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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 15 (8-14)

I have been a very neglectful blogger this past week. We have had a lot of family stuff going on, nothing really bad, but it's been hectic. So there's my lame excuse for not documenting.
On the honor system, I did "cheat" this past Wednesday. If you remember Wednesdays are the mega family feast days and I was in charge of cooking. If I had tried to serve my husbands family a Raw meal they probably would had shot me. Or laughed in my face. So I made chicken and rice instead. The recipe is the one from Cracker Barrel and it is really good and was one of my favorite SAD (Standard American Diet) foods. And let's not forget the dessert I had to supply, which was cupcakes and brownies. I ended up eating a couple bites of mashed potatoes, which made me so sick I was literally sweating and nauseous (maybe the butter or milk?) and I had a brownie which gave me diarrhea the next morning. And you know what? I'm glad I cheated. It showed me what that other food was actually capable of when a tolerance is not built up, like iocane powder on the Princess Bride. :)

I went through another Detox period where I had the full body aches. It was awful, but luckily detox symptoms only last a day and are gone by the next morning. It was really bad though, it took every ounce of self control I had to not take Ibprofen. I felt that taking medicine would only prolong my symptoms since medicine is a chemical. I'm glad I didn't. My husband and mother in law were really pushing it since I was miserable but it all worked out.

On a better note I am turning into quite the little Chef. I have been playing around with a lot of different recipes and inventing some pretty yummy stuff.
For starters, as I promised, I began making soups. I found a recipe online for a mushroom soup (, great recipes, especially for newbies trying to substitute SAD foods) which I made, but it was lacking substance. The recipe was basically:
1 1/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms 
1/3 cup cashews
1/4 to 3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
 I made it her way and it just tasted too blended, I kinda felt like it was a baby food. The taste was good, but I made some improvements. I added chopped baby celery leaves (located in the middle of any celery bunch, not the top leaves). I added a 1/2 tbsp of Nama Shoyu (fancy for raw soy sauce). I used baby portebellos, instead of white button since the portebellos had more flavor. And minced garlic and pepper. The celery leaves and the finely chopped mushrooms were the only things I did not blend. I added those after and it was sooooo yummy. Such a comfort food. I would have eaten and enjoyed that soup when I was eating a SAD diet. 
I didn't take a picture because no matter what you do, cream of mushroom soup doesn't look artful. 

I have been playing around with shakes this past week too. Today for instance I made a chocolate blueberry shake. I used:
Handful of kale
1/4 c of cacao (fancy for raw cocoa)
1/4 c of agave necter
2 big handfuls of blueberries
1 medium sized banana
1 1/2 cups of water
It was really yummy and helps when your can't stop thinking about eating crap because you're getting ready to start your "lady time". I don't know about you, but for me that week prior is killer. All I want is crap like cereal and chocolate. 
Speaking of cereal, I also made an "oatmeal" this week. I used chia seeds: 
"Chia seed originated in South America and was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. The tiny seeds of the chia plant can be eaten right out of the bag, sprinkled on hot cereal and used in baking, for a nutritional boost comparable only to flaxseed in Omega 3 and dietary fiber content." 
The interesting thing about this "seed" is that when you put it in water they sort of plump up like tapioca. 
Here is the recipe:
3 cups water
1 cup almonds
½ cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Dash ground cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
Banana, sliced
You blend everything but the chia and blueberries and banana.  Add the blended portion to the Chia seeds and stir. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to plump up then top with blueberries and banana and serve.  My kids ate this for breakfast and really enjoyed it. It had a oatmeal sort of texture to it. 

