Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Food Day

This morning was extremely busy at our house. There was a lot of scurrying around for me this morning. By not long after lunch I had time to kick back in my big comfy lounge chair, put my feet up and relax. This is a picture of what the boys were doing while I was rushing around like a lunatic. I swear I want to come back as a pampered cat in my next life. Could my boys look any more relaxed? I don’t think so.

The idea for this post came from a comment Blessed Mama made yesterday. She was apparently shocked to see tortilla chips in our Costco cart and mentioned that she was happy to hear I was normal. This really struck me since I think our food consumption isn’t that different from all of yours. Since I also have received quite a few emails asking me what we eat on a daily basis I thought I should post what we bought yesterday as well as what we ate today so you can see what we consume on a daily basis. Here goes nothing.

Costco purchases yesterday:

Vidalia onions
Frozen wild blueberries – for smoothies and oatmeal
Frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and Marion berries) – for smoothies and oatmeal
Frozen Broccoli – for soup
Lemons – since they aren’t organic these won’t be part of our green juice
Bananas – for chocolate banana peanut butter smoothies and banana soft serve
Grapes – to eat frozen
Cherry tomatoes – for fresh salsa and relish
Avocados – just because I love them, LOL
Dried mushrooms – I use these in everything
Whole wheat flat bread – for making enchiladas for dinner with the parents
Tortilla chips – because Dan wanted them and I can’t say no all the time ;-)
Japanese green tea – we can never have too much
Canned diced tomatoes – just because my Italian DNA never thinks you can have too many tomatoes
Green juice – this was a first purchase and it was crazy sweet I don’t know that we will buy it again
No salt seasoning – the Costco brand is really good if you haven’t tried it yet

In addition to stopping at Costco we also went to the health food store. We stop there a couple of times each month for things that we would otherwise need to order on line. It is a small store but the variety of items there carry is quite impressive. Here is what we picked up there:

Health food Store purchases yesterday:

Spirulina powder – to add to our smoothies and fresh juices
Slippery elm – for sore throats
Aloe juice – for sore throats
Mushroom Defense – to boost immunity
Cumin seeds
Red lentils – because Dan loves his lentil and tomato soup he wiped out the store

Other things we typically buy at the health food store are: wheat grass to be juiced, unusual beans like eye of goat or Christmas limas, nettle tea leaves, dandelion root tea, probiotic powder and millet.

Our food today:

7:30 am – breakfast (my serving size not Dan’s he eats 50% more)

½ cup oats
1 cup water
½ cup wild blueberries, frozen
½ cup mixed berries, frozen
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon walnuts, roughly chopped
Sprinkle cinnamon

9:30 am – snack

Double green tea (2 bags) with ascorbate C powder
1 tablespoon dry roasted edamame (another Costco item)

12:30pm – lunch

Bowl of mushroom soup with red wine and quinoa (recipe in this post)
Double green tea (2 bags) with ascorbate C powder

4:30pm – snack

½ avocado
½ cup salsa
Double green tea (2 bags) with ascorbate C powder
1 tablespoon dry roasted edamame

7:30pm - dinner

Sprouted Short Grain Brown Rice Topped with Veggies and Sesame Seed Sauce (recipe in this post)

10:00pm – snack for Dan

Chocolate, banana and peanut butter smoothie – Since Dan lost over 5 pounds when he had his sore throat we have been giving him extra calories at night to try to put the weight back on. This smoothie is his favorite so that is what I make.


Here is the soup I made for us for lunch for today. It is nothing complicated just a plain mushroom soup in a red wine flavored base. I served it over quinoa for extra protein and calories. Here is what I did:

Mushroom Soup with Red Wine and Quinoa
serves 2


1 cup dried mixed mushrooms
3 - 4 cups water (depending on how long you simmer the soup)
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 cup water
1 cup dry Italian red wine
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups quinoa cooked **


Combine the dried mushrooms and 3 cups of water in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high until the water is boiling. Allow the mushrooms to sit in the hot water until they are tender (about 20 minutes). Once the mushrooms are tender it is time to start the soup base.

Bring the 1 cup of water to a rapid boil and add the onions and garlic and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the strained mushroom liquid (you strain to catch any dirt or girt that may be contained in the dry mushrooms). Chop the mushrooms roughly into pieces that will fit easily on a spoon. Add the mushrooms and remaining ingredients (except quinoa) to the pot and simmer for at least 15 minutes so the flavors can marry. I simmered mine for an hour and needed to add additional water.

Place the quinoa in the base of the bowl and top with the mushroom and wine broth. If desired you can include some parsley, rosemary, julienned spinach or truffle cream.

