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and other joys in life


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Delicious Juices

First things first; my cleanse is going quite well.  I finished week 1 in one piece; I’m feeling ‘clean’, have more energy, and haven’t felt bloated!  I’ve had a headache or two, but this is supposedly normal; and they’ve not been bad at all.  The only major negative I am experiencing is muscle soreness.  As mentioned earlier, I am continuing to exercise as normal.  Due to the minimal protein I am consuming, I guess my muscles are unable to recover as quickly as normal.  Therefore- I am looking forward to adding seafood, soy and beans/lentils into my diet today!

One of the best things so far has been trying out new recipes.  Here are a few of the items on my week 1 menu: butternut squash soup, tomato soup, various salads including slaws including avocado, bell pepper and arugula, roasted cauliflower and peppers, and sweet potato chips.

I’ll share more details on the best ones later.  In the meantime, I’d like to share some juicing recipes!

I got my juicer for my birthday in February, and have had fun experimenting ever since!  I started out with mostly fruits and a little veg.  Slowly, I’ve added more veggies and less fruit.  Typically, I just put whatever produce I have around and see what the outcome is.

The best results have come from some combination of carrots, apples, pineapple, grapes and oranges.  These all taste nice, and yield a relatively large amount of juice.  I was really excited about juicing greens- but they don’t yield as much juice.  Lettuce and kale seem to do alright; spinach and arugula not so much.  However, I do still use these in addition to other produce.

Okay, now for some recipes.  These are some I’ve tried and enjoyed.

Grapefruit-Carrot

2 grapefruits, peeled

5 carrots

1 inch of ginger

Green Machine

6 leaves romaine

4 leaves kale

½ pineapple

1 mango

Fresh parsley

Fresh ginger

Beet-Carrot-Apple

1 small beet

5 carrots

1 apple

¼ cup fresh mint

(Okay, this one wasn’t great, but I think I could modify it to taste better.)

My goal for this week is to listen to my body.  I plan to stop eating when my body tells me it’s satisfied, instead of stuffing it full.  Be watching for some great vegetarian recipes to come!

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Cleanse Update

Well,  I had to modify.  Here’s how the first day of my cleanse went:

I had some carrot-grapefruit juice for breakfast in place of my typical oatmeal and coffee.  I felt okay, had some blueberries and almonds for a snack.  The headache and fatigue started, which was expected.  Then I ate my lunch: arugula salad with various toppings and lemon juice/EVOO dressing.  During my afternoon class, I started to feel real bad, and it only got worse.  I felt like I had the flu.  Then, I got sick.  I went home and took a nap (which I haven’t done in years)… went to work and got sick again.  I came home… got sick again… and went to bed at 7pm.  My conclusion is that I ate something bad- because I cannot imagine that simply changing my breakfast would’ve had such a detrimental effect (since the rest of the day’s diet was consistent with my normal).

So, I decided that Friday I would start my day off with a small bowl of oatmeal (with only flax, wheat germ and cinnamon added), and a very small cup of coffee.  The oatmeal I’m okay with; I think my body needs a little something in the morning, since I am continuing my exercise (which includes lifting weights).  Plus, I lost the support of my husband once I started getting sick; he is afraid I’m going to lose weight on this cleanse.  The coffee probably would be better to skip, but here’s my reasoning: coffee has lots of benefits and I therefore had full intentions of adding it back in after the cleanse.  So, I determined that it wasn’t worth the excruciating headaches to cut it out for 3 weeks!  Please don’t judge me 🙂

With that being said, I am continuing everything else as originally planned for the remainder of each day.

Yesterday, I made vegetable broth for the first time!  Super-duper easy and I have enough for a few days’ worth of soup.

I used carrots, leeks, celery (mostly the leaves), garlic and onions.  Just chop them up in large chunks and place in a big pot.  Then, fill with water and let it simmer for about an hour.  When ready, just pour through a mesh strainer and there’s your broth!

I used the broth to make tomato soup last night (and aren’t I nice- I made my husband a grilled cheese sandwich).  Tonight or tomorrow, I plan to use it for butternut squash soup.

PS- I will blog with all the juice recipes and how they taste later!  (I’m drinking beet-carrot-apple-mint juice now).


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Cleanse

This is what it looks like the day before a cleanse. 

A what?  A cleanse, detox, a challenge, an adventure… call it what you want, I start one tomorrow.

The cleanse I am doing is from wholeliving.com.  I got the idea from Daphne Oz (Dr. Oz’s daughter, host of the Chew).  Here’s the plan in a nutshell.  Week 1 you eat only fruits, vegetables, and plant based fats- including nuts, seeds and oils.  Week 2 you add seafood, beans, lentils and soy.  Week 3 you add gluten free grains and eggs.  I chose this one because I don’t think my body would do well with only juice or raw fruits and vegetables.  I like that I can still get my good fats and protein. 

So, why?  There are lots of claimed benefits of a cleanse.  The main one being to rid the body of toxins.  The research isn’t there to prove whether this is actually beneficial (not because it’s been proven otherwise, but because there is little research done in the area).  However, it only makes sense, right?  Either way, I have many other reasons for doing this. 

  1. I like challenges.
  2. What a great way to practice self-discipline.
  3. I can discover lots of new vegetarian recipes!

Tomorrow is Day 1.  I will do my best to keep my blog updated with how it’s going, and especially to share any new recipes or ideas!

Have you ever done a cleanse?  Any advice?


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Sweet Potato Tuna Melt

Here’s one of my favorite, go-to quick dinners… Sweet Potato Tuna Melts.  No, I’m not crazy; these little guys are delicious!  My hubbie isn’t a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but even he adores these!  The idea came from The Chew.

Trim the edges off of your sweet potatoes and cut in half length-wise.  Cover and cook in the microwave for about 5 minutes, or until soft (not mushy).

Mix up the topping… you will want about 1 can of tuna per potato.  Here’s the amount for one potato; it should be simple math to multiply by however many you desire!  A spoonful of mayonnaise (I use the EVOO kind), 1 can of tuna; minced garlic (1/2-1 clove); onions (red, green, white, yellow); pepper; a squirt of lemon juice; seasonings (I use some combination of parsley, terragon, basil, and thyme).

Once the potatoes are cooked through, just place on a baking sheet and top with the topping.  Then, sprinkle with a bit of cheese and place under a broiler until lightly browned (no more than 5-7 minutes).

And there you have it.  An easy, healthy, hearty dinner.  The sweet potatoes give some nice texture, and of course sweetness.  The tuna gives some saltiness and meatiness.  The cheese and mayonnaise are creamy.  It doesn’t get much better than this if you ask me!

Do you have any favorite go-to dinners?  Anything ‘unusual’ or interesting?