Archive for January, 2014

Been Cooking Up a Storm!

For someone who used to not enjoy cooking AT ALL, and we are talking as recently as a few years ago, I have come a LONG way. I started cooking a few years ago when I cut back on processed foods and then I moved overseas. Let’s just say that having a live-in cook for two years really spoiled me! When I returned neither my daughter nor I enjoyed much of the processed foods so readily available (sadly our tastes are starting to re-acclimate to the processed American way) so it was on me to do the cooking.

Yeah, that sucks.

Cooking takes TIME which I have none of but I make it a priority because I don’t want to eat junk and I surely don’t want my daughter eating it! Sure, we slip up from time to time and end up in the McDonald’s drive thru line ordering some french fries but not often. Here are a few things I have whipped up in the past few weeks:

1. This is a soup/stew I created off the top of my head. I know, it doesn’t look too appetizing but don’t let fool you. It has ground beef, chick peas, onions, carrots, acorn squash and a broth base. I also threw in some cinnamon and raisins cause I felt they needed them. I threw everything except the raisins in the crock after browning the beef first and cooked it for 6 hours or so. I didn’t follow a recipe; I was just trying to use up some of the produce in my house (I always, always buy too much) but it turned out really good!

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2. This is another soup I made up. I looked online for a coconut cream kale soup and referred to three different recipes when coming up with this one. Turns out I had cooked some Swiss chard I was trying to use up but it was fine. I browned some onions in oil and spices and then added them to a pot with coconut cream, broth, the swiss chard and some broccoli. Cooked it up and used an immersion blender to mix it up. Yummy! I used to be so in awe of my mom when she could whip up a delicious soup from ingredients around the kitchen. Turns out it’s not that hard.

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3. These were interesting! I made some gluten-free brownies with black beans. I was AMAZED thatĀ  you could substitute black beans for flour but let me tell you, you can! I was so impressed with how they turned out. Yummy!

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4. Cranberry sauce. Again, had some cranberries on their last legs so I whipped this up with some cane sugar and cinnamon. Still a bit tart but I am looking forward to eating it with a chicken I am going to make later in the week.

IMG_2510That’s all for now.

What have you been cooking lately?

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Ever Tried Intermittent Fasting?

I have tried so many diets and exercise plans and read so many books and have felt so deprived. I’m not joking! On my bookshelf right now I have about 15 books about eating better and getting healthy but I think I have the solution: intermittent fasting! The book I have chosen to follow is 5:2, basically you fast two days of the week and eat normally the other 5. On your fasting days you can eat up to 500 calories but I find that skipping breakfast and lunch altogether and saving it up for dinner works best in terms of hunger pangs. It is supposed to be great for weight loss, extending life, lowering glucose, cholesterol, improving triglycerides, energy level, etc. and the best part: it’s not that hard because you know the next day you can eat! I’m in love.

Feeling More Committed

I haven’t been perfect by any stretch of the imagination but that’s okay. I am just checking in to say that I have been eating many homemade meals and am drinking tons more water. I have also noticed that by default my daughter has been eating much healthier and has even stopped asking for dessert! In fact, it’s been several days, a couple of weeks maybe. This is great! It means that my healthier eating is either rubbing off on her or she is feeling more satisfied by eating the real food that I am preparing. I am so happy about that! I haven’t been sugar-free but I also have decreased my refined sugar consumption by like 85%. Love it!

Meanwhile, I bought myself a flat-screened TV today so kettlebell workouts and Pilates and yoga are in my near future. I think I will cancel my gym membership.

I Stepped on the Scale This Morning

Since it’s Sunday I decided to weigh myself. I have only been juicing for two days but I decided Sundays will be the day I weigh myself this year and I will record it here. I stepped on the scale and was shocked! I reweighed myself five more times to be sure.

149.8

What in the world?! I really don’t get it but that’s what it said. I think I weight 156 last week! So, total weight lost is now 6.2 pounds! WOW WOW WOW

I am so freaking excited!!!

Yay Me

Just patting myself on the back for completing another day of only fruits and veggies and guess what?! It appears as if the skin on my face is starting to improve. Keep you posted!

Making Progress

Day 2 (or Day 1) was a success! And I even went on a date and stuck to it. I was sooo impressed with myself and it fueled my motivation. He asked me to go to dinner and dancing and I declined dinner. At the bar I ordered a club soda with lime! Yay me. Today I made some bacon for my daughter and had a juice. Yay me! It’s getting so much easier. I had a wicked headache on Day 2 that lasted for hours. Not sure if it was some detoxing reaction but it was terrible. It is gone today though and I am excited!! Woo-hoo!

Always Some Excuse

So breakfast was juice and lunch was a smoothie. But the weather was cold and I was heating up lunch for my daughter.. and I broke down. I ate some cauliflower with cheddar and butter and some black-eyed peas with carrots that had been prepared using smoked turkey and chicken stock. Did I eat any grains? No. Anything processed? Not really. Anything with refined sugar? No. But I had animal products and beans which I said I wouldn’t have. Was I asleep by ten? Yes. Did I wake up early and do yoga? Yes. I am proud of what I accomplished but annoyed with myself for not sticking to my plan, especially as I look in the mirror and see my checks are still covered with hives or this rash or whatever this is.

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It is winter. We got a ton of snow yesterday. I want warm food. In the movie Joe fasted when it was warm weather. So did the other guy they highlighted, Phil. I’m pretty sure it was warm when Daniel and JesusĀ  and Gandhi and other religious figures fasted. Who solely drinks cold juices when it’s 20 degrees outside? I’m sure people do it but gosh darn it if it doesn’t make it more difficult. Though, then again, some folks fast without any food or drink and do it when it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s done. It’s not comfortable. It’s not supposed to be easy or fun or comfortable. I think this really illuminates what kind of person I am. I want what I want when I want it. I gave in. I indulged myself. I didn’t persevere. I gave up.

I gave up.

It got too hard.

It wasn’t fair.

I did the yoga, I got some sleep. I avoided grains and sugar… so I justified eating the food. I did part of it.

But I didn’t do exactly what I set out to do.

Why not? Why was I okay with doing just a half-assed job? Or rather (because I was not okay with it) why did I give up? My skin/energy level/health are suffering! Isn’t that enough?

What is my deal?

I have no idea. This is interesting though. Depressing. Enlightening. Maddening. Infuriating! Sad.

On to Day 2. Or rather Day 1 again. Wish me luck.