Learning to eat …

January 23, 2009

I Finally Tried a Blended Salad (Green Smoothie, Green Savory, Savory Smoothies)

blended salad in blendtec blenderSure I love green smoothies, but a blended salad? C’mon salads are not made to be blended right?

Recently I discovered Savory smoothies, and have been enjoying a wide variety of them thanks to the wonderful recipes available to me from the various Raw Diva programs. I have also been enjoying blended soups for a few months now, and have recently started adding a handful of greens to many of the blended soup recipes to make them more nutritional. It certainly occurred to me that this makes the soup a blended green smoothie — just a smoothie with savory ingredients and taste rather than the sweet taste associated with most green smoothies.

I’ve actually been craving savory more than sweet lately.

I’ve also been more open to experimenting lately. So when I still had a LOT of wonderful salad left over this past Sunday, and after having a lot of it for lunch, I wasn’t interested in eating more of it as a salad. So I decided to see if it would make a good soup. I also realized that by literally blending this salad, I was certainly going to have to admit to eating a blended salad!

dcp_6063So, I blended it up. It contained approximately: a cup of mixed spring greens, 1/2 a red pepper, 1/2 a cucumber, 1 stalk of celery, 1/2 cup of tomato, 12/2 cup of mushrooms, 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup of green onions, 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, juice of one lime, a bit of olive oil, and just enough water to blend. I added a bit of salt and ate a bowl full as a warm soup — yum! It would probably have been good as a cold savory smoothie too. It was quite green, and not red like many veggie juices.blended green soup

After eating my bowl of the blended salad, I decided to dehydrated the rest of it so I could use it later.  Much to my surprise today I wanted to eat the dehydrated blended salad just as it was rather than saving it to rehydrate for another blended soup sometime while traveling! It was tangy and very yummy! What a happy surprise. 🙂

P.S. I originally wrote this early in December — so just over a month ago. I no longer find it surprising that I like blended salads! Now a year ago I was just discovering green smoothies and couldn’t even bring myself to use the blended salad term! So, my eating habits and subsequently my palette have certainly changed. I really did find this soup totally yummy. Of course my 11-year-old, very honest, and much too used to processed food daughter totally disagreed with me — so that is your warning! You may want to use some herbs or spices that you really like in your blended salads at first to bring out those strong flavors that you are accostomed to.

For more great recipes, don’t forget to stop by the Green Smoothie blog!

December 14, 2008

Broccoli Cashew Soup (FAST and Super Simple Raw Blended Soup)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 10:53 pm

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This was my WONDERFUL and wonderfully simple supper tonight, and I just had to share it right away.

I had some broccoli to use up, and I knew I wanted soup, and I didn’t want to have to guy buy anything in order to complete my soup. I also didn’t want to have to soak almonds before-hand (plus I think too many almonds disagree with me). So, I thought I would see how cashews worked since I had them right there on the counter leftover from the stash purchased for holiday meals the last few weeks.

First the results — well, it was one of the most beautiful soups I’ve ever made (if you like green, that is!). And it was SO nice and thick! And yummy, yummy, yummy!

I was going to add a green salad to this meal, but felt totally satisfied with this ONE bowl of soup!

The recipe to recreate follows!

Broccoli Cashew Soup

  • raw cashews, scant cup
  • water, enough to blend or to desired texture (I used about 1/2 cup)
  • broccoli , mall bunch or half of large bunch (use stalk and all, but reserve a handful of florets for pulsing in at the end for texture)
  • cumin, large pinch or to taste
  • sea salt, large pinch or to taste
  • black pepper, fresh ground on top

Add all ingredients except the broccoli florets to pulse through at the end for texture to a blender or food processor (I used my Blendtec Blender). Blend until smooth. If you make this thick as I did, you may need to pulse it a bit and stir it around to get it to really start blending. Or, you can blend a little at a time until you have a liquid consistency to start with. Alternatively if you have some cashew milk or cream on hand you could simply use that as the liquid and add broccoli and the spices to it.

