Friday, September 28, 2012

Forks Over Knives: Conversion Day 1

I watched "Forks Over Knives" this week. I had been vegetarian for 6 years in junior high and high school. My reason for never going fully vegan was 3 fold. I want to be able to travel and being completely vegan, especially whole food plant based, would make that difficult. I was worried about bone density issues. My maternal grandmother lost height due to this before she passed away. And. I have found Vegan politics obnoxious.

"Forks Over Knives" presented research based evidence that eating a plant based whole foods diet will not cause bone density issues. In fact their evidence seems to indicate that the opposite may be true.

Starting today I am going to attempt to adopt a mostly plant based whole foods diet. I will allow myself to eat dairy one day a week, meat 1 day a week. Why keep the meat & dairy? This is for ease of travel. I do not want to develop a lactose intolerance. Similarly I want my body to remain accustomed to processing meat.

My issues with Vegan politics are side stepped by referring to this diet change as a plant based diet. Additionally many vegan recipes are not whole foods oriented. I am adopting this way of eating for health reasons and eating minimally processed foods is a key component to this path.

Note: I am not taking my husband or my children with me on this journey. Obviously they have the option of eating what I am eating but I consider this change a choice. I will continue to keep animal protein and dairy on their menu. The shift they will see is away from an American way of eating ,in other words meat as the main course, to a more global way of eating, or meat as a side dish and veg/grain as the main course.

So. Here I am on day 1. Will it be a cake walk? No. Will I feel better in the long run? I hope so.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


My hope for this space to post something semi coherent at least once a week. Life will get in the way some but it would be nice to average one post every 7 days. Will they be focused? It would be nice. Will it ramble? Possibly. Will it be more engaging than a Facebook post or tweet? Gods I hope so.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Eating Habit Change

Dumping the mostly paleo aligned way of eating. Two huge negatives that were making me miserable. GI issues that were not short term and not worth it. I was stinking.Like 10 minutes out of the shower stinking.

I learned a lot  from the process. I will be keeping some aspects. My default way of eating will remain largely grain and processed sugar free. I have to add some high fiber grains back in. A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and some prunes through out the day helped tremendously. However there did not appear to be enough health benefits to argue in favor of staying high protein and fat. I will be adding whole grains back into my way of eating. I see agave playing a large part in my cooking and baking in the future.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Updatey Thing

Have been noticing some downfalls from the high protein way of eating. I will be making some changes in the next few days. I'll write more details in a later post.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Detox Interupt

Too many things have come up in my life that are demanding my attention. I can not rest as much as the detox process requires. I may try again in July.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Default & Detox

The new change in food intake has been going ok. I have been allowing myself to ease slowly into it. I am looking at grain and refined sugar free eating as my default way of eating. The view of a way of eating as a diet tends to have two downfalls that eventually lead to quitting that path. First if a person is on a diet and breaks from that way of eating the common vernacular is to call it cheating. This implies bad behavior. If a person feels like they are bad and have failed it can lead to a feeling of defeat. Second a diet is usually meant to be used for a finite amount of time. A change in eating style can be adopted for the rest of a persons life.

In my case weight loss is not my goal. If it happens great. My goal is to improve my sense of well being and avoid developing type 2 diabetes. Lowering the amount of grain and refined sugar I consume will help off set the 50% increase in my chances of developing diabetes that is a result of having had gestational diabetes in my last pregnancy.

For the next 2 weeks I will be freely allowing grain back into my dietary intake. I will be attempting 2 weeks of a simple detox interjected with a 3 day juice fast. The links for both can be found at the end of this post. The outcome I hope to achieve at the end of two weeks is having my body at a place where I have lessened my refined sugar cravings. Grain is not something I usually find myself craving. I tend to eat it out of convenience. Processed sugar is a whole different story. I do find myself craving it almost to a point of distraction.

Guidelines for detox & juice feast on My New Roots blog:

Simple detox:

Juice feast:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Almond Banana Bread

This recipe is a riff off of Paleo Breakfast Bread on Elana's Pantry

1/2 c almond butter

2 eggs
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

2 mashed bananas
1/4 tsp baking powder

- Warm oven to 325d F.
- Grease 8 inch round cake pan with thin film of butter.

-  In large bowl whip almond butter with hand held mixer.

- Mix in eggs, agave & vanilla
- Beat with hand held mixer.
- Add baking soda and banana.
- Beat with handheld mixer.

