Tag Archives: healthy lunches

How I eat: Liv

This week I (Liv) wanted to take a little time to share my own personal relationship/struggle with food. You’ve read a lot about Andy and how our lives have changed post Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, but Andy wasn’t the only one with food issues prior to Spring 2011.

By now you should have a decent idea of how dinners work around here, and last week Andy shared his daily eating habits. This week it’s my turn. And I’m not going to lie–my eating habits aren’t pretty.

Unlike Andy, I can’t eat the same thing day in and day out. I need variety. On the other hand, I have the pickiness of a 5-year-old and won’t eat just any old thing. (Ask me some time about chicken wings, meatloaf, and coconut oil!) If it were up to me, I would eat candy, ice cream, and pizza every day and be perfectly happy*. But I’m a grown person with some food allergies and as awesome as daily ice cream sounds, I know it will just make me sick.

Also, I’m pretty horrible at taking care of my own needs when it comes to food. By the time I’m finished planning our weekly dinners and making the grocery list, I oftentimes forget that I haven’t planned anything for my own breakfasts and lunches for the week. This means that by Saturday afternoon I’m scavenging through the fridge trying to find something I can eat for lunch. Weekday lunches tend to be leftovers (if we have them), and breakfasts range from leftovers (again if we have them, but even if we do sometimes I’ll pass because too many leftovers don’t make me a happy camper) to smoothies to weird salad combinations to coffee and Brazil nuts. Like I said–not pretty.

Earlier this year (read January 1st–hello New Year’s Resolution!), I decided to try the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I’d been over indulgent through the holiday season and my body needed a break. And. It. Was. Awesome! It was the first “detox” I’d done in a while (I’ve dabbled in years past) and my body responded super well. I wasn’t hungry, I had lots of energy, I only had a few hours of official “carb flu”, and I lost over 7 pounds. 21 days turned into 24, and then my brother got married and my eating schedule got kerfuffled.

I tried to get back on the wagon in late February, as the 3 weeks following my brother’s wedding had completely undone all the benefits I had experienced from the detox, but for some reason my heart just wasn’t in it this time around. I’ve been struggling ever since. I’ve allowed myself way too much processed sugar and dairy and have felt puffy for a couple of weeks. I also aggravated an old shoulder injury which has given me more pain than I’ve experienced in over 5 years–I know this is due to the internal inflammation caused by the sugar.

So this week I’m back on the detox. I know what needs to be done, and while the indulgences of the last 6-8 weeks have been “fun”, in reality they’ve been quite destructive and have wreaked havoc on my body both inside and out. My face is more broken out than it’s been in some time–plus I have this weird hivey/rash thing along both sides of my face near my ears, which I’ve never had before. I’ve put on some extra weight, and I’ve noticed other signs of internal inflammation that just make me feel kinda blechy (it’s of the digestive sort and I don’t want to gross anyone out).

I was very intentional about planning our dinners this week to provide enough leftovers for easy lunches, I stocked up on smoothie ingredients (my go-to breakfast earlier this year), and grabbed some snackable items to enjoy as well. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I know that in the long run it will be worth it. So here’s to calming the sugar flame and getting this inflammation under control!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my favorite smoothie recipe!

*You can read all about my struggles with sugar here.

Recipe: Andy’s chili

I (Liv) originally started making this chili for Andy 4 years ago for his lunch. One batch would typically last a week. After a few months, Andy took over making this and adjusted the spice level a little more to his taste. These days a batch of chili lasts about a month (he freezes each weekly portion and thaws it out each Friday for the following week). This combined with roasted cabbage and steamed broccoli gives him the perfect amount of fat, fiber, and protein to get him through his day.

Chili base:
1 TBL olive oil
2 onions, chopped (yellow or red–whatever you like)
20 oz lean, ground turkey

Spice blend:
4-5 TBL chile powder
3-4 TBL cumin
TBL red pepper flakes
TBL oregano
TBL chipotle powder*

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, rinsed
1 can of (14.5 oz)black beans, rinsed
2 bell peppers, chopped (red, yellow, or green–whatever you like)
1 package of frozen stir fry veggies (onions and peppers)
2 cans water

Heat your pan or pot over medium-high. Add olive oil, pinch of salt, and onion. Cook onion until translucent. Add turkey and another pinch of salt.

Brown the turkey, then add all the spices to the meat. I like to combine all the spices in one cup and sprinkle them around so it distributes evenly.

After the meat is thoroughly coated with the seasoning, add the  tomatoes and 2 cans of water. Stir, then add the beans and chopped pepper. Stir again and allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring regularly so the bottom doesn’t scorch. You want as much water to cook off as possible without the chili becoming paste-like.

*This amount of chipotle makes for a very spicy chili–too spicy for Liv. If you have a more sensitive palate, you may want to scale back significantly.