July 19.

1. I’m a little tired of late. See my latest post on my primary blog: 4:30 a.m. | chicken nuggets and elmo

2. I joined Twitter. Totally addictive. I totally don’t have time for this! You can follow me here. Warning: I sometimes have late night conversations about True Blood.

3. After about a 4 month hiatus with meat, I started eating it again… but this week I’ve stopped again. I really can’t stomach it: it grosses me out. So now I am not eating meat, I’ve cut out almost all dairy, and I am trying my best to stay away from processed food and sugar. I am still eating eggs, but I have been continuing to discover yummy vegan things to eat, including these chick pea pancakes which I eat at least once a week. #trying

4. I have a zillion things to do staring me in the face and I don’t what to do first. Typical.

I need a cute bunny picture right about now. From http://www.roflzoo.com/cute-bunny.html

I need a cute bunny picture right about now… Ahhhh. Now I feel better! (From http://www.roflzoo.com/cute-bunny.html)

5. Garden: coming along great. We’ve gotten about 6-7 good cucumbers so far… tomatoes are growing but still green. Peppers haven’t come up yet. Kale died after all that crazy rain we had a few weeks ago. Lettuce is regrowing.

garden =)

garden =)

6. CSA: amazeballs. Did my work requirement which was harvesting peas on June 30. Not too hot… and though I forgot to put sunblock on the back of my neck, it was a great day.

My neck, the next day. It didn't hurt. Even though it looks like it does...

My neck, the next day. It didn’t hurt. Even though it looks like it does…

I picked peas on the farm. My phone died so I only have this picture from my work day.

I picked peas on the farm. My phone died so I only have this picture from my work day.

How is your garden growing?

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Deciding to do a juice fast requires advance planning…

After checking my supplies (and to be honest, my willpower), I have decided to cut this short. Yeah, I’m a sucker…but we’re kind of in the middle of a blizzard and I didn’t plan this out well. I bought a bunch of organic veggies and fruit yesterday to have them in the house for the weekend, but deciding to do the 3-day fast was sort of a last minute thing. My bad.

Also… wow… I really want to eat.

Now, I’m a little hungry, not starving, but I just want to chew on something! Joe Cross talked about this in his documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”  And I remember feeling like this when I did the 3 day Kaeng Raeng detox last year.

But… Let’s focus on what I have done since my post earlier today:

Midday: I’m ready to make my second juice — I guess I’m a little behind because this is supposed to be the “mid-morning” juice.

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I’ve made this one earlier this week, so I am going to only use 3 stalks of celery… just my preference….

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This is how many oz that pile of veggies/fruit made

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It looks a little frothy… but this juice is bright green and beautiful. When I made it earlier this week I didn’t have ginger, so I think adding that plus only using 3 celery stalks made this much more palatable for me.

Lunch

This is when I realized I was in trouble.

This is when I realized I was in trouble.

News flash: I don’t like raw tomatoes. Uh… so… I don’t have any tomatoes in the house…. so… I skipped this juice and went right to this one:

Now this I could do... with some adjustments...

Now this I could do… with some adjustments…

I had the Kale, but no Swiss Chard… and I had the cucumber, but no clementines. This is where I was starting to think… uh, I don’t have all the stuff for this thing… anywho. So this is what I used for this one:

8 leaves of Kale, 1 cucumber, 2 oranges (one with the peel and one without), 1 celery stalk, one carrot

8 leaves of Kale, 1 cucumber, 2 oranges (one with the peel and one without), 1 celery stalk, one carrot

This juice looked beautiful.

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before I mixed it all together... it looked tie-dyed or something...

before I mixed it all together… it looked tie-dyed or something…

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When stirred it became a deeper green.

I thought this juice was yummy, but next time I will just put a little of the orange rind in. It was a little too much.

So I finished this last juice after 4pm. How did I feel? Ok. Not bloated or gassy, not running to the bathroom. (It’s amazing how often I feel bloated and I don’t even realize it.) I was a little hungry, even though I had been drinking 12-16 oz of water between juices.

The other juice recipes do look yummy — and I plan on trying them. I will post when I do, and I’ll of course post when I can actually do the full 3 day juice fast.

