Changing the Legs of Our Relationships

How often do we think about food on a normal day? I used to think about eating, what I was going to make for dinner, for my husband’s lunch, and dessert all the time. I used to think about making sure our cupboards were overstocked with food items that I picked up really cheap because it was on sale and I had a coupon for it. Since I started the 50 Day Cleanse my thinking about food has changed. I now look at all that food I stocked up over the years as an anchor that was holding me down. This Cleanse is changing the legs of my relationships. 

I know “What on earth is she talking about?” Change the legs of a relationship?

Let’s take food, for instance, We all need to eat it to survive. We all have a relationship with food. We are making choices, thinking, eating, regretting, indulging, satisfying, giving in to our cravings for food. These are the legs in our relationship with food.

As someone who for most of her life has tried to lose weight or maintain weight loss to no avail, I have never tried to change these legs with this relationship. How many legs does my relationship have? It takes at least three legs to make a stool stand up. But my relationship to food has had at least seven legs at one time.

Food Relationship Legs

  • Craving
  • Rewarding
  • Thinking
  • Indulging
  • Satisfying
  • Dreaming
  • Stocking up
  • Buying
  • Eating

While at least four of these legs are still with me today. I need to eat. I need to buy food. I need, at times, to stock up. And in my case, I need to dream about recipes. But do I need the other ones? No. All my cravings for food are gone. I used to crave chocolate all the time. Now it hits me once in a while and I can talk myself out of it. I know that when a person craves chocolate, they are usually deficient in magnesium. So I take a couple magnesium tablets and the craving is gone.

Same with indulging. I just don’t do it anymore. The 50 Day Cleanse has given me the tools to listen to my body and give it what it needs instead of rewarding myself with a toxic, sugar laden treat. The first 5 days of this cleanse takes your mind off thinking about food all the time and helps you see where you need to change.

I used to spend hours weekly coming up with menus and grocery lists. While I still use a menu and grocery list, it no longer takes hours just about 10 minutes and I am ready to go. Eating raw alkaline meals and only once a day has dramatically cut our food bill down to almost nothing and we’re not eating only salads every day but they are yummy.

I’m also changing the legs on my other relationships as well during this time. Saving things to use someday is a leg I’ve used in rationalizing my skill of holding onto things I don’t need. Or how about this leg, “My kids might need/want it some day!” Ask the kids if they need or want whatever IT is. If they want IT and they’re old enough give it to them now or put it in a hope chest for them for when they move out. If they don’t want it, get rid of it. Family heirlooms are another leg. I’ve been going through my home with the eyes of my kids thinking about what they would keep and what they would toss after I’m gone. It’s eye opening. They probably don’t want the bottle collection with all the president’s faces you got from your mom. They’re not going to need or want 100 paper towel tubes or all the used gift wrap you’ve saved for the last ten years (which you never use anymore). Save the important things. Today is someday.  I am hoping that my children and grandchildren will want all the recipes I’ve conjured up over the years, like this one below.

Recipe of the Week

Taco Meat

Raw Sweet “Taco Meat” 

Always use organic

  • 1 sweet potato, shredded
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 mall red onion, shredded
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked four hours, drained well
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked four hours, drained well
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 – 1/4 ground habanero pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Place the first five ingredients in a food processor and process until it looks like the texture of loose cooked ground meat.

Empty into a large bowl and add spices.

Serve in a wrap with mashed avocado or on a salad with an avocado dressing.

Enjoy

Makes about 6 cups.

 

 

 

50 Day Cleanse

For the last 26 days, I have been documenting my progress on my 50 Day Cleanse on Facebook and Twitter. Many have been interested, asked questions and given their support in this cleanse. Several people have embarked on this journey with me and the 50 Day Cleanse has changed their lives as well.

In these 26 days, I have lost 27 pounds and regained my life back from instead of living a life of extreme pain and uncertainty when it came to my health. I have no more pain points anymore. It’s all gone. My skin issues are gone. One issue that has really cleared up is the rosacea I have had for many years is gone. My skin tone evened out so much I have been able to go out with no coverup or foundation on. It feels like I’m getting younger by the day.

My 50 Day Cleanse sounds like a long time but if you read all the about habits and how many days it takes to replace a bad habit with a good one, you’ll learn that it takes 66 days, not the 21 we’ve all been fed for so many years.  The 50 Day Cleanse is a not a diet. After the 50 days, you can’t go back to eating the way you did before. This is a lifestyle change one that may add years to your life, may reverse disease, may help you lose unwanted fat and turn your body into a fat burner.