I also recently made fajitas. I got the recipe from (best site EVER!). It goes like this: 
2 large portobello mushrooms
3 bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 zucchini, sliced into sticks
1 sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nama shoyu or tamari
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Toss all ingredients together in a big bowl.
Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
Optional: dehydrate for a few hours after marinating.
Serve in romaine lettuce leaves with sauces and salsa.
I topped it with my nacho cheeze sauce:
(Not the one on that site)
1 large red bell pepper
3-4 tablespoons water
1 cup cashews
2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon crushed sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
Blend together and serve. I added half a jalapeno to give it some kick.  A trick I used for serving was putting the cheeze sauce in a Ziploc bag and cutting the tip off a corner, like with icing, and then squeezing some out onto my fajitas. This meal was so good I was literally licking my fingers. To add some sweetness to it I also added fresh sweet corn off the cob and also a bit of fresh cilantro for extra flavor. Oh yummy yummy!

This week I also made banana nut pancakes (more like a crepe). I woke up and really wanted something awesome for breakfast so I started playing around in the kitchen and this is what I came up with:
It was a banana nut pancake (crepe) with mixed berry filling, and topped with whipped cream. My kids went nuts over this stuff. Its like I was giving them ice cream for breakfast. The only down side is it takes an hour to "cook" the pancakes. :(
Here is the recipe:
Banana Nut Pancake:
2 large bananas
1/2 cup of chia seeds
1/2 cup of flax seeds
1/2 cup of almonds, soaked
Blend in a food processor and then make circles on a baking sheet, almost like you are spreading sauce on a pizza. They should be about 1/4 inch thick. It makes about 6 pancakes. Place in your oven on warm for 45 minutes, then gently flip them and warm for another 15 minutes. I do not have a dehydrator, but you could use one it you have one. 

Mixed Berry filling:
1 1/2 c of mixed frozen berries
1 banana
Blend in a food processor until well blended. 

Whipped Cream:
1/2 c of cashews, soaked
1 tbsp of vanilla
2 tbsp of agave necter
1-2 tbsp of water as needed for the right consistency. 

Blend the food processor until really creamy. Soooo Good!

Layer them together and enjoy. Another great add on would be shredded coconut, which I did and it rocked!
I would say this has been a good week. I am really branching out with food and I am loving it! One thing that I feel is important to have something leftover in the fridge just in case you're hungry and don't want to prep anything. I've noticed that those are the times when I am tempted most is when I am hungry and it's a battle of cereal vs. "cooking". 
By the way all meat and cheese cravings are completely gone. Meat does not even smell tempting. It's just gross. Sugar cravings have been my only pitfall and thats only when a SAD sweet is staring me in the face. 
As for exercising I have been running and doing classes at the "Y", Yay go me. I have not weighed myself and do not plan to until after my "lady time". 
Blog to you later!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Days 6/7 cont...

***I forgot to mention/log my exercise... I went running and did weight training yesterday and I cleaned out my mother-in-law's basement, which counts because there was a whole lot of heavy lifting.

Days 6/7

Can-Not-Wait-For-The-Farmers-Market! Oh my goodness. I bought a bag of avocados from Costco on Sat, last Saturday, and they are just now beginning to be ripe. Soooo yesterday I was very tired of waiting to eat some delicious guacamole so I made a split decision to go to the grocery store to get an avocado that was ripe and ready. Not to mention, I really wanted a pineapple too. Price Chopper is the Vons or H.E.B. of the upper midwest so I expected to pay a litte bit more than normal on the items I wanted, but oh my gosh. It was ridiculous. They wanted $2.50 per avocado! And $5.00 for a pineapple! At Costco, I paid $6.99 for 6 large avocados and $2.49 for a pretty big pineapple. Are you kidding me people. I didn't buy the pineapple, but I caved and bought the avocado. I couldn't help myself. I could almost taste the guacamole goodness in my mouth. Mmmmmmm
So I am happy to report that yesterday I ate guacamole. I made delicious wraps with guacamole, pico de galo, and freshly cut corn off the cob wrapped in a romaine lettuce leaf.
Oh yeah. This was definitely an impulse buy kinda meal. But for my past experience with impulse buy meals, this is not bad. A "normal", I'm using that term real loosely, would consist of chocolate milk (soy milk) and a bag of spicy nacho Doritos. So a guac wrap ain't bad!

