Friday, September 23, 2011

Sugar Detox... The Verdict


I've successfully made it to day 14 of my sugar detox diet and my body is definitely thanking me for it. I feel rebalanced - energetic, light, and like my metabolism is back to normal. Here's an overview of how days 8 - 14 went....


Sugar Detox Day 8 

This afternoon I made zucchini hummus for friends and I. Yum yum, love this stuff. I brought raw crackers and veggies to have with it. The girls were drinking wine which I would normally do too - but I drank water in a wine glass instead. I brought over a pizza crust, cashew cheese, and pesto, and together we made tomato sauce and topped the whole thing with lots of veggies. It made for a great meal to go with our chick flick!

Meals

- 2 eggs with spinach, red pepper and tomato
- Protein shake: 1 1/2 scoops New Zealand whey protein powder, frozen wild blueberries, spinach, strawberries, plain yogurt, water
- Lots of veggies, zucchini hummus, flax crackers
- Slice of raw pizza, 1 oz moose meat
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Exercise
Lawn mowing and window washing - 40 mins

Day 9


Someone was confused about how I could say I'm feeling thinner even though I mentioned some weight gain recently. Too many sweet things over the course of the summer equalled a "too heavy" feeling. I knew it was time to get off the sugar for a bit. Consequently, my metabolism has kicked up, I'm eating only what I need and not pecking away at sugary things, and so my weight is dropping. I know this because my clothes are getting loose.

Meals

- 2 eggs, spinach, zucchini, tomato
- Protein shake
- Small salad with 2 oz moose meat
- 1/2 protein shake
- Veggies, 2 oz moose meat, few raw crackers, zucchini hummus

Exercise

The Firm - weight training/cardio 45 mins
I tried one of the small exercises with 15 lb weights for the first time. I'm getting stronger, yay!

Day 10 


Today I made a big batch of chili! It's a comforting warm food for this chilly time of year. I used moose meat, zucchini, onion, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans, garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, cayenne, and sea salt.

Meals

- Protein shake
- 2 eggs with big salad
- 1/2 cup chia pudding (almond milk, chia)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- Moose meat veggie chili, fresh tomato, flax crackers, chipotle dip
- 1 egg


Day 11

This afternoon I decided to throw some kale in my protein shake. Im fine with spinach and chard in shakes because they're quite neutral, but kale is quite strong. Strangely, I could smell the kale in the drink but I couldn't taste it. Success!
I realize it doesn't look like the most well rounded plan today, but it suited my busy schedule. The egg will keep me going through the night. I didn't get any exercise today.
This afternoon I made walnut zucchini crackers and two kinds of "crab" cakes for the dehydrator. Will feature the crab cakes in another post.

Meals

- Protein shake
- Salad (romaine, kale, tomato, red pepper, cucumber, avocado) with 2 eggs
- Protein shake with kale
- Chia pudding (almond milk, chia)
- 1 egg

Day 12


Can't believe it's almost to the two week mark. This plan has been effortless and freeing! Zero cravings. I want to continue eating this way with little treats here and there - not vice versa. I've leaned out a bit in 12 days. Today I tried on a pair of jeans that I bought and wore after a juice fast. They haven't fit in a long time. Well, they fit me again! I think this plan is a much better way for me to slim down and feel balanced than a fast.

I haven't done any exercise in a few days other than short walks. I feel so much better when I work out so it's time to get into action tomorrow!


Meals

- Protein shake
- Salad with moose meat, zucchini walnut crackers with zucchini hummus
- Chia pudding (almond milk, chia)
- 2 eggs, 1 tomato

Day 13


Almost there! Today I made up for my lack of exercise in the past few days. It felt sooo good! My body especially needed to be stretched out. Yoga will be on the agenda again tomorrow.

I made eggplant dip today. It's the same one I posted last winter on Universal Eater. Often I leave it chunky but today I pulsed it in the food processor to make it a bit creamier. I also added 1/2 a zucchini to the dip and stirred in a whole bunch of fresh parsley.



A friend gave me a big bag of amazing concord grapes from her vine so I juiced them this afternoon. My mind is conjuring up different ideas of what to make with them. I mixed some with chia to make a grape jelly and will try it soon.



