It’s probably not super surprising to learn that I have not been feeling very motivated the past few weeks. Summertime is so fun and feels carefree, and I’m very easily distracted. For a while I was on vacation and then I got back to the inevitable post-vacation blues (and the intense allergy attack that always greets my return to the Midwest). So I was lax in my dietary restrictions. I kept telling myself I wanted to get back to eating clean and avoiding foods that aren’t cleansing, and then I’d say, no, it’s okay, I’ll start tomorrow for sure. I don’t know if I was really bad compared to other people, but last week was certainly my least healthy week in months. This past weekend I was finally feeling like I was tired of not trying so hard, and I’m sure my less than great eating wasn’t helping my sinus situation. However, I had a lot of social obligations this weekend, which made it a really great weekend until Sunday morning came around and all the carbs, saturated fats and alcohol sugars really made themselves known. Honestly, I was worried my motivation was gone forever.
Today I woke up feeling the most congested I thus far. My voice was hoarse and my head was heavy. But, today instead of letting myself drown in comfort food and self-pity over not feeling good, I took some meds and decided to get it together.
First, I cleaned our whole house. I worked on areas that are nearly perpetually cluttered or grimy that we usually overlook. It helped so much. It’s hard for me to feel like keeping my body clean when the place where it spends 80% of the time is dirty. But now, the floors are shiny and the table tops are cleared and I finally feel that energy I’ve been missing the last three weeks or so. I was still so energized after the cleaning was done that I went to the gym, even though I hadn’t planned on it for today.
This new inspiration for clean living also meant eating well at every meal. For breakfast, I didn’t have enough fruit to make juice or a smoothie, so I ate half an avocado that was about to go bad. Maybe not the most conventional breakfast choice but it’s better than pancakes. For lunch I went to the market to pick up some things, and while I was there I grabbed a Greek wrap, which is literally a Greek salad wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. I supplemented it with some hummus for protein. For dinner, I decided to make an effort for the first time in probably a week. Dinner was roasted broccolini with garlic, quinoa and cherries.
Roasted Broccolini with Garlic Quinoa (and some cherries)
The quinoa was a recipe I made up on the spot. I’ve talked about quinoa before, but I’m always trying to find new ways to make it interesting.
- 1/2 cup Dry Quinoa
- 1/2 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth (I use Trader Joe’s Organic)
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 TBL Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Garlic quinoa, after the liquid evaporates
Add everything to a small saucepan. Set stove to high heat, bring liquid to a fast boil. Stir. Reduce heat to low-medium/simmer, cover the saucepan, let it simmer until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally (takes 15-20 minutes). I recommend watching it after 15 or 16 minutes because if it cooks too long some of the quinoa will stick to the bottom. I think stirring will also help with that.
The result is a sort of orange-ish color quinoa that is very fragrant (and delicious!). I’ll probably mess around with other spices in the future, maybe red pepper flakes or paprika.
Along with the quinoa, I roasted some broccolini and garlic in 1.5 tablespoons of oil. Set oven at 400, roast for 20 minutes, stirring once in the middle. I tried not to get it too well done because I wanted it to maintain all its nutrients.
I’ve only recently started considering broccolini. I grabbed it at the grocery last week because it looked good, so I decided to do some research. It turns out, there are a lot of rumors about our new friend, broccolini. It is for sure a hybrid. The child of broccoli. But I guess it is the soap opera star of the vegetable world because nobody seems to know for sure who his daddy is. One site I read said he was a mix of broccoli and kale, which excited me because I am always looking to increase my leafy green intake. Another site said it’s broccoli and asparagus. A third site then said it is a cross between regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli, which appears to be a different kale-like green leafy vegetable in the cabbage family. I’ve essentially decided it doesn’t really matter because either way, it is crazy healthy, and that’s the goal! My entire life is one big Cold War against iron deficiency, and broccolini is an awesome iron-rich weapon for my stockpile. But this is off-topic!
So the entire day was a success, which I needed! Today was the kind of day I should be having every day, and as a result I feel the best I’ve felt in a week, if not longer. I realize eating so lightly every day might not be realistic, but hopefully my inspiration is back for good, and I can keep thinking of ways to make clean eating enjoyable, rather than seeming like a burden the way it has of late. So, hopefully this is a real turnaround moment, and this renewed positive attitude sticks around!