Eat to Live update

27 Feb

I’m currently on week three of my modified cleanse, so I owe you an update. I have decided to keep up the Eat to Live-style eating pretty strictly during the week and then not so much on the weekends. Why? Well, to be totally frank, I find anything eating plan that is too strict/regimented causes a flare-up of my past disordered eating. I also need a little more fat in my diet than the plan allows or else I end up binging. Sorry, I know these are not pleasant topics, and I don’t want to go into a whole thing, but they are part of why I’m modifying the plan.

So that said, I have been loving the super clean breakfasts and lunches. Dinners have been great, too, though I’ve been snacky a bit. Here’s how a day of eating looks for me:

6:30 a.m.: I have enjoyed a smoothie every morning, as well as a cup of hot tea with a little honey. As I mentioned, all smoothies include a tablespoon of ground flax, 2 cups of spinach, a banana, 1/4 cup of oatmeal, a cup of organic soy milk, and 1 cup of frozen fruit. For the latter, I always have strawberries, mango and pineapple in the freezer because that is what is affordably accessible to me (and I don’t hate, e.g. blueberries). I switch up the combinations. I also add cinnamon and ginger for flavor, anti-inflammatory properties, and help with blood-sugar issues. These smoothies really do keep me full until lunch. Poppy chills in the background with her hay.

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8:00 a.m.: First thing at work, I have a cup or two of black decaf coffee. I will have one cup of caffeinated if I’m dragging.

Between 10 and 11 a.m.: I eat an orange and tea, usually green. While I’m not hungry at this point of the day, I need the piece of fruit to keep my blood sugar in check.

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12:30 p.m.: Lunch is a salad of greens, beans and one other veggie. The first week, I did mixed greens with raw or roasted veggies and hummus dressing (homemade oil-free hummus thinned with juice of half a lemon):

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Then I switched it up to be garbanzo beans on the greens and a dressing of Dijon and lemon juice, with whole carrots on the side. No picture, but you can imagine. Immediately after, I have a mug of ginger tea to help with my digestion.

Between 2 and 3 p.m.: I drink more tea (varies) alongside an apple with nut butter, either my homemade cashew butter or store-bought peanut butter (both with no added oils).

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7 p.m.: Dinners are all bean-focused (at least one cup per serving) and generally have a side of steamed greens. In addition to the chili I shared before, there has been hot and sour soup:

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Spicy tempeh salad:

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And the unpictured spaghetti squash, Mexican-inspired salad, and chickpea soup.

How Do I Feel? Great! As long as I remember to eat my snacks and allow myself some healthy fats. I’ve also relearned the hard way that peanut butter is a trigger food for me, so I can’t stash it in my desk at work without eating the entire jar. I also experienced some detox symptoms — mainly tummy unhappiness and the headaches — but they have faded.

I will share some more Eat to Live-inspired eats this week, since I’m pretty excited about the meal plan!

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My anniversary!

25 Feb

I vanished again. Sorry. The dynamic of the days has shifted, and I’m still trying to figure out how to refocus. I’m happy at my new job, and I’m happy having more time in the evenings to spend with Mr. X, so blogging has fallen to the wayside a bit. My apologies!

I have real posts the rest of the week, but today is my first wedding anniversary, so I couldn’t help but be a little indulgent. I didn’t post much about the wedding at the time because of the hiatus I took, so I wanted to post a few pictures today. I hope you don’t mind!

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Rabbit food

15 Feb

I haven’t posted as planned this week thanks to a cluster of migraines. It’s been miserable. Somehow I got through the work days, but by 5:00 I felt like total and utter crap. I kept up with my eating, and I promise a post tomorrow on how it’s going. Spoiler alert: salad city.

Instead of food, I have some exciting news to share: there’s a new vegetarian in our house!

