Thursday, February 19, 2009

$3.33 a day: The weight of it all..

The above dish was a play on a casserole. I made a small amount of polenta to test a recipe for my ebook, figuring I would use it to make polenta croutons, but an idea came to me for this layered "casserole" instead. I saw a similar dish a week or so on someone's blog, forgive me for not remembering, but I liked the look of the layers. Earlier in the day, I cooked up a pot of kidney beans for use in several recipes I have planned this week, so I took a cup of them and pureed them with some salsa and poultry seasoning. I KNOW this sounds like an odd combination, but trust me, experimentation often produces wonderful results! Putting flavors together that aren't an obvious pair can excite the palate and make use of what you have on hand! It was topped with sweet potato mash and cranberry chutney. The only thing I wished I had on hand for this dish was fresh thyme. That would have taken it over the top. Also, black beans would have made a nicer presentation I think.

Here's the recipe for the sweet potato mash:

2 C sweet potatoes (2 small), peeled, diced and steamed until very fork tender (you could bake them and scoop out the flesh as well)
1 t coconut oil
1/2 t creole seasoning
1 t siracha
1/2 t dried thyme (or better yet, 1.5 t fresh thyme, plus more for garnish)
splash soy sauce
1 T sucanat or brown sugar (optional, I did not use it since I try to avoid sugar)
1 t vinegar of choice (I used white balsamic)

Mash the hot sweet potatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings and allow the flavors to develop for several hours or overnight. Heat before serving. serves 2

Homemade tortilla with arugula, tofu veggie 'cream cheese', tomatoes and avocado. I'm using around 1/8 and avocado at a time and I still have 1 left. Avocado is something I will keep on hand and I am lucky that my favorite grocery store sells them for .$99 usually. This is where shopping around pays off. Most of the stores in my town sell them for 1.5 to 2 times that price! To extend the life of an avocado, buy it very unripe. When it starts to soften up JUST A BIT (not ripe enough to eat) throw it in the crisper area of your fridge. The day before you want to eat it, take it out and allow it to finish ripening on the counter. They will keep for around 2 weeks this way.

Now I'm going to talk about something I've debated bringing up yet again..

My weight.

Since the layoff, I've gained 15 lbs. Or should I say, re-gained. I know a big part of it is that I'm not on my feet all day long, but I've also been depressed and the winter has not been friendly when it comes to getting outside and walking.

I have to put a stop to this. You'd think limiting my budget would have an effect, but it hasn't. I have still been eating for comfort and not moving enough. For instance, the first dish I talked about here, I ate two portions instead of one.. and an arugula salad.

I know I am like a broken record when it comes to this subject, but I am yet again going to re-commit to being mindful with food and losing the damn weight once and for all!

I feel somewhat pathetic because this is probably the third time at least I've tried to hold myself publicly accountable on this blog.

Winners never lose and losers never quit!

I really believe in the concept of weight release instead of loss.

I guess the question is, am I ready to release this weight once and for all?


  1. Do you have an iPod or portable radio or something? I find listening to music really helps me feel more motivated to walk in the cold -- and helps me move faster, too!

    It's easy to gain weight when one is feeling stressed, anxious, etc. . . the important thing is not to give up, which it doesn't sound like you've done!

    Maybe we should start an e-walking club?

  2. The casserole looks amazing and the kidney beans sound great! Well, I guess anything with salsa sounds great to me....

    I agree with Catherine about the music. I try to put music on for about an hour a day and it just makes me start dancing.

  3. Thanks for the avocado tip. I hate when they all seem to ripen simultaneously and then I feel compelled to eat them right now.

    Have you ever tried EFT? It's reeeeeeally helped me release the weight and all the baggage associated with it. And, it's free!

    @Caherine — I love the idea of an e-walking club! I live in the arctic tundra and have really had to drag myself out of bed each morning to get my 5K in. It would help to have cheerleaders, even in cyberspace.

