Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Son Austin and the world's greatest dog, Guinness, showed up on Sunday to help us celebrate Father's Day. We took John out for a steak dinner over in San Marcos, then came back home and tried our hand at making a lemon sorbet for the first time, using my little tabletop Cuisinart ice cream freezer. That thing is amazing, and so was the sorbet! We got quite a workout, squeezing the entire bag of lemons that went into it, but it was worth it. If you could bottle summer, it would taste just like that!

Austin brought a couple of interesting books to share with us - The Eat-Clean Diet, and The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook, both by Tosca Reno. They were recommended to him by the trainer he has been working out with. Basically, she has put into words what I've been trying, more or less, to do here on my own: avoiding over-processed, refined foods, especially white flour and sugar; avoiding all saturated and trans fats; eating 5 or 6 smaller meals each day, and never skipping breakfast; avoiding calorie-dense food with no nutritional value; depending on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins and enzymes; and of course, no super-sizing!

I spent the whole afternoon trying to speed-read through them, and learned quite a bit just in that short period of time. Though I never bought into it, the whole Atkins furor left me feeling somewhat guilty each time I let a carb of any sort pass my lips, but my common sense kept telling me that whole grains had to be good for you. Reno believes that each meal should be a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates. If you eliminate one whole food group from your diet, of course you will lose weight from the missing calories, but only for as long as you can keep it up, then you will yo-yo back to higher than when you started - which is exactly what I have observed in everyone I know who has ever jumped onto any of the dieting bandwagons. She suggests that we fill our carts with a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and lean protein, and "give the big food companies, whose products live in the center aisles and endcaps of the grocery stores, a big thumbs down!"

Of course, I've just started down this path, and still have miles and miles to go. There are going to be some hurdles to overcome along the way, such as my sweet tooth, and our love for good restaurants. I'm not one of those all-or-nothing people, who goes all radical and tries to convert everyone around me. I believe in balance - that one should be proactive about good health, but also that life is meant to be enjoyed. So, I will just take it one day at a time, and try to do the best that I can do.

I spent the morning yesterday photocopying the most delicious-sounding of the recipes, and compiling a grocery list. Then we headed over to Whole Foods in Austin, to fill our cart with the aforementioned items. Next we went to the Alamo Draughthouse to see Away We Go (very sweet!), and we ended the day in the kitchen, preparing a lovely feast of Adobo-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Black Bean Pico de Gallo, and Garlicky Couscous. Yummm...

Next on my list? Play with that sorbet recipe, and see if I can't substitute a natural sweetener of some sort, for the refined sugar. If I get it perfected, I promise to share the recipe with you!


Linda said...

I've found reminding myself that I can only shop around the outside edges of the grocery store helps. Almost everything on the inside aisles of the store is forbidden for one reason or another.

Hill Country Hippie said...

It certainly saves time to do it that way, doesn't it? I used to spend at least two hours in the grocery store every week, because I felt the need to go up and down every aisle to see if there was something new I didn't know I "needed"!

lexlane said...

Forward any good recipes on to me!