As most folks in town have noticed, my husband and I are on a health journey together. It is something we decided we better get a handle on before we turned 50.
When we first met, I will tell you, he was as skinny as a board. Me? Not so much. But he fell in love with me anyway.
Shortly after we were married, and he got out of the Air Force, he decided it was time to move back down south.
Well, of course I agreed and we moved to Florida. I cried the whole way there and for several months later.
During that time, I was an emotional eater. So I ate my way through my feelings. You can say I packed on the pounds for sure.
I know some don’t understand how someone can eat when they are happy, eat when they are sad or even eat when they are mad. I just love to eat.
One of the things that I have going for me — or should I say I don’t have going for me — is I love to cook. I come from a family that are great cooks and love to cook, so I come by it honestly.
Every year from the time my kids were little until they graduated high school they had a hot breakfast before they went to school. This wasn’t just heating up something. I made it homemade. I would get up an hour earlier than anyone. To me, the most important meal of the day for a kid is breakfast during school. It gets their brain going.
They had a hot, home-cooked meal that night if we were not running around playing sports.
We didn’t get as fat as we were by eating just junk. We ate good food and two to three helpings. My boys love my cooking which would make me want to cook more.
It wasn’t just our family that “benefitted” from my cooking. We would have friends over all the time. The more the merrier. One of my love languages is service. The one service I love is cooking for people. It brings me great joy to see full bellies and happy faces because of it.
What I am trying to get at is, it stinks that we can’t eat what we want and be healthy. My husband didn’t touch a vegetable for 49 years of his life. He hated them! He would eat corn and only corn. Corn is a starch, despite what some folks try to claim.
Through the years of eating, I became a diabetic. Since I didn’t take care of things early on, I ended up taking four shots a day, plus other meds. It wasn’t good.
I am not even 50 years old yet and I was so tired all the time. I had aches and pains where I shouldn’t have aches and pains.
Then something changed for us. I believe at the beginning of the year when I came back from a trip from seeing my parents, God allowed things to happen to get a wake up call for us both. We both decided it was time to take control.
It started off by my husband saying, “Whatever you put in front of me, I will eat and only eat that.” Well, no pressure there! My husband just put his health into my hands.
For two months, I thought our healthy eating habits were great. Then I went to the doctor in March and all my numbers were out of whack. It was time to do some research.
What I learned was we really weren’t eating healthy at all. It was time to regroup and figure out what we could do that would work for us. I have done all the plans and nothing has worked for me. Four months ago, I saw this program some of my friends were doing. It kept coming up in my feed on Facebook. So we started asking questions and decided to give it a shot.
You have to make your mind up no matter what you’re doing. I know God still has a purpose for me on this earth and I need to be healthy and feel good so I can to do what He has for me.
As my coach says, “What is your Why?” Why do you want to do this? And always let your “Why” outweigh your “Want.” My greatest “why” is my family, and one day I will have grandchildren to spoil.
Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits
Yield: 2 Servings
1 lb raw, peeled deveined shrimp
1/2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter/margarine
2 1/2 cupsfinely riced cauliflower
1/2 cup unsweetened original almond or cashew milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/3 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1. Place shrimp and Cajun seasoning into a large resealable plastic bag. Close bag and toss to coat shrimp evenly in seasoning.
2. Spray a medium-sized skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Cook shrimp until pink, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add lemon juice and chicken broth, scraping any bits off of the bottom of the pan, and simmer for 1 minute, set aside.
3. In a separate skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add riced cauliflower. and cook for 5 minutes. Add milk and salt and cook an additional 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, and stir in sour cream and cheese until melted.
5. Serve shrimp atop caulillower grits, and top with scallions.
Tina Specht is co-publihser of the Minden Press-Herald. She shares her thoughts and recipes each Thursday.