Learning to eat …

September 15, 2008

Back to basics… smoothies, salads, and soups … and dealing with hunger

Filed under: Breakfast, Challenges, Lunch, Supper, Today I ... — Tags: , , , , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 9:56 pm

It has been a busy week complete with LOTS of challenges (thought I might be getting addicted to raw cacoa). After a nice weekend away where I managed to stay, mostly, but not all, on a raw vegan diet (had some dairy), I came back and decided it was time to get back to basics. Besides dehydrating in order to save vegetables for winter, I’m going to stick to eating fresh and simple as much as possible. I’m also going to be enjoying the standbys of my early adaption of this healing diet.

Today’s Breakfast was over a quart of green smoothie: bananas (frozen), raspberries (frozen), and lots of kale.

Today’s lunch was salads — two of them since I originally planned to go home, but then decided to order the “free lunch” with co-workers. I enjoyed my summer squash salad (zucchini, summer squash, greens, olives, and some cheeses), but it wasn’t very large and I was still hungry. I went out and got a hummus “salad” (I begged them to turn a wrap into a salad at a place that usually doesn’t do salads).

I was still STARVING by late afternoon. This is very unusual as I’ve rarely been hungry since going on a raw food diet. It makes me wonder if I accidentally got some gluten as doing so seems to mess up my (and, as observed, my daughter’s) appetite control/feelings. I don’t know when/how though, but that is the way it is with a small exposure. My other thought is that it could just be a reaction to something else (the dairy? withdrawal from the chocolate?) I also had a couple of cups of coffee and a cup of hot chocolate within the last few days. This is very unusual for me. I didn’t seem to notice any immediate symptoms after having the coffee which I used to in the past, so I thought maybe now I could handle an occasional cup of coffee. However, it’s still not a healthy choice really for me.

Supper was soup (or hot blended salad?) — I’ve decided to add greens to one of my new favorite soups, and it’s just as good. My favorite includes a beet as well as carrots and tomatoes, but I’m out of beets right now, so it was just carrots, tomatoes, garlic, a little parsley, some basil, and a handful of spinach, and some black pepper along with Agar agar, flax seeds, and chia seeds to add Omega 3s and thicken the soup. the soup was VERY thick this time and yummy too. The color wasn’t quite as nice as previous soups, I’ve made, but it was still warming and yummy. Then I did eat some gluten free/dairy free french bread that my daughter didn’t finish. It was really good with the soup. I’m trying to decide if I need to stop eating anything like that at all for awhile or not. If I’m feeling generally well and energetic then I start to think it’s OK, but really I haven’t managed to stay feeling that way for more than a couple of days (although still generally WAY less tired than before the dietary changes), and I wonder if it’s part of why my energy levels keep fluctuating. I’m going to have to simply experiment with it I guess. I am really looking forward to the Body Enlightenment program by the Raw Divas to help with this, and plan to do the 7 day detox soon as well. I also need to spend some time in the online forums to ask others these questions and get more feedback. 🙂

Tonight I feel starved again wile my tummy at the same time feels bloated (screams gluten to me … which just now makes me wonder if one of the salads I ate for lunch was contaminated?). I think the first thing I’ll do is decide to only eat food from home for the next week so I know I have total control over it (Gluten, etc.). And as I said, I’ll try to stick to basics as much as I can …

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September 4, 2008

How local can you go? (Eat Local Challenge!)

Filed under: Challenges — Tags: , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 10:57 pm

I remember hearing about the eat local challenge last year, and paying attention to what we ate from local farmers and merchants, but we didn’t officially join the challenge last year and this year, I am accepting the challenge of “How Local can you go?” as put forth by a nearby food co-op in Viroqua, WI (http://viroquafood.coop/ ).

The Eat Local Challenge is September 5th – 14th here in our area (La Crosse, WI)

The Wisconsin Eat Local Challenge, challenges you to spend 10% of your food budget on local items. To me that is a given so it doesn’t even seem like a challenge, but I signed up anyway so my feedback can be counted, and so I could get one of their nice tracking forms. I wanted a tracking form because I’m curious how much we do spend on local products.

Then I found the Eat Local America challenge advertised at our local food co-op. The Eat Local America challenge, invites participants to eat 80% local food. Wow there is a big difference between 10% and 80%. I’m torn between simply tracking what I’m normally eating as far as local food this time of year by having the CSA share, purchasing additional produce at farmer’s markets, looking for local and regional items at our food co-op, eating food from gardens and family farms of people I know, and purchasing meat directly from small farmers, or going out of my way to be sure I’m eating at least 80% local food. When I think about that I suddenly panic at what my smoothies will be like (very few local berries left) and what it would be like to severely limit my avocado intake for 10 days.

I think I’m going to primarily track what we do as far as local food on a regular basis and then pick 3 days within the challenge days to try to stick as completely as possible to local foods and see what kind of meals I create for myself and my family.

