Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Latest Kitchen Love

The box seems to promise loads of fun!
I've fallen in love with my latest kitchen gadget purchase - the Japanese Turning Slicer!

I hoped making zucchini noodles would satisfy my hankering for pasta while staying true to the Autoimmune Protocol. Cutting out so many foods can make it difficult to not feel like I'm depriving myself.  It helps to consider the texture, flavor and beauty of a meal so that I'm not tempted to eat foods that negatively affect my health. This week it was fun being creative in the kitchen and thoroughly enjoying the decadent and satisfying results!

The Turning Slicer looks
strong and happy!
I bought the slicer through Amazon and anxiously awaited delivery.  The Turning Slicer came in a whimsical Japanese box with illustrated instructions that crack me up whenever I see them.

My first try involved making zucchini and carrot noodles, with the carrot sliced smaller than the zucchini. Using the slicer was super easy once I understood how to position the blade correctly. I cooked the noodles in the wok stir fry style with ground turkey.  It tasted good and satisfied my pasta fix, but the zucchini noodles started to break down against the heartiness of the more sturdy carrot and turkey.  Next time I try zucchini noodles I think I'll stick to making it like pasta in a flavored water separately from the rest of the dish.
Ground Turkey, Zucchini & Carrot Noodle Pasta 
seasoned with Fresh Garlic, Rosemary, Sage, 
Thyme, Salt & Coconut Oil.

Ground Turkey, Asparagus, Parsnip & Carrot Noodles
with Fresh Garlic, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Salt & Coconut Oil
My carbon steel wok is huge and
another favorite in my kitchen. 
The next night I tried parsnip and carrot noodles instead.  Cooked in the wok the texture was a perfect al dente.  It's exactly what I was seeking, and I'll make it again.
Beet & Kale Salad with Green Onion and a  Dressing of 
Coconut Aminos, Coconut Vinegar, Maple Syrup, Olive Oil and Salt
Served with a Turkey, Pork & Kalamata Olive Patty and Avocado
Next I tried a cold beet salad and called it a success when both my non-beet loving family and I judged it delicious!

Sunday breakfast was a great time to try sweet potato hash browns, and I was happy with the results.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Sauteed in Coconut Oil and Seasoned with Salt
Served with a Turkey, Pork & Kalamata Olive Patty and Pear
According to the instruction booklet, there are Five Merits of the TURNING SLICER

  1. Fifty servings in five minutes
  2. Improves luster and taste 
  3. Five horse radishes can be served as six 
  4. Excellent durability
  5. Easy to use

I agree it cut veggies in record time, made the texture of the vegetables complement the meal, and was easy to use and clean. I can see how it would stretch vegetables to serve more people, but I'll take their word on needing five horse radishes stretched.  The Japanese Turning Slicer has earned a visible, easily accessible spot in my kitchen.  Two thumbs up!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pushing And Accepting Limits

Autumn is here.  I know it in every cell of my body because I've slowed down to a stop.  I knew it was bad as I sat on the edge of the tub brushing my teeth with my Sonicare debating if I could finish the task lying down.  Coming to my senses about the potential risk of choking and ridiculousness of the internal debate, I willed myself through the rest of the two minute exhausting endeavor.  I then took a 15 minute break lying down before embarking on washing my face before bed.

This experience occurred at 8:00 pm on a Monday evening after working an eight hour day, doing 20 minutes of Zumba, and eating leftovers for dinner.  The weekend just prior wasn't extremely busy.  I had dinner with friends Friday night, enjoyed lunch with girlfriends Saturday, and had rested at home Saturday night and all day Sunday.  It was only Monday night, and I still needed to make it through the rest of the work week.

Clearly, I needed to do something to feel better. 

These are the times when I want to treat myself.  Coffee, chocolate, ice cream, and crackers taste great and soothe me emotionally.  Unfortunately, they don’t make my body feel better or help with fatigue.  I need to take care of myself, but what does that mean for me?  Eating even better than I normally do, avoiding alcohol, resting, reducing exercise, and budgeting my energy help. 

Unfortunately, taking care of myself at times feels like I’m a parent grounding myself from going out, doing fun things, or enjoying regular food.  And the two-year-old in me wants to push my limits as far as I can while hoping I won’t have to pay for trying to live an active, normal life. I resent feeling this way and am working toward thinking of taking care of myself as a treat. 

It’s funny that things I love to do can seem like punishment when I’m not physically able to do something else.  I love to read, nap, watch movies, prepare and eat healthy food, and relax.  But when I know I physically need to take it easy, I’m frustrated it means I shouldn't go out with friends, go hiking or biking, have a drink, or do too many tasks around the house. 

I've found I can make the most of my limited energy by approaching everything in intervals.  With exercise I've learned I’m able to bike hills but not a long, steady non-stop pedaling ride.  With hills I can work hard riding up and rest while coasting down.  It’s counter-intuitive, but the flat ride with no breaks is brutal for me.  With my work week, I need to include downtime.  Lunches and breaks alone and away from the office recharge me to make it through the afternoon.  Housekeeping fits in when I do it in small chunks of time throughout the week.  A load or two of laundry gets done every day.  Tidying up is done throughout the house each morning and night in a few minutes rather than saved up to all be done on the weekends.   And a full day with no commitments is a must every week. 

This Friday night, I approached needing to rest as treating myself.  I came straight home after work, ate a light dinner of leftovers, did a short Zumba workout, and showered.  While journaling, I did laundry. And instead of eating chocolate or ice cream and drinking a martini, I sipped on mineral water while snacking on a ripe peach.  I know I’m going to feel better in the morning, and I’m excited for a Girls’ Day Out tomorrow!