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Spiced Carrots

December 7, 2010
By Wendy Monro

This week, I am thinking about balance.

It's important to have fun; but, not so much fun that you aren't productive.

On the flip side, you don't want to work so hard that you have no fun in your life.

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Wendy uses a large skillet to cook the spiced carrots.

Jack Nicholson told us that in "The Shining." Recently, my jeans are getting tighter. I'd like to think they are shrinking; but, rational thought tells me I am growing.

Darn that rational thought. I know my growth in all the wrong places is due to the fact that II have neglected my gym membership for two months now. I keep thinking I am going to go tomorrow, tomorrow, then tomorrow. I have just been so lazy.

Yet, I haven't cut down on my calorie intake. Now, that we are in the midst of the holiday season, I am quite possibly eating more than usual.

Fact Box

Spiced Carrots

2 pounds carrots. If you use the small peeled carrots, cut into quarters lengthwise.

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the carrots and cook in the butter for five minutes. Add brown sugar, water, lemon, salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Mix together. Let this simmer for 15 minutes. Let the juice simmer and reduce to half.

So, yesterday, I decided to start a diet. I should have gone to the gym instead; but, I saw this diet recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow and thought, "well, I would love to look like her, sing like her, act like her, make the sort of money she makes, have a daughter named Apple (no, not really)!"

Thus, I was successfully lured into the plan. Yesterday morning I made the green detox drink which is supposed to start your day on the right track. It consisted of an apple, spinach leaves, watercress, cucumber, celery, and pretty much anything green you could find in your fridge. Then, I blended it all up and sipped it until it was gone. It wasn't too bad, believe it or not.

For lunch, I brought a homemade salad to work. At around 1:30 p.m., I was hungry again. By 3 p.m., I was getting dizzy. I ate an orange and a few nuts to keep my sanity.

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This was a Wednesday. Jack has hockey practice on Wednesday evenings. In Las Vegas, the hockey rink is connected to a bar. Brilliant!

So, while Jack practices, Claud and I can play video black jack and sip wine.

We can even watch every now and then through the glass wall that separates us from the arctic chill of the ice rink. This is exactly what we did. Then, as a special treat, I suggested we buy some chicken strips for Jack since I knew the salmon and kale I planned to cook for dinner would never reach his lips. Claud agreed and a few minutes later the to-go container arrived. It smelled so good. I couldn't resist opening it up and peeking inside.

Keep in mind that I had only really eaten fruit and vegetables all day. Furthermore, I had two glasses of Cabernet in my system. All reason was pretty much gone.

I opened the box and decided to have just one French fry. Then, I decided I should open the ranch and have one dipped in there. About five fries into it, I thought, "I can eat anything for dinner, right?" I had eaten so well all day, I should be able to have a reasonable dinner. I don't need to have salmon and kale.

I asked Claud if he wanted to order something from the bar to eat. We decided on the "Butcher Block" pizza, large of course.

"Butcher Block" meant it had every type of meat on it: sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, you name it. Heck, I ordered another glass of wine to wash it down.

Then, I decided to get another ranch to dip each bit of pizza into.

By the time I finished the last bite, I was incredibly full. I told Claud he would need to wedge me into the car and then roll me into the house. I thought this was very funny at the time.

On the drive home, I moaned about needing to be in something with an elastic waist. I plopped myself onto the couch, and a few minutes later, I fell into a pizza induced coma. Claud woke me up to go to bed soon after.

I woke up in the middle of the night wondering what happened to me. I realized that life has to have balance.

If you have too much of one thing, i.e. vegetables, you are likely to want to overdose on cheese and meat.

It's all about balance.

Also, it is never a good idea to drink wine after all you have eaten is leaves and apples.

Besides, I like to chew my food and a diet consisting of two liquid meals is out of balance for me.

I realized what I already knew, I need to eat healthy with occasional treats (cheese and wine) and get my lazy self to the gym. If I didn't have a headache from the wine, I would have gone this morning.

Tomorrow I hope I will go. If not, maybe the day after or the next day.

This recipe is based on the concept of balance. It combines vitamin and nutrient rich carrots with deliciously sweet brown sugar and butter. It is a great side dish for a holiday meal and sweet enough that the kids will eat them. I love the citrus flavor that combines with these sweet carrots.

Also, the orange will add amazing color to any holiday feast.



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