Wednesday, March 25, 2009

some lessons learned while traveling


Okay, I’ve screwed up a fair bit on my trip, before and during (mainly before, see previous posts).  However, I think it's worth pointing out all the progress I’ve made in my evolution to being a healthy eater.  In my Standard American Diet past, vacation road trips have always been even worse than at home.   Road trips meant driving long distances while eating home-made chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, and gorp made from peanuts, raisins, and m&ms. That and coffee would keep me awake while we put on the miles.  Then we’d still have meals at restaurants.  Now I don't desire any of that and don't pine over the restaurant food I'm not eating--it doesn't look appealing to me.  That's progress!   I’ve just got a few remnant habits to throw off and I sometimes stumble as I encounter them.  The stumbling points on this trip were 1) feeling like I needed a treat like the cookies and the cherry essene.  To be honest, both of these have squeezed out things I like better. I finally got to eat the soup and spinach I brought tonight.  2) feeling like I need a snack to stay awake while driving. My snacks have just been celery and carrots so healthy, but it is not necessarily to eat all the time. I do feel better when I give my digestion several hours in between meals, just as Fuhrman says. And there’s two of us so we can switch drivers when we get tired. 3)  Travel-mate continues to eat her favorite snack foods: cookies, chips, pretzels, and gorp.  A tiny part of me saw her eating cookies last night and I think made me a little weak when I saw the peanut butter.  For the most part though, I don't wish I were partaking in any of that SAD food, so it is progress.   In a way, I am vicariously enjoying the food through travel-mate without having to suffer the consequences.  I feel guilty about that because I don't want her health to suffer.  


Today's enjoyable pudding reminded me that there are some foods that I don’t want to give up altogether, like nuts and occasional dried fruit (though chocolate is one I do need to give up).  So I have to regulate them so I can enjoy them as treats occasionally. One thing I try to avoid in my life is discipline. I have a negative reaction to discipline due to some personal reasons. But, it’s time to get over that. If I exercised a little discipline then I could have an occasional treat.  Some forbidden foods are necessary—the ones that act like drugs on my body and cause cancer and heart disease. But I don’t want to forbid too much. So I think I just need to come up with ways to make it easier to be disciplined. For example, when I make a delicious sorbet or ice cream, it usually makes 2 servings. So, knowing my weaknesses, I can make them when I know there will be one other person to help me eat them. Similarly for some of the other treats. Only make pie or cookies for big gatherings or plan to give away most. There are two reasons for this. 1) If my attempt at discipline doesn’t succeeed, I will overindulge. 2) even if my attempt at discipline does succeed, I will have to be eating this stuff for a few days and crowding out other stuff that, again, I like better. I really only want one helping of these treats usually (the rational part of me, I mean).

mar. 25 food

This morning we stopped at the flagship Whole Foods store in Austin TX.  It is impressive.  It occupies an entire block.  Here's me dwarfed by it:

It was pretty fun, I have to admit.  They had a raw vegan bar and I decided I was allowed a treat.  It was a chocolate pudding with a nut crust, and it was a nice small serving.  All the ingredients were "allowed" (no oil, salt, okay some agave nectar but it was a treat).    Then I was going to get a juice at the juice bar but the juicer was broken.  Travel-mate got a smoothie and I was asking the smoothie-maker what's a good one and she didn't have an opinion, so I decided oh well, I don't need one since I have my pudding.  Sensing the loss of a sale she suggested one that a lot of people get that's not on the menu.  I don't recall what it was.  It has acai (?) berries in it which are supposed to be one of those wonder-foods.  I said, okay, I'll get it.  And it was excellent.  I'm glad I got it.  So that was my brekky:  the pudding and the smoothie.  more than enough but enjoyable.  The only problem was that the chocolate affected me.   I don't enjoy caffeine buzzes anymore.  I buzzed for 7 hours, then was tired.   So I guess chocolate will have to go off my list of allowed foods.  It's a bit sad but not heartbreaking.  Really, the smoothie was as good or better.  So I think I can survive with other treats besides chocolate.

For lunch we had food from the Whole Foods salad bars.  Mine was salad greens, fruit, peas and edamame:

Travel-mate had roasted potatoes (super salty!), some rice dishes, peas and corn:

For dinner, I finally started eating my now-thawed split pea and carrot soup (from the fuhrman forums, was in my freezer for a few weeks), over spinach.  yummy.  I'll have the rest of that for brekky tomorrow.  and I had some carrots and celery and an apple and a mango (okay, should have held off on the mango).

Tomorrow we start camping for 4 nights, so no blogging.  I got tons of good food from Whole foods.  I'm planning to make "Gorgeous garlic greens soup" from Compassionate Cooks (you have to pay $5 to get the recipe packet).  and a corn chowder if that runs out (with kale, potatoes, onions, corn, soy milk).  I forgot that recipe so will just make it up.   I will have salads and fruit for brekky until they run out.  then I'll figure something out.  we have lots of canned beans and veggies and potatoes and onions, etc.  I forgot to get oranges but have apples and banana.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

mar. 24 food

brekky:  banana, arugula+orange bell pepper+d'angou pear vinegar.  it was early, wasn't that hungry.

snack:  carrots and celery

lunch:  fruit salad (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana), cabbage salad.  very good.

snack that turned into dinner because we were so late:  carrots and celery, apple, banana, brazil nuts, peanuts, peanut butter (a bit too much).

Monday, March 23, 2009

mar. 24 food

Start of vacation road trip.  

Brekky:  wasn't hungry.  (see yesterday's post).  Drank some juice from the fridge to finish it off.

Lunch:  this was really good.  yesterday I was just cooking up vegetables and I steamed brussels sprouts and asparagus.  added some D'angou  pear vinegar and no-salt seasoning and put in a tupperware bowl.  It went into the ice chest this morning and I just ate it cold for lunch (you call those things salads!).   it was really good!    Also made a huge batch of cabbage salad yesterday (half a cabbage left in the fridge).  had some of that too.

Dinner:  cabbage salad, apple, banana.  1/2 oz brazil nuts, 1/2 oz pumpkin seeds.  house mate had broccoli and cauliflower that I cooked up yesterday.  she doesn't like it cold so didn't have it for lunch.

I didn't eat a lot today but that's because I ate so much yesterday.   It will probably be a few days before I resume normal hunger patterns.   It's embarrassing to admit I sometimes can't control my eating.   I didn't used to have this problem.  I just can't handle concentrated sugar anymore I guess...?

mar 23 food

I was a bad veganbarbie yesterday (it's mar. 24 now).   I was preparing food for my vacation, and decided to make some (healthy) banana-raisin-oatmeal cookies from leangreenmama's blog.   She warned at the end, avoid this recipe if raisins are a trigger food.  Boy was she right.   I ate them all!   (I wish I didn't have to confess this but I'm trying to be honest about failures as well as successes).   I'm not even that big of a fan of these kinds of cookies.  They are just okay to me.   It's funny, I felt a splurge coming on on Friday.  On Saturday I splurged on the red beans and rice, and on Sunday, on these cookies.   So here's my food log for yesterday:

Brekky: smoothie

Lunch:  red beans and rice, kale and sweet potato sauce (without the nuts--it's better with the nuts but I wasn't hungry enough)

afternoon splurge:  entire batch of cookies (1 cup oats, 2/3 cup raisins, 2 large bananas, 2 oz walnuts).  

Late Dinner:  believe it or not, I still ate.  I was cooking all the food so as not to waste it so had a baked sweet potato and 2 baked beets.

I was uncomfortably full at bedtime.   Still full when I woke in the morning.   Oh, and here's the other funny thing:  I had just posted on the Fuhrman forums that using this cron-o-meter program to track my calories keeps me in line.  I jinxed myself!   oh well, practice makes perfect, time to get back on the horse.  sigh.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

mar 21

Today I pigged out.  I don't feel guilty about it but I do feel more full than I'm comfortable with.  

Brekky:  smoothie, 0.5 oz brazil nuts, apple.

Lunch:  small apple.  3 large bowls of red beans and rice.  Three bowls!   It was good and I couldn't stop...this is a new recipe I made up this morning and I like it a lot.   very easy too.  and somehow I managed to eat a couple of small carrots too.

snack:  yes, a snack after all that.  well, I made cherry essene and wanted to try it.  had 2 servings.  It was good.  I'm going to take it on vacation.

Dinner:  guess what, I wasn't hungry!  I had a couple of small carrots, and some peas and corn.  

Nutritional info:  Calories 1905, protein 69 g (13%), carbs 365 (73%), fat 31 g (15%).

I should have done some weight lifting with all that protein I ate.  

cherry essene

I pretty much followed strix's instructions but I'm putting them here for easy reference.  well, I changed it a bit.

1 cup kamut.  soak overnight, then sprout (seems to only take a day + a few hours) (after soaking and sprouting, it was closer to two cups).
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup raisins  (strix used 1/2 cup cherries but mine aren't that sweet so I split it with raisins)
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tsp vanilla
some freshly grated nutmeg

Soak the cherries and raisins in 1/3 cup water.   Then blend everything in the blender.  I added the soaking water too which helped it blend.  It takes a while to get the blender to start mixing it all--lots of smashing with the plunger.  But then you get a nice smooth batter.  Spread it on parchment paper on a big pan.  I baked it at 250 F for about 45 minutes then let it sit in the oven for another 30 minutes while I ran to the hardware store (I love the hardware store--those guys are so helpful!).  So alternatively I might have cooked it for 60 minutes if I were at home to watch it.  But this worked fine.  Oh, if you have a dehydrator, that's probably better and then you can keep this "raw", but I don't have requirements for raw (feel free to convince me otherwise).

Here's the batter spread out:

After it baked and cooled, I cut it into 11 pieces (servings).  

It wasn't super-sweet but I think it was just right, a nice flavor.  

Nutritional info per serving:  Calories 105, protein 3g (10%), carbs 19g (71%), fat 2g (19%)  

barb's red beans & rice

Traditional red beans & rice was an easy meal to cook on the stove on wash day. Nowadays most recipes include lots of fancy ingredients and is a big production. Well, here's a recipe that's back to basics and nutritarian all the way--so completely different from the standard recipe (no smoke flavor or ham hocks or spices needed).

1 cup red beans
1 cup pinto beans (more tender than red beans but you can use all red beans if you'd like---or any other kind--I just happened to have 1 cup left of each!)
1.5 cups of brown and/or wild rice (or 1 cup or 2---I just happened to have 1.5 cup!)
1 large leek or onion
2 cups carrot juice
1-2 cups whatever else you want to juice up--I did beets and celery
1 tsp thyme (optional)
1 tsp oregano (optional)
chipotle powder to taste (small amount as it's hot)--this adds a little smoky flavor
1/4 tsp ground cloves--this also is remniscent of smoky flavor (think ham with cloves...)

Throw it all in the pot with a few more cups water, bring to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer, and go do your chores or play. Check it every once in a while to make sure you have enough water. You can turn it off in 2-4 hours. But if you turn it off in 2 hours, you probably want to let it sit for another hour or two to continue softening the red beans while it cools. Today I turned on the stove at about 7:30 am, the stove was turned off at 10 am when housemate left the house, and when I returned at noon, it was still warm and nicely cooked.

You can add seasoning to taste in your bowl: cinnamon is good, believe it or not. Also gumbo file is good (ground sassafras leaves), and any no salt seasoning. If SAD (Standard American Diet) guests want to add salt, you can offer them salt or soy sauce or cajun seasoning or red pepper sauce, which all have salt in them--that's why people like them.

Makes 6 large bowls. Nutritional info per bowl: Calories 254, protein 13 g (20%), carbs 49 g (77%), fat > 1 g (3%).

Friday, March 20, 2009

mar 20

Brekky: 0.5 oz brazil nuts & kiwi before yoga.  morning smoothie afterwards.

Lunch:  grapes (2 cups!), 0.5 cups frozen peas (munched on), baked sweet potato, steamed asparagus with lemon and sunflower seeds, 

Dinner: big easy salad, which had an additional treat in it:  sliced mango.  It was fantastic, at perfect ripeness.  That might have been the best mango I've ever eaten.  It was a small yellow one from Mexico.  I don't have good luck with the big green ones from South America.  They are shipped unripe and they don't ripen well in my kitchen.  But these little yellow ones are good.  I also had 2 small baked beets, carrots and celery while preparing, two small tangerines, and 0.5 oz brazil nuts.

total calories: 1613. protein 43 g (8%), carbs 293 g (68%), fat 44 g (24%).

I'll be curious to see if I get hungry in the middle of the night.  I kind of felt like I overate at dinner.   But 4 hours later I feel just right.    I don't like going to bed hungry.

Oh, I was at a gathering of friends tonight and there were the vegan chocolate chip cookies---these are the healthier ones (cowgirl cookies from the co-op) with whole wheat flour, coconut shavings, and oil instead of white flour and margarine.   I didn't have any but it wasn't because of discipline.  The host just forgot to serve them.  haha.  until the end when we were putting on our coats.  then it was easy to say no.  I doubt I would have resisted if they had been served earlier---even though, I really don't like them that much.   It's like alcohol.  I stopped liking it long before I stopped drinking with friends.  I still have a hard time saying no sometimes even though I have no desire for it and usually feel tired the next day.  I just want to be a part of the gang sometimes.   Maybe I have to change my mentality about gangs.  Maybe I should think of myself as a leader instead of a follower.  Sounds silly but it could work.   Stranger things have happened.  Huh, maybe this is why women often have more trouble adopting this eating plan.  I get the impression that women have a harder time in social situations, from what I read on the Fuhrman forums.  And women are programmed more to be followers.  A lot of the men are able to be more rational about it.  I don't mean to be sexist, it just seems that some of the men are able to just decide this is the way to go and do it.  And a lot of men are more comfortable in leadership roles due to socialization in our society.  Maybe we women just need to adopt that mentality more.  Pretend you are a leader rather than a follower.  I think there's a lot of power in pretending.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

mar. 19

Brekky: 0.5 oz brazil nuts and morning smoothie.  I just realized I've been linking to the wrong smoothie.  I'll go correct a few of them...

Lunch:  kiwi, lentils & rice with peas added.  carrot and celery while preparing.  banana cherry ice cream for dessert.  yummy!  

Dinner: cabbage & apple dish (3 helpings!)  carrots and celery, and kiwi while preparing.  0.5 oz brazil nuts.  3 small tangerines.

total calories: 1646. protein 42 g (8%), carbs 316 g (70%), fat 40 g (21%).

I've lost a couple of pounds over the last month, and don't really want to lose any more.  Plus I've been getting hungry in the middle of the night.  So I think upping my calories today was good.  I think I'll be fine tonight.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Strix posted another essene recipe that I'm interested to try out:  sweet cherry essene.  I wasn't planning to experiment with this for a while but I decided it might be fun to take a batch with me on vacation next week.  So hopefully I'll have time to make this this weekend.

mar. 18

Brekky:  morning smoothie before yoga (wasn't hungry, should have waited), 0.5 oz brazil nuts afterwards.

Lunch:  baked sweet potato and steamed brussels sprouts and asparagus with lemon juice:  

Simple meals like this are so good.  Housemate's version was baked potato with steamed carrots and peas:

I had my usual carrot and celery while preparing and 0.25 cup frozen peas (love these).  also ate house-mate's potato skins (love those too).  2 small tangerines for dessert.  oh and a small kiwi.

Dinner: big easy salad, really big, really good.  2 small tangerines, 1 apple, 0.5 oz brazil nuts.

Total calories: 1522. protein 44 g (9%), carbs 290 g (71%), fat 35 g (20%).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

mar. 17

Brekky: 0.5 oz brazil nuts right after early exercise class, then  morning smoothie when I got home.

Lunch: carrot while preparing:  lentils & rice, steamed kale and rutabaga sauce. apple for dessert.  very filling lunch.

Dinner: big easy salad, baked beet, carrot while preparing, two small oranges for dessert.

total calories: 1550. protein 50 g (11%), carbs 295 g (71%), fat 31 g (18%).

I'm thinking I might need more fat.  maybe another half oz nuts at dinner.   hmmm, maybe I'll have to make a treat tomorrow.

Updated Mar. 18.  at bedtime I was hungry and I don't sleep as well when I'm hungry so I decided I needed those nuts and ate another 0.5 oz of brazil nuts.  and I did sleep well.  So revised nutritional intake is:

total calories:  1643, protein 52 g (11%), carbs 297 g (67%), fat 41g (22%).  

Monday, March 16, 2009

mar 16 food

Brekky:  morning smoothie before yoga, 0.5 oz brazil nuts after.  grapes after grocery shopping.

Lunch:  lentils & rice (yum!),  cabbage & apple (yum!), kiwi (yum), a carrot, 1 tsp sunflower seeds while making smoothies, oh and sipped on the smoothies.  

Dinner:  big easy salad, baked beets, rest of the cabbage & apple dish.  carrot.    

total calories:  1495.  protein 45 g (10%), carbs 285 g (71%), fat 31 g (18%).

wow, I can't believe how much good food you can eat and have it total only 1495 calories.  I was full after lunch, and full after dinner.  Completely satisfied and enjoyed all the variety.  If I hadn't logged my calories I would have been sure I overate.  

lentils and rice

I decided if I need to eat beans, I probably would prefer having rice with them.  It seems easier to digest that way--maybe just because I'm not eating as many beans in a serving.  So here's an easy lentil rice dish that I can cook while I'm out running errands in the morning, and no soaking required the night before.

2 cups lentils
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup goji berries (optional)
1 leek or onion
1.5 cups carrot and/or beet juice (adds a nice flavor and is healthy).
several cups water (sorry forgot how many)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped

rinse the lentils and rice if you think they need it.  then combine everything and cook for 1-2 hours.  easy peasy.   I didn't add the carrot juice until I got home from yoga class because I didn't have time to make it beforehand.  no problem.  it's a forgiving recipe.  it didn't need spices because the carrot juice and goji berries added flavor, but of course, add your favorite spices if you wish.  

nutritional info for 1 cup:  calories 210, protein 10 g (20%), carbs 39 g (76%), fat less than 1 g (4%).  Wow, this is a high-protein, low-fat dish!  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

mar 15

It's true, grains do fill you up.  I was still full from last night's pizza for about half the day today.  Plus it was a busy and emotional day (included a memorial service and friends in need), and I tend to lose my appetite when I feel a little depressed.

Brekky:  morning smoothie, 0.5 oz brazil nuts

snack:  apple, carrots

late and hurried lunch:  baked sweet potato, 1/2 cup peas, raw carrot.  I've been taste-testing jewel vs garnet, and the jewels win hands down--sweeter and less stringy.

late dinner:  tangerine, carrots & celery, big easy salad, small orange.  The valencia oranges are good again after 2-3 weeks of being somewhat dry and tasteless.   I am ignorant about why that is.

Total calories:  1246, protein 32 g (8%), carbs 250 g (75%), fat 23 g (17%).

We're going on vacation in a week so I'm trying to think of foods I want to eat that I can only cook at home.  Baked sweet potatoes and beets are high on the list.   

Saturday, March 14, 2009

mar 14

Brekky:  morning smoothie,  0.5 oz brazil nuts

snack:  carrots, celery, apple (snack excuse:  doing manual labor.  but I didn't really need it).

lunch: large and absolutely delicious baked sweet potato, 3 small baked beets, 0.5 cup peas.  2 large tangerines.

dinner:  essene pizza  (2 out of 4 pieces are shown here, one partially eaten).  I ate the whole thing.  1 small tangerine.

Total calories:  1787.  protein 45 g (8%), carbs 370 g (78%), fat 28 g (14%).

The essene pizza was 650 calories!  ha.  of course, compared to a regular pizza, that's not so bad.  I can see where grains definitely give you more calories.  But they push out other stuff that I might like more.  It was good and it certainly made me feel satisfied afterwards.  I liked it enough to eat it again but not all the time.

essene pizza


tomato sauce or drained tomatoes from a can (from your garden if you are lucky)
italian seasoning (I added to the tomatoes while draining)
unsalted olives (optional)
veggies of your choice:  all I had was leeks, turnips and arugula---which actually turned out quite good.

spread out the essene dough and cook it about halfway--for me that was 30 minutes at 250 F.  or if it's already cooked, steam the veggies a bit.  turn the dough over and then stick on the tomato sauce and everything else.  cook for another 30 minutes at 250 F.  or shorter if the veggies are partly cooked.  you can go hotter too if you want.    

I thought this was pretty good.  I'd do it again.  

essene bread

This is experiment #2 with essene bread.  

1/2 cup kamut berries
1/3 cup raisins

I soaked the berries overnight, then put them in a bell jar.  I stopped at an expensive kitchen store (conveniently located or I wouldn't have bothered), and asked if they had sprouting jars.  I'm not sure they knew what they were, and they didn't have them.  I also had to make a stop at the hardware store next door for something else and on a whim I said, hey do you have sprouting jars?  The woman said, no, but we have some nylon mesh you can try.  After spending 79 cents on a big piece of nylon, I cut out a circular piece and put it in my bell jar lid--worked like a charm.  

Then screwed on the lid.  This does make for easier rinsing.  So I rinsed them and put the can on it's side with a towel over them (darkness), and let them sprout, rinsing every 8 hours or so (5-12 depending on when I was home).  

It only took about a day to get the spouts about half the size of the berry.  Then I combined the berries and raisins in the blender.  This wasn't quite enough to blend easily so I had to do a lot of smashing with the plunger and reblending.    Then I put it in the oven for over an hour at 250 degrees.  It sticks to the pan.  I forgot to use parchment paper like strix suggests.  I used corn meal but you'd need a lot for that to work and I didn't use much.  It still turned out good.  more on that in my next post.

Friday, March 13, 2009

essene cookie

This was my first experiment making essene bread--which is made from sprouted grains.  I used 30 g of wheatberries.   That was about 1/8 cup or so.  I decided to go very small for my first experiment.  I followed strix's advice from her blog.  I didn't have any "equipment" so I used a colander like strix suggested.  Well, first I soaked the wheatberries overnight in a bowl of water, then rinsed them, then soaked some more, then  put them in the colander overnight in a pan with a towel over it.  

I rinsed them again, and then put them back under the towel a few times.  By tonight the sprouts were about half the size of the grain so I decided to make them up.  I ground them in my coffee grinder--didn't work so great because they were soggy.  I added 20 g of raisins (~ 1/8 cup) and ground them up too.  I forgot to add vanilla.  I put it on a pizza pan and shaped it like a cookie and baked at 200 F for 30 minutes, turned it over and let sit in the warm oven for another 10 minutes.  It was pretty good.   I think it needed more grinding though.  But that small quantity wouldn't grind in the blender or food processor---I suppose I could have used the juicer.

mar 13

Brekky:  morning smoothie before yoga, 1/2 oz brazil nuts after

Lunch:  snacked on carrots and celery while making steam brussels sprouts, asparagus and cauliflower, and  a little broccoli.  Had that with the rest of the split pea and carrot soup.  Ate housemate's potato skins from her baked potato.  1/2 cup frozen peas and small tangerine for dessert (wasn't hungry by then, just pigging).

Dinner:  spinach-mango smoothie, large carrot, small tangerine.  essene cookie.   This weekend I am planning to try essene pizza with kamut.  More on that tomorrow.

Total calories:  1556.  protein 56 g (11%), carbs 301 g (71%), fat 32 g (18%).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

mar 12

Brekky: 0.5 oz brazil nuts before exercise class, morning smoothie afterwards.

lunch:  kale with sweet potato sauce.  This is sooo good and easy-- only 3 ingredients in the sauce.  smallish bowl of split pea and carrot soup.  snacked on carrots and celery while preparing.  kiwi.  apple.  

Dinner: big easy salad.  3 tangerines and a kiwi for dessert (2 were very small).  was doing a taste test of the tangerines (excuse).   The pixie were definitely better than the honey.  snacked on celery and carrots while preparing.  and 1/4 cup frozen peas.

I was perhaps over full after dinner with the extra fruit.    

Total calories: 1452.  protein 40 g (9%), carbs 275 g (70%), fat 35 g (21%).   

