Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

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 25, 2012

End of Summer Stuffed Squash

I didn’t have a garden this year. Our 983 square foot apartment’s tiny little deck had room for little more than a few tomato plants, which we gathered precisely ZERO tomatoes from. I think it was because there wasn’t enough sun on that side of the building. I grew the crap out of some tomatoes on the deck of my old apartment…which happened to face the opposite direction. Anywhoo, just because I didn’t have a garden of my own doesn’t mean I didn’t have plenty of fresh homegrown vegetables from the garden’s of various other people in my life. And as of last night I had 3 different kinds of squash, a couple of sweet peppers, a small tomato, an onion and several garlic bulbs left. Not wanting any of it to go to waste, I decided to throw it all together in one delicious meal.

Please excuse the crap photo. I just didn’t have the energy to get the camera out last night. But you get the gist anyway.

End of Summer Stuffed Squash

Serves 2

1 largish squash (it doesn’t really matter what kind. I’m not even sure what kind mine was. It just came in a lovely bag from one of our employees)

1 small onion, chopped small

1 small tomato, chopped small

1-2 other small squashes, chopped small (I had two other small squashes. That’s why I added them. You can adjust based on what you’ve got)

1 small sweet pepper, you guessed it, chopped small

1 clove of garlic, chopped small

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup quinoa (cooked in two cups water, per the instructions on the box)

1 heaping spoon of greek yogurt (or sour cream if you wish)

1 handfulish parmesan or asiago cheese (or a mix, like I used), shredded

1 slice of bread (I used gluten free bread), broken up into pieces

1 sliver of butter

Seasonings to taste

Cooking Spray

Spray a cookie sheet with your cooking spray and set it aside. While you’re cooking your quinoa, broil your bread chunks until they start to darken and become “toasty.” Put bread chunks into your food processor (or your Ninja blender, if you weren’t so lucky as to get your food processor from your wedding registry) and make bread crumbs out of them (feel free to just use bread crumbs if you want. I like this way better because they’re a little coarser..and you know, all around tastier).

Cut your large zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the innards. Chop the innards a bit and add them to your other chopped squashes and your chopped peppers and garlic.

Put your olive oil in your frying pan and when it gets warm, add your onions. When they start to soften, add the other veggies (DO NOT add the tomatoes till the end of they’ll be gross and mushy) and whatever spices you’re going to use (I used Jim’s step dad’s magic spice mix, which I’m not exactly sure of all the contents, but I know salt, garlic, rosemary, parsley, I think?? That’s all I got for ya. Sorry. You can wing it). When your veggies start looking opaquish, add the cooked quinoa and let it fry away for a few mins. Meanwhile, melt the butter and mix it up with your bread crumbs. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan at the last minute, just to warm them up a bit.

Mix in the cheese. Then mix in the Greek yogurt. Place your squash halves onto your prepared cookie sheet and fill them as full as you can with the quinoa/veggie/cheese/yogurt mix. Top them with your buttered breadcrumbs and bake for about 20 minutes at 400ish. Your crumbs will be browned and your squash will be softish (try stabbing it with a fork).

Sooooo good.

I used the veggies I had in my fridge, and since I don’t eat meat, I didn’t add any. I’d imagine sausage would be good in this if you’re into that kind of thing. I also might try carrots, Jim suggested mashed potato instead of quinoa. You can probably stuff pretty much anything into a squash. Use your imagination…and whatever you’ve got on hand.

Speaking of the end of summer, is anyone else beyond excited for fall? I’m SOOO ready to bust out my sweaters and scarves and boots and drink steamy drinks and eat pumpkin everything. We even already put up our cute little fall door sign.

Isn’t he cute and welcoming?

What is your favorite part of fall? Are you as excited as I am for it’s true arrival?