Meals


- Protein shake: whey protein powder, water, plain yogurt, frozen berries, kale
- Moose meat veggie chili with kale, 1 piece veggie bread
- Plain yogurt
- Salad, 2 eggs, zucchini walnut crackers, eggplant dip

Exercise

- 30 minutes power yoga
- 30 minutes The Firm weight training/cardio
- 1 hour walk

Conclusion

I feel so good on this food plan that it's my priority to stay on it with little treats here and there. I have to get back to making chocolate/desserts and I'm curious to see how it goes when I start eating sweet things again. I believe the key for me is to eat enough protein that I DON'T crave the sugar. I've proven to myself that I can lean out just as much with a sugar free diet as with a juice or smoothie fast, and feel much more balanced and satisfied in the process.

On that note, stay tuned for pre-sugar detox treats! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sugar Detox - Why this works for me and Chipotle Sun Dried Tomato Dip



Sugar Free Day 5

The days are moving along smoothly. The only minor twinges I feel are when looking at my favorite blogs when they're featuring yummy sweet things, or when I'm doling out raw chocolate to friends and family. I remind myself that I'll be eating sweet things soon enough.

It was an exciting morning as a beautiful birthday gift arrived in the mail from one of my dearest friends, Ulyana. Gorgeous turquoise hoop earrings - she knows me well, it's is my favorite stone. I bought a turquoise ring last month that the earrings go perfectly with. This stone has powerful healing properties!

It was a catering day. I assembled tuno salad sammies, packed up kale chips, and made delicious cucumber dill soup which I hope to make again soon and write down to share with you.

Meals

- 2 eggs, chard, tomato (same ol'!)
- Protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder, frozen wild berries, plain yogurt, water
- Snack of lettuce/tomato, tuno salad spread, 1/2 piece veggie bread
- Cucumber dill soup, tuno sandwich w lettuce and tomato, 3 oz moose meat, handful kale chips
- Protein shake

Exercise

Self "Your Best Butt Fast" - 40 mins
There's a segment that really gets your booootox! Another video I've had a long time and enjoy periodically. I like that a bit of yoga is incorporated at the end.

Day 6

Moving right along! I feel energized and thinner even though I'm eating substantially. Normally after a meal I crave something sweet even if something small. With this diet plan I feel satisfied after every meal.

A reason why I think this works for me...


Someone recently asked what my blood type is. I'm type O - the hunter/meat eater/oldest blood type - according to Dr. Peter D'Adamo who wrote Eat Right For Your Type. I came across this book for the first time when I was 14 years old, and had just turned vegan. When I started getting terrible fatigue, became underweight (to the point that people called me anorexic), and pale, my mom suggested I heed this information. Of course not! I was very set on my new healthy lifestyle and wasn't going to turn back because it was "the way". Now, years later, I see truth for me in his research. I see that I feel best on the diet he maps out for Type Os and it does for my Type O friends who used to be vegans too. I certainly don't follow it to the letter but the idea of more animal protein for my type seems fitting and I have an O friend who followed it exactly and got marvelous results. Go figure, my mom is lucky Type AB -  more the vegetarian! But in any event, I can't help but suggest that if you're a Type O who is struggling on a raw/vegan diet, check out this book.

My boyfriend made this delicious spicy dish for dinner. Zucchini noodles with a tomato curry sauce made of fresh tomatoes, spinach, onion, garlic, curry, sea salt, and hot peppers, toss with prawns. I don't normally eat prawns since they're "bottom feeders" but I enjoyed a few in this dish.


Meals

- Protein shake
- Handful almonds and cucumber
- Salad (romaine, tomato, red pepper, celery, avocado), 4 oz moose meat, 1 piece veggie bread spread with egg salad
- Plain yogurt with wild blueberries
- Edamame
- Zucchini noodles with cooked tomato curry sauce, prawns and raita
- Protein shake

Exercise

40 minute power walk

Day 7

This is hump day! Halfway along. I had to package an order of turtles and I had a second of feeling like I wanted one but the thought passed quickly enough.
I still get hungry often on this food plan even though I'm eating quite a bit. All the protein is pumping my up metabolism I suppose. I ate yogurt just before going to bed and I still woke up in the middle of the night feeling hungry... I guess I'm still finding just the right amount to eat.

