Saturday, February 28, 2009

cherry banana ice cream


1 bag frozen cherries (10 oz)
1 banana
1 oz walnuts or cashews (raw)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup pomegranate juice or soy milk (I'm guessing, I don't usually measure, add more if you find you need it)
2 tsp Dr. Fuhrman's cocoa powder (optional--I put 1 tsp in housemate's, left it out of mine)

Combine the nuts and liquid in the blender first. Blend until smooth. If you need more volume for the blender to work, add some of the cherries. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You'll need to work with the plunger to blend it. A powerful blender is required.

Note: I rarely make it with the cocoa powder because I'm sensitive to the caffeine. It's great without it.

Serves 2 (about 3/4 cup per serving)
Calories per serving: 186; protein 3g, carbs 36g, fat 5 g (24%).

For fun, compare this to Haagen-Daaz cherry vanilla ice cream
serving size 1/2 cup (note: that is smaller than my ice cream!)
Calories: 260, protein 4 g, carbs 23g, fat 15 g (58%)

Since I don't eat dairy, I can't do a taste test, but I like how mine tastes.

Feb. 28 food

Brekky: another smoothie--I'm tweaking the recipe.  This one has more greens than before.  I also want to have less of the pomegranate juice.  Even though it's healthy, I don't like buying those bottles and then recycling them.  I think this is the only food I buy in a container now!   It will be a while before I run out, but when I do, I don't think I'll be buying it on a regular basis anymore.   0.5 oz brazil nuts

snacks:  I was gone until 3 pm and doing physical labor so had a lot of snacks:  an apple, 3 carrots and 2 essene buds that I brought.  plus an apple, 2 oranges, some carrots and celery sticks that others brought.  

Late Lunch/early dinner:  baked sweet potato.  apple-cabbage dish.  I still love this dish.  It is so easy to make and so good.

Dessert:  cherry banana ice cream.  My new favorite ice cream--super simple.  I added cocoa to housemate's and I think that was even better.  I've been avoiding chocolate because of the caffeine but I might make an exception for this.  Maybe 1.5 tsp of cocoa powder is low enough caffeine...or I could remember to add vanilla next time and then I won't want the cocoa.

took my supplements.

Total calories 1520, protein 30 g (6%), carbs 319 g (77%), fat 28 g (17%).

I didn't wake up hungry today.  Maybe this is the right amount of calories for me even though the websites I googled tell me I need more.  Does menopause give you lower metabolism?  I've had a lot of skipped periods lately (yeah!).  

starches and grains

I thought Dr. McDougall's newsletter this month gave some good arguments for eating starches and grains.  He points out that humans have been eating this stuff for 3000-10,000 years and our genes have adapted to digest them (making us different from chimpanzees in that regard).  Some of the raw food promoters say we should be eating like the apes and chimpanzees since we are so similar--so greens, fruits, and nuts.  This is pretty similar to what Dr. Fuhrman recommends too but he also recommends cooked food including cruciferous vegetables, beans and some grains and starchy vegetables.   Fuhrman recommends eating much more greens and cruciferous vegetables than McDougall.  McDougall argues that we should follow the same diets several non-western cultures follow(ed) (the ones who haven't adopted the Standard American Diet yet), which are mostly starch-based, because these societies are (were) long-lived and healthy.  I think there is merit to that, but I agree with Fuhrman that we shouldn't just copy a successful way of eating if we think we can also improve on it.  Not only that, many of us don't figure this out until middle age, so not only do we want to improve our health but we probably have to make up for years of abuse.  So piling on the greens and cruciferous vegetables probably does some good.  So overall, I still think Fuhrman is the best program.  And he is an active MD, and has treated tens of thousands of patients.  There's nothing like first hand experience.  But McDougall's newsletter did remind me that our bodies have adapted to handle starches and grains and they can be a healthy part of our diet and provide us needed calories.  Fortunately, sweet potatoes fall in that category.  I am in love with sweet potatoes.  and beets.  but sweet potatoes even more.   And I shouldn't forget brown rice.  I'm going to make some tomorrow to eat with our chili.  I think it helps me digest beans more.

The tipping point

I just finished Malcolm Gladwell's book, "The Tipping Point."  It's about how social viruses spread and become epidemics.  I want to spread the virus of eating healthy.  Gladwell says there are three main ways:  1)  the law of the few; these are special people that make a big difference and spread the word:  the mavens, the connectors and the salesmen.  The mavens are people who know everything about some things and people turn to them for advice.  The connectors know lots of people.  The salesmen are good at convincing people.  2) stickiness.  The message has to stick, and not go in one ear and out the other.  3) the power of context.  Now I've already started forgetting how this one works.  oh yeah, depending on your situation and the environment around you, the message may or may not stick.  He gives an example of how crime went down in New york city when they cleaned the graffiti off the subways and cracked down on minor offenses.   Suddenly the standards for behavior, and the expectations went up.  

So, knowing all this, how to I spread the message of healthy eating?  Let's start with #1, the law of the few.  I could call myself a maven since I have been obsessed with this topic for a few years now and have learned a lot.  However, I am not a great communicator (orally anyway), though I'm sort of respected by my friends.  But I'm pretty introverted.  I haven't told most of my friends or family about my blogs because I think they would think I'm crazy.  You can see I have a long ways to go to become one of the "few".  However, I could work the maven angle.  And you don't have to be a communicator to spread the virus, you just have to know one and convince them to spread it.  Same with the salesmen.  The book gave an example of a great communicator:  the hair stylist.  I have a really cool hairstylist, cool enough to be convinced about this healthy eating stuff, and then spread the word.  I can't think of any salesmen I know...  okay on to #2)  stickiness.  This is hard because of so much ingrained thinking about healthy eating.  The automatic reaction from most people is "I'd rather enjoy life than be miserable and live a few years longer," not realizing that you will enjoy life more and be more happy when you don't have continous aches and pains.  But there is the very ingrained and strong association of healthy eating with deprivation.   So how to combat that?  There's the power of example.  Some of my friends and family were very interested to learn more about healthy eating after I lost 30 lbs and felt and looked so much better than before.   That seems to be the most effective.  For people who didn't know me before I became healthy, I don't have much influence.  Talking to people about healthy eating doesn't work very well--though I have to admit I haven't tried very hard.  I really don't want to come across as preachy and make people defensive.   So in fact, I shut down the virus before it can even have a chance to start because I am so reluctant to talk about it.  I have started to bring healthy treats to various functions, and the surprise is that people seem almost relieved to see fruit instead of muffins.  They go, "oh good, fruit!" (with some exceptions of course!).    So that is another good approach.  Yeah, I think the approach has to be through their stomachs and not my mouth.   Okay, on to #3), the power of context.   ummmm.   So what is the best environment (place & time, situation) to plant the seed in people?  I don't know.   Not meal time, unless it's a meal I have cooked.  Oh, I guess inviting people over for meals could be effective.   Unfortunately for completely unrelated reasons, I can't do this very often.  I had a vegan cooking class last fall and since then one of the students turned vegan!  However, I think that was a fluke.  She was motivated already when she took the class.  Ah, that's the key, identifying people who are already motivated.  Maybe you start with the mavens--get them on board first and then try to spread the word.   One thing I should do is start an ETL (Eat to Live, Fuhrman's program) meetup group in my town.  I'm kind of shy about such things but I really think I should do it.  Maybe that should be my first goal.  And I should convince my hair stylist.  And bring great healthy food to my church potlucks.  That's a good start.