For dinner I ended up eating the same thing again. I tend to stick to what tastes good.

As for today, I woke up feeling really rebellious. I just wanted to walk in my mother-in-law's pantry and eat some of the junk food that is abundantly available. I eyeballed the Cheetos, I checked out the Doritos, I even thought about eating a fudge dipped granola bar just to spite myself. But then I stopped and thought "Who am I hurting? What will that accomplish?" So I went and weighed myself. I've lost 4 lbs folks! That 4 lbs in 7 days. Immediately my outlook changed. I asked myself "Am I starving? Am I not able to eat dessert when I want to? Have I not been feeling great?" That got me over my little pity party pretty quickly.
I jumped into the kitchen and began creating. I decided I was over the whole tacos for every meal binge I've been having and decided for a salad. The only greens I had in the fridge were spinach and a couple of romaine leaves and neither sounded good. I decided to bust out my vegetable spiralizer and I made some cucumber strings (noodles). Then I sliced up some carrots, added some fresh cilantro, and corn off the cob. It was beautiful, but I needed a dressing that would top it off. I made a cilantro and lime, with a hint of jalapeno, "ranch" dressing. I sprinkled some walnut/cashew pate on top and it was perfect.
You like that sideways photo? That means it's fancy. :)
This non-traditional salad was so good that my 3 yr old kept running up to me asking for bites. Such a nice change from the normal lettuce base. And the cucumber and corn just felt like summer.

For dinner I made zucchini noodles and used my dressing as a sauce. Then I added a couple of guac tacos on the side.

I promise that after my trip to the farmers market tomorrow I will start making something other than wannabe mexican. :)
I'm gonna start experimenting with some soups and more complicated desserts.
I am also going to create a recipe book on this site since I am branching out away from cookbooks and experimenting much more.

Blog to you tomorrow. Woot Woot! Farmers Market day!

My reason why....

Hi my name is Danielle and I am an emotional eater. Some of you may read my blog and think that this way of eating is easy because I must have always loved veggies but you would be very mistaken. I have a strong emotional connection to food. Not like eating when I'm depressed (though it does always sound good when I'm feeling that way) but also when I'm really happy. Anytime I'm in a great mood I want to celebrate by going to eat somewhere. That's my "treat". I've caught myself passing on this cycle to my own kids. "If you guys are good listeners and eat all of your food you can have dessert" or "You haven't been listening very well so no dessert tonight." When it should be more along the lines of: Did we eat a nutritious meal? If so, then its ok to have something sweet occasionally, but not as a reward or bargaining measure. 
Food has been a battle for me my whole life. I have snuck food to hide my "bad" choices. Or mentally beat myself up over every brownie that has passed my lips. I have probably done just about every diet there is since the age of 12. Every time I have felt deprived and every time I have given up and ended up bingeing on the foods that were forbidden in that diet. Because of this obsession with food and my weight I am constantly aware of every little pound. And every little pound feels like 50 lbs. These things, if not stopped, will be not only noticed by my daughter, but they will be passed on to her and she doesn't deserve that. No one does. And that right there ladies and gentlemen is why it's gotta end.
I am successfully on day 7 of Raw foods. I am not craving cheese and anyone who knows me personally can vouch for my sincere love of cheese. Whole Foods cheese market was like DisneyWorld for me. And I have not craved ice cream, not even Blue Bell and that stuff is like crack. And lastly, pasta. I have not wanted to eat pasta which is probably the craziest of all. Transitioning from the Master Cleanse to the Raw diet was really key. I no longer feel that my 5 days was a failure. That five days really gave me a prospective on my relationship with food. It also allowed me to disassociate myself from the things I would crave.
And if that weren't enough reason, check out my pocket book. Some people feel that this can be an expensive way to eat since you're purchasing so much produce and you ideally it should be organic right? Well let me count the days that have gone by since I have eaten out. let me count the total days I have eaten somewhere other than home in the last 2 weeks.... 2..... That's all. Before it was normal for me to eat out at least a few times a week. And if I wasn't eating out I was wishing I was eating out. Cooking for me over the last few months just became something I dreaded and now I don't anymore. I'm having fun again. And I experimenting and creating new things. 
So let's count the positive gains I've had. 
1. Realizing and owning up to my destructive relationship with food.
2. Gaining insight to the example I am setting for my kiddos.
3. No longer having those nagging cravings for foods that are poisoning my body.
4. Saving money!
5. Regaining self-purpose. :)

