! It’s so pretty!! I’ve missed this so much, it’s good to be back!

Dinner:

Apple Sausage Meatballs with Apple Raisin Wine sauce and Mashed Potatoes

Meatball recipe taken from: http://stolenmomentscooking.com/apple-sausage-balls/

Apple Sausage Balls

3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 lb. bulk pork sausage (original or maple flavored)
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. maple syrup
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/8 t. allspice

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the pork sausage, cheese, maple syrup, apple and allspice.
2. Using your hands, combine everything together until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Roll into evenly sized balls, about the size of a golf ball.
3. Place sausage balls on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until fully cooked.

I made these exactly as instructed!

Sauce:

Loosely based off of: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1627,156167-245193,00.html

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground sage (I used fresh)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tart apples, sliced
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. orange juice (I used red wine and apricot preserves for extra sweetness and flavour)
1 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 c. raisins

I sauteed the apples in olive oil for a little while until they started to brown. Then added all the other ingredients and let it reduce.

*I made mashed potatoes with a little cream cheese, milk and S&P. I’m out of butter, so none of that. Which is probably good as I consume far too much butter as it is. As usual, this dish was fantastic! I didn’t want pasta, so I thought the potato was a perfect substitute! Excellent!!! The sage in the apple gravy was the perfect touch!

 

Me being a MASSIVE nerd, I stayed up to watch the rover Curiosity land on Mars. You guys don’t even know. I was freaking out entirely. I wished I had someone to hug. I was so happy it landed safely and nearly cried when it sent the first pictures. I did fall asleep with the computer in my bed, but the second they started streaming the landing on the NASA website and people started talking, it woke me up and I was immediately pumped! I LOVE BEING A NERD!!!

Amazing!!! Fascinating! A rover as big as a car with LASERS is on Mars, people!!!

AND I have a date tomorrow at noon! Shit kids, this is the best night ever!

Tired

I finished a major project today. On time and everything. I worked so hard. I wanted to go on a walk afterwards but was just so very very tired. So tired. Instead I opted for a nice, long, hot, relaxing shower. Relaxing…when WAS the the last time I did that? Hell, when was the last time I took a shower? I’ve been working so hard that it’s been days…I can’t be sacrificing personal hygiene just to work more. I know I need to get out of here, but that’s simply ridiculous.

My brother calls me from Boston where he is attending PAX (geek/nerd convention, consider me jealous…) just to check up on me. He’s just an amazing person. I have no idea what I would do without him. I confess to him that I need to get out of here. He, of course, promptly (once again) opens his spare bedroom and an upstairs work room up to me and says that though they won’t be home until Monday, I am free to move in whenever I need. They are excited to have me stay. I promise that the longest I would need would be until the end of the month. I wouldn’t possibly want to burden them any longer than that and on top of that, it’s the longest the landlord will hold the apartment for me. He assures me they can’t wait to have me move in and that I can stay as long as I need!

I keep feeling that I am a burden, but then I think…”Well, if my brother was in the same situation, or ANY crappy situation where he had to move out, would I find him to be a burden on me if he needed to stay at my house?” OF COURSE not. I would be OVERLY excited to have him stay with me! And of COURSE he could stay as long as need be! Don’t be silly, head. Stop thinking its some awful thing to ask for help sometimes. You are not a burden. You just need help. It’s not weak to ask for help. Sometimes…it’s weak NOT to ask.

Breakfast:

Kale, Tomato and Cottage Cheese Frittata

Sauteed some onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Added the kale and allowed it to wilt and cook down for a while. Whisked together 2 eggs with about 1/4 cup cottage cheese, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and parsley. I poured that over my veggies. While I allowed that to cook for a few minutes, I sliced some tomato and added them neatly on top along with 1 heaping T of grated Romano. Threw that in the oven at 400 for 8 minutes. Perfect! SO much food, great start to my productive day!

Lunch:

Carrot, Mango and Cilantro soup

Boiled 1 sliced carrot, grated ginger, and S&P  in 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water for about 9-10 minutes, until the carrots were soft. I added a bunch of chopped cilantro, about 1 T of lemon juice (maybe a little less), some leftover chopped mango (about 1/4 cup) and some cayenne pepper for a little kick. Let that simmer another couple minutes. Whirled it all in my blender. Boom. The kick of the cayenne was AWESOME and unexpected to my tastebuds! LOVED it!

