It’s hard to believe we’re already into March! I feel like January was just last week. I thought I’d write another health and wellness update for you all. Long story short: I didn’t lose the thirty pounds I was hoping to, but that’s okay because I think I’ve done a lot better. I have learned a lot about myself in the last three months: I’m obsessed with the scale, I don’t eat nearly as many veggies as I should and I’m still a terrible runner. But the good news is 1. J has started hiding the scale and only lets me weigh-in once a week, 2. I am literally a vegetable monster now, and 3. I may be terrible at running but I’m really starting to love it.
I started this health series to be completely real about how I’m doing so here it is: I am happy and healthy. Those are two things I couldn’t have said three months ago. I am currently the happiest I have been in a very long time. I feel good about myself, my body and my relationships with other people. Yes, it helps that my jeans aren’t as tight as they used to be and I exercise every single day, but I think this happiness comes from a much deeper place than that. I first started the thirty day yoga program to get back into the practice, but I’ve since passed the thirty day mark and I’m still practicing (almost) daily. I am a clear, confident and calculated person when I practice yoga. I don’t come from a place of reactive anger or negativity. I have learned how to move on. I am patient when things don’t go my way (which is a huge accomplishment: J can confirm it’s often my way or the highway), and I just like myself a whole lot more when I’m consistently rolling out the mat and twisting my body.
Another thing that’s been positively impacting my health? My running. While the weather is currently cold again in Chicago, the past few weeks have opened up great opportunities to squeeze in some outdoor running. In my commitment to be active every single day, I’ve started to set goals for myself, each time I head out on a run I’m no longer counting down the kilometres until it’s over but rather trying to make my pace better than the last. In two months of running outdoors, I have cut almost 50 seconds off my average pace time. This makes me prouder than any number on the scale ever has. So while I haven’t completely fallen away from tracking numbers, I’m using them in a more proactive way to improve my health and challenge myself each week. By setting fitness goals (goals I have control over) rather than weight loss goals, I feel more accomplished daily – and the weight loss happens as a result.
So while I may never be the girl who can eat McDonald’s three days in a row and not have it show immediately on my hips, I’m starting to be okay with that. I may never be confident in a bikini on the beach, but there’s a ton of cute cover ups and so long as I can continue to practice yoga and run daily, I will be happy in my little (kinda-chubby) body.
Now back to the veggie monster and cold weather points, since incorporating a serving of vegetables or fruits into every single meal, I have developed an affinity for kitchen creativity. I no longer dread making dinner most nights and look forward to unique ways I can sneak more vegetables in. One of our weekly staples is chicken coconut curry. While I’m still perfecting this dish here in America (there are some ingredients I can’t quite match to my Canadian recipe just yet), it is delicious and healthy none-the-less. Let’s get cooking!
Chicken coconut curry
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1-1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet potato, diced
- 2 chicken breasts, cubed
- Trader Joe’s curry simmer sauce*
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 pound of green beans
- 1/2 pound of button mushrooms
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- kosher salt to taste
- Heat oil in a 4-quart pot, over medium heat.
- Add sweet potato, onion and garlic, and sauté. Add cumin, turmeric
and curry powder, and mix well, cooking 1 minute.
- Place chicken in the pot and season with 1 teaspoon salt, cook for three minutes.
- Add simmer sauce, cilantro, coconut milk, chicken broth.
- Stir all ingredients and cover pan, simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes.
- Add bell pepper, green beans and mushrooms.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered for at least 5 more minutes.
*If you are in Canada, I highly recommend replacing this simmer sauce with 2 tbsp of chicken curry paste. J and I have yet to find this paste in Chicago!