Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Invigorating Day and Gorgeous Weather

Our day started with the most glorious weather today. Who wouldn’t love a sunny April day with mid-day temperatures in the mid-80’s? Hello spring, how I have missed you. ;-)

Knowing the weather was going to be on the warm side I started a batch of cold processed green and white blend tea first thing in the morning. It is nice to be back to the cold processed green and white tea. I missed making it this winter but when it is cold outside cold tea doesn’t feel “right” to me.

While I was rushing around this morning making Dan’s breakfast and packing his lunch I bent my little toe back extremely far and immediately knew it wasn’t good. I am fairly sure it is broken because it hurts to touch and is swollen. No I didn’t go to the doctor it is only my little toe. I did do some quick research and immediately started icing it, took Tylenol and elevated my foot. Since the Tylenol was enough to take the edge off the pain I just kept going. I did skip my long walk this morning since it isn’t comfortable to be on my feet. Maybe this will teach me to wear slippers around the house from now on. Knowing how I am I can safely say that I probably won’t change my barefoot habit but hope springs eternal right?

Dan had his favorite green smoothie this morning for breakfast which included: frozen banana, kale, walnuts, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, powdered ginger, stevia and a little water. He loves this smoothie which makes me happy because it is more nutritious than many things he could request for breakfast.

I mentioned yesterday that I just finished reading “Clean” and that has me craving fresh juice. Additionally Emily is doing a juice fast and that also has me thinking juice and smoothies. Of course the change in weather doesn’t hurt either. I suppose I don’t have to tell you what I had for breakfast do I?

Wednesday my breakfast was fresh juice of: 1 beet, 3 stalks celery, 2 cups raw baby collards, 1 orange, ½ lemon, 1 inch fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon chia seeds which I had over ice in a frosty glass. It may be just me but I love having a tall glass of nutrition first thing in the morning.

Given the throbbing in my foot I decided today was a good day to take it a little easy. I actually didn't exercise today. Okay I did some crunches, planks and gentle yoga but I don’t think that really counts. ;-)

My lunch was an enormous salad of: approximately 6 cups baby spinach, about 1 cup cold leftover bulgur with sun-dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, thinly sliced cucumber, salsa, and cherry tomatoes. Lunch was delicious, nutritious, very filling not to mention ready in under 5 minutes. That is my kind of lunch for sure. LOL

After lunch I had a chance to chat on the phone and found the call to be very uplifting. There is something wonderful about talking to someone that shares your views of health and nutrition. It caused me to reflect on my life and how it has changed since I gave up being part of corporate America.

Retiring is one of the best things I ever did for myself. When I “worked” I spent far too much time away from home and very little time on myself and/or my family. Additionally I never felt any joy from work; it was only what I did to make money. Of course I liked some aspects for working but overall it was a giant bust.

One of the things I love the most about my life now is the time I have to research health and being able to share it with you. I get many touching emails from people telling me that I inspire them, or asking questions about how to eat more healthfully or telling me how much they like savory oatmeal. Every time I read one of those emails I am encouraged to put more effort into blogging and to share more information. Making a difference in someone’s dietary choices and helping them to improve their health is such a high for me. Thank you for reading, commenting and emailing. All of you make the time I spend on the blog a true labor of love.

After “Chatty Cathy” (my nickname as a child for obvious reasons) got off the phone it was time to make something for dinner tonight. I decided to pressure cook black beans since we hadn’t had those in a couple weeks. You do all remember that the darker beans are higher in antioxidants right? I pressure cooked 2 cups of black beans in 8 cups of water under high pressure for 22 minutes then let the pressure fall naturally. When the beans were cool I put them in the refrigerator for later.

I also cubed two sweet potatoes and cooked them in the little counter-top halogen/convection/infra red oven and they were ready in 15 minutes without preheating the oven. I have only used my big oven twice since I bought this thing. It is the perfect for making quick food for the two of us. I love that it doesn’t need to be preheated and is almost as fast as the microwave but without the odd texture that you sometimes get when cooking in a microwave. When I bought this thing I wasn’t sure we would get a lot of use out of it since it is marketed as cooking meat quickly but I really love having it.