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

essene bread

What a coincidence.  Just today I bought some wheat berries and was searching the web for how to make essene bread and strix posted about it!   She even named it Barbie Bread.  haha.   I'm going to try this soon.   In fact, I think I'll start the wheat berries sprouting now (I don't have any equipment so I will soak in a glass jar and then use a colander as one of strix's pictures shows).  She prefers kamut but I didn't see her post before I went grocery shopping.  More later after I try the experiment.

mar 11

I had kind of a tummy ache from overeating the fruit the last few days so I decided maybe I need to monitor my intake some more.  I also wasn't too hungry today so took it easy.

Breakfast after yoga:  morning smoothie.  

Lunch:  split pea and carrot soup from the freezer (Furhman recipe).  House mate doesn't like this so much so I made a batch of mushroom barley soup for her, and froze a bunch of it, so she should be set for a while.   I had some raw carrots and celery while preparing.  dessert was a honey tangerine and 1/4 cup frozen sweet peas.    I had a few bites of an apple while preparing house-mate's dinner salad, and a little sunflower seeds while preparing smoothies for later, oh and a large banana.

Dinner while out:  spinach-mango smoothie, carrot, apple.

That was only 1320 calories.   but I was pretty full from the last few days.  protein 35 g (8%), carbs 273 g, fat 22 g (15%).  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

mar. 10 food

Brekky: 0.5 oz brazil nuts before exercise class, morning smoothie afterwards.

lunch: root veggie sauce on asparagus, brussels sprouts, bok choy and leeks.   snacked on raw carrots, celery, kiwi, frozen peas.  kind of overdid the snacking there.  

late afternoon snack.  I broke my rule and started snacking at 4 pm even though I wasn't hungry.  Had an apple, a kiwi, a banana, some carrots.  Then of course I wasn't hungry for dinner so had a smallish salad with arugula, red bell pepper, olives, D'Angou pear vinegar.  and 2 small baked beets.  Dessert was some frozen peas, my favorite treat these days.  Oh, and 0.5 oz brazil nuts.  kind of overdid the eating and snacking again.   

Monday, March 9, 2009

mar. 9

Brekky:  banana + 0.5 oz brazil nuts before yoga,  morning smoothie afterwards.

lunch: "spaghetti sauce" on asparagus, cauliflower, bok choy and leeks.  It was good!   I also snacked on a half cup of frozen sweet peas.  I seem to be addicted to those.   I made a bunch of smoothies to freeze and sipped on those as I went.

Dinner: big easy salad.  The orange in the picture is a delicious orange bell pepper.  black is the olives.  I also ate a baked beet, skin and all (upper left; so good!).  Beets are about the only local vegetable left in the co-op besides carrots.  I had an apple for dessert.  snacked on carrots and celery while fixing salad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

mar. 8

snack:  carrots and celery and the rest of Friday's dip.  grapes

late lunch:  "spaghetti sauce" on brussels sprouts.  House mate had the sauce on whole wheat spaghetti.  I think this is the best sauce I've made.   I had two helpings...

Dinner:  2 bananas, grapes, carrots.  

It doesn't sound like a lot for dinner but I essentially had 2 lunches and ate a lot of grapes and carrots.  I probably ate more than I needed today but...could be worse.  The bananas were at perfect ripeness and I enjoyed them.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mar. 7

I was out doing manual labor until 2 pm.  Brought a lunch of 2 essene buds, an apple, banana, carrots and celery.  snacked on some fruit salad (strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes etc.) that someone else brought.   Then when I got home I had a baked sweet potato ready (cooked by housemate) and a half cup of frozen peas for dessert.  I love frozen peas right out of the bag.  It is a great snack/dessert.

Dinner:  big easy salad.  snacked on celery, carrots and yesterday's dip while making it.  The dip is still delicious.  had an orange for dessert.   If you've followed my blog for a long time (who would do that?), you might notice that I change my favorite salad about once a month.  I invent a new one and it is my all-time favorite and I eat it for about a month and then I invent another.  That's a quirk of mine I guess.   I love these olives so I wouldn't be surprised if they stay in the salad for more than a month.   Note, for house mate I've been making the arugula-apple salad (without lettuce instead of arugula) because I don't think she'd like the olives.  I should let her try out mine and see if she likes it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

chickpea-avocado-eggplant dip


1 cup dried chickpeas or 1 can
1 medium eggplant
1 avocado
some green onions
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tomato (I used canned tomatoes from the garden)
juice of 1-2 lemons (I used 2)

If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, then cook for about 4 hours. At the end, I threw in the garlic cloves for about 5 minutes to cook them a bit so they aren't as strong in the dip. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, bake at 350 F for an hour (check after 45 minutes---if it starts getting burned, it's done). Blend the chickpeas, garlic and lemon in a food processor. Scoop out the eggplant, add that and blend some more. scoop out the avocado, blend that in. Add the green onions, blend a bit. Add the tomatoes, blend just a bit.

I didn't add any spices but you could try parsley or cilantro. If you really want some saltiness, you could add 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or tamari or Bragg's)

mar. 6

Brekky:  morning smoothie, then 0.5 oz brazil nuts after yoga.

