Tag Archives: food

Journey Journal: Days 232-256

Day 232-256: Tuesday, August 20, through Friday, September 13, 2013

I feel the need to write but am not sure where to start. It’s been almost a month since I was able to give some updates, but I don’t have a ton to say. We’re still enjoying our jobs, as busy as ever but enjoying it! We’re still active at church, although we’re taking a hiatus from teaching children’s Sunday school due to other responsibilities and to be part of an adult Sunday school again for a bit. We’re still working on the back room project–we’ve purchased everything at this point except final trim work stuff and are just waiting to finish putting the pieces together, but definitely making progress! Bryan’s well into his first semester of culinary school, and so far it’s going really well.

My handsome chef in the culinary lab.

Last week, I took Thursday off as a random vacation day. It was my first day off in forever and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I slept in till like 10! (It was amazing!) Then started my day with a cup of hot tea, cajun home fries and spinach asiago scrambled eggs for brunch before running errands. Priced flowers for an upcoming wedding, went to the bank, picked up flooring for the new room!, went grocery shopping, went to the Farmers’ Market, unloaded flooring…and actually took time to read! Plus, I was able to spend a long time in the Word and read a portion of my current Bible study book. Finished the day by making supper for Bryan, while watching some cooking shows. It was such a nice day, I got so much accomplished, and I feel human again! If you haven’t taken a random day off in a while and you can, I highly recommend it!

In other news, we had a week or so that we ate out a lot, primarily due to busy schedules, and we’ve decided that we do not want to make that a regular pattern, so we’re taking a moratorium on eating out for a month–unless it was already scheduled or a ministry thing, of course. And we’ve been experimenting with food. Here are a few of our culinary adventures:

A breakfast of grilled pita and sliced turkey topped with over medium eggs, Parmesan, and fresh pico!

Dinner of sautéed asparagus tips with shallots, garlic, red pepper, and a squeeze of lemon, topped with a few grilled, thin slices of turkey breast, crumbled goat cheese, and two over medium eggs with salt, pepper, and thyme; spicy tasting carrots with garlic, thyme, dill, crushed red pepper flakes, and some olive oil; golden mushroom caps; and mashed potatoes with crumbled sausage & parsley. Served with OJ…and a French Press of coffee (not shown). This was basically two full meals–so we packed some up for lunch the next day.

Spicy Asian Fish and Ginger-Scallion Scallops with Stir-fried Vegetables over Steamed Rice for Dinner

Sesame fried pork cutlets, red skinned mashed potatoes, and salad with honey sriracha dressing!

First attempt at clams and mussels…not bad. This was a roasted pepper and paprika cream sauce. I had no idea these lil’ guys were so cheap! Definitely going to keep experimenting.

So, that pretty much catches you up except for the nitty gritty of work and life, but I won’t make you read those details. 😉 It’s been pretty busy all-in-all, but things are starting to line up and fall in place and slowly get checked off the to-do lists on all fronts. We’re encouraged, and we’re thankful for how God is working in our lives and holding up our hands and providing strength and rest in this busy season of life.

 

Book Review: French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano

French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano is a fabulously simple concept of enjoying quality over quantity in whatever you eat…or do. With over 265 pages of tips, tricks, recipes and hilariously helpful stories, Guiliano shares the secrets of her healthy heritage, while convincing you to drop whatever fad diet you might be most recently deceived by.

Guiliano is a high-power, working woman and best-selling international author, who grew up in France and is at the top of her game as the CEO of an American branch of a French company. She talks about being an exchange student in high school and coming to America, where she picked up much of the typical American high school food fare, along with the pounds to go with it. After returning to France, she worked with a Dr. Meyer (whom she refers to as “Dr. Miracle” throughout the book) to regain her ideal body weight and lead a healthfully satisfying life of enjoying food, fitness, friends and family.

She talks about basic concepts like eating smaller portions of higher quality ingredients, making sure you have a good variety (recommending at least 20-30 different types of food each day, so you get a full gamut of nutrients), not depriving yourself, eating slowly and mindfully, and shopping daily and at local markets as much as possible, so you get the freshest, in season, local ingredients.

She also recommends drinking plenty of water, keeping moving (even if it’s just walking, stairs, and a few light weights), getting proper sleep (not too much, not too little), and adding yogurt to your daily menu. And over and over again she says, “Faites simple,” meaning, “Keep it simple.”

