Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eating Clean in Pictures!

This post is a sister post with My Journey of Eating Clean.  I'm no photographer, and these were all done with my phone, but you can get it, I'm sure.
THE BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL.  WELL, AND MY FRIEND, BRAD'S, RECOMMENDATION

PLATES OF MANY COLORS
Rice, black beans, asparagus, chicken

Spaghetti and homemade meat sauce, green beans

"African Potatoes," fish, asparagus
Rice Salad: Brown rice, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, etc

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW--EVEN WHEN I'M ALMOST THIRTY!

So this yogurty, drink/milk stuff, sounds, looks, and feels nasty.  However, it doesn't taste half-bad (if you get the sweetened stuff) and is totally helpful with digestion.

Where has Aldi been all my life?? Now that I need many more groceries, I feel like I'm here all the time.  Cheap prices for stuff we all need and I like that it forces me to bring my own bags to shop with.

I never, ever knew how to peel a spaghetti squash and now, I'm pretty much obsessed.  Cheap.  Huge servings, and totally clean.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
BRAZILIAN SQUASH from Eat Clean Book
The good: Tastes so freaking good and is a little bit sweet

BROWN RICE PATTIES from Eat Clean Cookbook
Ugly and Bad: Kind of bland, didn't stick together and looks like poop on a cookie sheet

Egg Fritatas in Cupcake Containers (idea from Ali Blake)
Good, bad, AND ugly: Taste amazing.  Took forever to get my pan clean and I should have shredded up the spinach.  I don't think they look very appetizing...hence, ugly.

KALE CHIPS from Eat Clean Cookbook
Look how pretty!  These were YUMMY right out of the oven and really did satisfy my chip craving.  The nasty part about it is that they don't save very well by wilting and getting mushy. 

AND WHEN IT'S ALL SAID AND DONE....

I'm left with a crap load of dishes! :)  

See more about this new Eat Clean life at My Journey of Eating Clean





My Journey of Eating Clean

I'm so bad at New Year's Resolutions, mine had to start in September.

I had just gone back to school and working after a summer of visiting with anyone and everyone, and basically living "vacation" for six weeks.  I had eaten out to the point of not even enjoying it anymore, I had started gaining weight back that I lost two years ago and was just feeling blah.

God definitely knows that peer pressure is the way to make me move!  Two years ago, when I lost 25 pounds, I had started because a friend of mine lost 70.  This time, a DIFFERENT friend had just lost 40.  We were on a bike ride in early September and not only was he skinnier, he just seemed HAPPIER.  More energized, at peace.

"So, Brad, what's been going on?"

"I'm eating clean."

"What in the hell does that mean?"

Since we were on a 40 mile bike ride, he had time to explain, and I had time to be very interested.  "Eating Clean" is basically a term coined by Tosca Reno as a way of eating more naturally (lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low sugar, etc.) but honestly, nothing about this method is revolutionary.  You eat things you can pronounce.  You don't eat things from a box.  Basically.

It's kind of common sense to eat what the earth can provide and NOT processed stuff with a lot of ingredients we can't even pronounce.  I did read her book, though, and after I did, thought...I can do this!  A lot of things had been boiling up around this time: 1) I was spending too much money on restaurant food 2) I wanted to learn how to cook for my friends 3) I needed a way to make food that I wouldn't have to eat it seven times in a row for leftovers.

With some recipes and the meal guides, I really started to watch more closely what I ate.  I started cooking A LOT more and discovered that healthy food doesn't have to taste bad.  I had WAY more energy and wasn't craving the 4pm nap anymore.  I gained confidence in cooking for others.  I lived through temptations of eating food even when I wasn't really hungry. I stopped overeating.

Now, the holidays were REALLY hard.  I mean, I'm a celebratory person by nature, so give me a party and I will most likely eat or drink everything in sight.  So, I'm really writing the blog post for me, to open my eyes to what a gift it was to be able to eat things from the earth vs. things from a factory.

I'm lucky I have the means to buy those items AND time to make it.  I'm happy to say that with attentiveness to what I eat, I'm able to attentive to other aspects of my life--like being more patient and loving, hitting deadlines, working out, etc.  It is a total grace and a total gift to have a method that can guide you.  I don't want to be dominated by it and I don't want to be burdened, but I feel that eating in this way has helped me live more free.

Here's a breakdown of some of the MAJOR CHANGES:

1. Eating out 5-6 times per week to only maybe 1-2 (and that's always with friends)
2. Dishes, dishes, dishes.  I feel like I'm doing them all the time now.
3. Meal Planning.  Yeah, I really have a calendar on my fridge.
4. Grocery Shopping is actually kind of fun and I look forward to the Sunday afternoons where I try a boat load of new recipes.  Totally didn't know what kefir, parsnips, OR kale looked like before this adventure and I can say now that I've cooked with them ALL!
5. I invite people over to my house for dinner.  Previously, I would have been scared to make something that didn't taste good, or would burn.
6. A lot more energy and when I don't eat right, I feel like crap.

Surprises:

1. Notice I haven't really said anything about losing weight...I did lose a little, but the thing I noticed most was the huge energy spike.
2. I didn't really save much money.  Healthy food, yummy food is expensive.  It's an injustice to our world's poor.

You can see my post, Eating Clean in Pictures, to see some of the stuff I've made!  It's been a lot of fun!  Almost like artwork! :)

In the end, this is no way, shape, or form, the end all-be all for my happiness, I'm just glad that one place in my life (my eating habits) that I was always kind of embarrassed by and ignored for so long is getting some attention.  I'm learning new things, loving new things (hello? sweet potatoes, OMG!) and able to share with others!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Rebels on a Mission

In memorial of the 3rd anniversary of the horrific earthquake that hit Port Au Prince January 12th, I thought I would share this little slideshow I just made for a presentation at Roncalli High School.  It highlights some of the most beautiful pictures, favorite stories and insights on what I've learned from my mission trips to Haiti and my continued involvement in the Haiti ministry at St. John's.

I'm also blessed by people like my old German teacher asking me to do presentations on my experience.  This keeps the moments alive and fresh in my heart and so grateful that I've been able to see what I've seen and witness again to a God who loves and cares for us all.

Haiti still struggles to rebuild, even three years after the earthquake and with the multitude of disease outbreaks and hurricanes.  The people are in my prayers and I know, more than anything, they long for a friendship with those who are concerned with their needs and will listen to their pleading voices.

Even when I'm tempted to forget, reality (through being on committees, or getting interviewed, or doing small projects like this) tends to ask me to revisit my short stints to this impoverished nation.

I'm proud to be part of a parish that has a sister relationship with another parish in Haiti and more and more connections are being made every day!

Feel free to click on the slideshow and check it out for yourself!  The show is pretty simple, but then again, so is Haiti.