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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 333 Lucky Day Extravaganza

Today was a good day and the coming year is going to be the best ever! I'm really excited about new beginnings and new opportunities. Today, I saw the house I want to move into, it's beautiful, it has a beautiful kitchen, a fabulous back yard, and an awesome fridge. I can't wait to start cooking in there and I'm super psyched that the kitchen has a giant window to the backyard, where I plan to grill vegetables at the first sign of post winter warmth. I really miss living in a house, I will say goodbye to apartment living without the hint of a tear.I am so lucky and I feel that life is beginning to straighten out a bit, it's been a long time coming. I have already started day dreaming about my first dinner party with co-workers and friends, already planning the menu in my head. So happy that better days are on their way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 331 and 332 Here's An Idea

Uuuhhg, I'm ready to wind this challenge down, not because I want to sabotage my health efforts but because I want to take a little break from thinking up headlines every night! I did not blog last night because I couldn't think of a headline and I just didn't want to. I had a great first day back at work, yesterday! It's a bigger challenge to eat fresh at work as opposed to having five days off at home to eat how I please. I still ate fresh just not as accessible I suppose. It would be nice if our vending machine in the clinic had fruit and yogurt and fresh stuff, instead of candy, chips, and soda. I work in mental health and it is obvious to me that nutrition has a role in the care of mental health issues but we obviously have not latched on to that particular concept in our workplace offerings. Instead, I must bring food to work every single day or I must make a trip to the grocery store to obtain said fresh fruit and veggies, and this I have to say is a pain in my ass. If only there were a fast food industry for the healthy! Maybe my establishment would be called Sprouts and it would run like a McDonald's with nothing but fresh whole foods for sale on the dollar menu....maybe someday! In other news, I've lost another two pounds, which is surprising because I ate about four pounds of apples today, go figure.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 329 and 330 Woo Hoo 35 Days Left!

I can't believe I  only have 35 days left of this challenge, it's gone by really fast! Yesterday, I had  a  fabulous day, food wise, I ate fresh all day and I felt great. Yesterday, I found a new green, grown here in Oklahoma that I've never heard of before now. It's called Mizuna and it's a kind of peppery green, used in salads or cooked like spinach. Tonight, I cooked it and added a little Romano cheese and it was delicious! I also had Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, and avocado salad, soooo good! Tomorrow, it's back to work and the countdown to Christmas is on. I'm trying to think of some fun, healthy recipes for work parties and such. I felt pretty good today, when I went to my Grandmother's, everyone was still trying to finish all of the Thanksgiving food and groaning about how crappy they all felt, thankfully, I was not one of them. I'm really excited about ending the New Year in a different way than last year.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 328 Visit From The Fat Fairy

Today, I celebrated my iron clad self control over food, by purchasing a smaller pair of pants at Old Navy. I actually bought them, thinking that I wouldn't be able to wear them for another month or so, but having arrived home to try them on, I discovered that they fit perfectly! I thought I heard a noise last night, outside my window and now I know it was probably the fat fairy coming to steal another pound from my hips. I almost can't wait for Christmas cookies just so I can stare them down with the old stink eye and not blink. I've already ordered my mom not to fill my stocking with candy this year, because I'm going into the New Year, healthier than I've been in a really long time and I want to keep it that way. Besides, if I want to return to school and change my major to public health education, I should probably be healthy myself. Tomorrow is going to be a great day, I'm starting off with my juicer, some carrots, apples, and some ginger, can't wait till morning!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 327 If I Had A Superpower, It Would Be Willpower

Wow, today I managed to stay within range for my daily calorie and fat goals, not bad for Thanksgiving day! My Brussels Sprouts were really yummy and the carrots weren't bad either. I filled up on vegetables and didn't have much room for stuffing, pie, and mashed potatoes. What really made me happy was that my mom stuck to her own plan and copied my 3/4 vegetable rule. Everyone loved the carrot cookies and my Grandmother wants to make them for her neighbors. I sampled most of the side dishes and along with the veggies, and felt extremely full and satisfied. My mom made me taste a bite of the peanut butter custard pie and it was really fabulous, for a tiny spoon full of sunshine. I have conquered the biggest food day of the year, I will prevail, only one month left of this challenge!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 325 and 326 From Scratch Pumpkin Perfection