So what book am I going to read next?  "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie.  Ha!  

Friday, February 27, 2009


Do we need 8 hours of sleep every day?  I sleep less and less as I get older.  I wake up early and want to get going on the day.  It doesn't feel like it's for stressful reasons, but for happy reasons, enjoying life.  I go to bed too late because I work in the evenings and don't wind down, plus I want to read in bed before going to sleep.  I think I only sleep about 6-7 hours a day.   I have catch-up days where I sleep almost 8 hours.   Is that bad?  I feel okay.  I used to sleep much more.  I wonder if I need less sleep since I am more healthy than I used to be and my body doesn't have to work as hard to remove toxins.  

another morning smoothie

This is almost the same as my original morning smoothie but adds a bag of spinach (substitutes for some of the juice).

Ingredients for 2 servings:
1 banana
1 package frozen mixed berries or cherries (10 oz bag)
8 oz pomegranate juice
8 oz soy milk or pomegranate juice or water
2 Tbsp flaxseeds
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1  5-oz bag of spinach
1.5 ml DHA
Osteo-Sun (vitamin D and some calcium)

Blend half the liquid, seeds, vitamins, and spinach. Add the rest of the liquid, berries and banana, and blend some more.  Makes two 18-oz servings.  I freeze one of them for the next day (plastic glass with foil on top or water bottle).   I got tired of trying to remember to take all those darn vitamins so I am now putting them in the smoothie.  It seems like a lot of vitamins but they are actually a lower dose than most, except for the vitamin D which is typical. 

If you want a treat, it's really sweet with cherries and all juice (my soymilk is unsweetened)  

Total calories per serving: 335. Protein: 10 g. Carbs: 55 g. fat: 12 g (31%)

tahini-rutabaga sauce


1 rutabaga or turnip
part of an onion or leek (optional, I almost always forget this)
1 oz (about 2 Tbsp) sesame seeds or 1 Tbsp sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
juice of 1 lemon
some water or liquid from the veggies if you are steaming veggies to eat with this

peel, cutup the rutabaga or turnip, steam until tender (probably at least 20 minutes for the rutabaga in a regular pan, or 2 minutes in pressure cooker). Blend everything in the blender until nicely pureed. Makes a good sauce to top over vegetables or kale.

Total calories: 325, protein 9 g (9%), carbs 50 g (58%), fat 12 g (33%).
We usually split this into two servings.

feb. 27 food

Brekky:   spinach-mango smoothie, 0.5 oz brazil nuts

Lunch:  steamed kale with a sesame-rutabaga sauce.  This is one of my all-time favorite dishes, which probably indicates that I am very weird.  fruit salad, 2 carrots.  part of a smoothie when I was making a new batch to freeze.

Dinner:  big easy salad, two baked beets.  an apple.  I wasn't hungry by the time I got to the apple but I ate it anyway and it was delicious.  The beets were like dessert (top right in the picture).  I just ate them as is after baking them in their skins.  Yum!   The salad had lots of lettuce and arugula, some edamame and corn, 4 olives (unsalted!) cutup, yellow and orange bell pepper, and 1 Tbsp Dr. Fuhrman's D'Angou Pear vinegar.  It was really good.

took my supplements

Total calories 1551, protein 46 g (9%), carbs 278 g (66%), fat 44g (25%).

This is the same amount of calories I had yesterday.  I woke up a bit hungry this morning.  Does that mean it's not enough?  But I feel I had plenty to eat today.  I didn't get hungry for dinner until 6:30 pm.   Finished dinner at 7:30 pm.  According to some website I googled, I should eat 1800 calories per day.  But the fact that I get cold a lot means my metabolism is probably lower than average.  So maybe 1500 calories is the right amount.  

Thursday, February 26, 2009


To all women:  Read this article.  Read the whole thing.  Bottom line:  forget the mammograms, eat lots of greens and take your Vitamin D every day!

logging nutrition

I previously thought that keeping track of my calories and nutritional intake is going overboard, is micromanaging, is obsessive, and a waste of time. Actually it's been a good educational exercise. I think it's a great way to fine tune your eating plan. You can see what foods costs a lot in calories and fat, and decide if they are worth it to include or if you want lower quantities. It's been good for me for regulating the nut intake. And it's great to find out which foods you like that you can eat tons of. For example, I love carrots. I can go crazy with those babies. And I like fruit. I can only go a little crazy with fruit but I like them more than nuts, so can eat them instead. And things I love like beets and sweet potatoes, well, I can go crazy with them too. Fuhrman recommends we limit the starchy vegetables, but I think that's more for people trying to lose weight. I'd rather have baked beats than grains any day. So go for it!

So as it's turned out, it's actually kind of fun to log the calories and nutrition and you learn a lot doing it. This CRONoMeter program is easy to use. I won't do this forever, just until I feel I've learned what I want to learn. And not only do you learn a lot, it helps you regulate your intake. Check out this article from They refer to a major study in the New England Journal of Medicine that shows that no matter what diet you go on, if you track your calories, you are more likely to lose weight. I know someone who lost 50 lbs in the last 6 months and she tracks her calories too. So I learned something new! Thanks to Howard for turning me on to this.

Feb. 26 food

calories in parentheses

Brekky: smoothie (270). 0.5 oz brazil nuts (93). (363)

Lunch: spinach-mango smoothie (302), apple (95), two carrots (50). (447)

Dinner: oatmeal (303) + berries&banana (179) + 0.5 oz walnuts (93). another carrot (25).  kiwi (46). snacked on arugula (12) while making housemate's smoothies and orange juice. Put too much juice in housemate's smoothie, so had to eat some (70). (728)

took my supplements. DHA has 9 calories

Total calories 1559, protein 39 g (8%), carbs 284 g (68%), fat 42g (24%).