Dinner:

Cranberry Apple Chicken

1 Apple, sliced (I left the skin on)
1 Chicken Breast, sliced
2 slices of a Vadallia Onion, cut into smaller slices (these onions are HUGE)
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts
1/2 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 cup Berry Liqueur
2 T Brown Sugar (probably too much for most of ya, just do 1 T for normal palettes ^_^)
Pinch of dried Sage
Pinch of Cinnamon

OK sounds about right. I did not put this together the same way I normally would, I screwed it up just a little bit…but NORMALLY I would sear the chicken on both sides in a little oil, remove them from the pan, sautee the onions in some oil and butter in the same pan, let them caramelize a bit, add the apples, let THEM caramelize and soften a bit, then remove THEM from the pan. THEN add all the sauce ingredients to the same pan along with the cranberries and walnuts, let it reduce a bit, add back in the apples and onions along with the seasoning and sugar and cook until the apples are soft and the sauce is thickened. I served this on top of brown rice (I made a dry 1/3 cup, which ended up making a LOT of rice hehe! YUM!) which I carefully placed my chicken strips on top of and topped with the apple cranberry sauce!  DELISH! I LOVE cooking apples and chicken together! I devoured this in a heartbeat! And it was a LOT of food!

 

I’m incredibly excited about tomorrow. I’m going to bed super early tonight, I’m just so tired. And I want to start my day nice and early tomorrow! I can’t express enough what a wonderful change this is going to be for me. I will be in an area of town that I can walk to everything. I will be right down the street from a farmer’s market. I’m going to be able to save a TON of money. I’ll be even closer to my gym at my brother’s than I will be at my apartment! ^_^ I’m gonna do a shitton of working out! YES! OH OH and I’m going to treat myself to some clearance candy tomorrow because I didn’t get any today. CANDYYYYY!!!!!

Exercise: None. No yoga or anything. I was just worn the fuck out. I will make up for it tomorrow!

Waking up to the TV on sucks…

Luckily the boys weren’t up all night this time…but shithead’s best friend was up early this morning and had the TV on. I didn’t get to do my yoga. And I didn’t get to make anything cool because the boys took up all the counterspace with pizza boxes.  *sigh*…At least he was watching 30 Rock. If I had to wake up to anything, I’m glad it was that.

The one and only reason I am not gone yet is that I was oblivious to the fact that my brother would be out of town this weekend. I’m fairly certain they come home Monday and will be making moving arrangements as soon as they are home. I’ve sent my application to the landlord for the apartment which I’m certain he will approve. I have great credit, have 2 jobs and am in a more desperate position than most people. He seemed really willing to help me out.

Breakfast:

Cereal. Once again…no room to cook. 😦

Lunch:

Tuna and Apple Salad Sandwich

I don’t know that I could tell you how I made this, but it was delicious. I used some chopped apple, celery, raisins, walnuts, half a can of tuna, some light mayo, honey and lemon juice till the consistency looked right. Then I split open some french break and served it up along with the extra apple that wouldn’t fit into the mixture. Great for something quick!

Dinner:

Tuna and Quinoa Casserole

Taken from: http://cohokitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/salmon-quinoa-casserole.html

You will need:
1 1/4 cup quinoa
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or similar)
1/2 cup parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
18 ounces (3 cans) canned salmon (or tuna)
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chopped vegetables* (I used onion, parsnips and something else…I can’t remember)
Salt and pepper, to taste (I also threw in a little garlic powder)

Preheat your oven to 425.

In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, yogurt, mustard, shredded cheese, and about half of the Parmesan cheese together. Add the drained salmon, and (uncooked!) quinoa and mix well. Finally add the vegetables, and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into an 8x8x2 or similarly sized baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Devour.

*I’d like to remember what else it was I used as this was ABSOLUTELY scrumptious. I raved about how great it was to my cousin the entire time I was eating it, so damn…I hope I can remember what else was in it…but truthfully, put whatever veggies you want in this! That’s the point, whatever you have on hand will work no matter what it is! Oddly enough this was my first tuna casserole. I will be making them again MUCH more often!

 

Today I leave you with hope and love. I end on sour notes so much these days and its a holiday weekend, so remember to love yourselves girls. The minute you learn to do this, the more your life will improve in so many ways. Love is the gateway to happiness.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym

Getting thinner?

Whoops.

Somehow I’m losing inches.