You could also steam the broccoli a little bit first to make it easier to blend. The steaming intensifies the broccoli flavor so please be aware of that; however, some people find broccoli easier to digest if it is steamed or lightly cooked in water.

If you make this, please let me know how you like it.

~ Tami

P.S. I’m going into withdrawal because I’ve been out of  celery for a few days! I’m going to change that tomorrow now that I have the fridge cleaned out a bit. I think celery is my favorite vegetable these days! So, I’m going to tell you about it soon … even if I have to write about it while on vacation (I’ll be gone most of the rest of the month). But my trip is good news for readers — because now I’ll have real-life experience to write about traveling while eating healthy raw food! 🙂

Want to know more about why I eat this way? Go to: The Truth About Your Food, and be sure to see the NEW videos, Dr. T in 3, I recommend starting with my favorite: Gluten Sensitivity.

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 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.

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 24, 2008

A wonderful birthday indeed…

Filed under: About Me — Tags: , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 4:33 am

Back on August 2nd I received some wonderful encouragement to continue on this journey of wellness through nutrition and raw food … birthday presents!

I smile with delight after opening one of my presents...one of my requested cookbooks

I smile with delight after opening one of my presents...one of my requested cookbooks

Cookbooks were the theme of the morning, and I spent much of the weekend devouring them (and trying a few recipes).

Nessa, Megan, and Shawn in the kitchen on my birthday

Nessa, Megan, and Shawn in the kitchen on my birthday

Nessa helps Megan while making my birthday cake

Nessa helps Megan while making my birthday cake

In addition to presents, they made me my much requested Carrot cake. While it was gluten free (wonderful recipe from the Silly Yak email list, let me know if you want recipe via comments), it certainly wasn’t raw, and in fact it had an old fashioned cream cheese frosting. Yumm!

At that time I was eating transitionally toward going all raw. That continued most of the month. This week I’ve been as close to 100% raw as possible the entire week! It feels great. And the encouragement my family offers me by doing things such as all those wonderful cookbooks has really helped. I think it’s going to be a great year!

Stay tuned to see how this journey of food discovery brings about positive changes this year. 🙂

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m 37.

Who needs a stove anyway?

Filed under: Cornucopia — Tags: , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 12:03 am


DCP_5658

Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

This is what my stove looked like when I woke up Saturday morning.

I smiled remembering unpacking all those veggies Friday night before collapsing on the couch with Shawn. Some of them are from our Friday CSA box, some are from neighbor’s gardens, and a few are left from “the farm” (my dad’s family farm which now has a family garden). I have many plans for these veggies this week!

But today I spent the day with veggies that didn’t even make this picture — dehydrating all items over a week old that we haven’t eaten yet from beans to green peppers to onions to celery. I didn’t even get to start on the zucchini and potatoes today!

The stove still looks like that … if it was just me, they would probably stay there. 🙂 But I’m thinking that Shawn will want to use the stove this week, so I’ll have to find a place for them elsewhere.

August 19, 2008

Today I continued to struggle with temptation and good choices

Filed under: Today I ... — Tags: , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 11:47 pm

You would think that not needing my coffee anymore would have been lesson enough, but no those little temptations abound. Today was a very busy day at work. Things went well, but it was busy.

Often my office orders in and we get free lunch if we order from wherever they’re ordering from that day — the few places I trust to get salads from is dwindling the more I learn and the more frequently I try eating a take out salad and feel awful (gluten cross contamination generally). But today they were ordering from Famous Dave’s, and I LOVE (loved?) Famous Dave’s. My quick thought between meetings was “oh yes, I can order a salad” and then as I was standing there by the order sheet starting to write I realized that the salad I had always ordered these past months since going gluten free contained dairy and chicken. And while the sauce is gluten free who knows what else is in it (high fructose corn syrup I’m sure for starters). So, I quickly scribbled down the side veggie salad, no croûtons, etc. so that I didn’t make the person behind me annoyed. I never ate it though.