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Meet the newest member of our Hollywood home. Poppy is a 6-year-old mini lop. Her previous owners have to move out of the state next week, so they reluctantly sought a new home from her. Lynn put out a plea on her blog, and I instantly fell in love. We’ve been sadly without a pet since Sully’s death (in 2011), and though we’re not technically supposed to have one (shh! Don’t tell our building manager), we knew we couldn’t say no to her fluffy tail and wiggly nose. She’s been ours for less than 24 hours, but we already adore her. This morning, we had breakfast together:

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We both had our greens. Mine was a smoothie, and hers were beet greens. In anticipation of her adoption, I’ve been saving the ends of carrots, stems of cauliflower, and greens from veggies in a baggy in the fridge for her. Rabbits need lots of vegetables (about four cups a day, according to my research), as well as unlimited hay, some pellets, and a smidge of fruit as a treat. She loves bananas.

Expect more Poppy pictures in the near future. She’s a member of the family now!

Eat to Live Day 1

12 Feb

Here’s how Day 1 of my Eat to Live plan went down.

Breakfast:
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A delicious green smoothie with 1 tablespoon ground flax, 2 cups of spinach, 1 banana, 1/3 cup frozen pineapple, 2/3 cup frozen mango, 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 cup soy milk, and a sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon. Alongside is a mug of jasmine green tea with a drop of honey (my one ETL cheat due to allergy prevention). At work, I had one cup of black coffee.

Lunch:
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Lunch was a big ol’ salad: ~3 cups of Trader Joe’s “power to the greens” (baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach), 1/3 cup roasted carrots, 2/3 cup roasted cauliflower, 1/4 cup hummus (homemade from chickpeas, white beans, salsa, and cumin), and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Immediately after, I had an unpictured mug of ginget tea.

Afternoon snack:
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An itty-bitty Fuji apple topped with 1 tablespoon of homemade cashew butter. This stuff tastes great but has lackluster texture, so I don’t want to share the recipe until I perfect it. It involves molasses, vanilla and cinnamon, however. I later had a mug of green tea.

Dinner:
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About 2 cups of chili, 1 cup of steamed (well, broth-sauteed) red chard, six tortilla chips (made from 1 corn tortilla), and 1/4 cup of salsa. I had a mug of peppermint tea in lieu of dessert.

How I felt: I felt really good until the afternoon. I neglected to eat my mid-morning snack of an orange, and I think that was a bad idea. I also developed a migraine by late afternoon. I’m not sure what the deal is, but it was the fifth one in about 10 days. I hesitate to blame the way I was eating, though I will aim to eat more consistently the rest of the week.

Eating to Live

11 Feb

Normally I would be sharing my CSA haul for the week, but I had an insane Sunday, complete with a migraine, so I put everything away without managing a photo. So instead of itemizing my haul, I will just share my meal plan for the week.

I’ve been feeling off-kilter for a little while now and doing way too much stress eating, so I decided to eat very clean this week. I hesitate to call this a cleanse, but it is an opportunity for me to hit the reset button and get my eating back on track. I decided to do the Eat to Live plan with a little Thrive Forward sensibility thrown in. Here’s how it shakes out:

Breakfast: Green smoothies (1 tablespoon ground flax, 2 cups spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen fruit, 1 cup soy milk, 1/4 cup oatmeal, and a sprinkle of ground ginger and cinnamon)

Lunch: Big salads (3 cups greens, 1 cup roasted veggies, 1/4 cup hummus, and juice of 1/2 a lemon)

Snacks: Orange, apple with homemade cashew butter

Dinner:
Monday/Tuesday — Chili (basically this recipe but with six cups of beans, no olive oil, and twice as many tomatoes), steamed chard, and homemade chips (one tortilla’s worth for me, and two for him) and 1/4 cup salsa
Wednesday/ThursdaySlow Cooker Hot and Sour Soup and steamed greens
Friday/Saturday — Spaghetti squash with tomato-lentil sauce and salad

So as you can see, there’s a pretty common theme: lots and lots and lots of veggies, both raw and cooked. On top of that, I’m eating no added fats (so no oil), no added sugars, and very little starch. I’m also avoiding alcohol and reducing my caffeine intake, which may be contributing to my headaches but is a necessary evil. My meals are planned using the parameters of Dr. Fuhrman’s philosophy, but I’m incorporating two daily snacks a la Thrive because it’s the way my body prefers to get its calories.

