I was going to write this whole elaborate post about being in a holiday rut and failing to blog, while giving every one an update about what I have been doing (which has been a lot of things as well as a lot of nothing). But every time I sat down to write, I just wouldn’t want to do it. Trying to sum everything up to one post just seemed too difficult. So instead, I’ve just decided to move on and start fresh. I WILL be posting about Lynzi’s Taiwanese cooking lesson, but not right now. I want to talk about things that make me happy. Today I went grocery shopping and it felt like one of the first times in a long time that I was shopping with a purpose. I knew what I wanted, why I wanted it and what benefits I would get from purchasing it. Most of the time I end up going to the grocery store without a list and just wandering around, looking for what I think I want. I usually end up with a bunch of random food that doesn’t really go together and ends up being eaten either very blandly or raw or worst of all, not eaten at all. Thanks to my new obsession, the book Clean Food by Terry Walters, I am beginning to understand why I want to eat certain things and what those things do for me rather than “well, I know they’re good for me”. The best part of the book is the first 35 pages that tell you all about different ingredients, how to cook them, etc.
One of the first things I took to heart was the section about oils and how to use them in cooking. Lately I have hated the olive oil I have. It makes everything have a funny taste, but I honestly didn’t know where to begin looking for a better oil and I really didn’t want to spend a bunch of money testing out every olive oil until I found one I like. As Terry explains
“All nut and seed oils will break down under high heat, in the refining process and even from exposure to light. This makes it essential to buy cold-pressed, unrefined oils……When purchasing olive oil, I always select unrefined extra virgin which comes from the first press and is never heated or exposed to chemical processing.” p. 19
That statement is what led me to purchase this today.
And let me tell you…. best. purchase. ever. I was starving when I got home from all my shopping and immediately made a guilty pleasure sandwich that was a-mazing.
I used 1 portabella, cut into slivers. I cooked it with one clove chopped garlic and a tsp. of the olive oil. I added some water while it was cooking to make sure the oil didn’t burn, as Terry said, that would be bad. I probably added a total of 1/4 cup water. With the added scallion on top, it was seriously the best thing I have cooked in a while. I could easily have done without the bread, but the cheddar cheese was awesome. I think I might be eating just the portabella for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week. Seriously, it was that good. I can’t believe how much of a difference the olive oil made.
On to other things I love. Cuties. I will eat this entire bag in a week. No joke.
There are a lot of other things I love. But this is where I am today and I think that’s most important. My plan for the rest of the day includes:
-making Terry’s Three Bean Chili. It makes 6 servings, so I am going to freeze a bunch for those nights during the semester when I have no time to cook.
-Working on my proposal. I have made some serious progress and I am optimistic that I can get it done soon.
Random side note. I made this dish earlier this week and loved it! I can’t wait to try it with my new olive oil.
It’s left over brown rice made in my rice cooker, smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and spinach. I used olive oil, rosemary and garlic. This recipe used a TON of spinach because it cooks down so much. I probably used 5 handfulls. But what’s great about it is that it cooks down so quickly, basically just using the heat to cook it, so it maintains its healthy vitamins and minerals.
I would also like to note that the other day I ran 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I was really worried about it because whenever I run, my shins hurt for about a week after (all that soccer when I was younger and then the lack of exercise in my college years gave my shin splints or at least very finicky shin muscles). But I was dying to just do some intense cardio and the elliptical just wasn’t cutting ut. I figured maybe the treadmill would be easier on my legs and I was right. For some reason my middle back hurt really bad the next day (and still does). I’m thinking poor posture while running. Just another thing to correct so I can finally start doing what I want to do. But anyways, my point of telling all of this is that I really, really, really want to run a half marathon. I’m going to keep up on the treadmill the next couple weeks and see how it goes and decide from there. I used an interval workout from my favorite blog to run the 3 miles and it really helped a lot. It kept my energy up and pushed me to run 2 extra miles than I had planned. I did a waay slower pace.
3.5- 0.20 mile
4.0- 0.40 mile
4.5- 0.40 mile
I ended up with fairly slow 15 minute miles. The 3.5 was basically a walking pace and the 4.0 felt really slow. But at least I’ve started and I’m making an effort. If you want to try this but are afraid or intimated by a 3 mile run, try my treadmill speeds because trust me, they aren’t intimidating and you’ll be surprised by how much energy you have and how long you can keep running.