In doing this cleanse for the last 26 days, I have tweaked it a bit and then was told that several people how much how much they like this cleanse because it’s so adaptable. By that I mean if you feel like staying on the water fasting for longer than the initial 5 days then you can do it. If you feel like you can’t handle juicing and want to turn it into a veggie smoothie the second week, you can. You live in your body, I don’t. If you’re on medication or take supplements, please continue to take them. If you need to take them with food, then have a quarter cup of cashews when you need to take them.

Will you see results in the first 5 days?

Yes. And they might be profound, too. I lost 10 pounds in five days. Others have reported they have lost 13 pounds during the 5-day water fast. It’s motivating to see the scale moving down while doing the fast. And it’s good to know that you’re losing fat and not muscle like we’ve been told these many years. Fasting does not make you lose muscle. 

Here is the tweaked version of the 50 Day Cleanse.

First Five Days:  Drink water (electrolyte, ionized, distilled or reverse osmosis), green tea, Smooth Move tea, and other organic herbal teas no sweetener. If you choose to, you don’t have too, but it worked for me. First thing in the morning, have a serving of Himalayan Sole Water followed by a cup of warm lemon coconut water.

Lemon Coconut Water

Lemon Coconut Water

  • Juice of half organic lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • Warm water (see above)

Drink as soon as you can while coconut oil has melted.

This drink will help in eliminating (#2).

Days 6 – 12: Have two raw alkaline juices a day (4-6 ounces each) along with the water and teas. If at this junction you feel good enough to digest the fiber from the juice you can make a veggie smoothie. My favorite is beet, carrot, kale, and sweet potato. Another one that’s good is celery, carrot, kale, and half an apple. If you choose the smoothie route, only have one of them.

Days 13 – 20: This was a two-parter in the original cleanse. It’s now been condensed into a simplified version. The next seven days you’ll be adding a good raw vegan protein powder to the veggie smoothie. (I like SunWarrior’s Warrior Blend the best. ) You also want to treat this like a meal. Now you’ll be having one veggie smoothie and one protein veggie smoothie.

The timing of this is vitally important. This is where the intermittent fasting comes into play. You’ll want to make sure you are eating in a four-hour window. Example, at 1 pm have a veggie protein smoothie. then at 5 pm have a veggie smoothie.  Work out the timing for your schedule but try to maintain a four-hour window.

If you’re too full for two smoothies, you can tweak the plan by having a veggie protein smoothie as your second meal at 4 pm. I did this because I just wasn’t hungry.

Days 21 – 50 Eliminate the plain veggie smoothie and add a raw alkaline vegan meal, salad, wrap (organic raw coconut wrap). Continue eating in the four-hour window. If you are still too full, you can also have just one meal a day. I do this now. I only eat at 4 pm. And it’s whatever I am hungry for nutritionally. Some days it’s the protein veggie smoothie some days I’m having a salad with cashews, olive oil, lettuce, onions, and pineapple.

This is the 50 Day Cleanse. It’s helped my husband and myself gain back our health and energy while losing weight, saving money, and helping others.

 

This is the disclaimer portion of the plan.

The information listed above and on this is based on my own experience. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of trained medical or mental health professionals. The reader should regularly consult a physician, therapist or counselor in matters relating to his/ her physical or mental health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. In the event, you use any of the information listed here the author and blogger assume no responsibility for your actions.

 

 

FIND WHAT WORKS!

So many people are saying “This is the best diet out there!” Referring to the blood type diet. Then I’ve heard, “The Paleo Diet is the all time best diet!” There are so many diets out there it’s difficult to choose just one. I think as consumers we need to find what works best for our own bodies and our own lifestyles and just do it. I’ve been told on no uncertain terms that eating the fat-free vegan way is the only way to stop heart disease. And while I was a vegan for a good long while, I always felt like I was missing something. I was, it’s called fat.

I’m just speaking for myself but I’ve done the research. Our brains need fat, as a matter of fact our brains are made up of at least 60% fat. So if we’re not eating good fats then our brains are starving because we can’t assimilate the fat soluble vitamins and minerals. I’m not getting technical here about how our brains need fat. When I was a fat-free vegan I only ate nuts, and avocados as my fats. I always felt like I was in a fog. When I began to add organic chicken and wild caught, organic fish, I began thinking better but I also began to remember more things than I did when I was a fat-free vegan.

