Chefdruck’sTastyTuesday I flew out to Ohio desperate for a respite from our frantic house de-cluttering and eager to forget for a few days the prospect of long stressful months awaiting an offer. I couldn’t wait to be blown away by the mansions we would be trading our cozy little house for. After two weeks of tough news from NJ realtors about the impact of the recession on our lives, I was ready to see the silver lining in our adventure.
But instead of being welcomed like visiting royalty by Ohio realtors, we were dealt another bitter pill. We spent three days like contestants of the Amazing Race, going from town to town, trying on lifestyles like shoes at the annual Nordstrom sale.
We visited 1920s homes minutes from downtown Columbus with tiny bedrooms and damp unfinished basements, homes that were full of charming details needing a serious amount of TLC and decorating budget to bring to life, but homes that were within tree-lined walking distance from excellent schools. It was hard to imagine our family-friendly furniture and mountains of toys sullying these historic gems. We pictured 2-3 years of yelling at Jack every time he nicked one of the antique walls with an enthusiastic session of car racing.
Then we raced off to a Disney-like community with identical palatial homes built to house the employees of a large retail company. We visited the country club that everyone joins there and tried to look nonchalant when we saw the membership fee and monthly dues. We walked through the cavernous halls of a foreclosed mansion marred by deep gouges in the grand wrap around staircase and an infestation of winged ants and we wondered nervously how many more of these beautiful houses in this dream gone wrong were doomed to the same fate in this climate of layoffs and real estate losses. We still were tempted by the notion of having such a huge house until we learned that Jack would be attending one of the 36 kindergarten classrooms with 30 children each in the fall if we chose that particular town.
By default, we’re now leaning towards the initial town we were interested in, a sprawling maze of sub-developments with 12 elementary schools. In addition to not knowing how to navigate this massive school system, we’re also concerned about reports that the schools are constantly redistricted and that there is no guarantee your child will go to the same school from year to year.
Needless to say, I came home to my still-cluttered house very very stressed, with only one desire: to grab my kiddies and hide under the covers from all of this change. Another unfortunate outcome of all of this anxiety is that I’m having a harder and harder time fitting into my jeans. I’ve definitely been turning to brownies and molten chocolate cakes with more frequency to drown my sorrows lately and it is definitely showing.
If I can’t get control of the other parts of my life, at least I can get my eating under control. My body is so addicted to sugar right now that I find myself obsessing about excuses to have a treat all day. I don’t believe in diets that radically change the way you eat, such as South Beach. To really succeed in losing weight, it has to be something sustainable that you can live with, not a complete change from your regular habits. My motto is always “everything in moderation” but sometimes it just needs to be “everything in greater moderation.”
For this Tasty Tuesday, I’m declaring my battle plan to win back my jeans.
Only fruit and non-fat Fage yogurt for dessert for the next two weeks.
No more potatoes, fried or baked, for the next two weeks.
Salads with fun protein instead of grilled cheese for lunch.
A big vat of homemade vegetable soup as an alternative to salads.
When I last felt the need to have a little sugar detox, I shared my recipe for roasted butternut squash soup. Unfortunately, the butternut squash season is behind us. I’ll be turning to this carrot apple ginger soup in the next few weeks to supplement my salads.
Carrot, Apple and Ginger Soup Ingredients 3 tablespoons of salted butter 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger root 1 apple, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 7 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of dry white wine 2 bags of baby carrots or 2 lbs of carrot bunches, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon of curry powder salt and pepper chopped fresh parsley to garnish
Melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the stock, wine, carrots and apple. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered over medium heat until the carrots are very tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Season with lemon juice, curry powder and salt and pepper to your liking. Sprinkle with the parsley to garnish.