Learning to eat …

December 3, 2008

Busy days require simple meals (green smoothies, salads and blended soups)

Filed under: Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Today I ... — Tags: , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 2:18 pm

I just want to quickly check in —

 I’m sure I’m not the only one with a hectic and busy December schedule! We have Holiday celebrations starting this weekend, so I’m trying to eat simple and find time for at least 20 minutes of exercise each day so I can start the new year off feeling great (and no regrets!).

My meals can pretty much be described by the title: smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, and blended soups (warm, savory green smoothies really) for supper.

Monday —

  • I started by trying to make a warm green smoothie that resembled a chai latte or something, but it just didn’t work warm. So, there is evidence that sometimes even those of us that have been drinking green smoothies for awhile goof on a recipe. Luckily enough of it was drinkable that I still got some breakfast in because I did not have time to make anything else. It included grapes, kale, figs, and some spices.
  • For lunch on Monday I quickly did some raw chilli because I was craving it and last time when I had some extra I had dehydrated it. So I quickly blended it with warm water and put it in a coffee mug to drink.
  • A bit later I had the rest of my left over citrus salad (from Thanksgiving!) — it’s great because it’s yummy without any dressing at all — mixed greens, thinly sliced cucumbers, colored pepper (I used orange this time), thinly sliced orange segments, thinly sliced celery and pomegranate seeds (yum! — flavor and texture), and then the dressing is simply a mix of pomegranate juice, orange juice, and lime juice (all freshly squeezed/pressed using my favorite kitchen gadget — my pampered chef hand citrus juicer). This time I put the dressing on a couple of hours before eating it and I LOVED that the cucumbers soaked up all that yummy citrus juice and became just a little like refrigerator pickles! If you don’t want that to happen, then put the dressing on right before eating it. 🙂
  • I think I may have had a couple of dates in the afternoon, and I know I ate an apple. I remember it being a day that I seemed always hungry, and wondering why (I’m thinking it’s related to my menstrual cycles but more on that in another post someday).
  • For supper I had a yummy lemon soup that sadly didn’t agree with me. I’ve made it before and it was fine, so I don’t know if it was the addition of onions (didn’t use last time), or if the soaked almonds were no longer good (they had been soaking in the fridge for a few days). The recipe includes soaked almonds and water (I’m thinking you could just use almond or other nut milk as well), a zucchini or two depending on the size, juice of a lemon, a little salt, and a garlic clove. This time I added a bit of onion and ate it poured over finally chopped onion for texture. I also ate too much and should have saved half of it! That was WAY too many nuts for me any way I figure it, but I don’t remember raw soaked almonds disagreeing with me like that before (versus other nuts). So, I had embarrassing gas for the first time in a long time (hardly have it at all the way I’ve been eating in general), and some intestinal discomfort — nothing like before I started healing but still no fun! Luckily we had major errand/shopping to do so I wasn’t able to just sit there and instead was walking around much of the evening.

Tuesday —  after the episode Monday night I decided to keep it simple —

  • For breakfast , I truly kept it simply by throwing 3 bananas in the blender with a bit of water and a mix of kale and chard. Yum … sometimes simple, really is wonderful.
  • Before I left for work I threw mixed greens in a bowl and also toted along an avocado, lime, and orange pepper. I chopped the veggies (there is nothing easier to “chop” than an avocado!), and squeezed the lime juice all over it. Then I sprinkled just a little bit of sea salt that I keep at my desk along with tossing some crumbs from basic salted flax crackers that I make onto the salad. YUM! This was one of my salads that I can’t believe how good it is even though it’s so simple!
  • Supper was a simple soup of one large cucumber, a handful of parsly, a handful of cilantro, a small handful of baby spinach, a few mixed greens, a juiced lime, a bit of water, a 1/2 T. of coconut oil, and a little sea salt and pepper blended up until just a bit steamy and then poured over finely chopped red bell pepper. Yum!!! Again I made just a bit too much though — you would think that those things in salad form wouldn’t be quite so filing so I’m going to try to not add as much water next time.