I made a yummy chipotle sun dried tomato dip (recipe below) to bring for a girls night along with tomato flax crackers and veggies. I'll definitely be making it again! There were yummy looking sweet things to be eaten and normally I would have brought a raw dessert but was just as happy with veggies, crackers, and dip.

Meals

- Protein shake
- Miso soup, salad with 2 oz moose meat, 1 egg, 1/2 piece veggie bread
- Protein shake with spinach
- 2 eggs with cooked chard and fresh tomato
- Flax crackers with sun dried tomato chipotle dip, cucumber, red pepper, romaine
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt

Exercise

- 45 mins power yoga - Shiva Rea, Yoga Shakti
She's fabulous and this video is great because you can customize your own yoga routine with the yoga matrix.



Chipotle Sun Dried Tomato Dip

1/2 cup packed sun dried tomatoes, soaked in enough water to cover
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup tomato soak water
1/2 cup diced tomato
1 clove garlic
3/4 - 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth, reserving one piece of sun dried tomato.
Chop the dried tomato and stir into the blended dip.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sugar Detox Days 3 & 4... and savory raw recipes



Day 3 Sugar Detox

As continued from my last post. Another happy healthy day (which began with this beautiful sunrise). My strength and energy are back to normal. My mood is stable, and I feel thinner. I was in the kitchen this afternoon making yummy savory things (see below). Today I've been thinking about how easy it is to do a sugar detox diet - so why do I let myself get carried away on sweets to begin with? I'm wondering if it's all in my mind, or if it's the protein and lack of sugar that allows me to follow through effortlessly... or BOTH?! Any thoughts?

Meals

- 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, chard, tomato slices
- Protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder, frozen blueberries, strawberries, plain yogurt, water
- Salad: Romaine, celery, tomato, red pepper, avocado, olive oil, sea salt, 3-4 oz venison, 2 seed crackers
- Protein shake
- Few handfuls kale chips

Exercise

1 hour power yoga

Yoga is such a big part of my life. In addition to teaching it, I normally do it most days of the week but this summer I've slacked in favor of weight training routines. Time to get back on a regular schedule!


As you can see, my menu is boring these days, but I enjoy it. Here are some exciting eats from my recent weekly catering service that fit right in with my plan. As I write this, the smell of onion veggie bread, tomato chipotle flax crackers, and cheesey kale chips are wafting from my dehydrator. I'll be eating tuno sandwiches tomorrow. Mmmm!

Tuno Salad Sammie on Onion Veggie Bread

"Tuna" Salad
This stuff is sooo goood. I've made it many times before and enjoy it in lettuce leaves, in celery, on fresh tomato, and on raw crackers or bread. This recipe comes from Ocean and I've changed it slightly to suit my own taste. It looks like a lot of ingredients at first glance but I assure you it's very simple.


1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked
1 cup walnuts, soaked
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs nama shoyu or tamari
1 teaspoon kelp flakes
1/2 - 1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 tbs pickle juice* or more apple cider vinegar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt (use less if you're using pickle juice)
1 raw pickle, chopped (*Bubbies) - optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3-4 tbs chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

In a food processor grind the nuts and seeds.
Add the next seven ingredients and process to combine.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the dill, green onion, celery, red pepper, and parsley.


Onion Veggie Bread

This is a fabulous version of the popular onion bread that every raw foodie has tried. Since I don't like onion much, this suits me perfectly! Found on Gone Raw. Sometimes I just use 1 onion and sub extra zucchini. I like to add a little salt as I find it a bit bland with only one tbs of tamari. Play around to see what you like.

1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
2 large onions, shredded in a food processor
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tbs nama shoyu (or tamari)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt (added by me)

Mix together the veggies, olive oil, water, and shoyu in a bowl.
Add the seeds and mix to combine.
Spread a thick layer of the mixture evenly on teflex sheets. Score into desired sizes.
Dehydrate at 145F for 1 hour and then turn the temperature down to 115F and continue dehydrating for 6-8 hours, flipping over to the mesh screen halfway through.

Day 4

Feeling good mentally and physically. I feel like I've lost 5 lbs which probably isn't possible, but it feels that way, lol. Speaking of health, we already know that happy bowels equal great health and a flat stomach. Mine were a mess (constipation) when I was sick and I'm happy to report that they're heaps better! When I eat too much cacao or sweets the reverse is true and things had been less than stellar lately. Well, things are superb in that department as a result of this diet (and its only the 4th day). Isn't it the truth that we feel great when we're pooping properly?!
Anyway, I made delicious egg salad this afternoon. Something I haven't made since the last time I did this plan. I simply pulsed some hard boiled eggs together in a food processor with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, then folded in chopped green onion and celery.



