Eggplant Tomato Stir-Fry with Tofu

Eggplant Tomato Stir-fry

Sometimes you just want a vegetable

I made a cake last week. A carrot cake for Mother’s Day, my mom’s favorite. I don’t do a ton of baking. For starters, I try to avoid sugar and other carbs. Also, my style of cooking is to sort of throw stuff in a bowl or pan and hope for the best. Baking is way too science-y. The ratios matter, the temperature matters, everything needs to be precise. Except with carrot cake, a very throw it in the bowl kind of cake. I made mine with pineapple & dates and cut out half the sugar. There was plenty of sugar in my frosting. The whole thing was annoyingly good.

But this post isn’t about carrot cake. It’s about making amends for the approximately 9 pieces of carrot cake I ate over the next 3 days (yikes). By Wednesday I was feeling like garbage. You know when your insides feel puffy? Gross. I had a zit on my face, nearly never happens if I’m living clean. So I decided I needed to revamp with a perfect day of food.

Natural Energy

I love that feeling of natural energy I get when I’ve eaten really healthy food. And alternatively I like to avoid the feeling of sluggishness when you eat too much heavy, starchy food. This is easier in theory than in reality because if someone offers me a big plate of mac & cheese or some fish with steamed vegetables, I’m not necessarily making my decision based on how I’ll feel an hour after I eat. I’m thinking about how good that mac & cheese will taste in my mouth versus how much I do not enjoy plain steamed vegetables. Impulse control & immediate gratification are real issues. But when I overindulge for too long, like around holidays, it catches up to me fast and I miss my veggies (still not steamed, though, please).

In the last few months I’ve noticed the more I avoid indulgence foods like cake and mac & cheese, and the more I make sure to include vegetables in every meal, the faster I hit that point where I don’t want more cake, I want more salad. It’s hard to imagine a time when I will skip a homemade carrot cake all together, but if I can want *less* of it, that’s a good start. And even better if I don’t want to have cake instead of salad, but as a small bonus, which I suppose is how dessert was meant to be eaten in the first place, by normal people.

So anyway, after the zit arrived I decided that was enough of the cake, and I needed some extra fresh meals to balance the system.

The day started with eggs & berries. Then a cruciferous veggie salad with salmon and seeds, and then this vegan vegetable & tofu dish that I’m about to talk about. All three were slightly less delicious than homemade carrot cake but still very tasty, and ultimately much more satisfying than all the sugar and flour.

Already by Thursday I was feeling much less contaminated. We reluctantly threw out the rest of the carrot cake but never even missed it. I was so happy to feel fresh it didn’t matter to me anymore.

What is a stir-fry, Actually?

I literally just googled the definition of stir-fry, and I’m still not sure if this recipe counts as one or not. It’s not a stew though, or a curry, so I’m sticking with stir-fry just because I need something to call this.

Here’s what it is: fried tofu, eggplant, and a bunch of other vegetables sautéed and simmered in a bold garlic tomato sauce.

I made this for the first time a few weeks ago after I got the idea from Ali Wong’s book Dear Girls. She talks a lot about Vietnam, Vietnamese food, and Asian food more broadly. At one point she says her favorite cooking base is garlic, tomatoes, and fish sauce. I thought that seemed interesting so I decided to work with it.

The problem was, I didn’t know where to go from there. I tried to search around for recipes that used this exact base and never found anything that was an exact match, but I got some ideas. I thought about what goes with tomatoes and garlic and decided to try eggplant. Eggplant obviously goes with tomato sauce and garlic, because I think the king of eggplant dishes is probably Eggplant Parmesan (it’s also one of my favorite things). I figured eggplant would work well for this dish because it’s found in Italian things like eggplant parm, but also in plenty of Asian stir-fry dishes, so it could work with the fish sauce as well. I’ve been on a big eggplant kick lately so this seemed like a win all around.

Next, I pulled out other vegetables that would go with these flavors and were already in my fridge. (I don’t keep shiitake mushrooms lying around but they weren’t in the first version of this.) Finally, I decided to use tofu as my protein because I knew it would pair well, also it’s easy and healthy.

A few notes upfront. I follow a high fat, low carb diet. This recipe calls for a lot of oil, but it won’t hurt you, I promise. You need these calories when you’re eating a dish made of entirely of plants.