A few minutes later I was chatting (via IM) with Shawn and we realized that we needed another speedy supper (yes, we need to do menu planning but have put it off again and again this month), and we had no idea what to do. Rather than trying to figure it out at that point I simply asked him to meet me at the food co-op for lunch and we could figure it out then, and then one of use could purchase and run home any needed ingredients (we live and work relatively near the co-op).

So lunch today was from the co-op deli. It should have been from the salad bar but I was afraid that would take too long 😦 and was hoping for a little variety. 🙂 So I had some marinated veggies that weren’t very good, and then I went ahead and tried some vegan sushi. The sushi rolls had the cooked rice of course so not completely raw, but I was happily surprised that I liked it because last time I tried sushi I didn’t like it at all (the one thing Shawn likes and I don’t!). I want to eat more sea vegetables, but have been afraid to try too many of them based on my few previous experiences.

When I returned to work I found my salad waiting on my desk. It had a corn muffin on it as I forgot to mention that to them, so I wouldn’t have been able to eat it anyway due to the gluten cross contamination. it also had eggs on which I had not noticed in the description. Hopefully someone else will want to eat it because I hate wasting food.

I did end up snacking on one of these this afternoon: http://www.gomacro.com/glutenfree.htm — they are my FAVORITE, but I generally reserve them for while traveling. But I knew it was in my purse, and for some reason I opened it.

Supper ended up being an Indian sauce with chicken over rice for the rest of the family (I don’t remember the kind because I didn’t eat it), while I had a blended soup with: tomatoes (garden fresh!), green onions, a small carrot, half a cucumber, a celery stalk, half an avocado in the soup w/ other half in chunks in the soup, and garlic and basil in the soup for seasoning. I still used some sea salt and black pepper on it too. It was VERY yummy and very filling. And since some things are more important than food, the best part was we managed to sit down as a family for a half an hour before rushing off to meetings. (Thanks to my daughter’s love of helping to cook; she traded two other chores for being responsible for supper since she would be home earlier than the rest of us!)

During the Olympics I sipped on what was for me a new green smoothie — apples, cinnamon, and spinach, inspired by the Raw Diva’s Green Smoothie challenge and blog posts. I put too much cinnamon in it though. I think I would like this best as a juice rather than a smoothie because the texture was a bit too fluffy for me. It might be better as a warm drink this winter though (blended like the soups until it’s warm). Then I accepted some of my daughter’s smoothie that was simply bananas and cherries. Yum!

I had hoped to update w/ more photos of our gorgeous produce, and of some of our weekend meals, but it’s hard to multi-task while watching the Olympics. I’m gone all day tomorrow, but will get some enticing food photos up soon. If anyone has any great ideas — or just lots of encouragement — to continue to get greens and other veggies while traveling, please add them to the comments. I can use all I can get of both!

I’m committed to eating as much raw food as possible at this point. Other than the temptations, I felt great today and had WAY more energy than I probably should have based on sleep and the stress of the day. My body feels, well, alive. 🙂

July 22, 2008

Join me in my journy while learning to eat …

Filed under: About Me — Tags: , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 1:55 pm

There is no way to start except to do it. International Green Smoothie day is inspiring me to get started on this blog that I have been thinking about for awhile. I have lots of ideas — regular photos of the fruit and veggie basket that hangs above our kitchen sink now, green smoothie of the day recipes or notes, what’s for lunch notes … mostly short posts about what I’m eating to help me along on this journey. And to share my enthusiasm for how wonderful and right this feels — eating lots of raw food and greens while eliminating lots of stuff that was apparently dragging me down (gluten, dairy, and well most cooked food) — there will be longer posts as well, but those will be less frequent.

I’m also going to put a disclaimer here, that this blog is about food not writing. So, while unlike my family blog, I may edit a bit, I will be doing quick email style posts much of the time. So, if you’re a potential employer in the technical writing industry please release that these posts are equal to a very quick draft. If someone was willing to pay me to do this, I would take more time to edit (I would also be thrilled).

Many of these posts will also come from flickr.

And one thing I’m certain of is that this blog will evolve over time which is why I titled it “Learning to Eat” rather than focusing on only green smoothies or raw food.

Please join me in my journey —

Tami

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