Part 1. Alton Brown is my god.
This is the first in a what is likely to become a sporadic series of posts focusing on issues of exercise, health, and, yes, weight. It seems like the latter two are weirdly intertwined in the American cultural conscience, in a way that thinness is equated to health even when achieved by sacrificing healthful habits, and fatness is thought to be automatically unhealthy – which, yeah. So my purpose is to talk about health more than anything, although for me returning to regular exercise (after being away from it due to injuries, grad school and pre-tenure ennui) and attempts to eat healthfully did result in weight loss. I won't lie, I am pleased about it. However, weight loss is not the focus here, and dieting is right out. However, I did change the way I eat – starting with breakfast. And I have Alton Brown to thank for my main breakfast recipe.
So, on to food – breakfast and lunch.
You all know Good Eats, right? A Food Network show by Alton Brown, where he simultaneously geeks out and cooks delicious food. A while ago there was an episode on healthy eating – and at least my breakfasts were never the same. Homemade smoothies with soy milk and fruit juice and frozen fruit is my breakfast for almost every day. Bonus: they are so energizing, I no longer NEED to drink coffee in the mornings (I do occasionally opt to). Anyway. Alton Brown's version is here.
My version: a handful of frozen berries (thawed overnight in the fridge), a banana, and maybe more berries. Half a cup of light soy milk (Silk), half a cup of juice (love V8's acai and mixed berry). Blend. Vary proportion of fruit to liquid to obtain the desired consistency.
Another recipe from that show is my preferred lunch for the days I'm home for lunch. Not suitable for vegetarians and deranged individuals who don't like sardines. Here's Alton's version.
Mine avoids the whole marinating thing:
1 can of brisling two-layer sardines packed in olive oil
1 teaspoon cilantro
splash of lemon juice
good crusty bread
Drain oil from sardines, brush over two generous bread slices. Stick in the over on broil. Mash avocado with a fork, add cilantro and lemon juice, salt to taste, mix, spread on toast. Top with drained sardines.
Two slices of bread, by the way, are the limit of my daily starch. For whatever reason, bread, rice, potatoes and other starchy things leave me feeling tired and unhappy. So limiting my daily starch to 1-2 bread slices or rice in a sushi roll or one potato works well for me, but I realize it's not for everyone.
Other lunch options: a cup of soup, string cheese and apples, string cheese and granola. Occasional sushi roll, if eating out, but most days string cheese+fruit or carb is my main option, since it's easy to pack for.