Cooking in a Seasonal Fashion

During my weekly trip to the farmer’s market I stopped to talk to one of the vendors that I frequent. She asked me if I had tried any of the winter squash yet. “Not really,” was my reply. “But I know that I need to start trying some because you don’t have much zucchini and yellow squash left!” To which she replied, “What you see out here is the last we’ll have this season.”

So I really need to be finding some recipes quick! I have one that I am hoping to try this week for a stuffed delicata squash – something that I not only have never seen before, but never heard of, either! I bought a few acorn squashes this trip, as well as an amber something-or-other that the vendor assured me was good, but not as good as the buttercup squash that she recommended I try next time.

So since I have a bunch of squash that I have never worked with or tasted before, I will definitely have to start looking up some recipes to fix.

On another note, I caved to my teenager this weekend. My teenager has basically been on a hunger strike at my house (although I guess she’s been eating okay at her father’s). She won’t eat well over three-quarters of the meat I’ve been cooking, and none of the vegetables. While I have gotten my five-year-old to try some things, my teenager has stubbornly refused to eat. Night after night I have called her to dinner, and night after night she has stated flatly that she isn’t hungry.

So when I went to the grocery store today I bought stuff I know that she’ll eat: breaded buffalo chicken strips, hamburger helper – all stuff that I know is really bad for her. But I guess in this case I need to pick my battles; I know how picky she is because she’s been that way all of her life. Asking her to totally change her eating habits overnight just isn’t going to happen. She may not even change them in months. But I suppose that I can provide her with what I know she will eat because I really hate the thought of her going to bed hungry in the evenings, no matter how I feel about what she will eat.

So, score one for the teenager.

The BEST Chili EVER

I just made the best chili ever, and I have to post the recipe before I forget it.

THE BEST CHILI EVER

2 pounds hamburger (preferably 90/10)

1 pound italian sausage

1.5 pounds stew meat

1 large onion

1 large can crushed tomatoes (make sure the only ingredient in the can is tomatoes)

1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis (all natural)

1 small can Herdez salsa verde

2 cups beef broth

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp ground cumin

3-4 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp oregano

1 green pepper, minced

Brown the stew meat in a couple of tsp of coconut oil on very high heat. Remove meat from pan and put diced onion in, browning. Add beef broth and let it cook until it is reduced by half. Add the ground beef and italian sausage and cook until meat is browned. Place all the meat (including the stew meat), spices, tomatoes, salsa verde, and green pepper in a pot and simmer over medium-low heat for no less than three hours. The longer it simmers the better it tastes!

Back to Basics Update

In my last post I discussed how I figured out that the breakfast sausage that my fiance and I bought from the farmer’s market had sugar in it, and that I had been eating it every day. I knew something was wrong but I thought that it was just stress – I’ve had a lot of stress the past few weeks. My last day eating the sausage was Wednesday, and I can tell you that I’ve seen a marked difference in how I feel.

First off, I don’t feel stressed. Well, right this second I don’t feel stressed. I still have all of the stressors that I had Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and Saturday, but I feel better. I think that this has to do with sleep. I know that I wasn’t sleeping all that great, especially the week before last. I hadn’t woken up at three o’clock in the morning due to stress in a long time, but I did the week before last. Several nights in row, I might add. My body has been playing catch-up this weekend; my fiance and I were supposed to go to the gym yesterday and I told him that I couldn’t – I was just too tired. I took a nap instead, and I felt great when I woke up. I also got my eight hours of sleep last night virtually uninterrupted, and I feel so much better this morning.

I was cranky, bitchy, and all sorts of frazzled that I haven’t felt since I started this diet. And I hadn’t lost a single pound.

Well, I’ve lost two pounds since Thursday. I don’t feel bloated any more. That is one thing that I’ve loved about this diet from the beginning; I’m still way overweight, but I’m not bloated so I feel skinny all the time! I have felt fat for about two weeks now, and that has been driving me crazy, too.

Basically I have found that for my body, it doesn’t take much. That sausage didn’t have heaping amounts of sugar in it, but eating it every day caused my body to go haywire. My poor fiance has taken the brunt of it with my crabbiness and bitchiness and loss of sleep, and I know that he’s going to be glad when I get things back under control. I will be, too. I hate feeling like that and treating everyone around me like that.

So it’s back to fish for breakfast for me, which is fine because I missed my fish and vegetables. I will be going shopping today to stock back up, and you’d better believe that I will be paying closer attention to labels when it comes to both sugar and grains. It wasn’t that long ago that I had that cracker incident at the farmer’s market! (Basically I took a goat cheese sample on a cracker without thinking about it and ate it. I was exhausted for two days and my stomach was messed up, too.) Knowing how these things affect my body is a huge motivation for me to stay with this very long term – who wants to feel like a tired bitch all the time! The benefits of this diet are just too numerous for me to even consider going back to the way I was eating before.

On another note, I took my measurements this past weekend: I’ve lost 22 inches! and a total now of 21 pounds! I am absolutely amazed at my progress – yet another measure of the benefits of eating this way. I have been doing well at the gym – still no cardio, but lifting weights two or three times a week. So far it is all coming together and I am making gains that I could have only dreamed about.

Back to Basics

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the farmer’s market? I go every week now and get fresh vegetables that are in season, fresh pork rinds to eat with my guacamole, and sometimes fresh meat.

My fiancé and I started getting fresh breakfast sausage at a booth that has fresh free-range eggs and sausage. “Okay,” I thought. “I’ll just try it.” I had noted that there was brown sugar listed in the ingredients, so I knew that the sausage needed to be a treat and not an every day thing. But it was so good – and it has become an every day thing for about three weeks now.

So the last couple of days has seen me become frustrated that the scale has not moved, nor has it felt like I’ve lost any inches. My losses have been fairly constant from the beginning, which to me means that I’m eating something I’m not supposed to be. And the only thing I’ve change, right around the time that the scale stopped moving was the sausage.

So I’m in mourning now for my breakfast sausage, but curious to see what happens since I’m going to cut it out of my diet. I’ll keep you posted.