Friday, June 03, 2016

Two Wonderfully Delicious Summertime Dinner Recipes!

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A week and a half ago, I did something that I've never formally done before - I went to see a nutritionist! Well, technically my good friend has not quite graduated yet, but she is studying to become a "nutritional therapist." This is a practitioner that educates people on the healthiest diet for them and also looks for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, absorption issues, allergies of problems with different food. If a patient is having various issues in their day to day life, a nutritional therapist will attempt to help ease these problems through the use of vitamins and other whole foods.

My friend, who I think is brilliant and look up to very much, was in need of several "practice clients" in order to become licensed, and I agree to be one of them! It started with a very long questionnaire and survey, followed by a food journal that I wrote in for three days, and a two-hour intake appointment and preliminary recommendations. Today I visit again to check in, and have the second half of my exam, which is called a "functional exam." I'll be palpated in certain places to see how my different systems are functioning and to test for nutritional deficiencies.

Anyway, nobody had to tell me, as a the kind of vegetarian that I was, that I was not getting enough protein in each day, and I was relying on too many carbohydrates in my diet. Too much added sugar as well. So, my friend started me on a nutritional overhaul. I wasn't so so bad in my eating, but there were definite things I could tweak. I was offered the "baby steps" route to changes or the jump-right-in approach. I chose to "jump-right -in," but my friend asked me several times if I was really sure and now I see why. Remind me next time to take baby steps. 

Mainly, at least for two weeks, to reset my body, I was instructed to avoid all sugar and carbohydrates including grains and starchy vegetables. No sweets, nothing with added sugar.  (This is the hard part). I could and should have, lots of water, all the green, leafy veggies and non-starchy veggies that I would like. Eggs, butter, any meats that I can bring myself to eat, tofu, milk or almond of coconut milk, nuts, limited, low glycemic fruit and for me, plain, full fat yogurt and other fermented, no sugar added dairy is ok.

Surprisingly, REALLY surprisingly, it hasn't been as difficult as I expected it to be! I mean, it's SAD not being able to eat cookies and pasta,  don't get me wrong, but it wasn't incredibly difficult. I spent over a week having eggs and cauliflower pizza and zucchini "noodles" and protein shakes and Greek yogurt with almonds and a few strawberries. It wasn't so bad. I even agreed to try chicken a few times but just couldn't really do it. Guys, I'm a vegetarian at heart. I know I truly am.

Eventually it became a little repetitive though, and I'm starting to really miss the freedom of eating  any fruits of veggies that I would like, lentils and beans and quinoa, etc. My friend agreed, if I can't stomach the meat, I need to add more vegetarian friendly foods in. Well see what she says today. (Edit: Yes! I've been given the green light on adding in some extra options for protein and a bit of carb. Phew! LOL.)

I will say though, it's so great. I've learned to trade out my almond milk creamer which has 4grams of sugar per Tablespoon, for an unsweetened Almond and coconut creamer and I was fine! My Justin's brand Almond butter was swapped for a no sugar added almond butter and I was still ok! My beloved fruit on the bottom Greek yogurt, traded for plain, Greek yogurt and it didn't kill me. Incredibly, I have not touched a piece of bread or pasta in nearly two weeks and I'm ok with it.

We'll see how this goes, but not matter what, I am very happy with the small changes, and I only hope to build and build upon them to make happier, healthier habits. I am certainly learning a lot.

Today I have for you, two new recipes that Jon and I have recently tried out. Both were just delicious and I'm so excited to share them with you. I feel like they make great summertime dishes and hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

The first is called "Thai Noodle Bowls with Almond Butter Tofu" by the Minimalist Baker. Oh it was divine!!!! Jon and I absolutely loved this recipe. You bite into cool, crispy pieces of shaved carrot, crunchy bell pepper and the most refreshing cucumber. The veggies lay on cold rice noodles and everything is drizzled with a light, garlicky-lime dressing. Then, you put on top, the most flavorful, warm tofu which has been pan fried and tossed in a creamy almond butter, soy sauce. You just get this interesting mouthful of temperatures and textures and flavor. It was incredible. The recipe calls for some red pepper flakes for the tofu sauce. We used about half the amount of spice for me. 

Next up,  in my quest to try and learn to like seafood, we attempted a "Lemon Butter Scallops" recipe by Damn Delicious.  It was damn delicious. I still had a difficult time getting scallops down, I felt so guilty, but they tasted great. I even liked the "zoodles" - zucchini noodles that I made with my new 
OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer. This thing is perfect by the way, for any beginner "spiralizer," or when you just need to make a dish for one, two or a few people.

The buttery lemon-garlic sauce complimented the scallops perfectly and seasoned the zoodles so well, that you wouldn't even miss actual noodles!

Jon, who is not watching his carb intake, placed his scallops on some homemade polenta. he said it was delicious. Everything was topped with parsley and voila!  Very simple.

I hope you might try one or both of these dishes. It's such a joy to find new recipes and give them a shot. I'm lucky that Jon loves cooking and is such a great husband. :)

Until Next Time!!!

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