What I ate yesterday

Another Tuesday, another three meals plus snacks. The day started with coffee with whole raw milk (which is nigh impossible to come by in the city of Seattle) and a nice fruit bowl (mango, strawberries and pineapple). Yum!

I was too busy studying human cell structure to make steel-cut oatmeal as planned, so for breakfast I made do with a serving of Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal (like very lightly sweetened Shredded Wheat) and a sliced banana. I’ve become generally opposed to cold cereals, mostly because (regardless of whatever “health halo” they wear) they are very, very processed. However, I went a little crazy last fall at Costco and stocked up on the stuff (before my thinking on the issue changed), and since it’s not exactly an evil food, I’m content to let it stay in the house until we gradually eat our way through it. No photo. Pale cereal + paler banana + white bowl = no visual interest. You’re welcome.

The day’s snack roundup was an apple, 4 ounces of lowfat cottage cheese and an orange, plus hummus and mini peppers. Lunch was…[drumroll]…a big salad! Exactly the same as last week’s! So no photo!

Are you sensing that I love a big salad? Yes, one could rightfully call that my go-to meal. Some might say, “Salad? Boooorrring!” I say that salad is like a little black dress: It’s slimming, and you can dress it up in infinite ways so that it’s never the same twice (unless you want it to be).

I like my salad base to be a huge pile of mixed baby greens, preferably from my own garden, but off-season I buy tubs of the stuff from Costco. Sometimes I’ll go with heads of romaine…but try to make me eat iceberg and I swear that will be the last thing you ever do.

I like color on my salads, and nothing says color to me like crunchy bell pepper. If I can get orange, yellow and red at once, I’m a happy girl. I add other veggies as they find their way into my kitchen.

From there, a source of protein is a must. I’ll often use cubed turkey breast, but if it’s on hand, I’ll toss on leftover beef, pork or chicken, falafel balls, beans or a hardboiled egg. Healthy fats come from the walnut or olive oil I base my vinaigrettes on, plus either diced avocado or raw nuts or seeds. Sometimes a bit of blue cheese.

Here’s where I issue the Salad Bar Syndrome warning: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your salad is “low-calorie rabbit food” no matter what you put on it. A pile of dressing, cheese and whatnot will break the calorie bank. Don’t do it!

Have a free hand with the lettuce and veggies, don’t drown your salad in dressing, and watch it with the higher-calorie add-ons. That includes your protein, any additional fats, and any grains, if you’re inclined to add them (by grains I mean cooked whole grains, NOT croutons!). I almost always limit my fats to two. One is always the oil in my dressing, the other tends to be avocado OR nuts. Not both. And I weigh my protein with my digital kitchen scale. Easy peasy.

I’m drinking lots of water (my go-to beverage) throughout the day, naturally. Last week, my anatomy professor said most of us are walking around dehydrated, and that the pancreas alone produces a liter of digestive fluids a day. So here’s to you, pancreas! (Glug, glug, glug.)

Dinner was another success from “Food Revolution.” Chicken Korma, this time (served with chai tea and followed by two fig cookies). Had to rustle up the curry paste from scratch, since we couldn’t find it at Whole Foods and didn’t have time to hit a more specialized Asian or Middle Eastern market, but it wasn’t hard, and didn’t take too long. And the results were fabulous. I need another cookbook like I need a hole in the head, so I thought I might have gone over the edge when I ordered this one off Amazon, but it has proven its worth faster than any of the other 100+ cookbooks I own.