Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I've lost about 50 pounds since this blog started!

Hey all,

I was about 280 when this blog started, and now I'm almost down to about 230! I am so excited! And happy to say, I have been learning all sorts of new things to eat and ways to prepare food that is healthy and delicious! It's been quite a journey and my most recent part was getting my tonsils out and trying to remain healthy on a liquid diet. I gotta tell you, that was not easy. I added a lot of protein powder into my drinks. Tried adding it into other things but it honestly tasted disgusting in anything but smoothies. I did however find some really delicious ways to get a day's calories with all the protein, antioxidants and minerals and vitamins that I possibly could. I'll post one of my favorite post tonsillectomy beverages below.

One of those was was to drink Greens First, which just tasted like tea, but had all sorts of important nutrients packed into each glass. Unfortunately it turns out "Greens First" the fruit and vegetable antioxidant I tried has broccoli in it, and I'm allergic to the stuff. But otherwise it was a great way to get fiber and nutrients into my diet so my allergist said go for it, the broccoli is just a mild allergy. I have to tell you, my inflamation and pain sky rocketed! I felt like my health was deteriorating. All the progress I've made in 2010 was going down the tube and that was depressing. Thankfully I realized what was happening and stopped drinking the stuff. Surprise surprise, the pain and inflammation was gone within 48 hours! I think sometimes even allergists don't realize how much a "small" allergy can be detrimental to someone's health. Especially someone with other immune conditions or other health concerns.

Recently I joined sparkpeople.com (it's FREE) and I have been entering my post tonsillectomy recipes on their recipe page. If you're a spark person, you can see those I've entered so far at http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/cookbooks.asp?cookbook=281051

Otherwise, give this one a shot :) It does include whey protein which is made from milk, so if you're caesin intolerant or a vegan, replace it with your own favorite protein powder. If you have no sugar concerns and don't have a sore throat, toss a banana in there, it's delicious. But bananas are a high source of sugar so if you're diebetic better avoid them, or you just had throat surgery, they're like acid to your system. Truly horridly painful, I can attest. Hence, no banana in this recipe despite my fondness for the little yellow things.

Coconut Mango Smoothie:
    1/2 cup frozen mango 
    1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened 
    1/2 scoop Dream Protein, Vanilla


toss it all in a blender and away you go! I like to start on a low blender speed and go up to high for a few seconds until it reaches a creamy consistency then go back to low speed and open the lid carefully to whip in a bit of air until the drink is frothy. Serve and enjoy!

Number of Servings: 1

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lemony Crusted Polenta

Many know my love for polenta. I was overjoyed when I found polenta recipes in a recently purchased cook book. But I noticed they were all a bit similar. One of the things I love about polenta is that there are so many different ways to serve it. I love making it from scratch, but recently patch brought home a tube of premade plain polenta, and I must admit, it is much simpler to just slice off a few pieces and has lead to me getting creative in how I heat it. So far I've tried heating it in the microwave, the toaster oven, the oven, and of course on the stove top.

Since I've recently begun tracking my food on spark people, I have been trying to limit artery clogging fats but incorporate those fats which can help heart health. Often the suggested meal plans include olive oil. Since I was cooking up some polenta anyway, I thought I'd use the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil I bought which comes from right here in Arizona. (Olives do grow well in our climate) I know it's been a while since I shared a recipe or posted anything here, but hopefully this one is worth it.

Lemony Crusted Polenta:
Premade Tube of Plain Polenta (makes 5 servings, 2 to 3 slices per serving)
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1/4 cup Progresso Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs
1/8 cup Hard Italian Cheese of your choice grated fine (I used Parmesian and Romano mixed)
2 - 3 tablespoons Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
large frying pan

Slice polenta into 5 sections then slice each section into 2 or 3 rounds depending on your prefered thickness. I like them rather thin, but they can tend to fall apart more that way so use a sharp knife and slice carefully.
Pour almond milk into a bowl and dip polenta rounds into almond milk
Mix Bread Crumbs and finely grated cheese in small bowl then coat each round in bread crumbs

Heat large frying pan on high, then turn down a bit and coat bottom of pan with lemon flavored olive oil. Carefully lay polenta rounds on pan with 1/8 to 1/4 inch between them. They will sizzle and pop if the pan is hot enough, so be careful. After 15-20 seconds flip and if they're not browned enough cook a bit longer then flip again. Cook till nicely browned n each side then remove from heat and serve!

It's delicous! Sometimes I eat these for lunch with a serving of deli sliced turkey sprinkled with a small amount of grated italian cheese for a little lean protein.

There are some great gluten free alternatives to making bread crumbs that I'd be happy to share if anyone's interested, but this morning I was going for quick and easy since no one eating was gluten intolerant. And if you're vegan just leave off the cheese or substitute it for some potent vegan pseudo cheese