Here are some of my favorite moments from the book:

  • “Consider all the things you consume regularly. Which of them is giving you real pleasure and which are you having to pointless excess? One thing French women know is that the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites; we rarely have seconds” (p. 31).
  • “Part of living like a French woman, then, will mean searching out and paying a bit more for quality, whether at the open-air market or at least a good grocery shop with market suppliers. …French women live on budgets, too, but they also understand the value of quality over quantity” (p. 77).
  • “Visual variety, color, and presentation are underestimated factors in food pleasure” (p. 119).
  • “French women know any regimen you can’t maintain for long stretches of life is bound to fail you, just as they know that boredom, not food, is the enemy” (p. 206). “For me, walking remains the ultimate time for freedom of thought” (p. 210). “The body spends about 60 calories an hour sleeping; if you swim, you’ll do better at 430 calories; but climbing stairs consumes a stunning 1,100 calories per hour. Vive l’escalier!” (p. 211).
  • “The only purpose of withholding some pleasure is so we can more fully enjoy everything else for having it in proper balance” (p. 224). “Our troubles with weight have as much to do with our attitudes toward eating as they do with what we are ingesting. We are seeing a growing psychosis that I believe actually adds stress to our already stressful way of life. It is fast erasing the simple values of pleasure” (p. 225).
  • Speaking of laughter: “It’s both a physical and psychic pleasure: it is relaxing, stimulating, liberating, and sensual. It’s a pleasant response to emotion that heightens the emotion itself” (p. 228). “Marcel Pagnol believed that God gave laughter to human beings as consolation for being intelligent. I prefer to believe he made us intelligent so we could appreciate a good laugh” (p. 229).
  • “The answer is never ‘dieting’ in the American sense, but rather little alterations made steadily over time. So when we do lose the excess weight, not only does the effort seem painless, the results are much more likely to last. If my fellow Americans could adopt even a fraction of the French attitude about food and life (don’t worry, you don’t have to sign on to the politics, too), managing weight would cease to be a terror, an obsession, and reveal its true nature as part of the art of living” (p. 252).

I highly recommend this book if you are trying to lose weight for the first time…or if you have given up and need this to be the last time you lose weight…or if you just want a few good tips and recipes to spice up your weekly menu repertoire. Fortunately, I took French in high school and still remember un petit peu (since she likes to throw in some of her native phrases), but even if you don’t know French, she translates most of her phrases for you…and then, there’s always Google translate for the ones she doesn’t. A quick read, and a relief to the typical American trying to become healthier. So, pick up this book, adjust your attitude about food, and then adjust your lifestyle and start enjoying the good gifts of fabulous cuisine. Bon Appetit! 

Journey Journal: Days 7-9

Day 7: Monday, January 7, 2013

Today was another leftovers day, using up the last, lonely produce in the fridge. For breakfast, I had more multi-grain pancakes; lunch was a bbq beef sandwich. Had Ryan and Emily over for dinner, and experimented a bit. I had a bag of red potatoes that I sliced in the food processor with an onion; pan fried them in butter with some garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, we pitted and chopped a package of plums and simmered them in a little butter with the juice of a lime and two lemons, some honey, nutmeg, a little thyme, and a pinch of coarse salt. It turned out very good! At the last minute, I fried up an egg to top the potatoes and chopped up some strips of fresh green pepper. No workout today, unfortunately. Still working on getting to bed earlier so I can workout in the morning.

Day 8: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Multi-grain pancake for breakfast; leftover bbq beef, red potatoes, and plums for lunch; a bowl of vegetarian black bean soup from Panera for dinner. Since we were out of food, we decided to go to Panera for dinner (using a gift card we got at Christmas) and pick up some groceries. No more exercise than walking for about 30 minutes through Target (does that count?).

Day 9: Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Breakfast was half a bagel with a little butter and a banana; dinner was the other half of the bagel; and lunch was plums, a large bunch of celery with some peanut butter, and two more of those multi-grain pancakes. Really busy day at work today–didn’t leave till about 6:25 tonight–but it was a good day. Had some good time reviewing the DFF6 script and searching Scripture for accompanying passages to use for the study guide; passages that stood out to me especially were Psalm 66, Isaiah 43, and Daniel 3. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet my friend to walk tonight, but it turns out my workout buddy forgot her gym clothes too, so it’s okay. I need to make sure I workout tomorrow! Fortunately, I’m still down 2 pounds from my New Year’s Day weigh in.

Book Review – The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball

This was one of the first books I read off of my summer reading list, and it was a fast favorite! Kristin Kimball, Harvard grad and journalist from Manhattan, NYC, falls in love with farming (and farmer Mark) and shares her love story in this charming, autobiographical novel. (The e-book subtitle is “On Farming, Food and Love.”)

Kristin describes her journey from a high-speed city with its high-stress jobs, high heels and high-priced designer clothes to an Upstate New York, ground roots, self-sustaining, organic farm; from being a vegetarian to learning to eat every last piece of the cow they slaughtered themselves. Humorous, romantic, and inspirational.

She goes season by season, sharing the hilarious moments of starting Essex Farm from scratch, the agonizing memories of the morning cow-milking ritual, cold nights, delicious home-grown meals, and planning a wedding and feeding everyone from the animals and produce you’ve raised with your own sweat and tears.

In fact, I loved this book so much, I gave it to my mother to leave on their farm in Tennessee.

Published by Scribner in 2011. 304 pages.

Book Review: Food, Fitness, and Faith For Women

Review: Food, Fitness, and Faith for Women: A 21 Day Journey to a New You, by Freeman-Smith. 239 pages. ($9.99 on Amazon.com or $6.95 on FamilyChristian.com)

This book is a quick and enjoyable read! I would highly recommend it for anyone! If you read one chapter a day, it should take you 5 minutes or less each day. It subscribes to the adage that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. It’s full of practical tips to help you start or continue your journey towards a healthy lifestyle in every aspect of your life, beginning and focusing on biblical truth and principles. Freeman-Smith uses lots of Scripture references from multiple translations for ease of understanding and application. The last few pages of the book contain a suggested “Read the Bible in a Year” plan.

This book is NOT…

  • Overwhelming
  • A workout guide
  • A meal plan
  • Or even a spiritual road map
  • And it’s not just for women (in my opinion)

This book IS…

  • Encouraging
  • Challenging
  • Simple
  • Practical
  • For Anyone! (would make a great stocking stuffer)

21 chapters, each consisting of…

  • Practical tips for emotional, physical, and spiritual health
  • Page of Scripture passages
  • Page of Motivational quotes
  • Page for Journaling with a thought-provoking question at the top

A few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Healthy living is a journey, not a destination, and that journey requires discipline” (p. 12).

“Food ought to be a refreshment to the body, and not a burden” (St. Bonaventure, quoted on p. 48).

“Regular exercise allows you to build your muscles while you’re clearing your head and lifting your spirits” (p. 59).

“Measure the size of the obstacles against the size of God” (Beth Moore, quoted on p. 68).

“Physical fitness is not the result of a single decision that is made ‘once and for all.’ Physical fitness results from thousands of decisions that are made day after day, week after week, and year after year” (p. 90).

“Remind yourself that on every step of that journey, you have a traveling companion: your Heavenly Father” (p. 95).

“God wants you to get enough rest. The world wants you to burn the candle at both ends. Trust God” (p. 125).

“He does not believe who does not live according to his beliefs” (Thomas Fuller, quoted on p. 151).

“You don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful,” and “If you’re a woman who has become discouraged with your inability to be perfectly fit, remember that when you accepted Christ as your Savior, God accepted you for all eternity. Now it’s your turn to accept yourself” (p. 220).

PS – They have one for men too:

Eat to Beat: Foods That Heal

I recently found ABC Good Morning America Health on Hulu.com! Check it out here! There are nearly 100 clips with wonderful health tips. Here’s one:

This clip of Erin Hobday, Self Magazine’s Nutrition Editor, talks with Good Morning America about some foods that help you feel better and target certain health concerns. More info on Self.com.

Feeling Down? Pasta and Dark Chocolate boost level of serotonin, which makes you feel happy.

Headaches? Pumpkin seeds (2 oz. per day for daily recommended amount of Magnesium) and WATER!

Want to boost your memory? Try a Mediterranean Diet: high in antioxidants and heart healthy. May reduce risk of Alzheimer’s.

PMS? combo of calcium and Vitamin D (3 servings of soy milk, skim milk, or vitamin D rich dairy products daily)

Want to keep wrinkles at bay? Beta Carotene and Lycopene (1 c. Cantaloupe, a few chunks watermelon) and Vitamin C rich foods to produce collagen in skin (1/2 red pepper)

Want a healthy heart? Peanut Butter (1 Tbsp./5x per week) and whole grains (2 servings per day)

For a full list, check out http://www.self.com/fooddiet/2010/04/foods-that-make-you-feel-good. Very cool!