“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… =)

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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

First CSA share and Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Lemon

First CSA share and Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Lemon

First CSA share! I swear, picking it up felt like Christmas.

holy cow thatsa lotta veggies

This week’s share consisted of:

They had regular yellow and green squash/zucchini, but I picked out 3 that looked like this:

what the what?

Yesterday I made myself sauteed dandelion greens for dinner.

Using this recipe for inspiration (the first one), I sauteed garlic in olive oil, then added the greens and cooked for a few minutes until they were slightly wilted. Then I squeezed a lemon over them and tossed them with roasted chick peas, penne and parmesan cheese. They were a little bitter… like broccoli rabe is bitter… but they were so good paired with the garlic and lemon. I’d definitely buy these in the future (if they aren’t included in a CSA share)!

Tomorrow I am going to fulfill my volunteer commitment for the CSA — I’m going to work on the farm that provides us with our vegetables. I’ll be harvesting garlic for about 3 hours in 90+ degree weather. It’s going to be hot but I think it will be fun. I’m really looking forward to it!

In other news, I worked out for an hour and a half on Wednesday, July 4. I haven’t sweated that much in a while! It felt great. I wasn’t able to get to the gym yesterday but I did spend about 2 hours tossing my kid around in the town pool earlier today (she’s sleeping it off now).

I’ll update you on the farming. I’m off to look up some recipes for salad turnips!

I’m afraid of green smoothies.

I’m afraid of green smoothies.

Ok, there, I said it. Even though I have been SUPER impressed (seriously) with the 7-day juice fast my blogger buddy I used to be fat(ter) just did, I think I would certainly more “readily” try a green juice over a green smoothie. At this moment in time, there is just something about the words “green” and “smoothie” that don’t seem to go together to me.

Maybe it’s because the smoothies I have been drinking are almond-milk based and look something like this:

  • 16-24 oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder (whey-based), either chocolate or vanilla
  • 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of other fresh or frozen fruit (cherries, berries, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

I even purchased a single serving packet of Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance after reading Awkward Eldon’s morning smoothie recipe. Actually, I was seriously intrigued enough to buy all these ingredients (except the Goji Berries … the package said women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid them… and hubby and I are trying for kid #2). I also did not buy the Raw Manuka Honey because I had sticker shock when I went to Whole Foods to get it. $30 for honey??? Yeah, yeah, it’s supposed to be magic or something, I get it. I will have to bug my super healthy friend Paula for a book report on the pros and cons of this wonderous nectar! (Hear that Paula???)

It’s funny, because a Facebook post from Paula actually prompted me to write this. She posted this link about green smoothies.

I guess there’s also a zillion ways to make a smoothie… I just did a Google image search on green smoothie and came up with a few OK-looking ones, like this:

I think this looks more appetizing to me because it’s got some fruit in it… but it seems there’s yogurt in this one. I don’t like yogurt in my smoothies…but those without at least a non-dairy milk look like green juice. And almond milk + spinach doesn’t sound so good to me.

Now that I look at the website where I found this recipe, called “Nutrient Packed Green Smoothie”…it appears on the website of Chef Marcus Samuelsson… it seems to be a recipe by someone named Madeleine Ignon. Regardless… I think I have some more homework to do where green smoothies are concerned. I’m sure I can come up with a few that I will at least want to TRY.

In other news… I haven’t been able to go to the gym for the last couple of weeks, either due to my job or my husband’s. We don’t like using the child care in the gym; since my daughter is in daycare all day M-F, I don’t want to leave her in the care of someone else on the weekends, too, even if it’s only for an hour. Since it’s getting warmer I’m looking for other ways to be active with her outside, so it’s not like I’ve been a total slug. And this Thursday I took off from work so I could do some spring cleaning. I am super psyched to be setting aside some major time blocks to do some things around the house. I have a list for what needs to be done in each room in the house, so I’m hoping that between Thursday and Friday (which is Good Friday) I can get 1/2 or at least a 1/3 done of what is on the list.

And because Easter is right around the corner, that means my dabble with vegetarianism is… or can be… coming to a close. I really have no desire to eat meat; I have been eating seafood over Lent, but I don’t think I’ll feel like eating any chicken or beef next week. My problem is the carbs: my dinners have either been veggies with carbs or veg/seafood protein/carbs. When I first started working out with my trainer she’d told me no carbs after 5pm… I stuck to that rule for a while and definitely had results. Since Lent started… yeah, not so much. Gotta get back on track with that too…such is my life!

Veggie or Vegan?

Veggie or Vegan?

I have to tell you… I’m not really missing meat. I haven’t had any since February 22, aka, Ash Wednesday. I am still eating some seafood here and there, but not much.

I have been going back and forth about going vegan, but vegan seems very… a lot. I want to say severe, but that seems too strong of a word. Perhaps it is just my “dairy + egg” eyes seeing the choice of a no-animal-product diet as kind of strict.

My initial goal of giving up meat was just for Lent, but I am seriously considering not going back to carnivore-town. For now, though, I think I need to practice vegetarianism day by day and see how it goes. I have actually been finding a lot of delicious sounding recipes that I want to try, including the following:

Broccoli and Goat Cheese Pizza

Vegetarian Bolognese

Spinach Artichoke Dip (though I feel like I can lighten this one up)

Smashed Potatoes

So far, so good.

I went to a formal dinner for my husband’s job last Saturday night. It was fancy-schmancy, and while I said no to the meat that was being served, I did say yes to the apple cobbler dessert. So… a tad more sugar. But I haven’t gone back to it since then. I just gotta keep moving forward…

I will workout tomorrow for the first time since I sprained my ankle, which was almost two weeks ago; it’s still swollen and bruised so we’ll do upper body. I am also planning on weighing myself (I don’t do that that often). I feel like I have a lost a few pounds…which is good!