** I try to keep a cooked grain in the refrigerator to add to soups or to make a fast lunch. Recently I have been cooking a lot of quinoa. I like the protein and calories it adds to dishes.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 410.9
Calories From Fat (8%) - 34.64

Total Fat - 3.87g
Saturated Fat - 0.09g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 38.08mg
Potassium - 867.92mg
Total Carbohydrates - 64.19g
Fiber - 8.67g
Sugar - 3.79g
Protein - 11.06g


This is a simple soup but if you like mushrooms this is the soup for you. We happen to be mushroom fiends so we both love anything that has an intense mushroom flavor. Sometimes I am in the mood for a thinner broth based soup. However if you like thicker soups you can use cornstarch or arrowroot to give the broth some body. I combined cold quinoa from the refrigerator with the hot soup and it was enough to warm the quinoa. You can also microwave the quinoa if you prefer. I was a little surprised by how filling this soup was.


We are having another rainy day today. Apparently there is another front coming through. When the weather is like this I tend to want soup, hot soup not raw soup. There is something about cool rainy weather that just says soup to me. Even though we had soup for lunch I considered making soup again tonight but ultimately decided it would be too much soup for Dan in one day. Instead of soup I thought Asian food would be good.

About 20 years ago I bought a large hardback cookbook at a second hand book store simply titled “The Complete Asian Cookbook” by Charmaine Solomon. This book is an encyclopedia of Asian cuisine which contains over 500 pages. It was first published in 1976 and covers food from Pakistan to Cambodia and everything in between. If you ever see the book I hope you pick it up and take a look at it. It is the most used Asian book in my cookbook library.

The book contains an interesting sauce recipe, which I have adapted of course. The author says this Korean sauce is called Cho Kanjang (or sesame seed sauce) and that it works on cooked or raw vegetables. She recommends that you make the entire batch and keep it in refrigerator. Here is the recipe:

Sesame Seed Sauce
Makes 14 tablespoons


½ cup sesame seeds
1 scoop Stevia, or to taste
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons liquid aminos (the original recipe called for ¼ cup soy sauce)
¼ cup water


Combine everything in your blender and puree until creamy. Adjust seasonings (stevia, vinegar and liquid aminos) to suit your palate.

Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 29.92
Calories From Fat (61%) - 18.2

Total Fat - 2.55g
Saturated Fat - 0.36g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 343.76mg
Potassium - 47.03mg
Total Carbohydrates - 2.63g
Fiber - 0.61g
Sugar - 0.02g
Protein - 0.91g


This sauce has a nice flavor and is a good compliment to both raw and cooked veggies. It is excellent over steamed kale, broccoli or wilted spinach. It really is a nice all purpose veggie sauce. You can make it more or less sweet, salty or acidic to suit your tastes. I like to finish dishes that use this sauce with black sesame seeds for visual reasons but white also works is you only want texture.

I used this sauce on a simple dish of lightly cooked veggies (onion, garlic, green beans, eggplant, and savoy cabbage). I served the veggies on sprouted short grain brown rice and topped it with the sauce, a few black sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions.

This is another variation of what I call a rice bowl dinner; although I served it on a plate so you could see it all. As a broad category rice bowls are probably the most common thing we eat. I change the veggies and the sauce and sometimes even the grain. But the general concept remains the same, a whole grain topped with veggies and sauce. I love the simplicity and ease of the dish. You can add baked tofu, beans, or seitan if you please. The sauce is what gives this dish its flavor, add as much of little as you like.

Unrelated notes:

First I want to say I hope that today’s post gives you a better idea about what we eat at our house. Typically there would have been a salad or two in our day but Costco didn’t have any organic baby spinach yesterday and that is something I only buy organic. I have a question for all of you. Did you get a better sense of what we eat on a daily basis from this post? Would you like me to do more posts like this? I can’t do this every day because it takes hours to do this. But if it is helpful I can do a few posts a month like this. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Today the final e-Cornell course started. I did not have time to log in, but plan to watch all the lectures tomorrow. I wanted to let you all know so that you would realize why I won’t be getting to my email as quickly as usual. As soon I have finished the last course I will write a post about the program and my thoughts on the level of the material and who would benefit from the program.

Over the last few days I have been watching the lectures from the 2009 Nutrition and Health Conference. I have been very pleased with the information contained so far. It will take me another week or so to get through all the lectures. When I do I will come back with a thorough review. But I can tell you that I have already decided to buy the DVDs from this year’s conference if that gives you some idea of what I think so far. ;-)


  1. Personally I think you eat like us, just healthier. I would like to see a weekly post on what you eat, I think it helps people really see how to schedule snacks!! I thought it was wonderful!

