Apple and Pear Quinoa Parfait with Lavender
I was inspired to make this parfait by Epicurean Mom. I think I first saw it on Pinterest. You see, I have my own little fruit compote recipe that I used in my cupcakes as fillings. I decided to use that and maybe add some lavender to the quinoa. I used pears and apples in the compote and I let the lavender seep in with the quinoa near the end of boiling.
I struggle with my weight and I have such a sweet tooth that I have a really hard time eating healthy. This recipe is a sure fire way to get you eating better while simultaneously satisfying your sweet tooth, or in my case, teeth.
I was an overweight kid and I am an overweight adult. I like to think that I “carry” my weight well and that I look good for my height and weight. That might just be because of the full-length mirror in my bedroom. It makes just about everyone look 15 lbs. lighter. It’s nice but I’m starting to hate how it lies to me. I go out into the world thinking that I look fantastic when in reality, I don’t.
Last night, I surprisingly had nothing to do. I searched Netflix looking for something entertaining to watch and I came across The Biggest Loser. I decided to watch it and immediately felt a pang in my stomach—sadness.
I realized that I am heavier than the two smallest females in the first season. I never thought that people around my weight would be on a reality TV shows focused on losing weight because I never put myself in the truly overweight category before. I know I am heavier than I should be but I didn’t think that I would even be considered for The Biggest Loser.
That realization slapped me in the face.
I’ve always struggled with my weight. I’ve always tried to watch my eating and I always end up losing about 15lbs before I slide back into old habits and gain that same 15 lbs. back. I know how to lose weight and I’ve done it. I think that heavier people really get it better than most. We know the math. It should be simple, but it’s not.
We know what to do and what works for our bodies to lose that weight but it is hard to stick to after you see some great results. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Unravel all of the hard work we just accomplished? All the nights spent at the gym, all the mornings watching others fill up on donuts and muffins and all the days spent feeling hungry.
I use to give myself food as a reward. If I lost 15 lbs. then I could justify going out to dinner with friends and yes, having dessert. That is probably one of the worst things to do while losing weight. Typing it now makes me feel extremely stupid. It just continues to give life to my bad habits. After I gave myself that food reward, the rest of my bad eating habits followed: Eating really unhealthy food late at night after I ate amazing through-out the day, eating lunch at the office every Wednesday even though I brought my own healthier food from home and not packing snacks or a real dinner for my late night class then coming home and devouring whatever was in the kitchen.
Self-sabotage, it is what I do best.
That episode made me cry, not a hard feat to accomplish because I cry over everything.
But this was one of those deep down cries that comes from your heart and soul, a gut-wrenching cry that is further fueled by each sob. I constantly tell myself that this time around, things will be different. I will follow through and I will lose weight but it never happens. I don’t follow through and I steadily stay in my fat zone for another 5 months until I try again.
I’ve been losing the same 15 lbs. for 10 years. The last time I gained my 15lbs back, I gained another 15 along with it. I am just tired of this game and I don’t want to “diet” I want to do a lifestyle overhaul. I want to eat healthy and nutrient dense foods forever. I don’t want to slide back into old patterns and habits.
Soon after watching The Biggest Loser, I turned on Netflix and watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.
This documentary completely inspired me. I want to run out to the store right now and purchase a decent juicer so I can do a juice fast and to allow my body to heal itself while I work on my exercise habits and wean myself off sugar, sodium and processed foods. Which is something that I’ve wanted to do for 2 years and could never completely accomplish. I’m not sure If I would want to attempt the 60-day juice fast Joe and Phil do in the documentary but I’d want to start out with a 10 day juice fast and drink a glass of juice daily.
I’ve successfully been able to stop drinking sugary drinks such as soda, sweetened iced tea and artificially flavored “juice,” all with high-fructose corn syrup. I’ve also stopped eating fast foods on a weekly basis and have been making my own meals so much more since starting this blog.
Sometimes, I fall back into these old habits and drink soda, eat junk food or stop somewhere to grab quick and easy food before class. I don’t want to do this ever again. I’m all for dessert or “bad” food in moderation but I want to make sure that I make it myself and that its not filled with 700 different useless ingredients.
My main goal is to be healthy, not skinny. Being skinny is going to be a nice perk to being healthier. I have about 50 lbs. to lose before I am in a “healthy range” according to BMI (which is a useless system, in my opinion. It doesn’t count muscles mass, which weighs more than fat!)
So many people feel the way I feel; hopeless and sad about their weight and how other people view them. More and more of us in America are rapidly gaining weight. It is time to do something about it, to change it. Our transformations start from within and we are all capable no matter how hopeless or down-in-the-dumps we feel about our size.
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 10
Total Time: 15
1/4 cup quinoa (equals 1 cup cooked)
1 tsp lavender
1 medium pear
1 medium apple
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp chia seeds
6oz 0 fat, plain greek yogurt (like Chobani)
Cook quinoa according to package and add 1 tsp of lavender while boiling.
Set quinoa aside to cool.
core and peel the pear and apple then chop into small pieces.
Add the chopped pear and apple to a medium sized pot. Add the water, sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch to the pot and heat on high heat for 3-5 minutes. stir to prevent sticking to the pot.
Turn heat down to medium for another 5 minutes while stirring once or twice more. Fruit should be soft at the end of cooking.
Remove compote mixture from heat and let cool.
After quinoa has cooled, add the chia seeds to the lavender and quinoa mixture.
To assemble the parfait: layer the yogurt, apple and pear compote, and quinoa.
Inspired by: Epicurean Mom