- Transfer into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Let cool in pan on baking rack for 30 minutes.
- Invert pan onto pie plate.
- Serve.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cauliflower Pie

3 c cauliflower
1 c skim mozz
1 clove garlic
1/4 c fresh parsley
dried oregano
1 lg egg

1/2 c bell pepper
1/2 c spinach, chopped
1/2 c skim mozz
1 tbsp pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 400 d F

- Lightly oil pie pan
-Grate cauliflower
-Microwave cauliflower for 5 minutes with wet paper towel over the top
-Mix in herbs and cheese into cauliflower
-Mix egg into cauliflower
-Spread mixture into pie plate
-Spread sauce on top of cauliflower
-Layer veg on top of sauce
-Layer cheese on top of veg
-Bake until cauliflower "crust" is golden
-Remove from oven
-Let cool

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Calorie Intake Reduction Aid

I obtained a juicer last week.  It has been marvelous.

One juice that I have been making is kale, grapefruit, lime & ginger. The combination tastes great together. It has the bonus of making me not want to ingest anything but water for a few hours after. Totally eradicates binge eating in that time. The reason? It makes everything else taste horrid.

You can make a salad if you aren't into juicing. I would think that chopping the kale, peeling the grapefruit into pith free segments then tossing combined juiced lime with crushed ginger would work nicely.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Food Musings & an Update

Transition of my fitness & eating lifestyle is going well. We have been eating at home a lot. Grabbing a bite out is a rare thing these days. I have only had a real soda a few times in that handful times we dined out. In the place of soda there tends to be seltzer water around the house. Yoga has been off and on but I miss it the days that I don't practice. Practice is also making it much less of a thought process and more of a comfortable place physically & psychologically.

I cancelled my gym membership. Husband still goes. I was able to make it out one day a week, three weeks out of every four. Simply put the cost wasn't worth it. Especially when the thirty minute prep and thirty minute recovery that surrounded me getting into my car. Much simpler to roll out of bed, put my hair in a ponytail and turn on a DVD before I have fully woken up. Going forward I am hoping to work up to yoga everyday for seventy-five minutes. It would be nice to fit in either a middle eastern dance class or DVD practice 3 times a week too.

This Friday will see me stepping up things in regards to my eating. It's spring. I crave differently as we barrel toward gods awful hot here on the tip of the south. Less dark meats and rich foods. More lacto-ovo style diet. When we hit summer I can see possibly juicing during most of the day with a light egg for protein meal in the evening becoming my norm through the middle of fall. I doubt I will give up that decadent drizzle of half and half in my tea for more than a week or two. A person has to hold onto some vice.

Speaking of vice. I am almost completely coffee free. I haven't brewed a pot of coffee at home in some time. I have had the occasional Starbucks creation when out and about. Life has been mostly tea powered. It's not likely that will change as the weather heats up. I'll go from pots of hot tea to pitchers of cold. Plain tea, not *shudder* sweetened.

I have been toying with the idea of doing a detox May-ish. June or July I might even go as far as a juice cleanse for a few days. I was raised pretty darn granola so neither concept is new to me. Mentally it feels more akin to comfort food . Kind of like apple pie and hot chocolate to others. If I do go ahead with the detox and the cleanse I will be following the advise of My New Roots (  ) .

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Technique: Cinnamon Toast

My son would live on cinnamon toast if I let him. Here is how I make it. Using this technique allows the kids to help if they want. It is low mess. Because the cinnamon-sugar is in a ziplock baggy it is easy to keep the mixture on hand for a few days at a time.

brown sugar
cinnamon, ground

- Toast bread
- Butter bread
- Mix brown sugar & cinnamon in ziplock baggy big enough for 1 slice of bread
- Place buttered, toasted bread into baggy
- Seal baggy
-Shake until bread is coated in cinnamon-sugar
- Remove from baggy
- Serve

You could use the extra cinnamon-sugar as a topping or addition to baking.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Of Yoga and Lettuce Wraps

To continue on the vein of getting healthier I want to share 2 things I have been really into these last few weeks.

Lettuce wraps are something I never buy when I go out to eat. I can never stomach the price point. Now that I have started making them at home I am in love with them. But. I am less inclined to order them in a restaurant now than I was before. They are ridiculously simple to make. In my case they were a happy accident born of laziness and a need to put food together for guests. The original menu plan was to make summer rolls. We got so caught up in talking that time slipped away and we found ourselves hungry. Summer rolls were going to take too long. I grabbed a head of Boston lettuce that was sitting in my fridge. A few fresh vegis, shredded chicken and dressing later we had little green cups of awesome. To my surprise my 21 month old daughter loves them too.