This week is turning out to be pretty good! Yesterday, someone must have decided that they didn't feel like working all day on Wednesday and so closed the whole operation down, me included... giving me a five day vacation! Well, it was actually just half a day today, but I took the whole day and ran with it. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and finalized what I'm making for Thanksgiving; I've decided that this is a good opportunity to strong arm my family into eating healthier. I'm making honey spiced carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots and garlic. Yes, just veggies but manipulated  in a really scrumptious way. Today, my mom taught me how to make pie crust and I made a pumpkin pie from scratch! I probably won't be making many pies but the info is good and I could even make a whole wheat pie crust at some point. Here are the pictures of my first from scratch creation! I also made carrot raisen cookies but I forget to photograph them for blog and show. Also not shown is the peanut butter custard pie, of which I will avoid tommorrow, having hit my 20 pound weight loss goal today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 324 I Can Taste The Fake

Today, I have to remind myself that "nothing lasts forever...even cold November rain". It is straight up yucky outside and I do not approve. Tomorrow, I'm buying black beans and chili fixing's for my pre-Thanksgiving groceries, need something warm and filling. For lunch today, I stopped by my mom's house for lunch and came away shocked by a can of soup. Since I've been eating pretty clean lately, I was surprised when I had a can of Campbell's minestrone soup to find how disgustingly salty it was. I almost couldn't eat it, it had such massive amounts of sodium in it. I guess I'm more tuned in to the additives in food these days, you can clearly taste them, if you're not used to them. I no longer like the taste of store bought juice either, it's way too sweet after drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables. If we could all go back to clean eating for a minute, perhaps we could forget what trash tastes like and raise our standards of goodness.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 322 and 323 Don't Need A Plan B

Well, this week its time to face the Thanksgiving monster and I have a solid plan. I plan on making fresh vegetable dishes to take to our dinner, as well as lots of fresh veggie appetizers. This is not so much for everyone else as it is for me, yep I'm kind of selfish that way. The way I figure it, everyone will bring enough of the other stuff, that I shouldn't feel bad about taking care of what I need. I will have one plate and will have one small piece of dessert, which I plan on making so that I know exactly what it contains (sweet potato pie). This weekend has been devoted to this plan and by George, it will work! I am not throwing away all of the hard work I've done to stay healthy and there is no reason to throw it all away for a holiday, I don't really dig anyway.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 320 and 321 Unmatched Willpower And The Potluck

Sometimes its really a challenge to eat everything I need to eat in a day. Yesterday, I had Naked juice, salads, vegetables, tofu, and about 10 different healthy whole foods, but I still did not meet my calorie intake or vitamin requirements. Today, I am really off because of a potluck at work, not because I pigged out, but because I was disciplined about what I chose. One co-worker made homemade white bread, which I thought would put me over the top fat wise but did not. With the bread, I made a cheese sandwich  with lots of leaf lettuce and tomatoes, I had whole wheat pasta, tortilla chips with salsa, and about 1/4 of a slice of carrot cake. I was full and happy, but I was still lacking in vegetables and fruit. My other choices were brownies, potato salad, a really yummy looking cheesy casserole thing, and cookies, I think I chose well. For dinner, I had vegetable, tofu spring rolls with peanut sauce and a salad, from Whole foods. The problem is that I enter everything I eat into a database that adds up what I have eaten and what I need to eat in terms of nutrients and it gives me a letter grade. I have never gotten an A+ I have gotten an A, but never an A+, I try different combinations, but there is always something off! Even when I juiced something was off in terms of fat intake and carbohydrates, I want an A+. When I try to add something like good fats, it throws everything the other direction.  If I were to eat all of the vegetables and fruit required, I would either have to go back to juicing or just devote my days to chewing on veggies. I need a better plan, maybe juicing twice a day and devoting dinner to protein, fats, and calcium. I am on a mission to find the perfect balance of whole foods, I will prevail!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 319 I Vote Butter Be Named A Vegetable

Today, I really want something warm and totally unhealthy to eat, but I will not give in to my craving for buttery biscuits and fried potato wedges. I also miss in this moment, personal pan pizzas with olives, onions, and mushrooms.....so dreamy, it's all about the crust. The only thing about a predominatly vegan lifestyle, is the absence of savory, greasy things. I think that's why I love Brussels sprouts so much, because they come pretty close to junk food when you roast them and then there are sweet potatoes, so lovely and starchy! But what vegetable can replace warm, yeasty bread with sweet butter and cinnamon? It doesn't exist, but I will continue to search for that level of deliciousness in every vegetable that crossees my plate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 317 and Day 318 Pretend Raw Food

