Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pasta Salad and a New Goal

Pasta Salad
A couple weeks ago Josh and I got a little bit of food poisoning from some not-hot-enough pulled pork. Ugh. My stomach hasn't been the same since. The last couple weeks we've eaten nothing but soup and crackers! In the meantime I started reading a new book called Veganist by Kathy Freston to help me stay motivated (or get re-motivated) to eat healthfully. As you might have been able to tell from the fact that we were eating pulled pork, we haven't really been keeping up with our goal of Dr. Fuhrman approved eating. As I started reading this book though I realized that it doesn't have to be a huge deal to eat well, I just have to be consistent about making better, healthier choices.

I decided that for the month of June -- all 30 days -- I am going to eat entirely vegetarian, also eliminating refined sugars and refined grains. The plan is also to keep the dairy to a minimum without cutting it completely. Reading the book isn't the only thing that brought about this decision. I also recently read an article in Good Housekeeping magazine about how sometimes doing something all or nothing is the best approach. Basically if you don't give yourself the option of choosing the unhealthy thing there's no debate. You just don't do it. Then I also saw an episode of The Drs. about how anyone can do anything for 30 days. One of the things they had a couple ladies do was to go vegan. (Kathy Freston was their consultant on this, which is when I first heard about her books.) I figured why can't I do that?!

So here I am. First day of June, first day of reaching for this new goal. I think the hardest thing for me will be eliminating refined sugars. I've developed quite the sweet tooth since being married to Josh. But today has been okay. I had Josh make my morning latte with vanilla soy milk and no extra sugar. Not too bad. For breakfast we had whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana slices with blueberries on the side. We munched on fruit after our trip to the farmer's market. And for lunch we had black bean burgers on whole wheat sandwich thins with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, and a side of pasta salad, with strawberries for dessert. Yum! For dinner the plan is homemade veggie pizza on whole wheat dough, followed by Banana-Raspberry Sorbet.

I feel good about making healthy choices. I know it won't always be easy, especially as I come off my sugar addiction. But I believe it's worth it. I want to be healthy. I want my family to be healthy. And I am the one who controls what we eat. So really it's up to me.

Here's my Pasta Salad recipe:

1 lb Whole Wheat Pasta -- I used elbow macaroni, but you could use rotelle or whatever your fav is
Veggies -- I chopped carrots, orange bell peppers, zucchini (but pretty much anything would be good here...cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, artichokes, you could even add onion)
Roasted Red Peppers
Sliced Olives
Trader Joe's Tuscan Italian Dressing -- I used to use the Italian Dressing mix and make the dressing myself, but I just discovered that the first ingredient is SUGAR! Boo!

Boil the pasta according to package directions. I tossed the chopped veggies in with the pasta for the last three minutes of cooking to take the bite off. (I'm still getting used to eating raw veg.) Drain everything off and place in a large bowl. Add the roasted red peppers and sliced olives. Drizzle the dressing around the edge of the bowl and toss with the salad. Add more dressing as needed to suit your taste. Now put the salad into the refrigerator and chill for a couple hours. Couldn't be simpler!

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