I feel that I ate plenty today, though I was hungry by dinner time. I could either eat more for lunch or eat an earlier dinner and then a snack before bed. Fuhrman is against snacking but he's also against overfilling yourself. I could eat more for breakfast. I'm thinking of changing my smoothie recipe again. more on that later.

I ate a lot of greens in the smoothies (was out much of the day from early in the morning, so smoothies were easy to prepare the day before and take with me); so I thought, I could have oatmeal at dinner. I am not excited by grains anymore. Oatmeal by itself is quite bland. Vegetables and fruit, on the other hand, all have taste. Even bland-looking white cauliflower has a very nice taste all by itself (when cooked anyway, I'm not a big raw cauli fan though I have to admit I haven't tried it in a while, okay I will try it tomorrow). So you have to flavor the oatmeal. Well, I'd just as soon eat the stuff that flavors it, the fruit and nuts, and then have something else like my favorite apple-cabbage dish--at least while I can still afford all these expensive items. I do realize grains are cheap. So I'll have them when I get poor---that'll happen soon enough (I've always worried about that since I have a fun but insecure job).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Here are the supplements I take every day: Dr. Fuhrman's DHA, 2 gentle care vitamins, and 3 Osteo-Suns (vitamin D and some calcium). The links to the supplements give a better description than I would, so if you want to find out more about them just click on them. And here is another link to Dr. Fuhrman's vitamin advisor page.

Feb. 25 food

Okay today my goal was to eat more:

Brekky:  smoothie; 1 oz brazil nuts

snack at co-op:  2 essene buds (sprouted wheat berries, almonds + raisins).  they are small and they taste like a muffin, but without the unhealthy stuff.  

Lunch:  baked sweet potato, cabbage salad (2 servings), fruit salad (same as Monday's).  I ate too much cabbage salad--was mindlessly eating while on a long telecon.  

by now I was full and was up to 1100 calories I think.

Dinner:  now I wasn't so hungry even though I waited until 6:45 pm to start making it.  So I made a big salad but went easy on the ingredients.  It had lettuce and arugula, 1/3 cup peas, 1/3 cup corn (from freezer, thawed in microwave), part of a bell pepper, and olives!  These olives are dried, unsalted, uncured olives from Peru.  I got them after reading strix's post about them.  They are interesting.  They are a little bitter.  But they grow on you.  I cut up 4 of them and put them on the salad.  They are 100% fat, but it was only 30 calories.  I see why they make oil out of them!   I also put on some balsamic vinegar (Dr. Fuhrman's of course).  Here's a picture of the salad before I remembered to some yellow bell pepper:

The black pieces are the olives.   I also had a small bowl of split pea and carrot soup, 2 carrots, and 2 kiwis for dessert (I wasn't hungry by this point but these were sure good--I suddenly like kiwis).

Total calories:  1567, protein 42 g, carbs 261 g, fat 52 g (30% of total calories).

okay so I got up above 1500 calories.  But I feel like I overate at lunch (the snack and the extra cabbage salad) and maybe dinner too (mainly because of lunch).  Oh well, I do know that 1200 calories isn't enough because I was waking up hungry.  so maybe something in between is good.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feb. 24 food

Brekky:  smoothie, 0.5 oz brazil nuts

Lunch:  Cabbage salad, baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  and skin of housemate's baked potato--I like potato skins.  This was a really good lunch.  The cabbage salad was really good and I love baked sweet potatoes.  Here's a picture:

Dinner:  Okay, I thought I needed more calories to I tried to eat a lot:  cabbage salad, 2 baked beets (sooo goood!), arugula with edamame and vinegar (super easy and good!), a kiwi, a small orange.    I just baked the beets at 350 for 1.5 hours, and ate them after they cooled.  I didn't bother to peel them, just cut off the ends and ate them with my fingers--the peels protected them from the beet juice.   I'm going to be eating a lot more baked beets.  I love them, and they are still local in Wisconsin.   Here's an ugly picture of the half-eaten dinner, showing the cabbage salad and beet.

Here's a prettier picture of the arugula and edamame.

Total calories:  1274.  ack!   protein 37 g, carbs 207 g, fat 44 g (31%).    This does not seem to be enough calories.  I was hungry at dinner time but I'm supposed to be.  I am not hungry at 10 pm.  Maybe I just need fewer calories than I thought.  Maybe this explains why I am on the thin side.  My fat intake was reasonably high (a good thing) because of the walnuts in the cabbage salad.  So I probably had 2.5-3 oz of nuts and seeds.  Should I try to eat more calories?   The way to do that would be to eat grains.  But I think grains are boring and take time to cook.   Maybe I could have some oatmeal with dinner.  I'd be willing to do that. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Feb. 23 food

Brekky:  smoothie; 0.5 oz brazil nuts

Lunch:  3 small carrots, split pea and carrot soup (see yesterday's post), fruit salad (same as yesterday).  

snack:  kiwi.  I know, I'm not supposed to snack (according to Dr. Fuhrman).  I wasn't hungry, just in the kitchen making smoothies so was around food.  but it was just a kiwi.  and it was good.

dinner:  big easy salad. this time with peas instead of edamame (since my soup had more than enough legumes in it).  0.5 oz brazil nuts.  small orange.

Total calories:  1370; protein 41 g; carbs 244 g; fat 36 g (24%).

I'll list my supplements too:  2 gentle care (vitamins), 2 osteosun (vitamin D), 1 oz DHA.  It's fun to check out the vitamin and mineral amounts in my diet too (using the CRON-o-meter program).  I'm usually over 100% on everything except B12 and D, which are 0%.   Fortunately my supplements take care of them. 

This doesn't seem like enough calories.  But I was plenty full after my meals--the soup made me feel full all day.  I had 2 oz of nuts/seeds (1 oz of brazil, 0.5 flaxseed in smoothie, 0.5 sunflower seeds in salad).  This contributed 30 grams of fat and 340 calories so I can see why they are useful for calories in addition to being healthy.  And I can see where if you eat too many you will eat a heck of a lot of calories.  I really like brazil nuts so am glad that I got to eat them.  Dr. Fuhrman recommended to me brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds to keep my heartbeat regular (described more in this post).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

feb 22 food

Brekky:  small morning smoothie

snack:  apple

lunch:  pureed turnip and rutabaga, peas and carrots

snack:  fruit salad (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana--split with housemate)--really good.   several carrots while preparing dinner.  made a large batch of smoothies for housemate and added too much juice so ended up eating about 6-8 0z of leftover smoothie.  it was yummy

late dinner:  split pea and carrot soup; 0.5 oz walnuts.  The soup recipe is another wild and crazy one from Fuhrman.  It has lots of carrots and carrot juice, an entire bunch of celery, 2 bunches of greens, and 4 zucchinis!   You puree the zucchinis and greens after cooking.  It is not the prettiest looking soup with those dark greens, but it tastes quite good, and is super nutritious.

total calories:  1550; protein 54 g; carbs 300 g; fat 26 g (15% of total).  Notice how much protein it is--plenty!  Half that was from the 3 bowls of soup.  I didn't eat enough nuts and seeds--I'm still working up to that after last week's extreme unpleasantness.  Also I need to eat them earlier in the day because that's when I exercise.   Today I was hungry and very tired after riding my bike and snow shoveling.  

