Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grilled chicken, cherry, roasted asparagus and green bean salad: See, I really do eat healthy!

The other day, a friend put up the following on Twitter, "@DianaTakesaBite I shall call u blimpie from here on out..."

I responded, "Blimpie?"

"'Blimpie'... because of all the food u consume and the indigestion u must endure. Pretty soon you'll b as big as a blimp!" She wrote back.

Her words, while meant to be in jest, hit me hard. Especially after receiving a random personal message on Yelp a few weeks ago asking, "How are you not a big giant fat person?"

Looking over many of my blog posts, reviews on Yelp and updates on Twitter, it does appear as though I do eat an obscene amount of rich, decadent food. I go for pizza and ice cream. I treat myself to multi-course meals, I regularly post about my chocolate finds, and I am not one to turn up my nose when offerred a cookie. It is not hard to see why people think that I am constantly shovelling calorically dense food into my mouth with no regard for my health or hip size. I can't really blame them for thinking I am on the path toward a weight problem, Diabetes or, as my friend put it, a state of blimpdom.

What people don't see, however, is the healthy meals I prepare for myself most nights of the week that include whole grains like quinoa, fresh steamed vegetables and lean proteins. Or the sack lunches and fresh fruit that I take with me to work every single day. Or the green tea or water that I drink instead of sodas or sugar-laden fruit juice. In addition, while I do review quite a few restaurants, I actually eat 85% of my meals at home, limit my intake of alcohol, and, more often than not, eat my chocolate finds in moderation. A couple pieces of Hershey's Bliss dark chocolate after lunch and two Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream bon bons does not a blimp make. Especially considering my levels of physical activity (5 days of cardio + 2 strength training sessions every week).

This salad I made for lunch on Saturday, composed of balsamic-marinated grilled chicken, fresh cherries, roasted asparagus, green beans and shallots, and a moderate sprinkling of slivered almonds and feta cheese, exemplifies how I approach most of my meals. I enjoy delicious, foodie-friendly foods that still fuel my body and provide me with the proper vitamins, healthy fats, good carbohydrates and lean protein grams that I need to get through my day. I truly endeavor to make sure that I get at least 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables every day, and am conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth when I am not indulging at a nice restaurant, chowing down on pizza with my parents, or seeking out a decadent dessert find for Sugar Bomber. I am able to truly eat whatever I want on those occasions because of the healthy habits I adhere to when I am not shovelling in the bacon, ice cream and cheese.

Plus, I do crazy things like go for ten mile hikes to nowhere on my "lazy" Sundays. (But, more on that later.)

The point is that the elicit images of food porn that I put up on this site are not representative of my entire diet, and I don't at all encourage anyone to subsist on an all pork fat or all ice cream diet. I do, however, encourage a diet that doesn't label any food as forbidden -- a diet that is about balance. Follow up a hearty meal at the meat lover's paradise, Animal, with a salad the next day. Eat a lighter lunch when going out for a big meal in the evening. And, by all means, eat a couple pieces of dark chocolate after lunch every single day. It doesn't just taste good, it's practically virtuous! Especially if eaten after a salad like this...

Grilled Chicken, Cherry, and Roasted Asparagus and Green Bean Salad

Grilled chicken, marinated in balsamic dressing, sliced
Mixed field greens
Fresh, ripe cherries (or dried)
Asparagus, green beans, shallots, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees until tender (approximately 15 minutes)
Balsamic dressing made with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper (to taste)
Slivered almonds
Feta cheese

For another take on how to maintain a healthy "foodie" lifestyle, check out LA and OC Foodventures H.C.'s other blog, Foodie Fitness.


The Blonde Duck said...

SNARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. I can't believe those horrible people said those things to you! Why would you post healthy food? You're a foodie! You thrive on fun, elegant food, not grilled chicken salads. There's a million grilled chicken salads. What's fun about that? Nothing. Cupcakes are fun! Pretty drinks are fun! Salads and quinoa aren't.

Besides, you're always talking about your running. They're just jealous. SNARRRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLLL.

I am in total sympathy.

Jenn said...