Second, like I said at the top, I follow a throw it in the pan method of cooking. If you don’t like spicy or you don’t like broccoli, leave it out. I recommend keeping the tomatoes, garlic or ginger because those are sort of the point, but pretty much everything else could go if it had to.

How it works

Before I start, I want to emphasize that this recipe is easy. I’m still trying to learn how to make a recipe seem easy, but still make it thorough enough that you can make it even if you don’t cook much. I like to include a lot of details but I don’t mean to make it look scary. It really isn’t!

First thing to do is chop your eggplant. I slice it into 1 inch slices, then quarter each slice. Then you sweat it. Lay it out on paper towel and sprinkle salt over the pieces. This draws out moisture to let it fry better. Let the moisture sweat for 15 minutes, then get fresh towels, flip the pieces onto the new paper, salt again, and sweat for another 15 minutes. (If you do a web search, there is a big debate over whether or not this is necessary. I’ve never *not* done it, so I have no idea how pan fried eggplant would be without sweating.)

While that’s happening, get out your block of tofu. For this recipe I use half a block, but I think you could use the whole thing if you wanted to. The sauce just wouldn’t spread as far. Either way, drain and rinse. Slice it into rectangular blocks, maybe like 2 inches x ½ inch. Then sandwich between paper towels to dry. (10 minutes is enough but I usually just leave it until all the other prep is done.)

Do all your mincing and chopping while you’re waiting on the big boys to get ready. Once you get cooking it can go fairly fast so I like to have everything laid out next to the stove. That way when I inevitably forget something (not pictured here: broth) I can grab it without causing too much chaos. Is this obvious to other people? I’m causing chaos all the time so I do not know.

All the prepped ingredients lined up by the stove. Not pictured: vinegar & broth (I forgot to get them out.)

The cooking happens in 3 stages, but all in the same pot. Start with the eggplant. Fry in 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high for 8 minutes, stirring it around occasionally. (If it seems too dry and/or is sticking to the pan, add a little more oil.) It should be soft and slightly browned on both sides. Set it aside on a plate and move on to tofu.

In the same pan, heat another 2-3 tablespoons of oil (depending on how much your eggplant soaked up and how much is left). I recommend removing the pan from heat when you add your tofu because it will jump and splash immediately. Arrange the tofu so that the pieces have enough space in the pan, then move to the burner, and heat on medium-high.

How I like to fry my tofu is to do one side, then flip it 90 degrees and do the next side, until 4 sides are done (no need to get the small ends). Start the first side at 2 minutes, then do diminishing increments for each side after. So 2 minutes, turn pieces, 90 seconds, turn pieces, 60 seconds, turn pieces, 30 seconds. I start the timer after I’ve flipped every piece, and I try to begin the flipping at different spots in the pan each round. At the end of the process, scoop tofu onto a paper towel with a slotted spatula, and let the towel soak some of the oil.

Tofu on Side 2

Now it’s time for the sauce. Make sure your can of crushed tomatoes is opened and ready. Add the garlic to the oil left over from the tofu, sauté on medium for 30 seconds only! The oil is already very hot so anymore than that and your garlic will burn. (The garlic is burnt in all of the photos you see in this post tbh.)

Now add the tomatoes, stirring to blend the garlic. They should be cooking at a fast simmer or a low boil. Continue simmering on Medium while you add the rest of the sauce ingredients: fresh ginger, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Stir in each ingredient, then add the next. When you have added all sauce components (other than broth) let the whole thing simmer together for 3-5 minutes to let the flavors blend.

When the mix is fragrant and the thickness of a jar of pasta sauce, add ½ cup of vegetable broth to thin it out. Turn the burner to high, stirring continuously, until sauce comes to boil. Turn back down to medium immediately, stir more to prevent from sticking to pan.

Next, add onions, red peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli. Let simmer until the broccoli is starting to look soft (maybe 5 minutes) then add in the eggplant and tofu. Continue stirring occasionally for another couple of minutes until the eggplant and tofu look like they have soaked up some of the sauce. Finally, add in the spinach and chia seeds, stirring well until the spinach is wilted and everything is blended together.

The final product in the pan

Add some sesame seeds to the top and enjoy! Serve with rice or another grain if you want, but I eat it plain. Sometimes I add in some cashew pieces for extra crunch.

