Cherry Berry Lemonaide Smoothie

So a lot has happened. I was eating quite healthy, then not at all. Plus I started smoking again. My health slipped because of it, for the first time in my life I was chronically ill and didn’t know what with for months. Heck, there still isn’t a consensus but the general thought is I was eating something my body couldn’t process so my stomach became inflamed and wasn’t processing anything. So I was starving, no matter what I ate always hungry, always malnourished which led to other issues. That’s under control now (thanks to vitamin shots).  Which helped me to quit smoking. I’m back to eating healthy and with a busy schedule one thing I have managed to start doing every morning is have a smoothie. Most of the time I use my massive smoothie pinterest board but today I was craving something I couldn’t find. I wanted Cherry Lemonaide because I was craving tart, sweet and DOMS reducing for a pre-workout energizer.

1 handful dried cherries

1 cup frozen cherries

1 cup blueberries (ran out of cherries)

juice from 1-2 lemons (I used 2 but it’s VERY tart)

1 handful spinach

Optional Supplements

1 tbsp maca

1 tbsp flax seeds

1 tsp bee pollen

water as needed

Blend, blend blend. I used my vitamix so it blended smooth. With the amount of frozen and dried (sweetened) berries I didn’t need to add any additional sweetener. I’m liking it and I must be near to a month straight. I wish I was doing so well on the Bender 30 Day Challenge. I got through day 2 and was so sore I could barely move and I have a physically demanding career these days. I waited for the soreness to subside somewhat reluctantly but not wanting to risk injury. So I missed 2 days to that and then a 3rd when my plans to workout with my well workout buddy fell through for the day. Today is another day I’m to work out on my own. I’m just a little hesitant. I suppose if I end up too stiff and sore again I’ll have to consider starting with an easier workout and do the challenge when it’s less debilitating. Meanwhile I started listening to Divergent and feel like a wimp, not because I had to rest but because I didn’t start right back in the second I was able. So today is the day!

Relatively Healthy and Nearly Plastic Free

Okay, so I know I made another sudden stop on the blog entries. A lot happened in that time, so here is the summary: On the fast I made it about two weeks then there was a vegetarian festival that I attended with my boss and I was off the wagon. That said I think a month was a little too industrious for my first 100% raw food fast. I certainly wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. By the end of the second week I was out of work schedule friendly meal options. I moved back to my home state. More specifically I’m staying with my mom and hopefully we’ll be helping each other out. I’ve been trying to infuse the household with my love of healthy foods. Not to mention my concerns about the amount of plastic wasted. Initially I was making such poor progress on the food front that I was consuming not only refined foods but dairy, white flour and candy. I gained weight and naturally my skin became so uncomfortable I decided that I needed to do a two week raw food fast. The fast never happened but I’m finally managing healthier meals that still suit the tastes of the whole household. Last night I made a “Pad Thai” inspired salad based off of what we had in the fridge and made a peanut sauce dressing which went over very well. Then I made carrot blueberry bran muffins for the next morning. Tonight was a kale salad based off the one most often offered at Whole Foods and whole wheat pasta with “Hurry Up Alfredo” sauce from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook/blog. Tomorrow morning I’m going to try making potato pancakes with whole wheat flour. Both dinners were a rather roaring success. I don’t think I’m likely to tire of having a man tell me what a great cook I am every night (my mom’s bf).

Plastic still feels like an uphill battle but with bringing in reusable bags and more (unwrapped) fresh produce I’ve certainly reduced everyone else’s plastic waste beyond the slight increase in mine. I also brought in bio bags but as of yet they’re only being used 50% of the time.

Days Two and Three

Yesterday, I had a citrus and kale smoothie for breakfast and Green Energy Soup from Going Raw and a salad with for dinner.  I messed up a bit on the soup I blended in the red bell pepper instead of dicing it and adding it afterwards. The end result was brown and a bit watered down plus the bell pepper taste was a bit strong.  It was palatable but it’s much better when the recipe is followed accurately. For the salad I cheated a bit. It was still raw but for the dressing I added (flax) oil which I said I wasn’t going to do. I was really craving Italian Dressing (which I used to hate) and I didn’t have any soaked nuts to use for a creamy and oil free version. The recipe I used did call for hemp seeds, water and red bell pepper and a few other things so there wasn’t as much oil to it as my dressings usually have.  I’ve since decided to simply try to keep it to a minimum.

Today was another business meeting day. I woke up late, since the man in my life was snoring all night long. So that meant no water or snacks beforehand. I also missed out on the original meeting location I had suggested when I knew would mean I could get a plastic free raw meal. I managed to find a last minute alternative. Yay, at that point I was only looking for moderately healthy vegan but I managed to pick one with a raw menu. The meal went pretty well I’m not sure if both of the two desserts that were split were raw but all in all I ate healthily. Unfortunately I forgot to say no straws so there was some plastic used. Later I had a bit of decaf coffee in one of those unfortunately thin plastic film lined paper coffee cups. I was cold though and I skipped the soy milk and the plastic top. Sadly it was so awful I drank very little of it. Instead a japanese tea garden was nearby. There I had some green tea and some miso soup (probably not raw) and left the tofu behind in the bowl. For dinner at home I had leftover salad and Green Energy Soup from last night. Tomorrow (fingers crossed) I will be juice feasting at least part of the day. My last attempt at having juice on an empty stomach (carrot, romaine and spinach) left me feeling dizzy so we’ll see if I can do better  with it this time. If not I’ll have to sneak in a small piece of (not juiced) vegetable or fruit on the side for the fiber to slow things down.

30 Days

Okay so here is the deal. I’ve been having a lot of work meetings lately.  The kind that take place over food.  Now granted part of the motivation for this is that my current employer is also vegetarian so it isn’t like he’s having me meet him at a burger joint or at least not the traditional sort. However along with that has been tired dinners out with the fiance, quick bites (such as bread and cheese) in a hurry etc. So all in all I’ve been eating a lot of food that is really cooked, fairly processed and way too high in fat.  I gained weight not a ton but enough that my jeans hurt at the waist and I have a perpetual muffin top. That wasn’t enough motivation though.  I mean it got me on 1-2 healthy meals and a hike then another meeting and you get it. The final straw was just after the last meeting. We ate at whole foods I had coffee and a muffin (really bad) followed near the end of the meeting by some mexican food over lettuce. I realize that they have an extensive salad bar but the dressings are full of canola oil, sugar, etc. They don’t have make your own vinaigrette options and the lemon wedge option is a bit tricky/messy at a meeting. So I left the meeting and I felt sick, I mean coming down with a stomach virus sick. I canceled my plans for that day and the next which cost me some errands I was in the right area for and a good deal of work time. Once I started to eat some simple raw foods I began to feel better. Admittedly I think my system is still in recovery. I’m tired a lot of the time right now.

So on to the good. I have been doing some cleaning, the kitchen, laundry, an on going ants in the cabinets battle (they like the honey jars and the cat treats). Despite that I’ve been going through the raw recipe books a bit. I’m also trying to do low fat raw as of today at least. The low fat part is a new one for me. I should probably say whole fat rather than low fat. I will still be having nuts and avocados but not in copious amounts and no oil. At least not until I’m exercising again and lost the weight but even then I will need to watch it. More importantly I’m starting a 30 day raw challenge.  The detox is supposed to be miserable but I feel like that anyways when I’m eating bad. Originally the plan was just to eat “healthier” and “more raw” but I think following a “30 day challenge” will help me stay on track long enough to try to form some real habits. I started yesterday although not with the challenge in mind yet. Last night I ate mostly raw smoothie, chia seed porridge, marinated veggies and a bit of cooked millet. Although I hadn’t realized that someone used a whole lot of vegetable shortening for the millet.  More importantly I started some sprouts and soaked almonds. Today I had a smoothie and a large salad (with the fat free tomato dressing recipe from Going Raw), plenty of water, no caffeine, some chamomile and started sprouting some mung beans. I’m putting off the almond milk making to tomorrow.  I stayed up later than intended already.  I took my vitamins yesterday and today. I need to start juicing but I haven’t wanted the hassle yet. Maybe I can prep the ingredients tomorrow during the work call I have to make. I really need to schedule my (already paid for) 30 days of unlimited classes at the “Bar Method,” a massage and start a morning yoga routine.

Smoky “Mayo”

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
Water
glob of unfiltered honey
Smoked paprika
Good amount of reduced salt miso
Peppercorns
Apple cider vinegar (1/4-1/3 cap?)
Olive oil

This doesn’t taste like Mayo, it tastes so much better than mayo!  Sorry for all the to taste style lack of measurements it was created on a whim.

Oh and a link to a recipe I’m quite fond of Kung Wow Veggies

Boycotting Plastic

So I watched Bag it and Plastic Planet pretty well back to back.  Very informative!  I was already trying to cut back on plastic but these instilled me with a new and stronger vigor.  I’m trying to get as close to 0 as possible now.  Some attempts have been more successful than others.

– Hair: No “poo” this is working fine I use a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water for shampoo and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water for conditioner.  I’m supposed to shampoo/condition only every once to twice a week but some weeks I end up with three times.  Lots of scalp massaging is important esp. when it’s a wash day.  On none hair washing days my hair still gets a thorough rinsing.  Baking soda is in a cardboard box and vinegar in a glass jar with a plastic lid (I’m looking for one that uses a metal cap

– Cat Food: my cats were eating whole quail from Hare today but that entails a lot of plastic and styrofoam plus no variety, so now we’re trying for “franken prey.” I took my own containers to the butcher and it worked at first he put the chicken livers in the container I gave him but then something went wrong and not only was everything else in plastic but he poured the chicken livers into plastic and then put that bag back into my not rinsed container.  Ewww and total defeats the point.  I’ll have to work on this one there was a lot of plastic in the end result and it did not feel worth the trip into the city except that they had kidney which I needed

– Trash bags: for the litter box changes and bathroom I use bio-degradable bags and it couldn’t be simpler.  The kitchen is another story, we tried in the past and it was a mess.  Actually it was a mess for the fiance and seemed to work okay for me.  In any event most of what is thrown out is food scraps that don’t make it to the compost (which is small and often full).  The solution for now is I think a) try to juice more of the scraps and drink them, b) use a small trash bin with bio bags in the kitchen for such items and throw it out that day or at least within a few days so it can’t start biodegrading prematurely on us.  (I should note it takes us longer than many families to get through a tall kitchen trash bag and a lot is liquid i.e. produce or uneaten meat from the cats).

