Recipe Dreaming

I have only met a couple of people so far in my 54 years here on earth who are like me and dream in recipes. Sometimes it’s a curse and sometimes it’s a blessing. I always find it fascinating to have the different flavors running around in my dreams colliding and becoming the “best thing you’ve made” dinners, cakes, muffins, and ice cream.

With every dream, I am awakened from a deep sleep only to find myself writing down the ingredients and formulating the steps as I saw in the dream. And so it goes with this one particular raw vegan meal. It has many stages something I am definitely not accustomed to. These flavors come alive together and compliment each other well.

I just wish I could share them all with you, oh wait I can. The 50-Day Cleanse has a Facebook group. We’ll be sharing our experiences and triumphs here. We’ll also be open to comments and questions. If you want to learn about this cleanse or have started the journey with me please join, we gain so much more when we’re helping each other.

The meal in my dreams

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Vibrant Veggie Tostada with a Radish Cucumber Salsa

Tostada

  • 1  16-ounce package Trader Joe’s organic cauliflower rice (or you can use a cauliflower and rice on a cheese grated to resemble rice)
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 6 ounces sundried tomatoes (soaked in good water overnight)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • 2 Flax Eggs (2 Tablespoons ground golden flax seeds mixed with 4 T good water, let sit 15 minutes)

Whirl it together in a food processor.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a portion and flatten in your hands. Place it on the rack of a food dehydrator and dehydrate at 115 degrees (the maximum for being considered raw) for 5 to six hours depending on how thick each “tostada” is.

Remove and assemble for tostada’s or let them sit out on the counter overnight for a pliable tortilla shell.

Makes 12.

Lettuce Filling

  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 green onion, thin sliced
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow pepper, fine diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for topping

Mix together in a bowl. Set aside until ready to use

Avocado Spread

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/8 – 1/2 teaspoon Habanero pepper flakes

Whirl together in a Nutri bullet or ninja. Set aside.

Radish Cucumber Salsa

  • 1 English Cucumber, thinly sliced and quartered
  • 1 bunch radishes, shredded
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, ends removed sliced
  • 1/8 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix all together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Mango Mint Topping

  • 1 mango, chunked
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup good water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed Spanish green olive oil

Whirl it together in a Nutri bullet or blender.

Plating

  1. Place Cauliflower Tostada on a plate.
  2. Spread Tostada with Avocado Spread
  3. Top with Lettuce Filling
  4. Top with another layer of Cauliflower Tostada
  5. More Lettuce Filling
  6. Drizzle Mango Mint Topping
  7. Garnish with Cilantro
  8. Scoop a side of Radish Cucumber Salsa
  9. ENJOY!

Makes 3 servings (2 Tostada stacks each).

 

 

 

 

50 Day Cleanse Week 3: Intermittent Fasting Revisited

Two years ago I wrote about intermittent fasting and had great results with it. But like most things, if you’re going it alone it’s difficult to maintain. This time around it’s different. Both my husband and I have had wonderful results thus far with the 50-Day Cleanse that we’re motivated to keep going. Last week he revisited intermittent fasting all on his own, realizing he felt better if he only ate one meal a day and drank water and herbal tea until he had his salad.

It’s interesting to see how both of us are having wonderful benefits from doing this program. My husband has lost almost 28 pounds and myself 16, now mind you it’s only been 14 days. My husband’s always lost weight quickly and it really makes me peeved but this time is different. I am so thankful I was able to take all the knowledge I’ve learned from all the health summits I’ve attended, books I’ve read, notes from the conversations with doctors, and podcasts I’ve listened to and put them altogether into a plan that works for us and now for others who are also participating in this 50-Day Cleanse

Timing is important!

Clock Face

One thing we all need to figure out is when to begin our first meal/veg smoothie and when to end our 4-hour window with a salad. Try not to have anything 3 hours before you retire in the evening and at least 3 hours after waking. Try to pare yourself down to a four-hour window. You’ll have your veggie smoothie at the start of the four-hour window and am an alkaline salad at the end.

For instance, My husband gets up for work at 4 a.m. he has his morning water with his supplements then drinks water and herbal teas until 12 noon when he has his first meal (wheat grass smoothie). At 4 p.m. he a huge salad with an olive oil lemon juice vinaigrette takes another round of supplements and his medication. Then nothing but water the rest of the evening.  He also walks three miles 3 times a day.

I wake up at 4:30, exercise (mostly Pilates and some light weight training), Then I have my Himalayan Sole Water followed by my cup of lemon coconut oil water (Juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 T coconut oil and almost boiling water). Then water and herbal teas until I get hungry for my veggie smoothie which isn’t until 2 pm. Most days I am not hungry the rest of the day. but will have a small salad with my husband to make sure I get my alkaline greens. Then it’s water the rest of the day. I also go for two walks totaling about 7 miles a day.