Meals
- 2 eggs, cooked in coconut oil, chard, tomato
- Protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder, frozen blueberries, plain yogurt, water, ice
- Kale chips, celery
- Salad (romaine, chard, tomato, red pepper, avocado) with 1 oz venison, egg salad, a few flax crackers
- Protein shake

Exercise

-30 minute Jillian Michaels workout
This is a total butt kick in 30 mins! There are 4 different workouts on the dvd so it's nice to have a choice and switch it up.
-30 min walk
....................................

4 days down and 10 to go!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Time For A Cleanse


I want to say thank you again for all the fabulous comments on my last health post that keep coming in. It's really nice to read the experiences of your shifts in diet and what works/doesn't. If it interests you, take a peek at what others had to say. It's really wonderful to see people regaining their health just like I have!

It's that time again. Time for a "cleanse". But not the kind of cleanse I used to do (juice fasting, smoothie fasting, fruit fasting)! Nope! Three days ago I began the same sugar-free/cacao-free diet plan that I followed for the month of January. You may remember that I started up a whole new blog, Universal Eater, devoted to my new omnivorous lifestyle. People have asked if I'll post there again and then answer is yes. I'll be posting there regularly (following this post) in the next 2 weeks with what I'm eating and what exercise I'm doing.


So why am I doing this again?
I've been pumping out a LOT of chocolates and desserts this summer, which means eating lots of them too! And not just raw, but some cooked vegan items that I've featured at the farmers markets. I'm such a sucker for all these yummy things when they're floating around and then I want to eat more of the sweet stuff than the protein rich foods I know my body desires. Even fruit, being as natural, healthy, and beautiful as it is can have an effect on me when eaten in excess as I've done lately (watermelons galore, peaches, cherries by the bucket, bananas, etc etc). Consequently I've been experiencing some brain fog, weight gain and irritability, so I know it's time to press the reset button. I've been gearing up for this for a few weeks but needed the right time to start. And this time only for 2 weeks since I'll have to return to making sweet things. In the meantime, I'm only catering savory items.

Here's what I'll be munching on:

Salads/veggies
Wild meat (elk, moose, venison, bison)
Wild fish
Eggs
Sea veggies
Plain yogurt
Extra virgin coconut and olive oil
Wild berries
Whey protein powder
Stevia
Nuts/seeds (minimal)


Here's what I will be avoiding:

Sweeteners
Cacao
Carob
Super foods
Fruit, except berries
Grains

A note about my meals: I don't portion out my food. I don't count calories. I drink lots of fresh water in between meals and often a daily glass of powdered greens in water. I eat when I feel hungry, not when I "should" be eating (ie: 12:00 = lunch). I prefer smaller meals more frequently. Don't bother telling me what looks "wrong" in my diet plan.

Day 1 Meals

- 2 farm fresh eggs cooked in 1/2 tsp coconut oil, fresh raw salsa, raw gazpacho soup
- Scoop of plain yogurt
- Nori roll with parsnip rice, cucumber, red pepper, avocado
- Salad (greens, cucumber, tomato, red pepper, avocado) with tomato chipotle dressing, and wild deer meat.
- Small bowl plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup smoothie: strawberries, greens, yogurt, water

Exercise

30 minutes yoga
25 minute walk

Overview

Even though part of me was worried I might not be able to go off sugar, I was really excited to get started on my plan! I've been looking forward to it for a while, knowing how amazing I felt eating this way before. I found the day effortless and satisfying. It's so interesting to watch my positive response to a protein rich, sugar free breakfast. It's like night and day compared to eating a sweet breaky of fruit or smoothie. My egg and veg breaky totally satisfied me and I had no desire to keep snacking as I normally do after eating fruit or other sweet things. Around 9pm I was quite hungry so drank a little of my mom's smoothie. I guess I didn't eat enough throughout the day and will get more calories in tomorrow.