Also, I think instead of making soy milk (e.g., for the pureed veggies), I'll use pureed pumpkin seeds (or other nut/seed) and water.  My soy milk maker makes more than I like to drink before it gets old, and the seeds are probably healthier and will give me some needed fat and calories.  

Also Fuhrman says you shouldn't snack but I was hungry today after several days of not eating enough.  

Finally, what do you think about my eating berries out of season from South America?  Is it unethical?  I do it partly because I can now and I don't know if I will be able to in the future.  Now I'm fully employed and food transportation prices are still relatively cheap.  In the future I could lose my job and oil will get much more expensive.  So I figure why not enjoy it while I can.  But if it's unethical, I'll reconsider--I guess it's bad for global warming--on the other hand, shipping such large volumes in those gigantic containers in those gigantic boats is actually quite efficient compared to driving your car to the store (and I bike anyway).  I get fair trade, organic bananas.  The berries are organic, but not fair trade. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

big easy salad

Not a New Orleans salad, just big and easy.  (note:  I changed the recipe so some of my old posts aren't accurate)

lots of lettuce
lots of arugula (optional but I love it)
1/2 orange or red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen sweet peas & 1/3 cup frozen corn  (or 1/2 cup sweet peas; or whatever you want!)
1/2 cup frozen edamame (more  fat and protein than the peas & corn)
4 sun dried peruvian olives (unsalted, uncured), when in season (I just ordered a case)
1 Tbsp Dr. Fuhrman's vinegar (these are sooo goood--I try a different flavor each time)

cut up the olives into small pieces and soak in the vinegar (could do this all afternoon or for 5 minutes while preparing the salad, I usually do the latter).  Microwave the peas and corn in a little water for 30-60 seconds to thaw.  Chop the lettuce so you can fit more onto the plate.  Add the olives and vinegar so it mixes in with the lettuce and arugula first.  Chop and add the pepper.  Add the peas and corn.  If you want more fat, add some ground sunflower seeds.  Yummy!

total calories:  172, protein 7 g (15%), carbs 28 g, fat 4 g (21%).  version with 1/3 cup peas and 1/3 cup corn

total calories:  188, protein 12 g (23%), carbs 20 g, fat 7 g (34%).  version with 1/2 cup edamame, no peas & corn.

Feb. 21 food

Brekky:  smoothie

snack:  apple, 2 carrots, cantaloupe.  

Dinner:  big easy salad (a variation on the apple-arugula salad)

Total calories:  1230.  protein 36g, carbs 217 g, fat 34g (25%).

This doesn't seem like a lot of calories, yet I'm not hungry.   I was hungry at lunchtime but it was 2 hours late (I knew it would be and brought a snack).  It was a medium activity day, not high (working at the church in the morning, snow shoveling later in the day, veg-ing the rest of the time, took a nap).  I had about 1.75 oz of nuts and seeds (0.5 oz flaxseeds in the smoothie, 0.75 mixture of almonds and pumpkin seeds in the kale sauce, 0.5 oz sunflower seeds in the salad).  The edamame in the salad had another 3g of healthy fats.  25% fat intake seems reasonable for a medium-activity day. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

fat intake

Here's a good post by Howard about what the experts (the ones we like) say about fat intake.  I'm going to monitor mine with this CRONometer program and try to determine what's ideal for me.

feb. 20 food

no regular meals today as I had a visitor, a long phone call, and then visitors again.  Also still wary about my tummy so ate fairly light.

pre-first-visitor I had a small fruit salad:  kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, banana

Then we went out to brunch.  I had a really bad bowl of oatmeal.  They "make it to order" which meant it was a quick-cooking mush that wasn't even warm.   Fortunately I brought some fruit to put on it, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.  I told them to put the raisins on the side but they forgot.  So I ate mostly the fruit, some of the oatmeal, and a few of the raisins.   

had a carrot and some arugula with vinegar for a rushed afternoon snack in between first visitor leaving and phone call.

Dinner: curried apple-cabbage dish.  definitely the best meal of the day.  1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds.

snacks with visitors:  some banana chips---amazing how much these taste like potato chips.  They were unsweetened.  a piece of dried mango, a few nuts.  

Total calories was only 1150.   Protein 30 g.  fat:  23 g (18%).   But I was sedentary today.  I certainly don't feel hungry right now.   I was hungry mid-afternoon but didn't have time to eat.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feb. 19 food

Given my condition described in the previous post, I didn't eat until 4:30 pm today.  Then I ate half a small smoothie.  I seemed okay so a couple of hours later I ate the other half.  I made a fruit salad for housemate, so ate half an apple and half a banana.  I still seem to be okay at 7:10 pm.  

I'm experimenting with the CRONometer program to track your nutrition intake.  Here is today's summary:

I put in my age, height, weight and activity level and it chose a calorie range of about 2400-3000.   The percentages are relative to target daily intake.  I'm not sure if I'm "active" or "low active" since I'm active for about 3 hours a day and inactive the rest.  I set my fat percentage to be 30% so the target is 80g.   I'm going to aim for about 2 oz of nuts and seeds and see what that comes out to be.   The pie chart at the right shows the protein/carb/fat fractions.  Today obviously I am way low on calories and low on fat.   I don't know if I can track this every day if it's too time consuming, but it will be interesting to do it for a little while.

wo is me

warning:  graphic content ahead (vomiting and diarrhea).  So I woke up at 3:30 am and felt crappy and went into the living room with a blanket wrapped around me, and then I had to go "blow chunks."  I now understand that term applied to the act of vomiting.  I think one of the chunks lodged in my throat and has been burning there ever since.  God!  Then I had diarrhea the rest of the night, still do.  At least it isn't accompanied by cramps.  My bowls seem determined to get rid of everything.  And it's amazing how much stuff is in there.  

