What We Ate: DASH Diet Meals for 2/7/18-2/9/18, Wednesday to Friday


Another Wednesday, another Thai lunch. I had pad thai with chicken, roasted salmon with broccoli and mushroom, a small veggie spring roll and a fried shrimp dumpling. It was tasty but oh man, I’m tired of them! #firstworldproblem I also snacked on dried prunes and had a granola bar, which was totally not worth the sugar expenditure! I mean, it was tasty, but I can’t justify it considering that eating the granola bar basically filled up my entire day’s worth of sugar allotment and I don’t love granola bars all that much to begin with. #dashdietfail

Spinach & Mushroom Gnocchi with Dill Sour Cream & Russian Meatballs
Spinach gnocchi tossed with sautéed spinach, maitake and cremini mushrooms, dill and sour cream. A few Russian-spiced meatballs complete this hearty DASH diet dinner.

I didn’t leave work until past 6, and I was sorely tempted to pick up a fancy salad to share with Hubby. I was feeling lazy and craving fresh veggies… However, I knew there was a bunch of spinach in the fridge desperately waiting to be used up. I came home and dutifully made what I’d planned: Spinach and mushroom gnocchi with dill sour cream, and threw in some Russian-spiced meatballs for protein. This was a mighty delicious DASH diet dinner–rich, complex and satisfying without a ton of meat or devastating amount of heavy cream. I thanked the weekend me for making the meatballs ahead of time.

According to the last “What We Ate” post, I was supposed to prepare something for dinner Thursday so that we’d have a dinner ready to go when we come home from an after work meeting. I wasn’t feeling it, though. 🙁 I wanted to spend the time enjoying the beer (Finback’s super-drinkable-but-utterly-full-of-character IPA called Again) and working on the blog. I hit the lazy button and wrote the sheet pan za’atar salmon recipe.


There was yet another catered lunch planned at work. I brought in a small apple as a snack, but didn’t eat it because… there were paczki! I try to stay away from free sweets at work, but I make exception to paczki that a Polish colleague brings in almost every year around this time of year. They are amazing!

I went somewhat lighter on the soup & sandwich lunch, having half a soup (some sort of lime-spiked chicken orzo soup) and half a chicken sandwich. I probably did okay on the overall amount, but by the time dinner rolled around, I was craving fresh veggies badly.

We didn’t get home until 7 pm or so, as we stopped for a pint after an after-work meeting. I was tempted to get sucked into one of the easy takeout options near us. (This is the frequent equation around here: Tiring work + beer buzz + cooking doldrums = temptation for takeout.)  My cravings for a home-cooked meal with veggies won out, though. I made a quick sukiyaki-style stew and a ponzu-based cabbage and red pepper salad, and had those with a bowl of rice. Yum! It was a good thing I managed to cook at home, as we’d be having dinner out with a friend on Friday.


For lunch, I’d stashed away some of the Italian fare from a couple of days ago in the work fridge. To add fresh crunch to the penne a la vodka and a giant meatball, I brought a tupperware of grape tomatoes, red pepper and celery. I was very happy about the veggie addition! I wasn’t sure if I’d eat them all, but I polished them off with no problem.

I worked a part of the day in an open area, and had a chocolate truffle that a colleague offered me. I didn’t really want it, but I had it for being the sociable coworker (or whatever). It’s a good thing I don’t usually work in that open area; otherwise I’d have to come up with ways to vow out of those constant offerings of food without damaging my relationship with my well-meaning colleagues.

Sushi Balls!
Unusually shaped sushi balls from a great Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg. Those babies were super delicious, if not particularly low in sodium or sugar!

We met up with a friend in Williamsburg after work. My subway ride over the bridge was awesome–a dreamlike view of the Lower East Side and the river. I wished the subway car had the lights off so I could see the cityscape without the reflection! For dinner, we went to an excellent Japanese restaurant with a great bang for the buck. What we had: Fried chicken with watercress, wasabi-spiked scallop ceviche, braised pork belly and a bunch of sushi. SO good. (SO lacking in vegetables–but that’s okay. We’ll catch up later.)

DASH Diet Goals & Reality

DASH Diet Graph 2/3/18-2/9/18
DASH Diet goal tracking graph for 2/3/18 to 2/9/2018. Ouch. I let some stuff slide while being under the weather–and I feel the effect. Next week will be a course-correcting week!

Quite aside from whether we did well on the DASH diet goals, I felt heavy and unenergetic this whole period. Uninspired. Clearly, a part of that is just the effect of the cold I had over the weekend. Another is the inadvertently high frequency of restaurant meals, mostly due to catered work lunches, but also from the Indian delivery we resorted to last Friday when I was sick. I don’t think the popular “carbs should be avoided, as they make you feel heavy and bloated” line of thinking applies to me, but the combination of too much salt, lots of starch and not enough simply cooked veggies is most likely a part of this sluggish feel.

But of course, physical is just one side of the coin. I also suspect a psychological aspect: There’s a dose of blog fatigue somewhere in there, as well as work stress. I can’t change those psychological aspects as easily, but the physical side is easier to manage. Which brings me to the goals for the next few days:

Next Few Days

I have three goals for the next period, which includes the weekend.

  1. Get physical. Preferably a long hike on Saturday before the weather gets clammy into Sunday, but if not, I need a good, solid flaneuring in the city.
  2. Get inspired. I need some cooking inspiration to keep me going. When I’m not excited about cooking up something tasty and interesting, either of the two things happen, and both are bad for DASH diet:
    1. I refuse to cook and we end up with a restaurant or takeout meal more often than I’d like. Bad for budget, bad for health.
    2. I’m not completely satisfied with dinner, and reach for dessert. Not where I want to be, either.
  3. Get back to the routine. This past week, mostly due to being under the weather, I let a bunch of routine go, including our typical way of eating and some of the blogging schedule. I want to reestablish my routine.

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