I am in love with my namesake.

Dates.. come from the Tamara tree, or more commonly known as a Date Palm. I love them. But all these years I avoided them because they look like cockroaches. Fun facts about dates: They provide calcium, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and other minerals. This fruit is rich is dietary fiber that prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut.  They are a moderate source for vitamins A, K and B. They are full of potassium. They contain antioxidants that are known to be anti-infection, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic. Who knew so much goodness could be packed in an ugly little fruit.

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Raw brownie bites made with dates

Day 8. Holy energy batman. For the first time in forever, (did you sing it too?) I had so much energy this morning I did a home workout.  I was a flabby, uncoordinated mess but I finished! My motivation, to get my core and legs strong enough to mountain bike with my son. I so badly wish we didn’t lose muscle when we take a little too much time off. I guess it wouldn’t be hard work, and worth some respect if we did. In the midst of huffing and puffing and watching the women who seem to have bodies of steal, I was so intimidated. But I had this thought; could this be why I have failed over and over again? because I never felt good enough? I never felt I would get to that level of working out. What is does working out really look like for an average person? Do most people flail and wobble like a drunk panda bear?

giphy

I wish a workout video had a true beginner, a person who has been working out a few months and then a pro. Wouldn’t that be a good video?To have the person shaking and falling over and taking pauses in the back to remind you how far you have come? And I am not talking about those ones with the low impact chair using people, with their half pound pink dumbbells.  I want to see a person in the background eyes rolling and curse words flying, falling over from muscle failure. I want to see the pro pep talk that person!  And then I have to remind myself, most people who are figures in the fitness world do this for a living. They live, breathe, and eat barbells and squats. So a round of applause for me!!! The first work out of the new year.. the first workout in like a year. I didn’t die.

I bought a package of Tofu a few days ago. EVERYONE in the house made a comment. “Tofu?” TOFU!! “Ewwwwww Tofu.” I have had tofu a few times at a Mongolian Grill. I felt like it took on the taste of anything you cooked it with so I figured it would be good to have on hand just in case. Well tonight’s the night. I am hungry and I want something different. Heb picks out this recipe:  Tofu and veggies in peanut sauce. It was sooooo good I am already wanting to make it again. My two youngest who were home ate it all up!  Tofu is on the grocery list.

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Best dinner of the week in my opinion!

My misconception about “animal protein replacements” is they taste like the real thing.  I think with the art of food photography I looked at a picture of Vegan mac and cheese and in my head tasted creamy Velveeta mac and cheese. WRONG! Vegan “cheesy” sauce is not cheese so why expect it to taste like cheese? Well its cheesy like I guess. Same with portabelles  being used in place of hamburger. They don’t taste like beef, but have a beefy taste. So I am learning to drop all expectations when I try these “replacements” because they taste better when you do.  The cheesy queso I made does not taste like what comes in the jar, but more excitingly it hits the right spot on the taste-buds for queso, leaving me HAPPY because it has more health benefits.

Day 9. Feels like I am beginning to get in a groove.  Last week I made Chili using a bean and lentil mix I got at Costco. EVERYONE keeps asking me to make more. So today after soaking the beans overnight, I started a big big batch. I am sure there won’t be left overs.

The topic of vegetarian and vegan keep getting brought up. The idea for those in my family who want to continue to eat meat is to limit the animal protein intake. I hear most from people who don’t embrace a fruit and veggie lifestyle is, they like their meat way too much.  I am ok with that. But what I realize more and more about myself is how much meat I forced myself to eat. I have never been very keen on most meat, with the exception of ham and bacon and sushi fish. Not a big fan of pork roast or pork chops, even though I would eat them. I really don’t like steak (except on a Philly sandwich). I wish I could understand why people love it so much. I would pick a chicken nugget over a hamburger most days. And I found myself eating spaghetti or lasagna with meat sauce, and most the meat would be left over on the plate. In fact my favorite meats tend to be watered down with additives so I am not really sure how much of it was exactly meat.

In my course of gaining and losing weight I have done low carb diets several times. I liked that I really didn’t have to measure or keep track of food, I just had to stay away from Carbs. Recently I attempted this type of diet once again, but I found myself eating nothing more than ham and cheese. LOTS of Cheese. Very little veggies. I was left unsatisfied and I slept a lot. After two weeks I dropped it because I couldn’t stand the idea of eating any more meat. While I understand the benefit from not eating meat on a environmental, and animal cruelty level, I am honestly doing this with  completely different motives.

Day 10 and I am sick. I am glad I ordered Barlean’s chocolate greens. I have been using these for several years. In fact I started using them the first time I went whole food eating. I like the chocolate one best because my youngest thought it was chocolate milk and had no issues drinking them. I personally find them to be really sweet with Stevia, but when you are in a pickle for a whole food packed drink this one takes the cake. My favorite way to drink them is to blend in scoop with a banana and frozen berries, it cuts the sweetness and adds more nutrients And just like that BAM my husband had the kids fed this morning.

 

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