Practicing with a Success

I have always had a silent loud hatred for practicing. It is not that I do not believe that practice makes perfect, I really do… I just never wanted to practice. You can ask my mother… the only time I practiced was at rehearsals and sometimes (very rarely) in my “dance room” downstairs. (quotes because it was a dance room and then my mom realized I would never practice even with my own ballet barre so she bought a couch for the room). Anyway I never felt the need to practice because honestly I basically lived at my dance studio and spent more time dancing than anything else anyways.

And dance has always come pretty naturally to me, so I never had to practice. But when things that don’t come naturally to me pop up I will admit I am in deep water… I have no idea how to handle something I have never done so I naturally run away.

Well portion control does not come naturally to me. I will be the first to admit that I have a case of America’s jumbo size everything fever. I have had this problem since I began eating real food again and liking it. I suddenly looked down on any food that looked puny on my plate. Example? I always pick out the biggest sweet potatoes, apples the size of your face, and a salad for me must pile so high on one of my giant plates that when I eat it things fall off onto the place mat…

So while I do not have the issue of overeating burgers or other fast food, when it comes to my veggies and fruit I have adopted the motto go big or go home. But the thing is my meals always fill me up to the point of uncomfortable, bloated fiber belly! So while I love these giant meals, I think I need to practice portion control with them or I will never be able to listen to my hunger because I am just always full of veggies and fruit! I also need to realize that even though these things are good for me, even too much fruit can be going overboard (as I recently read about in this article) and it can stop me from absorbing nutrients my body needs.

So I have always had this problem at home because I, like many people, eat what I put on my plate even if I am uncomfortably full before it is all gone… But at restaurants I have become really good of judging if I am full or not (part of the reason I love eating out more than a lot of people). So I have decided that I will start to try and recreate some of my successful hunger gauged meals from restaurants at home and try to remember how much I actually ate at the restaurant so I don’t over do it.

Begin practice (a once unheard of word in my vocabulary!)

This weekend my mom took me out for a wonderful time and during that time I got hungry so she took me to Bakers Crust where I ordered this AMAZING tomato, mozzarella, and avocado salad. It was love at first bite and I have been craving it ever since! Plus I was amazed that even with the deep conversation my mom and I had at the table while I ate I stopped when I was satisfied not full. Normally it takes me a lot of concentration to do that so I was very proud of myself to say the least! So today for lunch I wanted a salad and I wanted to be hungry again for dinner (an almost unheard of idea for me lately-frustrating too) so I decided to scale down the salad and have a little fruit too!

My Very Own Tomato Mozzarella Salad w/ sliced Peaches 🙂

Now the restaurant’s had avocado but I had none. It also had pesto and again I had none. But I added my own touches (mushrooms, carrots, and celery) and I made my own balsamic dressing with spinach herb spices in it!

Was this meal as big as I am used too? No. Was I still hungry when I was done? NOPE! Was I overly, uncomfortably, fiber bellied full? NOOOOOO!!!!! I like the feeling of satisfaction and I like being comfortable. I need to remind myself of that the next time I think about eating enough roughage for 2-3 people in the same meal…

I hope everyone is having a great day!

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Can you say Bon Appetite?

Where Julia Child Trained!

Can You Say Bon Appetite?

Yes I can, because I have enjoyed the wonders of French cuisine in France. Something everyone can say? Nope, but I can and for that I will be forever in awe and grateful.

Now for an ambush of food photos from Paris!

Ham Omelet and a Croissant

Honestly I wasn’t crazy about the Omelet or the croissant, but I tried both. Plus I was in France! I had to try a real French Croissant!

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

This is the best salad creation I have ever seen and eaten. The goat cheese is on the toast, and yes those are potato chips (made right then and there I would like to believe). I would try to recreate this, but for some reason I think I’ll leave this to the French 😉 Just a little dietetic humor however, can you see the green ring around the yolk on my eggs? That is Ferrous Sulfide my friends. It is not harmful, but does tend to ruin the presentation of a hard boiled egg. The restaurant didn’t allow their eggs to cool correctly tis all. It won’t change the taste of your eggs though so do not fret!

One of many bread baskets

The French restaurants serve bread with everything! What I loved about both France and Germany was that they never specify what type of bread anything comes with or is served on. It is whatever they baked fresh that day. Now I am a huge advocate for whole grains, and know they are the best option for the most part nutritionally. But I did love that the French don’t know and don’t seem to care if their bread is whole grain or white, only that it is fresh and they enjoy what they want of it knowing another batch will be made shortly if they want more. Just something that left me pondering over my bread.

A beautiful cheese plate!

The French love to end a meal with cheese! And since visiting, so do I! We had cheese basically every day in France and I am not complaining. If I eat cheese for the rest of my life I won’t complain, in fact my bones will love the calcium! Sorry another anatomy/dietetics student fact I couldn’t resist not mentioning.