Find 2

Why am I telling you all this? Because I went out to find what works for me. Yes, I still have my vegan days at least 4 a week. But I make a conscious effort to choose foods that help me and my body. As to people touting one diet over another, I let them talk. We each need to find what works for us. Yes, I eliminated all sugar from my diet for almost two months then I went into sugar mode where all I wanted was sugary things. Granted the only sugar I use is Succanat (evaporated cane sugar), but it’s still sugar. But I’ve learned to have my sweets and still not wreck my life. I use dates and no sugar dried fruit for my sweets. I’m still feeding my sweet tooth, but I’m doing it responsibly.

Find what works for you and do it. This is not just about our health, it’s about our life. The point is to be the best you you can be and don’t let people walk all over you. When you find your niche in life, your whole life opens up! You begin to see things differently, and you’ll find that you like yourself a whole lot more when you are you and not trying to fit into a mold that someone else has for you.

FIND what works for you and you may just find yourself in your own life.

Versatile Salad or Pinwheels

Basket of goodness

I like to mix as many raw vegetables as I can into my food. While I am not an advocate for only eating food in the raw, I do think that many foods are better tasting and better for us when we eat them raw.

Bowl of Organic Color

This Versatile Salad is a melange of vegetables that both my husband and I love.  It’s easy to chop them all up and keep them in the fridge for when I need something quick to make, or when it is just too hot to cook.

Confetti in a bowl

It isn’t such a daunting task when making food for a non-vegan and a vegan, it just takes preparation, and much planning. So when I chop all these vegetable up I take some out for myself.

Mixed with chicken and avocado bliss

All my salads look green or orange because after making mayo once, I could not get past the sliminess of it. Plus I can’t buy the vegan versions since I don’t eat any soy. So my next alternative is is use my own mixture of Avocado or Mango Bliss.

Spread on a tortilla, Rolled up and sliced

With a little more time and patience I took the Versatile Salad and transformed it into Versatile Pinwheels.

Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

I really think my husband could live on pizza now that I make it the vegan, yeast-free way. It’s so difficult when you are Italian, and you can’t have dairy, tomatoes, or regular wheat. When dealing with food allergies, it is difficult sometimes to work around those allergies without spending a fortune. This pizza has become a mainstay in our diet because I’ve learned to use cheaper forms of alternative foods that please both our diets and our palates.

Fat Bread Pesto Pizza

  • 1 recipe flatbread (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe spinach pumpkin seed pesto (or 1 jar of favorite pesto sauce)
  • 1 8-ounce package Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
  • Toppings of choice (thin sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives, thinly sliced artichoke hearts, sliced red pepper, thin sliced red onions, etc)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread pesto over prepared flatbread. Top with veggies then cheese or cheese then veggies (which ever way you prefer).

Bake for 20 minutes, watching to make sure the edges of pizza do not burn.

Slice into squares .

Enjoy

My side of pizza

Husband’s side

Flatbread 

Flat bread still in Jelly Roll Pan

Flatbread

  • 2 cups flour (I used spelt, but you can use flour of choice or a combination of flours, even a gluten free flour mix with no leavening is good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups water, veggie broth, juice, nut milk (I used veggie broth but you can use choose your favorite liquid and mix up the spices. *See variations below.*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, salt, seasonings together in a bowl. Pour in the water and coconut oil. Mix together.

Spray a greased large jelly roll pan. Pour batter into pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Cool on wire rack, cut into desired size squares or leave whole to use as pizza crust.

  • Variations:

Apple Cinnamon: Omit Italian seasoning, oregano, and water; substitute 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 cups organic apple juice

Orange Vanilla (My favorite) Omit Italian seasoning, oregano, and water; substitute the grated rind of one orange, 1  1.4 cups nut milk, 1 1/4 cups orange juice, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Taco/Chili: Omit Italian seasoning and water; substitute 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 cup salsa, 1 1/2 cup veggie broth

Spinach Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Spinach Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water or veggie broth

Whirl around in food processor.

Makes about 1 cup.

Use on pizza. Save left overs, to make a wonderful vinaigrette.