So how did this happened?  Well, I definitely overate.  I'm used to eating large volumes of low-calorie food but I ate about 5 medjool dates and probably 2 oz of cashews and 1 oz of walnuts (I put the walnuts in the dates), after I was full from dinner (I'm being totally honest here, which I hate!).  That's probably another 800 calories!  Then I topped it off a few hours later with a largish (not huge but not small) vegan chocolate chip cookie loaded with margarine, white flour, sugar, and chocolate fat.  I eat that stuff so rarely it's like a foreign substance to my body.  Maybe it was the straw that broke the camel's back.   Maybe it would have been okay to have had either the dates or the cookie.  I've heard other "healthy vegans" talk about how when they go off plan, they get really sick.  It's really true that my body can't handle this stuff anymore--at least in large quantities, though that's probably true for everyone.  

Now I missed my exercise class and today is my favorite workout (Brazilian Jutitsu exercises--propelling across a mat in every way except normal).  dammit.   oh well, I'll try to get some work done now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

feb. 18 food

Brekky:  morning smoothie, then apple after yoga class.

Lunch:  started out okay...some raw carrots, then vegetables in lemon-tahini sauce.  This is like comfort food to me, reminds me of casseroles from childhood (like chicken pot pie).    The vegetables were broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and edamame.  It was yummy.  Dessert was a delicious fruit salad made from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and bananas.  The quality of the berries varies dramatically from day to day.  Last week when I bought blueberries, they were bad.  Today, all the berries were good.  Oh well, the surprise makes life more interesting I guess.    Okay, after this I kind of went downhill.  I was making salad for housemate's dinner and had some leftover avocado and decided to make a dessert out of it by mashing with a date.  Well, that was sweet and good and I think it started the food cravings.  By now I was pretty full.  I had to eat dinner a bit early before I was really hungry.  I think when I get too full I then overeat more.  It's weird.  So for dinner I had a salad with Russian fig dressing.  Dessert was a kiwi and 2 small oranges.  Now I was very full and then I just kept eating!  I ate some cashews and then some dates with walnuts in them.  That sent me on a sugar high.  Then later at the grocery store I bought a vegan chocolate chip cookie!   It didn't really taste that great and left a bad aftertaste---I think it was the margarine (yuck!).  So much for my promise a few days ago to stop eating oil and sugar and refined flour.  uh, okay, now I will stop eating oil and sugar and refined flour?   Dang, my fingers are getting puffy.  Salt in the cookies?   One thing I've noticed, and others on the Fuhrman site have said this too, when you eat healthy for a while and then you try the junk food, it affects you way more than it ever did when you were eating junk food all the time.  It's interesting but geez, I wish I would just get over it and stop falling for the temptations.  And now I have a bit of a tummy ache...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Feb. 17 food

Brekky:  morning smoothie (after exercise, before massage)

Lunch:  bowl of Fuhrman's anticancer soup thawed from the freezer, over a little chopped lettuce. a couple of small raw carrots.  banana + about 0.3 oz walnuts for dessert.   and some peas.  these are becoming my new favorite snack food.  They are good right out of the freezer, or you can microwave them for a few seconds to thaw them.  

Dinner:  pureed beet & turnip & a little onion with soymilk (boiled them first in a little water, then pureed in the blender.   cabbage & apple dish (didn't have raisins so used some chopped dried figs).  small kiwi & small orange.  another handful of peas.

Monday, February 16, 2009

cherry ice cream

This is based on a recipe on the Fuhrman site that gets rave reviews. That adds chocolate which I avoid because of the caffeine so I substituted cashews instead, and varied ingredients a bit.

1 bag frozen cherries
1/2-2/3 cup soy milk
1 oz raw cashews (about 1/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cocoa or carob (optional)
1 date (optional)

Blend everything but the cherries to get them smooth. Then add the cherries. Blend less if you want chunks of cherries, more for smooth. Add more soy milk as needed. You probably need closer to 2/3 cup.
My soy milk was home-made and sweetened a bit with dates and dried apricots. I include the date in the ice cream and it was plenty sweet so I'm not sure it was needed. Next time I'll try without the date if I use the sweetened soy milk again. This is my favorite dessert now, even more than the banana-walnut ice cream. Really good!

Feb 16 food

Brekky:  small morning smoothie

snack:  small cup of freshly made soymilk (4 oz), some raw carrots.  The soymilk was really good.  I put in 3 dates and 2 dried apricots with the soybeans.  It adds a nice sweet but not too sweet taste.  

Lunch:  steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower), baked sweet potato.  I made mashed potatoes for housemate (she doesn't like sweet potato).  They were really good:  boiled potato in a small amount of water with a little onion, garlic, some garden parsley from the freezer, and then as the water boiled down, added in the fresh soymilk.  Then all mashed up.
Dessert:  cherry ice cream.  this was sooo good--my favorite dessert now.

Dinner:  some raw carrots (we still have the Wisconsin carrots at the co-op and they are the best).  a salad with leftover blueberry-pomegranate dressing (see yesterday's post for a description).   apple for dessert.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Feb. 15 food

Brekky:  oatmeal.  This was really good.  I used a half cup of oats.  I wasn't hungry when I woke up so soaked the oatmeal in 1 cup water.  I added a couple of chopped figs and a tablespoon of goji berries (noticed the unopen bag in the fridge and decided I should start eating them). I turned on the stove and let it boil and then turned it off to let it soak.  I checked back in about 20 minutes and added some walnuts and another 1/2 cup water and did the same thing, heated it up and let it soak.  Then about 20 minutes later added some chopped spinach and cooked it for about 10 minutes.  

snack:  fruit and raw carrots at church.  I am doing a "hospitality shift" every two weeks and bringing in fruit.  Other people brought in the usual stuff, crackers and cheese and sweets.  The response is mostly positive--people saying, oh good, fruit!  (since no one ever thinks to bring fruit to these things).  But one guy said "I gotta go get a donut" and he did.  

Lunch:  2 Essene "buds" from the co-op.  This is unleavened bread made from sprouted wheat berries.  Ingredients are sprouted wheat berries, almonds and raisins.  It's pretty good.  It's sort of like a small muffin.  Steamed kale and carrots with a delicious root vegetable-sesame sauce.  For the vegetables I used two small turnips, half a rutabaga, part of an onion, and 2 garlic cloves.  I love this meal.  The sesame seeds (pureed) add a nice bite to the flavor.  I'm realizing that sauces should have a bite to them because they get diluted in the vegetables, plus they balance out the bitterness nicely.  Dessert:  2 small oranges.

