Surviving Catastrophic Life Changes

I'm sure most of you (if there are any of you left) already know that things went downhill fast and Hubby passed away near the end of September. It's impossible to believe it was almost two months ago.

I'm not going to whine about how much it sucks (lots) or how hard it is (very) 'cause I already have other outlets for that. Here, I can write about other things, like, say, food.

So let's do precisely that, shall we?

Once Hubby was no longer able to eat, my diet consisted mainly of Diet Coke and fast food. Surprisingly, I didn't gain any weight but didn't lose any either (blast you, comfort eating!) Then came condolences in the form of food gift baskets and of course I had to eat those. It would be rude not to, you know. Let's just say I got REALLY used to not cooking.

So now, two months post-apocalypse, I'm digging myself out of the trench, food-wise.

The first order of business has been to get back into getting real food on the table on weeknights. I am so grateful for my Project Weeknight archives! Yeah, I still pulled out a few more Blue Boxes than I'd like to admit, and once I even resorted to stacked cans of faux-Chinese food (FAIL!) but I'm getting there.

Now that the food gifts and Halloween candy are gone, I'm trying to get some weight off. Fast food has been officially demoted to emergency status only. I'm not quite ready to give up my daily Diet Coke, although this cold weather we're having is stifling my urge to run out and get a tall frosty one, IYKWIM.

Since lunches at work have been notoriously fast-food-centric, I'm using my Blendtec blender (LOVE!!) to make myself a green smoothie to take to work every day for lunch. It's only been a week, but the scale is starting to inch down just a bit.

Basic Green Smoothie
Based on Angela's Green Monster Smoothie and Alton Brown's Buff Smoothie

Makes ~32 fl. oz.

8 oz. frozen strawberries/mixed berries, by weight
4 oz. frozen mango or peaches, by weight
1 med. banana, sliced (~ 4 oz.) (see note)
2-4 oz. greens, by weight (see note)
12 fl. ounces milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
Other add-ins as desired (flaxseed, protein powder, whatever)

Blend following your blender directions, treating the frozen berries/mangoes as ice.

  • Since steamed greens are more easily digested, I buy raw kale and spinach, rough chop, and steam in the microwave. I then freeze them in zip-top bags in thin layers. Then I just break off what I need. I also sometimes include some romaine lettuce; raw, of course. It adds a really, um, earthy flavor, but I learned in my BAS days that romaine is amazingly full of nutrients so I suck it up.

  • I buy bananas in large quantities, let them get fully ripe (or even a little past) then peel them and freeze them in a single layer in a zip-top bag.

  • Also, since I am very lazy in the morning, on the weekends I'll portion out several zip-top sandwich bags containing 8 oz. frozen berries + 4 oz. frozen mangoes/peaches. Then all I have to do in the morning is grab one of those, one banana, break off some greens, and I'm ready to whirl.

  • My blender instruction say to put the liquid and unfrozen stuff in first, then the frozen stuff on top. If I have frozen bananas, I thaw the frozen berries/mangoes in the microwave for a minute and put that in first, then slice the frozen banana on top. If I have a room temp banana I put it in first and the frozen fruit in last.

I don't know how long it's going to take me to get sick to death of these things, but if it gets me through the holidays, I'll be happy.

My latest discovery has been homemade Larabars. I completely burned out on bars during my briefly-successful-then-disastrous attempt at Atkins some years back so I'd never even had a Larabar, but for some reason I decided I had to try making some. They are fabulous and, miracle of miracles, my son loves them too. I made a small batch of Fudge Babies for dessert last night and they were perfect!

I'm taking the fact that I even care about real food a good sign. Here's hoping I can keep it going for awhile.