Let me take a minute to breathe.
You may have thought I dropped off the face of the earth. The good news is I didn't. The bad news is I've been in a whirlwind of crazy these past few months.
A short synopsis of my recent life: At the very end of September, I found a job (about 2 days before having to move out of my temporary Denver home). This job was in Vail, which meant I had to relocate before I could start work, which meant I had to find a place FAST so I didn't end up homeless. I found an apartment right away, fortunately. A quaint (a very kind word for 270 square feet) place about 20 minutes from work. The job was perfect for me - a dietitian/personal training position at a luxury resort and spa nestled at the base of Vail Mountain. For the past 3 months, I've been working early, late, and every time in between leading group fitness classes, training individuals, doing one-on-one nutrition counseling, and hosting seminars and workshops.
This has left a lot of time for me to talk to people about nutrition, but little time for me to think about nutrition. People judged what I ate 24-7 (imagine people peering over your shoulder every time you put a bite of food in your mouth saying, "Ooh, what's the nutritionist eating?" It's exhausting). For the first time in my life, I experienced wanting everyone to just stop caring about nutrition for 2 minutes so I could rest my brain. I could feel my passion dwindling, and I hated it.
I needed a break and something to reignite the flame that used to fuel my love for good food. I found that in a book (The Omnivore's Dilemma - an excellent read that takes a critical look at our food supply) and a series of recipes that made me feel good and full of nutrients. One of those being lentil meatballs.
I'm back now, hopefully for good. So let's talk nutrition...
Something that I get a huge amount of satisfaction out of is managing to eat a meal consisting of almost all vegetables. It's not always an easy feat, so when I accomplish it, I feel like I just extended my life by 5 years by eating so many good nutrients. Like a superdietitian. And then I feel like a huge nerd.
From a roadside stand.
The box (which was overflowing) was full of some of the tastiest, juiciest peaches I've ever had, and it cost a stunning $10. What the whaaat? Apparently peach season is a magical time here in the mountains.
The only problem with having huge amounts of delicious, fresh peaches is having to eat them all before they go bad. This was a huge box of peaches for only 4 people. But it would be such a shame to let them go to waste, so somehow we did it. Peaches for breakfast, peaches for lunch, peaches for dinner, peaches for snacks, peaches and whipped cream, peaches in the freezer for smoothies... and peach ice cream.
Because who doesn't like peach ice cream?
After a week of working through the never-ending peach pile, the few left at the bottom were perfectly ripe, soft, and basically begging to be used in ice cream.
Except one that had gone bad (unbenownst to me, the innocent peach cutter), and when I cut through it, a big beetle was crawling around inside the rotten pit. That one went in the trash.
You know what's crazy? Moving to a new state with a very small savings account, no job (or any real prospects), living in a friend's basement, and being on a 2-month deadline to find a job in a saturated market and sign a lease on an apartment.
That's my life right now. In all my jobless/free time, I'm applying to jobs, working on a solid reference list, researching common interview questions, shopping for an interview suit, and enjoying the mountain air. Due to the busyness of moving and getting settled, I hadn't done any of my usual cooking projects, but some beautiful fingerling potatoes changed that.
Moving is scary. But I get to live here:
So it's not so bad.
"Don't judge what I'm eating."
"Is ______ healthy?"
"Tell me what I should eat for dinner tonight."
"Can you make me a meal plan?"
"Do you just eat, like, lettuce all the time?"
Oh dear. I chose to become a dietitian because nutrition is something that I love and have a lot of passion for. Little did I know the attention that dietitians and "nutritionists" get. If I had a dollar for all the times I've heard the questions/statements listed above... I'd have a lot of dollars.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that there has been more of an interest in nutrition spark in the last few years. A little job security for me, better health for the people asking these questions.
A question I get less often: "Are there any terribly unhealthy foods that you love to eat?" Why yes, friend who is looking to feel better about her frozen-meals-from-a-box-every-night habit. There is.
I KNOW. I know it is straight egg yolks and butter. But it is the greatest, for reals. So I just don't eat it often, only on the occasional vegetable eggs benedict. The "hollandaise" in this recipe is not the real deal. Don't be fooled. It's not as good, but it's quite different, so it doesn't taste like a failed copycat. It's healthier, too, made with lite mayo and sour cream instead of that
heavenly artery-clogging butter and egg.
Leeks, if you've never had them, are vegetables in the onion family. They have a mild onion taste and a great texture. Most importantly, though, they pair perfectly with eggs. In scrambled eggs? Fantastic. In a frittata? Even better. Roasted? Oh man.