09 January 2012

A Healthy (Re)Start

Although I don't set new year's resolutions--if anything, the renewed, 12-month cycle on the Gregorian calendar serves as a convenient reminder to work toward long-term, personal improvement--I do like the idea of trying to make lasting, healthy changes. It happens that my mind and body need just that right now. For months, I haven't been taking care of myself in a proper way; too much indulgence in processed flours and sugar essentially became a form of self-abuse. I am, quite literally, tired of cycling between feeding bad habits and beating myself up over it. I'm tired of needing to react to it, rather than proactively being more mindful of my eating habits. Perhaps with so many people striving for healthier selves (for however long it lasts for them), attempting to simplify my consumption will be easier than if I tried to give it a go alone.

Thankfully, much of my food intake has been fairly devoid of those discipline-weakening items (e.g., bread, white rice) that seem to trap me into feeling less-than-stellar. My diet lately has looked much like the following:
My vegan version of ozouni (Japanese new year soup) to ring in 2012: clear mushroom broth, mushrooms, carrot, spinach, and just a bit of homemade seitan and mochi. It's a slightly simplified version of the bowl I made for New Year's Day 2011.
Green smoothie as a refreshing, post-run pick-me-up: spinach, pineapple, green apple, red grapes, celery, orange juice, ginger, and silken tofu (not a normal component of my smoothies, but I had some leftover and figured some low-fat protein couldn't hurt).
A simple, leafy, out-of-character lunchtime salad: mix of lettuces, arugula, and spinach; crimini mushrooms; simmered French lentils; green apple; and a splash of red wine vinegar. I'm definitely not a "salad person," but I've been enjoying variations of this salad for a few days now.
Raw hummus on whole-grain rye crispbread. The raw hummus (sprouted chickpeas, lemon juice, raw tahini, garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil) tastes much like regular hummus, but lighter and a little grassier.
For the most part, embarking on my individual path with the mindset of a group approach has been working well. I can easily tell myself that I am not unique in wanting (no, craving) a healthy, balanced way of living, and believe it. It is true, after all, given the hoards of people who tend to adopt that fitter-happier mentality when January arrives. It's also true year-round, which is all I need to know in order to put myself back on track to feeling like that more energetic, happier self I've missed for so long. I do actually enjoy fresh produce and whole grains a great deal, so I'm confident that my personal journey will continue to take healthy turns.

What are some of your favorite healthy foods?


  1. I really love green smoothies, spinach, almonds, and pho. 

  2. tiffany, i love the food you have been eating!  the soup looks amazing, i love that there is mochi in it.  does it get soggy?  also, i love the idea of raw hummus.  i've never had it before, but am very curious about it and want to make it soon ;)

  3. IsobelleVJ1/9/12, 6:43 PM

    It is sometimes hard to admit that we have fallen off of the band wagon sometimes, so I appreciate you blogging about this :) I, too, feel like I need a healthier change in my lifestyle lately. Getting enough sleep being the main thing! But I do find that I eat mindlessly when I have too much going on and I definitely need to focus on controlling that.
    I absolutely love the little flower you made using the carrot for your soup up top. It's so pretty! And raw hummus took me quite a while to get used to, but now I like it a lot. Anything raw wins me over in a snap, usually.

  4. Perfect timing with this, as I've been not only craving soup...but Asian-spired soup. Definitely going to have to make something similar soon.

  5. That hummus looks great, and your soup too. Good luck with the new eating habits, Tiff! Hope you're feeling like your lively old self again soon.

    I'm not sure if it qualifies, but my favorite (healthy or non) food is apples and peanut butter, with a toasted whole wheat English muffin if I'm extra hungry. Just one of those keep-you-full snacks that isn't too terrible for you if you keep the PB in check. I eat a lot of hummus, switching up the vegetables too keep myself interested (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.)

  6. It sure looks like you're in a healthy mode now!  I have the same trouble as you with the white starches and don't indulge in them very often anymore.  Not a salad girl?  Maybe experiment with adding whole grains as well as beans to your raw veggies.  Every day I take a very similar lunch to work, something like: whole grains, beans, cold baked spaghetti squash, cold cooked diced beets, chopped spring mix, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, and green onions, plus the dressing of the day (usually something substantial rather than a vinaigrette, like a miso-tahini dressing or a mustard vinaigrette with a little fresh tofu blended in).  Seriously, I look forward to it every day and anyone who sees it is simply awestruck at its awesomeness...

    Now green smoothies is something I don't usually do, but want to try!

  7. tasteofbeirut1/14/12, 12:27 PM

    All of these resolutions sound great and I second them! I love the soup and salad you are showcasing especially! I eat a lot of sugar (chocolate, bread, cookies, cake, you name it) but can't seem to give them up! Fortunately lebanese food is healthy and I like it so I don't have to force myself to eat bulgur, veggies and salads.

  8. Thank you, Caitlin. :) The mochi does get soggy after being in the hot liquid, but it stays intact pretty well. I suspect that the harder, store-bought mochi squares don't get soggy as quickly, although I don't really know. And yes, do give raw hummus a try!


Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)