The Food


EGGPLANT TOMATO STIR-FRY WITH TOFU

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print

A hearty and healthy vegan single pan dinner

Notes: Vegetables are all different sizes, so I recommend using the weighted amounts I provide if you have a scale available. (You should totally get one if you don’t have one!) Please don’t be discouraged by the number of steps in the recipe. It’s easy! Cook your eggplant and tofu, then basically throw everything else in the pan in order of ingredients and you’re good to go.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 TBL Avocado Oil (Olive is fine)
  • 400g Eggplant (1 small)
  • 220g Tofu (½ block)
  • -¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 14g Garlic (2-3 cloves), minced
  • 15oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 14g Ginger (large chunk), minced
  • 2 TBL low-sodium Soy Sauce (Tamari for gluten free)
  • 2 TBL Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TBL Rice Vinegar (or Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 1 TBL Maple Syrup
  • up to ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (for desired spiciness)
  • ½ Cup low-sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 70g Onion (½ medium), chopped
  • 90g Red Bell Pepper (1 cup), chopped
  • 40g Shiitake Mushrooms (1 cup)
  • 100g Broccoli florets (1 cup)
  • 56g Spinach (2 cups), stems removed
  • 1 TBL Chia Seeds

Directions

  1. Sweat eggplant: spread pieces onto paper towel, add salt and let moisture draw
  2. out. After 15 minutes, switch sides and repeat.
  3. Set tofu slices on paper towel to dry.
  4. Prep everything else.
  5. Heat 2 TBL oil on medium-high heat.
  6. Pat the excess moisture off of eggplant, then add to oil. Sauté 7-8 minutes until soft and browning. Set aside.
  7. Add more oil, then pull pan off burner and add tofu. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Cook on all four long sides. Start with 2 minutes, flip 90 degrees, cook 90 seconds, flip, cook 60 seconds, flip, cook 4th side for 30 seconds (if it doesn’t seem crispy or look tan enough give it another 15 seconds.)
  9. With a slotted spatula, set tofu onto paper towel to drain oil. NOTE: if there is more oil than needed to sautee garlic, you can pour out the excess.
  10. Add the garlic to oil, cook 30 seconds.
  11. Add tomatoes, stirring until garlic is blended. Let simmer 1 minute.
  12. Add ginger, simmer another minute.
  13. Add soy sauce or tamari, Worcestershire, vinegar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes. Stir in each ingredient before adding the next. When all added, let simmer 3 minutes.
  14. Add broth, stir until combined. Turn burner to high and let sauce come to a boil, then turn back down to medium again.
  15. Add onions, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli. Simmer until broccoli is soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  16. Add eggplant and tofu, folding into the the rest of the stir-fry. Let simmer 3-5 minutes.
  17. Add in chia seeds and spinach. Stir until everything is well-mixed and spinach is wilted.
  18. Serve as desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving size: ⅓ of dish (573g); 446 Calories; 28 g Fat; 26.6 g Net Carbs; 12 g Fiber; 15.2 g Protein

Welcome Back

Hi. I’m Lydia. I’m a mess. 

I don’t mean that like, “omg I ate 7 pieces of pizza today,” or “I’ve worn this hoodie everyday this week” or “I gave myself a black eye in my sleep” (although all recent truths). I’m saying, I am a whole mess. I’m a 30something single woman living with her parents, abandoning 5 years and 2 degrees worth of graduate school because standard day job work gives me crippling depression, and so I work as a Lyft driver with six figures of debt and sometimes well-managed mental health issues. And on top of all of those things I’m the kind of obese that has to shop in a specialty store because the plus-size section at the regular size store probably doesn’t have sizes big enough. That’s a lot of issues, and a lot of mess. Nevermind my inability to arrive anywhere on time or organize a closet. Last year, I tried to Marie Kondo my part of the house, but ended up just moving into the guest room and started calling the bedroom my walk-in closet. See? A mess. 

IMG_9071
My face

Um, okay…

So many blogs, and even more instagrams, want you to believe that their lives are perfect. That the outcome you see is simple and organic. Every pie, soup and refurbished bookshelf turns out perfect on the first try, and looks beautiful in its gorgeously decorated, perfectly lit kitchen or living room, enjoyed by beautiful people in their pristine, dry clean only casual attire. Usually the blogger is a superwoman who runs every aspect of her life like clockwork, works out all morning and still has time to do her hair and makeup before this baking and cooking and painting happens. All over the internet are people who want you to believe they’re the next Martha Stewart, but with fewer felonies and more used Anthropologie gift cards.  

