Posts tagged ‘oatmeal’

April 12, 2013

Life Altering Change

Jim and I have been making some major changes over the past month. I told you a little bit about our juice reboot, but it’s gone beyond that. We’ve decided we need to overhaul our entire attitude toward food and change what we put into our bodies while we still have the chance to make a difference in our own lives.

It all started on St. Patrick’s Day as we sat down to feast on processed food and plenty of beer. I was scrolling through Pinterest during a commercial on tv and the following image popped into my screen.

fat sick and nearly dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. “Interesting,” I thought, and checked Netflix to see if they had it. They did. And we watched (you can watch on Netflix if you have it, or through Amazon, free with prime or a $2.99 rental).

It’s about Joe Cross, an Australian who suddenly realizes he needs to make some changes in his life. He goes on a 60-day juice fast while traveling around the USA promoting healthy living. For whatever reason, this film struck a chord with us and we embarked on our own 4-day juice fast the very next day.

But somehow that wasn’t enough and through the “Reboot with Joe” website, I learned about a new documentary, Hungry for Change, that was showing for free for a limited time that week (also available for rental through Amazon).

hungry for change

This one was huge for us. Not only did it tell us a lot of stuff we already knew was bad for us, but it explained why, and that’s huge when you’re talking about stuff like diet soda, which I knew was bad for me (sadly, other people think it’s good for them), and I already stay away from, but did you know that it causes blurred vision, headaches, nausea, vertigo, memory loss and seizures and for those reasons pilots are not allowed to drink it while or prior to flying? Holy Cow! I won’t go into all of the details of the movie, but I highly recommend it. It features many prominent figures in the health/wellness world and Jim and I both found it to be insightful and eye-opening.

Along with these two videos, I read a book.

crazy sexy dietThe word “diet” turned my head the other way when I first saw this one. I didn’t want to read a diet book, but after reading the first few sections of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, a book devoted mostly to recipes whereas Crazy Sexy Diet is mostly information, I decided I needed to read Crazy Sexy Diet too. Carr never thought she was going to be a diet guru. She was an actress and photographer and when she learned she had cancer, her entire life changed. Doctors gave her a prognosis and she said screw that! From there, she transformed her life, started following a plant-based diet and claims she’s never felt better, cancer and all. But that’s her story, and you should get her books and let her tell it. Check out her website too. It is an amazing source for information, recipes and community support.

But back to Jim and I, because we don’t have a book and if you want our story, you’re going to find it here. Granted, our story isn’t that long yet, and you’ll have to keep coming back if you want to learn more, but here it is so far.

As I mentioned, we did a 4-day juice fast just after St. Patrick’s Day. I felt more energy after the second day of that fast than I have in so long. But then we had a crazy Napa 30th birthday party to go to, and we needed to quit the fast so we could have some fun (also, we weren’t so sure about fasting for longer than that at a time. We want to be healthy, not crazy and dangerous with our bodies). Having fun, by the way, is okay. We also went to the Food Trucks event in Roseville last night and had Po’Boy sandwiches from the Cajun truck. It’s okay.

We did another juice fast last week and we plan on doing one next week. The weeks between, we’ve been replacing one meal with juice and eating healthfully the other. We have smoothies for breakfast (usually filled with fruit, spinach or kale, protein powder, chia seeds and spirulina…it’s a seaweed) when we’re on the fast and when we’re not, and sometimes a little snack like a handful of walnuts and raspberries if we need it. We’ve also been kicking up our workouts, and by kicking up I mean doing them. We take Katie for long walks or go to the school down the street and play basketball. We both kind of hate working out, so we try to make it fun.

We’ve had very few desserts in the past month. We cut our added sugar down to almost nothing (okay, sometimes I have a few chocolate chips with my walnuts, but again, its okay!), and in the month we’ve been doing this, I think we’ve had caffeine twice. We’ve almost completely cut out dairy products and eggs and started eating more quinoa, wild rice and tons and tons of vegetables!

Mostly, I feel amazing. I have energy (except when I can’t sleep at night, like last night…argh!), I have a positive attitude toward the world. I want to get outside and do things. I want to cook. When I find myself craving something, it’s not tater tots or ice cream, it’s walnuts or carrots or oatmeal (oatmeal, people!). I was on such a tater tot kick before I started this and they don’t even sound good anymore!

As I mentioned before, though, this doesn’t mean we won’t partake in foods we’ve enjoyed in the past. Jim fully intends to continue eating meat when we’re out with family or friends or on special occasions. And I don’t see myself passing up roasted figs with goat cheese and honey come fig season. But we’re no longer okay with putting so much crap into our bodies. There’s increasing research that concludes that filling up on fats, simple white foods like pastas, breads and sugars and the plethora of lab created, chemical “food” products on grocery store shelves these days causes cancer and chronic diseases, and we just don’t want to risk it. It’s like stepping into a fire and just hoping you don’t get burned. We’ve seen too many people we care about…and so many people those people care about get diagnoses of cancer and heart problems that it seems stupid to us not to do something to stay off that increasingly long list.

