Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Start, Same Goals

happy 2013!!!  i am really looking forward to this year!  to me, the new year is a chance for a fresh start, a time for continuing the advances made the previous year and for setting new, attainable goals for the months ahead.  i didn't used to feel this way.  in years past, i wished for time to stand still; i was fearful of what lay ahead -- that it might be worse than what i had just come through.  this year, for some reason, i don't feel that way.  i feel a sense of anticipation -- and i couldn't really voice that until just this moment!  so, join me on this journey through the year of our Lord, 2013 . . . a spirit of  promise and hope is in the air!

on my journey to wellness, i have made many changes over the past two years. i reached a milestone of 50 pounds of weight lost.  i have exercised more. i have removed most grains from my diet most of the time.  i stopped drinking soda pop.  that was a big one for me, as i love soda.  of all the changes i have made, that was the hardest, and really, soda is the one thing i wish i didn't have to give up -- i don't miss bread or pasta; i miss my pepsi and mountain dew. 

this journey, however, is not finished.  i still have far to go.  i still eat foods that are not healthy.  i don't sleep enough. i worry too much.  yes, it's true, i am not perfect!  (shhh -- don't tell my husband or kids! lol!!)   even so, i am happy with the way my life has improved since changing my diet and getting healthier, and that will continue to be an important part of how i live each day this year.

my husband and i have decided to do another whole30 paleo challenge this month, to start the new year and reset our metabolism after the indulgences of the holidays.  we both chose to relax the restrictions on the food we ate over the past 6 weeks or so, and we are now seeing the results.  although we aren't surprised by some weight gain, we are reminded once again that being healthy requires daily diligence in both our diet and our activity.  so . . . is anyone else up for the challenge?  HERE is the whole30 website that helps explain the whole30 challenge.  make no mistake -- it is a challenge, but it is totally doable and so worth it!

during this whole30 challenge, i will also be reading one of my favorite paleo blogs,  nom nom paleo .  the author's name is michelle, and she makes great meals and posts wonderful pictures documenting how she and her family live the paleo lifestyle.  during the month of january, she will be posting about the whole30 challenge and i guarantee it will help you if you decide to follow along.

i will leave you with a recipe that i tried recently and loved!! if you like curry, you will love this too! if you don't like curry, well, this recipe just might change your mind.


1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 chili peppers (see below)
2 apples, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
3/4 cup coconut milk
This is a simple curry sauce which can be easily prepared by chopping and/or mincing the ingredients in the food processor. A blender may also be used if the vegetables are chopped briefly in a blender filled with cold water.Using gloves, remove seeds from the chili peppers and soak for 30 minutes in warm water; drain and chop.
Melt the butter in a skillet; saute the onions, garlic and carrots, without browning, but just until they take on a toasted color around the edges. The best way to avoid over-browning the garlic is to add it in near the end, when the onions have already begun to brown.
Wash and core apples, leaving on most of the peel. Coarsely chop and add to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat.
Add chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes.
Add 1-2 tablespoons Madras curry powder, a teaspoon of sea salt or to taste and 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root (don't use ground; use real ginger root). Add coconut milk; use slightly less if a thicker sauce is desired.
Bring to a boil for one minute; remove from heat. Serve with any meat or fish desired. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with rice, if desired. (from cooks.com)
for my version i changed things up just a bit -- i substituted coconut oil for the butter, i left out the garlic, i did not use whole chili peppers; instead i used about a teaspoon of chili powder and sprinkled some dried red chili pepper over the mix.  i did use 2 apples, but i removed the peel and finely chopped them, and added them after the onions had softened up a bit.  regarding the coconut milk, we are talking full fat, canned coconut milk.  you will need to stir the solids that have risen to the top of the can back into the liquid contents.  then measure out 3/4 cup.  it also doesn't take 45-60 minutes of simmering if you don't want it to.  the best news?  it is whole30 compliant!  no added sugars, no diary (if you substitute coconut oil for butter as i did) and leave out the rice. just read the labels on your coconut milk and chicken broth to make sure there are no preservatives, etc.  this sauce would be good with any protein -- i made it this time with fresh (from frozen) tuna steaks that had been cut into about 1" medallions.  i then poured the hot sauce over the tuna in an oven safe baking dish and baked it for about 14 minutes in a 350 degree oven.enjoy!!

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