The Realms of Pain

Pain holds dark dominion over me – I spend my life running toward the light with pain nipping at my back threatening to take me over any time I might stumble.  And I am stumbling at the moment…while I am not dieting in the traditional sense of the word, I am trying to eat clean foods and to portion control, but I am stressed and tired and at times like this, in the past, food has been a coping mechanism. 

The weight just isn’t moving this week – which is frustrating as it is only week 2, but at least I am staying beneath 170.  Every other time in the last 2 years I have managed to drop below 170, I have gone over again, it is as much a psychological struggle as a physical matter of food and exercise….

 I am not going back over, or I won’t go anywhere but down into the Realms of Pain and into a wheel chair. (Can you tell I had to take an anti-infammatory this week?)  I have two more days till my next weigh in – the scales may shift in my favor.

Phew, I love being a drama queen!  I feel better already…

On Friday, I went quasi Mexican and made;

Barley, Black Bean, and Avocado Salad and Chili Bean Nacho Skillet

The salad is a powerful combination of healthy foods and the chili bean mix was just plain good.  Maybe too good, it’s hard to control portions when your mouth is singing a cantata in praise of the fresh flavors it is experiencing!  Both these recipes came from the Readers Digest web site.

Barley, Black Bean, and Avocado Salad

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes

You Will Need
1 cup carrot juice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley (I used rice because I forgot to buy barley, way to go me!)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced avocado

What to Do
1. Combine carrot juice, thyme, salt, and cayenne in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add barley, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until barley is tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice and oil in large bowl. Transfer barley and any liquid remaining in pan to bowl with lemon juice mixture; toss to coat.

3. Add beans and tomatoes and toss to combine. Add avocado and gently toss. Serve at room temperature or chilled. For best flavor, remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

Some More Ideas

  • Make this salad with brown rice in place of barley. Add 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth to the carrot juice mixture. Add 1/2 cup rinsed brown rice, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 40 – 50 minutes.
  • Use red kidney or pinto beans instead of black beans.

Health Points
This salad is a powerful combination of healthy foods. An exceptional amount of fiber comes from the barley and the beans. The avocado supplies vitamins A and E, and the beans and avocado are rich in the B vitamin folate.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information

250 Calories, 60 Calories from Fat, 7g Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 10g Protein, 46g Carb, 13g Fiber, 320mg Sodium

Blood Pressure Nutrients
19mg Vitamin C, 47mg Magnesium, 784mg Potassium, 80mg Calcium

Chili Bean Nacho Skillet

Stimulate your taste buds with this hearty Mexican dish. Serve with a salad to create a quick and complete meal.

Total Prep Time: 30 minutes

You Will Need
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chili beans, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (11 ounces) Mexicorn, drained
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips (optional)

What to Do
1.In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the beans, tomato sauce, corn, sugar, chili powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

2.Sprinkle with cheese; remove from the heat. Cover; let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Serves: 6


1 Comment

Filed under food kids like, recipes

One response to “The Realms of Pain

  1. Chandalyn Pulmano

    Hang in there Annie! See you tomorrow morning!

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