Not weight…I actually, last I checked, still weigh the same. About 143 lbs. Granted, I only check once a month now to keep myself sane. But I could tell when I put my hands on my hips that I felt smaller. So I measured myself today. My waist is back down to 26.5 inches.

What the hell?

I’m guessing it’s my working out that’s doing it. I know I’m gaining muscle as I definitely look leaner. But I’m worried about looking too thin. It’s not my intention to do so. I’m also assuming though that if I look leaner and muscular, I won’t look too thin?

I’m a bit confused. My cousin that keeps me accountable says I’m ok. I eat well and am conscious enough about keeping healthy that I’m clearly taking care of myself. So I shouldn’t worry. What do all of you think? You see what I eat and how much I work out every day. Which really, I go to the gym LESS now than I did in the winter since I do more walking, only about 2-3 days a week, and walk the rest of the time. So what do you think? Since I still weigh the same am I doing ok?

Breakfast:

Mango Breakfast Pizza

Adapted from: http://boutthere.com/2011/05/24/pizza-for-breakfast/

  • 2 cups spelt flour (I used half whole wheat, half AP)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup organic butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 1/4 cup jam (I used strawberry jam)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 mango, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • As much peanut butter as it takes to float your boat (I made a coconut cream syrup topping)

Preheat oven to 400. Oil a full-size spring form pan (9in I believe). Mix together the (1st three) dry ingredients in a large bowl with the sugars. Pour in milk and softened butter. Mix together to form a dough. I used my hands, it was fun. Use your hands again and press dough evenly into the bottom of the spring form. Mix together jam and cream cheese and spread over crust, I reserved some because I wanted an exposed crust. Arrange your mango sliced over top and sprinkle with coconut.  Throw that baby in the oven for about 25 minutes.  When she’s done and cool, drizzle peanut butter across the top (or pipe with a piping bag if you suffer from some sort of neuroses like I do).

Coconut Cream Syrup topping:

Coconut Milk
About 1 T Cream Cheese
2 T Honey
A little water to thin it out

Melt the cream cheese in a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until thickened. Add a little more of whatever you’d like to make it to your tastes! Pipe this on top instead of peanut butter if that sounds as weirdly gross to you as it did to me.

*This was ridiculous. Yup. Especially the coconut honey cream on top. Best idea I ever had. TRY IT!!!! Everything else I did just like the recipe. God. Damn. I would make this again in a heartbeat.

Lunch:

Kale, Shiitake Mushroom and Mozzarella Sandwich

A big bag of kale was on clearance at Kroger. YES! I adore kale. It’s been a while since I got a bag! I try not to buy anything thats not on sale anymore. Anyway, I sauteed a little chopped onion, in olive oil, wilted some kale, added the mushrooms, lemon juice, some cilantro, and some garlic salt and pepper. I put this on some Italian bread with cheese and grilled it to melt the mozzerella in a little butter. DAMN! I was really really impressed with how incredibly yummy this came out! I LOVE KALE!

Dinner:

Bratwurst with Apples & Onions

Taken from: http://www.schallerweber.com/recipes/bratwurst-with-apples-onions/

One of the most popular types of sausage in Germany is this delicately seasoned pork sausage. It’s perfect as an appetizer, ideal for breakfast or an entree at a casual weekend brunch.

Ingredients

6 Bratwurst, precooked (I used smoked turkey sausage)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. flour
11/2 Cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 Tbsp. honey

Directions

To Cook: Place in a pan of water and bring to boil. Turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Both precooked and fresh bratwurst may be heated in this manner. Grill or saute until lightly browned. In a frying pan heat butter and vegetable oil, add bratwurst and brown. Take out and set aside. Add onion and apple, saut6 until lightly browned; add flour. Combine well; add chicken broth, vinegar and honey; stir until it comes to a boil. Simmer five minutes. Return bratwurst to pan and continue simmering for five minutes.

*Uh…YUM! So simple, yet so very very delicious. Less is more! I added a little side of sauerkraut and I only used half an apple and half a turkey sausage because for some reason I wasn’t all that hungry and it was really late. Like, 10 at night. I would absolutely make this again though, especially since it was so quick and easy.

 

Remember, I also have a small bowl of ice cream like every night. And if I ever have a little extra snack or candy I do mention it, but I normally don’t snack throughout the day. It’s just not something I think about or do. I don’t know why.

I’ve got to be the only female on the planet freaking out slightly over LOSING inches.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 4 mile walk

Difficult times and eating disorders

I feel extremely lucky.

When I had an eating disorder, my brain wasn’t getting the right nutrients it needed to function properly. In retaliation, my brain inflicted on me a terrible depression among many other issues. I’ve always been an incredibly happy, optimistic, “never-let-anything-get-me-down” type of person. If I wasn’t smiling when I walked into my retail job, people (my co-workers, even regular customers) would immediately ask me if everything was alright. So when I became depressed and shut myself off from the world for a year, it was very apparent that something was wrong. This wasn’t me. Who was this? Who’s mind was living in the same body? Wait…was it even my BODY anymore? I wanted control…but this wasn’t even ME controlling myself now…so what’s the point? How did I let it get so bad that I once again gave up control?

Then 3 months ago I woke up and realized this was no way to live. I started eating real, nutritious foods again. I stopped worrying about calories and started focusing on good fats, protein, potassium, whole grains, vitamins and all those good things I’d been missing. I was so fucking focused on just one number and then wondered why things didn’t add up.

Now I feel absolutely AMAZING. My mind is back to my old self. I’m no longer somebody else. I am happy ALL the time, confident as hell, independent, no one but ME controls me. My body feels great. Looks great. I can take whatever life throws at me and shove it right back into its face.

List of shit I would be going through right now if I still had an eating disorder:

– Crippling depression. I would probably not be leaving the house.

– Severe self-hatred. No one could possibly hate me more than I hated me.

– Severe malnutrition.  I would have probably stopped eating entirely by now. What I would eat would probably be crap on late-night binges.

– Lack of any form of confidence. “My husband doesn’t want me. No one will ever want me. I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m a mess. I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life.”

– Self-blame. Even though I’d been nothing but an unconditionally loving wife who stood by him through thick and thin, I would have found some way to make this affair my fault. And I would have punished myself mentally and physically for it.

This is not the person you’ve been seeing this past week.

This was the disordered me.

I’m so glad she’s gone. This ordeal would be impossible to manage if she were still here.

I am lucky I woke up when I did.

Breakfast:

Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Walnut Syrup

Taken from:

Ingredients

    • 4 large eggs, separated
    • 2 cups ricotta cheese
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour( I used whole wheat)
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
  • Melted butter

Preparation

Whisk yolks, ricotta and sour cream in large bowl to blend. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in another large bowl to blend. Add flour mixture to yolk mixture and stir until combined. Stir in milk. Using electric mixer, beat whites in another large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold beaten whites into batter. Heat griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Brush with butter. Working in batches, spoon 2 tablespoons batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with maple syrup.

-I also chopped up some strawberries and threw them in. Then I added a little vanilla extract, honey and cinnamon.

Lemon Walnut Syrup

1/3 cup Water
1.5 T Sugar
1 T Lemon Pudding/Pie Filling mix
1/2 T Lemon Juice
More water or juice as needed

Boil water. Dissolve sugar in water. Add lemon pudding mix and lemon juice and cook until thickened. Add more water to thin it out to desired consistency. Serve on top of pancakes with chopped walnuts.

*Yup. Holy crap. I didn’t get to whip the egg whites, but they still came out beautiful! They were delicious and not terrible for me! The whole wheat was a great idea, it was perfect with the lemon and strawberry! I would love to try and whip the egg whites next time, but honestly I didn’t need to. ^_^

Lunch:

Veggie Mix “Salad”

I needed something quick before going for a walk, so I microwaved some frozen peas and corn with some sliced carrots and baby spinach for about 4 minutes in a bit of water. After they were done, I drained them, added some chopped onion, Feta cheese, a little apple cider vinegar, about 1 t margarine, 1/4 t Chinese 5-spice, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  It was wonderful! Nice and light for an afternoon walk! Yum yum!

Dinner:

Apple Cheddar Meatballs with Red Wine BBQ Apple sauce

Apple Cheddar Meatballs

Adapted from: http://sweetluvininthekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/apple-cheddar-meatalls.html

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey or pork (I used lean beef)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used quick-cook oats)
1 small, tart apple, such as granny smith, peeled and grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1/2 cup chopped parsley (Instead I used mint and tarragon)
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
I also added cinnamon and a pinch of ground clove

Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Mold into small balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, turning the meatballs halfway through.

While these were baking, I made some vegetable linguini. I was going to make couscous (next time I probably will) but I wanted the good vitamins and nutrients out of the vegetable linguini.

Red Wine BBQ Apple Sauce:

Ingredients
1/4 cup Red Wine
1/8 cup BBQ Sauce (I used a Michigan Cherry one for more fruit flavour)
1.5 T Teriyaki Sauce
A splash of Brandy
1 T Applesauce (or in my case I actually processed some extra apple chunks into mine)
1/2 small Apple, sliced
1/2 T chopped Tarragon
Pinch of Cardamom
1.5 T Brown Sugar
S&P to taste

I blended all the sauce ingredients in a processor except for the sliced apples. I poured the sauce into a pan, added the apples,  and allowed it to reduce a bit until it was the thickness I wanted. I added some baby spinach and allowed that to wilt. I took it off of the heat and poured it on top of the meatballs and vegetable linguini.

*I always enjoy my apple and meat combinations. I miss my Captain Morgan’s Tattoo rum (my husband doesn’t even like it, but drank it all one night when he was desperate), it goes SO well in apple sauces. I always try to compensate with other alcohols and it never matches the awesome spices in that particular dark rum. Otherwise, if you had nothing to compare this to, it would be really amazing hehe!

I finally called my dad today. I had to break it to him that I was getting a divorce for the same reason my mother divorced him. It was really hard for him to take. He wants to see me for dinner sometime this week. We will talk over possible money/finance issues during that time. He knows I’ll pay him back, but I doubt he’ll take my money. He doesn’t need it. He can afford to give me $400 for a deposit. And even then, he’ll get it back when I eventually move out of my apartment.

I hope to get an apartment that faces East so I can watch the sunrise. This is the only luxury I am asking for. A window to the East. I hope it isn’t too much to ask…

Bunnies, cats and death on Meatless Monday

This is my first post inspired by another’s blog.

A beautifully written account of death and how one can react to it was published here by rabbitheartedjo. It was about a decomposing rabbit that she offhandedly saw in the road. It really opened my eyes to how different people with different minds, thoughts, even disorders…think so much differently than I do in incredibly similar situations. Do we choose how we react? Do our brains all intrinsically work the same but we program ourselves to react positively/negatively/indifferent to certain things? I do know for certain that I programmed my own disorder and I can program myself out, but what about others? Is it deeper? Harder? More complicated than that? How do our minds work?

I once was going on a walk, as I very very often do during the summer. I hear a terrible thud in front of me and watch as a beautiful black cat (much like the one I have now) is thrown from under the tire of a car in the middle of the road. Another passerby, who’d also witnessed the entire ordeal, asks me if there’s anything we should do. We walk out into the road, damn any car who wants to get by…they can go around us. We lean down over the cat. He’s gurgling, barely breathing. I think he can see me, but I’m not sure. It seems almost as if he’s looking through me. I ask the other passerby if we ought to move him. I touch the cat’s head, letting him know someone was there. His eyes glaze over in a way I’ve never seen before…the light literally fading out of them. His stomach goes flat. His last breath. His head hits the pavement, slowly, sadly. He dies under my gentle touch. We don’t know what we should do. He’s gone. So we just leave him. He was hit far enough to the side that people will probably just avoid his body.

It was by far the saddest thing I ever witnessed in my life.  I was happy though. Happy to know that in those last seconds, if he couldn’t see me, maybe he could feel me. He could feel that someone was there. That someone gave a shit that he was dying. Someone cared. The person who hit him didn’t bother stopping.

In the weeks to come, I would go walking. I walk to the post office pretty much every day, it’s a great way to get exercise. I would pass by the cat every day. Nobody bothered to move him . City workers never came to remove his body from the road. I watched him decompose. Deteriorate. Little by little, day by day. I wished I had brought a camera. I wanted to take a picture of him every day to remind myself how the cycle of life works. Dust to dust. Eventually, he was nothing but a small smear on the pavement. He was gone. Again.

It was the first time I’d ever witnessed real death. Yes, I’ve been to funerals. I’ve seen dead people. Dead things. Dead animals in the road. I’ve seen animals get hit and die. But having something basically die in your arms is so much different. Watching their eyes go from alive to dead. It was heart-wrenching.

And it was a most poignant and beautiful reminder that I was alive.

This experience was one of the first indicators that I had a problem I needed to fix.

Life is so wonderful. I adore being alive. I fear death. It’s pretty much the only thing I fear at all. I cannot let that affect how I live though. I live life every single day to its fullest. It’s incredibly difficult for me to sit and do nothing. I have to squeeze everything I can out of every minute of every day. I have to be HAPPY, there’s no time to waste one more damned second being depressed. Because you never know.