  4. Thank you, thank you for inviting me to your blog! What an amazing inspiration and to see that you cook vegan/raw dishes was a special surprise.

    I've subscribed to you via Atom.

    You rock! :-)

  5. that's so pretty!! and great avocado tip - i never knew that! bad avocado fiend i am. hurray for MB's $.99 avocadoes!! (but boo for those bags of teeny avocadoes). also, when it's open, there's a produce stand in york near hannaford that has them for the same price.

    i spend too much money every month to go to gold's b/c they have daycare for my 2 year old and she loves the daycare there. but i've belonged for 7 months or so and have gotten nowhere. obnoxious.

  6. I really recommend the Beck Diet For Life or Beck Diet Solution. It's good for getting your mind to think the right way about good. The stuff you eat seems to be healthy, it just helps to be more mindful.

    And I think I'll have to make that casserole or something like it in my own effort to eat healthy and eat cheaply!

  7. The casserole looks so good! And I have about forty pounds to release in order to get back to my peak of fitness (when I was pregnant with my second child, ironically enough!)but I am lacking in motivation and seeking comfort from the cold in hearty pasta and potato dishes - TOTAL carb addict! It's good to read about someone else's journey too, and I am always loving how creative and yummy-sounding your recipes are!

  8. Lovely meals!

    You don't need to explain yourself, so you've tried in the past.. the important thing is that you get up and try again. That's what really matters, you are putting yourself as a priority!

  9. Great avocado tip--thanks!

    I can relate entirely when it comes to weight. I stopped posting my progress updates on the blog because I felt as if I was just reporting on the same 5 pounds down and then up (and up more than 5 pounds a lot of the time). But I agree with you--we have to keep trying! I love the concept of weight "release." Go for it! It is definitely harder in the winter, but it can be done!

  10. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I will try your avocado tip. I am amazed how long you can keep your avocados. Thanks Melody.

    Here is one from me: buy the elongated (as far from round as possible) Hass avocados. They are the ones that got the most time to ripen on the tree and generally have much smaller pits. I really hate to open an avocado and see half an inch of flesh and the huge pit.

    Good luck with releasing your weight and other worries. The two seem to be connected and I really wish you a sequence of happier events.

  11. Hey! Have you seen today's Shaws flier? Avocadoes, 10oz spinach bags, celery, veg mixes are all $1 each and apples are $1/lb and grapefruits are 2 for $1! Romaine hearts are 3 for $2 and cauli is $2 too.

  12. oh great. I´m a vegetarian now but have been and is thinking about becoming vegan. though, lazy as I am I bearly cook real food, so I´m glad to find a place where the food looks to taste soooo good. bla bla. I like your blog.

  13. Not to justify overeating, but the layered casserole does look pretty small. I think I'd eat two and salad as well. But working out more will definitely help. Have you tried the Skinny Bitch workout videos? They're a lot of fun. I did one this morning.

    Good luck with the weight loss efforts, and I can't wait for the cookbook. That casserole looks really good.

  14. Hi Melody!

    First of all, CONGRATS on your resolve to lose the weight. It is NEVER too late for another shot at success. Also, I love your blog and thought you might want to read this recent post of mine and the posts that inspired it on Fitnessnyc. Cheers!


  15. Your casserole looks delicious. It reminds me of thanksgiving!

  16. Melody, I wanted to check out your 3.33 blog and I have to tell's AWESOME! You're really onto something here. Your pics are so beautiful too. I'm going to come back when I have some time at home (I'm working right now) and pick some recipes to try. And I want to be the first in line for your ebook!

    Jennifer (OD)

  17. Your layered polenta dish is so gorgeous, fancy restaurant gorgeous!

    Good luck with the weight release, I'm on the other end trying to gain (or catch?) some weight. Stupid high-metabolism genes!

  18. Anonymous6:23 PM

    I find that putting an extra effort in daily household chores really helps burn calories! Give it a try :]
    I am also in the process of trying to lose weight [35lbs to be exact] Reading your story inspires me to keep going. :)
    Thanks so much!