Zucchini noodles w/ orzo
Campy and me on the Tsali trail in the Smoky Mountains. Karel, me and the Campster went for a 2 1/2 hour, 7 mile hike. Talk about loving life!
Yesterday I received an email from a blog reader early in the morning, after returning from my strength + swim workout at the Y. She told me about her newest creation of baked tomatoes and pasta topped with greek yogurt. I was so inspired that I couldn't wait to make something yummy in the evening.
I've learned over the past few years that we all have different body types with different needs. Depending on our training and lifestyle, it's important that we understand that nutrition and exercise is a never-ending journey.
I enjoy cooking for Karel as well as myself. Obviously, we both have different eating styles as I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian and Karel eats fish (over the past 2 months, Karel - on his own- decided to eat only fish and to eat meat only when he craves it. As of today, he has only had chicken once in the last 2 months and is filled with lots of TriMarni creations). Another difference between us is that we have different work routines which affect when we eat. We also both train differently, have different body compositions (ex. muscle mass), have different metabolisms and have different training thresholds which affect how we metabolize fuel. Having said all of this, there is one main thing that does not differ between the two of us. We both eat for health.
In a non-obsessive, non-lecturing kind of way, we both don't feel the need to have a list of what we can't eat. We do not talk about eating for calories or to weigh a certain amount. For when it is time to eat, it is time to fill our body with nutrition to increase longevity, reduce risk for disease and to improve the quality of life.
Whether you are a parent cooking for your family or living alone, we all need to prioritize a foundation of health when it comes to our nutrition. For once the foundation is in place, you can be sure that you can make small changes that will make a noticeable difference in your body composition and performance. I'd like to think of it like building a house. Creating the foundation of the house requires a lot of work and planning. When it comes to making the house look nice, you can always re-paint the walls, move around furniture, try out new appliances, etc. without worrying about the structure of the house. If the foundation of the house wasn't strong, what's the point of making the house look presentable if it is constantly struggling to "survive". Once the foundation of the house is made, you don't have to worry about it failing. For no matter how many times you "try out" new things within the house, the foundation will always be there to support your decisions.
We, as a society, put a lot of pressure on ourselves to eat a certain way. Eat this, not that is the common phrase as people are always questionning what to eat, when to eat and even how to eat.
Knowing that we are all in our own journey, I ask that you take the next few weeks to not worry about losing weight. Don't spend the time obsessing about the scale or looking a certain way but rather, work on your foundation. A diet built on plant based foods, along with balanced macronutrients such as quality protein, whole grains and healthy fats will not only allow you to form a healthy relationship with food but you will find yourself being able to listen to the body in order to understand exactly what it is that you need to "support" your active and healthy lifestyle.
I hope you enjoy my latest creation!
Zucchini noodles w/ orzo
Mini sweet peppers
Artichoke hearts (canned, rinsed well)
Tofu (firm and cubed)
3 Zucchini (small or medium size)
1. In large skillet, generously coat bottom of pan with olive oil and sautee peppers and onions on medium heat, tossing occasionally. Remove when veggies are golden and not brown.
2. Peel zucchini with peeler (cut off ends and toss away). You will need to press hard when peeling and you do not need to be perfect. When you get close to the center, you can thinly slice into "noodles" since it will be hard to peel.
3. In boiling water, place zucchini noodles and let cook for 5-8 minutes or until soft.
4. While zucchini is cooking, place orzo into boiling water (according to package) and let cook, stirring occasionally.
5. On same skillet as veggies, drizzle olive oil (or your choice of unsaturated oil) and grill tofu and artichokes until golden brown. Toss occassionally to cook evenly.
6. In shallow dish, place zucchini noodles (strained from water) and add veggies and tofu. Top with YOUR own serving size of orzo OR combine a little orzo into the mixture.
7. Top with greek yogurt and a dash of pepper. YUM!
Mini sweet peppers
Veggies, grilled tofu and artichokes and zucchini noodles
Karel's plate - a little more Orzo than me but still with a colorful foundation of veggies and tofu.
My plate - a little orzo mixed in, but still with a colorful foundation of veggies and tofu.
Don't have a lot of time?
Time saving tips:
-Use your choice of pasta noodle or grain. Quinoa cooks super quick or you can use leftover whole grains or pasta.
-Use your oven rather than the skillet (425 degrees) to cook veggies and tofu (tossed in olive oil).
-Still pressed for time, use frozen veggies and defrost in microwave as you are preparing your choice of protein (ex. side of cottage cheese or beans) and whole grain (or pasta).