Inspiration

Inspiration

One of the things that I liked about doing Sunbasket for a few weeks, besides getting to try new things we wouldn’t normally try, is it inspired us to try some recipes on our own–like we used to do. When we first started dating, we’d get together on the weekends and try new recipes (our favorite cookbook was one of Martha Stewart’s) and we’d try new recipes each week. We’d open a bottle of wine and spend several hours in the kitchen cooking, talking, having fun.

That has obviously changed. Sadly, the leisurely cooking evenings kind of disappeared, especially when we had Logan. Quick dinners were a must. We definitely got into a rut with the same five or six meals and it got boring. So Sunbasket was a nice change.

In the spirit of that, we tried some fun recipes that were really good.

The first was one of the Sunbasket recipes in one of the books we got in our deliveries. It was slightly hard to follow the recipe because there weren’t measurements, but we were able to “wing it” and kind of guess on the amounts of stuff. And it was SO DELICIOUS! It might be one of my favorite meals we’ve had in a long time,

Salmon with Dijon sauce, quinoa, and green beans

The above is the recipe we worked off. Michael cooked the salmon and green beans and I made the dijon sauce (it was so so good!!). I subbed out wild rice instead of the quinoa because it was quick and easy.

Topped everything with the sauce, capers and chopped parsley.  Everything was so delicious. I am still thinking about that meal and the sauce was amazing. Like, want-to-lick-the-plate amazing. We will most definitely be making a variation of this recipe again soon!

The next recipe was kind of a “throw everything in the pot” kind of meal, but it turned out great. We had leftover chicken from when Michael smoked it, plus I had to use up the chicken broth and coconut milk from the previous recipe. So…coconut chicken curry soup!

I didn’t follow a recipe so I’ll just give a rough idea of what I did. What’s nice about this soup is that can add whatever veggies or meat you have on hand. Tofu would be great. Broccoli, spinach or kale would be good, too.

Saute in toasted sesame oil:

Diced onion

Diced Shallots

Cubed Sweet Potatoes

Chopped Carrots

Green Beans

Minced Garlic

Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup water and bring to a boil then reduce heat

Add a can of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)

Add turmeric, curry powder, pepper and powdered ginger

Add 1 spoonful of Ground fresh chili paste

Dash of fish sauce

Let simmer for as long as you want

When you’re ready to eat the soup, squeeze some fresh lime juice in it and top with cilantro. 

The soup turned out great. I was really happy with it. It was savory, sweet and spicy–all my favorite things! And, I had the soup for lunch the next day and it was EVEN BETTER!

Finally, the last new recipe we tried was this one from The Kitchn:

Skillet Chipotle Chilaquiles with Eggs

The flavors in this dish were really tasty. We both loved the smokiness of the chipotle peppers and sauce.

We will most definitely make this dish again! The only flaw was our fault, the eggs were overdone so they weren’t runny and that kind of makes the dish.

 

Topped with cojita cheese, avocado chunks, diced red and white onions, cilantro and a little bit of lime juice. So so good! Another winner!

Obstacles and Motivation

I got an email from a reader who had some questions for me. I thought I’d try and address them here.

The vision that motivated me was twofold. First, I was tired of being in pain. I was having a lot of health issues (high blood pressure, pre-diabetic). My back and knees and feet hurt all the time from the extra 100 pounds. Second, I was tired of not being okay in my body. There was definitely an emotional aspect to wanting to lose weight–wanting to be skinny, wanting to be pretty, wanting a life partner some day, wanting to be able to wear cute clothes that actually fit properly. There is definitely a motivating factor in vanity, but I would say that the health issues were the #1 reason I wanted to lose weight.

The biggest obstacle? Good question. I would say there were several. The first obstacle was that the idea of losing 100 pounds was a very overwhelming number. It seemed unattainable. In order to overcome that very scary, very unrealistic goal, I decided I would start small. I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in one year and I wanted to lose 50 pounds by then. I worked really hard and reached that goal and then it didn’t seem so hard to lose another 50 pounds.

Another obstacle would probably be the weight loss plateaus. Those were really hard. I’d be losing weight, feeling better, getting stronger, buying clothes in smaller sizes…and then all of a sudden it would stop. I didn’t know a lot about nutrition, really, and I definitely went through phases of overexercising thinking I could just work off the weight. I see now that that was pretty disordered–like working out for 3 hours because you ate some pizza. That’s not healthy. It’s better to just recognize your mistake and do better the next day…not punish yourself!

I don’t know that I ever “failed.” Failure implies that I gave up or that I stopped trying. I was so determined and so focused on my goals that failure was not an option. I was not going to quit. Even when I hit plateaus, when my weight fluctuated up and down, I kept my eyes on the road and just kept doing what I was doing. And it worked in the end.

These days, I am definitely finding it harder to not look at my lack of weight loss post-baby as a failure. I have been very hard on myself about how difficult it has been to lose even 10 pounds. It can be discouraging and frustrating and depressing. But I am still trying. I never gave up before, and I don’t plan on quitting now.

Whenever I didn’t hit a goal before, I looked at what I was doing and tried to figure out things to I could change. I often got into ruts and switching up my diet helped. Cutting out trigger foods helped (pizza and ice cream). Changing my workouts was definitely good! I started running and fell in love with it and it was very motivating for me in terms of weight loss and just EATING BETTER. I had to re-evaluate everything I was doing to be a better runner.

Training for races helped. It helped keep me focused. It gave me a goal to work towards. It helped me stay motivated to work out. I had something to train for. Something to look forward to. That has been the #1 thing keeping me going–HAVING A GOAL (losing 50 pounds before the wedding, training for a race, etc). I think it’s better to have focused, specific goals instead of vague ideas.

So there ya go, hopefully that answered the questions!