Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fuzzy Brain Findings

~Ok, first I want to acknowledge that the title there sounds more like it ought to be for a Halloween recipe than anything else. Just stick with me, I'll get around to making sense eventually~

I've been wondering why it was that, as much as I love to cook and, even more, as much as I love to bake ... why don't I make Christmas cookies? For the holidays I do make fudge, but that is usually only done a day or so before our Christmas Eve Open House Party and more for gifts than anything else. Shoot, I think this is the second year Santa has not gotten cookies from us. (Don't worry, we're pretty certain he just helped himself to some of the fudge instead!) I see friends posting about all the holiday goodies they're baking and wonder ... why am I not doing this?? The only things that become absolute must-haves this time of year for us are: 1)Chex-Mix & 2)Sausage Balls ~ the latter of which we reserve, again, for gatherings.

So, I keep wondering what is up with me, with us, not demanding more sweets. I was pondering this as I snacked on some Sugar Cookies that someone brought as a gift. I ate 4, maybe 5 of those. Then, it began to hit me. My tummy began rumbling ~ I always begin to think of that silly old Pooh Bear when that happens. I felt like I needed to go for a jog ... or into detox or something.

And then, something really magical happened. My fuzzy little brain began adding things up! If you know me, you know how fuzzy my brain gets when it comes to mathematical stuff, so wow ... a Christmas miracle of sorts.

I noticed that, when I'm not feeling well, when my tummy is rumbly, and especially if all of that is caused by a night of too much drinking, I reach to my one tried and true remedy: Dr. Pepper. We each have our things, Dr. Pepper is mine. Then, because I haven't been feeling too good, I start making bad decisions about what to eat. Sipping on soda, snacking on cookies, almost ready to give in and order take-out pizza for dinner. Yikes.

~I finally bought this book when I found it at Big Lots today or $3, down from the cover price of $24.95~

Now, if you know me at all, you know my love for Nina Planck and her book 'Real Food.' I had checked 'Deceptively Delicious' out from the library after hearing lots of raves about it. It was pretty intriguing, but I let it go without too much thought. When we left the house to run a few quick errands today, I was starting to feel the need to detox. So, when I spotted this book on the shelf for $3 I snatched up a copy for myself, then ended up going back and grabbing one for a friend as well.

I have to admit that right now I actually have that Activia commercial running through my head. Thanks Jamie Lee Curtis. You know, you feel like crud so you make bad decisions with your eating, which just makes you keep feeling like crud. Well, Activia isn't what I am needing, but veggies are!

'Deceptively Delicious' is, according to the cover anyway, "simple secrets to get your kids eating good food." Ok, I don't but into trying to sneak healthy food into my kids. We have a pretty darn lush garden, we don't give them lots of sweets (Santa brought always brings apples and oranges and, seriously, I probably have the only kids who would be delighted to be enrolled in the Fruit of the Month Club as a gift), they know about veggies and love them.

But I realized something today -- it isn't exactly OUR kids I'm worried about at the moment. It's my own damn inner child that needs to be tricked!! I was the picky eater growing up, and I am still really, embarrassingly horrible about eating veggies. I want to be better, I really do, but it's a long road ahead of me. I'm working on it.

This is where I would really recommend this book. That, or if your kids are picky eaters like I was. The basic idea she goes with here is using pureed foods (veggies and fruits) in places you really wouldn't expect them. There is a recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes that includes, among other things, yellow squash puree, blueberry puree, and spinach puree. A recipe for Mozzarella Sticks that uses: whole-wheat bread crumbs, flaxseed meal, & cauliflower puree, along with mozzarella. ~ Now here I will follow the advice of Nina Planck and try finding raw, whole milk mozzarella instead of the skim-milk advised in the recipe. This book has gotten a LOT of hype as well as some seriously rave reviews, so I'm hopeful about the sneaking of extra veggies into our daily routine. If any of these dishes can actually get me to eat cauliflower, something my own inner-kiddo immensely detests, then I'll know it's a real keeper! Here is a link to her website if you wanna check it out:

And, if by New Year's Eve you are starting to make a resolution of hitting the gym because you are feeling funky from all those sweets, I encourage you to pause for a moment. Take a deep, cleansing breathe in. Look at the food around you. Adding more exercise is almost always a fantastic idea, but look at what you're eating on a regular basis. Maybe the answer is right in front of you.

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