I hope everyone feels well rested and had a great start to this new week. I’d like to tell a bit of a ‘story’ if you’d listen (feel a bit like Rose Nylon on The Golden Girls here).
I started this blog back in January, earlier this year and had a very different vision of what it would be and the purpose it would serve. Since then, the blog has changed a bit-in a very positive way- but it hasn’t really been doing for me what I wanted it to.
You see, when I started this blog I wanted to use it as an outlet for some bottled up creativity and some excess ‘boredom’- I really dislike that word since I’m not really bored here at home, just you know ‘living in a bit of a routine?’ The idea of starting this blog came from a couple of things…
First, as you all know I have a little one here at home and sometimes, like most mothers tending to their little pumpkins, you try to find things to do to occupy them and yourself. So it came to me one day to start up a blog where I can log the things we do together while simultaneously showcasing Trinidad. I wanted to challenge myself to do something new each week so that both of us wouldn’t get stuck in the rut of doing the same things day in and day out.
The other reason I started this blog is two-fold. One, I needed (and still do) to get rid of some extra weight I’ve been logging around for sometime and thought it would be great to document what I ate; this would give me some accountability-even if no one ever read a single word I’d know that I could ‘see’ what I was doing; just a forum where I can see what I prepare and how I prepare it. Two, I thought to myself ‘self, wouldn’t be get great to have a site where you could show off some of the delicious dishes/food from Trinidad, trying to make them healthier or offering tweaked versions while maybe still showing nostalgic Trinis (or other Caribbean-ites) how to make authentic dishes?’ Yes! (I thought). So I did! I started thehiddencook.com and it pretty much covered everything I thought it would and a bit more! I was happy with the views I got and the wonderful comments…all while hiding out to get it done!
Today, the site’s a bit different. I’ve decided to focus more on food and less on some of the other things I had initially planned. But one thing has fallen dreadfully to the side and today is the day that that changes.
I’ve decided to take regain accountability. I’ve decided to present myself and all of you with a challenge- a 4 week salad challenge.
With the exception of vegetarians, most of us have grown up centering our meals around the meat we eat- we focus on its preparation, the way we need to cook it and what should accompany it. We seldom think of fruits and vegetables in that light. We rarely think to ourselves ‘hmm, what would go good with my Greek salad?’ I think it’s sad that we choose to focus on our meats and neglect our vegetables and fruits -and no, I’m not switching to a vegetarian lifestyle- I just think it’s high time my vegetables and fruits take center stage!
So, I am challenging myself and I’m challenging you! Let’s embark on a 4 week salad regime. Let’s shine a bright spotlight on our salads- vegetable and fruit- for the next four weeks and see what happens!
*NOTE* I define a salad as any vegetable/fruit that can be eaten raw, with a dressing of some sort. For instance, 5 fruits
cut up and placed in a bowl with a bit of lemon juice drizzle on top is considered a salad in my books. Likewise, beans steamed and drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette is also a salad. Once it contains vegetables / fruits and adheres to the rules below, it’s a salad!
Here are the Rules~
For the next four weeks this is what I’ll be doing for lunch/dinner/snacks
- centering my meals around a delicious salad-fruit or vegetable- 3/4 of my plate must be composed of some sort of salad
- choosing raw vegetables/fruits over cooked ones. Cooking methods are restricted to
- ABSOLUTELY NONE of the following:
–sweets: including refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave or artificial sweeteners (yuck!)
–fried food: no doubles, KFC, accras, fried bakes, shark & bake, aloo pies-nothing, none.
–tv watching while eating-this includes computer watching
- eating out:
-only if absolutely necessary AND only salads!
- drinking lots of WATER
-12 glasses (8ozs) per day
- exercising 6 days/week
- soups are also allowed- once they are full of vegetables
- snacks will consist of raw fruits/vegetables and a handful (1/4 cup) of nuts/seeds
-dips like hummus are fine once they’re homemade and contain none of foods from the forbidden list above
- Olive oil is the only oil to be used- and I’m limiting it to 1 tsp per meal (where applicable)
Finally, the MOST IMPORTANT rule of all: