So this is more like a three-fer, but for the sake of list-making, we’re going to call it a two-fer. Blogging people, my boyfriend has lost 26 pounds. In my opinion, he wasn’t really overweight before, but he’s been working hard at the gym, doing those awful (AWFUL) Insanity tapes at home and eating really healthy. The boy gave up fast food. I’m not sure how that’s possible when McDonald’s has the best hash browns and Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch is back, but he did it. And when he’s forced to eat fast food, he gets like a yogurt parfait or a child’s fruit cup. It’s almost disgusting, it’s so healthy. In turn, as the girlfriend of a now six-pack owning man, I felt like I had to step up my game. You know all that better each other mumbo-jumbo. I tried Insanity and still do it with him on weekends, but I can’t fully extend my legs for days afterwards and I now know how I will walk when I’m 90. Instead of listening to my calves whimper, I’ve been going to the gym for an hour every morning with my dear friend, Elizabeth (who’s a pusher) at the hollow crack of dawn and I’ve been doing my best to eat healthy.
Now, if you have a father like mine who stocks dove bars in the house and claims, “I’m old, I can eat whatever I want,” then you know what it’s like to try to eat healthy. Thankfully, I moved out a year ago and I stock my own fridge and only have to experience Dove Bar goodness every other weekend. The rest is up to me.
I’m a busy gal with a laundry list of things I have to do, including a literal laundry list of when you wash whites and when you wash colors and when you iron, and eating healthy can be really difficult when you have all of an hour between work and bed. It’s definitely not easy to pack a lunch everyday and plan your meals. I have to dedicate time to it every Sunday if I want to actually achieve a healthy and positive body. Obviously, who else would get up when they still have to leave their porch light on because they return from the gym in darkness. No one, those people are stupid silly.
Then there’s that 2013 Year of Self-Promises when I promised myself I would eat more vegetables, which doesn’t include watching the show Veggie Tales with my nephew or buying a large fry at McDonald’s for the monopoly stickers.
Why do we have the phrase “kill two birds with one stone,” can’t we just kill snakes or something? Large Rodents. Mosquitos in a mass vaccine. Either way, that’s what I’m doing.
Today, I went grocery shopping like a heathen when all the good people were at Church. Walmart is DEAD EMPTY on Sunday mornings. Ask anyone, oh wait, they won’t be there. It’s the best time to grocery shop because you can mosey, cross things off your list, stare at a chunk of rhubarb for twenty minutes without another cart trying to scrape by in the dangerous aisle traffic. No one is reaching around you for a larger head of lettuce than you have in your hand. No children are ripping open candy bars while their mother talks on the phone. None of that. Those people are either sleeping-in or sitting through Sunday school. Let me remind some of you that sneered when I mentioned that I shop at Walmart, that they 1. Have the best produce around (it may be blood produce though which worries me) and 2. I live in a small town that is currently 90% cotton field, 6 % human and 4% dirt, Walmart is the best option.
I grocery list by what I’m eating that week. It took me a LONG TIME to get this way. I just want to come home and cook what I’m craving. However, nutrition wise this is awful for your body. I’m always ALWAYS craving mexican cheese dip. My friends don’t even ask what I want for dinner when we go out because they know mexican is ALWAYS an option. This is like that question, if you’re ever stuck on a deserted island…I would take El Dorado cheese dip. I don’t even need chips, I would just use my fingers. Tubs of it please. When you cook what you have planned, you know for a fact that you will be eating healthy and that you’re probably already prepared.
One thing I like to do is cut up all my vegetables on Sunday and put them in little plastic containers. This is the fast food of vegetable eating. I just grab what I need, throw it in what I’m cooking or preparing, and then go.
I thought since I wanted to share more about teaching this year on my blog, I would start with how I keep myself awake and happy, with food. I’m going to post just a tad about easy dishes I make that can last me a few days for lunch with sides. Since I wanted a lunch that I could eat on Tuesday and Thursday this week, I thought I would make the healthiest pasta salad that I could. I love pasta and my go-to pasta dish is my grandmother’s mac & cheese which has thankfully been passed down to my hips, ass, and thighs. It is SO bad for you, but SO good for you. Instead of having that three nights a week like I used to last year, I try to find healthy ways to cook pasta so that the pasta craving goes away. Without further adieu, easiest pasta salad ever.
You will need:
- olive oil (2/3s cup)
- Italian dressing (1/3 cup)
- dried Basil (or fresh basil. They sell little plants at Walmart for $2.28). (1/2 tablespoon)
- dried oregano (1/2 tablespoon)
- dried rosemary (1/2 tablespoon)
- salt & pepper (teaspoon each)
- olives (10-20 olives sliced)
- zucchini (6 circle slices chopped up)
- baby carrots (10 chopped up)
- green pepper (6 stick slices chopped up)
- Cherry tomatoes (I put 10 in cut in half, but if you love tomatoes, go wild)
- feta cheese (You don’t have to have this, but I’m a cheese head).
- wheat spiral pasta (I don’t know all the pasta names by heart. Wheat just goes a long way against white pasta, but that’s your choice as well).
The best part about this one is that you can put any vegetables that you like. If you like bagged cheddar cheese, go for it. If you like blue cheese and not feta, throw it in. If you are allergic to dairy, don’t have any cheese. You can even add chicken, but as a sometimesitarian, I hardly ever cook meat. You probably won’t see meat in any of my dishes unless my boyfriend cooked it up on Sunday and I’m adding it on Monday and Tuesday. On Friday night, that boyfriend of mine bought all iron rich foods to cook me dinner because my body is apparently really unhappy with my iron levels. He’s a keeper. If you can find one that at least tries to cook, keep them. That’s my dating advice for the week.
Other changes you can make: if you have want to give your coworkers the stink eye without actually using an eye, put a ton of onion. I’m just newly obsessed with zucchini, I like it in everything so I put it in everything. I DO NOT like tomatoes, at all. I’m letting cherry tomatoes in because they’re so good for you, they’re the most adorable vegetables to hold, and they add delicious flavors. My mom will be shocked that I even have tomatoes in my house, but I’m trying to branch out here.
(When I’m cooking I like to listen to this song. Thanks, Mom).
Here’s the easy part: boil the pasta for how long it says on the box and then drain it. Add all the veggies and the feta. I try to make the veggies as small as I can so they’re bite size and you can get a lot of flavors in one bite, but if you want whole carrots, throw those suckers in. Plus, I love the color of everything when you’re done. It’s such a bright summer lunch option.
Mix all your spices with the olive oil and italian dressing. You’re going to have to mix hard folks, if this was a brownie batter contest, you would have to win. Italian dressing and olive oil do not like one another and it tastes weird if they’re all separated. As soon as you have some sort of consistent blend, take a spoon and pour spoonfuls onto your warm pasta salad. Then, just mix everything together in a large bowl, cover the bowl and let it chill for at least two hours. YUM.
Hope this wasn’t too far from my normal bookish blogging. I’ll share more meals if this goes over well, if it doesn’t then I’ll remind myself this isn’t a foodie blog and move the heck on.