Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainbows on Our Dinner Plate!

Prosy's Provencal Salad

What happens when health becomes wealth?  I had experienced the depths of inconsistent self-care, brought on by indulgent meals while vacationing in the Philippines. Yup, I was fed well, but also since there abound so many sources of triggers for allergens, my asthma was so out of control, but life-threatening, when combined with flu and allergies in 2007.  I thought I would remain so hooked to inhalers to get relief for my asthma. 

But, my husband, Enrique Delacruz,  was so determined to strengthen our immune systems. He experimented and came up with his formula for our morning breakfast, juicing nine varieties of fruits and vegetables.  In my old archives of blogs, the juice recipe appears.  But to make it easier on my reader, here it is

Then, we incorporated more exercise into our daily lives.  The regimen kept us away from major bouts of diseases and illnesses. But, not quite yet on reaching the peak of health is wealth.  We are still on our journey.  Being healthy is not just about the absence of illnesses.  It is the condition of one's body which fully supports the rigors of one's life.  Until I got to where I felt I could move around without aches and pains, I did not consider myself healthy.  

Mind you, I have logged in 214 days of exercising since 385 days ago as of today, March 28, 2011.   The rigor of the routine is pretty intense, walking uphill to the summit, alternating with two days of kettle bells, now lifting 53 pounds and while holding this heavy kettle bell, sometimes with one hand, sometimes with two, I have to do swings.  

Then, on cardio days, it is a triset, with no rest in between three different sets, more like continous that by the end of the third set of exercise, you feel like so deprived of oxygen, which you won't be, if you had remembered how to inhale and then exhale with each move.  It does not come that easy, but I persist, because the reward, the payoff is a deep, deep sleep!

Another payoff is the ability to write, to have a clear head, to be able to think and to compose my essays. This way, my editor, I like her, as she does not mince language on me, she says like it is, she uses no poetry to deliver that my work needs editing, and then she comments that her editing work can  sometimes become " karumal-dumal. "

Look up that word and you will see that she paints it precisely.  But, after working with her for a year now,  I believe we are more receptive to each other's feedback.  But mind you, she can be sparse with good tidings.  Of course, our interpretation is no news is good news.  As long as I have one reader, yes, just one reader affected, influenced or impacted by my writing, I am content.

Back to health is wealth.  So, with exercise, with juicing, nothing changes in my body.  It seems to hold onto to every pound of fat I have.  Of course, I love my fat grooves, but as I grow older, I wish there can be more muscular grooves.  After all, I work so hard exercising and eating nutritious foods. 

As a last resort,  I listened and I even applied my creativity to what my coach suggested for my nutrition for the week: lean meats and veggies, no dairy, limited good fats, no whites ( sugar, flour, pasta, etc. ) What made it easier to stay on it is the allowance of one cheat day while doing six days of nutritious eating.  Fruits are forbidden, well limited, and since this salad was more yummy with mango, I added it and ate few chunks.  He was so convincing, he was ready with his science to explain why white rice, white sugar, white flour, white pasta all become sugars in my body.  So, when he explained it that way, refined carbs became a once a week guest in my meals. 

So here goes Prosy's Provencal Salad. I called it Provencal, as the dressing was inspired by my Provencal master teacher in cooking, Tessa.   

2 blood oranges, peel then, cut in semi-thick circles
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 avocado, sliced into serving sizes 
1 or 2 tomatoes, quartered
Radicchio, sliced
1 Mexican mango, cut up into serving sizes, like the avocados ( you can slice it the way you want )
Balsamic Blanc
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pour the balsamic blanc and olive oil into the salad, a ratio of 12 parts of olive oil to 1 part of balsamic, depending on your taste.  I have lessened it to 6 parts to 1 part and both my husband and I like that combination. 

I serve this salad with smoked milkfish or tinapa, or steak or porkchops or sometimes fresh crabs or garlic sauteed shrimps.  Tonight we had it with pork.  The salad leaves a satisfying feeling first, in your mouth: textures are both crunchy and smooth, and second, the eyes are so satisfied, looking at all the vibrant colors on the plate, it feels like you are eating rainbows on your dinner plate.  It is a period, a high five, a slam dunk for both of us!  It is light enough, and it has plenty of fiber to keep us not quite so hungry until the next morning's breakfast!

Bon Appetit!


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