Lunch: steamed vegetables and a dip I made up which is a combination of two different dips from the Fuhrman website.  I guess I'll call it chickpea-avocado-eggplant dip.  I really liked it and ate a lot and got so full I saved the fruit salad for dinner.  The vegetables were carrots, celery, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower.  I love this meal.

dinner:  fruit salad (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, banana--two servings are shown in the picture), a quick easy salad made of arugula, chopped olives (salt-free), vinegar, and yellow bell pepper.  I wasn't that hungry so it wasn't a huge salad.  Ate a big carrot while preparing.  had an orange for dessert.  oh, had an apple while preparing.  It was a very good apple--braeburn.  

I didn't count my calories today--didn't feel like entering the dip recipe.  I think I learned most of what I need to know already from the exercise.  

Thursday, March 5, 2009

mar. 5

Brekky: 0.5 oz brazil nuts, morning smoothie, apple

lunch: steamed kale with sesame-rutabaga sauce (used 1/2 rutabaga, 1/2 turnip, no pom juice), 1/2 cup beans  (adzuki, white, and chickpeas, and onion and herbs). fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, banana).   snacked on celery and carrots while preparing.  ate 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (didn't need it, wasn't hungry) while fixing housemate's dinner salad.  

dinner: big easy salad.  carrots and celery, a largish baked beet, 2 small kiwis.  very full and satisfied after this.  The baked beet was the best I've ever had.  It was locally grown.  

Total calories: 1602, protein 51 g (10%), carbs 289g, fat 41 g (23%).

I had plenty of energy for my exercise class this morning so I think this calorie range is fine for me.  I'm plenty full right now at 8:40 pm.  In fact, I feel like I overate a bit at both lunch and dinner.  tomorrow I will have to eat a relatively early brekky...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

healthy eating

Here's a great post from Howard on principles of healthy eating.


Today I noticed that the color of my hands is the same as the wood paneling on our porch, which is pine with a honey-maple stain.  So now I can say my skin color is honey-maple (on pine?).  It used to be white-grey this time of year, so this is a substantial improvement.

mar. 4

morning smoothie,  even though I wasn't really hungry yet but felt I needed to eat before yoga.

snack after yoga:  0.5 oz brazil nuts

lunch:  1 cup beans (adzuki, white, and chickpeas, and onion and herbs).  Every once in a while, I just throw together my almost empty jars of beans and cook them up so they don't get old.  large baked sweet potato.  steamed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.  1/2 cup blackberries and 1/2 cup strawberries.  1 kiwi.   snacked on celery and carrots while preparing.   boy did this fill me up.  

dinner:  big easy salad.  2 small apples, carrots and celery, 1 small kiwi.  plenty full after this.  

Total calories:  1460, protein 47 g (10%), carbs 290g, fat 25 g (15%).   

Seems low on calories but I was stuffed after lunch and dinner.  I was also full this morning from yesterday.   So it seems that this calorie range is fine for me.  I'm not losing or gaining weight.   I wasn't in the mood for many nuts because the beans filled me up so much.  I was in the mood for fruit.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mar. 3 food

Was out from 6:50 am - 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm, so some quick meals:

Brekky: spinach-mango smoothie.  apple, carrot.  

Lunch: spinach-mango smoothie. apple, carrot.   not very creative, but I didn't have much time to prepare last night as I was out and then really in need of sleep.   I put 1 oz walnuts and 1 Tbsp flaxseed in the smoothies.

Dinner:  apple-cabbage dish.  beets & edamame (just cooked a cutup beet in water and added edamame).  I made a large portion of the apple-cabbage dish and ate the whole thing (two large servings).  Even though it is low calorie, that is a lot of food and I feel like I ate too much.  According to my Cron-0-meter program, I was still a bit low on calories, so I ate 2 Tbsp of sunflower seeds too.

Total calories:  1537, protein 37 g (7%), carbs 291 g (69%), fats: 40 g (23%)

How to transition to healthy eating

I was thinking yesterday that if everyone cut back their meat and dairy intake by 50%, that would have 50 times greater impact than if 1% of the population became vegan.  50 times fewer animals would be killed!   That's huge!  And I was thinking, that wouldn't be so hard to do and would be a good way to transition to healthy eating.  So here's a healthy eating transition plan I came up with.

Step 1:  Cut back your meat and dairy intake by 50%.  Replace it with starches (potaoes, squash), multi-colored vegetables, fruit and whole grains.   You will probably start losing weight and noticing some health benefits.  Maybe you want to hang out in this stage for a while and enjoy some weight loss and the huge impact you have made on the well-being of animals and global warming!   Oh, and if you really want to lose weight, cut back on the cheese.   If you are feeling up to the challenge, you can try cutting back on the refined grains and sugars too--replacing them with whole grains and fruits.

