Commentary: Resolutions Revisited
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At the end of 2006 I talked to you about my new yearís resolution:  My plan was to reduce the amount of fat in our meals/recipes, add fish to our weekly menu, add even more whole grains and create flavorful, low fat salad dressings.  Another thing I added was to ride my stationary bike as many times a week as possible. 

Now, I work a lot of hours, sometimes 7 days a week, Come on, Iím a mom, and yes, it is tiring.  One of the greatest temptations is to eat whatever is quick and easy and to avoid exercising.  Having made a commitment to myself at the beginning of the year and with a lot of prayer, I am very determined to put as much effort into taking care of myself as much as my other work endeavors!  Is it hard? Oh yeah! Am I reaping the benefits of my new eating and exercising habits?  You decided.  I dropped a dress size!  Yahoooo!  I had half-heartedly worked at changing my eating and exercising habits before my Ď07 personal challenge and saw little results, mostly discouragement, but once I really focused on what my true objectives were, keeping God in the picture, it has become easier.  What has become easier? - Exercising, for one- I ride 2 Ĺ miles on a stationary bike at least 4 times a week.  I also use 3# free weights for light upper body toning.  Some mornings I tell myself that there is no way I am going to get on that bike, but I do and feel enormously better when I get done.  I donít do caffeine, so this is somewhat a replacement for that cup of coffee to jolt me awake.  I feel stronger and have tons more energy with that 12 minute ride!

This may seem out of context, but bear with me:  we are fixing up an old Victorian house and our objective is to do whatever project well enough that we wonít have to re-visit that part of the house with the exception of a touch up here or there.  Now I gave us 50 years to complete the house so that in reality when everything couldnít get done right away, I wouldnít be disappointed. This is the same approach I am taking with weight loss and exercise.  With a diet it is a temporary thing that needs to be re-visited when the weight is re-gained or there is a ďfalling off ofí the diet. If I methodically take small steps and do it well enough, I wonít have to re-visit a diet to loose weight but may have to do a touch up here or there on what I eat or the amount of exercise I am doing.  Still isnít easy. Thatís why I suggest starting with one thing, say soda.  If you drink 3 a day, drop down to 2 a day.  Or try not to super size the fries, or park farther away from the store and walk the extra. Just one little thing at a time and you will discover a permanent change that works for you.

Here are a few things that have worked for me: 

  • Easy for me, may be tough for you: if it isnít a homemade dessert, I skip it (with the exception of the polite taste of the wedding cake or dessert someone has brought to share).  This was easy for me, since I run a custom bakery and create everything from scratch, I know what the real thing tastes like and in my mind, there is no other. I know this makes me sound like a food snob.  I admit it!  But I am a purist when it comes to flavor. 
  • Easy for me, may be tough for you: Dine at home 99% of the time- this is the easiest way to watch the fat, salt, artificial flavors and additives, serving size, etc. I know this sounds overwhelming when busy all of the time, but by planning ahead, it really is not that difficult.  When I do have time, I make larger quantities and freeze half for a day I know that I wonít have the time.
  • Easy for me, may be tough for you: Whole wheat bread, if I eat any bread. Period.
  • Easy for me, may be tough for you: Whole grains like barley and brown rice. Period.  I donít miss white rice at all.  When a meal at a restaurant is served w/rice, I ask not to have it put on my plate- no temptation to eat it
  • Tough for me, may be easy for  you: Allowing myself one thing that I regulate but donít delete from my menu- my thing is cheese.  I adore cheese.  I like it in any way shape or form.  But it has to be real cheese, not processed slabs or slices. 
  • Tough for me, may be tough for you: drink lots of water, limit other beverages

 There are quite a few recipes on this website that are lower in fat than their original counterpart.  I am very thoughtful to using only the finest ingredients on hand and creating dishes that accent their qualities, so I will use less salt and fat so that the natural flavors stand out on their own.  Here is a great example of using fresh out of the garden produce and enhancing the flavors instead of masking them with dressing:

Roasted Corn and Green Bean Salad
Serves 8 as a side

1/3 c loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 c coarsely chopped onion
3 T white or red wine vinegar
2 T water
1/3 c olive oil

1 # green beans, trimmed and blanched 3 minutes 

3 c corn, cut from 2 cobs- toss with 1 T olive oil and roast 15 min @ 350įF 

1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved

In a food processor, blend the basil, onion, vinegar and water together.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. .  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss dressing with room temperature veggies just before serving.

(feel free to deviate from the recipe if you don't have a particular veggie or herb)





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