Stay tuned as I track my progress and share some of our meals full of local foods.

September 3, 2008

Today (and yesterday) I struggled really hard with what to eat…

Filed under: Challenges, Health, Today I ... — Tags: , , , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 10:54 pm

During our Labor Day Vacation I ate about 75% raw food, and for the most part felt pretty good. A few times something I ate let me know I probably shouldn’t have done it, but it was pretty good for vacation food. I probably was still following a PH Balance type of diet. Unfortunately, my body is healing and needs even more than that. Every bite must count if I’m going to continue the amazing recovery and be totally rid of my chronic fatigue, fibromalagia, and food allergy symptoms.

For some reason temptation has seemed worse since coming home. It almost seemed harder the last couple of days than it did when I originally turned to raw foods for nutrition. I’m not sure why that is. At the same time I realize that I am on the verge from PMS to actually having my period and in the past that was always the worst for cravings in general, and in the past that always ended in chocolate, lots of chocolate and also something salty. Those items never crossed my mind today so that is significant progress all by itself. Today I was just tempted to grab a coke or other soda when opening the work fridge today, tempted to brew a cup of fresh “rain forest nut” coffee in our break room, and SO tempted to help myself to some Indian sauce (bottled) and rice (white basmati) for supper along with the rest of my family. The Indian sauce smelled SO good and I do miss Indian food (although I do love curried coleslaw on my raw food diet), so I’ll be looking for more raw food recipes that use Indian spices. I know it was cravings though because the ketchup and mustard were nearly as appealing last night (parent disclaimer: they are expensive nitrate and gluten free hot dogs … Applegate I think). Knowing that I beat these cravings once, helps me know I can do it again.

So, with the help of wonderful experts like the Raw Divas and GreenSmoothieGirl, I’m going to make it through just fine, and get back to where I was before vacation. By that I mean back to where my energy levels are increasing as well as stabilizing so I don’t stay up late one night and come home from work exhausted the next day, and my other physical symptoms simply disappear again. Those physical symptoms seemed to include my fall seasonal allergies earlier in August, but today that was being tested so we’ll see. I’m also hoping that this nutrition helps my body heal from my recent accident more quickly than it otherwise would heal. Of course I’ll still have to do the prescribed stretching, exercises and other therapies too, but I know my body needs good nutrition to support that healing.

So — What did I eat today?

For breakfast I had a green smoothie of course (I am so thankful for this fast easy meal — the suburb nutrition is just a bonus!). I used a couple of chunks of frozen banana along with a white nectarine and a white peach, and several chard leaves. I was going to go with only white nectarines, but two of them were going bad already when Shawn just bought them the day before. 😦

Lunch was a HUGE salad with mixed greens, spinach, carrots, olives (probably a no, no but I’ve been craving them and I gave in), banana peppers, peas, and salsa and guacamole (commercial so questionable). I also snacked on some raw Italian-flavored flax crackers.

Supper was a smoothie with raspberries, bananas, blueberries, and kale along with a simple salad of mixed baby greens and more of the sweetest organic orange cherry tomatoes I’ve ever had.

Tonight I also got the dehydrator going again, and filled with with tomatoes that I picked at my parent’s farm on the way back home on Monday. I picked 3 bags of tomatoes and after filling the dehydrator I still have a sink full of tomatoes. The reason I say sink full is because I have to wash these tomatoes very well because they are not organic and after picking them with my bare hands (didn’t even think to find gloves) my hands were raw and itchy. I say that not to complain but just as an example of what every-day pesticides can do even at the skin level, and also to say that with careful washing and preparation non-organic foods can still be extremely nourishing to our bodies. Please don’t let the inability to grow or purchase organic food stop you from eating lots of raw fruits and veggies!!!! With all those tomatoes in the dehydrator my daughter told me I could sell them, but I told her they were for us to enjoy this winter! Well, maybe I’ll have enough to give away a few packed olive oil at the holidays (Shhh).

I also have corn from the farm to enjoy. I’m dehydrating some to make raw corn meal, and I’m also hoping to use some to make corn bread and corn chips in my dehydrator. Making food in the dehydrator certainly helps teach me patience and planning — who would know that a diet could teach so much! 🙂

September 2, 2008

We will now be returning to your regularly scheduled blog posts…

Filed under: About Me, Challenges, Today I ... — Tags: , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 12:05 am

I apologize for the interruption in posts on this brand new baby blog. Just over a week ago my family and I were in a car accident. It was minor by most accounts, but in addition to shaking us up emotionally it also too over our schedule in the form of doctor, chiropractor, physical therapy and other appointments, and the time it takes to fill out form after form after form relating in all different ways to the accident. Oh, and we were tired, very tired.