I have a whole new respect for Joe Cross right now! 60 days is no joke….

Day 1 of a 3 day juice fast — “Rebooting with Joe”

I’m just gonna go for it. Even though I am hungry… I’m going to push through today.

I just made my breakfast juice after having the hot water with lemon and additional glass of water recommended.

Carrot/apple/ginger = delicious!

I found a PDF for a 3-day reboot plan here: http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/rebooting/plans/

I found a PDF for a 3-day reboot plan here: http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/rebooting/plans/

There is nothing like fresh carrot juice. It’s so much better than what you can buy in a store.

Note: I’m using all organic produce. Except the ginger… I didn’t see organic ginger in my supermarket.

Though I’m not doing this to lose weight, I’ll be interested to see if I do lose anything. I’ll keep you posted on that.

3 carrots, 2 apples, 1" ginger

3 carrots, 2 apples, 1″ ginger

This made about 17-18 oz of juice. My carrots were pretty big...

This made about 17-18 oz of juice. My carrots were pretty big…

It filled up a red solo cup

It filled up a red solo cup

After finishing the juice, I’m not as hungry… but I’m going to have more water as well. Hopefully this part will get easier!

I’m not sure if I will post about each juice/meal or if I will just have time to post once a day… but I will definitely take pictures of everything and post them + a description of how I feel as well.

Cheers!

“Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”: a movie review and why I bought a juicer

A health-nutty friend of mine posted a link to this movie on Facebook. It was free to watch on hulu (and I think it still is at the time I write this). The title piqued my interest and I watched the first few minutes right then and resolved to watch the rest later that day.

I wound up staying up until 1:30 that morning to finish watching it.

And I don’t stay up to watch nuthin’.

It’s the story of how one man, Joe Cross, decided to do a 60-day juice fast in the hopes it would help him cure a skin condition (chronic urticaria), lose weight, and jump-start a more healthy lifestyle. He traveled across the U.S.A. and talked to people about their health and what it means to be healthy, and he tried to get people interested in juicing. One of the people he met was Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver who suffered from the same skin condition. Joe offered to help Phil with juicing and lose the weight and get his life back… and he does.

It was very impactful and inspirational… so much so, I bought a juicer this past weekend, and I made the “Mean Green Juice” featured in the movie.

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I have reported previously that I am afraid of green smoothies… and I was a little afraid of the green juice… but it was better than I thought it would be. You can find the recipe here.

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Ingredients for the “Mean Green” juice

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Now I’ve resolved myself to doing at least a 3 or 5 day juice fast, and Joe (the guy in the movie), has a great site set up to help you choose the right juicer and guide you through a fast.

I really felt inspired by this movie… and now I am going to make some carrot juice with apple and ginger… =)

Day One of No Sugar, Again

Yeah, I haven’t stayed away from sugar yet, but today I am.

Some things I am trying to keep in mind today to help me focus on this goal for today…

I’m not back to the gym yet, but I thought this was a good slap in the face:

One of my favorite bloggers posted this the other day and it makes me want to eat raw kale (um, I don’t think I’ve ever said that):

Chop-It-Up Veggie Salad with Tahini Garlic Dressing

I was looking for a link to a tofu recipe I have in my mental recipe box that I wanted to try…I can’t find the link at the moment, but I am still looking… but I did find this tofu cooking inspiration. I do try to eat tofu at least once a week and I want to learn how to prepare it in different ways. I usually get it in my Thai food — like yesterday, I ordered Pad Kra Tiem — the sauce is light and broth-y rather than heavy, and it’s loaded with veggies (garlic, broccoli, baby corn, carrots, red bell peppers, garnished with sliced cucumber). With brown rice and steamed tofu it’s enough for a lunch and a half.

I am planning on going vegetarian for Lent again this year, but I also like to experiment with vegan and raw vegan cooking. I found this graphic and thought it was a good thing to keep in mind about all the food/nutrition sources available on a vegan diet:

Quick Vegan Breakfast: Raw Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Quick Vegan Breakfast: Raw Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

I never plan ahead for breakfast during the week, so if I’m lucky I’ll grab a banana and a Greek yogurt on my way out the door. It’s the healthier and cheaper option.

