Tag Archives: Girl Emerging

My Personal “Hunger Games”

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Maybe I live an insanely blah life, or maybe I tend to enjoy things that other people loathe, but perhaps the only thing I like one of my favorite things about starting a new semester is renewing myself from the inside out.

Last semester, I wrote about my near-constant hunger. I consulted my doctor and had bloodwork done, but I only experienced relief for about two months. Of all of the factors we discussed that could have been contributing to my hunger, my doctor and I never discussed whether I was eating enough of the right stuff. For example, I know my diet is full of leafy green veggies, water, fresh fruit, and a variety of bright colors… but I don’t know whether I’m consuming enough healthy carbs or sufficient protein.

At the beginning of this semester, in order to combat my baffling hunger, I’ve decided to keep a log of the (measurable) carbohydrates, total fat, and protein I’m consuming during the week. Being that I’m not a registered dietician, nor am I in the habit of driving myself insane, by “measurable” I mean that raw, fresh, and whole foods will not be included (unless they are supplied with a label) — because I don’t want to measure the number of raspberries on my cereal or Google the nutrition info for one-third of a cucumber. This also means that I won’t count meals eaten out (which are typically on the weekend, anyway).

I am NOT counting calories. I hate the idea of a restrictive diet; I prefer to make an attempt at eating as many whole, fresh foods as possible to strive for balance. Sometimes, I eat what I want when I want to eat it. C’est la vie. I’m not going to get my panties in a wad over a cookie or a Diet Coke.

I am also NOT turning this exercise into one of my myriad “challenges.” I do not intend to alter the foods I normally eat to fool myself into believing my carb/fat/protein consumption is sufficient or over-and-above. I’m simply making a record so I can ascertain whether my consumption is compatible with my RDV and my level of exercise.

Not because I think you’re on the edge of your seat biting your nails with anticipation, but because blogging is an easy way to hold myself accountable, I’ll be reporting back with stats!

Here’s to (hopefully) solving my hunger woes, and to being one step closer to a fitter, more nutrition-oriented me! 😉

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Could there be a cuter way to take notes?!

[Edited to add: Today I consumed 164g carbohydrates, 39g protein, and 8g fat. Low on all counts.]

Iris’s Chicken Casserole

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Whenever I mention my godparents, there’s always someone who goes, “What are GODparents?” (Don’t even get me started on trying to explain godsiblings.) My sister, Caroline, and I are fortunate enough to have two sets of godparents: Kathy and Dave, and Iris and Bill-Bill. Dave is a long-time friend of my dad’s; they met at University of Richmond and were frat bros. They’re godparents to each other’s children, hence my godsister and -brother, Mallory and Taylor. Mallory and I were even fortunate enough to go to Longwood together! Iris passed away before I graduated high school, but she and Bill-Bill were long-time members of our church. Bill-Bill still comes as regularly as possible, but he’s in his 90s now and he lives about 30 minutes from our church. It’s truly a blessing to live as close as we do to both sets of godparents, and to be able to spend time with them regularly.

Both Kathy and Iris were/are magnificent cooks. One of my favorite recipes Iris used to make was a chicken casserole. My mom adapted it for me when I became a vegetarian, but last night, I made it for myself for the first time with real chicken. I’m partially recycling this post. Check it out:

Iris’s Chicken Casserole
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C olive oil mayonnaise (or plain fat-free yogurt — note: doesn’t make casserole as creamy)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 can condensed cream of mushroom (or cream of chicken) soup
1/2 C chopped celery
1-2 tbsp diced vidalia onion
1/3 C slivered or sliced almonds
1 small can of mushrooms (pieces and stems fine)
1 C Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 C brown rice

1. Mix all ingredients except stuffing crumbs and rice.
2. Put in casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
3. Top with crumbs (may need to be crushed more finely).
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
5. Serve over rice.
Serves two people heartily, or one with plenty of leftovers.

I’m a pretty sentimental person. Whenever I make this casserole — which isn’t very often, because it’s so filling and it requires a fair number of ingredients — I feel like I’m paying tribute to Iris’s memory. Like I said, this recipe isn’t hers exactly, but it still reminds me of her when I eat it. It’s one of my favorite cold weather recipes (even though yesterday could practically have been described as warm) because it “sticks to your ribs,” as my mom would say.

P.S. My apologies for the lack of photographic evidence. I was wayyy too hungry when I started cooking, and I don’t like handling my camera while I’m preparing food. I *may* have a new toy come Christmas time, so there *may* be pictures galore! 😉

Question: Do you have a favorite cold weather recipe? I’m always looking to expand my horizons!

Fall Recipe Favorite: Quinoa Bowls

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Wednesday night was the first quinoa bowl of the season. I vowed to take pictures, but I was too ravenous. Thursday afternoon, I made a bowl with the leftovers, and I thought ahead enough to snap a few photos.

I shared quinoa bowls with you on my previous site, Girl Emerging, but I’ll share them again because they’re one of my favorite vegetarian recipes. Even though I’m an omnivore now, I still relish a lot of my vegetarian faves.

This recipe serves two heartily. You’ll need: boxed stovetop quinoa (or about 2 C), a bag of shredded lettuce, fresh salsa–you know, from the nice part of the store–or pico de gallo, a medium-sized can of black or pinto beans, sour cream, and cilantro (if desired).

First, I start with a generous helping of shredded lettuce.

I top it with a half-cup or so of quinoa. Or in this case, my quinoa and rice blend. I’m a big fan of Far East products from Kroger. I’ve really been trying to steer clear of processed foods, but boxed quinoa products are so manageable and sensible for me.

From there, I add a half-cup or so of black or pinto beans.

Lastly, I top the bowl with whatever my heart desires. Usually that means fat-free sour cream, fresh salsa or pico de gallo, and “sprinkly cheese.” Today, that meant sour cream and diced organic tomato.

How can you go wrong with a dish so deliciously full of fun, flavor, and nutrition?!