In this household, end of February. We said we would start eating healthier, working out, lose weight and get in shape. (Isn’t that everyone’s resolution…every year?) Sure, we have set this out as a goal in the past as well, but this time is different, (Doesn’t everyone say that!?) we are on the right path (again).
Hear me out: Keep in mind that making life style changes requires support, and while we have always supported each other in any way that we could, dieting and exercising is more hands on than a long distance relationship could fully help with. Now we are living together, cooking together, eating together, and we can exercise together too.
Hubby brought home a cookbook last night for “easy and good super salads.” I love cookbooks- even if I haven’t really cooked much before the last few months, I was an avid browser of online recipes. This salad guide has beautiful photos of each meal, which I love and even better it’s in Swedish. How is that better, it sounds worse!? I know, it’s harder but its motivating me to translate and learn new vocabulary. So, I might not use it as often as I would like because it will take time to translate the salad I want to try to make, but if I set out a goal to use the book once a week I will be learning a new recipe as well as new Swedish words.
“You are months late on this so-called-resolution”: Better late than never. I believe in goals, New Years resolutions are a nice concept but it breaks down to a goal, doesn’t matter when you start or finish.
If it’s forced, it will fail. Why didn’t we start sooner? Because we didn’t have to. We just moved in together and I just started learning how to cook, getting comfortable in the kitchen. Now we have an idea of what we like to cook and eat, we take turns cooking, or cook together. It’s a process and now we are both ready to make it a healthier one. We started making healthier meals last week, now we need to start scaling down portion sizes (I always make/serve too much!) and then we will start taking long walks. Looking forward to jogging once the weather is a bit nicer and the dirt paths aren’t muddy. Healthier food with smaller portions is our diet goal. Cardio is our first fitness goal. We are not going on a specific diet or being super strict – just more aware.
We have been incorporating more fruits and nuts into our snacks and desserts, which helps a lot as well. We don’t deny ourselves a chocolate or pastry every once in a while, or else we would give up eating healthy very quickly. We had a “Sweet goodbye to Sweets” on Fattisdag a day after we started our effort, having only one pastry since then(Which is heartbreaking and hard!). We have also stopped buying soda as often, so we are left with water, milk, tea, or coffee. I haven’t bought white bread or buns in two weeks, which is much more difficult for me than it is for him, I haven’t yet adjusted to the darker breads that are normally eaten here.
And so, a post dedicated to some meals we have cooked this past month and a half. Something I will probably continue to blog about (but never so extensively!), as cooking is new territory to me. Being so active in the kitchen is something I have been adjusting to since moving and becoming a Swedish wife (Even if I haven’t been cooking anything incredibly Swedish). We cook most nights, I would say 90% of the time we are eating homemade food. Occasionally we have a pizza, chinese, or eat at a restaurant/cafe. When Hubby and I started dating (and after we got married) I never cooked. He came to terms with the fact that I didn’t know how and he was always patient in showing me the ropes, fully accepting that he would be handling the kitchen. I was terrible at cutting or peeling anything, didn’t want to touch raw meat, refused to cut onions, and was incredibly slow at everything I did. Now I have been doing most of the cooking and so far so good! He loves to cook for me and always makes delicious meals, I am just happy to finally be able to do the same.
Let’s start with some earlier meals:
Shepard’s Pie – made by me. Ground meat, carrots, peas, corn covered with mashed potatoes -baked.
Chicken Tacos- made by hubby. Chicken and peppers in a creamy seasoned sauce wrapped in a tortilla.
Tuna noodle casserole- made by me. (hubby’s favorite meal) Tuna, cream of mushroom, peas, carrots, cheese, breadcrumbs and noodles-baked.
Pork Chops – made by hubby. Fried boneless pork chops with Bearnaise sauce, with baked breaded potato slices. (Most of our meals were accompanied by creamy potato casserole,bread & butter, tomatoes and cucumber)
Meat balls and/or sausage is an easy go-to, with sides or in a pesto or sauce pasta mix.
Sauce – made by me. Fresh tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, and meatballs served over spaghetti.
“Meat in bread”(?) – made by hubby. Ground meat fried with onions and crushed tomatoes. Placed in a loaf of bread, covered with loads of cheese and baked.
Chicken pot pie- made by us. Stir fried chicken and veggies boiled in chicken broth, wrapped in dough and baked.
Russian salmon soup- made by hubby. Variety of veggies in a tomato soup with salmon, served with a dollop of creme. (Healthier without the loads of bread we ate it with)
Over all I don’t consider what we were cooking to be unhealthy, aside from all the cream, sauce, bread, and pasta (No pictures of those because they are an easy and frequent meal). We wanted to rotate more salads in and some more variety like incorporating more fish, veggies, and fruits. So for the past week or so we have eaten:
Three types of salads so far, always only with a dash of olive oil and vinegar:
Tuna & egg (Don’t know why I wanted to mix the two but was surprised how good they taste together!)
Salmon – made by me. Marinated in oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil and fresh parsley baked over broccoli and cauliflower – served over rice (We cheated and used white)
Salmon snack rolls- made by us, inspired from this blog (although we used the wrong bread b/c the store wasn’t stocked) Smoked salmon slices, fresh dill, cream cheese (low fat), wrapped in a tortilla and cut into pieces.
Stir fried chicken veggie – made by me. Chicken fried with diced onion, boiled broccoli and cauliflower, brown rice, and chicken broth.
Tonight we had a warm salad- something I whipped up in a dream last night and couldn’t stop thinking about. Spinach, lightly salted tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, black olives, mushrooms and chicken. Got ambitious and made a basil vinaigrette dressing as well!
Learning to cook and feeling confidant doing it has been a huge accomplishment over the past few months. I’m happy that we are able to adjust our meal plans to our goal so easily, even if we take small steps and it takes time. The feeling of success is half the battle, and so far we are on the right track.We have a few things to get used to and fall into the habit of before we will see progress, but since we already know that it will take time we are not discouraged. My cooking skills will keep getting better, I will be learning Swedish, we will learn how to take/serve smaller portions, we will start to exercise, and feel better- not today, tomorrow, or next week, but sometime (early) this year.
Being as we are only just beginning our “New Years Resolution” I am wondering how other people are handling theirs? Success stories? Better luck next year stories?