Tag Archives: eat to live

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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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. 🙂

Sunday Prep Work: almonds, soup and boatmeal

29 Nov

Dear Chocolate Covered Katie,

You are a genius.

But more on that in a moment.

Sunday was a really bizarre day for me. I rose around 8:00, got clean and dressed, and my taller half and I headed to his car. We were going to church, you see. Somehow I managed to hit the left side of my head so hard on the car that I spent the next six hours feeling like total crap. I actually worried that maybe I’d given myself a head injury. In addition to the head pain, my stomach hurt, I felt lightheaded, and I was seeing poorly out of my left eye. Luckily, by mid-afternoon, it faded, but it was a little frightening for a while.

I did, however, manage to get in some exercise – finally – following my ankle injury. We walked a little more than two miles at a moderate pace, which really helped to stretch the stiff muscles. Then I lifted some weights following this Self video. I modified it by using eight-pounders and by only doing two sets. It felt great.

And now, let’s talk about food preparation. Between the hours of 8:30 and 9:45 p.m., I accomplished the following:

  • Made a half batch of almond milk.
  • Roasted up some Mexican Chocolate Almonds.
  • Simmered a pot of Basic Lentil Soup.
  • Prepped the ingredients for a morning of Pumpkin Boatmeal.

Let’s go in order, skipping the almond milk ‘cause it’s nothin’ you ain’t seen here before.

My Week #3 contest winner is on a particular diet, so I couldn’t send her any of my old standbys. So I decided to try something new. Thus Mexican Chocolate Almonds were born.

  • 1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a lipped baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Rinse almonds in a colander to remove any residue. Put them in a medium bowl and top with oil, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Mix well to combine. Roast on baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.

These would be great with a touch of maple syrup added with the oil and spices, but that was on the no-no list.

Next up is my incredibly easy Basic Lentil Soup.

  • 1 cup red or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 cups of liquid (I used 2 of low-sodium veggie broth and 2 of water, but you can use any combination of the two you want)
  • 2 bay leaves

Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.

Then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve.

I accidentally overcooked mine slightly, so I added another cup of water at the very end to thin it out. I recommend just paying more attention. This soup is intentionally spice-less because I plan to doctor it up differently for dinner each night this week. I’ll share my variations with you.

And finally, I bring you the newest love of my life, Pumpkin Boatmeal ala Chocolate Covered Katie. Boatmeal is baked oatmeal, in case you aren’t a CCK reader (but, really, you should be!). I took her original recipe, quadrupled it to make enough for my whole work week, and then tweaked it slightly. Check out her post on making it for one. Here is my variation.

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/3 cups homemade almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly spray an 8×8” baking pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour into baking dish and cook for 20 minutes. Makes four servings.

I scooped out a fourth into a bowl and sprinkled a tiny amount of vegan sugar on top. The sugar was completely unnecessary. The hint of maple syrup plus the natural sweetness of the pumpkin are enough. Seriously, this is one of the most delicious breakfast foods I’ve ever, ever, ever eaten. It has the heartiness of stovetop oatmeal, but baking it takes the texture and spices to a whole new level. Seriously, you must try this dish! Here it is emanating heavenly light:

To prep the ingredients for this morning, I combined the oats, cinnamon and salt into a zip-top bag. I then mixed the vanilla, maple syrup, pumpkin, and almond milk in a bowl. I placed a small piece of plastic wrap on the surface to keep the pumpkin from getting a weird texture and then covered the whole thing in foil before refrigerating it.

This morning, I preheated the oven, sprayed the baking dish, and mixed the oat mixture into the pumpkin mixture. It took longer for the oven to heat than to do the prep work. The rest of the week, I will reheat a serving at a time in the microwave. I will report back on how well it kept.

Do you do cooking prep work on the weekends? I like devoted a little bit of Sunday to getting things out of the way. Whenever I have something home cooked for lunches during the week, it’s almost always something I whipped up on Sunday following The Amazing Race.