Today, I did a semi raw day, which included an avocado mixed with salsa and black beans, with about four cups of broccoli as my dip vehicle, some spinach, and apples. For dinner, I had veggie sushi and this was all perfectly fine until I decided to try a raw, sprouted, pumpkin bar from Whole Foods. Normally, I really dig sesame seeds and nuts, but this thing was from the depths of raw, vegan hell. It was dehydrated so it was very, very tough and chewy. It took me a good 15 minutes to eat it and I felt as though I was tugging on a piece of linoleum, gross. I feel that if a person is going to eat raw foods, they should not try and manipulate foods into being raw, just eat it naturally fresh! Yesterday was mostly a juice day but I was full and happy, I kept it simple and whole, that's my philosophy. I think that people try and tamper with things too much, if it works, why dehydrate it? I may as well have eaten a handful of pumpkin seeds, it would have made me just as happy and been just as healthy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 316 Food Against Germs

It's coming, my yearly war with Strep-throat, or is it? These are my tools of battle and I will win before it even begins! I have combined four carrots, two apples, a large piece of ginger, and a cup of raw cranberries. I have also already downed a very hot cup of Green tea with ginger, made with three bags, it was pretty strong stuff. Here's hoping that I can kick it without anti-biotics! I truly believe that everything we need to cure ourselves is available in nature and now, I'm going to prove it, bring on the Strep germs!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 315 Bored With Chewing

So, I've started to miss juicing and bought some carrots, apples, and cranberries today. It's too late tonight to make anything but, first thing in the morning, I'm back on for a couple of days. I can for sure feel a difference when I'm eating raw vegetables as opposed to cooked vegetables. I'm still losing weight and I feel OK, but I don't have that electric surge of energy from the juice. Earlier tonight, I once again made Brussels sprouts, but I did something a little different, I added chopped up apples to be roasted with the sprouts. It was really good and I think that adding chopped walnuts would be fantabulous as well. Sigh...I can't wait for morning. So, Christmas is coming and I'm thinking of buying my parents a membership to the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, a local organization, where you can buy all kinds of foods from local farmers. I think it's a great Christmas present and others should check it out in their own communities, keep it fresh and local people!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 314 Lucky Me

Today, I found out that my car is only going to cost another 250.00 or so to fix and lucky me, it's going to be a Christmas present from my parents. I was off work today and stuck at home due to lack of transpo, so I got my nap time on and later made some sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and sweet corn on the cob. That's good eats right there. I've been looking at recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas and found a cake that I mentioned a long time ago but never made it. It's a Cassata cake, or a Ricotta cake, made with marzipan and jeweled fruit. It's so pretty, it would make a great Christmas potluck cake for work. I'm also thinking of roasting some vegetables with chestnuts, I want to do something different and special, because green bean casserole is good, but not very festive. If anyone has any good holiday vegetable recipes, let me know, I'm open to the weird and the never seen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 313 All I Have To Say

Today was a great day, until my car broke down for the 6th time in 7 months. I am not in the mood to eat or type, maybe tomorrow will be better.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 312 Purple Potatoes Have Landed

Way back when I began this challenge, I found information on purple potatoes, but I had never see any in the purple flesh, well I found some! They are definitely going to be one of my top seven vegetables. First of all, they are a lovely violet color, when you slice them, they're tiny, and soft to cut. I made them with olive oil and sesame seeds, as I've been doing with other vegetables lately and I love them! They taste a little like red potatoes, which I'm usually not fond of, but these were amazing! I also had steamed green beans with almonds, so a good dinner all around. Tomorrow is the last day of work this week! I'm so excited! After that, it's a countdown to Thanksgiving, to which I will contribute purple potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and caramelized carrots. I'm also thinking about making the herbed goat cheese log, but I haven't made up my mind yet. The holidays are coming, woo hoo!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 310 and 311 Quakes and Peas

Well, nothing exciting happened yesterday except a really good salad and another earthquake here in Oklahoma. Tonight, I made the crispy garbanzo beans with sesame seeds, which I found on Foodista and am super full. They were good, except, I wanted to use the raw chick peas, I found at Whole Foods, a couple of weeks ago, but they were out. At the time, I only bought a handful to throw in the juicer, but I tasted one before and they were really yummy! I think the raw ones will work better because they don't have the squishy moisture, which keeps them from crisping completely. After I ate the chick peas, I scraped the roasted, leftover sesame seeds from the pan and ate those too. Tonight, I am expecting another earthquake, since they only seem to be happening after the sun goes down, so I'm ready, got my pillow to cover my head, I'm ready.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 309 Roasted Beets Are Not Horrible