It's been said a million times before, but it bears repeating, "If I can do it, then so can you."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 4/5

Yesterday was not the best of days. I stuck to the Raw food no problem and even came up with a few really great recipes. But by the evening I was in a lot of pain. I was having sharp pains in my lower right abdomen. The pain got to the point that it was radiating around to my back and down my front right thigh. My husband kept telling me to go to the hospital because we were both kind of thinking something along the lines of appendicitis, but I wasn't totally convinced. I've heard that if the pain gets bad enough it will make you vomit. So I told my husband that I would go to the hospital if I puked.
Well I didn't puke, and here I am. So maybe it was gas or ovulating or I don't know. It doesn't matter, what matters is I evaded what could have been a 6-8 hour E.R. trip. Yay go me and my inability to take medical conditions seriously.
As for yesterday's food, I will not post pics, because it was a boring day of repeat foods, but there is one thing I am very excited about....
I recreated a nacho cheeze sauce! I used soaked cashews, jalapenos, lemon, nutritional yeast, crushed garlic, and a smidge of water. I made my mom-in-law try it without telling her what I was going for and she said "Hmm that tastes like spicy cheese." Ooooh Yeah. And my mother in law is by no means a health nut. She is a home-cooking mashed potatoes and gravy making lady. So if it passes her test then it gets a gold star.

Now for today. Every Wednesday is a family meal day. By family, I mean Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents etc... And my mother-in-law goes ALL OUT. She cooks enough food that everyone is able to take enough leftovers home for at least 3 days. On todays menu was make your own sub sandwiches with the whole spread. Plus homemade vegetable soup and chili. Not to mention strawberry cupcakes and brownies.
I needed to be prepared so I went Raw recipe crazy. My menu consisted of Pineapple juice, celery-cucumber juice, zucchini pasta with garlic alfredo sauce with fresh tomato and basil, a chocolate mylkshake, and kale chips. It was a lot of food, but in my defense it was spread out over about 6-ish hours. Wednesdays tend to be all day eating and cooking extravaganzas and I applies accordingly. :)
Before we go into my food feast I mustn't forget my 1st lunch (Hobbit meal schedules apply) My girl friend, Shannah Godfrey (Rocket scientist, Mom of 14, insert plug here) And she was aware of my Raw food revolution via facebook and provided me with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. So here is a sample of lunch.
Lunch was great! Thanks Shannah for being so supportive!
Now onto the feast...
Lets start with the pineapple juice. Today I broke out the juicer and it was awesome. I turned a whole pineapple into the most delicious drink. It even had a thickness to it. I'm gonna have to buy another pineapple tomorrow.
It was so creamy and delicious. Words can not describe.  ::sigh::

Next was the cucumber and celery juice. I have been looking out for a good use for my cucumbers, besides the obvious, and I really thought this was it. The person made it sound so good. And I guess it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't the best. I had to kind of choke it down. I didn't bother taking a picture. It was just green juice. Plus I don't feel it deserved a picture.
Now on to the main course, zucchini pasta with garlic alfredo sauce with fresh tomato and basil. The sauce consisted of soaked cashews, lemon juice, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, olive oil, and a little sea salt. I used my new vegetable spiralizer, which is great, and it made angel hair sized noodles. Before tossing in the sauce I taste-tested the zucchini and it was fine. I mixed it together and then added fresh basil and sliced tomatos.