But none of that is real. A lot of those accounts have entire staffs working for them, teams for cooking and staging and web design. Which, good for them for their achievements. A thriving small business is something to be proud of for sure. But that’s not what’s presented to us.What we see is one person writing a quick entry to show off what she just whipped up. We don’t see all the attempts that weren’t a success, the photos that didn’t turn out exactly perfect. We only see the best version, no matter how much editing goes into it. 

To be fair, maybe for some people it is real. Maybe they really have culinary and domestic intuition to get everything right on the first try. They really achieved the charmed life, and were blessed with the ability to be organized and task-oriented and never miss a beat. Congratulations to those magical people (and their pharmacists). But the rest of us are messy. Maybe you’re not as messy as me, but we all have our moments. 

Weight loss stories are too often the same way. “Well, I realized drinking Mountain Dew was bad for me, so I stopped doing that and lost 200 pounds.” If only it was that easy. There is so much to weight loss, and obesity in general, that no one wants to talk about. Ups, downs, plateaus. Oddities and unpleasantness that we guard and hold inside ourselves because of the shame and guilt we’ve been told to feel. Too many people want to talk about results, but they aren’t prepared for the journey. I don’t love using buzzwords like journey, but that’s what it is. It takes time, effort, and a kind of self-control that I only possess some of the time.

I don’t mean to sound overly critical. I love the kind of accounts I’ve been talking about. I love seeing people’s transformation stories, and I love seeing a perfectly set farm to table meal in a rustic gourmet kitchen. It’s aspirational. In spite of everything I know about myself and the world of Influencers, I can still look at something and think, “if she can do it, there’s no reason I can’t too.”  

But as much as I like looking at those things, I know they aren’t what I need. I need something true. Something more relatable. I need to write about my struggles with weight loss, self-care, and healthy living. I can’t pretend everything is going smoothly if it isn’t. I don’t have time for that, really, because the sooner I’m healthy the better. So I need a place where I can hold myself accountable. If I mess up, get distracted or stumble, I want to have this place to tell someone about it. Really talk about it, without sugar-coating. Sugar is what got me in the plus size section in the first place, so we’re done with that. 

I hope that you can read this and think, “Omg, I can’t believe there are other people that do that. That’s crazy, I thought I was the only one.” You’re not, and I’m not! One time when I was signing up for personal training at the gym, the training manager said to me without preamble, “Don’t even worry, you’re not the most out of shape person I’ve seen doing this training. Not by a long shot.” At first I was put off, like ‘…well obviously not. That thought never crossed my mind.’ But the more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t offended, I was reassured. Like, ‘well good. Maybe I’m not the only person feeling a little bit embarrassed working out in this giant open room.’ And who’s to say only the people with the most work to do will be the people feeling shy or embarrassed? Or that the people who appear to be fit aren’t self-conscious for their own reasons? And who’s to say the people who that guy thinks will be embarrassed are going to be?? Maybe they’re proud because they showed up to do the best they could. The point is that we all have our journeys. We all have our own insecurities, our own hurdles, and our own measurements of success.  

I want a place where I can feel safe to be honest about my progress. I want to talk about both my wins and my failures, because even the failures (there are many) are ways to learn how I can do better. When I started this blog over a decade ago (!!!) I knew nothing. It’s been so long since my last post, and a lot has happened. Now I have so much further to go, but I also know so much more about food, wellness, and myself. Hopefully if I tell you about what and how I’m doing, that will make both of us feel a little less alone. I’m trying to build a better Lydia, but I think you’ll find some ways for how to better yourself too. 

But You’re A Mess…

Sometimes my messiness is funny. Sometimes, it’s heartbreaking. Occasionally, it goes away and I seem like I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m trying hard to make that last one happen more often. What I said in the beginning about the messes with the pizza, the hoodie, and the black eye? Well, the pizza was made with cauliflower crust, and it was a small. The hoodie is the shirt I wear when I go for my nightly walk. I wash it frequently. The black eye…okay that one was weird. My friend Google says it was actually because of my sinuses; my mom agrees I would have definitely woken up if I punched myself that hard. No matter, cold compresses, allergy meds, and a cucumber mask cleared it up a few days later. 

