Mar 12

So Much Food, So Little To Eat

Last week, my husband very thoughtfully suggested that he stop at the grocery store on his way home from work. While grateful for the offer, it hadn’t occurred to me that our food supply was quite as depleted as he suggested. For someone as food-centric as I, there are few words that cut as much as “There’s nothing in the house to eat!”

I headed straight to the kitchen where I found, admittedly, a nearly empty refrigerator. But, my pantry was lined with mason jars full of whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, plus squashes, onions and ginger in the bin on the counter. There was nothing to grab, but there was plenty to eat!

In no time and with just a minimal effort, there was a rice pudding in the oven and a pot of apple squash soup on the stove.

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Rice pudding "in the make."

In walks my husband, loaded down with groceries (yogurt, fruit, cookies, chips, bread, pasta, juice…) – a relative feast of quick and easy food. That was the turning point. My good intentions moved to the back burner (except for the rice pudding) and ease and convenience moved in. Packaged and processed foods, sugar, salt…and the harmful cycle of bad choices and bad habits begins to take over.

Days later, with my newfound bad habits settling in, and the best of intention in my heart, I was back rummaging through the refrigerator. I pulled out the bag of freshly picked stir fry mix from last weekend’s visit to the farm, along with a leek, a piece of ginger root, fresh turmeric root, some hot sesame oil, some garlic…

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…and there it remained on my kitchen counter as I returned back to my desk with a spoonful of peanut butter in hand. The voices in my head were deafening – “It wouldn’t have taken long to make something healthy…I could really use some greens…vegetables would have been a much better choice…” Sadly, that intention simply didn’t have the strength to beat out the easy “spoon in bottle” action that brings with it such instant gratification!

That very night, my dear friend and designer/builder, Jamie Wolf, arrived at my home just in the nick of time to provide the encouragement I needed to get back on track. “Don’t let me stop you! Cook!” he said. And into the pot went the produce. Not only were the greens delicious and satisfying, but they cleansed away my waning motivation. Little does Jamie know how empowering his words were, and how much I needed his encouragement to change course. Thank you Jamie.

Share YOUR secrets for keeping yourself on track, eating clean and nourishing yourself and your family. You never know how your shared thoughts will inspire and motivate someone to change their course for the better.

Eat Clean
Live Well!

Terry Walters

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11 Comments

  1. Posted March 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    It is easy to get off track, but staying ON track is kind of addicting to me [in a good way]. I just feel so much better inside + out which makes me not feel bad when I want a spoonful of pnut butter for a snack. Last night the huz + I went to the rock climbing gym we belong to. We had to stop somewhere after and by the time we got home it was 9pm. I definitely didn’t feel like making dinner, but knew eating a huge bowl of cereal just wasn’t going to do it for me. I had some fresh pizza dough from whole foods…rolled it out, threw on some veggies, a little cheese, and bacon [for the boy ;)] with a mound of steamed broccoli on the side. While it wasn’t completely from scratch, it was still semi-homemade, fresh + delicious! 🙂 p.s. I just got Clean Food in the mail today..I’ll shoot you an email when I announce the giveaway! Thanks so much!

  2. Lisa Sundean
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Terry,
    Our house also suffers from so much food and so little to eat. I am constantly tempted by grab and go foods. I recently went back to school. In preparing for the extra “brain time,” I vowed to keep extra greens in the house AND to EAT them! Thanks to you, I have done just that! Greens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am clear, alert and firing on all cylinders (most of the time!). Of course, there is a little more to it than just greens, like a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine, exercise, H2O, etc., but greens are gold to me! Yes, I am still tempted by grab and go, and do give in, but your advice always rings in my head – and it always rings true! Thanks Terry.
    Lisa

  3. Posted March 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Lisa & Ashley, your ideas are great! I’ve started washing my greens in advance so that they’re ready to go with even less fuss when I want/need them. I always forget about the prepared pizza dough at Whole Foods. I do like their crust! Instead, I keep rice tortilla’s in my freezer. They aren’t great for making wraps as they tend to fall apart, but they’re the perfect CLEAN pizza crust. Just top with pesto or sauce, your favorite veggies and place under the broiler for a minute or so. Yum!

  4. Posted March 13, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    LOL Terry! I’m so glad I’m not the only one! My pantry and fridge are usually PACKED with real food, but if I’m working late or we have somewhere to go…well, there it sits. If we do resort to take out (not nearly as often as we used to) or something out of a box, I feel the difference – I don’t feel nourished – and it motivates me to prepare better next time. Having said that, it’s also so important to be OK with not being “perfect” which is my tendency with food lately (especially with my IIN training). I know that feeding my body with that pressure/guilt energy is way worse than eating a frozen pizza…I’m so glad you shared this! Take care!

  5. Posted March 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh Evelyn, I’m so with you! The last thing we need is to place more judgement on ourselves. Perfection is overrated (at least so I’ve heard), and hardly fun. There’s a time and place for that frozen pizza and more, especially if our every day nutrition is CLEAN! Thanks for sharing.

  6. April
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Terry, this post was very timely for me. Lately it seems like we’ve been struggling a little bit, but we got back on track this week by returning to menu planning. Nothing fancy . . . I just sit down before I head out for my Whole Foods run on Sunday morning and jot down a plan for the week, taking into account what I have to do each day so that I don’t plan something that requires a lot of attention on a day that’s already busy. I have also been using my freezer a lot more–having a stock of cooked legumes and grains is a lifesaver! And if all else fails, we always have kale, garlic, Parmesan, and eggs, so a kale-stuffed omelette is a no-brainer! Thanks for all you do to help us eat clean!
    April

  7. Posted March 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank YOU, April! We have similar back-up when there’s no meal planned. Since I tend to have evening programs, my girls often become the chefs. My oldest gets quite creative and you never know what she’ll whip up. My youngest has only one dish she likes to prepare – sauteed greens. it’s a mother’s dream come true, and proof that brain-washing really can pay off! 😉

  8. Elaine
    Posted March 28, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Terry, Thanks so much for just being honest that you too have sometimes fallen off the healthy food wagon. So often people who write these types of books give the impression that they “always” eat these foods and never would eat something out of a bag or box. Your willingness to share that there are times, (hopefully, few and far between) when you eat something that isn’t that healthy. I think that your honesty helps the rest of us so much. Thanks for sharing.
    Elaine

  9. Posted March 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Elaine – I teach my girls the 80/20 rule. We try to eat healthy, seasonal foods that we make ourselves while we’re at home (80% of the time), so that we can eat what we want when we’re out and about (20% of the time). They think I’m a cool mom because they make their own choices. And, for most, 80% is good enough for good health. What they don’t realize is that 80% is also enough to develop good habits – which definitely has a healthy influence on the choices we make. Thanks for joining the conversation. The more we connect with each other, the more fun and nourishing the journey is!

  10. Posted April 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I want to see a picture of your pantry with all the grains and beans in mason jars… It’s time to reorganize and I just realized that would be the LEAST expensive way to do it!

  11. Posted April 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    HI Andrea – I have to admit, I don’t know how to post a photo within my comment, so I’ve posted it on the CLEAN FOOD Facebook page! My storage is far from perfect and many of my ingredients are out of season right now because I’m testing fall recipes for my next book.

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