It looks a little messy, but that because I started eating it and then realized I should take a picture. But this will definitely be a repeat. My cousin-in-law (He's like 17) tried it and really liked it!
The mylkshake was next. It was made out of avocado, raw cocoa, agave necter, water, ice, and a handful of almonds. It was pretty good. I don't think my avocado was ripe enough. Also I didn't like the almonds so much, they didn't blend well. I was kind of chewing my shake. I think I could improve upon it though so I won't write it off. 
And last, and definitely least, was the kale chips. I have people rave and rave about kale chips, but I made them and they were not good. I threw them away. But here is what they looked like before they hit the trash at full speed. 
Seriously disappointing. 

Today I did not work out due to my super full day, but yesterday I did a Zumba class. 
Blog to you tomorrow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 3

I am frustrated today. I am not nearly as optimistic as I was yesterday which tells me that I am probably detoxing/ adjusting from the semi-failed master cleanse.
I did wake up this morning not feeling groggy, which is an improvement. I am normally fighting my kids to let me sleep more in the morning. Today, however I felt ready to get up when they did. I didn't exactly jump out of bed, but I didn't linger either.

I made the kids breakfast and I made myself a smoothie using spinach and raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and marionberries. 2 parts spinach, 1 part berries. I decided not to use a banana since I had plenty last night (ice cream). I didn't take a picture of it because I was in a rush this morning.
The kids and I were out all morning running various errands. I packed them a lunch like a good little mommy, but I forgot to think ahead for myself. So, when my mother-in-law suggested Cracker Barrel it was not hard to succumb. I didn't even let myself look at the menu, because I really felt I might have caved and ordered my all-time favorite chicken and dumplings with a side of green beans and macaroni and cheese. One thing that has surprised me is I am not craving meat and cheeses and non-raw desserts like I did on the cleanse. My kids shared a chicken and dumplings and I didn't want any. It didn't even smell good. Back to my lunch, I ordered their summer salad which consisted of mixed greens, yellow and red vine ripened tomatos, marinated cucumbers and red onions. It was topped with grilled chicken and toast with pimento bread, but I took that off. The dressing that came with it was country vinaigrette, on the side. So, I'm fairly certain it would not fall into the vegan/Raw category, but at Cracker Barrel it was the best I could do.
Using the honor code-I did have a bite of the chicken and it was not tasty. In fact, it was pretty flavorless. I could really real the difference after this meal. My body felt gross and my mouth felt greasy. Yuck...
I got hungry pretty quickly after this meal and ended up eating some watermelon when I got home.
All day today I have felt really restless and bored, which I keep reading is a sign of detox?

Dinner did not help this either. I made the most delicious sun-dried tomato "alfredo" sauce. I made it with sun-dried tomatos, fresh basil, a lot of lemon juice (fresh squeezed), 1/2 tsp of sea salt, olive oil, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and a cup of soaked cashews. I was so proud of this recipe because I made it myself. It was not from a recipe book.  And it came out yummy, yummy enough that it eased any worries of missing my favorite pastas.
And then.... I made my zucchini noodles. If you remember, I sent back the vegetable spiralizer from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Well I ordered one on Amazon, but it's not gonna be here until Wed-ish. So I read about a way to make them by using a regular vegetable peeler. The noodles resembled fettucini noodles and everything seemed fine up until the point of eating.  After a few butes I noticed a sort of spicy zing at  the end of each bie. Even my daughter was make raspberries every time she took a bite.
Needless to say I had to make a back up meal. Which REALLY depressed me because I loved my sauce. I was feeling really bad about myself. This is what the pasta looked like.
As you can see by my fresh basil garnish, I am trying to take better pics. Using my phone is not helping with this issue. I think food-staging is out for me as a career.
Anyways. This is what I ended up with:
"Taco" salad. Boring and not much different than "tacos". Ugh. Hence the current status of my mood.

