Today has been cold (50’s), gray and rainy. Today was the sort of day when a nice afternoon nap seems appropriate. I didn’t take one, but I did think about it. If there were fewer things on my to do list that nap might have happened. When it is cold and damp I always get moving slowly and today was no exception. It was about lunch time before I finally got my exercise in. I have the toughest time with morning exercise. Good thing my schedule is variable. ;-)
Lunch was a simple salad with hummus and salsa plus brown rice with more salsa. After the nut cheese overdose I felt like eating something clean today for lunch. In fact I was actually craving clean whole food. I get a lot of email about how did I learn to enjoy to eat this way. Today is as good a day as any to discuss this topic.
For most of my life I ate food because it tasted good. However when you or someone you love is faced with a life threatening disease making lifestyle changes seems very simple and easy. After I read everything I could get my hands on about nutrition we now eat to nourish and fuel ourselves rather than to indulge our food desires. Eating for health is our priority rather than eating only for pleasure. Slowly over time our food intake has become more and more healthy. If you don’t believe me look at some of my earlier recipes which included whole wheat flour, agave and oil on a year ago.
The other question I get often is how long it takes to enjoy food prepared this way. I am going to say that everyone is different, but it took us about a month, maybe 6 weeks to enjoy food without sugar and oil. I still occasionally think about fresh pasta or bread but not that often. I know I can have it; just not as often and not as much as we used to consume it. That fact seems to be enough to allow me to bypass items I don’t really need, like the bread basket when we go out to eat. Now that I understand the health benefits of a clean whole foods plant based diet the unhealthy foods just don’t have the same appeal for me that they used to. I actual think of them as toxic and that really tends to dampen my unhealthy food desires.
Today I read a recipe that absolutely horrified me. Horrified may sound like a harsh word but that was my reaction. The recipe called for 4 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of cheese and ½ stick of butter. I felt like I could hear my arteries slam shut as I read the recipe. In the past I would have looked at that and thought interesting, but not now. Learning so much about the health consequences of what we put into our mouths has given me a completely different perspective on food. There is no way I would touch that dish, not one bite. For those who are curious the 4 cups of cream alone contains 1,650 calories, 1,555 of them from fat and 176grams of fat. The 1 cup of parmesan cheese added another 430 calories, 250 from fat and 28 fat grams. And there was the half stick of butter which contains 407 calories, 405 from fat and 46 fat grams. To make matters worse this recipe appears to serve 4 people. Oh the horrors! Sorry for the rant but the recipe made me cringe. I can’t understand how anyone could think that is something to eat, let alone share. I am not going to say where I saw this but I wanted to highlight the problem with eating food just because it tastes good. I am certain this dish tastes great to the average American. However consuming it is a prescription for a health disaster. Many years ago I read about how the probability of having a cardiac event is elevated for hours after consuming a high fat meal. The recipe I saw clearly fits the definition of a high fat meal. I really wish more people gave thought to the things they consume and the impact that has on their health and the health of the people that indulge with them. My husband thinks I am a little like an ex-smoker, or ex-drinker. But in my perfect world everyone would understand nutrition and the health consequences of eating things like cream, cheese and butter. Rant over! Sorry, this had me all cranked up this afternoon so I thought it was a good topic to write about.
Why did I choose to bring this up? Well it is a rather simple. If anything I wrote helps just one person then I will be very happy. I spent years not focusing on the right things and sincerely want to help others make changes sooner in life than I did. Much of my life was spent working far too many hours to get ahead career wise. When you are young and seemingly invincible there is always time to worry about proper exercise and diet next week, next month or next year. But what I didn’t realize was that years of making less than optimal choices would have effects on not just me but also on my husband that I love. If anything I have written gives you pause the next time you are considering ordering that greasy veggie burger and fries than I am grateful to have played a small part. Sorry to get emtional but I thought you might want to know one of the reasons for my blog and the passion behind eating the healthiest diet possible.
On a much brighter note my husband bought me jewelry yesterday. As you have probably gathered by now I am a fan of bling and have quite a collection. But can a girl ever have enough baubles? I don’t think so either. Dan knows I like substantial jewelry and the “blue group” was not well represented in my collection. Yes I did wear these yesterday with my jeans. I think he did a lovely job picking out things for me.
In addition to this he also bought me a Murano glass pendant. We began our honeymoon in Venice so I have a fondness for anything Venetian. I have a nice collection of Murano glass jewelry. It makes great casual jewelry and it reminds me of our honeymoon. There is nothing wrong with the combination of jewelry and honeymoon reminder in my book.
