I’ve decided to try a new weekly thing — Foodie Friday — where I talk about a recipe that I’m either going to make, or have made and decided is delicious.  I’ve really been trying to branch out and try new things, so this will keep me accountable (and y’all know that I love me some accountability!).

The first installment:  Basil Cauliflower Pizza

I haven’t made this yet — it’s on the agenda for Saturday dinner, I believe — but I’ve been wanting to forever!  I had been putting it off because ricing cauliflower was beyond my kitchen appliance abilities, but then I found an awesome video showing me how to do it in my blender, and that sealed the deal.

If I can find a way to have pizza that’s admittedly not real pizza, but still a good facsimile (and healthy!), I’m all over it.  The internet seems to think this is a wonderful thing, so I’m going to give it a try.  And tell you what, I’ll come back here and add an epilogue once I’ve made it and taste tested!

October 5th, 2013 …Verdict?

It was … a little better than just okay.  Certainly not pizza, though it was tasty.  I did a couple of things wrong, though — I riced the cauliflower as in the video above and I should have let the cauliflower drain longer because when I formed the crusts, it was probably a little more liquid-y than it should have been.  Oh, and I forgot zucchini, so there were basically no vegetables on top.  Oops.

I’ll probably try this again.  Even though it didn’t taste like pizza, it did taste good and it at least scratched the itch for real pizza (for a bit, at least).

Not nearly as pretty, eh?  I also ran out
of room on the baking sheet, too. Bad
space management…

Dear Amazon.com,

Laura here.  Yes, that Laura — the one that has her credit card information memorized. I’m sure we’re on a first name basis since you get so much business from me.  But, here’s the thing:  we need to break up.  You’ve turned out to be my bad influence friend; I’m nothing but bad when I’m around you.  And frankly, my bank website is starting to get mad at me.  So, I bid a very sad adieu to you, ‘Zon.  I’ll miss you and all the wild times we shared.  Of course, you shouldn’t feel badly — it’s me, not you.  Well, it’s a little you.

                                       Much love,
                                           Your favorite impulse shopper.

Yes.  I have a problem.  I know it.  Amazon’s 1-click shopping really is going to be the death of my bank account one of these days (but it’s sooo easy! and wonderful!).

(Don’t worry, I’m not completely serious about the breakup)

So, what I did I buy?  Something that I couldn’t live another day without:  a Spiral Vegetable Slicer!  How exciting! (actually, I am excited)

Here’s how it happened:  I was on my Lean Eating accountability group Google+ page (now there’s a mouthful), minding my own business, when I saw a thread started by one of the ladies who was looking for recommendations for a vegetable spiralizer (sure that’s a word… well, it is now).  In a matter of minutes, there was an “I love mine!” and an echo back “I love mine too! It’s awesome!” … and after a few more of these responses, I was hooked — I cave easily to peer pressure — and popped onto Amazon to look at it.

And you know what, people on Amazon love it, too!  My mind made up, it was in my shopping cart and paid for before I even knew what was happening.  Whoosh!

I will say that I’m looking forward to making things like sweet potato slices and zucchini pasta and maybe even some dried apple slices!  Doesn’t that sound great?  I can’t wait.  I’m already making a list of the foods I need to buy so I can play with it this weekend.

So – do you own one of these babies?  What’s your favorite way to use it?

So, the running thing has been moving along (heh, see what I did there?).  I’ve started getting out about 3 times a week, only about 10 miles, but it’s more than I had been doing and I’m kinda proud of myself.

I’m so far from where I was, but I’m doing my best to keep that out of my head, because frankly, it messes with me a little. Makes me think, why try, I’ll never get back to how fast I used to be.

But that’s not fair to myself.  It’s one of those voices that I need to quiet — it has got to give me a break.  The point of running isn’t to be as fast as I used to be 2 years ago, it’s to be a better person than I was yesterday.  If I can say that I’m putting the effort in, then that’s the point.  If I can say it’s growing me as a person and runner, then that’s the point. If I can say that I want to run again tomorrow, then that’s the point.

