I like to put a check mark on my wall calendar every day I work out. I had this idea when reading some blog post in which someone was talking about the “gold-star” system for marking when they had accomplished a certain thing. I can’t remember what that thing was, but I thought I would see if it helped me get back into the habit of working out. Early this month I looked at my calendar and saw the two checks next to each other on May 1 and 2, and I thought, hey, it would be cool to put a check mark up every day this month!
I don’t always do the same level of workout, but I’ve read that this is a good thing. You need to take breaks some days. Of course, it’s better to get your heart rate up and to work out for a little longer, but ten minutes is still better than nothing at all, if you just push yourself a little to make it a good ten minutes. I’m extending my definition of workout out a little bit to make it a little easier to get it done every day, so if I take a long walk one day I don’t need to do more, and if it’s late and I haven’t done it yet, a few minutes with some weights or a few yoga poses will do for that day. That doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off and just do a short, basic workout every single day…
It’s all part of my general awareness that I need to be more mindful of my health and habits. Healthy living is an ongoing journey. It’s not about losing five pounds to fit into skinnier jeans or looking “good” in a bikini. People can choose to lose weight strictly for vanity purposes if they want to. That’s not my aim. I would like to lose a bit of weight, but I don’t think I need to–at the same time, I don’t want to gain any more. I’m trying to focus on the health aspects because I know that is what is going to help me have a better quality of life when I’m older. Keeping active and feeding myself with good things is an investment in myself. I want to be a hot old lady.
Today’s dinner was made with those goals in mind, after a nice workout of yoga and weights. I defrosted a filet of salmon and dressed it with olive oil, chopped garlic, french sea salt, and some thyme and tarragon. Lemon would have been great on it, but I had no lemon.
As you might have guessed, this is not a recipe. It’s just a basic way of cooking fish, with herbs to make the flavor a little more interesting. One of the things I have mentioned before is that if you’re making something like this, seasonings and herbs should be to taste. Use the ones you like. put curry powder on it if you want. That’s the beauty of a simple thing like this.
As a side, I sauteed some kale in olive oil and more garlic (one clove for the whole meal, and there was still some left over! Seriously, it was huge), adding some roasted red peppers halfway through. Since those are already cooked, I could have mixed them in after the kale was done cooking, and if I ever do this again I think I will try it that way.
My favorite sort of food to cook is generally simple and easy to make, but kind of looks fancy. There’s a sense of indulgence and luxury, but it’s actually not fancy at all and usually doesn’t cost too much. I’d estimate that the ingredients for this dinner (not the full price for each thing, but the portion I used) come out to less than $3. It was tasty and healthy and natural. And satisfying in a way that admittedly delicious fried food rarely is, if ever. That’s another reason to eat healthy. Junk food satisfies a shallow craving, giving instant gratification. Natural, nutritious food satisfies on a deeper level, and over time will make me feel stronger and healthier.
So I made this a while ago… I can’t really remember exactly what I put in it any more, so here’s some variation or other of this dish:
Quinoa: prepared according to basic instructions. It was a tricolor package. I used 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup water, which is much closer to the amount one person would want to eat than if you make a whole cup…
Heat vegetable oil in pan, add sliced bell peppers. Mine were “rainbow,” but actually more of “flamebow”–red, orange, and yellow. Very nice to look at. Cook for several minutes, until peppers are getting soft.
I remember now. I actually added the peppers alone first, to get them seared a little, then added the oil after, before adding the shrimp.
Add peeled raw shrimp. Stir to make sure the shrimp is touching the pan, not just sitting on top of the peppers.
When shrimp has started to turn opaque and pink, add fresh basil. Mix in.
Add desired seasonings. Suggestions: cajun seasoning, thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes. I am pretty sure I added red pepper flakes.
When it looks done, squeeze lime wedges over shrimp and peppers, stir to coat.
Put quinoa in a bowl, serve shrimp and peppers on top.
This was quite pleasing to the mouth and the eyes, and yet I wanted a cheeseburger SO BAD right after eating it (I had wanted one earlier too). I didn’t end up getting a cheeseburger… in fact, I still haven’t managed to have one yet. I should get on that. On a different day, I’m sure it would have been quite satisfying.