Then we decided to keep our scheduled long Labor Day Weekend trip plans (Thursday to Monday). We returned home a few hours ago, and will now start our fall schedule along with all those added appointments and many more forms to fill out. However, I’m not nearly as tired so regular posts will return this week. I’m hoping that in addition to continueing to answer the question, “what do you eat anyway?”, I’ll be able to do some special posts about crisis eating, eating while healing from trauma, and eating while traveling. One thing I realized during our all-day car trip back home today is that I will have to really prepare to be sure our Christmas car trip (WI to TX) to be smooth in terms of food so that we stay healthy so we can enjoy the holiday (no gluten cross contamination! — which we again experienced this weekend unfortunately) — will be one of our goals as we plan our holiday trip). I hope others will be able to benefit from our research and experiences.

Health and Happiness to all of you as we embark on our fall schedules —

August 21, 2008

Can you feel my excitement?

Filed under: About Me, Challenges, Health, Today I ... — Tags: — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 8:26 pm

I am so moved and excited by being a winner of one of The Great Green Smoothie Awards!!!

This blog was inspired by the challenge as well, and I knew when I started it that I was still at the beginning of my journey. I can’t even begin to express how meaningful this challenge and the past week has been to me … but I’m sure I’ll find some words eventually.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ….

Secret to storing lemons?

Filed under: Challenges, Questions — Tags: , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 7:47 pm

Does anyone know the secret to not having lemons go bad? I’m finally to the point where my other produce lasts about as long as it should, but my lemons are always going bad. I love lemons and use them nearly daily so I like to stock up, but I’m so not loving the throwing them out when they go bad. 😦

Any ideas?

Another Rough Morning

Filed under: Breakfast, Challenges, Health — Tags: , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 2:01 pm
When mornings are no longer rough I will know I have made some real progress in my health. Now part of it at the moment is getting enough sleep plain and simple, but it’s all related. Throughout most of my life I have not been a morning person. Those that love me have learned to adjust to that, and by watching my daughters I’m pretty sure it’s at least partly genetic. But there’s a difference between loving to stay up late (I do), and hating mornings because I feel like I can barely function when I get up no matter when this is (I do not want to be this person any longer). There was a brief time in my early 20s when I woke up early when I didn’t even have to, and I loved my peaceful mornings. I would love my mornings to again resemble that in some fashion. This morning did not. This morning I had to remind myself that I no longer like coffee, and then I had to remind myself again. I even caught myself taking whiffs of the freshly-brewed coffee aroma coming from the break room at work.
 
Yesterday I successfully resisted water/theme park food, and that is a small triumph. Feeling good is so much more to me than the temporary taste of a burger and fries or pizza (that’s one I do miss though still at times). I spent the day at a large water and amusement park (WI Dells) with my daughter and her friend. We were there ALL day. It was what my daughter wanted to do for her birthday which was actually in July, but yesterday was the day we could schedule the event. I started the morning wtih over a quart of green smoothie goodness, and packed an assortment of fruit, veggies and nuts from my dwindling supply (we stock up on Fridays and this week it seemed to go faster than ususal). Since outside food isn’t permitted I left my cooler in the car so I didn’t have anything with me except water when I started to get hungry. This was at the same time we first walked by the food court. I hadn’t planned to go back to the car so early so I told myself that I would drink my entire bottle of water first and see how I felt 20 minutes later. It worked wonderfully, and I went back around 12:30 and ate a couple of bananas, an avacodo, a few nuts, and drank a container of a high quality, but bottled, whole juice. I was easily satisfied, but just be sure it would last I decided to go ahead and take another banana and a few nuts in with me in my bag. I ate the banana at 6 p.m. while waiting for the girls to finish up their last ride. I drank lots of water all day long, and didn’t need to eat anything else until I was home and had another avacodo and the one cup of leftover tomato and veggie soup from the day before. 🙂
 
The good news is that even with all the driving, all the walking (a lot!), the swimming and rides, an entire day in the sun and more — I still felt like I could function when I got home. I was tired, but just a normal tired. It wasn’t long ago that I simply could not have done this, and if I would have tried I would have been a totally brain-fogged blubbering blob of a human that should not have been allowed to speak let alone drive! And then I would have been down and out (i.e. in bed) for at least a couple of days. Last night I even had to stay up to watch women beach volleyball finals and check my email before crashing. And this morning was rough, but just normal rough really.
 
On to today…
 
After my long day at the water park yesterday I new I needed get my greens this morning — my breakfast green smoothie included: 5 beet green leaves and a handful of spinach along with several inches of celery, a couple of handfuls of frozen cherries and a banana. I’m really getting addicted to that sweet/sour taste of celery and cherries.
 
Lunch will likely happen in two parts if I’m lucky — another smaller smoothie at home and then a garden salad out when my daughter and I meet my sister for lunch.
 
And as usual this week I have no idea what supper will be. Any quick and easy supper ideas, especially those that kids will also eat, would be appreciated! 🙂
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