Wednesday morning we almost had a heat wave. When we woke up it was actually 35 degrees. The temperature had fallen few degrees before Dan left for work but it was still warmer than we have had lately so it was very nice. Sadly no gym this morning as my knee wasn’t up to it, darn it!
Breakfast for Dan was another green smoothie (kale, spinach, frozen banana, walnuts, cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground flaxseeds and a pinch of stevia). I know the color looks odd but they are really good and taste mostly like banana. I used part kale and part spinach this morning because we are rapidly going through the three bunches of kale that we bought on Sunday. I didn’t want to run out of kale before I had a chance to get back to Whole Foods.
Once Dan left I made myself breakfast and I had savory oatmeal. I haven’t made this stuff for myself in ages. Normally I eat whatever Dan is in the mood for but since I had my breakfast after he left I made myself something different. I think savory oatmeal gets better every time I make. This version included minced garlic, cumin, oregano, fresh spinach, ground flaxseed and salsa. This stuff is so good and has great nutrition. Too bad Dan doesn’t love it as much as I do.
My mid morning snack was an orange and two Brazil nuts (for the selenium).
Later I had a banana with a few walnuts.
Since I didn’t get much cardio in today due to my knee pain I found I wasn’t very hungry. I notice the inverse when I do get in a good workout I am ravenous. Does that happen to you too?
Dan ended up coming home sooner than I had expected which was wonderful but I wasn’t ready. Since I didn’t have much time to plan or cook I went with a quick soup that is started in the Vitamix and finished on the stove. I decided that I wanted to make a healthy vegan version of an omni soup I used to make with crab and heavy cream. No fat in my prior version of the soup. As you can see we had a very unhealthy diet in the “bad old days”. ;-) Here is what I did:
Creme of “Krab” Soup Kissed with Marsala
½ red onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup raw cashews
1 quart of canned tomatoes or 2 – 15 ounce cans tomatoes (to be pureed)
1 pint of canned tomatoes or 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
dash of cayenne, to taste
¼ teaspoon celery seed, to taste
¼ teaspoon dill weed, to taste
1 tablespoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots)
1 cup brined jackfruit, cut into small pieces like crab
1 cup marinated or frozen defrosted artichokes, cut into 1/8th’s
3 or 4 tablespoons of dry Marsala, to taste (you can also use Sherry, if you want to make the soup non alcoholic use a little lemon juice or sherry vinegar to taste)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely minced, for garnish
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, for garnish – optional
In your high speed blender combine the onion, garlic, 1 quart of tomatoes, juice from the pint of tomatoes, raw cashews, celery seed and dill. Process until smooth and pour into a pot to simmer until the harsh onion and garlic has been cooked out. Alternately you can process the soup for 5 minutes in your blender and cook out the harshness. Add the brined jackfruit, artichoke hearts, drained diced tomatoes and Marsala then cook to warm the vegetable chunks. If you don’t have jackfruit you can use all artichoke hearts which we think have more flavor anyway. LOL
To serve top the soup with fresh parsley and almonds (if desired)
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 273.98
Calories From Fat (38%) - 103.66
Total Fat - 12.39g
Saturated Fat- 2.05g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 60.71mg
Potassium - 1132.63mg
Total Carbohydrates- 35.87g
Fiber - 7.68g
Sugar - 8.73g
Protein - 9.82g
When I asked Dan what he thought of the soup he said it was good, and I agree. I also asked if it reminded him of my crab version and he said not really but that it was good and that he no longer cares about recreating omni food. Wow! I had no idea he had come this far. I was very happy to hear this since I agree that as long as the food tastes good it doesn’t need to taste like the original that inspired it.
To accompany the soup we had a small salad of baby spinach, cooked sweet potato, salsa and sliced almonds.
After we ate Dan and Binky did what they do most evenings. Dan does a Sudoku puzzle and Binky helps because we all know cats are smarter than humans and we couldn’t do anything without them. Just ask your cat they will tell you, LOL.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will be the last day the gym is open until January 3. I already miss it and it isn’t closed yet. The only down side to joining our college gym is the wonky schedule during holiday break. However other than that one problem we love the gym. It is ridiculously convenient and has everything we could possibly need. Dan and I are talking about playing racquetball some evenings after work before dinner at the gym which we wouldn’t do it we had to drive very far. The proximity of this gym couldn’t be much better.