Dinner:  salad (lettuce, arugula, spinach, chopped orange bell pepper) with a blueberry-pomegranate dressing.  The dressing is really good!   I seem to be on a sesame seed kick now.  The dressing is from the Fuhrman site.  It has sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, a bag of frozen blueberries, pomegranate juice, and Dr. Fuhrman's blueberry vinegar.  The sesame seeds and vinegar add a nice bite to the flavor that mixes nicely with the slight bitterness in the lettuce and arugula.

my diet plan

Yesterday, I had 9 hours to think on the plane ride home, and so I spent a few minutes thinking about my diet plan (not 9 hours, don't worry), and I decided there are things I want to avoid pretty much entirely.  Some would call this extreme.  But in some ways, it's easier to be extreme because it involves less thinking.  These things are drugs and foods that cause heart disease and so many other diseases.  Drugs are toxic and addictive and make you feel crappy after they wear off.   Here are things that I categorize as drugs:
white flour?

sugar and flour?   I'm going to ask Dr. Fuhrman if sucrose is found naturally in foods.  Sugar is highly processed.  Since I hardly ever eat it anymore, when I do, it makes a huge impact.  Yesterday I had 4 small pieces of chocolate and the effect was very strong, of both the sugar and caffeine.  I noticed this with the white bread I ate last week too.  I don't get this effect from fruit.  And then coming down off it feels yucky.   all of these things make me feel crappy the next day when I've come down off them.  Alcohol and caffeine last longer in my system than sugar, at least as far as I can tell.  

Then the things that contribute to heart disease are
animal fat but I don't eat animals

So the things I would like to avoid completely then are
caffeine, sugar, white flour, alcohol, salt, and oil, and animal products but I don't have to remember the last one because that's so ingrained now.

Then I also need to limit nuts and beans.  Too many of either make me too full and bloated and gassy.  I think I will eat more grains than I have been--oats and brown rice to make sure I am satisfied.  I think I don't like the effects of wheat flour, even whole wheat, but my co-op has this Essene bread that is sprouted wheat, and I will experiment with that.

That leaves a lot of great stuff which I stuff my face with every day.  So really it's easy to avoid these other things and not feel deprived, especially since I feel crappy after I eat them.  Oh, I didn't have much jetlag on my trip.  That is the first time.   In the past I used caffeine and alcohol to help.  I think maybe it just made things worse.  This time I was able to take cat-naps when I was tired and that got me through the day.  I was also more relaxed and on an even keel until I had those 4 pieces of chocolate.

Food and travel logs Feb. 10-14

The eating opportunities in Portugal were fine given that I don't eat much at restaurants anyway, since I try to avoid salt as much as possible; so I wasn't expecting great vegan meals.  The only vegan thing you can get in a restaurant is a salad with no dressing, specifying no meat, fish, or cheese, or eggs; and maybe some fruit.  Portugal is very much a meat and fish-eating country.  But I had plenty of other food to eat.  There are a lot of shops selling fruit and vegetables and dried food and nuts.  I brought my own  dried fruit and nuts as described in a previous post.  I did buy some more of that, and that was too much.  I also brought three cans of chickpeas.  That turned out to be too much.  So in the end I overate.  I had chickpeas and banana for breakfast, along with my portion of nuts and dried fruit.  It was good but way too much food!   The chickpeas made me bloated and gassy.   However, it did make it easy to eat nothing but salad at the restaurants. One night I had dinner at my host's house and had a salad with oil on it and a (white) rice dish with no salt but probably oil, and bread and wine.  Then the next night I had a very good salad at a restaurant that had all kinds of things in it like a few black-eyed peas, some boiled potatoes (with salt), a mango (I asked for that), lettuce, carrots, red pepper, other good stuff, and other stuff I didn't eat because it was cheese or eggs or really salty.  But it was very good.  I also had some (too much) sticky bread that was made from corn meal and flour.  It was okay but I should have stuck with 1 piece instead of..4?  Then for dessert I had a roasted apple in port wine.  That was fantastic.  I had a small glass of wine with dinner--I could take it or leave it.  Then we went to hear some Fado music and had a glass of port.  That was fantastic too (both the port and music). I think most people don't care for port much because it is so sweet.  But that is probably the only discretion that I would say was worth it.  I have lost my taste for bread.  Now it just tastes gooey and salty and makes me feel bla afterwards.  But that didn't stop me from eating it.  Hopefully next time I'll be better.  The wine was okay but I don't think it was worth it.  The day after the wine + port, I felt it.  Then the last two days I ate healthy food, but ate too many of those chickpeas again.  Oh, I forgot--yesterday, before getting on the plane ride home, I ate four small pieces of dark chocolate that were samplers in a store (no milk).  Wow, I got a buzz off that, and felt it for the next several hours.  This was a mistake because it prevented me from napping on the plane which would have passed the time.  And I just wasn't relaxed anymore.  I really can't handle the sugar-caffeine bolt anymore.  This means I probably have to avoid chocolate.   On the long flight home, I had run out of food so just had juice whenever I could get it, a tiny portion of fruit from the first meal, and a cherry tomato from the second meal (after wiping off the dressing).  So I was hungry when I landed but fortunately it's easy to get fruit nowadays in airports.  So I had an apple, banana, orange, and fruit cup after landing in Chicago.  Then a smoothie when I got home.  And since it was valentine's day, a bowl of banana-walnut-pomegranate ice cream.

Lessons learned for next time:  1)  There's no need to bring the canned beans.  I wasn't very active and didn't need the extra energy/protein/fullness these provide.  Plus, that bloating makes me wonder if we really should be eating something that seems to be so hard to digest.  A portion of nuts/seeds and dried fruit is enough to give you a sufficient dose of calories/nutrition/fat to satisfy.  2)  It seems to be pretty easy to get enough fruit to get you through a short trip.   And then you can have salads at restaurants.  3)  I hope to eventually cut out the white bread and alcohol.  I didn't think they were so great and not worth how I feel afterwards.  However, I will make an exception for a good glass of port.  4) One problem I had was I would eat a lot of my own food like the fruit and nuts in preparation for the low-calorie foods in the restaurant, but then I would eat more than I was expecting to at the restaurants, like the bread and rice etc.  So I ended up eating too much.   So I guess I should just bring less and eat less.  Easy to say.   5)  On a positive note, when I got home and went to the co-op, I didn't get a "cowgirl chocolate chip cookie" or a "nothing muffin" (these are whole grain and use non-hydrogenated oil, but still, not really healthy) and tell myself  "I'll start eating healthy tomorrow."  And today I don't feel like I missed out (the banana walnut ice cream was way better anyway!) and I didn't suffer the after-effects of eating that crap.  In fact, I felt just fine today, interesting.  This is quite a difference from my previous trip to Europe, where I had caffeine and alcohol and felt like total crap for several days when I got home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feb 10 food

Brekky:  morning smoothie, big bowl of chili

Then off to the airport for my trip to Portugal.  Here's what I took for the next 20 hours spent in airports or airplanes:

Lunch:  apple, banana, half my portion of nuts/seeds/dried fruit.  I made little packages that have 1 oz walnuts, 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, and 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds.  and some dried apples and mangos.  total is 2 oz nuts/seeds, 1/5 oz dried fruit.   also had a bunch of carrots and celery.  and half a bag of baby herb salad mix.