For dessert I made the kids watermelon ice cream. 1 1/2 bananas and 3 good chunks of watermelon. The really liked it and it had a great light flavor.
For myself I made chocolate banana, chocolate chip ice cream. 1 1/2 bananas, cocoa powder, tsp of agave, 1 tbsp of choco chips and it makes blended perfection. Yum. I could only eat a few bites before I got full so the rest is in the freezer.

Off the topic of food, I got in a run today. I ran outside and did 2 miles. I ran a 9 minute mile pace and enjoyed the time outside. Tomorrow will end up being at the Ymca since it's hard to do runs and find sitters since my double jogger is in Austin. I miss it almost as much as I miss my husband. See you soon babe.

Good night everyone. I'll "blog" to you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day two

A few hours after dinner last night I felt really gassy. I think my tummy is getting used to not only all of the produce but also digesting food period since the cleanse. It's not a whole lot of fun. I also felt really energized and couldn't go to sleep for a long time. I might have to move dinner back or just eat really light.

Today is Sunday, which for my family means "church day". There normally isn't a whole lot of time to eat breakfast so I usually skip. But for the sake of the experiment/ challenge I decided to make time for a smoothie.
Breakfast consisted of a green smoothie (recipe compliments of my sister Heidi) which had a couple handfuls of romaine lettuce, a banana, and a handful of strawberries.
It looks really gross, but it wasn't too bad. I think I'll stick to green smoothies with more berries in them and I'll use spinach or kale instead of romaine.

After church the kids and I got home and I needed to hustle to get lunch ready since it was already almost 2:00. Luckily I had my extra taco from yesterday, so that's what I ate. I made a few adjustments though. I traded the collard green for a couple of romaine leaves. I also heated it up for about 15 seconds so that it wasn't refrigerator cold but also not too warm for Raw standards. I won't post a pic since I already posted one yesterday.

One thing I have noticed so far is that I get full really fast, but I am also hungry again in a couple of hours. By 4:30 I was feeling kind of snackish so I cut up some watermelon.
I am not sure exactly what the Raw stance is on watermelon, namely seedless watermelon, since it is technically a GMO. So after this one is gone I won't buy another one just in case.
I got hungry again about 30 minutes later and ate some of the left over "spaghetti" from last night. And guess what? Just like with regular spaghetti it tastes better the next day. A few bites were enough and then I was done.

For dinner I was going to do "Lasagna" but I was over that idea after the few bites of "spaghetti". I decided to try to recreate my taco from earlier. I was short on some necessary ingredients, like almonds that had been soaked to soften. So I made a walnut Pate instead and tried to season it "taco-like". Then I made fresh salsa and a creamy ranch with a hint of lime. The "ranch" was made out of soaked cashews, seasoning, lemon juice, and fresh basil and dill. It came out really good. The salsa had tomato, cilantro, minced garlic, jalapenos, onion, and lime. It didn't taste right though, so I asked my Guatemalan father-in-law to taste it and he said that I blended it too much and made it salsa (which needs the tomato to be cooked) instead of pico de galo which is fine raw. But it still worked.

I used the lettuce to make the tacos and I ate about 4 which made me way too full. The walnut pate was ok at best. I will definitely have to use the right ingredients next time. Luckily the salsa covered up the taste. :)

Now for the BEST part of my day and arguably the best part of this exercise..... I made Raw mint chocolate chip ice cream!! The ingredients included 4 frozen bananas, mint extract, and a tablespoon of chocolate chips. That's it! Blend it in the food processor and Waaalaaa! Delicious tasty ice cream for me! If nothing else could have sold me on the Raw diet, this did. Fo Sho.

And just in case you don't take my word for it, my mother-in-law tried it and said it tasted just like ice cream too.
That is one of the best things about this diet that I love. I can still have dessert, without putting crap or artificial wannabe ingredients into my body. the raw diet doesn't have to pretend. Take that Atkins, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, etc... You wish you were this cool.
Anyways, tomorrow is another day. And I'm gonna eat some ice cream. :)

P.S. Tomorrow I start running again since the cleanse. I will log that too.