I'd like to punch the person who said that. Yes, you eat food, but that person doesn't know what kind of life-style you live. I say ignore them. Don't let it drag you down from enjoying your food.

Nice salad, though. =)

ruth said...

Wow, yeah, with friends like those...

I think it's pretty obvious from both your blog and your yelp reviews, that you take healthy eating very seriously. Indeed, I am in awe of (and admittedly chuckle a bit at) your incredible self-discipline.

In jest, whatever, but snarky comments about other people's weight or eating habits have really got to go.

Diana said...

Miranda - I was thinking the same thing re: posting about healthy food! It's just not as fun to talk about a salad as it is to talk about bacon risotto! (Which will be posted about later this week...)

Jenn - Thanks for the kind words! And offer to punch that person in the face! I really don't think she meant it offensively, but it certainly didn't leave me feeling particularly jovial!

Ruth - Well... don't be in too much awe of my self-discipline. I ate a little too much of my "healthy" dark chocolate after lunch today and wound up with a big fat stomach ache! Some may say it was "blimp-like." ;)

The Duo Dishes said...

Oh man, people say weird stuff sometimes...both serious and in jest. You know what you eat, and clearly you are no blimp, soooo it really doesn't matter what they think you should look like. You always have a great balance of foods on your site, and we're actually routinely shocked at how healthy your recipes are! Nothing like most of ours! :)

Erica said...

Seriously- what the heck is wrong with people???? You don't need to put up this post, we know you eat balance of healthy meals and treats (WHICH IS NORMALLLLLLLL). Gosh...people bug me

Hari said...

Well, your friend has a serious case of the reader's envy! From the short time I have come know you and reading your blog and posts, words like blimp, unhealthy, diabetes do not apply to you. Hope the person was saying in jest or you might actually have to take them to Nowhere! I was there this past Sunday and I'm sure they will get to know why those words don't apply to you :)

Sara said...

I can't believe they'd say that to you!!!! This looks very healthy and delicious, I've been reading for long enough to know that you cook plenty healthy :)

Reeni♥ said...

Do these friends read your blog or just look at the pictures? They seem like mean and thoughtless comments even if they meant them in jest. I know how hard you work out and how devoted you are to a healthy lifestyle. I recall a post where you told us you ran 8 miles. That's a lot of fuel your burning up, you have every right to indulge now and then! All things in moderation, right? I certainly don't mind a good salad idea, like this, since I eat one almost every day for lunch. I like the sweet and savory balance with the cherries.

Esi said...

This is a rockin' salad! Naysayers be damned. You eat well and there is nothing wrong with that :)

Elra said...

IGNORE THOSE COMMENT! Of course/obviously they don't know who you are personally. It's TOTALLY RUBBISH. DON'T LET THIS UP SET YOU. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU THINK IT'S RIGHT.
Your food compare to mine, is way healthier! You see? But, I am far far far from FAT! And I don't think you are. As long as you exercise regularly, and like you said, eat well most of the week, that you'll be fine. I think those who give comment like that, just jealous because they can't eat the food like us, though they really want to. And, maybe they are the one who are "BLIMPIE"

Take care Diana,

your grilled chicken sounds fabulous!

Diana said...

Chrystal & Amir – I think your recipes are great! They always get my mouth watering, and make me wish that I were more adventuresome in the kitchen! Keep the delicious eats coming! :)

Erica – Thank you for your support! I realize now that I didn’t really need to “clear the air” as much as I thought I did, but it’s nice to know that all of you don’t think I really am a blimpie!

Hari – Thanks for your kind words!

Sara – Hah, healthy until I bring on the bacon and sugar! ;)

Reeni – I actually think they are basing their assessment on my yelp reviews and Twitters about food. I do tend to talk about it a lot. Especially chocolate!

Esi – I meant to make an aside that the salad was inspired by your asparagus, cherry salad! I’ll have to go back and put that in!

Elra – You are so sweet! I really appreciate your words of support. Keep your scrumptious recipes coming!

SinoSoul said...

Wonder who was the biiiatch? Can we bring binge drinking back as a weight-loss program? I lost 5 lbs 1 weekend just after 2 bottles of soju. Good times!