And it wasn’t like I was Flash Gordon in my previous running life, so the idea of getting back to that kind of speed isn’t out of the question.  And it’s something to work towards — it might take me years to accomplish it, but I gotta tell you, the thought of reaching that goal keeps me at it. 

So that’s where I’m at, just so you know.  I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do in my future life and stop worrying about what I did in my former life.

This is a concept that Lean Eating introduced a few weeks ago but I hadn’t brought up because it took me awhile to wrap my head around it enough to understand it. I got it on the surface, but the ability to really internalize it eluded me.

So – difficult-easy and difficult-difficult.  Generally speaking, these refer to things that are all hard, but in the realm of hard, go from easy to difficult.

Difficult-easy is something that’s hard to do, but I personally find easy or it’s part of the same old routine.  For example, the workouts are difficult-easy for me — I still have to schedule it, get it done, sweat it out, but for me this is something that doesn’t require a lot of effort.  It’s something I’ve done for a long time and so I don’t even have to think about it, I just do it and there’s little resistance to getting it done.

(I talk about resistance a lot, don’t I?)

Difficult-difficult for me would be ditching my Diet Pepsi.  It’s not only hard to give up something, but for me, giving up Diet Pepsi might make me cry (for a little while, at least). It’s something I don’t want to do, even though I know it’s probably the best things for me.

But, there’s more to it than just that.  Difficult-easy is the same old thing.  It’s not something that grows you because it’s familiar territory. Sure, maybe you’re working hard and need to push through, but you’ve been there before and the pain is one you’ve had before.

On the other hand, difficult-difficult is that thing that pushes you out of your comfort zone.  One of those things that makes you feel uneasy and anxious, and really causes you to grow and experience new things, despite initial resistance. It’s that thing you’re scared of doing because you’ve never done it before.

And while I haven’t specifically tagged things as difficult-difficult for me, I’ve certainly mentioned them:  being told to get the bad foods out of the house, being told to limit carbs (not even give them up, just start making better choices), and other things along these lines.  And I’ve noticed a trend:  I dislike it when someone (anyone!) tells me what to do (notice all the “being told” difficult-difficult things?).  There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to be bossed around, ya know?  It’s a knee-jerk reaction that I need to be more mindful about, I suppose.

I know that I need to be open to new nutritional guidelines.  Again – and again – I mention how what I was doing wasn’t working, especially long term, so I need to try different methods, even though my initial reaction is “hell, no!”. You know, give myself a chance to develop that new lifestyle that I keep yapping about.

And anyway – I’m actually paying these people to tell me what to do.  So, duh.  Listen to them, Laura.  Either that or I need to start paying myself $99/month…

Another “what to eat” habit is here:  make smart carb choices.  This is the one that I knew was coming but wasn’t looking forward to because I really love my carbs.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never met a carb I didn’t love.

I’ve already done a lot in the way of cutting out the refined carbs — the cookies, bakery bread, crackers, muffins and all of the other starchy goodness out there — but I’ve been reluctant to really make a concerted effort to consistently make smarter carb choices.  I don’t wanna <insert pouty lower lip>.

Now, I know quite well that when I feel resistance, I’m being faced with one of those things that I know I ought to do, but don’t really want to make the effort to get it done. Like geometry homework (the one math class I hated). It’s kind of hard — I mean, what’s a good sandwich without good bread to hold it together, right? — and, um, ya, I just don’t wanna.

But – I will.  I can’t avoid something just because it’s a challenge.  Right?  I haven’t had success doing this my way, and that’s something I need to keep pounding into my brain. This is one of my difficult-difficult things (have I talked about difficult-easy and difficult-difficult yet?  Hmmm… if not, that’s coming up soon).

So – instead of a bakery bread sandwich, I’ll have a lettuce wrap.  Substitute sweet potatoes for white rice.  Replace cookies with … nothing, I guess.  That just seems a little sad, doesn’t it?  Anyway, I’m on it.

Can’t you just smell that heavenly bakery goodness?