Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mealtime Makeovers- Roasted Root Veggies

(Feel free to scroll down to the recipe, or if you want, enjoy me rambling on for a bit about why we are choosing to eat some healthier foods!)

Josh and I have slowly but surely been changing the way we view food. Well, it's been mostly me, because I have had an unhealthy view of food for a long time. Josh can still eat whatever he wants and stay thin (it's unbelievable, really). For me, it all started with an incredibly high metabolism that allowed me to eat whatever I wanted for the first 25 years of my life. My mom is an incredible cook and she always made homemade, healthy foods for us, but I still grew up with literally no clue about portion control. For years I would help myself to unhealthy amounts of pasta, bread, and sweets. I don't mean unhealthy in the gorging-myself kind of way, just more than I should have. I noticed my body starting to adjust a couple of years ago and actually started to gain weight for the first time. Now I actually have to think about what I eat (I know, cue the sad violins!), but it's helped me to start making much healthier choices as well.

In order to slowly make my way into healthier eating choices, I've made three changes to our meals. First, I cut out most breads, white flour, and white rice. These things used to take up about 1/3 of our daily diet (eep!). Instead, when we do have grains we are eating whole wheat bread, pasta, rice, and healthy grains like quinoa and bulgar.

The second change has been to replace the excess bread-y stuff with more veggies and fruit. A lot of our dinners consist of meat and veggies now, and I'm amazed at how filling and delicious it can be! We are loving sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli especially. Instead of cheese and crackers as a snack, I love to snack on an apple and natural peanut butter (SO good).

The final change is more of a mental one, but it's been changing the idea that I have to have dessert every day. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I had almost come to expect that it was right and good to have dessert every single day. Again, not like a whole-package-of-oreos dessert, but something sugary and sweet to satisfy that one demanding tooth. I have to admit, the first few weeks of that were hard. I felt depressed and deprived, almost like my body was demanding sugar while holding my sanity for ransom. At one point I was fiercely craving brownies for a good three days. After a few weeks though, it was like my body adjusted to less sugar and suddenly I didn't crave it as much. I still eat dessert sometimes, but it's not something I need to have every day. 

These changes are helping us to not only feel great, but it's also helping me to shed the last few pregnancy pounds (and hopefully then some!). If that's not motivation to eat healthier, then I don't know what is! 

Here's one of the veggie dishes we've been chowing down on a lot lately: Roasted Root Veggies. You have to just believe me when I say that this is the yummiest! And, you can totally pig out on it and not feel an ounce of guilt. How great is that?
Roasted Root Veggies
Prep time: less than 5 minutes (seriously!)
Ingredients: One medium onion (cut in smallish slices), one large sweet potato (cubed), one cup (or more) baby carrots, one tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt, and dried or fresh rosemary. 

1. Throw the cubed sweet potato, sliced onions, and carrots in an oven-safe dish. 2. Toss with olive oil, and salt and rosemary to taste, and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (or until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork). 3. Enjoy as a filling and delicious side for meat or fish! In this case- we had it with lemon tilapia. YUM!

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