Because you’ve already done the water fasting for 5 days and a juicing for seven more, adjusting your timing of when you take in your first veggie smoothie should be easy at this point. You’ll also be seeing results by now which will make you want to keep going and the intermittent fasting will help you get to where you want to go both nutritionally, mentally, and physically. You can experiment with the timing of your first meal (veggie smoothie) to match your schedule. Not all are the same, find out what works for you and stick to it you’re future self will thank you!

The importance of intermittent fasting

Like all my other posts, I’m not a regurgitator of info. Here’s where you’ll always find my list of resources to help you make an informed decision about this plan and your wellness.

The combined effects of intermittent fasting and eating an alkaline diet can have life changing benefits if you are open to doing the cleanse and following the simple and somewhat easy guidelines. Revisiting intermittent fasting was one of the best things we have done for our lives.

 

My Alkaline Food Plan

Our minds and bodies are in a constant state of transformation. We aren’t (or we shouldn’t be) the same as we were yesterday or last week. We are constantly growing in newness of life. Whether we take on a life challenge or we’re cleansing our bodies, our minds, and our life, we change a little bit each day. These next seven days are all focused on my Alkaline Food Plan

Today is Day 8 of my 50 cleanse. I’ve found that I needed to change a couple of things about these next seven days because well, I really don’t like the taste of grass.

 

Plus, I added a cup of lemon water (juice of 1/2 lemon) with 1 Tablespoon of raw, organic unrefined coconut oil to my morning regime to help with a smoother move in the morning.

6th – 12th day: Add two alkaline veggie juices to your day along with all the electrolyte water or Sole Water you want a day. Notice you are having veggie only juices. The only fruit that’s helpful at this point is lemons and limes. You can also heat up some water with the juice of one lemon in it first thing in the morning. This will also help when not fasting as it will alkalize your system.

The fruit I added to my juices are apple, to cut down on the sugar I only use the apple peels and the juices taste amazing. My favorite is carrot, kale, and apple peel. I also decided to add a scoop of organic plant-based protein (absolutely NO SOY or GRAINS!) Sunwarrior makes the Warrior Blend that has all the essential amino acids in it. The vanilla flavor goes well with the veggies.

In researching alkaline veggies and fruits for this post, I ran across several websites talking about the importance of eating an alkaline diet. But it was interesting to note just what they considered to be alkaline and what they did not. Sometimes I think this is to confuse us about alkalinity and what we should and should not be eating. For instance, one website listed oranges as non-acid building, but for me, they create a lot of painful acids and another website I looked at said to stay away from oranges because they are acid building. The same is true for tomatoes. Tomatoes are an acid veggie, which is why when I worked in the restaurant industry all cooked tomato sauces had a bit of baking soda added to them to cut down on the acid. With some trial and error, I’ve come up with a list of alkaline veggies and fruits to I am going to focus on for the rest of the cleanse.

Alkaline Food Plan

Enjoying good health can only come from the work we do to have good health. This alkaline food plan will help everyone just as this 50-day cleanse will. Just like when we take a car in for an oil change, the mechanics don’t put good, fresh oil on top on what’s already there. No, they drain the old oil from the car. This is what this cleanse is all about. It’s helping us clean out so the good, vibrantly fresh organic raw foods can nourish us.

Please join me and others who have joined in to make their lives healthier.

Benefits of Water Fasting

Many of my friends have asked me the age old question, “WHY? Why are you doing this water fasting thing?” My answer is always, “To give my digestive system a break and reset my body into a fat burning machine instead of a sugar burning machine.” They don’t get it as most people don’t understand why someone would put themselves through something this drastic. What they don’t understand is this I am a sugar addict, while I haven’t had any sugar for the last few days doesn’t mean I am cured of being a sugar addict. I will always be a sugar addict just like an alcoholic will always have problems with alcohol.

I needed to make this change and help my husband also make this change. He too is a carb addict. While he’s trying to do this with me as closely as possible he is having one alkaline veggie juice every night so he can take his medication. Someone asked me if I worried about becoming water logged and if I drink too much water. I’m not because I only drink 160 ounces of water a day. I’m also drinking 3 20-ounce mugs of organic chamomile tea with no sweetener which is part of my 160 ounces of water.  My taste buds have really come back and I’m helping the cells of my tongue regenerate without the bombardment of always needing something sweet.

One of the first things I’ve noticed after the second day of doing this water fast is my skin doesn’t itch anymore. Last night (third night), I noticed that I had a whole lot more energy and my mind is clearer. It also helps that I lost 8 pounds so far. I know most of it is water weight, but I’m also gaining muscle because I am continuing to do my workouts along with the water fasting.

