I tried to begin this post without reverting to butterflies. This did not work. See, I've lost nearly 20 pounds in the last two months. I haven't written much about it. I haven't written much of anything. What with finishing an extremely challenging year of graduate school, and a general in-flux feeling about life, words have been elusive - words not meant for others, that is, words for myself, about myself, words not intended to satisfy school assignments, words not intended for my students. The personal words have instead remained inside, churning, cocooning. That's where the butterflies come in - the breaking of cocoons, etc. But I don't want to talk about butterflies. I want to talk about these 20 pounds that are no longer a part of me.
This past year was the first time in quite a while that I had health insurance. This prompted a desire to get everything screened and prodded and checked out, just because I could. As a result, I had to face some uncomfortable truths about myself. For a while now, I've really embraced the fat-positive/health-at-every-size movement. Over the years, I had slowly become comfortable and even happy with myself and my own fatness; seeing this movement take shape online gave me a framework to talk about my own personal discoveries. But then it turned out that I wasn't actually as healthy as I always thought. In April (two months ago), my doctor told me that my cholesterol and trigliceride levels were so high she wanted to put me on medication immediately. My blood pressure, which had been climbing little by little over the years, was also getting to a point where it was almost too high for me to continue taking birth control pills.
That doctor visit was a wake-up call. I asked her for more time to get my health under control without pharmaceutical intervention. She gave me two months. In these two months, I joined a great fitness and diet tracking site, started eating less and moving more. No crazy fads no tricks, just old-fashioned diet and exercise - lean protein, high fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and veggies, smaller portions, taking the stairs, frequent walks, regular gym time. And yesterday, I had my follow-up appointment. And I did it. I did it! I got my cholesterol and trigliceride levels down to where I don't need medication anymore. It's a fantastic feeling. And one of my rewards to myself is a return to blogging - this time, with a lean towards health/food/wellness/body issues. All recipes will come with nutritional information.
What better way to return to the blogosphere than with a healthy, seasonal salad that pops with flavor and color? This stuff is downright festive, not to mention delicious. A few notes: I've made variations of this with frozen corn and supermarket veggies. It is always pretty good. But using fresh, seasonal, farmers market veggies will produce the best results. I particularly loved this combination of carrots and radishes, but use whatever ingredients suit your fancy.
Corn Salad with Carrots and Radishes
4-5 ears of fresh corn (or about 3 cups of corn kernels)
1 bunch of young carrots
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of parsley, cilantro, or other herb of your choice
Juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the corn until tender, and let cool. Slice the kernels off and place in a large bowl. Dice your other veggies, combine with corn, and dress with lime and olive oil. Let sit for at least an hour, if possible, to let the flavors mingle and become all friendly-like.
Nutritional info: makes 6 servings. Each serving has 115 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat (from the olive oil), 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber.