Tuesday, December 31, 2013

today's food

It was more of a nibbling all day than a 3 square meals kind of day.

before exercise:  small bowl of frozen banana, mango, grapes

exercise:  swim 30 minutes, walk 30 minutes

after exercise:  boiled chestnuts, lots of raw carrots.  

then it was lunchtime:  big salad from that hydroponic lettuce (which tastes great, I wonder, is it less nutritious than lettuce grown in soil?), chopped concord pear (my favorite pear nowadays), ground flax seed, and balsamic vinegar.  and a bowl of cooked collards and tomatoes.

entertained some kids this afternoon and gave them some chips, homemade salsa, apple slices and frozen grapes.  I enjoyed some apple slices, frozen grapes and celery and salsa with them.

light dinner:   bowl of beans and chopped grapes and curry powder!   how's that for a crazy dish that tastes good?  a little rice would have been good too, will make some tomorrow.

then inspired by that I had a snack of grapes and curry powder!   it was also good.   crazy huh?  and a few carrots.  that was my new year's celebration, ha.

my new year's eve activity was watching a video on backpacking in the grand canyon.  that's what I'm training for.  I plan to spend a lot of time on the stair climbing machine at the YMCA!

Happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

today's food

Breakfast:  a bowl  of cooked greens (collards, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, onion) and a few frozen grapes before exercise.  then some chestnuts afterwards.  this sort of blended into lunch which was a bunch of celery and salsa.  I was going to make a salad but remembered right after opening the can of tomatoes for the salsa, so decided to save the salad for tomorrow, since celery and salsa is kind of a salad.

snack:  a bunch of raw carrots while cooking a bunch of vegetables (more on that below).   also more frozen grapes and frozen banana.

dinner:  beans and greens.

snack:  frozen grapes and bananas.  I ate about a pound of frozen grapes today.   it was good.

I'm going to a meditation retreat later this week and we'll be at it from 7:30 am until 8 pm every day!  wo.  so I decided to cook a bunch of stuff ahead of time to freeze.  I like to eat a lot of local stuff, and what's local now is beets, carrots, cabbage, and rutabaga.  I like me carrots raw, and I'm trying to eat up my frozen greens so neglecting cabbage.  so therefore I cooked up:  onions, beets, rutabaga, and added cooked spelt berries and oat groats and beans.  I dished that out to 7 bowls to freeze.  I hope it freezes and thaws well!  I took a picture but I want to go to bed so don't want to find the camera etc etc.  Tomorrow or the next day I'll cook up a ton of greens and tomatoes to freeze.  the greens are frozen from the garden and the tomatoes are canned from the garden.  it's pretty cool how much local you can eat in the dead of winter in wisconsin!

Exercise:  weights, stair climbing machine (20 minutes, 45 "flights"), yoga.  

Some Facebook groups I follow

I find these Facebook groups pretty interesting and not overly time-consuming:
McDougall Friends,  McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Support, and  McDougall Mary's Mini
They describe their diet parameters at the top of the page.

Then of course there's Jeff Novick, and Dr. McDougall, and Engine 2 diet.  They post useful information.  oh and vegsource.  There were some very interesting articles posted there a few weeks ago about vitamin D.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

another salsa

1 can tomatoes (mine are from the garden…)
some lime or lemon
a little bell pepper if you have any
little bit of onion
small clove of garlic
a little bit of chipotle powder

I drain the tomatoes and drink the juice.  then chop the tomatoes if needed.  I just use small amounts of everything else.  e.g., for the onion I take just a spoonful and smash it in my garlic press.  same with the garlic to.   squeeze a bit of the lemon or lime.  I use a few spoonfuls of chopped cilantro.  In the winter I usually don't bother with the bell peppers since they aren't local.  So the salsa is mainly tomatoes with a little flavoring from everything else.  I love to eat it with raw celery and carrots--it makes a great snack.   Today I forgot to add the chipotle powder.

today's food

Breakfast:  boiled chestnuts, and an apple.  I wanted greens but didn't have any cooked and didn't have time to cook them.

Lunch:  still no time to cook the greens before a late lunch, but the beans were cooked so I had beans, lots of raw carrots and celery with homemade salsa (good!), and a banana.   Afterwards, I cooked up the greens with tomato, onion, garlic and mushroom.

Snacks at football game party:   none.  I took a plate of stuff and a bowl of soup and gave it to my partner.  heh heh.  I know, not honest, but the host was happy thinking I enjoyed her food.  She kept pointing out all the vegan things I could eat.   I don't think she knows about this blog...

Dinner:  finally, the greens and tomatoes.  more beans.   frozen grapes for dessert.  and a grapefruit.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

today's food

Today I wasn't hungry until the afternoon (see previous post).   I had some carrots and a nice salad made from local (hydroponic?) lettuce, a pear, some hemp seeds, and balsamic vinegar.  This time of year the lettuce from California is not very appealing so I don't eat as many salads, but we've started seeing this locally grown lettuce, I think grown in water, like sprouts are.  It's very fresh and delicious.  It's not there every time I go to the store, but I grab some when it is.  It's great to get a fresh salad this time of year!

My dinner was a little early due to going out.  I had some carrots, a pomegranate and some yummy chestnuts.  Those come from Iowa and are really good and sweet.  My favorite way to cook them is to boil them!  I have no idea if that's normal.  You hear about roasted chestnuts from the song, but that dries them out.  I think they are perfect boiled. and it's super easy.  and then easy to score and eat them afterwards.   When I got home later, I was a little  hungry and had a small bowl of frozen banana, grapes and another carrot.  (I love carrots).

Today I was thinking about desire, partly because I'm watching this excellent set of lectures from the latest Mind and Life Institute conference on addiction and cravings.  The Mind and Life Institute is this group of Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, and neuroscientists who get together every year to discuss the mind.  So I was thinking about desire, and wondering, why do I sometimes want food I can't have, but I don't want a big house I can't have or lots of other things I can't have.  Then I realized the difference is that I can have the food, I'm just not supposed to.  I can't have the big house on the lake because I'm not rich enough.  But I can have any food I desire within an hour of my desire.  I just have to grab my wallet and my car keys, google my desired food, drive there, order and pay.   I mean, imagine any kind of food and I can have it in an hour.  so it is different.  because then it's me that has to put the brakes on the desire.  it's a lot easier to not have a house on a lake when it's impossible, than to pass up decadent food where I'm the only thing between my desire and the food.   I don't have anymore insights than that.  :)

I'm back?

Oh my god, yesterday I ate like normal person (without the meat), and holy crap, did I feel like crap last night.  And that wasn't the first time.  I've done that at least 5 times during this holiday season.  And before too.  And, surprise, I've gained weight.  Even a few bad days a month derails me from my weight goals.  I saw a great analogy the other day:  It's like working at a full-time job and not getting paid for it!  I put in all those good days and then ruin it with a bad day. But the worst part is feeling like crap when I go off plan.  My body is not used to high-fat foods.  The burps are the worse!   I know, too much information.

So I'm back blogging, maybe (I never know for sure), for a few reasons:  One is that I have a big backpacking adventure planned for next fall and there is no way I can do it at my age and lack of natural born athletic ability without a healthy diet in addition to the exercise.  Another is that I think my own blog will support my goals better right now than the online forums I'm a member of.  I'm not sure why exactly.  For one thing, the forums just get me thinking too much about rich foods and recipes I don't need to eat on a daily basis.  and I know how to eat this way so I don't need the forums as an educational tool.  I do feel I should provide support to others if I can, but I also feel that right now as I struggle myself, who am I to provide advice to others?   Well, I know we support each other, struggling or not.  I can't really explain why I feel like going into myself for strength rather than a community.  I also want to spend  more of my free time in pursuits other than food.  And that goes for my social time too.

So I'm thinking of just hanging out with myself for a while (diet wise) and logging my boring food, which I can't imaging anyone else would want to eat, and that's okay because I'm not trying to promote a diet to anyone else.  Of course, if no one wants to eat this way, no one will want to read the blog and that is okay too.  It still makes me feel a little more accountable than keeping a private journal, and I enjoy writing it.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I went to farms2forks at the Esselstyn family farm in upstate New York.  It was wonderful and so uplifting.  I saw this summary that described it so nicely, I don't need to do it myself:  http://www.gardendish.com/news/2013/8/29/reasons-for-hope.html

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Zeb's waffles with no sugar!

This is the first time I ate waffles or pancakes without maple syrup and it was great! I made a mini-version of Zeb's waffles from "My Beef with Meat". I used a generous 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp flax seeds, a few walnuts halves (1/4 oz), some orange zest, and 1/2 banana. I ground the flaxseed and walnuts and some of the oats, combined all the dry ingredients. I blended the banana with 1/2 cup water to make "banana milk". Then combined everything and made two waffles out of them. I topped them with 1/2 large fresh peach. It was delicious!
If you are avoiding the nuts,  you probably wouldn't even notice if you left out the walnuts. I'm so proud of myself for not adding sweetener. I didn't miss it at all! What a surprise!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Awesome chili

This chili was inspired by Chef AJ's Red Lentil Chili, but in the end I think I only had a few overlapping ingredients, ha.  Well I didn't have red lentils, and I had a bunch of wonderful veggies I wanted to cook up and...so it went.  I did like her spices though and followed them pretty closely.  Here's my version, and as usual, the amounts and even the ingredients don't matter too much, use whatever you like or have on hand.

1 lb of beans.  I used 1/2 lb pinto, and 1/2 lb lentils (half green, half brown).
2 15-oz cans of tomatoes
1 large onion
1small bulb of garlic or 1/2 large
a bunch of your favorite veggies:  I used eggplant, carrots, zucchini, and a giant red bell pepper.
Something sweet:  1 large beet (or 2 medium) or a sweet potato or some mango or some pineapple, or some dates or some maple syrup (take your pick or picks)
spices and herbs:   I had some fresh parsley, sage, chives and rosemary
1.5 Tbsp salt-free chili powder or to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika (smoked is key)
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (also gives a smokey flavor)
more chipotle if you like it hot, and some crushed red pepper if you like it hot (I don't really).
2 Tbsp apple basalmic or apple cider vinegar (more if you want).
I forgot scallions but that sounds pretty good as a topping if you want it.

cook up the beans in a large pot (soaked overnight, or do a quick soak:  boil then sit for an hour) or open up a few cans of beans.
prep the veggies:   cut them up, peel as desired.    I cooked the beets separately because I wanted to blend them.  the rest I put in a large pan with 1 cup water, covered in foil, baked at 375 for 1 hour.  don't bother cutting the garlic, just put the bulb in (see picture).

When this was done, I blended the beets and one cat of tomatoes and the garlic.  For the garlic, cut off the bottom, and then sqeeze out the garlic--super easy!  I took the rosemary out and poured the veggies into the bean pot.  I added the beet/tomato/garlic puree and the other spices and herbs.   It was delicious before adding the spices so I knew it was going to be good.  

Here is a bowl served up with lunch.  Someone else got a brat so everyone was happy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Easy and good baked veggies

This makes 1-2 meals.  Put 1/4 cup lentils in the bottom of a baking dish.  Cut up whatever veggies you have that seem like they would be good. Today I used onion, beet, and kohlrabi.  Tomorrow I'll do those plus eggplant.   Add 1 cup water.  

Top with foil.  Bake at 375 for 1 hour 15 minutes (including oven heating up).   Let cool.  stir, serve or save for tomorrow.  

If you have beans already cooked, you can forget the lentils and add the beans afterwards.  I also cook up greens and onions, and have those on the side.

Red sauce (ketchup? barbecue?)

I've experimented with making my own ketchup and barbeque sauce. Of course, store bought is fine as long as it's used as a condiment. I just prefer lower salt and sugar in mine. Anyway I decided I like a sort of combination of the two. Here are the ingredients I used today:

That's salt-free mustard, fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic powder, chipotle powder, onion powder, apple-balsamic vinegar and a baked beet on the right! The beet adds sweetness and a little thickness when blended up. If you want a different sweetener, you can use maple syrup or dates, whatever you wish. The Chipotle adds a smoky flavor but I have to be careful not to add too much because it's hot. Another thing I thought of after snapping the picture smoked paprika, which I also added. I blended this all up, then froze in an ice cube tray!

Then put the cubes in a ziplock bag and back in the freezer. Now I have individual servings whenever I want. They thaw quickly in the microwave. Here's today's lunch with the red sauce as a dipper for my potato fries.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Zeb's Waffles

Now that the E2X Captain's Challenge is over, I had my Zeb's waffles from "My Beef with Meat" and I wasn't disappointed! Here is a picture of our waffle iron from the 1950s!
I was worried it wouldn't be up to the task because it doesn't have a modern day non-stick surface. Well, it turns out the 1950s no-stick surface works just as good. It's probably iron for all I know.  But the real reason these turned out is because this baby gets really hot! Here is one of the waffles:
I made a half-recipe which made 3 waffles and I ate them all!  (yes I am a pig, yes I am the only plant-strong person in the house). Another thing that thrills me is that this is the first time I didn't OD (overdose) on maple syrup with waffles or pancakes. I had this clever idea to heat up frozen sour cherries and blueberries in the microwave until nice and hot. They release a lot of juice and taste mighty fine too. I added 1 Tbsp of maple syrup and it made a nice fruit topping, enough for all three waffles. I was most pleased.  
Now I have an even better idea for next time using a recipe from Ann Esselstyn (not posted, just word of mouth--it's just banana, oats, water and cinnamon).  I'll post that whenever I make it.   

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Captain's Lasagna!

I gotta write this down so I can remember.  It was good.   I call it Captain's Lasagna because it's consistent with the Captain's Challenge guidelines on the E2X website.   I have pictures below that will contradict slightly my recipe because I'm modifying it based on what I think would make it better next time.   As you read this, keep in mind that I don't really use recipes or measure things.  I will list amounts but it's kind of arbitrary, depending on what I buy.  And you can pick different ingredients as you wish, and as I will in the future.   This recipe takes a long time from start to finish but you don't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  It's good for a day at home when you are doing other things.

4 Japanese eggplants or 1 largish globe eggplant (the Japanese are less bitter).
2 sweet potatoes
1 medium-large onion
1/2 large bulb of garlic or 1smaller bulb
An ear of sweet corn or some broccoli or cauliflower or something that looks good, or any combination
Some spinach (however much you like)
A can of tomatoes (16 oz)
Lots of fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley and sage from the garden) or dry Italian seasoning
1/3 cup oats or so (soaks up liquid)
1/2 lb mushrooms, more if you like them, less if you don't
Some small tomatoes to slice for topping
1/2-1 cup beans, any kind

Bake all the veggies in the oven.  Just throw them in whole.   Bake at 350 or 375 for 45 minutes.  The garlic should be done then, so take that out.   The eggplant and sweet potatoes probably need another 20 minutes.   The corn and onion can go for even longer, maybe another 20.   Don't worry about overcooking, it just makes it taste better.   If using broccoli and cauliflower, you probably want to cut it up and bake in a dish with some water, covered in foil--but take it off in the last 20 minutes if you want it toasted.   Here's everything going into the oven (I used zucchini, but preferred the eggplant after it was done).   Cook up the mushrooms in a pan if you want (I didn't do that today and they weren't quite cooked all the way, though they were good, so I'm not sure which way would be best).

Let everything cool.   Peel the skins off.  Eat any that look good if you want (I kind of like sweet potato skins).   Assemble all your ingredients on the counter.

Prep the veggies:  Get the corn off the cob (knife works good).   Today I sliced the sweet potatoes but I think next time I will mash them.  And this time I pureed the beans but I think next time I will leave them whole, if they are small, or just slightly pureed if large.  I'll see if I like that better.   Slice the onion.  Slice the eggplant lengthwise so it's like lasagna noodle.   Slice the mushrooms, tomatoes.   Take your can of tomatoes, put in a blender or food processor.  Squirt the garlic out of it's cloves into the blender.   Blend (or process).   If using fresh herbs, add them and blend some more, not too much, just enough to see green pieces of the right size.

Get a baking pan that looks like it will fit everything, either 8x8 or 9x13.  Mine fit in 8x8 today.   Start assembling!   Put a layer of tomato sauce on bottom, then eggplant.   Then it's kind of as you like but add the oats fairly early so they absorb liquid.  Here's a possible way to go: Add some onions, mushrooms, beans, oats, and more tomato sauce.   Then spread the sweet potatoes.  Then add spinach, more onions, mushrooms, beans.  If there is any eggplant left, add that.  Add the final layer of tomato sauce (doesn't have to cover, can just drizzle).  Top with sliced tomatoes.

Here's an early layer

Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Then take the foil off and bake another 15 minutes.

Here is the final product:

It was good!   I ate 1/3 of the pan.  But it was just veggies!

Friday, August 2, 2013


I started a new exercise program today. My trail running friend got me interested in running again (not sure that's a good idea), but I'm only going to do a little. Also, even though I hate doing weights (bores me), I feel I need to do it for my backpack training. So I thought every morning I could run down to the YMCA, only 1/2 mile from my house, do some weights, then run home, for a quick 45 minute workout. Then I'll do something more enjoyable in the afternoon.  I tried it this morning and liked it. I like getting outside soon after waking, because I have this notion that it helps my sleep cycle. Later in the day I biked 14 miles for my work commute.  
On to food.
For breakfast I tried out Bill's idea for toasting patties from leftover breakfast cereal, but my oat groats and brown rice weren't mushy enough to make patties out of. Frying it up (no liquid) did make it crispy though, and it was good some sour cherries and blueberries. 
I had lunch with friends and brought some beets and onions I had baked up last night with some more of the oat groats and brown rice. I also had a bowl of the kale and onions that I had made yesterday.
I had no food left for dinner and knew I was going to work late so I planned to stop at the co-op on my way home for some fruit and raw veggies.  At the co-op I had some cherries and a banana. Then at home I had some sugar snap peas, carrots, a tomato from the garden, and I snacked a little on the strawberries that I was prepping for the freezer.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

8/1/13, great hiking day

I met a friend and we hiked almost 8 miles today on hilly terrain.  It was great!   She is training for a hilly trail run and I'm training for hiking and backpacking.   She definitely got my interest about this trail running.  I keep telling myself I'm too old to run--because I want to be active until well into old age and I don't want bad knees to prevent that.  But I still might look into it, and promise I wouldn't run much, just a bit.
Breakfast was just nibbling on raw spinach and fruit while making housemate's smoothie.  
Lunch after a hilly 6 mile hike was my fantastic baked kohlrabi and onion (so sweet when baked) topped with beans and lentils; and some cooked kale and onions; and some snow peas.  That was followed by an easy 2 mile hike.
Dinner was corn on the cob, kale and onions, and too many blueberries.
Happy Aug. 1 everyone! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31/13, I can't believe how good dinner tasted

For breakfast I did the oat-fruit bake (frozen sour cherries and blueberries in the bottom of a pan, add cinnamon, water and oats, bake for 30 minutes or so). It was fantastic.  
Lunch was
I also had a few strawberries. Then a few hours later I had a nectarine and a plum. And then some sugar snap peas. I snacked too much...
Dinner was unbelievably simple and good. In the morning, while baking my oats, I also baked onion and beets in parchment paper (idea from Char!). I had chopped them into bite-sized pieces.  They are unbelievably sweet! like candy! In the morning I had also cooked up some black beans and lentils, which is a great combination. I combined the onions, beets, and beans/lentils in a bowl, that's it.  I couldn't believe how good it tasted. Maybe I'm just weird though. I also made a salad from lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and balsamic vinegar. It was also awesome because everything was local (except the vinegar). For those in California, you always get local stuff, so you might not be familiar with lettuce shipped from 2000 miles away. It's just not the same.  We only get this a few months a year. I had a bunch more strawberries which I didn't need.  I can't resist delicious fruit.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7/30/13, great day!

...though I ate too much but come on, I'm only human and the food was too good. I didn't feel the greatest when I got up, similar to the last 5 days, starting after I tried my wheat experiment, so I'm ready to drop it again. Fortunately I didn't feel I was missing anything when I reintroduced it.  I think the spelt berries were okay so I'll experiment with those some more eventually.  
Breakfast was white wheat berries (I made my decision after eating that) and blueberries.  It was good but I like spelt berries more.  
My plans changed from yesterday, and we went shopping this morning and boy was that fun, picking up backpacking equipment, and stopping at a favorite produce and foodie store. This was fun for three reasons: First I got 10 lbs of Michigan blueberries, my favorite; and about 7 lbs of Door County pie cherries, which I used to think were awful and sour and now I love them. Second, they have samples of all their fruit and they have a lot of fruit! I sampled all the peaches and pears and plums and picked out a few to buy. Third, I shopped for some foodie friends who I'll be visiting on my way out to Plant-Stock, so I got to pretend I'm a foodie and shop for fancy beer and cheese. It had some of the pleasure of enjoying that stuff without the pain of actually ingesting it. haha. Here's a picture of the blueberries,
and one container of the cherries
Lunch was corn on the cob and collards and kale and onion that I cooked up last night.  Last night I also baked up some beets and kohlrabi.  I cut them into bite sized pieces and baked in foil.  Oh my gosh, were they good.   After I fixed my dinner, I had some leftover and couldn't resist eating them even though I was full.  Here's what they looked like:
These are so good just plain, as is.  Amazing.
Dinner was my experiment I discussed yesterday, putting spaghetti sauce over kohlrabi and beets instead of spaghetti. It was a success and a surprise. I thought it would go good over kohrabi and be a little weird on the beets. It was the opposite. That's why I love experiments. I also had the rest of the collards and kohrabi. I ate with friends by the lake.  
Then I went to my meditation class and while I was supposed to be doing a mind/body/space meditation, I was thinking about what I was going to eat tomorrow.  I thought stop thinking about that, think about my body and space, but I was thinking ooh, baked oatmeal with blueberries and cherries, ooh, I'll bake another beet and cook up some beans and get some sugar snap peas for dinner. Then I thought, oh just enjoy thinking about this, so I thought about those awesome blueberries and cherries and all the great bounty we have and then I got back to the topic at hand.
When I got home I prepped and froze all the blueberries and cherries and ate a lot of the cherries.   so I did overeat...what do you expect from me?! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29/13, besghetti

oops I forgot to post here the last few days.  I've been posting over at E2X.  Well, here's today's:

I'm in a wheat phase. I don't normally eat wheat because I think it bothers me a bit, but I've been wondering how much is real and how much is me falling for all the wheat-bashing going on.  From my recent experimenting, I don't think the Spelt berries bother me. Today's breakfast was 10-grain cereal from Bob's Red Mill. That did bother me a bit, made me feel groggy, but maybe it was instead because I overate last night. I made spaghetti for dinner tonight and that didn't bother me, but I used that ancient Eikhorn grain. Bread bothers me, makes me stimulated, then groggy. Neal Barnard says it's because the bubbles in the dough give it a huge surface area which allows it to digest very quickly which causes a blood sugar spike, then crash. What was interesting today was that I didn't like the cereal that much, and I liked the spaghetti even less. My spaghetti sauce was good but combined with the pasta it tasted too wheaty.  I think for me the pastas and breads and cereals (except for the wheat berries) don't taste as well without salt or fat or sugar slathered on top. Maybe that's just because that's how I used to eat them before I became plant strong.  Well, enough rambling about that, but it relates to what I'm going to eat tomorrow.  
Food for today: Breakfast was the 10-grain cereal and blueberries. Even with a tsp of maple syrup, it wasn't as good as wheat berries and oat groats (or steel cut oats) in my view.  Lunch was corn on the cob and green beans from the garden. I prepared dinner before lunch: spaghetti and sauce, and a whole mess of collard greens and kale and onion. I called it besghetti in the title because I added little red beans to the sauce which I liked. I worked later than planned so when I got home I had 15 minutes to eat dinner, before going to a meeting. I snarfed down the besghetti, then remember the greens so snarfed some of them. Here's a picture of the besghetti before I remembered the greens:
Also in the picture is a book I just bought for some daily inspiration, as I like veganism for it's own sake, not just health. Anyway, the sauce was good, with lots of local and garden stuff: onions, garlic, tomatoes, shitake and elephant mushrooms (I prefer just the white and crimini and will use those next time), lots of basil, small red beans. I had that over the whole wheat eikhorn spaghetti, and topped it with a smashed walnut half. I know, not part of the captain's plan.  I weighed it and it came in at 3 g, or 19 calories. I decided 21 days into Captain's plan, if that's all the nuts I had, I'm okay with that. Even the coaches say no one is perfect. Plus it has 0.3g of omega 3s. I'm not a big fan of the flax seeds so I'd rather eat a walnut half.   
Anyway, the final thing I wanted to say was, as I was eating my besghetti, I was thinking, yuck on the pasta, I wonder what this would be like on potatoes. But it's not potato season in Wisconsin yet, and I think it's fun to eat what's in season, so I bought some beets and tonight I chopped and baked up some beets and kohlrabi (again with the kohlrabi?) for tomorrow. I also cooked up some white wheat berries (for more experimentation) for breakfast. I'll be gone all day and evening tomorrow. So I'll have the wheat berries before I go, then the tomato sauce on the veggies for lunch and dinner along with the rest of the greens. I have no idea if this will taste good! could be a complete disaster. I mean, beets and tomatoes? I don't think I've had that combination. could be yucky.  But I think it's fun to do this sort of thing so I won't mind even if it's a flop.
Exercise:  biked 14 miles, walked 3.

Friday, July 26, 2013


This morning, I headed to a yoga class without breakfast, which is not unusual, but I didn't eat a big dinner last night, so I was hungry when it was over. I had a lunch date with friends so I stopped at the co-op to get some food. All their prepared food is loaded with oil and salt, so I got some sweet cherries, a small banana, and a bunch of sugar snap peas. I thought that would carry me over to dinner, but Dr. McDougall really is right when he says starches are what carry you over to the next meal.  After lunch, I went to work and worked later than I planned. I was going to walk the 6 miles home but I was hungry and had visions of corn on the cob waiting for me at home; so I walked to the co-op, stopped in to get a little more food for the weekend (sugar snap peas, banana, carrots), then caught the bus home. I ate a couple of small carrots while waiting for the bus and that staved off the hunger. Then on the short walk home I went past my favorite mulberry tree that I seem to be the only one who knows about, and boy was that good. At home I had my glorious corn on the cob, and a salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. I snacked a little while cooking for the weekend (sugar snap peas, carrots, kohlrabi, and jicama, not too much, fortunately).    
I'm going away this weekend, will bring my own food as we are visiting a plant-weak home. :) But it's easy, 5 bowls of food for BLD,BL on Sat and Sun, fruit for the breakfasts,  and raw veggies to snack on. I'll describe that tomorrow or the next day. I gotta go clean up the kitchen and pack now!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Breakfast was my favorite right now, the wheat berries and oat groats I had cooked up a few days ago, and frozen blueberries, heated in the microwave.   This time I didn't put in the refined sweetener (my favorite being maple syrup) and, I can't believe I'm saying this, I liked it better?  I could taste the flavors better and the tartness of the blueberries added spunk to it (or something like that).  But I like knowing I can put in the maple syrup if I want to.  
Then I went on a 26 mile bike ride, and rode fast for the last 7 miles to get home in time to have lunch with housemate.  We had sweet corn, a sliced garden tomato, and I made a quick salad using my 5 ripe garden cherry tomatoes.   here's a pic:
everything was local and good.
Then I sat down to read a Ph.D. thesis and just finished.   I feel like a zombie.  For dinner, I grabbed stuff from the fridge:  sugar snap peas, kohlrabi and the rest of the grains that I was having for breakfast.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7/24/13, hiking!

Today we had a lovely day hiking at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin.   Last night I cooked up some wheat berries (spelt and kamut) and oat groats, had those for breakfast this morning with blueberries and 1 tsp of maple syrup.  That was my first refined sweetener in 6 weeks and, I can't believe I'm saying this, it was a little too sweet.  1 tsp?  So I'm thinking I don't want it tomorrow. What?  whatever.   I'd also baked a potato last night and I had that for lunch, along with some sugar snap peas and jicama.  That was all great.  It helps when you are hungry from hiking but it was all great regardless.  After the post-lunch hike, I had some kohlrabi and carrots.  Then a quick dinner at home before an evening meeting of leftovers from yesterday:  the greens and kohlrabi and zucchini and corn meal and beans.   Then post-meeting, a dessert of some cherries and banana.   
Exercise was lots of hiking and climbing on the bluffs.  Oh and I was wearing my full backpack as I'm starting to train for a backpacking trip.  It was loaded with about 20-25 lbs, which is light but a good place to start practicing from.  Here's me and my partner in crime, Blackie Bear, getting ready to climb the bluff:
Don't worry, there are steps carved into the rocks.  Many passersby were excited to report that they saw a blackie bear at Devil's Lake.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7/23/13, progress report and food logs

I'm on a 28-day challenge over on the E2X website, and today I'm supposed to check in with my week 2 progress report so I'll share it here too.  This week I did most of the stuff asked for:  I worked out plenty, I watched several videos, including Milton Mills and the Engine 2 rescue.  Rip is great and makes it all sound so reasonable!   I didn't eat a big salad everyday though I ate raw veggies every day so I could call those salads.  :)    I did the blogging and checking in.   Where I fell down was in overeating--that was about 3 days worth starting on the weekend when I had guests over and was watching them feast and so I felt I wanted to feast, which I did on fruit and then on grains too yesterday.   I definitely went overboard.   This makes me wonder if allowing just a little bit of salt and sugar in my diet would work in a psychological way to keep me from thinking I'm deprived somehow.  I did an experiment of going without it, which I started on June 11.  So that's 6 weeks.  Now I'm thinking of experimenting with adding it back in in small amounts.  It's still within the parameters of all the plans on E2X, which is what I like about them--the flexibility to find what works for each of us (which may vary in time too).
Today's food was great.  I wasn't hungry at breakfast, so skipped that.  Lunch was  

mmmm, good.  Even housemate will eat this stuff and rave about it.  Dinner was a classic salad--lettuce, tomato, cucumber, balsamic vinegar--, snow peas, and a cooked dish of onion, kohlrabi, zucchini, beans, corn grits, and seasoning (cumin, tandoori mix).   Dessert was a few cherries and a small banana.
Exercise was swimming 55 minutes and: It was a beeeeautiful day, so I walked to this meeting 3 miles away, only I was late so I walked fast.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22/13, I was a pig (no offense to pigs)

I don't know what got into me, I just kept eating today, seemed to be a continuation of yesterday's fruit indulgence. 
Breakfast was really good again: my cooked grains from Sunday night, and frozen fruit, heated up in the microwave.  so good I had 2 bowls.  then some more fruit!
snack: okay I was taking a break on a long bike ride but still, was I hungry?  not really:  a few cherries and a small banana.
Late lunch was 2 corns on the cob and green beans.
snack:  lots of sugar snap peas and carrots.  
Dinner:  leftover greens and beans and kohlrabi from yesterday
Dessert (really?):  more grains and fruit.  
Exercise:  biked 26 miles, a lovely ride.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Breakfast was fruit and cooked grains.  It was wonderful and quick because I cooked the grains last night and have a freezer full of fruit that I bought and prepped this weekend.   The grains were:  spelt berries, kamut berries, oat groats, and 3 kinds of rice.  I assembled the frozen fruit and grains, and microwaved them for a few minutes and it was done.  It's a delightful breakfast.
Lunch:  corn on the cob and broccoli
Snack:  lots of sugar snap peas and carrots  (can I call that a salad? :) )
Dinner:  onion, kohlrabi, greens, and beans.   I made enough for leftovers tomorrow.
Now I should have stopped here, but I started nibbling on the fruit in the freezer.  then nibbled some more, then couldn't resist repeating breakfast (microwaved fruit and grains).  It was so good but I didn't need it!   oh well.  :)
Exercise:  walk 6.5 miles.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

7/19 & 7/20/13

Yesterday, we had 2 kids over for a cookout and sleepover so I didn't have time to check in here.   We fed them what we thought they would like so I had a lot of food in my house I don't normally have. We got a whole bunch of fruit too because I know their mom likes them to eat it and I wasn't sure what they would go after (watermelon was the winner). I ate a ton of it and still had tons left, so I prepped it and froze it.  It will be good at breakfast.   
Here are a few observations about my behavior and food.  1)  Watching everyone else feast on their food still makes me want to feast, and I did that by eating way more fruit than I even wanted.    2) In eating a lot of fruit, I didn't eat as much other food like my usual starches (potatoes, yams, grains), and I don't find that nearly as satisying, even when I'm quite full from it.  3) I made them smoothies for breakfast along with their cereal, and for a treat made myself a fruit smoothie. I was amazed at how much fruit went into making one glass of smoothie.  I don't get nearly as full drinking that fruit as I would if I ate it without blending. 4) I overate both yesterday and today.
Yesterday, I ate a big bowl of greens for breakfast; fruit and sugar snap peas for lunch; and tons of fruit and corn on the cob for dinner and dessert.   Today I had more fruit for breakfast in a smoothie, and fruit and sugar snap peas and carrots for lunch.  Then tonight after I resumed my normal life I had a few sweet potatoes, some oat groats and fruit, and a kohlrabi.
ps, we had a wonderful time with the kids.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Here was my food today.  Breakfast was a big bowl of delicious sweet local strawberries!   Sorry I didn't snap a picture.  I also feasted on some mulberries after my swim.
Lunch was corn on the cob from a farm 10 miles away and broccoli and onions.
Dinner was supposed to be this big ole' salad:
But that turned out to be dessert.  Those cherry tomatoes were like candy, but that's not why it was dessert.  I was visiting with a friend after work and she invited me to stay over for dinner.  Her partner, the cook, eats like me, so it was an offer I couldn't resist.  I had beans and rice and greens on a corn tortilla, a small salad, and some fruit salad.  I was careful not to eat too much. Then on the way home, I kept thinking about those cherry tomatoes, and how I really was in a mood for a big salad, so I thought, what the heck, have your salad too.  It's lettuce and tomatoes and some balsamic vinegar diluted with water.  It hit the spot.  
Exercise was swimming a mile and biking 8 miles.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Today I practiced simple and I liked it!  Breakfast was a bowl of beans and lentils (cooked a few days ago) before my bike ride. I also ate some raw cabbage. I ate mulberries on the ride.  It was a good 30 mile ride on a hot day.   I snacked on raw kohlrabi when I got back, and some more raw cabbage., 
Lunch was corn on the cob (3 small ears), beans from the garden, half of a small tomato (first from the garden).   
Early dinner was a big batch of collards and onion and oriental yam and zucchini (oops, too complicated?  haha).   
During my evening meeting, someone brought grapes which I enjoyed.  After my meeting I went grocery shopping and snacked a little on sugar snap peas, saving most for tomorrow.  Dessert was:
Look how easy that was to prepare!  Now that is simple, and it was gooooood.   fresh local sweet cherries and perfectly ripe banana.
As part of week 2 in the E2X Captain's challenge, we're supposed to eat a big salad every day.  If you can count the kohlrabi, raw cabbage, little half tomato, sugar snap peas and a few carrots as a big salad, my goal was accomplished.


This morning I roasted some new potatoes and kohlrabi, while snacking on cabbage.  I packed those into two bowls.   I cooked up some broccoli and zucchini and combined that with the beans and lentils I cooked last night, and dished that into two bowls too.  These were for lunch and dinner.  Then I was gone the rest of the day.   After my yoga class I stopped at the co-op and got some fruit (a few cherries, some grapes and blueberries), cherry tomatoes and some sugar snap peas.  I ate the fruit (shouldn't have got the blueberries), then after I got to work, ate the sugar snap peas.  Had the potatoes and veggies for lunch and dinner, had the cherry tomatoes for a snack.  then when I got home, had a cool cucumber.   It's hot here and I don't think I'm done with the roasting and baking for a few days, until it cools off.    
Exercise was a yoga class and biking 14 miles.
One thing I want to experiment with this week is eating more simple meals.  Somehow I got this notion in my head i need all this variety every day (every meal even) and I don't think I do.   How about instead a variety each week, but only 1 or 2 things each meal?   That's more what I feel like doing, so I'm looking forward to trying this out.

Monday, July 15, 2013


We spent one more morning with family before they departed.   I was kind of surprised that after 6 days of eating burgers and ice cream, they chose Culver's frozen custard (a burger and ice cream joint) for both dinner last night and lunch today.    See, I'm not the only one who repeats meals.
I went grocery shopping this morning and got stocked up on all the food I've been missing.  I usually just buy what looks good and local if possible (it tastes better). I had lots of sugar snap peas for breakfast, and made a big salad for lunch and dinner from lettuce, strawberries, cucumber, and a little dressing made from good balsamic vinegar (sweet), water, ground flax seeds and dill.  I don't think the dill and strawberries is a great combination.  Soon strawberries will be gone and tomatoes will be in.  I love how there's always something good coming in.   
Lunch was salad and a small baked oriental yam.  Dinner was salad and 3 small ears of sweet corn!  It's now officially sweet corn season in Wisconsin and there is a corn stand close to our house that we go there every day--it's picked that morning.  It's great!  
I snacked (er, feasted)  on mulberries on my way home in the evening.  They are at their peak. Here is what my hands look like after I visit the mulberry trees.
haha. Soon these will be gone, but blueberries are just now coming in! What a great time of year!
Tonight I also snacked on some beans and lentils I cooked for tomorrow--I took a taste to see if they were done and they were so good I kept taking tastes. I forgot how good lentils are!  I'm going to add them to my beans from now on I think.
Exercise was swimming 1 mile and biking 8 miles.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

7/13/13, same old, same old.

yes, same as yesterday:  great weather, great biking, great golf spectating.  We had to switch hotels tonight--not too big a deal.  My fruit was mulberries on the bike path, and 2 apples on the golf course.  Am I tired of the food yet?  It still tastes good, but on Monday I'm looking forward to separating out the food again, i.e., having a baked sweet potato all on its own with collards and onions on the side (one of my favorite meals).  oh wait, on Monday we should have sweet corn (the season is starting now).  ooh la la.
I've had some nice conversations on my bike with locals (it usually starts with "how far does this bike path go?"  or "where am I?").  It reminds me that there are all kinds of ways to get a feel for the local community.  It doesn't have to involve eating at touristy restaurants.  :)
I was thinking tonight that an Insta-pot pressure cooker would work well in the hotel room.  It's electric and it would cook up faster than what I'm using.  I never got good at using it--was always overcooking my stuff--and it's heavier than my current setup, and I don't find the longer cooking times a problem.  But others might prefer it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

7/12/13, day 4

Another great day on the bike and on the golf course.  The weather has been perfect.  I love riding my bike along the Mississippi in the morning.  We followed our hometown favorite, Steve Stricker, on the golf course, and he did really well.  Wow, these guys are good.  I had the same food as yesterday and the day before, with the addition of a banana from the hotel and an extra apple on the golf course.   I am appalled that on the entire golf course, where you are not allowed to bring in your own food, the only fruit available is apples at this ONE concession stand.  I was worried they would run out and I knew I'd be hungry, but fortunately they had some.   Tomorrow's food is cooking now.  For seasoning I added tandoori, singapore, and garlic powder.  The beans are cannellini.   

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Today's food was the same as yesterday's, but the beans were chickpeas and the spices were curry and cumin and garlic powder.  For tomorrow, the beans are pinto and the spices are chili powder, cumin and garlic powder.  The fruit was mulberries on my bike ride and an apple on the golf course.  The way our day goes is that my friends and I drive to the shuttle parking lot in the morning, and I leave from there for my bike ride.  I eat my lunch at the car and then  hop on  the shuttle to the golf course.   It was a beautiful day, and I had a great bike ride and relaxing time on the course.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


This is day 2 of my trip and the 28-day challenge.   First, I wanted to post a few more photos of how I do food prep.   Here is my food gear, tucked under the desk.  That shows what I have to pack in my car in addition to a suitcase.   The electric cooler is to the right of the desk--that works both in the car and the hotel room.  It has the collards and kale.   The green bag on top as the potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The onions and kohlrabi and cabbage are in the fridge.  Everything else is not food-related.
Next is the line-up for prepping today's meal, not including the collards and kale.  I start by cooking the onions with no water, then add water when I think the smoke alarm might go off, then add the kohlrabi, potatoes and sweet potatoes, then the greens, then cabbage.  Let that cook.  Then add the oats,  spices, then to help cool, add the beans and tomatoes--though I added their water earlier.   Tonight's spices were cumin, curry, and a little garlic powder.  It's really good and I had a hard time not eating it while dishing out into tomorrow's bowls.
Today was very fun.  I rode my bike along the Mississippi River, then went to the golf course in the afternoon.  I ate the food I prepared last night.  The bananas in the hotel were not appealing  and there were none on the golf course.  But I got some good surprises.  First, there were lots of mulberry trees on my bike ride.   For your information, here is how you spot a mulberry tree:
from the smashed berries on the ground!   then at the golf course, I got a really good apple!  Pork seems to be the food of choice around here, as you can see by these concession signs:
But one place had apples.  I didn't have high expectations, but it was a really good fresh crisp red delicious, so that was great:
I hope everyone else had a great day today.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


7/9/13, Day 1 of the challenge and the start of my trip.
As I mentioned before, I'm participating in the newest E2X 28-day challenge, where I'm logging my daily food  and exercise there and here.   
Today, my friends and I headed to a PGA golf tournament in the Quad Cities (Iowa, Illinois border along the Mississippi River).  I will ride my bicycle in the mornings, and then join my companions in the afternoon on the golf course.  I'm looking forward to both.  I admit to not being a huge golf fan, but it is fun to watch live and to appreciate how unbelievably good the players are.  
For the last week, I've been processing in the back of my mind my plans for food and I think I came up with a good plan.  It's going to be the same food every day, for every meal!  crazy huh?  well, my friends will also be eating much the same every day too, just different from me.  And I don't have to go grocery shopping at all.  There is no food on the golf course I can eat, and you aren't allowed to bring in your own.  So that's another reason to spend only 1/2 day there, so I can eat lunch before and dinner after. 
Here's what I came up with for food.  I bought 5 large potatoes, 5 large oriental yams, 5 large kohlrabi, 5 onions and 5 cans of beans (for 5 days); and there was local cabbage so I picked up a head of that at the last minute.  I also packed 5 cans of garden tomatoes.  Here is the produce packed in semi-thermal bags with with some ice (in those blue bags) to keep them cool.
I picked 38 collard leaves from the garden.  This picture was taken after the collards were harvested!  (the jacket was to protect me from mosquitos).
Here's one of the two bowls of collards:
I put them in my electric cooler. There was still room so I picked a bunch of kale too--two plastic bags worth.  Here they are all loaded into the electric cooler
I also brought 1/2 cup oats per day.   I'll cook a day's worth of this concoction every night, in a big pot.   I brought different seasonings for each day.  I'll  divide it into 3 bowls for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If I find some bananas at the hotel breakfast or on the golf course, I'll eat 1 or 2.   
Here's the cooking set up in my hotel:
Here it is after cooking
I used italian seasoning today.  In case you forgot, that's onion, collards & kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, oriental yam, potato, beans, tomatoes, and oats.  

Now, I feel kind of goofy about this and expect everyone else should think I'm totally weird for going through all this effort.  But 1)  I spend less time cooking than I would going out to a restaurant;  2)  this is really good!   and 3) If I don't plan something, I am hosed because the only healthy choices available before dinner time are bananas, and I'd have to research finding healthy options at dinner.  

For today, I cooked whatever food I didn't pack for the trip:   onion, kohlrabi, cabbage, oats, and peas; and baked 2 large baked potatoes.  I also harvested the last of the lettuce from the garden.  For breakfast I nibbled on this while cooking it up.  Here's my lunch and dinner.  This picture was taken at a burger joint, where my friends had lunch.