  2. Brandi

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think I can do a post like this weekly or at least every other week. I try to eat every 3 or 4 hours. As we have discussed I snack all day. I think that is one reason I don't ever get ravenous.

    thanks again,

  3. Wow, I hope I didn't sound critical! It was just a little tease, you know, between friends. Yipes.

  4. Ok, that mushroom soup is seriously calling my name. Love mushrooms as I've mentioned before. Definitely need to give this one a shot. Thanks for taking the time to do this post by the way!

  5. Blessed Mama,

    Your comment didn't sound bad. However it did make me think that it was possible I wasn't posting enough about what we eat. Did my post last night give you any more insight? That was what I was trying to do. ;-)


  6. Heather,

    I adore mushrooms too. We could eat them everyday. Glad they are good for us as often as we eat them. LOL

    Did you learn anything interesting from this post?

    talk to you later,

  7. Yes, it gave me insight. We eat about the same amount of meals. I just have a probelm with portion control. I started thinking about posting snacks about a month ago - but haven't yet, so it's good to see that people might be interested in that. Snacks can be fun, and some people run out of ideas, I think. Hopefully, we'll be getting our juicer at the end this month, even though furloughs aren't over, and then some of my fluffiness won't be so fluffy anymore. :)

  8. Blessed Mama,

    I glad this helped. I tend to be a snacker, as you saw. For me that seems to keep me from getting too hungry. While I started eating the dry roasted edamame with the tea because of the health synergy I find that it seems to keep me satisfied too (which I didn't think it would).

    I hope you post some of your snack ideas. I can always use more ideas. ;-)

    Yay for the juicer. Can't wait to see what you make with it.


  9. Looking forward to your thoughts on the e-course.
    I too eat every 3-4 hours, otherwise I can't keep my weight up. It's funny how much more I eat now than when I ate the SAD.

  10. Janet,

    We eat a much larger volume of food now too. When I omitted the oil for cooking I really found it necessary to up the portions. Dan is always saying that it feels like all we do is eat. I guess I have to agree with him. ;-) But without the calories from fat it is necessary to eat more produce and grain to get adequate calories.

    talk to you later,

  11. I'm with Dan, somedays it seems like all I do is cook, eat and cleanup ;-)

  12. Janet,

    Same here, LOL. I spend a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen. Good thing I like to cook. Clean up .... well that is another story. ;-)


  13. That mushroom soup sounds soooooo good! It is cool and rainy here too, so I will be making that soon for sure. I love mushrooms, and the combo of ingredients sounds yummy :-) Thank you for sharing!

    I love seeing what people eat
    (I am weird, lol), but I love recipes even more :-) So if your daily eats will displace the recipes then I would prefer recipes!


  14. I loved the post, Alicia. I'd love to see more. One question, and perhaps you've answered this in previous you have a menu plan for the week generally or do you do the more intuitive eating/cooking (i.e. whatever you feel like that day). I'm just wondering. At least for me right now, I find that I eat better and regularly when I have a weekly plan. Of course, I am on a frugal (ewww...I hate that word) budget at the moment so planning also saves me money.

    Sorry to ramble, but I was just wondering.

    BTW....your cats are just gorgeous.


  15. fun post, i was neat to see what you norm. eat in a day, it was less than i had thought, like i eat A LOT more. but that 10:00pm snack for Dan sounded good! one day ill do the same thing, just to see for myself how much i eat..i might scare myself... i think that once every couple weeks would be good, not because i wouldnt want o see more but because of the work involved. im pretty thankful for whatever posts you put up so im not gonna push my i like everything you do...i do wnat to see your pantry though, and i dont even care if that sounds weird!!!

  16. oh and i have been doing the same thing, eating every couple hours, i think that really works!

  17. gah, two more things..i just did your get to know you friday thing so id be ready for this fridays and that your cats look like yin and yang. there that should* be it!

  18. Courtney,

    I don't think I could survive without mushrooms. We eat them all the time.

    Thanks for letting me know what you think about the food and recipes. I wasn't going to stop sharing recipes. I was just trying to gauge how useful the "food journal" concept was. From the comments and emails I am going to assume it was more popular than I anticipated.

    thanks again for your opinion,

  19. Lolly,

    Thanks for letting me know what you think about the food journal concept. I am going to do it when I can. I may not take pictures of each item, but will try to include what I eat and the links to the recipes.