You never know when you’ll get hit by a car.

Breakfast:

Apple & Cinnamon Whole Grain Breakfast Strata
serves 6 to 8Taken from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-apple-cinnamon-whole-gr-137484

8 eggs
2 cups 1% milk
1/3 cup organic cane sugar OR dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds whole-grain loaf, sliced 1/4″ thick crosswise
3 medium firm apples (about 1 1/4 pound), cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the glaze
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Lightly butter or oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.

Cut the crusts off the bread slices, cutting each slice into a rectangular shape. Layer half of the bread slices in the bottom of the baking pan. Layer all of the apple slices on top of the bread. Top apple layer with the other half of the bread slices.

Pour the egg mixture over the layered bread and apples. Cover refrigerate overnight. (Note: The casserole can be baked immediately, but expect it not to be quite as dense and uniform in texture.)

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°F. Cover the strata with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. (Note: If your strata is coming straight out of the fridge, still cold, add an additional 10 minutes to the covered baking time.)

For the glaze, warm all of the ingredients together in the microwave or on the stovetop until quite soft. (I microwaved mine for 45 seconds.) Whisk thoroughly in a fork, then drizzle over the warm strata. Dust lightly with cinnamon.

Let the strata stand for 10 minutes to firm up, then serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

*I’m not certain why this was only mediocre. It had everything in it that I wanted, I don’t think I let it bake long enough, the eggs weren’t completely set. I would suggest that if you make this you let it bake a bit longer than instructed. Otherwise, it wasn’t terrible. Just not what I’d hoped for.

Lunch:

“Matar Paneer” inspired Soup with Peas, Goat’s Cheese and Chickpeas

2 cups home-canned crushed Tomatoes
2/3 cup Chickpeas
1/2 cup Peas
1/4 small Onion, diced
Fresh grated Ginger
1 oz Goat’s Cheese
1/2 t Coriander
1/2 t Paprika
1/3 t Cumin
1/4 t White Pepper
Fresh chopped Parsley
Salt to taste
Pine Nuts
1 T Olive Oil

Bring the crushed tomatoes to a simmer and let the chickpeas cook and soften in that for about 10 minutes. Add the corriander, cumin, paprika and white pepper. A bit of salt. Blend all that in a blender. Add the puree back to the pot and keep warm. While that is cooking, sautee the sweet onion, peas and fresh grated ginger in the olive oil. Add all that to the puree and let that get warm together for about another 5 mins. Melt in about an oz of goats cheese. Served with pine nuts on top and another little drizzle of olive oil for taste.

*This was incredibly delicious!!!  I actually feel incredibly smart for coming up with this. A friend and I were having a discussion about a certain Indian restaurant that I just love. The Matar Paneer is my favorite dish there (there’s lots I haven’t tried, but the last time I went, this was my favorite hehe.)  So I came up with this to sort of match those tastes. Just….wow. I was blown away with how perfect this came out. Very much made up for my disappointing breakfast! And PACKED with protein and good things for my body!

Dinner:

Black Bean and Spinach Tomato Sauce on Whole Wheat Linguini

Ohhh heck if I remember how I made this. Crushed tomatoes, 1.5 diced Romas, 1/3 can of drained black beans, handful of spinach, sliced mushrooms, garlic and onion (caramelized first in some olive oil and butter) and 1/4 cup parmesan melted in. Fresh chopped parsley, basil, some crushed red pepper, lime juice, a little sherry vinegar, S&P…put that on some whole wheat linguini. VERY good, very good for you and VERY filling! I didn’t finish this entire bowl. I just tossed the rest when I was full.

I’m learning now that I go to the grocery store and don’t even look at the candy. I feel for a split second before I walk in that I might want something sweet, and that its ok if I do. But then my mind wanders, I go into “I’m out of this” and “Do I need that?” and “How much is this compared to the other place?” mode and it completely slips my mind that I wanted candy in the first place. That never used to happen. I used to have to actively avoid walking by candy so it wouldn’t torture me. Now I think about it so little that I don’t even realize I’m standing right by it. I walk out and get in my car. Halfway home I remember “Oh yeah, I wanted to get something sweet…oh well, I forgot I guess.” My mind and thought processes are changing.

And it’s wonderful.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym (husband woke up early and was here all night, so no yoga)