Day 2

Today I woke up feeling really hungry but first and always, hot lemon water to hydrate and cleanse. My breakfast was just what I needed and then I waited 30-40 minutes to do a workout. I'm feeling a bit tired today as I adjust to the lack of sugars and stimulants. I am also a bit weak which I noticed in my weight training but did my best to power through it. Fortunately I had the foresight to bring a little baggie of almonds to an afternoon event as I got ravenous by late afternoon. Otherwise I'm feeling great. My body sure feels better already and I feel like I'm metabolizing my food.


Meals

- 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, chard, tomato slices, raw salsa
- Protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder*, water, frozen strawberries/blueberries, chard, ice
- Salad with deer meat and tomato dressing (same as yesterday)
- Handful of almonds
- protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder, frozen blueberries, chard, yogurt, water, ice
- Few raw seed crackers with cheddar dip

*I use a high quality whey protein powder sourced from New Zealand and is sweetened with stevia.

Exercise

- 40 minutes weight training/cardio: The Firm - Tough tape 2

Despite the cheesey 80s factor, I love this video and have had it for years but am doing it consistently this summer. I love how I can use 10 lb weights for it now (used to use 8), and do full pushups instead of on my knees. If you want a great workout that incorporates weight training with some cardio, this is for you - its NOT for the faint of heart. If you use weights that are challenging for you, you'll be workin' and sweating by the end.

Day 3

It's just the beginning so "to be continued", but it's off to a good start. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling really hungry and by the morning I was famished. I've rarely wake with strong hunger pains. As I said yesterday, I think my metabolism is revving and I'm easily burning the kinds of foods I eat on this plan. My breaky is the same as yesterday (and probably will be most days).

I realize that this isn't the best plan for everyone, but it sure works for me! :)

Have you ever done a completely sugar free detox? If so, how did you feel on it?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Summer In Review


Summer is winding down but we've been fortunate enough to enjoy an unusual heat spell in the past week with temperatures around  29C (85F) - just my style! Lots of time in and around the lake. Today I was downloading and looking back on photos from the past few months and thought I'd share some. We've had lot of company, I've taken three trips, done lots of catering, gone in the farmers markets, spent time with friends, been out in the boat and to the beach, and done plenty of lounging around outside. It's been blissful!

A trip to the beach one afternoon with girl friends.

A hike in the woods.

I took two trips to the community north of here where my man is stationed as a police officer....

... its a northern paradise up there!

With gorgeous sunsets!

I saw an old childhood friend and her sweet little baby.

I enjoyed heaps of watermelon lemonade...

... And little picnics at the beach. I made and ate raw gazpacho countless times. It went great with dehydrated crackers.

Enjoyed my lake - the view to the west...
And a view to the east.

I celebrated my birthday last week with friends and family. For the first time in years I had a cooked cake - chocolate beet cake (made by my mom) with raw vanilla ice cream.

On one of the rare rainy days this summer, we lit a fire in the wood stove.

Gorgeous butterfly - photo taken by my dad.

We fed Miss Ducky today. She comes around a lot.

What fun things did you get up to this summer? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Truffles, Tarts, and Donuts


Here's another brief update on the happenings in my kitchen within the past month.

The Farmers Market is only running a few more times this season (boo hoo, how does the summer fly by so fast?!). Donut holes made it into the last market.



Donut Holes
Inspired by Nicole's recipe

1 1/2 cup almonds, ground
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pitted, packed dates, chopped
1/4 cup ground yellow flax
1/4 cup lucuma powder
1/4 cup irish moss gel
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 drops stevia

Grind all ingredients in a food processor, grinding into a dough.
Chill the mixture in the fridge until it stiffens slightly.
Roll into balls and roll into a dry sugar of your choice. I used raw sugar which I think looks best and gives a nice crunch when you bite into the balls. Try rolling in coconut sugar or lucuma powder.

Many truffles were packed up in pink, white, and silver boxes. Dark chocolate, orange, cinnamon spice, maple, coconut, and hazelnut are the flavors I offer.


And an old childhood friend who no longer lives in town made it to my booth.

I made this Chocolate Truffle Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and my Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake (also featured in an Australian dessert class) recently as part of a catering job.

Raw Pizza was featured on my raw food menu a few weeks ago.
Tomato buckwheat pizza crust with sun dried tomato sauce, cashew cheese, pesto, marinated mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini, spinach, and fresh basil. Yum yum! This is always a hit.