While the beans were cooking I grabbed package of seaweed snacks for their iodine content. When I gave up iodized salt years ago I wondered about the impact on my health but didn’t do a lot of research since I decided adding iodine to salt was unnatural and therefore not a concern. Fast forward about a week ago I read this article about iodine deficiencies in the UK. That was when I decided to add more sea vegetables to our day. We don’t eat sea veg every day but we do have it a couple times of week when I remember. With a little luck sea veg will become part of our routine like the brazil nuts, flax or chia, turmeric and black pepper, broccoli and tomatoes, walnuts, green and white tea with ascorbate C…you get the idea. ;-)

I also had my usual orange and Brazil nut snack.  When it is no longer orange season I may start adding two Brazil nuts to our smoothies to make certain we get adequate selenium.

Dinner tonight was another salad in a serving bowl. This salad contained: baby spinach, cilantro, salsa, black beans, sweet potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, and marinated mushrooms.

Salads are one of my favorite things to eat when the weather starts to get warmer. It is hard to believe that there was a time when salad was my least favorite part of a meal. My food preferences so radically changed it is hard for me to believe. I often get asked if it is easy to eat this way and my answer is always yes. There are two primary reasons we are able to maintain our uber diet. The first is that we both feel so incredible which reduces our desire for unhealthy food. The second reason is knowledge. Once you know exactly why you should be avoiding certain foods even when our habits and memories cause us to look fondly at an unhealthy item the knowledge is enough to keep us from indulging.

I will be the first to admit that eating healthy at home is a breeze compared to when we go out. Chefs are not typically "able" to cook without oil and that is just something that I accept and don’t obsess about. Given how clean our diet is at home I can let that go when we go out. Life is always a series of trade-offs. I would rather go out sometimes and have some oil that to stay home and have a more perfect diet. I guess you could say having a little oil is my idea of moderation. Overall I am content with the healthfulness of diet at this time.

Happy thoughts:

• I am happy that my toe is improving, and that is wasn’t hurt as badly as it could have been. This morning (Thursday) my toe felt really good until I bumped it on a cat tree. *rolls eyes* I have my foot elevated and iced again and it is starting to feel better. I really need to be more careful until it heals.

• Given my toe I won’t be working out as much for the next few days at least. My plan is to use that time to be productive around the house. I have a number of projects that have been on my to-do list for entirely too long. This forced exercise hiatus will give me time to get a few items crossed off my list.

• It is nice that I have gotten the hang of Facebook since I had a lot of trepidation around starting that. I can already see that I need to be careful that Facebook doesn’t cause me to spend a lot more time on the computer since I have don’t want to give up any of my other activities and there are only so many hours in the day.

• Today I am going to take some time to work on my Easter menu. Currently I am thinking I may make fresh pasta as a treat for everyone. When I have the menu finalized I will let you know what I am making.

Signing off:

I have been lazy long enough this morning so it is time to get busy. I need to make myself breakfast and get caught up with my nutrition reading. For those of you on Facebook I will posting links to any articles that I find interesting soon.

I hope you had the same gorgeous weather yesterday that we enjoyed. Talk to you again tomorrow. Have a great Thursday!


  1. Hi Ali,
    Besides the nutrition information and the great recipes, your blog is so encouraging to read. A healthy nutrition-based lifestyle is very different from what most people follow so I find it very helpful to know that you are a constant source of encouragement. So it's very intresting to me to see how your intereactions go with omnis like your parents or friends, and how you manage to eat the way you do around others. Slowly but surely, I am finding my way of doing the same.
    p.s. very excited to hear your Easter menu! I think I might make a creamy curried cauliflower and spinach dish. Not sure if that is Easter tradition exactly, but I think this holiday is pretty open to food. As long as it's bright and Spring-y!

  2. I am reading a couple of books on juicing now. I KNOW my diet could use a boost.

    We love seaweed snacks! They are so yummy & convenient!