Lettuce wrap jumping off point:

-Boston lettuce or your favorite variety except iceberg
-carrot cut into toothpick-like sticks
-cucumber cut into thin strips
-avocado sliced thin enough to fold with lettuce or mashed
-shredded cooked chicken, chopped hard boiled egg or crumbled tofu
-blue cheese dressing or sauce of choice

1) Prep vegis.
2) Rinse lettuce and dry. I use my salad spinner.
3) Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter or plate in a single layer.
4) Place avocado in leaves.
5) Add your choice of vegis and protein.
6) Drizzle on sauce.
7) Serve

The last few months saw the return of an old exercise standby. Yoga. Growing up hippy spawn I didn’t even know it had a name until my preteens. Gaiam videos work best for me. The format is uncluttered. The camera coverage is smooth while allowing observation of proper technique. I started with Rodney Yee’s yoga for abs. After a few months Hubby is able to see a change in my figure. My clothes fit different *. There is a definite change in my energy levels. Working out first thing in the morning before I am fully awake works best for me. This week I added a 15 minute yoga for beginners workout. It’s presented by Colleen Saidman. Getting the extra stretch and grounding before starting Dude and Diva’s night routine tends to make things calmer around here.

This is the link to Gaiam:

*Note: One important thing to remember when working out to get healthier. Muscle weighs more than fat. Weight loss may not be immediate. Don’t get discouraged if the numbers on the scale are not reflecting your hard work in the first few weeks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Body: Sun Salutation

Being hippy spawn means I grew up around people doing yoga. I didn't realize it was anything but play until my teen years. Sun salutation, surya namaskar, are one of my fallback quicky exercises. They can be done almost anywhere by almost anybody. Here is a youtube video and a link to a site that will show you how to do them.

Domesticity: Housework Schedule Aspirations

In the next few weeks I will be trying this household chore schedule. The aim is to keep a reign on things with an allocation of 60 minutes a day. 

30 minutes daily :
Pet food and water
15 minute pick up and put away
5 minute problem area focus

30 minute areas of concentration:
Monday - Kitchen & dining room
Tuesday - Bills or household administrivia
Wednesday - Master bed & bath
Thursday - Kids & downstairs bath
Friday - Kids rooms
Saturday - Living room
Sunday - 2 Honey dos

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Path

So. This blog is going to get another dimension to it. I am going to institute a few lifestyle changes for myself. If my kids and hubby choose to come along that is great but it is their decision to make.

Why the changes? When I was pregnant with Diva I had gestational diabetes (GD). I saw that as my warning shot since it increases my chances of developing type 2 by 50%. I took measures to help decrease those chances. Diva is almost 2 and I have been told by my doctor that there are no signs of the big d on my horizon. Skip to last night. I went to urgent care because I suspected I had either strep or a sinus infection. My blood pressure was high. Not slightly elevated. Enough that the doctor told me to follow up with my primary about it.

Which leads to the lifestyle changes I want for myself. Starting today I am doing the following:
-No coffee. Tea yes. By the pot.
-Increasing my water intake
-Decrease drastically the amount of purchased products with white flour in them. If I want a white flour product I should make it myself. Removing the convenience historically has helped me cut back.
-Switching from ibuprofen to acetaminophen for over the counter pain relief. Apparently ibuprofen can elevate your blood pressure. Should be fun since it is the NSAID I was relying on for arthritis pain relief.
-Tracking my food intake. I use The Daily Plate at

Other changes I hope to make in the next month:
- Start up my daily yoga and tai chi practice
- Play the dance games for wii with my children
-Resume my bellydance practice. I don't aim to perform. Middle eastern dance happens to be one of my top 5 favorite exercises.
- Get in a good swim work out at least 3 times a month.
- Have a 4 oz glass of wine with dinner. May have to stay with vintages from home since not only is the state of Virginia known for backward conservative politics but also having mostly swill for vintages.
- Have a small quantity of dark chocolate, 70% cocoa or more, each day.
- Cut back the amount of food I eat out. I realize this is unavoidable on trips. The aim is to eat mostly homemade when not away. Example: Bring my own snacks when out for the day with the family.  When I am on trips I will aim for a more paleo diet but include dairy.

Why blog about this in public? I feel that it commits me to adhering to it if I state in a forum where anyone can read about my plans.

I'm strapping myself in. Let's see where this journey takes me.