smoothie time

Today I made a bunch of smoothies for next week. This is a lot of fun for me. Here are the ingredients for 12 servings! From left to right, we have 6 bags of spinach or baby romaine, several bags of berries, 12 oranges, 6 pomegranates, 6 bowls of grapes, 4 kinds of seeds (hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, and flax), our supplements (gentle care, osteo-sun, DHA), 12 dates, and the large grocery bill is laying in the front. This is definitely the most expensive part of my grocery bill! This will be an issue in my future but right now I'm going to enjoy it.

I make the smoothies in batches of 2. Here's the first batch for housemate. Dr. Fuhrman said, don't make all your smoothies with spinach because it has a lot of oxalic acid. That limits the absorption of calcium and maybe other things. Well, housemate doesn't like smoothies made with salad but I decided to try to anyway, using mild baby romaine. So this one has a banana and a couple of dates to sweeten it up. I thought it tasted great, so I think housemate will like it.

I made another similar batch for housemate with strawberries instead of blueberries, everything else the same:

Then I made a batch for me with spinach because the co-op had local spinach today and it will probably be the last time this season. This had mango and pineapple for the fruit. This was the best-tasting smoothie of all--really good! Housemate claims she doesn't like the green color so I get them for myself. Oh there was a lime too but I forgot to put it in the picture.

Next, several more batches for me and housemate with spinach and blueberries & raspberries or blueberries & strawberries.

The counter got messier and messier. The pom juice splattered on everything nearby, including the walls and floor. I thoroughly enjoyed snacking on the pom kernels. I need to stop snacking while preparing food in general, but not while making pom juice.

Time to cleanup:

I did a good job cleaning up and surprised housemate who usually has to deal with my messes.

Here they are in the freezer. Housemate's are the glasses on right with foil on top. Mine are the bottles at left. I sometimes eat out so the bottles are flexible that way.

Yes, that is haagen daaz ice cream at top right. That's for family visits. It doesn't tempt me, but I admit vegan ice cream would, so that's not permitted in the house.


Today I harvested our compost! This is about a 2 hour job that I do twice a year. That's easiest enough. We use a very low-tech and low-maintenance method for composting. We made a chicken wire/lattice box divided into two areas. We throw produce and yard waste on one side for 6 months while the other side composts, then repeat. If I am not totally lazy, I'll turn the compost occasionally. I think I did it once this summer. Here's our bin. We've been throwing produce into the left side since spring and let the right side compost our winter waste. You can see corn stalks growing out of the left side (in front). We ate lots of corn this summer.

Here's a close-up of the right side. I dug it all up and threw it over the fence into the garden.

Now it's all dug up and in a pile just behind the fence in the garden:

Now I'll move the pile from the left into the right side, mainly to just turn it over. It might be hard to see but there's worms everywhere. No need to buy worms for our pile.

The bottom of the left side was composted too so I threw that in the garden. Now the left side has been turned over and is on the right side. That will finish composting over winter and we'll fill up the left side with produce and yard waste.

Here's the pile in the garden:

I started spreading it but got tired. I'll finish tomorrow.

Here's our collards and kale, still going strong!


I overate last night. It started when I ate lunch even though I wasn't hungry. I was very hungry at brekky so had a smoothie and a cup of beans. I like having this for brekky because I usually haven't eaten in a long time and I just exercised. That was about 9:30 am. But then lunch comes too soon. I waited until 12:40 pm to start preparing. Like usual, I snacked as I prepared. Lunch was steamed veggies of all kinds (broccoli, carrots, beets, brussels sprouts, leeks, kale) and vinegar and ground seeds. I had leftovers and 1 cup of beans for an early dinner at 5 pm. Dessert was an apple and orange. Okay, I should have stopped there but no, I had 3 more apples (small anyway), and then some cherry walnut ice cream. Boy was that good. okay, could I fit anything else in? Yep, a banana and some peanut butter (< 2 Tbsp thank goodness). Then I waddled to the hockey game. I was full until noon today. I didn't go to exercise this morning because I was full. I'm embarrassed to admit this. I'm thinking I should go back to logging everything I eat to keep myself accountable, 'cause it's embarrassing to have to write down stuff like that. I don't know why I'm doing this. I think I'm just getting into bad habits. or it's emotional or something. I am going through some big changes in my life, or at least, considering them. Another problem is my mealtimes. I would prefer to eat two big meals at about 10 am and 4 pm. But cohabitation requires me to prepare a big meal at 1 pm. Regardless of the reason, I have to start behaving. As Dr. Fuhrman says, no excuses.

clogged arteries

I've wondered what clogged arteries look like. The first part of this video shows one. Actually that whole series of videos is very interesting. The speaker is Dr. Klaper who is one of the doctors who gives advice on Dr. Fuhrman's forums. He's extremely gracious and knowledgeable. In fact, I think I have a crush on him. :)

Interview with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

How a plant-based diet cures heart disease.

