Archives for the month of: February, 2013

Six Months Down, Six to Go!

I had two goals for February.

The first was adopting a nutritarian lifestyle, or eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables (particularly leafy greens), nuts, seeds, onions, mushrooms, whole grains, beans, and berries.  I started Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Six-Week Plan on February 12.  It has been at times a very rocky road, with lots of irritability and impatience, but I have followed the food guidelines to the letter.  The only thing I have consumed in a very limited quantity is mushrooms.  I’m not a fan of mushrooms so I’ve eaten only two this month, and they were mixed in with the other pizza ingredients so I didn’t even notice them.  I’ve chopped more vegetables and cooked more in the last two weeks than I’ve done in my entire life (or at least it feels like that!).  I’ve lost ten pounds in sixteen days but I can’t report any other noticeable changes since eliminating animal products from my diet.

The second was adopting some sort of a daily meditation practice.  I had a good run for a while, until I had to take my CD player to my business space.  Once I had no CD player, my before-bed meditations with Doreen Virtue were forgotten.

February was both interesting and challenging, no doubt about it.  I’m curious what March has in store.

bok choy 2Bok choy is an ingredient in Chinese food, not part of my eating plan.  How things have changed.  Since embarking on Dr. Fuhrman’s Six-Week Plan, I’ve water sautéed bok choy numerous times and today, for the first time, I ate it raw in a most tasty Apple Bok Choy Salad (Super Immunity, p202).  The serving size was so plentiful that when I got to my cauliflower soup, I was so full I couldn’t even finish the soup.  I can’t even remember the last time I was unable to finish my dinner.

47I cut up my first fresh pineapple this morning for my breakfast smoothie.  Frankly, it was a lot of fuss and work for two cups of fruit, which at least was the exact amount I needed.  I wish I could find frozen pineapple.  The smoothie itself, called Got Greens Smoothie from Eat to Live, was enjoyable, with kiwis, banana, avocado, spinach, romaine lettuce and, of course, pineapple.

1282850315I’m officially finished one third of Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Six-Week Plan.  I feel like I’ve eaten more fruits, vegetables, and beans than I’ve consumed in my entire life.  I use my Vitamix every day and I never imagined I’d own such an expensive blender.  I pore through nutritarian recipes in the same way I used to devour Nora Roberts novels.  I’m forever making grocery lists and then going to the store for those ingredients I never thought I’d buy, like currants or nutritional yeast.  This adventure (“hell” as my sister proclaims) is never dull.  I know I’ll make it to Day 42.  After that, I have no idea.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Eat to Live Day 13 of 42

I made a Spinach Salad with Strawberry Sesame Vinaigrette for the first time.  Absolutely delightful.  I was worried that the strawberries would be tasteless since they had a lot of white around the stems.  Happily, once the white bits were cut off, the strawberries were sweet and wonderful.  This salad was the raw portion of my dinner.  For the cooked portion, I water sautéed zucchini and baby bok choy.  For dessert, I had Forbidden Rice Pudding, another recipe I tried for the first time today.  The combination of black rice, soy milk, dried apple, blueberries, dates, currants, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and chia seeds is a winner.

bright_sun_with_cloudsI was sunny today.  That is not a typo.  I was sunny today.

I loved and savoured every mouthful I ate.  My lunch was amazing; the cabbage salad was satisfying and tasty and the orange was succulent.  My dinner was equally amazing, and I was stuffed after finishing the cabbage salad and soup.

I happily spent an hour preparing and portioning cauliflower soup.

I walked to the grocery story, the first exercise I’ve done in ages, and the sun and bare roads made me excited for spring.

I gave a hot stone massage to a Healing Touch colleague.  I could only smile when she kept falling asleep.

I’m at the end of Day 12 of 42 and I’ve lost 10 pounds.

I hope that tomorrow I’m just as sunny as today.

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Easy 3-Bean Vegetable Chili

The recipe didn’t lie.  I made a batch today and it actually was easy.  There are six huge servings, which means I can freeze some for quick meals.

In Eat to Live, Dr. Fuhrman states that “beans are a dieter’s best friend…[and]…are a powerhouse of nutrition.  They reduce cholesterol and blood sugar.  They have a high nutrient-per-calorie profile and help prevent food cravings.  They are digested slowly, which has a stabilizing effect on…blood sugar and a resultant high satiety index.”

I’m glad that beans have so many health benefits.  I’m even more glad that I love to eat them.

318164_549743488379422_1594645131_nAs much as I like fruits and vegetables, not to mention beans and nuts, life would be so much simpler if “fast, cheap, easy, and fake” didn’t always taste so good.

recipe_cashewsDr. Oz’s Tip of the Day: Cancer-proof your diet. Add…cashews to your grocery list.  …12 cashews a day can help reduce your risk for colon cancer.

I love cashews and I love that Eat to Live’s Six-Week Plan includes eating at least one ounce of nuts and seeds per day.  Apparently,”…scientific studies consistently report that nuts and seeds offer disease protection against heart attack, stroke, and cancer and also help lower cholesterol” (p292, Eat to Live).

Also, unbeknownst to me, nuts and seeds are “best used in salads, salad dressings, and dips, because when eaten with greens, they greatly enhance the absorption of nutrients from the green vegetables.  You should never snack on nuts and seeds; they should be part of a meal” (p292).

11094_480011572045879_225126872_nEat to Live’s Day 8 of 42 passed without incident.  I breakfasted with fruits and veggies.  Then I lunched with fruits and veggies.  Then I dined with fruits and veggies.  For the third night in a row, I had a vegetable pizza.  I love it, almost as much as I love Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream, which I just had to have for dessert.

At least I survived the first week and lost six pounds in the process.  The one thing that might prevent me from eating like this on a permanent basis is the length of time it takes to eat lunch and dinner.  It took 35 and 45 minutes respectively to finish both meals.  It’s rather funny, actually, that I’m complaining about having to eat so much.