One of my New Year's Goals this year was to lose weight and get healthier. Yes, WE ALL have that one, don't we? Hmmmm...maybe I should get cracking on that one...it's OCTOBER now... To be fair to myself, I have made inroads on this goal. I'm not skinny and I don't eat perfectly every day but I have acquired some great habits. Okay, maybe "forced" is a better verb than "acquired". Because of my job I walk up to eight miles a day in the hospital. That alone has increased my HDL (good) cholesterol by several points and lowered my overall cholesterol score.
I've also been eating better. Not perfectly every day but much better. One of the big habits I changed for myself this year was eating too many meals in our cafeteria. You would think a hospital would have a cafeteria full of healthy food but aside from a nice salad bar the healthy pickings are slim. The vegetable lasagna never wins out against the burgers, fries, hot dogs, and other comfort quick foods so I made a commitment to pack my lunch and have seen lower scale numbers for it. I also like to pat myself on the back for the days I get all seven of my recommended vegetable servings in. Perhaps this isn't as big of a deal to others as it is to me but my husband is a real meat and potatoes fanatic. He's one of those folks who thinks a vegetable is just there to fill in the white space on the plate. You know how it is. There's only me and him, no kids, so most of the time when I cook it's easy to cook for him and skip the veggies I love. But my lunchbox is all about ME, ME, ME. I load it down with vegetables. They're my favorite thing to eat.
Tonight's (I work overnights now) lunch is a mixed field green salad with balsamic vinaigrette, fat free yogurt, and celery spears filled with vegetable seasoned cream cheese and sunflower seeds. The salad is a pre-mix of greens from the grocery along with one sliced white mushroom, the dressing is a two parts balsamic vinegar to one part olive oil mix seasoned with a tiny bit of salt and heavily with pepper. That's it. Simplicity is best when it comes to wonderful salad greens. The yogurt is, obviously, store bought. And the cream cheese filling for the celery stalks is a quick and simple combination of one green onion, a quarter each of a red and green pepper, and baby carrot, whizzed up in the mini-food processor and mixed with an eight-ounce block of light cream cheese. After filling the stalks with the cheese mixture, I then turned them over and dipped them in sunflower seeds scattered on a plate. I almost can't wait to go to work tonight!
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