Staying Healthy Through the Holidays:
Each year I rather dread the holidays. You are bombarded with well meaning friends and family that somehow think the holidays mean it is okay to eat too much rich food with too much fat and sugar. I have no idea how this tradition started but I am sure it explains why the average American gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. *ugh*
I have a few ideas for staying healthy during the holidays that think will work for most people:
• Continue your exercise schedule to minimize the “holiday food damage”. If anything try to step up the exercise to burn additional calories since it is almost unavoidable to not consume more calories than usual.
• Eat something healthy and filling before holiday parties/gatherings to minimize the amount of unhealthy food you have room to consume. Most people aren’t as focused on health as you are and know the food at gatherings probably contains a lot more sugar, fat and salt than you consider healthy.
• I also like to wear a tight belt or snug pants to gatherings. That way there isn’t much room to eat if you know what I mean. ;-)
• If you are at a cocktail party avoid high calorie alcoholic beverages and choose something like vodka and soda instead. Better yet make every other beverage sparkling water. Alcohol has no nutrition and is just empty calories that also increases your risk of cancer. The less you can consume the better off you will be on a number of levels.
• When people give you baked goods if they are absolutely fabulous stop eating them after the first bite. I won’t waste my calorie/fat/sugar budget on anything that isn’t fabulous. We have all had those subpar cookies made by a well meaning friends or relatives. I don’t care if they are vegan or someone made them just for me. If they aren’t fantastic I don’t eat them. This has been tough for Dan since he loves sugar much more than I do. But even he has come around to this concept. It sounds odd but it does work and will help keep the holiday pounds from creeping on.
• I get on the scale every morning to see what is happening. The sooner you know something is going wrong the sooner you can do something about it is my theory.
I hope that gives you some ideas. The notion of only eating fabulous desserts is the one I think makes the biggest difference for me. I try to keep in mind that I have a “finite” calorie/fat/sugar budget and that each time I “indulge” something else has to go to maintain equilibrium.
Wednesday was a decent day for me not perfect but they never are. Here are my happy thoughts:
• It would be easy to complain about my knee but that wouldn’t make things any better and would probably result in my feeling worse. On the bright side I have a nice exercise bike at home so that I can get me cardio in and not hurt my knee. I realize that I am very fortunate to that that option.
• Dan had a “food break through” that I am thrilled about. When he told me he no longer has any desire for vegan meals to approximate omni food I could not have been happier. I think that is a sign that this healthy vegan lifestyle has become permanent. Woo hoo! I could not have asked for a better Christmas present than this. Thank you sweetie!
• We both enjoyed the quick soup I made for dinner last night. I love my Vitamix and am very lucky to have it!
• Luca Belle is still doing well with her asthma. We have stepped her down to ½ dose every other day and no wheezing thank goodness. Fingers crossed that she will be able to get her teeth cleaned sometime in January. Our vet wants the asthma completely under control and her off meds before she goes under anesthesia. I am thankful that things seem to be working out because I worry when my little furry ones are sick.
• I am also thankful for the wonderful medical team we have. It is very reassuring to have doctors (human and feline) that are genuinely concerned about everyone’s well being. We are fortunate to have them all.
• The expected snow for Christmas now appears to be coming the day after. While I am disappointed at least that means very accidents on a holiday when a lot of people are traveling to see family. Also without snow it will make it easier for Dan and me to get a little outdoor exercise in early in the day.
• So far there has been no, zero, nada holiday “goodies” at our house. I am so shocked but pleased that Dan asked me to make cookies, chocolates or some type of sweet. This will be the first year this has happened. This is a big sign of how far we come changing our diet.
Today has been a long one and I am not sure why that is. I think most of it is due to the pain in my right knee. The pain has made going down steps uncomfortable. Have I said recently how much I love this whole aging thing? *rolls eyes*
My plan for the rest of the day is a trip to Whole Foods and the gym once Dan gets home from work. I don’t know that my knee will agree with me on the gym in a few hours. However I have my fingers crossed that I can get to the gym for a little elliptical and rowing machine work. As much as I dislike the elliptical I get a better calorie burn than I do the on bike which means I am almost looking forward to it today.
I hope you are all have a wonderful end of the week and the year and that 2011 is even better than 2010. Talk to you tomorrow.