Oct. 29

Today I only had two meals again. Interesting (for me). I liked it. It was easier than making 3 meals! I wish I could do this every day but I don't think it will fit in with housemate's lunch schedule.

Brekky was a smoothie and a cup of beans at 8 am. I'm trying out these heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo. I don't even bother adding spices or onions, just soak them overnight, cook them for a few hours, and put in the fridge for the next day or two. I have to admit, they are good. I'm starting to love beans, and love feeling satisfied for several hours.

I had 3 large carrots at 2 pm. I was hungry and it gave me energy for my bike ride home.

Then dinner was my current favorite salad. I also had a couple of small oranges. and a couple Tbsp of pumpkin seeds. That was from 4-5 pm (I start snacking while preparing...). I got really full from my giant salad (loaded with greens, beans, peas, nuts, veggies and fruit). It's 8:40 pm and I'm not the least bit hungry. The beans have real staying power.

apple, edamame, sweet pea salad

Ingredients for a full meal (1 large serving):

2 oz salad greens, chopped
small chopped apple
1/2 large or 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup edamame, thawed in microwave for a minute (optional--could just have more salad dressing)

Combine everything. A high protein, delicious, filling meal! This one has a chopped raw beet instead of a red bell pepper.

still figuring out how much to eat

It's weird. I used to know how much to eat. I stopped when I was full. I was overweight because I was eating unhealthy food. Then I started eating healthy food and lost weight. As I ate more healthy I needed to eat more. So I got in the habit of eating a lot. Then I learned from Dr. Fuhrman to eat more beans and nuts and seeds to grow muscle. So I've been doing that. But those expand in your stomach, so now I'm getting overfull. This week I'm trying to regulate it better. Yesterday and today I only ate two meals. This is mainly because I was busy and was only cooking for me so went on my own schedule.

I find after my morning exercise class, I like a big breakfast. A smoothie and a cup of beans is very satisfying and also follows Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations of beans, greens, and nuts & seeds being a good high-protein meal after exercising. Yesterday I had that at 11:30 am because I had a later exercise class. Then I didn't bother with lunch and had a lovely giant salad for dinner about 5:30 pm. And then had a few carrots about 7 pm. That was good.

Today I had my smoothie and beans at about 9:45 am. Then I had a big lunch/dinner at about 3:30-4 pm. This consisted of a few carrots, some leftover veggies and black bean hummus (from Monday's lunch), and collard greens & beet & onion & seeds cooked up (yummy!). And a small apple and small orange. That was too much. I'll try to remember that tomorrow.

I did kind of like the 2 meals per day though. It takes several hours to get hungry when you eat the beans and nuts and seeds. But I don't know how to fit that in my normal schedule when I'm cooking for house-mate too and eating lunch at 1 pm, which is too close to brekky. I guess I just need to make a smaller lunch.


I got interviewed by about being a vegan. Here's the interview. I don't know how long it will stay there.

banana-walnut ice cream

Hard to believe this can be so good.

Stick 2 serving bowls in the freezer before starting to cool them off.

Ingredients for 2 servings:
2 frozen bananas
1/2 oz raw walnuts
1/2 - 1 Tbsp hemp seeds + 1/2 cup water, or 1/2 cup soy or nut milk
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)

If using hemp seeds, blend them in the 1/2 cup water. Then add everything else and blend until creamy. Add to bowls and serve!

Weekend cooking

I haven't been posting my food much lately, sorry. But I'm making great progress studying for my nutritional excellent trainer exam. I read 100 pages of my nutrition book this week! 100 more to go...I've been getting up early every morning to read it.

My groove during the week has been smoothies at brekky, my current favorite salad at dinner, and then cooking up something at lunch with some collards or kale on the side (still lots in the garden). I recorded what I cooked for lunch earlier last week. Tomorrow will be my all-time favorite black bean hummus. That may have to be a weekly rotation.

Then on the weekend I get my treat, which is a really good smoothie without the spinach. This is like having a milkshake. Now, I'm still misbehaving on the weekends. Here's what I did yesterday. After eating my delicious smoothie, I then made next week's smoothies. This is a good idea so the weekday's are less hectic. However, there's usually some leftovers from each smoothie that I have to eat and then I get pretty full--it's probably equivalent to drinking another full smoothie--though I'm getting better at making them just the right size to fill the two glasses. Then yesterday I made a huge batch of a Fuhrman recipe which is a greek chickpea salad. I basically made 3 batches, one for a party yesterday, a party today, and for us to have at home. A bad habit of mine is eating while preparing, which I did in spades yesterday, so I got more full, and then ate more at the party and got still more full. Then I wanted one other treat, as I've been experimenting with what treats I want to have. I decided I get a treat or two on the weekend, see. So I tried to make a carob-cashew dip similar to this chocolate cashew dip with date sugar instead of dates, and with carob instead of chocolate. Well, it wasn't as good. And it's too sweet. I ate that with a banana. So I think my conclusion is that my favorite treats are the Saturday morning smoothie, and banana walnut ice cream. But yesterday, with all the cooking and experimenting I ate too many nuts and beans and got overfull. So I have to watch that. I think I get uncomfortable if I eat more than 3 oz of nuts and seeds, and 2 cups of beans, per day.