If I’m not lucky and I’m running out the door I’ll try to stop on my way to the office for a breakfast sandwich. Not so healthy or cheap!

I found this recipe when it was first posted over at Fork and Beans. (If you haven’t visited her yet I highly encourage you to do so.)

I’m not a vegan but I am trying to eat healthier, and of late I am trying to “get back on track” with my “crappy eating.”

Since I’m working from home this week (what with the apocalypse ’round these parts), I thought I would try this. It does require advance planning since it has to chill overnight, but as long as you have the ingredients and a seal-able container (and electricity!), it literally takes 4 seconds to prepare.

I was unsure how I would like “pudding” made from chia seeds… but let me tell you… it was absolutely delicious. And chocolate-y. And really filling.

This one is a keeper, folks.

(BTW…If you don’t know about chia seeds… see what it says about them on Dr. Oz’s site… here.)

Raw Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (for One)

Raw & gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar-free

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweeted vanilla almond)
  • 1 Tb cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
  • drizzle of agave for sweetness (optional, but i did)
  • Toppings of choice (fruit/nuts — I used bananas)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients into a mason jar or other sealable container. Screw top tight and shake vigorously.
  2. Place in refrigerator overnight (chia seeds will expand as they set).
  3. Mix with a spoon and pour desired toppings on top.
  4. Eat.

A close up… the consistency was kind of pudding-y, and the chia seeds were soft yet smooth… if that makes sense.

Hurricanes are bad for your sugar intake

Hurricanes are bad for your sugar intake

I have been hearing from a lot of my friends that they’ve been eating like CRAP all week. Some people have had to rely on non-perishable food due to Hurricane Sandy (I live in Central NJ), and many people still don’t have power today, a full week after the storm hit.

We didn’t lose power, so I can’t blame my eating on the storm. For the most part I have managed to stay away from the Halloween candy I have yet to give out (they’ve postponed trick or treating in my town until they can finish cleaning up downed trees and power lines). But I have not been eating well, and I have not been eating enough green things. Or vegetable things.

I did, however, make a root vegetable soup on Monday the 29th, in my “I have to do something” panic before the storm hit that night (sort of a variation on this one, which I’ve made before).

soup preppin

The aftermath of the storm has been so bad that they cancelled my CSA pickup this past Thursday. Hopefully those shares were donated and didn’t go to waste, but I’m not sure.

My gym has also been closed for the last week… which also is no excuse for my lack of exercise over the last week.

I’ve just been really off lately. In a rut. And now that we just turned the clocks back there’s more darkness. I love this time of year for so many reasons but the lack of daylight is not one of them!

Hopefully things will get back to normal soon with power and gas… and hopefully I can get myself in a better frame of mind.

I think I am going to try to go without sugar for a few days too… and do another 3-day detox. I had tried to start one the week before the storm and I had to stop after less than one day because I had such an incredibly bad headache (which I think must have been me detoxing from sugar/caffeine).

CSA Share 15 and a vegan soup recipe

CSA Share 15 and a vegan soup recipe

As I just wrote in my other blog…

A brief note:
Thank you, readers, for sticking with me! I know my entry schedule has been sketchy at best. I have to try to manage my time better so I can find the time to blog. I have started several posts in my head in the past couple of weeks but I think you would enjoy the posts more if I actually wrote them. Lately, Sleeping. Always. Wins.

CSA Share 15 — October 11, 2012

That’s a lot of greens!

I’ve been frustrated in the last few weeks because some things from each week’s share weren’t getting used, even though I split this share with a friend. So when I got home Thursday afternoon I decided, rather spontaneously, to whip up a quick soup using a recipe from my trainer. Whipping up a “quick soup” might sound like no biggie… but I always try to limit my food prep time during the week. I’d rather be hanging out with my daughter than cooking, and I love cooking.