I’ve found a slew of information on the benefits of water fasting; I’ve decided not to regurgitate all their material here but give you a set of links to research when you have the time. This way you can make your own informed decision about whether doing a 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, or 7-day water fast is right for you and your situation.

Let’s get this party started…Wait a minute, while I drink some water.

 

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My Constant Companion

 

  1. All About Fasting: This place is great for all the different kinds of fasting not just for water fasting. You could choose whichever fast works for you.
  2. How Fasting Can Help You Live Longer: While Dr. Joe Mercola advocates intermittent fasting which is extremely beneficial. He goes into how it can help you live longer and live better.
  3. Reset Your Immune System: We can reset our immune system in only three days of water fasting and our brain grows. As we age our brain shrinks so brain growth is a good thing. Wonder if this has something to do with the clarity that I have now.
  4. Eat, Fast, and Live Longer: This is a documentary done by the BBC that is phenomenal about why we should make fasting part of our lifestyle.
  5. Rejuvenated Power of Fasting: Our bodies need a break and water fasting gives our bodies that break and a chance to heal and rebuild.
  6. Water Fasting for Health: This will go through everything you may experience while on a water fast and how to prepare and come off a water fast.
  7. Fasting is Worth Trying: Here another husband-wife team up to do a 5-day water fast and document their journey.

Water fasting is a change in mindset. While I’ve had much more time on my hands because I don’t have to pay attention to meal prep or clean up, I’m also not thinking about food like I used to either. I’m looking forward to week two of my 50-day cleanse and adding an alkaline veggie juice to my water regime. Because I’ve changed my mindset, my attachment to food is different. It’s not about filling an emotional need but filling my nutritional needs.

Take a chance, change your mindset and reset your life with water fasting.

Art of Contentment

When I started thinking about the subject of contentment a couple of weeks ago, I began to notice the questions that began surfacing in my dreams. My subconscious mind told me there’s an art to contentment and I needed to concentrate on it to have it in my life.

  • What is contentment?
  • Is it the same as happiness?
  • Am I content with what I have and where I am in life?
  • How do I contribute to the contentment of my family?
  • Is my family content?

In my dream, the questions ran on like a ticker tape one after another waiting for my answers. But as I’d answer one question another appeared more in depth than the one before until I got down to the truth of the matter. For me, this is remarkable because my word study for this year has been “Truth.” The truth is I am not content with everything and I believe none of us is content with everything in our lives which is why we are always striving to do better in the areas of discontent.

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With my areas of discontentment all around me, I’ve decided to go on a fast and change two big areas in my life and that of my husband’s. It’s interesting to note that whatever change I want to make my husband is always on board with and tells me so, “I guess I will have to follow your lead on this!” The two big areas in my life, I think, go together. Health and Wealth. For 50 days we will follow variations on fasting for health and wealth. How do you fast for wealth? You join the Buy Nothing movement. Fasting for health is easy if done correctly and with a bit of medical and common sense.

My 50 Day Health & Finance Cleansing Plan

Health is first because being healthy is a wealth all its own

First 5 Days: A water fast (Preferably electrolyte water or distilled water that has Himalayan Sole solution added to it). Drink as much as you want and as often as you want. These first five days will prove interesting as you’ll be cleansing your body of harmful toxins and turn your body into a fat burning machine instead of a carb burning one. (I plan on doing a 5-day water only fast while my husband who is on medication plans on doing a 5-day fast with one fresh veggie juice once a day so he can take his medication.) This beginning phase is to help switch our bodies into burning ketones and gently move the toxins out of our bodies.

6th – 12th day: Add two alkaline veggie juices to your day along with all the electrolyte water or Sole Water you want a day. Notice you are having veggie only juices. The only fruit that’s helpful at this point is lemons and limes. You can also heat up some water with the juice of one lemon in it first thing in the morning. This will also help when not fasting as it will alkalize your system.

13th – 20th day: This is a two-parter:

  1. Add one piece of alkaline fruit.
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Avocado
    • Tomatoes
    • Coconut (oil, butter, water, milk) *No sweetener or chemicals added to the water or milk
    • Pomegranate
    • Watermelon (pH neutral)
  2. Try to have your first meal, veggie juice five hours after you get up in the morning your second meal, alkaline fruit, four hours later, and your last veggie juice four hours later. Try to have all your meals within a 6-hour window and use water for fasting the remaining 18 hours as necessary.

21st – 27th day

Along with what you are already doing add 1 fresh made, plant-based alkaline veggie salad to your meals and omit one veggie juice. Also, add 2 ounces of alkaline, organic, raw nuts. These include almonds, pistachios, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, Macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts. (I also recommend soaking nuts in fresh non-tap water overnight to aid in digestion.)

