Notice that word “responsibility.” I intentionally used that word because I know there are folks who dread anything called a resolution because they make them, break them, feel like a failure and forget to pat themselves on the back for all the responsibilities they intentionally met. Through the normal course of a year, people often do heroic, kind, decent things and yet only remember what they didn’t do. Sometimes a person with bad character has enough grit to accomplish all of his or her goals, but doesn’t necessarily act with responsibility. We often witness super star athletes easily win their trophies, put their heart and soul into their goals, get fit, lean, mean, and then fall from grace due to character issues. They know how to achieve “healthy” as far as the eye can see.
But, there is so much more to healthy. What does it mean to you? Does it include a life style approach of uncompromised, beautiful, delicious food that emphasizes whole, fresh and local ingredients, only to light up a cigarette at the end of the meal. Or run to the gym five times a week and smoke on the way home, followed by a frozen diet meal full of aspartame and other questionable ingredients. What ingredients? Uniformly raised chicken that has a life you wouldn’t want your flies in the back yard to live, but your meal is 280 calories and you look great (on the outside).
That was me years ago, a diet possessed, exercise over-achiever who actually smoked on the way TO the gym. Now those days are far in the past. I started running, and I quit smoking cold turkey. I switched my diet to NO DIETS EVER AGAIN, and I lost some weight. It was not a new year’s resolution. My brother died and more than ever, I wanted to respect “life.” Everyone’s life, including the animal I was going to eat. Overnight, my viewpoint changed. And, this new mentality became all about making good choices from the big picture.
Food companies will try to convince you more than ever in January that they are offering you a new and better you. You can eat their version of a gourmet meal, and still lose weight. Other companies will come at you with weight loss pills, which will wreck your nervous system or possibly the nervous system of those around you. Yes, you will “appear” healthier on the outside. That show the Biggest Loser is funded by several such companies and they plug their products throughout the entire show, while teaching America that the only way to tackle morbid obesity is killer exercise, but they never share with us what these people are eating. It’s a bizarre show, but I’m hooked into watching it. Pounds disappear by the hour. People lose 29 pounds in one week, but we get no explanation.
Oh dear, here I go again, opining and not offering you anything good. I hate to hear a lecture, but as you can see Spinach Tiger earned this name. When I feel strongly about something, I tend to roar. But I’m not roaring at you, my friend. I’m roaring at the companies out there who are misleading us with unhealthy choices to get healthy.
So my ten in 10 is going to be all about taking responsibility and changing perspective on healthy living, eating and cooking good food while not compromising with short cuts that lack good character and integrity. When we travelled Italy for 16 days, we both came back at our lowest weight in years. We ate bread and pasta, drank wine and ate gelato every day. Was it something in the food or was it something “not” in the food? We came home afraid to eat because we felt so good. I want that feeling back. Italy is the slow food center of the world. I want to adapt to this lifestyle as much as possible. So here are my 10 in 10 and I promise to keep you posted, while providing you a good meal choice.
Spinach Tiger’s Personal Ten in 10 (for the next ten weeks)
1. Buying local and fresh as much as possible, by shopping the farmer’s market, even in snow.
2. Willingness to spend a little more to buy organic meat from my local farmers.
3. Regular exercise schedule that includes weight training and cardio 4-5 times per week.
4. Using my new super duper food scale to stay real with what I’m eating and write it down.
5. Eating out only once a week in a locally owed restaurant that chooses to cook local and fresh.
6. Eating well balanced meals with limited carbs and including breakfast.
7. Flexitarian Diet – some meat, but many meatless meals, not because I believe meat is bad. I just believe vegetables are awesome.
8. No aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, or other such additives.
9. Cooking more with agave, or using organic sugar in low to moderate quantities.
10. Count calories, lose 10 pounds.
Seared Scallop Salad
And as promised, here a recipe for a healthy dinner or lunch. I only use wild sea scallops and, although pricey, this is in lieu of eating out, which would cost a lot more. I chose apples and pears because our local farmer was selling apples at the farmer’s market which is held outside. It was snowing and we felt good to buy from him. (We also bought an organic chicken, which I will feature later in the week). I’m so proud of the Franklin Farmer’s Market for staying open in the winter and in snow (which we aren’t used to in Nashville).
There is minimal oil used because I use a cast iron pan, which deliver perfectly seared scallops every time.
The combination of apple, pear, edamame and crisp greens with scallops is more than delicious. We liked it so much at lunch, we went and bought more scallops and ate it again at dinner. I received a salad spinner for Christmas. Goodbye pre-packaged greens. Hello fresher, cheaper greens!
Talk back to me. What are you doing to get healthy? If you have any good ideas, please share.
I bought these apples from my local farmer who was selling them outside in the snow, thus, my snow picture.
Recipe for Seared Scallop Salad
- 1 pound, wild sea scallops, rinsed well, muscle removed, patted dry
- blood orange olive oil or regular olive oil
- 1/2 cup edamame
- 1 apple, washed, diced with skin
- 1 pear, washed, diced with skin
- 3 heads or 6-8 cups, Romaine lettuce (or your favorite greens)
For the dressing:
- Blood orange olive oil (or regular with a squeeze of orange
- Rose wine vinegar or wine vinegar
- Wash salad thoroughly, spin dry and tear into bite size pieces. Add in apple, pear and edamame. Feel free to add in anything else you like such as some orange slices, or green peas instead of or in addition to edamame.
- Toss with olive oil, just enough until greens are wet. Add in vinegar, salt and pepper and taste to make adjustments.
- Put just enough oil in pan to cover surface. Heat pan very hot. Put in room temperature scallops to close to room temperature. Ice cold scallops will not cook in center. Do not crowd pan or they will steam and not sear.
- Season scallops with salt and put in pan. You should hear a sizzle. Turn to medium high heat, and cook for about 3-4 minutes. You’ll know when they are ready to turn, as they slip very easily. Cook on other side 2 minutes approximately. You’ll know they are ready, when they are browned and slide.