This weekend has been weird, first there was the 5.6 earthquake last night which just about scared the beets out of me and Daylight savings time is kinda screwing with my mojo today. I haven't been extremely hungry today, as I have been working on some pretty important stuff. for dinner, I made roasted beets, roasted turnips, a black bean, peppers, and corn mix, and some freshly squozen almond butter for dessert. I don't expect anyone to understand this conglomeration, I just expect you to accept it, without question. I have to say that I have tried pickled beets, I have tried them raw, I have tried them as Borscht, and now, I have eaten them roasted and I think I like them best this way.Tomorrow is an exciting day because it is the beginning of a four day work week, I'm praising Jesus on the inside, lemme tell ya! Next weekend, I am going to finish this very important super secret project(actually some of you already know), which I have been working on for months now and I hope to share it with you all soon, can't wait, stay tuned!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 308 I Have Once Again Conquered Fudge Pie

I have just found some great holiday recipes on Foodista and I wish today were a holiday because I would make a cheese log right now. Actually, one of the recipes could be a daily thing, it was for crispy chick peas with sesame seeds, yum! I'm well on my way to finding my top seven, this could be one of them! The cheese log was for goat cheese logs rolled in herbs, a change up from my mom's usual chili pepper cheese logs, I can't wait to start making stuff!! Today, my mom made a fudge pie and some brownies, I did not partake. I instead ate an apple and a veggie sandwich made of Rye, avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, and red onions, it was divine. Tonight, I'm having bi-colored corn and another baked sweet potato, today is a good day, full of health and warmth.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 306 and 307 Sketti Squash Success

I'm happy to say that I have found an addition to my favorite vegetables repertoire! Last night was the same sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, delicious but getting a little worn and I needed a little change up. Tonight, I decided to try spaghetti squash and I was pleasantly surprised by the vegetable it's self, not really impressed with my version of the recipe. The squash strings reminded me a little of grass noodles with their texture and chewiness. I didn't really know what to add and didn't want to use canned spaghetti sauce, so I went original. I added coconut milk for a little sweet, cayenne for a little spice, green olives for salt, and garlic just because I could. I was not thrilled with this combination, but I will continue to try other additions because the squash was quite nice. I saw a recipe earlier with Feta and black olives, which sounds good, but like I said, I'll keep looking. It would be nice to have seven favorite vegetables so that I have a week long menu of alternative to bread, cheese, and pasta.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 305 Next Dream Stop, Click's Steakhouse

Today, was another agonizing restaurant day for me. I went to Pawnee, which is about 1000 miles from nowhere in the middle of not a lot, but when I arrived, my co-workers were headed out to lunch, so I tagged along. Apparently, this restaurant, Click's has been featured on some cooking channel or something. I don't know how the food tastes, but it was super busy and smelled like the waiting room to get into heaven. I watched a lady across the way, eat a very pretty burger with a big pile of fries, all around me, the people of Pawnee were living it up. When I left, I passed by a display of meringue pies, so high, they looked like pineapple tops. When my challenge is over and I get to eat out twice a month, I'm going to Click's, yes sir that's where I'm headed! Try and stop me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 304 I Just Fell Off The Turnip Truck

Tonight, I had turnips and I have to say, I'm not a fan, they may even knock the beets out of place in terms of most hated foods. I roasted them, (having nixed the plan of a temporary raw diet after the juice fast) and they were not good. I also roasted a small sweet potato and it was fantastic, which is weird because I don't usually prefer sweet potatoes, unless they are covered in marshmallow and nuts. Perhaps, I will try another route with the turnips, I've been told that you can mash them like potatoes, perhaps they will be a tad more pleasant that way. I'm kind of disappointed, I was looking to add another vegetable to my growing list of favorites, there are only a few spots left! In other news, my mom wants me to help her bake cookies for some church contest, the prize is 50.00, I could use 50.00 but not the temptation of falling off the sugar wagon and eating a dozen chocolate cherry whoopee pies (those are cookies). Then again, it could be the ultimate test of my super human willpower, we'll see.