  3. Ali,
    Your juice breakfast sounds great. I'm going to put these ingredients on my shopping list as well.

  4. Your dinner salad is right up my alley. Yummy. I think an uplifting phone conversation (or even email conversation) can really make your day.

  5. I LOVE those seaweed snacks! So, so good!! And I wish it was gorgeous here today. We've had temps in the 80s for weeks, and then suddenly, today it's 60-something and everyone's wearing long sleeves. I wish summer would hurry up and get here!!

  6. I am SO sorry to hear about your toe. I broke my little pinkie toe last year and it took forever to heal--it kind of still bothers me sometimes. Hopefully yours will heal much more quickly and will heal better than mine! I think I did too much and didn't listen to my body like you are and therefore made it worse than it could have been (and I didn't go to the doctor either, of course ;-) But I did have my nurse friend look at it, lol). Please do take it easy and keep it on ice (which I also couldn't do due to working all day, but which I really should have done) and stay off of it as much as possible!!


  7. Sorry about your toe. When I broke my little toe I was told to tape it (medical tape) tightly with the next toe. I think that helps stabilize it while it's healing. Just a thought.

  8. Hope your toe is better. Toe breaks are no fun and are so awkward.

    The smoothie looks so good, but I am not sure how I feel about beets. I have never had one (I know!) so maybe I will have to be brave and try!

    On your salad, you put bulgur with sundried tomatoes...just the two ingredients or some other seasonings. Sounds terrific and I have both ingredients here. Just wondering...

    I will add my sentiments here - and I have told you in real life as well - I LOVE YOUR BLOG and just love reading each post and your writing style is awesome!

    I am a few days behind in reading blogs so am off to catch up!


  9. Jill,

    Thanks you are too kind. I am happy that I can help. Part of the reason we manage to eat this way around others is that we have been doing it so long that everyone knows about it. I think that helps a lot.

    How was your Easter? Did you make the curried cauliflower?

    talk to you later,

  10. Neca,

    I would love to hear what you think of the juicing books particularly if you find a good one. As soon as the weather starts to get warmer I seem to begin craving juice. I am always trying to improve our diet so I know what you mean.

    The seaweed snacks are good. I also love the convenience of them.

    hope you had a nice weekend,

  11. Aimee,

    I need to write a juice post soon. I have found that adding a few items seems to make all combinations better. With a little luck I will get that written this week.

    I hope you had a great weekend,

  12. Heather,

    Thanks! I agree sometimes talking to a girlfriend (either on the phone or online) is just what the doctor ordered.

    hope you had a good weekend,

  13. Bianca,

    The seaweed snacks are a bit addictive. Dan and I really like them but the omnis we know are not as crazy about them and I have no idea why.

    Our weather is always variable this time of year. We vascilate between 80 and 60 too. I can't wait for summer to get here either.

    Hope you had a good weekend,

  14. Courtney,

    I remember your toe incident now that you mention it. You had an altercation with your coffee table right? My toe doesn't bother me much until I put on shoes. I have no idea how you went to work with a broken toe. Clearly you are much tougher than I am.


  15. Elizabeth,

    Thanks for the toe taping tip. I am doing that some days but not everyday. I am still shocked by how much a broken toe hurts. I hope it heals soon as I am getting tired of babying it. Not to mention I am missing my morning walks.

    hope you had a nice weekend,

  16. Lolly,

    Thanks for the toe sympathy. I continue to be surprised by how much it hurt and continues to hurt.

    I had a bad experience with beets as a child and just started eating them as an adult about 5 years ago. No one was more shocked than me that I like them. My favorite way to eat them (other than raw in juice) is to roast them in orange juice, marsala and thyme...delicious.

    For the bulgur and sun-dried tomatoes you can make it plain or add garlic, onions, Italian seasonings that sort of thing. I sometimes add Indian seasonings too depending on how I plan to use it. Does that make sense?

    Thanks for letting me know you like the blog, I really appreciate it. Blogging feels very solitary most of the time so comments make a huge difference. :-)

    hope you were able to enjoy part of your weekend in spite of the hospital,


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