The point is that right now my goal is small victories. I don’t know enough about architectural history to give you some clever allusions to fast and small building processes, but just know I’m trying to show you the means before I show you the end. I’m trying pretty hard to build a better Lydia.

That’s all lovely but isn’t this a food blog?

Only kind of. I want this blog to be all about self-improvement. Not just clean eating, but healthy living, physically and emotionally. But I also want to offer something readers can take away from each post (aside from my clever prose). I’m a “jump to recipe” type of gal 90% of the time, so I think that’s important. Today though, I just wanted to touch base and say here I am and this is what’s happening moving forward. 

Stay healthy,

Lydia

 

Juice Cleanse Recap

A week later, I’ve gotten some clarity. The short synopsis: Juice cleanse is awesome! It was hard. Sometimes really hard. But definitely worth it. It did everything it was supposed to do. I feel healthier, cleaner, and back on track. Also, it’s weirdly addicting and I kind of want to do it again.

green juice

It’s such a strange experience. After my last post, I took a turn for the worse. I did the juice cleanse from Sunday morning to Thursday afternoon and my reaction got progressively worse. I’d read more than once that the first day is the hardest, but that wasn’t my experience at all. I felt really good the first day, but pretty normal. The second day, which I’ve already written about, I went a little crazy. Felt real weird. Almost cried in public. Slept a million hours. The third day was similar to the second. I was less crazy maybe, but I felt more lightheaded. I couldn’t focus on anything at all. The fourth day, the headache arrived. It was terrible. Also, I slept a million hours again. I barely even got out of bed that fourth day. I ended up eating a modified version of my clean southwest salad because I was feeling so weak. The fifth day was a half day, which was my intention. And, it was for the best because I was legitimately sick by that point. Maybe the sickness meant that I should have kept going to get past the detoxing, but it was time to stop. I was so nauseous and my headache was even worse.

So, my description probably makes it sound really terrible. But somehow, it really seriously wasn’t. Like, the bad parts were bad. But overall I could tell it was working, which is what’s important.

And all weekend, after the cleanse was over, I felt amazing. I still do! I’ve been having a 16 ounce of green juice everyday for breakfast, which is good for two reasons. First, it’s really the best way to consume as many greens as possible, and it’s a nice way to ease your metabolism into the day. Second, it’s a really good way to remind me to keep up the clean eating for the day. If I have kale-pear juice for breakfast and feel really fresh after, I don’t want to ruin it later.

So for anyone who might be interested, I thought I’d post my juicing schedule. Juice Cleanse

A few of the recipes are on the last couple of blog posts I’ve made. It would take a long time to post the full recipes of every single juice, so I’m not gonna do that unless I get some requests. But in the meantime I have some basic rules for how much to use of each ingredient.

    • Kale: 6-8 leaves. (If you buy Cal-Organic, it’s one bunch.)
    • Spinach: 1 cup.
    • Romaine: 4-6 leaves.
    • Cucumber: 1 cuke.
    • Celery: 5 stalks
    • Carrots: 4-5 carrots
    • Beet: 1 large beet or 2 small
    • Apple: 1-2, depending on taste preference or how many other ingredients are involved
    • Lemon: 1 fruit.
    • Ginger: 1 inch chunk.
    • Grapefruit: 1 or 2 depending on how many additional ingredients you have.
    • Mint: Handful of leaves
    • Parsley: 1/4 cup
    • Pineapple: 1 cup

Obviously, I just included the first three days, because that is how long I prepped. The fourth day I recommend taking your favorites of each category and having those. You can also experiment with combos that use these basic ingredients. I made choices partially based on what I had left from my big shopping trip. For the fifth day, do one green, one citrus, and one root, then eat produce and seeds/nuts for dinner. Avoid animal products and sugar especially. You should also stick with vegan for a couple of days after, too.

Hopefully if you try it out you find it as rewarding as I did. Please let me know if you have questions!

-lj

Vegging out.

So this week continues my on-going quest to insert more vegetables into my life. Having recently passed the one year mark on this operation, it’s time to step up the game. My body understands the difference between healthy and unhealthy now, finally, and it’s time to escalate to the next level. I’m marking the occasion with a juice cleanse! 

