Friday, November 13, 2009

I once was lost but now I'm found....(japanese eggplant)

Me and a very awake Wesley

I had a cup of coffee and found myself. I hadn't been feeling lost per-say, it wasn't until I was found that i realized things had been slowly changing, I had been slowly changing.

I noticed that in the last 6 weeks and the last 10 months, I have been making choices that I would not have normally made. Whether it be how I wear my hair (at 12 weeks pregnant I had bangs cut..bad idea), what I do with my spare time (less walks, bike rides, and swims, nevermind a lack of nights out dancing), what I talk about (baby, diapers, flu shots), and what I eat (turkey, chicken, and lots of ice cream). Looking at pictures of myself from last year, I hardly recognized that person and this bothered me a little. Everything has gotten a little wider, Chopper now calls me "mommy" instead of "babe", I haven't been out with friends, and my reasonably clean diet has been tainted with sugar powered energy and enjoyment.

Well yesterday, after my cup of coffee, I was me again! Though I wasn't out dancing, I was home with my sweet sweet boy and my other sweet boy, we were relaxing, nursing, changing, reading, and getting ready to take a walk. But my sense of humor was boomin, I was dancing around the living room, and I couldn't wait to start a million and one projects! Then I realized, I hadn't lost myself, I was just exhausted, and tired like I've never felt before. I told Chop I felt like I was learning a new depth of tired, and he said he felt a new depth of awake...he's so smart. Now what to do besides become a coffee addict, because that's not what a good health counselor would do (though tempting). I realized that all those changes weren't me losing myself, I am still the person in the pictures, but when you are so tired you can't see straight it makes it much harder to be yourself.

Well, what I know for sure is that you are what you eat, and your food forms your body and your mind(set). A healthy diet means a healthy mind, energy, and body (healthy food means healthy hair too, but the food won't do much for a bad bangs haircut). So I will start there. Fresh air, water, green vegetables, and whole grains will give me the energy that I have been relying on brownies, ice cream and coffee to provide (that's right I said brownies). It will help with the waistline as well, though that is less of a concern right now. My focus is to feel focused, enthused, and at peace. And I will kindly ask Chop to refer to me as "babe" for a little while longer, at least till Wes learns the concept of "mommy".

Since I became pregnant I have been eating eggplant like it'll never grow again. Lots and lots of it, usually roasted and then thrown over pasta or in sandwiches. Because I want to make a few healthy changes I decided to do up my eggplant a little differently. This was inspired by the beautiful Japanese eggplant I found at the farmer's market. Japanese eggplant is the smaller varietal you may sometimes see. It has a softer skin and can be a less bitter than the larger eggplants.
Why eggplant?

Its fiber content is high, which helps our digestive process and also acts against coronary heart disease. Eggplant not only features a number of vitamins, proteins and minerals but also contain important phytonutrients and antioxidants. The potassium in eggplant brings a balance to your salt intake and maintains a nice level of hydration and also plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Eggplant also contains folate, magnesium and niacin as well as copper, manganese and thiamine (vitamin B1), all important minerals.

Chinese Japanese Eggplant

6 japanese eggplant sliced
3 Tbl soy sauce
3 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl sesame oil
1/4 cup water

Heat the sesame oil till nice and hot, then add soy sauce.
Toss in eggplant slices, stir coating them in the oil and sauce.
Add water
Cover
Cook covered about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add maple syrup
Cover
Cook until eggplant is soft, add more water if neccesary


Once the eggplant was finished, I cooked a bag of mixed frozen veggies that had carrots, green beans, and peas the same way (you could do these together, but this was an afterthought).

I served all the vegetables over quinoa and sprinkled with a little gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and sea salt). It was really yummy. It had a nice sweet flavor too, which helped to stave off the sweet cravings later on.