Today I had my usual smoothie, and the greek chickpea salad, some carrots, an apple and orange. I did eat too much of the salad again but it was sooo goood. And I feel okay, not tooooo full.

Saturday morning smoothie

This is my weekend treat smoothie (no greens). Serves 2.

1 ripe banana
1 bag frozen blueberries
1 bag frozen sweet cherries
1/4 - 1/2 cup raw cashews or other nut (pecans?) or seed
1 cup grapes (optional)
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice (optional)
water as needed (1/2-1 cup)

Pour the frozen berries in a big bowl, microwave for 30-60 seconds (optional). Blend cashews, grapes, and liquid in blender. Then add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. It's as good as any milkshake.

date butter

When you want a quick sweet spread.

1 spoon date sugar
1 spoon ground raw cashews or other nut (e.g., almonds,
1 spoon water or as needed for desired consistency

heat in microwave for 20 seconds, stir. eat or spread on something. Obviously, you can make a bigger batch.

I sometimes buy "essene buds" from my co-op. These are sprouted wheat berries, ground almonds and raisins. Heat one of these in the microwave, and spread with the date butter and it's a nice little treat. It might cure a craving for a muffin or cupcake.

Food this week

I haven't been home much this week--morning, afternoon, or night, so haven't cooked much. This is when it's good to have food in the freezer. And it was good I made all those smoothies on the weekend because I didn't have time to make them in the mornings. I had a smoothie every day, and I made a lot of salads like I showed yesterday. I was home Monday at lunch and made what I think is my favorite lunch: black bean hummus and lightly steamed (in the pressure cooker) vegetables for dipping. That sounds good, but it's really fantastic. The vegetables were carrots, broccoli, beet, rutabaga, broccoli sprouts. I finally steamed them the right amount of time: 1 minute on the 5 lb pressure setting. They continue to cook as they cool and are not too mushy, not too crunchy. I also tried a turnip but it was kind of bitter. We had that meal on Monday and Tuesday. Then today and tomorrow we're eating the refrigerator soup I made one day before going out of town (and froze). Tonight I had that on top of a big plate of collards. I made house-mate's with sweet corn and peas.

I did splurge one evening I was home, and just after I got my new blender, which I love! I ground up cashew nuts in the dry-container of the blender and played with desserts and came up with that blueberry cashew one. I also made a date-butter to go on a little essene bud. It's a good cravings-buster when you think you want an unhealthy cupcake or muffin. It tastes better than the mushy muffin and the over-sweet cupcake (well, maybe the cupcake tastes better but then I feel yucky afterwards). That's also when I came up with the sweet pea salad dressing. Even though I splurged and overate the nuts (unfortunately, ground cashews taste really good), I had fun experimenting with the recipes.

simple blueberry cashew dessert

This is a nice cold-weather treat.

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp ground raw cashews (grind in coffee grinder, or grind a batch in blender and store in freezer)

Combine in a bowl, heat in the microwave until warm (1-2 minutes). Try it, you'll be surprised how something so simple can be so good. And if you want it more sweet, you can add some date sugar. If you want it even more simple, just heat up the blueberries without cashews. still good.

Oct. 21

I've not been home much this week. Here were today's meals, all eaten out:

brekky was light snacking on this stuff (below) while preparing.

Lunch was salad made from the salad greens (top right), apples, edamame, red bell pepper (bottom middle) and sweet pea salad dressing (bottom right). It was fabulous. I snacked on celeries and carrots at a social event. I know you shouldn't snack between meals but it's still something I do in social situations where everyone else is eating and drinking. Dinner was smoothie (bottom left) and an apple and orange (not shown).

sweet pea snack

2/3 cup frozen sweet peas
1 Tbsp sunflower, pumpkin, or hemp seeds (optional)
1 tsp unsweetened coconut shavings (optional)
1/2 tsp D'Angou Pear vinegar or other favorite flavored vinegar

Put in a bowl and heat in microwave until thawed or warm. yummy.

sweet pea salad dressing

Ingredients for 1 large serving (full meal) or two small:
1 cup frozen sweet peas
0.5-1 oz raw pecans and/or seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, hemp)
1 Tbsp D'Angou Pear vinegar or other favorite flavored vinegar
juice of 1 small lime or 1/2 large (or 1 whole one, if you like them)
2 oranges, peeled, remove seeds, or 2/3 cup orange juice

Thaw the peas a bit in the microwave (30 sec) if you want. Blend everything in a blender. This is really easy to make and I think it tastes great. I eat the whole recipe if the salad is the main course. Use as few or many nuts as your diet allows (e.g., 1/2 oz if trying to lose weight).