Dinner:  same as lunch.  

midnight snack:  (6 am Madrid time)  orange juice.

At one point, I said to myself, am I being extreme?  Then I walked through the airport and asked myself if anyone over 40 looked healthy, and the answer was no.  And I asked myself if their food looked appetizing and I said no.  So I don't care if I'm being extreme.   My food tasted good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Tomorrow I go to Portugal, return on Sat.  I'm going to bring fruit and a bag of baby herb salad mix and some nuts for the trip out.  I will pack nuts and 3 cans of garbanzo beans in my suitcase.  Then I will eat salad and fruit for the rest.  I told my host I have dietary restrictions so he's going to take me grocery shopping when I get there.  I probably will just have to get fruit if I don't have a fridge.  and then I can find salads at restaurants hopefully.    Oh I will bring some D'Angou pear vinegar too.  It should work out fine.  The beans and nuts fruit will give me enough calories, plus I probably won't be very physically active--not sure what the exercise opportunities will be, and I'll be jetlagged.  I hope to go to a winery and try just a bit of port.  I hope it's just a bit because I don't handle alcohol very well.  

kale and (another) sweet potato sauce recipe

I like this even more than this one.

1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut, and steamed (or baked in skin and peeled afterwards--this is the best!) for about 10 minutes
1/2 cup pomegranate juice or 1 apple and some water
1/2 - 1 oz raw nuts (walnuts good) or seeds (pignolias yummy!) or boiled peanuts
some green onions or small portion of leeks (optional, steam with potatoes)
a bunch of kale, destemmed, (I rip it into pieces by hand), steamed for about 20 minutes or until desired tenderness.
optional: some mushrooms, steamed in the microwave for a minute or two (depending on power).

You can cook this on the stove top in separate pots, or throw them all together in a pressure cooker for a few minutes. (I overcooked them today and it was still great!). Put the kale and mushrooms in a serving bowl. Blend everything else including the water it steamed in, in a blender until creamy. Add the sauce to the kale and stir.

This is easy and really good. Even housemate really liked it and she doesn't normally like sweet potatoes (I added cabbage to this once and she says she doesn't like that either).

Makes 2 servings. Calories per serving: 302; Protein: 8 g (8%); carbs: 48g (62%); fat: 10 g (31%).

Feb. 8 food

Brekky:  smoothie, apple, banana.  I'm glad I ate the extra fruit because I didn't eat lunch for another 5 hours.

Lunch:  apple-orange arugula salad.  really yummy.  baked sweet potato.  raw carrots and celery. 

Dinner:  kale with sweet potato sauce.  Three-bean chili.  That recipe is from a McDougall newsletter (scroll down the page to get to the chili recipe), by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.   It's good and housemate likes it.  The sweet potato sauce was made after I burned the turnips.  I had turnips and leeks in a pan all ready to go and told myself, I'll wait until I'm ready to cook it to add water.  An hour later I was ready to cook it and forgot to add water.  So after that burned, I made this sweet potato sauce which is now my favorite.  Even housemate liked it and she doesn't like sweet potatoes much (which is why I was going to use the turnips...)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Feb. 7 food

Brekky:  smoothie, apple

Lunch:  salad with baked beet dressing.  orange for dessert.  My dressing wasn't the same as the posted one.  I usually vary things, either for fun or because I have different ingredients on hand.  This batch had some pomegranate juice, oh, and a raw zucchini to make it go farther (only had 1 beet).  no soymilk.  0.5 oz walnuts.  So the only thing the same was the beet.  But that is the most important one.

Dinner:  kale with cauliflower/zuchhini sauce.  Similar to the posted recipe but added some walnuts and sunflower seeds to the mix.  I thought it was very good.  Could have added some vinegar too but forgot.  apple, carrots, celery, 2 small oranges.  

Friday, February 6, 2009

banana-walnut-pomegranate ice cream


2 frozen bananas (peel before freezing in baggies)
1 oz raw walnuts
some pomegranate juice (I think it was about 1/2 cup)
a squirt of vanilla (1/4 tsp?)

blend in a powerful blender. makes a smooth soft-serve like ice cream. really good!

Note: I always forget the vanilla. not intentionally. and it still tastes good. so that's optional.

Note: it blends easier if you slightly thaw the bananas in the microwave, say 30 sec on low power (I have a cheapo low-powered microwave).

Feb. 6 food

Brekky:  morning smoothie

Lunch:  baked sweet potato (remove peel, mash with a fork), rest of yesterday's beans, steamed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  easy and good!   orange for dessert.

Dinner:  oops.  still in proposal mode (see yesterday's post), made some banana-walnut ice cream.  I made a variation of the one posted on the Fuhrman website so I think it's different enough that I can post it here.   later on, orange.  couple of carrots.  couple of apple slices and a dried mango slice at a gathering of friends.

Proposal is done now, so I hope I resume normal habits after a good night's sleep.

kale and root vegetable sauce

It turns out root vegetables make a great sauce for kale.

a root veggie or two (e.g., turnip, rutabaga, celeriac, cauliflower is good too)
some onion (half a medium one say)
some garlic (1-2 cloves, optional)
1 Tbsp Dr. Fuhrman black fig or other flavored vinegar or lemon juice
some veggiezest or unsalted seasoning (optional)
a bunch of kale, ripped off stems and steamed
1 oz nuts and/or seeds (e.g., sesame seeds, raw cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds; optional)
a small zucchini (optional)
1-2 figs (optional) 

steam the kale separately.  boil every thing else (except the vinegar and nuts/seeds) together in a pan with small amount of water.  then throw it in the blender with the vinegar to make a sauce.  It's good.  I listed a bunch of optional things I've tried.   Right now my favorite mix is with the root vegetables, onion, garlic, sesame seeds and vinegar.  I really like this.

new cashew-orange dressing

This is more weird than my standard cashew-orange dressing but I think this is better!  

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 small zucchini, peeled
3 figs, soaked in the OJ if you think of it (15 minutes or so)
1 Tbsp Dr. Fuhrman's blood orange vinegar

Blend it all up in a powerful blender.  The zucchini thickens it up a bit.   Believe it or not, this is really good.