Pennies for Polenta

Polenta Primavera

Growing up I  remember my father not liking only certain meal my mom would make. That one  meals was polenta with spaghetti sauce. It wasn’t that my mom was a bad cook; on the contrary, she was a phenomenal cook. Whatever she tried always came out like it was supposed to. But no matter how she made polenta, my father refused to eat it. It wasn’t until after later in life when my cousin invited us all over for dinner where we learned the real reason why my father never liked polenta. Polenta was and still is a cheap meal to make, and people who went through Great Depression, like my father did, ate this cheap filler meal quite often. So when we all sat down at the table in my cousin’s house he was startled when he was served such a cheap meal, which he did his best not to eat.

Corn meal

Fast forward almost thirty years and now Polenta is considered a great mainstay at the dinner table. If you buy it prepackaged, it comes in different flavors like basil and sun dried tomato. I still have trouble understanding why people would pay anywhere from $1.99 to $3 for a prepackaged tube of polenta when it costs pennies to make.  The same amount can be made with a cup of corn meal, water, salt and some cheap seasonings. I also think it is interesting how something that was a cheap filler meal has become a menu item in restaurants. From Great Depression staple to $10 price tag in a restaurant or pennies in my own kitchen. I opt for pennies in my kitchen. You will too after you taste the subtle flavors of spring vegetables and herbs on top.

Corn mixed with water and salt cooking on stove

Polenta poured into oiled casserole dish

Primavera Polenta

Serves 4

  • 1 cup polenta cornmeal
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bring the water to a boil, while stirring with wire whisk add polenta. Turn down heat, continue stirring, and simmer till desired thickened consistency. I like it thick so I cook it between 20 and 30 minutes. *This step can be eliminated if using already cooked polenta.*

Pour polenta into a sprayed glass baking dish. Allow to cool.

Primavera Topping

  •  1 Tablespoon Coconut or Olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 12-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Nutritional yeast to taste or Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
  1. Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Add onion, carrots, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, and sauté for 5 minutes until onion is translucent and veggies are heated. Add tarragon, basil, salt, and pepper, and vinegar.
  2. When cooled to room temp, spoon polenta into serving bowls.Top with a couple of spoonfuls of veggie mixture.
  3. Sprinkle top with vegan mozzarella shreds, nutritional yeast or a combination.
  4. This recipe is so versatile. If peas aren’t your thing add some asparagus, or throw in some green beans and spinach. Add whatever spring vegetable that tantalizes your taste buds.

http://www.daiyafoods.com/

A Carni-Vegan

Today is Meatless Monday for the rest of the eating world but for me it’s meatless every day. I’m a vegan and I’m married to a carnivor. It’s easy because my husband knows we cannot support two eating lifestyles so he’s adapted to having no animal products in our home. We made a deal when I embarked on this vegan plan. He can have his animal protein whenever he eats out; business lunches, weekend potlucks at church, and out at family and friends homes are when he can indulge on his chicken, fish, or wild game.

Through this process I’ve noticed that he makes better food choices when out. At potlucks he fills up on raw veggies and fruit and has animal as a side dish.

When I cook (every meal of the day), I use a combination of grains, fruits and veggies, and beans. Before going vegan my weekly menu looked liked this:

  •                          Sunday: soups or stews
  •                         Monday: Casseroles
  •                         Tuesday: Meatless
  •                         Wednesday: Pasta
  •                         Thursday: Leftovers
  •                         Friday: Meat and Potatoes
  •                         Saturday: Eater’s Choice

Now that I am enjoying the vegan life I have changed a couple of things on the menu. Sunday and Monday are huge salads, Tuesday is grains and veggies (no beans), Wednesday and Thursday stayed the same, Friday is stir fries or veggie burgers, and Saturday is still eaters choice. Eater’s choice is whatever a person wants to make for him or herself, whether it’s an almond butter and jam sandwich or dinner reservations.

The wonderful thing about vegan cooking is learning to remake our favorite meat filled meals into a vegan fantasy dish. Picadillo Salad is one of the remakes.

Picadillo Salad – serves 6

  • 2 cups cooked beans of choice or 1 can beans of choice (Since I don’t use canned beans, I used a mix of black and mung beans)                                                                     
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red apple, cored and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped green olives
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded or chopped                                                                                    

Mix together and set aside.

Creamy Dressing

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced                                                                                                                             
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whirl in food processor till it resembles sour cream

Serve the salad with a dollop of the dressing over the top or on the side.

Enjoy