    Today (Wednesday) I had a wonderful raspberry-banana smoothie because we had raspberries that needed to be eaten before they went bad. I wish I would have had time for photos — the smoothies was not green at all — nearly pink even. And there were 6 or 7 large chard leaves in there! Of course it was the rainbow chard complete with pink stems — so keep that in mind when you don’t want your smoothie too green. If you don’t like the raspberry seeds, try blending the berries with a bit of water for awhile first before making the rest of the smoothie.  Lunch today was a salad similar to yesterday’s but with tomato instead of orange pepper. I think I like the pepper better this time of year (not prime tomato time).

    And even with less sleep than I should be getting I feel really, really good! 🙂

September 21, 2008

Soup, soup, and more soup!

Filed under: Lunch, Recipe, Supper — Tags: , , , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 10:46 pm


Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

Lots of pics of the many soups (and ingredients) on my flicker site … eventually I’ll try to organize them with more labels, but if you have any questions about any of them, please ask.

I was addicted to tomato soup the last few weeks! it started with a simple beet, carrot, tomato and beet (w/ ground pepper) recipe and gradually turned into a variety of my own creations based on mood and ingredients in my kitchen. 🙂

When I want a sweeter soup, I use some dates and less spices. If I want it more salty, I add some celery. If I want a more complex flavor (and color!) I’m sure to add beets. And to make it thick without avocado or nuts, I use flax seeds. I get wonderfully rich thick soups without using anything but the flax and veggies. I’ve also added some spinach when I think I need more greens, and it still tastes like yummy fresh (RAW!) tomato soup.

And it’s so fun to watch how the colors change as I blend the soups. Sometimes I think it will be one color, and then more blending turns it more orange ,or red, or green. I’ve had lots of tomato soup that is not even close to being red. 🙂 But it’s always yummy.

Oh, and it’s hot too … as in steaming hot, but not too hot to eat. I always use hot water and at least two blending cycles (usually “whole juice” and then “soup” on the blendtec).

Here’s one basic recipe:
–2 tomatoes
–1 large or 2 small carrots
–1 beet
–2 or 3 T. flax seeds
–Ground black pepper to taste

Then, eat it as a thick yummy soup without texture or add chopped veggies for texture. In this photo, I cut up an avocado and poured the soup on top of it.

If this is all I eat for supper, then I eat the entire recipe. If I share with my husband or kids, then I have a salad or something else too. But one recipe of this is very filling and certainly helps gets those veggies in.

Enjoy —

September 18, 2008

Two smoothies AND two salads today…

Filed under: Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Today I ... — Tags: , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 12:31 am

So, today we managed to get back to basics.

Breakfast was a quart of green smoothie: pinapple, banana, chia seeds, carrot greens (small handful), a celery stick, and just a few spinach leaves.

Snack was a Lara Bar and some kale chips (dehydrated kale with spices).

Lunch was a yummy avacado and tomato salad — I just sliced a ripe avacado and a juicy sweet orange tomato, drizzeled some olive oil on it, and added a bit of ground pepper and salt. Yum!

Snack was a (raw) chocolate, banana, and chia seed smoothie (shake?) that my daughter made for me after school. It was really yummy and even better since I didn’t have to make it.

Supper was a gigantic salad with an entire super-sized cucumber, two tomatoes, an avacado, a green pepper, and mixed greens with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper as simple dressing.

Late night snack (because that salad wasn’t big enough ?!?) was a few fudge balls from a recipe from Alyssa Cohen’s cookbook. I can’t remember everything that is in them because I made them quite awhile ago and froze them. When I get a craving now I can grab them quick from the freezer. I think it’s dates, raw chocolate and cocoa nibs, nuts (?), and coconut oil.

This morning I had to rinse my blender out in the bathtub because we were without a kitchen faucet. Thankfully I was able to sit at the kitchen table and work and catch up on things while the plumber fixed it today! Last night I kind of freaked out when it wouldn’t shut off. The good news is that the now it is up to code as well. We must be thankful for these little things like finding out that it wasn’t up to code only when it is now fixed. 🙂

This morning I was thrilled to find out that the pumpkin patch we’ll be going to in a few weeks knows all about celiac and it will be easy to eat lunch and snacks and all kinds of bad-for-you treats there with Nessa. 🙂 I’ll be sure to post about it afterward.

