This week, I was reminded of just how fleeting life can be. One decision can alter the course of another person’s life in the blink of an eye. We never really know what’s ahead and we have no control over some of it. What we do have control over is the way we respond to these tragic life experiences. This weekend, I’ve said many prayers for a young boy and his family. I hope that in time they come to find solace in knowing there are many people here to support them.
Thankfully, this weekend my brother came up from North Carolina so I got to spend time with my entire family. My two brothers and I haven’t been together since November and it’s not often we are all in the same place at the same time. The weather was amazing on Saturday and it really was just what I needed. This coming weekend, my children will all be home for my birthday so I’m excited for that as well. There’s nothing like time with family, including of course good food, to soothe the soul in trying times.
Last month, I signed up for and started taking an online nutrition course. Those who have been reading my blog for the past two years know that I’ve been to quite a few nutritionists. While I have learned something from each of them, often I found they were trying to sell me something. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and take some courses to become more self sufficient. I don’t want to live on pills and powders, as I love food way too much. I spent the first four weeks of the course, tracking my eating and taking notes on how my body responds to certain foods. I used an online tracking app – Lose It – to identify trends in my eating. Specifically, I was looking at my macronutrient balance. This experience was eye opening for me and coupled with the content I was reading and viewing, I had a better understanding of some personal issues.
These next three weeks, I am cutting back on animal based proteins, including eggs and dairy. This week, I will not eat more than 3 meals in which my protein source is animal based. The goal is to spend some time on a plant based diet and see how my body responds. This is just one cycle I will go through to track and observe, nothing permanent. Yet, this work doesn’t excite me as much as the prior cycle as I often use eggs and chicken as my protein source. In planning my menu for the week, I must admit I wasn’t too excited about my options. I’ve got some work to do to ensure I get enough protein, but I feel like I have a plan. I’ve recently discovered that I love cruciferous foods, especially as a base for my salads. I discovered that I can also chop up many other vegetables to look like a slaw and they suddenly taste so much better.
Today, my last day in the current cycle, I reflected on how much I’ve changed my eating habits when watching my macronutrient balance. I was shooting for 15% carbs, 15% protein and 70% healthy fats these past few weeks. I have noticed a change in my energy levels, cravings and sleep.
For Sunday sauce, my husband brought home some beautiful red, yellow and orange peppers and some hot Italian turkey sausage. This simple substitution of turkey sausage cuts back significantly on the fat content of this staple meal. Let’s face it, sausage is not exactly in the healthy fat category. Honestly, if I didn’t know it was turkey I likely wouldn’t have noticed. It was delicious. Since I’ve discovered how much I like salads that are chopped fine, I’ve not missed my pasta or rice. This type of salad makes a wonderful base for sauces and protein options. Today’s version consisted of chopped cabbage – red and green, kale, broccoli, jicama and carrots. Today’s salad was packaged and purchased at the store, but I am confident I can recreate this quite easily going forward.
Turkey Sausage & Peppers
Recipe used is identical to the one I’ve shared before, except I substituted the pork sausage for hot Italian turkey sausage. Here is the link to that recipe – Sausage & Peppers
If making this salad fresh you’d need to chop all vegetables finely like you would for coleslaw. I didn’t use any dressing as I had sauce to top it with. I think the self proclaimed vegetable hater may come over to the dark side after this three week nutritional cycle. Let’s see how it goes, I’ll definitely keep you posted and share my updated recipes.