I wrote this last week with the intention of posting it on the usual Monday. But, I never wrote up the recipes so it never was ready for posting. Between wrapping up the school year, getting the house ready to sell, trying to get another home in Portland, and do this workout program/diet-makeover all at the height of allergy season (which means something severe for us), I am not able to keep up with so many other things. Important things like cleaning the house, reading or doing anything (besides yelling) with my children, brush out the shedding dog who rains hair whenever he walks, or remove the half-way chipped off toe nail polish. It's not pretty around here. (Actually, I'm not pretty right now.) But we're here and life is good. So, I'll try to be patient with myself.
In the meantime, I'm going to go ahead and put up this post and maybe tomorrow I'll link it to the recipes. Do you mind?
These past 2 weeks for us have been punctuated with happy, out-of-the-ordinary events, my birthday being one of those. Because of some normal age-related changes, like an unmistakable salt-and-peppering of my front hairs, as well as a gradual 8-lb (!!) weight gain this past year despite mild dietary and exercise improvements, I am surprised at just how much older 33 feels compared to 32.
I realize that I'm not old, that I'm still in the prime of my life, and that in 10 years I might be justified to have made the previous statement. Still, the onset of creaky knees and shoulders, pain in the hip when I sit too long, as well as the aforementioned whitening of the hair and weight gain make me feel more "middle-age" than "prime of my life."
It's not just how I feel either. The face that looks back at me from the mirror is one that is beginning to exhale the last breath of resistance against creases and fine lines, and tells me about a woman who has been too preoccupied with other things to have even cared. I can't say I'm happy to see all of these little age-related changes, but in fairness, the face that looks back at me also communicates how full life has been, of the happy, busy, little blessings that have fully occupied (possibly "depleted") all of my energy. Ideally, I would stay young forever, but I wouldn't trade it for even one blissful day I've had this past year.
Sometimes the children ask me why my tummy is so big and squishy. (No kidding, they really do. Little self-esteem-killers.) I like to remind them that their creation in this world was responsible for said tummy-grossness. And silently, in the back of my mind, I think of how worth it it was. Aging and a post-partum body are like my own (red) badges of courage, my evidence that I have fought a hard battle. (see novel by Stephen Crane) I won't lie and say that I'll never post on here exulting the merits and benefits of botox and fillers (hopefully not for at least 10 years though!), or that I won't keep dying my hair or trying different ab-exercises. Moreso that I respect the manifestations of age and motherhood because they indicate how meaningful my life is and that I equally respect the work it takes to hide or change them!
It looks like I have a contradiction here: a respect for aging yet not wanting to look aged. Does this make me a hypocrite?
Anyway, I digressed for quite a while there. I merely meant to say that we cooked less than normal this week, which was a nice break for me. I love to cook but I just do not love the piles of dishes that make angry faces at me afterwards! When Oberon can, he will come to my rescue but I still have to do my fair share of dishes. It's always nice when we take a break from that!
I have to warn you that this first meal, directly from Tracy Anderson's 30-day Method book, looked much better than it tasted and I struggled finishing my plate. In fact, the only part I liked was the roast vegetables. Had I actually used steamed broccoli instead of the frozen/boiled kind, I would have liked that too. But while I couldn't stand the turkey, Oberon really liked it. I guess it's a turkey thing. (I happen to really dislike turkey at Thanksgiving and am very particular about the recipe I use.)
This next meal though was a smash hit. It was so much so that the next day even the Imp (who only ever wants fast food, donuts, cake frosting or cookies) asked me if we could please have more turkey burgers. In fact, while exiled from our home during an inspection, I offered to take him to go eat fast food and he actually asked if he could have turkey burgers instead. The turkey burgers themselves are a recipe from Tracy's book. The buns (my addition) were fantastic and filling and are actually a wheat-reprise of a recipe I've already posted.
Words will fail me when I try to explain how delicious it was to put a little teaspon of butter on my corn. The lime and cilantro flavors atop the corn are the definition of perfection and my tastebuds were genuinely treated. The cedar plank helps to give the fish more flavor; just make sure to let them soak in water for at leas two hours before you grill!
This, below, was another good recipe. It was remarkably flavorful for how low-fat it is. Everyone liked it and ate it, which is always a good sign. I made a few minor adjustments from the original recipe that appears in Tracy Anderson's book.
My friend T suggested I try making homemade yogurt. I had it slated on my "to-do" list but never got around to it. For my birthday, Oberon and the children gave me a yogurt maker (he knew I'd thought about buying one), so I was excited to give it my first try. You do not need a yogurt maker to try, though I think it makes the process a little more fool-proof. And while you and your children might be chewing on the differences between store-bought and homemade yogurt at first, you will come to the decision, as all do, that it's definitely better! And cheaper!
I will do a separate post on the yogurt maker eventually. Maybe even this week. But no promises! (My promises-credit score can't take any more hits!)
We also enjoyed a Greek Salad this week with grilled pita (brushed with olive oil and grilled until toasted). It was not only delicious but also filling, which means alot to me these days! I hope you like something on today's post and feel inspired to try one!