    I have tried to make a menu but it is useless for me because I won't stick to it. I am very weird about food. It is something that I change my mind many times before actually deciding on what I am going to prepare. This makes sticking to a plan pretty much impossible. ;-)

    Thanks for the feline compliment. I think they are adorable, but I am biased since I am their "mommy", LOL. Don't all moms think their children are the most brilliant and adorable?


  20. Michelle,

    I think you can eat more because you are younger. Also, what I eat changes from day to day. Some days I am more hungry than other days. It may be hormonal I don't really know. I eat what my body tells me it wants, if that makes any sense. Providing it is healthy that is. LOL!

    I will post some pics of my pantry soon. But I warn you, it is scary. I have a small grocery store in my house. That is why I can wait until the last minute during the week to decide what I am making. ;-)

    Nibbling through out the day really works for me. I don't know that is does for everyone but I prefer to eat this way.

    The boys do look like ying and yang. I had not noticed that. The little white one (Nicco aka Binky) is the bad one as you know. Masi is my little angel. They are opposites in many respects.


  21. Alicia, don't you lose weight if you eat like that all the time? I think that I eat more, such as what you listed plus extra grains (cereal, bread) and sweets (dates, sweetened yogurt, fruit, dried fruit...). Maybe I'm a little more active. It seems like I'm buying groceries all the time, but I don't like to stash too much because then some goes bad, plus I have a fairly small fridge and pantry.

    What I found the most interesting is that you listen to your body when it comes to eating. That is the hardest part when one loves to munch! I really want to give my body all the health it deserves, but it seems to take so much discipline! I've been meaning to ask and maybe this is a good time -- what are your best references showing the deleterious effects of sugars? Maybe reading more studies will help me change my habits.

  22. Your kitties do look little Yan and Yangers! V. Cute!

  23. Laura,

    My appetite seems to come and go, with no method to the madness. I think it is some crazy premenopausal thing, but I really have no idea. On the days I do intense cardio I have a much bigger appetite. To answer your question I do eat more some days and less others. I used to eat much more than I do now, and I weighed more than too. ;-) Following the 6 week program on E2L peridically has altered my taste buds. I don't like the texture of foods cooked with oil now. Also fruit, particularly juice and dried fruit tastes very sweet to me. Bananas are about as sweet as I can stand now.

    They are so many reasons not to eat sugar or flour it is hard to know where to start. Have you read "Eat to Live" or "Eat for Health"? For us the blood glucose impact is enough to keep our fruit and flour to a bare minimum. Both my husband and I have low blood sugar (fasting levels in the 80s) which is what we want. Also the book by Dr. Kessler "The End of Overeating" is very interesting. He discusses the addictive nature of sugar, fat and salt. I found that fascinating. I will give a little more thought to the question and will see if I can recommend one book only. What are your concerns, cancer, heart diseaser, diabetes or weight loss? That will help me to know which book to recommend.


  24. Rose,

    You and Michelle on the same wave length. I had not thought of it until she mentioned it. They are so angelic when they are sleeping. LOL


  25. Laura,

    It just occured to me that you may be taller than I am. Since I am 5' 2 1/2" that does factor into the equation. ;-) I always forget that I am shorter than most people.


  26. Thanks for this, very interesting. Especially to see snacks too. I never thought to have avocado but i suppose it's pretty satiating? Reading the comments too...about the sugar and flour? I really didn't realise there was anything wrong with natural sugars in fruit and wholegrains from flour. I eat a lot of fruit as I have rather a sweet tooth and I eat wholemeal wraps and pittas so obviously flour. Could you say anything more about this issue. Should I reduce my intake of these? Thank you, Emma

  27. Emma,

    Thanks for letting me know you found this interesting. I am a big snacker, I tend to eat every 3 or 4 hours.

    Fruit in moderation is fine just don't overdo. We try to eat low sugar fruit, like berries (for ellagic acid) and melons most of the time.

    Flour, even whole wheat, has a high GI index. It will elevate your blood glucose which over the long run can lead to metabolic syndrome or diabetes. We avoid sugar since it feeds cancer. Did you know that cancer is primarily a sugar feeder? That is how PET scans work. The put a material in the glucose solution which the cancers absorbs quickly and then they can get a picture or it. I will write a post about whole wheat flour since you asked. To answer you question I think flour is ok in moderation, but most people don't consume it that way.

    talk to you later,

  28. I hit an "eating low" the other day and most of yesterday getting psyched up to do the E2L 6-week program. When I don't sufficiently control my intake of grains and sweets, my addiction gets so much stronger and more difficult to control over the following days. I hate that feeling, plus the damage I'm probably doing to my body. I listened to Dr. Fuhrman on a radio talk show (Handelman), read all his stuff on the web, and re-read a bunch of your posts plus some of the other bloggers. I also ordered the 3-volume set by Dr. Greger and will soon visit our library to renew my card. Wish me luck!