So stay tuned for more tidbits and tales of our journey to health. I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it won’t always be easy, but we’re going to make the trek and hopefully come out on top as a result.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy my “lunch.” I’ve got carrots, oranges, fennel, red cabbage, baby kale, spinach and sweet potatoes today all wrapped up in a pretty purple juice. As Tucker would say, “Aaaaahhhh.”

If you find yourself intrigued, please ask me about our experience. I have tons of information, recipes, opinions, and advise if you’re interested in making a change like this in your life.

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September 26, 2012

It’s today!… And a little Train lovin’

Today is moving so slowly! But then again, why shouldn’t it? Don’t all exciting days go by slowly? I mean Jim and I have only been waiting for this day for six months. And even so, it may not end up being THE day afterall.

You’re probably wondering, by now, what the heck I’m yammering on about. And I’ll get there, but first let’s talk about breakfast. After all, it is the most important meal of the day.

Doesn’t that just look scrumptious? I mixed a little pumpkin in with my oatmeal this morning (by the way, I cook my oats in almond milk to make them creamy. It works so much better than adding the milk after cooking with water). Then I topped it all with a splash of maple syrup…real maple syrup, none of that Mrs. Butterworth’s crap, some toasted pecans and just a few chocolate chips.

Honestly, as much as I love chocolate, I think I’d omit the chips in the future. Yesterday I was craving the crap out of something gooey and warm and chocolatey, and I thought maybe the chips would do it for me…it accomplished what I needed, but even though the flavors worked well together, it just seems like it’s gonna be a one time thing. Anywhoo, like I said yesterday, I looooove anything pumpkin, so there ya have it.

While I’m leaving you hanging, I’m going to let you know this is the last post I’ll be making, probably, this week (Although I may post you the recipe for some delicious little morsels I’m making for a birthday party on Saturday, but we’ll see how I’m feeling at that point) because tomorrow I’m off! For four days! I’m beyond stoked, I must tell you. This weekend kicks off our Manic October filled with birthdays, our one year anniversary, a trip to Disneyland with a special dinner at Club 33, a grape-stomping event at our favorite Napa winery, and of course, this weekend’s fun!

I am so stoked!!!

My youngest brother is going to school at UNR in Reno, so we figured this was the perfect venue for this year’s Train tour. It occurred to me only last week that we’ve been to see them every year for gosh only knows how long. Last year we saw them at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. This one was good. We had super close seats and…well, once the sun went down (holy nasty squinting face!) it was an amazing show…although their shows are always pretty amazing.

The year before it was in Berkeley at the Greek Theater (we passed on this venue because it was MISERABLE seating. Tiny narrow bench style stadium seating with about 12 inches to all your own and no back support. We were lucky to find a nice security guy that allowed us to sit in a vacant section by ourselves) for my mom’s 49th birthday. We stayed in San Francisco and had afternoon tea at the Palace Hotel the next day.

Mom and I looking a tad like we’re about to mug someone and the two men we observed taking in afternoon tea at the table behind ours

Let’s see, the year before that we saw them….oh, San Diego! July 6th. We spent the 4th at Disneyland and watched the fireworks from…wait for it…the parking lot by Paradise Pier Hotel! YES! That’s where our car was, and wanna know something? We could see them perfectly, we had our little snacks and there wasn’t a soul around!

Before that we saw them as a family in Clear Lake. This one was special because I was at school and my dad flew the family down and picked me up before heading to Clear Lake. Except the resort where the concert was was on the other side of the lake. So he rented us a limo for the night. Boy did we feel cool riding up in that thing! This was actually the first time I’d even ridden in a limo. It was pretty cool. My dad is pretty cool when he’s not letting his other stuff get in the way…but that’s not a chat for the blog.

Anywhoo,  the first time I saw them was in 2001, I think, and I had just started college. I remember thinking “the best concert ever would be Matchbox 20 and Train.” The next week, they announced Matchbox 20 would be touring with Train. I bought tickets immediately. And the second time I saw them was my sophomore year in college when they played Alice’s Now & Zen fest in Golden Gate Park. Mom and I took the ferry into San Francisco and walked from the ferry building to the park. It was a pretty amazing day, too. They’re all pretty amazing experiences. We always seem to make a to-do about it, even though its not really intentional. I do feel like I’m missing one, though. I’ll have to ask my mom and I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, the concert is tomorrow night….after acupuncture at 10 am and the hour or so drive to Reno. I’ve actually developed a pretty interesting response to the acupuncture: I fall asleep. Every time. I remember asking my mom if she ever fell asleep when I first started. She said in 12 years, she’d fallen asleep maybe twice. But I do it every. single. time. Not that I mind. It’s just interesting. I lie there with needles in my back, trying to focus on my breathing and relax all my muscles. I guess I’m successful because it never fails. I’m zonked within five minutes. So I guess we should add a short nap to the list of things that come before the concert tomorrow.

But also before the show, we’re having dinner with some really close family friends, one of which was diagnosed with cancer this year, and isn’t expected to live too many more years. One of our favorite places to eat with them in Reno is the steakhouse at Harrah’s, so hopefully he was able to get reservations there. If not, I’m sure he’s got another place up his sleeve. That guy knows EVERYONE is Reno.