Honestly part of it is to initiate next level status, but part of it is because I have been having frequent headaches and other illness-y symptoms recently and I want to get out whatever toxins are making me sick. To prep for a juice cleanse, the juice company recommends taking a few days to work your way into it, which means a mostly vegan, gluten-free, unprocessed diet. I’ll talk more about this later but I wanted to set the stage!

I don’t mind eating mostly produce at all, certainly not just for a couple of days, but my body gets annoyed if it doesn’t have what feels like a real meal. And, I figure three days of nothing but cold-pressed juice is coming up, so I don’t really want to eat a whole bunch of vegan soup leading up to that. So I thought about meals I’ve made in the past that are solid food, warm and almost entirely plant-based. I really love spaghetti squash so I decided to think about something like that.

zucc marinara
Zucchini Marinara

Continue reading “Vegging out.”

The Lazy Girl’s DIY Sushi

Do you ever get on kicks where you could eat the same food every day? Given how many times I’ve blogged either curry or oatmeal, it should not be a surprise that this happens to me fairly frequently. Currently, my food addiction is sushi. Specifically, sushi rolls. I know there are plenty of other kinds, which I also like, but give me a couple of maki rolls and I am good to go. The complimentary flavors, the mix of textures, the vast assortment of possibilities. YUM. I’m into it.

The good news is that it could be a lot worse, nutritionally speaking. But as foods go, it’s so elusive. It’s the kind of thing that is really better at a restaurant. A lot of the ingredients can be hard to find and it is a bit of a production to prepare. But then the restaurants have problems too. White rice. Lots of fried ingredients. Lots of sugar. Insane amounts of sodium. In and of itself that wouldn’t be a deal breaker because there are plenty of things on the menu to sustain a fairly healthy meal. The biggest problem is that it is expensive. It’s hard to get enough to eat at a sushi place for less than $25.

So I decided maybe I could figure out a way to make something at home. At first I thought about learning how to make actual rolls, but I ran into a couple of problems before I even got started. First, a lot of the ingredients are not the easiest to find around here. Let alone supplies like a bamboo mat. I’m sure I could find things at Whole Foods or similar places, but the weather is bad this week and it’s a little bit of a drive. Plus, if I’m going for cost-effectiveness, buying all kinds of exotic supplies kind of defeats the purpose. The second problem was that even if I did spend the time and effort getting everything I needed, I’d have to actually do the dicing and shaping and rolling and all that stuff. In the ever eloquent words of Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m not great at dicing, and my touch is not particularly delicate, so I just envision crafting the rolls really poorly.

But then it occurred to me, I probably had nearly all of the necessary basics, or acceptable substitutes, and if it’s really the ingredients I like the best, why not just throw them all into a dish together, burrito bowl style?

The result was a very lovely “sushi salad”.

Sushi Salad OR the Lazy Girl's DIY Sushi Roll
Sushi Salad OR the Lazy Girl’s DIY Sushi Roll in a Bowl

Continue reading “The Lazy Girl’s DIY Sushi”

Amping Up

Wow. As of today, it has been eleven months since I started this journey, which is terrifying for reasons related and unrelated to my weight loss program. But as the one-year mark nears, I am both proud of the progress I’ve made and positive lifestyle changes I’ve implemented, but also a little disappointed that I didn’t accomplish more.

So, it occurs to me, maybe I need to engage in phase two. Honestly, I never considered that there should be a phase two until a week or so ago. I spent last year in a state of recovery. I was so out of shape, so down and out–physically and emotionally, and in such a destructive relationship with food, I needed time to remember not only how to be healthy but to feel healthy. Walking a couple of blocks no longer sounds like a chore. (Yesterday, I went for an hour long walk just because it was nice outside.) Taking the stairs isn’t a last resort anymore. And I’m back to my root opinions on food, so most junk food grosses me out, and vegetables aren’t a chore but rather a requirement in my day.

Those are basic goals that I didn’t even consider because they seemed so obvious. But really they did take a long time to fully accomplish. And, of course, there were setbacks. Moving. The holidays. Maintaining a social life with my naturally skinny, junk food loving friends that is still conducive to my body’s needs. These have been significant hurdles that took time to master. In fact, mastering them (or not) is pretty much a weekly struggle.

Continue reading “Amping Up”