My buddy Louis, who knows me almost as well as my hubby also came through with one of my favorites, the spring mix from Earthy dot com which includes fiddleheads, ramps and morels. I was bummed that I had actually started dinner before this arrived and considered changing course. But instead we will have these goodies the remainder of the week. My hubby is particularly fond of fresh morels so I need to come up with something special for them. Louis lives out of state so when he called yesterday he told me half of the present would come via delivery and the other half would come with him the next time he is in town. Given this home run I can only imagine what else he has up his sleeve. Great job Louis and thank you so much I love my present, like always! You could give lessons in how to buy presents! I would be the first one to sign up.
As much as I loved my presents I would gladly give up anything I own to have cancer be a thing of the past. I don’t know that many of you can appreciate what a bitch cancer is. I hope that you never find out. Before you think it can’t happen to you please look at the current statistics about cancer. It is now estimated that one out of two of us will get cancer in our lifetime and much of it can be prevented with the right lifestyle. Please think about that not just for yourself but also for those you love.
My Food Today:
As I mentioned earlier my food choices today were intentionally clean to mitigate the “cheese” fest yesterday. I was surprised that my GI system handled the volume of fat so well. Today I wanted to eat as clean to help undo some of the “damage”. Although in retrospect compared to that recipe I saw today my dish was uber healthy. Scary isn’t it?
7:45am – breakfast
½ cup oats
1 cup water
1 cup mixed frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries and Marion berries)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
10:30 am – snack
Double green tea with ginger and ascorbate C
1:45pm – lunch
2 cups organic mixed baby lettuce
2 cups baby spinach
½ cucumber, shaved thin (leftover from the cannelloni last night)
1 scoop super flavorful fat free hummus
3 tablespoons salsa
1 teaspoon raw sunflower seeds
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice topped with salsa to taste
3:30pm – snack
Double green tea with fresh sliced ginger and ascorbate C
7:00pm – snack
½ cup super flavorful fat free hummus
2 carrots to scoop hummus
9:00pm - dinner
1 serving Rice Bowl with Marinated Shitakes
?:00pm - snack (this planned for tonight I just don't know when we will have it)
Fresh fruit and veg juice with beet (like last night)
Powdered Green Drink (1/2 serving)
This is a variation of my favorite dinner, the rice bowl. Her is what I did:
Rice Bowl with Marinated Shitakes and Raw Veggies
3.5 ounces fresh shitake caps, sliced
2 tablespoons liquid aminos
1 gram scoop of stevia
8 cups spinach, julienned
1 English cucumber, julienned
2 carrots, cut into matchstick pieces
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup edamame (measured after it was shelled)
Black sesame seeds, for garnish
2 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Sriracha to taste (nutrition assumes 1 teaspoon)
Stevia to taste (nutrition assumes 1 scoop)
Combine the shitakes, liquid aminos and stevia and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. You want the mushrooms to absorb all the flavor.
Combine the brown rice and water and cook until tender. Add the edamame to the rice pot during the final steaming period to warm them if they are frozen.
Mix the sauce ingredients. Add sriracha and stevia to taste and refrigerate until needed.
Cook the shitakes over medium high heat in the marinade until the liquid is absorbed. The exact time will depend on what type of pan you are using. I cooked mine in enameled cast iron and they were ready in less than 5 minutes.
To serve use a bowl or a plate and start with the hot rice (with or without the edamame depending on if they were frozen or not) as the base. Add the remaining veggies in groups top or around the rice. Drizzle the rice with sauce and a few black sesame seeds if using. I tend to use less sauce than I called for in this recipe. But my husband uses more. I wanted to make certain to include enough sauce.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (10%) - 47.45
Total Fat - 5.82g
Saturated Fat- 0.98g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 921.51mg
Potassium - 1172.75mg
Total Carbohydrates - 94.72g
Fiber - 10.18g
Sugar - 8.06g
Protein - 16.13g
This is one of those things we eat a lot often. It falls into what I call a rice bowl. It is a filling and satisfying meal and contains not only a cooked whole grain for calories but mushrooms to boost immune function and a good dose of raw veggies for nutrition. This is why I gravitate to rice bowls so often. If you like you can add some slivered nori for trace minerals. Any veggies can be used.
Each serving of this rice bowl contains 13,680IU of vitamin A, 71mg of vitamin C, 155mg of calcium, 5mg of iron, 300mcg of folate, 480mg of magnesium, 235mg of magnesium, and 24 mcg of selenium. Not too shabby in terms of nutrition.
I need to do a few things this evening before it is time to turn in. Tomorrow I need to do a few things in the morning. But I hope to be back by on-line by mid afternoon. Here is hoping you had a good Tuesday. Talk to all tomorrow.