Spiced Fried Chickpeas

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You never know who is watching and learning, even if you think they aren’t. It’s not often that I do very personal posts, but this is one of those times that calls for it. As my accidental fitness quest has continued over the years, it’s morphed and changed gradually into what it is today. I’ve gone from one extreme of 4 decades of junk food and sporadic cardio to the other extreme of clean eating, obsessive calorie counting, over-exercise.

When The Kid asked to go out to eat, I’d grab my phone to look up nutrition details and see what fit. I felt like exercise ruled my evenings and I did it whether I felt like it or not. I was always on a diet or off a diet regardless of what I weighed. It was either diet to lose weight or diet because I’d gain for sure if I didn’t diet. I realized one day a few years ago that this wasn’t the healthiest choice for me.

I’ve happily settled in the middle of the two extremes with exercising because I love it, eating foods I enjoy, and both in a nice balance that fits my life perfectly. I want this to be something that I always do in some form and not a set of rules to follow or break. Funny enough, the changes in my body have come at a faster pace once I relaxed and adopted the mindset of having fun and feeling great. I like eating foods that make me feel good and not just out of obligation. I’ve also not gained weight out of control after relaxing but maintain it without much effort at all.

This approach is one that I talk about a lot on Facebook and also include in my client work. Sustainable and fun is my motto, and you can have both while getting results. I’ve never really talked about my mindset changes or my approach with The Kid. I tend to keep work to myself so I don’t turn into a preachy mom always yapping about health and fitness. That’s a sure fire way to get a teenager to go the opposite way. It’s just naturally happened through things like me enjoying a cupcake while on vacation, or saying I didn’t want ice cream because I was too full from dinner.

I always like hearing The Kid’s perspective and about why she likes or doesn’t like things so I was curious as to why she made the decision to give vegan/vegetarian eating a try. She talked about the obvious ethical reasons based on documentaries she saw, but then added something that totally surprised me. She wanted to eat fewer animal products for health reasons, but she wanted to take it slowly and see how it went without feeling like she had to do something in a certain way.

She went on to explain that she really liked chicken pot stickers at her favorite restaurant and she planned to eat them still if she wanted. If she didn’t feel like the pot stickers, she’d see what vegetarian options they had but didn’t want to just say she’d never get pot stickers. She didn’t want it to feel like it was an obligation and wanted start with meals at home that were animal free and move up from there. If she wanted to eat meat, she would but she was thinking that over time it would just gradually progress to less and less.

This brought the biggest smile to my face and it was a proud mom moment. It’s so important to me that she have the relationship with food that took me years to get to personally. I never sat down with her and talked about my reasons or laid out my thought process, but she’s nailed it and is mature beyond her years. I’m absolutely supporting her approach with this and will embrace it in my own version as well. No rules, just seeing where this leads for both of us.

In honor of this monumental event, let’s celebrate by frying up a batch of chickpeas. You knew I had to throw in a recipe along with my story. 😉 You can munch on these crispy peas as a snack, toss them in a salad, wrap them in a tortilla. They’re spicy, they’re portable, and they satisfy that snacky feeling.

Spiced Fried Chickpeas Spiced Fried Chickpeas

  • 15 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

Drain and rinse your chick peas and dry them well. Don’t skip the drying step or they won’t fry. Heat a pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Swirl pan to coat. Once the oil is hot, add the chick peas and fry them until they begin to crisp slightly and sizzle.

Sprinkle the spices over the chick peas and cook another 30 – 60 seconds, stirring constantly as if you’re stir frying them. LOL, because you’re stir frying them. You just want to toast the spices slightly. Remove from heat.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 193 calories – 8g protein, 29g carbs, and 5g fat.

Next time you sit out something because you’re on a diet or jump on your phone to see what you can eat, think about whether you want to do this long term. Your actions speak louder than words, and you really don’t know what those around you are absorbing.  Make sure you’re sending the right message for yourself and for them.

Life is too short to sit out fun or settle for chicken and broccoli. If you’re looking to improve your relationship with food, let me know and we can talk about my approach to building some healthy habits instead of just endless dieting.

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