There are things you don’t ever forget.
- Your first kiss
- Your first love
- Your first broken heart
- Your wedding day
- The day your children came into the world
These are events that try as you might – happy or gut wrenching as they may be, you never forgot them. Your brain conjures up these images with a clarity that is astounding. I mean, you can’t remember where you put your keys (in the freezer), yet you can remember the EXACT words your husband uttered following your I DOs (I’ll spare you).
Today I am forced to add yet another event to the list – The day my doctor said; “Your blood pressure is really high”.
Suddenly I was faced with a mix of emotions:
- I was scared: Did this mean I was going to drop dead of a heart attack on my way home? I’m a bit on the extreme side.
- I started feeling symptoms which weren’t really there: Wait, is that pain in my left arm? My jaw? Am I breathing?! Did my vision just blur?! I’m a bit on the extreme side.
- I began to worry: What would happen to the kids? My son who is entering SUCH a precarious age? My daughter who is still in Kindergarten?
Then it dawned on me:
1. I had a very stressful 2013; a stress which carried over to this year, because essentially not much has changed. I allowed life to swallow me whole and spit me out, then paralyze me.
2. Because of this I stress ate 20 pounds – 17 of those pounds were gained last year alone.
All of this contributed to my blood pressure escalating to dangerous levels. And so, I have to say the one thing I NEVER thought I would say, or write, or even think about.
It’s time for a full lifestyle change.
Gosh, I didn’t mean to be such a downer. I didn’t. Let’s talk about happier things. Like lemon curd and blueberry parfaits.
Citrus is actually one of those fruits which work in both summer and winter months. Lemons are like a beacon of hope in winter as we grumpily dig our way out of several feet of snow. In summer they serve as our own personal sunshine, beaming down at us. Warming… Soothing… Secure.
I made a batch of lemon curd some time ago, and paired it with some meringue sandwich cookies. This time, however, I decided to mix lemon curd into some plain yogurt, which I paired with lightly macerated blueberries. I like a bit of crunch, so I went with some plain old granola. And then I layered that sucka’. Layered it nice and tight. Then dipped right in. ‘Cause that is what you do when you’re faced with a layered healthy treat. No?
Sweet and tangy lemon curd yogurt, sweet-tart blueberries, and granola crunchies hit the spot, man.
Yes, I know – This parfait may not be as pretty, or as appetizing as a cookie stuffed with peanut butter frosting. And in all honesty I prefer eating a molten chocolate cake stuffed with Nutella. But neither one of these is going to shrink my waistline or help lower this blood pressure.
I can eat one of these parfaits and be cool – Great even. Like I accomplished something; whereas stopping after one cookie is a near superhuman feat. Apparently I have no self control.
So while I regain control of myself, exert will power, regain the upper hand on this blood pressure, and attempt to shrink these hips to at least a size 40 (I’m Dominican – This junk in my trunk is permanent) – I’ll chill with one of these.
Lemon Blueberry Parfaits
For the macerated berries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 3 scant tablespoons granulated sugar
For the lemon curd yogurt
- 2 cup2 plain yogurt
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon curd
- 4 teaspoons honey
To assemble the parfait
- Macerated blueberries
- Lemon curd yogurt
- 2 cups of granola
- 1 small dollop of lemon curd optional
To macerate berries:
- Place blueberries and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside for about 15-20 minutes. This will allow the sugar to sweeten the berries.
For the lemon curd yogurt:
- To a medium bowl add plain yogurt, lemon curd, and honey. Stir to combine and adjust flavors as needed; adding more lemon curd or honey to taste. Set aside.
To assemble the parfaits:
- To 2, 8 oz glasses, add about 1 tablespoon of granola. Add about 2 tablespoons of lemon curd yogurt on top of the granola. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of blueberries. Repeat until you reach the top of the glasses. Add a dollop of lemon curd if desired, along with some granola, and a top with a few blueberries.