Feb 5 food

Brekky:  apple at grocery store (after exercise class), morning smoothie

Lunch:  beans, kale in turnip sauce, fruit salad (blueberries and strawberries).  The beans were just a little bit of this and that--every once in a while it's good to empty out your bean jars.  So it was some adzuki, pinto, and lima.  Added some onion and frozen herbs from last summers garden--couldn't tell which they were, just threw them into the pot about halfway through cooking.  It's hard to ruin beans.  

Dinner:  large salad with a new variation of the cashew-orange dressing.  This dressing was so good, and pretty much guilt-free so I drenched the lettuce.  yummy yummy.   The salad included lettuce, arugula, red bell pepper and a sliced apple.  The apple was unnecessary since the salad dressing was so good.   

oops:  later on, a banana and some cashews.  This is just me pigging out because I'm working on a proposal due on Friday and it's the last push.  In the old days I would have been drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and even smoking cigarettes.  Yep, I used to smoke cigarettes while working on proposals.  Well, they are a stimulant after all.  It was enjoyable.  It's sort of a habit for me to want to stimulate myself at these times.  So a banana and some cashews isn't so bad in that light.  I'm making progress.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

feb. 4 food

Brekky:  smoothie

Dinner:  large apple salad (regular lettuce instead of arugula), 2 small oranges, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, some raw almonds.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Feb. 3 food

Brekky:  small morning smoothie

Lunch:  steamed veggies and the rest of the eggplant-chickpea hummus.

disaster:  ate several of housemate's date nut pop'ems.  Worse than that, these are ones I modified to make them more appetizing to her--I added powdered sugar and cocoa.  So I did an experiment on myself by eating the refined sugar and cocoa.  I really have to stop doing experiments on myself!   I wrote a little log of my experience:  first I got a good buzz and felt good.  then 2 hours later I was crashing.  but I couldn't take a nap because of the caffeine from the cocoa.  the crashing made me want something but I wasn't hungry---but I see how you get addicted because you feel crummy and want to get the buzz again.  4 hours later I felt better but still had the caffeine buzz.   9 hours later I feel okay and I hope the caffeine doesn't keep me awake.  My face is red and blotchy.   Mary was just posting about refined sugar on her blog, about not only the health reasons but the ethical reasons to avoid it.  I think I will avoid it from now on.  [edited later:  I did sleep okay, not great, but good enough.  I still felt crummy the next morning from overindulging.]

Dinner:  arugula-apple salad.  carrot, orange, couple pieces of celery with almond butter (like I needed more nuts).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feb. 2 food

Brekky:  wasn't hungry before exercise class.  ate a banana and 1 oz walnuts late in the morning.

Lunch:  lightly steamed vegetables and eggplant-chickpea hummus dip from the Fuhrman website (basically chickpea hummus but add baked eggplant to it).  For dessert I had more of the pie I made yesterday.  I made some cashew cream to go on top (cashews, soy milk or water, dates, blended up thick).   It was good but not great.  I think I'll take Howard's advice and just have trailmix for dessert, or fruit.  

Dinner:  not very hungry (dang pie), so just had some of the steamed veggies from lunch, an apple and almond butter, celery and almond butter (oops), a carrot, some handfuls of arugula, and a small orange.   Hardly any greens today--got squeezed out by the pie last night and today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Feb. 1 food

Brekky:  morning smoothie; celery stalk with almond butter

Snack:  pieces of apples, oranges, banana

Lunch:  rest of the carrot & red lentil soup over arugula.  I ate two bowls.  I added some blood orange vinegar to the arugula and it was good.

Dinner:  I had a big dessert planned so just had something I've been wanting to try out:  1/2 cup chickpeas topped with banana slices!   I got this idea from mycrunchylife.  She eats it for breakfast sometimes, thinks of it as a cheerios substitute.  It was pretty good--a really easy meal to keep in mind when I'm traveling.   I wonder how it would taste with spinach.  

Dessert:   Ruth's Yam peach pie from Alan Goldhamer's "Health Promoting Cookbook".  This was my Superbowl treat.   The pie crust was polenta made from corn meal and apple juice.   I made the apple juice fresh so it was really good.  The filling was baked yams and peaches (and a touch of orange juice and cinnamon).  I also added 4 dates and pureed it.   So the ingredients were all good.  But the polenta was mushy.    I ate half the pie.  yeah, I'm a pig but that was only equivalent to 1 yam and 1 cup of peaches and 3/4 cup apple juice.  This took a long time to prepare.  Was it worth it?  As almost always with desserts, I don't really think so.  Of course, for someone who keeps saying this, I have been making and eating a lot of desserts.  Well, part of it is the fun of experimenting with these recipes.   

kale and celeriac/turnip sauce

I had a celeriac, I was in the mood for kale, and two blogs I visit recently showed a recipe for celeriac soup, Mary's and  They didn't have kale in their soup, but I figured I could add it.  But I wasn't in the mood for soup, I really was more in the mood for kale.  So I decided to make celeriac sauce instead of soup---same sort of ingredients, just less water.  I thought it was good, not great, but housemate really liked it, to my surprise.  I used lemon juice, following the fatfreevegan recipe but I think next time I would use vinegar instead so I'm putting that here.

1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 turnip, peeled and chopped (optional, just happened to have some)
1 small onion or leek, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp veggiezest or other powdered vegetable broth or no-salt seasoning (optional)
some water for cooking, not too much, 1/2 cup?
1/2 cup soymilk?  I didn't really measure.  maybe it was 2/3 cup.
1 bunch kale, destemmed, steamed
2 dates (optional)
1-2 Tbsp black fig or other mild flavored vinegar  (good with the kale)

With the kale I usually just use my hands to rip off the pieces into the steamer basket.   Get that steaming for 20 minutes.  Cook everything else except the dates and vinegar together in a pan.  Once this is done, puree it in the blender with the dates, and vinegar  Add soymilk or water to desired consistency (thickish for a sauce).    Combine with kale in a bowl.  Makes two big servings for a main dish, or 4 for sides.

Jan. 31 food

Brekky:   small morning smoothie.  celery with raw almond butter.  4 chocolate date nut pop'ems.  oops!   Well, it was a long time between breakfast and lunch so that turned out okay.

Lunch:  carrot and red lentil soup (recipe from the Fuhrman forums, soup from the freezer) over some frozen veggies (before the grocery store run--was in the mood for kale but didn't have any).  2 small oranges for dessert.  snacked on raw carrots while preparing

Dinner:  kale and celeriac/turnip sauce (after the grocery store).  This was yummy.  Dessert:  fruit salad.   snacked on raw carrots while preparing.   

Both housemate and I noticed extra activity in our digestive system overnight (i.e., gas).  So I wonder if it was the combination of the lunch (lentils) and dinner (celeriac??).  Normally one bowl of beans a day, as in the lentil soup, isn't a problem for me.