Besides the ups and downs of life at the moment (sick kids, stressful work, and more), I feel good. In addition to the good food, I was able to go to yoga today AND go for a bike ride with Megan. I am very blessed.

September 16, 2008

Sushi for lunch today…

Filed under: Lunch — Tags: , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 1:19 pm

Well, I kind of blew that keep it simple vow for the week already (talk about showing my challenges!). So I didn’t eat food from home, but I did have a really fabulous lunch with my really fabulous husband!

I was running late today so I decided this morning I would run home for lunch rather than bring things with me, and rationalized that that way I could use the blender if I wanted to rather than being limited to salad, etc. Well, then everyone at work was ordering Chinese food (remember I get free lunch if I order wherever the office is ordering), so I was feeling sorry for myself and even looked at the menu briefly. But even if I was only concerned with the gluten and not any other health factors (staying primarily raw or vegan for example), there wasn’t anything safe there for me due to the sauces they use.

So …

I asked my husband if he wanted to meet me downstairs at the “sushi place” (Yoko’s House, see my earlier post on it). I had been looking forward to going there sometime with Shawn because I knew I could try a few other things there then because he would eat them if I didn’t like them. Well, this time I ordered actual Sushi, and I really LOVE the mild sea weed they use, and may even be up to trying the sea weed salad in the future (I’ve been trying to get more sea vegetables into my diet). I had a variety of, primarily vegetable, sushi rolls (so, yes, this time had rice), as well as ordering the Spicy Tuna that came with rice in a “cone” of sea weed (next time I need to take notes on the names of things!). Oh my that spicy tuna was awesome and may inspire to keep raw fish in my diet occasionally just for eating at Yoko’s. 🙂

Since breakfast was a Lara bar, I will definitely be getting back on track by snacking on the Kale Chips I dehydrated last week, and including blended greens (likely soup) in my supper plans.

Celebrating health and happiness today…

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 …

September 6, 2008

Today I’m busy in the kitchen…

Tomorrow I’ll try to save time for computer work, including posting pictures, but today I’m keeping my dehydrator and kitchen gadgets busy. I already dehydrated an entire dehydrator full of tomatoes earlier this week, and I’ll likely do more later this week as I plan on using LOTS of “sun-dried” tomatoes this winter. Today I’m also making my first attempt at imitation bacon (also referred to as Raw Bac-un) using eggplant as well as summer squash and zucchini, dehydrated potato chips, dehydrated beet fries, and various veggie chips marinated with marinara sauce and other marinades.

I also want to get more watermelon sliced and frozen as well as getting some local berries in the freezer. Shawn and I are going out tonight so I’m not sure if that will all happen before it’s time to stop and get ready. Saturdays always fly by so fast when I’m in the kitchen!

Breakfast was the light and refreshing watermelon smoothie (sometimes known as the aphrodisiac smoothie) with chia seeds (the only greens were some of the rind and peeling of the watermelon), and lunch was a blender soup of carrots, beets, tomatoes and a little salt and pepper which is fast becoming one of my favorite soups!

Pictures and recipes later this week!

And a quick update on eating local (I’ll do a more official post at the end of the week) — so far today I have eaten entirely LOCAL. That balances out the rest of the family. 🙂 As far as what we’ve purchased this weekend so far — well, that has almost entirely been from the various farmer’s markets so I would round it at 95% local dollars spent. Have I missed anything? No, not really. A little pang for the avocado I would normally have put in my soup, but it was still great without it. Long term I will want more fruits, and especially bananas, but there really are lots of options right now in Wisconsin.

September 4, 2008

Today I tried Sashimi…

Filed under: Dining out, Lunch — Tags: , , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 1:41 pm

There is a new restaurant downstairs from where I work, Yoko’s, and I decided today was the day to try it.  (read about it here http://eatinglacrosse.com/x/2008/2/7/yokos-sushi-and-teriyaki-grill.html and here http://www.rivervalleynewspapers.com/articles/2007/04/01/business/02biz01.txt and most recently this article talks about the new restaurant opening at the location near my workplace http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/03/22/news/z05sushi22.txt)

I had read about sashimi being good on a raw food diet, assuming one is not also committed to being totally vegan (at this point I’m not), so that’s what I ordered (it was salmon that I ordered (sake?)). I also ordered an avacado salad that was an avacado sliced VERY thin with a homemade ginger and seseme dressing and served over wonderful mixed greens. It was a small salad and the lunch in general was quite small in terms of the amount of food, but it was surprisingly satisfying. Shawn has been wanting to go there to try the sushi so I think we’ll be making a trip there together soon.