My trainer went vegan for Lent this past year and she kind of made up this soup recipe. She gave me some notes… so I’m kind of making up the amounts here…

“Super Vegan Soup”

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 full head of garlic
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2-4 cups of greens, washed and ripped into smaller pieces (I used kale and Swiss chard, but you could also just use anything you have on hand)
  • olive oil
  • seasonings you like… I used salt/pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, basil, mint and sage

Basic directions: in a large stock pot add about 1 tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion, shallots and garlic. After a few minutes add the carrots and greens and cook a few minutes more. Stir in seasonings and add 6 cups of water. Cook over a low heat for at least 20 minutes, but more if desired. The longer it cooks the more flavorful it becomes.

Instead of water you could also use vegetable broth. My soup came out pretty good, but I added a little Parmesan cheese to it… making it not vegan. I went a little light on the spice, so next time I would also add more seasonings, like at least 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of each one.

kale and Swiss chard… prepped and ready for the soup

I finished the rest of the soup leftovers today for lunch

 

Garlic Harvesting, 2nd CSA share and Quinoa Patties

Garlic Harvesting, 2nd CSA share and Quinoa Patties

CSA-ers fulfilling their volunteer commitment to harvest garlic

I helped harvest garlic for about 3 hours on Sunday, July 8. It was hot. Like, 90+ degrees hot. But it was kind of fun. Gratifying, even!

I was so dirty when I got home. I don’t think I’ve gotten that dirty since childhood.

I don’t know if you can appreciate how much I’m sweating. And I know this is a dumb hat, but it protected my head from the sun and provided my face with shade!

We had to pull the garlic out of the ground, dust off the dirt clumped on the root part, and then place the garlic in piles of about 20, like this.

I met some really nice people and traded some gardening tips with another lady. And participating in the harvesting fulfills my volunteer commitment for the CSA.

Since the garlic will have to be hung up to dry for a few weeks, it wasn’t in our shares this week.

So what was in our share? Take a look:

7/12/12 share contents

I took the broccoli rabe as well as some radishes.

In the last week I also found the time to try a recipe that I’ve had on my “to do” list: Quinoa Patties.

I found the original recipe here, at SoupAddict.com. It looks like she adapted this one herself… but she’s got a wonderful site with so many inspiring recipes and photos!

I’d really recommend you go visit. You’ll get lost for a while =)

I changed the recipe up a bit… I still want to play with it some more because they were absolutely delicious and really filling.

I added shredded zucchini, but I want to see if I can add more vegetables and still maintain the patty consistency.

Here’s my take on this.

Note: I read the comments after the SA post, and I came away with a good tip on forming patties: use a measuring cup.  Also… I really wish I’d had some chives to put in, as called for by SA’s version… but I didn’t. I think they would really be nice.

The finished product… I enjoyed mine with some hot sauce. YUM!

Quinoa Patties (adapted from SoupAddict.com)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (leftover quinoa is perfect)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 oz feta cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • a few shakes salt
  • a few shakes Italian seasoning
  • a few shakes crushed red pepper
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs (more if needed)
  • Water, as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Yield: 12-15 patties

Mix the ingredients. Combine the quinoa and zucchini in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, cheese, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Mix in the beaten eggs. Add 1/4 cup bread crumbs and stir well.

To test that the mixture has the proper texture to form patties, pick up a palm full, squeeze and release. If the mixture holds together in a clump, then it’s ready. If it’s dry and crumbly, add water a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the mixture passes the test. If the mixture feels wet and mushy, add more bread crumbs.

Heat the oil. In a large skillet over medium heat, making sure to coat the bottom of the pan.

Form the patties. Take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill with the quinoa mixture. Empty the cup into your hand or directly into the skillet and pat down to form a patty that is about 1/2″-3/4″ thick. Leaving room for flipping, fill your skillet.

Cook. For 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. (You may decide to cover your pan. I did not.) Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the other sides for 5-7 minutes, or until golden. Remove patties from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels for blotting some of the excess oil off.

Once they’re cool, enjoy!

the mix — I used organic tri-color quinoa from Trader Joe’s

using the measuring cup worked very well to form perfect-sized patties

Browning

Vegetables… when are they in season?

Vegetables… when are they in season?

I still have to write a quick CSA post about my share last week, but I found this great chart on Facebook via Chasing Delicious and I just had to share it. As a graphic designer I’m drawn to good informational graphics in general… but as a human who tries to eat more veggies I’m drawn to good information! Enjoy.