I will post throughout the week to share my daily meals. Spoiler alert: there will be a lot of salads. 🙂

Seitanic Piccata

7 Feb

I recently hot a wild hair and decided I had to make piccata. I’m not sure why — it may have been placed there by this comment on the Hungry Hungry Hippie’s blog. I’ve not really sure I’ve ever had proper in my life, but the combination of tart lemon, salty capers, and some kind of chewy faux meat just sounded irresistible. I attended a cooking demo at Native Foods a few weeks ago that was all about seitan, so I decided to use wheat meat as the base instead of tofu or tempeh. This recipe originally from Candle 79 is all over the web, so I used it as my basis. Here’s  the result, served atop whole wheat spaghetti:

PiccataOMG IT’S AMAZING AND WONDERFUL AND I WISH I COULD EAT IT EVERY DAY. But seriously.

So let’s break it down. First you make seitan using your preferred/pretty much any method. I used Native Foods’ recipe, which is here. My only alterations were not using kombu in the broth (since I didn’t have any) and mincing instead of microplaning the garlic (since I don’t have a microplane). I follow Chef Kendall’s note of rolling it into one log/loaf, though I wrap it in foil (agian, because I did not have cheesecloth). It’s a great recipe, and I highly recommend it! Oh, and it makes up really well in a mixer if you have one. I use the paddle for the basic mixing and then the dough hook for kneading. If it appears too wet (and mine did both times I made it), just add a little more vital wheat gluten.

Once the seitan has simmered and cooled enough to handle — and you can easily make it a day or two in advance — cut it into six cutlets. I did so by cutting the whole log in half  and then cutting each half into three pieces that were similar in size. Now follow the Candle 79 recipe. My only changes:

  • Used less oil, though it was still more than I usually would (maybe three tablespoons total)
  • Subbed an onion for the leeks and shallots
  • Omitted the parsley because I plain forgot about it
  • Used dried thyme (~1/2 teaspoon) instead of fresh
  • Omitted turmeric (I didn’t have any, and I frankly don’t like the taste of it)

I recommend a nice dry, acidic, and citrusy white wine. I used a sauvignon blanc, and while it was a little lacklustre on its own, it had the right properties. An unoaked chardonnay might work, but a very crisp pinot grigio would be my second choice after the sauv. Make sure it’s a drinkable wine because you’ll have plenty left from the bottle, and it will make a great accompaniment to the piccata. Anyway, the sauce comes together in no time and it seriously tastes like heaven in a saute pan. Plate whatever grain you choose — the noodles were great, but I imagine millet, cous cous, or rice would be awesome — then top with the seitan and then the sauce. Glamour shot:

More piccataIt is delicious fresh and hot. It is delicious refrigerated, or so Mr. X tells me. It’s delicious reheated in a pan on the stove. It’s just delicious.

And a note: for us, this was three servings, not six. If you’re eating as part of a larger meal, you might be able to stretch it to more, but it’s so tasty that you won’t want to!

Meal planning for Feb. 4-10

4 Feb

Yep, another meal planning post. To be honest, I’m having a bad year week, which is why posting has been lame and lackluster. I will try to correct this problem in the future, but for now, things are as they are, stupid platitudes and all.

Here’s my CSA box for the week:

Veggies

  • Beets
  • Kohlrabi
  • Turnips
  • Mandarin oranges
  • A grapefruit
  • Bok choy
  • Bacon avocados
  • Red chard
  • Red lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots

And here’s the meal plan:

Breakfast: Green smoothies for both of us

Lunches:

  • Monday/Tuesday — Leftover Butternut Poblano Soup (but actually just with sweet potatoes this time) and a small salad
  • Wednesday/Thursday — Salad with kohlrabi and lentils
  • Friday — Potluck at work
  • Saturday/Sunday — TBD
  • For him — More hummus and cashew queso

Dinners:

  • Monday/Tuesday — Italian white bean soup
  • Wednesday — Stir fry
  • Thursday/Friday — Roasted beet salad
  • Saturday TBD

So there you go. Sorry I’m boring today. I hope your week is off to a better start than mine.