Okay, I’ve delayed enough, kept you hanging a sufficient amount of time.

This afternoon Jim and I have an appointment with the mortgage guy at the bank. We’re going to apply for our pre-approval for our home loan!!! So exciting, right?! Now we can REALLY start looking for houses…hopefully. If we’re approved.

That’s all I’ve got for you for now. Wish us luck!

July 11, 2012

Oh what a day

I am just sitting down to my desk for the first time today. It’s almost 2 p.m. This morning I had to go down to El Dorado County’s building department to handle some things (in my dad’s absence) regarding our second shop building. It’s boring, so I won’t go into details. But I was there for almost three hours.

Breakfast this morning was delicious. I was totally channeling fall on this one. I had a little bit of extra time, so I decided to make some oatmeal. On top, I put some pumpkin butter, some toasted pecans and a small handful of chocolate chips. It was so yummy. The chocolate added just enough sweet. I definitely felt nostalgic for fall.

I love Cold Hollow Cider Mill. They’re in Vermont and I was soooo happy to find out that they have a website where you can order their stuff. I loooove this pumpkin butter. Their maple syrup is to die for and pretty much everything else they carry is delicious as well.

So after breakfast I rush down to the county offices and wait while my architect is 1/2 an hour late. And then sit in various offices for two and a half hours, filling out paperwork, signing checks, listening to the architect talk with whoever about whatever. Then I had to deliver plans to the fire district as well as the water district (hey, at least we’re covering our bases!) before I could finally come in to the office. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about the time away from my desk. If it wasn’t hotter than Hades out there, it would have been fine.

Anyway, so to back up the bus a little, the offices for El Dorado County are in Placerville, about a 20-25 minute drive from my office. Since I got out just before lunchtime, I decided to grab some chow from one of my favorite places in Pville.

They serve all sorts of fresh, organic foods and yummy beverages. I got a dirty chai…which is a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso…with almond milk (how many other places offer almond milk?!). For lunch I ordered their “Righteous Rice Bowl” with tuna. I ordered it to go, but here’s a photo of the same rice bowl I ordered with my mom a few weeks ago.

It had rice, beans, cheese, tuna, avocado, carrots, cabbage, red onion, sprouts, cilantro, two different kinds of sauces and probably all sorts of stuff I’m not remembering at the moment. It was so good.

And the Cozmic Cafe is super cool. It’s in this really old building and has a mine shaft at the back…

And I just learned today that there’s seating back there!

Yea, it’s a little creepy. But it was the coolest place in the entire restaurant!

So now I’m at work…and since I’ve been writing this (okay, and browsing Pinterest), I have 45 minutes before it’s time to leave. And then I’m off to the gym for my daily 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and home to make dinner…which I’ve yet to make a decision about. I’d better get on that.

What are you having for dinner? Anything corn and wheat free?

November 17, 2011

Christmas shopping revelation + breakfast

As I was trying to fill in my christmas gift spreadsheet, the one I so cleverly designed for myself last week, I came to a realization about the real reason I can’t finish shopping until the last minute.

I buy based on a feeling, not a list.

It’s not important to me to buy my sister-in-law a scarf. Unless I happen to see a scarf at a store that screams her name to me. It’s why I can never find something for my dad: the man who has everything. I put a lot of thought and feeling into what I give people. It’s not just about having something for them under the tree on Christmas morning. It’s about showing them I love them and appreciate their presence in my life.

That being said, I’ve hit the delete button on my spreadsheet, pulled out a notebook and simply listed the people I want to buy for. Wish me luck! I’m in for a long ride.

Breakfast.

Most important meal of the day, right? Also, I’d say, a lovely opportunity to combine ingredients you love.

Like oatmeal. I love oatmeal. I could (and mostly do!!) eat it every single day (you can find my favorite here). Today, I combined it with my very favorite peanut butter.

I had this peanut butter for the first time on a sandwich at the Peanut Butter and Co. restaurant just around the  corner from NYU.  At that time, you could only buy it there, but now it’s in stores all over the place (thank goodness! I’m a long way from New York!)

So I added a good sized glop to my oats, and wha la! Breakfast!

I had to keep the cute note my mommy left at my desk this morning when she dropped the dog off in the picture. 🙂

And of course, I had to lick the spoon.

November 5, 2011

Trying to put it all back together

It’s been exactly two weeks since Jim and I have been back from our honeymoon and our apartment still looks like a tornado swept it up and dropped it all on the floor.

Today is the first day I’ve had more than a few hours to dedicate to putting it all back together, so the rest of my day will be filled with putting away wedding gifts, going through boxes of stuff that made their way home from our wedding venue, washing clothes and sheets and towels and trying to make our apartment inhabitable again!

But who can start a day like that without a delicious and satisfying breakfast?

My favorite hot cereal. I get it at Trader Joes.

I boil them up with half milk and half water to make them a little extra creamy and to add a little extra protein. Then I topped them with some of my crock pot applesauce from the other night, a dash of pumpkin pie spice and a big glop of peanut butter.

And now I’m off to tackle this lovely pile of crazy in my extra bedroom.

And this one in the corner of my living room.

Wish me luck!