    Just a few questions about your shopping cart:
    1) I used the dried mushrooms from Costco last night, soaking them in boiling water for an hour before putting them into a stir-fry. They were quite tough. I guess they need more cooking to get tender?
    2) Can you get organic grapes where you are? If not, do you have a special way of washing your grapes?
    3) You mentioned not using the lemons in your green drinks because they aren't organic--do you mean the zest?
    4) A local Asian store sells Japanese green tea really cheap, about $3 for 250 bags. Is there a special brand you like, or should I try this? I don't particularly like green tea, but am going to try to drink more.
    5) When you have oats for breakfast, are they steel-cut, rolled (regular) or rolled (quick-cooking)? How do you cook them in the microwave?

    Thanks so much and have a great day.

  29. Laura,

    Sorry to hear about the eating low, but it sounds like it has caused you to seriously contemplate a big change. Good for you, I know you can do this! It is tough the first few weeks as you get accustomed to food witouth oil and sugar but it will become "your new normal" once you make it through the 6 weeks. I think getting the Dr. Greger CDs was a good idea. I found that understanding "why" I should be eating this way helps me to stay on track. Seeing things as "toxic for the body" makes them much less appealing for me and Dan.

    If you have any questions about this let me know. It took me a while to acutally commit so I understand the problems you may face.

    1) Regarding the mushrooms I soak them and then cook them until tender. I normally use them in soup so they soak and cook for quite a while. In stir fry I tend to use dried black fungus mushrooms which are thinner and rehydrate must faster.

    2) In the summer I can get organic grapes at the farmers' market, but don't often see them at the market. I use a product called "Veggie Wash" on my produce.

    3) When I make fresh green juice I cut the lemon up, peel and all, and run it through the juicer. That is why I only use organic for the juice or when I want zest.

    4) The Japanes tea that is the highest in EGCG is Sencha or Matcha. But it is all higher than Chinese. Since you don't like green tea add other flavors to it. Dan didn't love it right awasy so I started giving him green tea with Earl Grey. Now he drinks all green. We consider it "medicinal" like taking a vitamin. But over time we have come to like it. You can also try a splash of pomegranate juice, lemon or a orange juice to give it more flavor.

    5) Our oatmeal varies. Sometimes it is oat bran, sometimes rolled and other times steel cut. If it is bran or steel cut I make it in a large batch and store it in frig. The rolled oats can be made in microwave in a few minutes.

    good luck and let me know if I can answer any other questions,

  30. Thanks so much for the info and support! I just got back from spinning class (what a great workout) and am having a few raw veggies with no-fat hummus. I think the hardest part for me is staying away from sweets, esp. chocolate, which I've always loved and let myself indulge in. My weight is pretty good (5'7" and about 128#) and I don't have any serious physical problems, so people don't understand my concern with food. I'm glad I have someone to talk to here!

  31. Laura,

    Sweets are tough, I am convinced sugar is addictive. I find that once I am off of it and flour for a few weeks I feel much more "even", no highs or lows. High blood glucose is bad no matter what your size, but I imagine you know that. Most Americans think you are healthy if you are thin but that is not true. We have a good friend that has had 4 serious coronary events over the last 12 months and he isn't heavy but his diet does need work. I really believe food makes a major difference in terms of overall health.

    BTW, I love spinning too. It is a great workout. Have you tried P90X yet? I have been doing that for about a month, it is kicking my butt, in a good way.

    If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask. I will help if I can or let you know if I haven't read anything on the topic.


  32. I find your posts fun, friendly and (in)formative - you have an endless capacity for giving to others when they need help.

    I haven't been here often enough to know who suffers from the cancer, but would you say that changing your diet has helped to kick the cancer? I'm vegan by choice, not necessity, and have a wheat intolerance:(

    I found this blog very interesting - I tend to feel better if I eat little and often.

  33. Hi Christine,

    What a nice comment. Thank you so much for making me smile this morning.

    Both the hubby and I have had cancer. We are quite a pair. ;-)

    I absolutely think our healthy diet has made a big difference. I would describe our diet as whole food plant based that happens to also be vegan. I suppose I have seen so many unhealthy vegan blogs that the term vegan doesn't necessarily mean healthy to me now, sadly. =(

    We do eat wheat sometimes but mostly in the form of gluten since flour doesn't have much nutrition. But we don't eat seitan often preferring to concentrate on veggies, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds for the nutrition.

    I will check out the link, thanks for sending it.



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