Step 2:  If you want to experience more healthy impacts, probably the most effective step to take is to cut out dairy.  The growth hormones in dairy (even in the non rBGH fed cows) and the animal protein (casein) are great for growing cancer cells (see The China Study).  And dairy contributes to a host of allergies and auto-immune diseases.  Finally most of us are lactose intolerant to some degree and don't know it.  Once you get rid of the dairy, watch that indigestion disappear!  And weight will continue to drop off when you cut out this high fat food (yes even the "low-fat" varieties).   Just add in more of those lovely vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to replace the dairy.  Oh, at this stage you probably want to try cutting down on the refined grains and sugars (replace with whole grains and fruits).

Step 3:  Now if you really want to improve your health dramatically, you just have to take one more step and that is cut back even more on the meat.   If you can cut down to just a few servings a week, now most of your diseases will go away.  No more heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune, allergies (see this link from Dr. Fuhrman's website and the linked articles off there on the right panel).  No kidding.  Replace with, what else, starches, vegetables (including lots of leafy greens), fruit, whole grains, and nuts and seeds (in small quantities).  Oh, and pretty much cut out the refined grains and sugars except for special occasions.  Ta-da!   

mar. 2 food

Similar to yesterday:

Brekky: smoothie, 1/2 oz brazil nuts

snack after yoga and while preparing lunch:  apple, carrots, celery

lunch:   3-bean chili over 1/2 cup brown rice--larger portions to finish it off.  fruit salad (the usual:  strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, banana).  Housemate says she doesn't like the blackberries.  I didn't used to either but I do now.  So we swapped out my raspberries for her blackberries.  Oh, then I splurged a bit while making housemate's dinner salad and smoothies.  I had 1 Tbsp of sunflower seeds (okay).   Then 0.7 oz of walnuts!  that was not necessary as I wasn't hungry.  and a few sips of the smoothies.   yum.  no regrets there.  okay, so that wasn't so bad of a splurge, except for the walnuts

Dinner: big easy salad,T, same as yesterday's version: lots of lettuce and arugula, some peas and corn, 4 olives (unsalted) cutup, red bell pepper, and 1 Tbsp Dr. Fuhrman's black fig vinegar.

Total calories: 1669, protein 53 g (10%), carbs 288 (70%), fat 47 g (25%).   I overate at lunch but had less at dinner.  Probably a bit more calories than I needed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

mar. 1 food

Brekky:   smoothie, 1/2 oz brazil nuts

snack at church hospitality hour:  an apple and small piece of orange.

lunch:  3-bean chili over 1/2 cup brown rice.  I cooked the rice with some goji berries and veggizest and dulse (seaweed)  which I decided I don't like.  Now that I haven't done salt for quite a while, I don't really like the dulse anymore.  So I threw the rest out.  It was old anyway.  The goji berries were kind of a fun addition.  The chili was from a McDougall newsletter (scroll down the page to get to the chili recipe), by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  I made it a few weeks ago and froze part of it which we are now eating.  I just had 1 cup of the chili.  I seemed to handle it okay today.  I get too bloated with too many beans.  We also had some steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  And I ate some raw carrots while preparing.

Dinner:  big easy salad (with olives instead of apple).  1 Tbsp sunflower seeds.   a baked beet.  yum.  some raw carrots while preparing.  an orange for dessert.  The oranges haven't been good lately.  Today's version of the salad was similar to the last one I had:  lots of lettuce and arugula, some peas and corn, 4 olives (unsalted) cutup, orange and red bell pepper, and 1 Tbsp Dr. Fuhrman's spicy pecan vinegar.  

Total calories:  1426, protein 46 g (10%), carbs 266 (70%), fat 31 g (20%).   seems a bit low in calories.  This morning I woke up hungry (at 5 am even) so I'm thinking I need more calories.  But right now at 7:45 pm, I'm not hungry.  Today I wasn't as active as yesterday.  So maybe I'm okay.   I'll find out tomorrow morning when I wake up.   If I need more calories, what should I add in, nuts or sweet potatoes or grains?  My taste buds prefer the sweet potatoes.

more on sleep

I'm not sure if this is a sleeping disorder or not but as spring approaches I sleep less. It's the opposite of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I think it's due to how fast the daytime sun changes this time of year.  The day-length follows a sine curve.  At winter solstice we are at the bottom of the curve (shortest day of the year) and it's relatively flat, so daytime length changes slowly.  Same thing happens at summer solstice when we are at the top of the curve (longest day of the year).  During the equinoxes we are are at the points where the daytime length changes the most every day.  Right now, sunrise is changing by 1-2 minutes per day where I live (Wisconsin).  On March 21 it will change by 2 minutes per day.  Back in December it didn't budge for several days.  I think this change of sunrise is what makes me wake up early, moreso than the actual time itself.  It's just a guess, but all I know is, every spring I get a bit of insomnia.  I still sleep okay but I wake up early and I feel pretty energetic.  I don't seem to mind the lack of sleep.  But I fear it's unhealthy since I'm told I should get 8 hours a night.   I probably sleep closer to 6-7 hours per night.  Sometimes 5 though.  rarely more than 7.