Thursday, May 19, 2011

Food Moods

I hope you are in the mood for some food photos! 

My lunch yesterday was delicious and wholesome and quick to throw together.  I cooked a little quinoa and topped it with stir-fried veggies including carrots, summer squash, snap peas and broccoli.
I have finally relinquished control of my afternoons and realize that a snack is necessary on most days.  I fight the urge every day and then wind up binging on all sorts of not-good-for-you foods.  I decided if I plan my snack in advance and just "allow" it, I will likely be better off.  And probably in a better mood.  My snack of choice typically looks like this:
It is hard to tell here, but it is actually quite a small serving.  The entire bottom of the bowl is all pear.  So in this small bowl: 1 sliced pear, ~1/2 cup cereal (a mix of whole grain cheerios and the not-so-good Reese's Pieces Cereal...I just couldn't help myself) and 1 tbsp of peanut butter. 

Peanut Butter seems to make its way into my diet far too much.  Not that peanut butter is necessarily bad for you...but 3 servings a day might not be part of a very well balanced diet.  I am currently experimenting with a few other things to replace the peanut butter that will still give me the creaminess and richness I crave in the afternoon.  I am also going to go shopping for a healthy cereal option.  If I am going to start eating this snack every day, I need to make sure it is at least as healthy as possible.

My husband was kind enough to prepare dinner last night.  I emailed him Mama Pea's Tamale Pie recipe and asked him if he would mind whipping it together.  By the time I reached home from work last night the smells of this pie were radiating from the kitchen.
I helped him steam some greens to go with our dinner and voila...we were served.
The Tamale Pie was wonderfully delicious!  So I reheated it for lunch today.
With a large spinach salad topped with hummus and tomatoes on the side.  Even better the next day!  The flavors melded together.  It was perfect and satisfying. 

But now we can't forget breakfast this morning:
Or dessert last night:
Or the magic that happened in my kitchen overnight:
I'm not loving the bread recipe and will need to tweak it a bit.  The crust was too hard and it didn't rise enough.  More yeast and lower crust setting will be used next time...and maybe more Vital Wheat Gluten as well.  I did a lot of research on baking bread last night and am excited to continue experimenting.  But not until this loaf is gone.  Despite its flattened appearance, too dense crumb, and crusty shell, the flavor is magnificent!

If you couldn't tell in the photo: dessert was not cereal and milk (although I am obsessed) but cereal and banana soft serve (even better!).  Although I was cold all day yesterday, I couldn't resist the frozen bananas in the freezer.  They were calling my name!
And breakfast was another take on Fruit n' Cream Oatmeal.  This time utilizing the fresh, local peaches I got in my produce delivery yesterday.  In the mix: 2 tbsp rolled oats, 2 tbsp cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup Almond milk, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds and 1 peach sliced and broiled for 5 minutes. 
I cooked the Almond Milk, quinoa and oats in the microwave for 2 minutes, while the peaches were under the broiler.  I whipped the mashed banana and chia seeds into the oats mixture and then stirred in the peaches when they were finished.  I splashed another tablespoon or two of Almond Milk on top.  It was sweet and delicious!  I loved this combination!  A splash of coconut milk on top would also be delicious if you have it!

As I mentioned with the snack...I am seeking a balance with my meals.  One that doesn't require struggling through the day always thinking about food.  I find when I place too many restrictions or rules, especially about meal times, I find myself wanting to eat all day long.  This constant nagging for food has really started to drive me crazy and I am seeking a better way. 

I used to think the 4-6 meals a day rule was good.  But I find that I like big meals and then would overeat way too much.  So I shortened it back to the 3 meals a day, but now I find I am governed by meal times and sitting around waiting for the next one.  Afternoons are the worst time for me and so for the next few weeks I am going to experiment with an afternoon snack.  Perhaps not having to wait so long between meals will help free my mind from the constant desire to eat. 

But I also have a problem wanting dessert every evening after dinner.  Should I just say heck with it and go 5 "small meals" a day route, trying to make sure that all 5 have a somewhat healthy focus?  Should I omit my evening dessert for my afternoon snack?  Or should I scratch all plans and really focus on eating only when I'm hungry (never gonna happen folks!).  I suppose in many ways I am scared to gain weight...but then again, if I gain a few pounds and remain steadily there with all the meals I desire in a day...perhaps that would be my happy weight? 

How did you find your happy weight?  Do you plan when and what your meals will be or do you just eat when you are hungry?  Help! I'm tired of over thinking this!

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