Chilled Asparagus Soup

Was this good? Yes. But would I have it again? Probably not. I am not a fan of cold soup…

Fresh perch with raw and cooked fennel

As you know I am flirting with a non-vegetarian diet. I can honestly say after tasting fish I will not give it up. My body seems to love it!

Our dessert at the Eiffel Tower

I have no idea what this is called, but it came highly recommended! I do know there was ice cream, cream cheese of some sort, a pastry (like a ice cream sandwich only freshly baked and a little more soft and doughy) all drizzled with chocolate upon arriving at the table. I am not a dessert girl unless it is either a special occasion or if the dessert is something I cannot get on another day. this was both and boy am I glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it!

Bananas covered with warm chocolate

Remember how I said I don’t have dessert often? Well in Paris I did! This was nothing extraordinary but then again it was for me! I have never done this before (no idea why!) and after dinner at this little Italian place I was still craving something. I wasn’t sure what is was until I saw this on the menu. I wanted a banana! Did I crave the chocolate? No (but that’s just because it is me and I lack chocolate cravings) but boy did it make this banana 10 times better! I’ll be recreating this again sometime soon!

Alas the food came to an end just as Paris did… 😦 But it was all so good (I didn’t even share everything! but I did share the best of it I believe) Now one more thing before I go.

I have been a law abiding citizen for a long time. That means, I am not 21 I am still 20. But in Paris and in all of Europe I am indeed a legal drinker. This was my first sip of alcohol EVER. A glass (and a half 😉 ) of champagne in France at the Eiffel Tower (Perfect right!) I also gave wine a sip and was not a fan of the wine my dad and Sherri chose (I tried to see if putting my champagne in the wine would help… Not too much and the French couple beside us gave me a laugh and a frown)

I enjoyed my first drink and I am so happy I waited to have it in a safe and enjoyable environment with my dad and cousin! Now back in the states I will look forward to my 21st birthday and enjoy my second drink (but first in America!) without fear.

Cheers! Wait how do I say that in French???

Here is to a good time with a great family!

Independence!

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!

I am 20 years young and have lived in this country my entire life and I know how fortunate I am. Both of my parents served in the U.S. Army and I am proud to be a military brat 😉

This was a very relaxing holiday for my family. It was weird that it fell in the middle of the week though. Both mom and I have work and volunteering respectively tomorrow but lucky Daddy is on complete summer vacation.  Needless to say waking up this morning with no alarm and being able to work out first thing in the morning was a tad strange. I just got back from Europe and I did not exercise as I do at home because all of the walking, hiking, and climbing was more than enough natural exercise! But at home I consciously make a commitment to my cardiovascular health. Plus I love riding the stationary bike while indulging in my shows (bunheads, pretty little liars, and my real love Grey’s Anatomy).

Anyway my morning workout got my writing head turning and I had the urge to write my last post immediately after I had showered and broken my fast 😉 But I felt like another post was necessary tonight to honor America’s birthday.

We grilled and had a truly American meal as a family! Now let me explain. My family doesn’t normally eat at the table together at the same time unless it is a really special holiday such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. We did as a recovery tool for me, but with recovery i was able to let go of always having family meals. But not only was today America’s birthday it was also the first time in 4 years that my dad grilled a whole chicken for him, my mom, and me! So we made a great meal of it.

I made my epic, beautiful side salads. Both my parents agree that they really  are pretty substantial.

Spring lettuce, tomatoes, carrot chips, mushrooms, cucumbers, broccoli, almonds, and tomato basil feta cheese

The cucumbers and broccoli were grown right in our backyard thanks to Daddy!

The rest of the meal was my dad’s chicken and grilled yellow squash and my mom’s sweet corn. Delish!

The meal lacks color I know… my food selection and prep teacher might frown. But it was good. and obviously I’m not the only one who would like it… Hello Mr. George

The really great thing about this meal though was that at first sitting at the table all together was funny awkward. But then conversation flowed as it normally does and the meal was even better for it. We added the color the plate was sadly lacking.

The night ended with Mom and me watching Safe House which was kind of weird and hard to follow with a lot of shooting. But Ryan Reynolds is gorgeous.

We ended this great day American style! I baked Apple Cigars. We spotted the recipe in our local paper and I had to try it. I don’t like a lot of dessert like things (or really I can just take them or leave them) but apple pie is a different story. I love it. It holds great childhood memories. These babies are meant to be a healthy alternative. Now I am not huge of “healthy alternatives” because they never seem to match up to what they are replacing. These cigars were not and I repeat not apple pie but they were a great apple dessert. They do not weigh you down, and you get that great apple cinnamon taste sensation us apple pie lovers ❤ so much.

The outside is made from Filo Dough!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July and got to spend it with family and/or friends! Remember what this day is all about! We are so blessed to live in this amazing country!