– Towels: the fiance likes kitchen towels which always come wrapped in plastic.  So to supplement the rags we do re-use I bought towels and toilet paper in boxes on-line.  It’s a green company so there was no plastic packaging surprises.

– Lunches:  If I don’t make my own I at least eat at a restaurant that uses proper plates and I don’t get take out or doggie bags.

-Groceries I’ve gotten better not only about having my own bags but going to the farmers market.  There is a lot of control at the farmers market especially if you find a good one with friendly venders.  I make a point of saying I don’t want plastic.  At one of my favorite (albeit smaller) markets I have found not only produce without plastic (bring containers for berries), but bread, goat cheese, fresh dried fruit, “sustainably grown” flowers wrapped in plain paper and if I give them a mason jar the week before fresh orange juice.  There are nuts too but they aren’t raw so I don’t buy them, I occasionally buy eggs.  Of course I own a juicer anyways but sometimes it’s nice to have one thing done and out of the way by others.  I don’t eat meat but if I did I’d use my own containers as above.  I might get some meat for the cats at the market too in future but I think I’ll need to make advanced arrangements for the odds and ends I need.  Most venders seem happy to make arrangements in advance because it is a guaranteed sale but I’ve also only asked venders at markets with better customer service in general.  It might also be that it is an evening market in a semi affluent area (less aggressive haggling) so I think people are a little more relaxed than the weekend markets in the heat of the day that are known for being “cheaper.” Note: I’m not using a CSA at the moment I wanted more options and they’re top of the stairs delivery left little to be desired so now that the farmers markets are all in full swing I see little need for it.

Movies: if I really want it on DVD I can find it used, if not I can get it on Netflix or Amazon on Demand.  Otherwise I can read a (used) book while supporting a local small business (used book store).

Clothing: cotton (preferably organic) or other plant (modal, hemp, bamboo) or animal based (read wool not fur) fabrics only for new items, more flexibility on used but it’s still preferable to use natural fabrics for health reasons.  Polyester, Nylon, Rayon etc are all types of “plastic” fabrics.  For new or used items there is Etsy.com and for used there is Consignment, Thrift – Luckily I live near a good area for the later two and have been considering opening my own etsy shop  If you have the money I’ve seen items listed by Saks fifth Avenue made in the USA from Italian Silk and the like but I imagine if you buy on-line then it would be shipped in plastic

Shoes: I’m an unusual shoe size to say the least so rather than used shoes I am looking into two options a) shoe repair for shoes I already own and b) custom shoes made in the US or at least not a factory in China that might last more than a season or a year tops before completely falling apart

Gifts:  To others easy, in addition to home made items gift certificates for things like massages and the theater can help someone splurge where they usually neglect themselves.  Just be sure to go by well reviewed locations in an area convenient for the receiver. Another option is to find the eco or unnoticeably used versions of things they already wanted.  For wrapping, I have wrapping paper but I really like the idea of furoshiki using vintage scarves and such.

Furoshiki

 For gifts where I am the receiver I need to have a nice but serious chat with friends and family.  No sooner had I decided to attempt a purge of plastic in my life than I received three out of the blue gifts from well meaning people that were in plastic and with extra plastic on top of that for carrying/packaging.  

I think that’s enough of an update for now.  Especially for a blog without any followers. 😉

CSA

So what’s been happening? I’ll tell you:

The local farmers market closed for the fall/winter seasons. I joined a CSA so I can have still fresh organic veggies for the week without all the hassle of grocery shopping during my lunch or when I’m tired at night. I’m using some of the extra time it saves to find healthy recipes. I’m still doing a bit of shopping but I’m working on less. Every time I go to a grocery store I get less food while spending more money and time. Anyways I’ve saved some money already and I made a root vegetable ragout, a salad, kale chips and a sweet potato dessert so far. I still have plenty of leftovers, and we ate a few things just raw. I have another delivery tomorrow so I reduced my CSA plan to the $33 veggie box.

I started sprouting legumes tonight so I can make this: http://www.divinetaste.com/archives/multi-lentil-multi-vegetable-stewsambar-from-the-kitchens-of-akshaya-patra/
For the veggies I plan on using pumpkin, radishes and their leaves, baby turnips and their greens, carrots, and maybe a few other things from the CSA box I’m getting tomorrow and leftovers from this past week. I also have plans for a new batch of kale chips and zucchini chips too.

I also made a vegetarian version of this http://unfussyfare.com/2009/green-pozole-with-chicken/ mostly from things I got at the grocery store.

I’ve started sprouting some plants for a little salad garden for the winter. My tatsoi, spinach, leek (one so far), beets, broccoli rapini, and red russian kale.