28th – 50th day

Continue with the eating plan as is and turn your veggie juice into a veggie smoothie with a scoop of plant-based protein powder. (SunWarrior makes the Warrior Blend that I like the best, but it does have some sugar in it. They also make Illumin8 blend which has brown rice in it. It’s a personal choice we have to make. I like both of them for different reasons.)

The Finance Cleanse

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s enlightening.

Simple as this Buy Nothing. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Here’s what’s allowed: Food, medications, paying existing bills, and meeting your needs. Gone are multiple trips to the grocery store, cafes, fast food and everything we don’t need. When you go to the store, make a list ahead of time and only buy what’s on your list. If you’re in need of something and don’t want to purchase it outright, head to your local Buy Nothing Facebook group and ask if anyone has one that is willing to let go of it. I’ve done this with several items. I recently noticed that my four lonely wine glasses don’t cut it when I have a crowd of people over so instead of buying them, I found a set of 12 of them on my BN group on Facebook and asked if I could be considered for them. I’ve also found a 2 drawer filing cabinet for my tutoring business. I’ve even asked for a couple of items on there and people are willing to give up what they can in order to help. I had a friend who didn’t have a TV and I was able to get her a working one with a DVD player, so now she can watch her movies from the comfort of her recliner instead of an office chair. I’ve also given away the items I no longer use.

Besides buying nothing I need. I’ve also asked myself if I continually need the things I have. Do all these things make me content? Saving only those items that give me joy has helped us let go of the things and clothes we no longer wear.

Changing our health status has also allowed us to be more content with what we have. Change is a process it doesn’t end in 50 days or 50 years. Once we reach our goal we set another one and another one. The art of contentment comes from knowing we are progressing to what is of most importance to us. Find out what’s most important to you and work towards it.

 

 

 

The Joe Cookie

Everyone who knows me personally knows that I am married to the human Cookie Monster. He loves all kinds of cookies but can only enjoy certain ones at certain times of the year. Italian Donut cookies in the winter months, chocolate chip cookies for back-to-school and macaroons for the Spring Holy Days. Now with health conditions as they are and sugar not in his diet, we’ve I’ve been working on revamping recipes that are both sweet and satisfying but don’t mess up with his diet. Today The Joe Cookie was born.

I originally found this recipe online but tweaked it so much that it’s taken on a life of its own.


The Joe Cookie

  • 2 cups flaked dried coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup Essential Seven Mix
  • 1/3 cup yacon syrup (coconut nectar, honey, or maple syrup can also be used)
  • 1 cup full-fat organic coconut milk ( I love the Natural Directions brand)
  • 1/3 cup organic, virgin, fresh pressed, unrefined coconut oil (Dr. Bronner’s), melted
  • Grated peel of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Mix it all up in a bowl. Take a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball, flatten slightly. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 325* for 35 minutes. Cool on metal rack.

Makes 18 cookies.

A variation on this is using the cookie dough as a crust, which I did below then filled it with a coconut cream filling (I added 2 heaping Tablespoons of raw cacao).

The Joe Cookie is a big hit with my Joe and he also loved the pie too. I’m still playing with the recipe, not really satisfied with my first attempt. But will let you all know when it’s done. Recipe remakes are sometimes a big hit the first time out but some need time to gel both in my mind and in the final product.

Enjoy!

Spring Pesto

If I had to choose just one sauce that’s the most versatile for me in my cooking adventures, it would have to be pesto. I’ve put pesto on almost everything from baked salmon, to stewed pesto chicken, a baked potato and even had it on popcorn. Yes, I said it! Pesto popcorn is the bomb!  While I am gearing up for my yearly May through September no oven use (more on that in a future post), I’ve been on a taste adventure to come up with unique ways to liven up our food. My husband said I nailed it with this Spring Pesto.

I’ve been experimenting with Pestos for over 20 years. It’s such a versatile sauce and can be made with many leafy greens without using basil at all. I’ve made pea pesto. It’s good only if you like peas…I don’t! I’ve also made pesto with carrot tops, cilantro, kale, spinach, beet greens, and my favorite asparagus! Nothing says Spring is around the corner like some good asparagus and it’s in season and on sale.


Spring Pesto 

  • 1 lb trimmed asparagus, steamed 8 minutes
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino romano cheese (If you are making it totally dairy free and vegan, use nutritional yeast)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup chopped greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard or even fresh basil)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley

Pulse it all together in a food processor until smooth. Serve over zoodles (zucchini noodles) or use as a topping for baked fish and chicken. Dollop on a baked potato or as a spread for sandwiches. Use by the tablespoon on popcorn.

Enjoy!

Pesto makes enough for 4 servings.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 244
  • Fat grams: 22.5
  • Cholesterol: 14.7 mg
  • Sodium: 181 mg
  • Potassium: 276 mg
  • Total carbs: 5.9 gr
  • Fiber: 2.1 gr
  • Protein: 7.5 gr