I did ask the manager about gluten while I was there, and was sad that I had to explain to her what it was (I need my allergy cards for dining out!), but she seemed responsive and explained what I could and couldn’t have. For example both of their soy sauces do have wheat in them. I asked about any other spices and she assured me that they did not have any wheat or even any other fillers in them, and I hope she’s correct because I really enjoyed my meal.

This is really pushing the edge for me, and that’s good. I haven’t had good sushi experiences in the past, and I haven’t been successful at finding sea vegetables that I actually enjoy eating at home either. I know it will take time to find what flavors I enjoy, so I just need to try a bit at a time. I did learn that I do NOT enjoy the Wasabi at all.

August 21, 2008

Lunch on the run and a quick supper…

Filed under: Lunch, Supper, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 7:45 pm

I had a 1 o’clock meeting that I nearly forgot about so I had to cut my lunch short, and ended up only eating/drinking another smoothie. I decided to go with trying a green chai smoothie since I didn’t get a chance to replenish my fruit supply. I was inspired by this recipe, but when I got home the kids had eaten the last of the bananas so I went without that. I also substituted almonds that I already had soaked for the cashews. and then I added all the spinach I had left (2 handfuls?). My first thought was yum, but eventually I realized the texture was a bit off. I’m sure it would have been better with the banana (and maybe w/ the cashews LOL).

For supper I made this Curried Cabbage recipe: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/soupssalads/r/curriedcabage.htm

I left out the soy and used just a little Braggs Aminos as well as using some curry spice that I had pre-mixed because I was missing at least one of the spices in the recipe as it is. Again I would like to follow it exactly as it is sometime, but it was VERY good as I made it. I used to eat a lot of Indian food that we made at home, and this really hit the spot. I will be making it again very soon. With something this good who needs to have lots of courses at a meal.

August 18, 2008

Lunch: Creamy Corn Chowder

Filed under: Lunch, Recipe — Tags: , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 3:33 pm
I was going to do salad for lunch or maybe salad and a smoothie, but then I got home and simply felt like soup and we had this wonderful fresh sweet corn from our CSA yet in the fridge (already cut off the cob because I was going to make dehydrated corn crackers). I had made a Creamy corn soup sometime last week when we first got the soup, but I wasn’t sure where that recipe was so I glanced few a few other soup recipes in the cookbook at the top of the pile and came up with the following:
  • 2 cups of fresh raw corn
  • 2 cups of Almond milk
  • 2 cloves of ginger
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 an Avocado
  • Sea Salt to taste
Then I blended it through my Soup cycle on the blender, tasted it, and yum. I used a bit more corn on top, the rest of the avocado in chunks also on top, and a bit of pepper. Yum!
It should be titled Corn Chowder for Two or something with all of those 2s in there … but I ate it all myself. I should have had salad or more veggies though or simply not so much soup because I was “move away from the table” full for over an hour. This is certainly a richer meal than I generally eat (all the almonds and lack of greens!). It was pure comfort food though and satisfied my cravings.
It was also the first time I made almond milk from scratch because I didn’t have any Almond or Hemp milk which I had been purchasing previously so I was going to think of a way to make it without the milk, but then I decided I would just quickly use the almonds that I had had soaking for 12 hours (water changed at least 3 times) to make some almond milk quickly since I had been meaning to try that. I have about a cup of the milk left to do something else with, and I was able to realize just how easy it is. I do need to get a nut milk bag or other extra fine strainer if I want to use it as a drink, but it was pretty smooth just straining through the mesh strainer I already have (not much was actually left in the strainer though which I was disappointed in because I was hoping to have some pulp to use for something).
I certainly shouldn’t be hungry until supper time!

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