Dec. 2, 2009: I used fresh pomegranate juice instead of orange juice, and more seeds (flax and hemp) and fewer pecans. It was great.
Dec. 3, 2009: I added a small mango and small pear in place of the juice (but added 2 oz of orange juice to thin it out). yummy!
Dec. 17, 2009: I used half an avocado instead of the nuts & seeds. and mandarin oranges instead of juice. here's a picture of this super easy variation before blending (peas, oranges avocado and a little flavored vinegar):

the weekend

I'm not posting as much because I'm trying to get through my nutrition book (studying to be a nutritional excellence trainer). The good news is I'm on page. 400. The bad news is I still have over 200 pages to go. But I think the hardest stuff is over with and I can read a little faster. At least I'm telling myself that.

Yesterday I let myself eat less nutritionally. Not that it was bad; as it turned out it was pretty much all fruit. But it was fun. I think I'll let myself have treats like this on Sat. For brekky we had smoothies without spinach in them. So we had banana-cherry-blueberry smoothies with pistachio nuts in them. Very yummy. Then later on I made smoothies to freeze for next week. That was fun. I had stopped at the store and got pomegranates and grapes. Each smoothie had the usual seeds and 2 bags of frozen berries, plus 1 cup of orange-pomegranate juice and some grapes, and a bag of spinach. I added a little maple syrup to house-mate's. Each batch made 2 smoothies and had a little leftover which I drank. So that filled me up and I called that dinner.

Today for brekky I made a warm dish in the pressure cooker: chopped apple, 1/2 sweet potato, 1/2 beet, cranberries, raisins, cinnamon. Then I needed to cool it quickly because I realized I was running a little late so I added frozen blueberries. It was pretty good. I think I'd go without the sweet potato next time. the blueberries were a nice touch. Here's a picture before cooking:

I forgot to snap one afterwards.

For lunch I had collard greens, brussels sprouts, and leek cooked in the pressure cooker (4 minutes) with pomegranate balsamic vinegar added. That is my favorite vinegar to add to collard greens. I also ate a can of cannelli beans. It was a good and filling lunch. I think I would have like beets with the greens too. I think I'm into beets this Fall. Last fall I was into sweet potatoes but this year I haven't found the local ones to be as good. They are jewel variety and I think I like garnet better.

Dinner was strange. I made some raw soups from the Boutenko family website: the Thai soup and cucumber dill-icious soup. Well, this is either something I don't like or an acquired taste. After tasting it for a while I started liking it more. I put it in small containers, so I wouldn't have to eat too much at one time, and froze them. I doubt I'll make them again, unless I acquire a taste for them as I try to finish them off. Since I didn't eat too much of the soups, I ate some carrots and celery and raw almonds, and a small orange and apple. And then I made up a snack that is actually really good: frozen peas and raw pumpkin seeks. Just eat it with a spoon. That was definitely the best part of my meal, well except for the apple and orange which were really good. I ended up eating too much, as usual probably because of the nuts and seeds.

simple collard greens

Easy and good side dish.

a bunch of collard greens
leek or onion, chopped

Chop the onions and collard greens. Cook in a pressure cooker on high for 3-4 minutes with 1/2-1 cup water. Or steam or boil for 20-30 minutes. Add the vinegar. serve. I really like this! and it's super healthy.

Oct. 15

Today I had

greens, seeds and fruit for brekky (smoothie)

beans & greens for lunch (lentil soup and collard greens)

greens & beans & nuts & fruit & raw veggies for dinner (salad)

lentil mushroom barley soup

I made this up today and it was very good. No need to follow this exactly, as it's hard to ruin lentils.

2 cups dry lentils (I like to mix them up, used 1 cup brown, 1 cup green)
8-16 oz shitake mushrooms (I didn't weight them. Note: I chose shitake because Dr. Fuhrman says they are healthier than button, crimini, and portobello)
1/2 cup hulled or hulless barley
2 carrots, chopped
an onion or leek, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup celery juice
1 cup carrot juice
2-3 cups water (add as needed as soup thickens)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
a little cayenne or chipotle pepper/powder to taste

Throw everything in a pot and cook for an hour or until lentils and veggies are tender. Add water as needed if soup gets too thick. The celery and carrot juice adds just enough flavor to keep you from thinking it needs salt or heavy spices.

apple salad

This is my favorite salad right now. I've been eating it every night for dinner. It is quick and easy to make. We are getting delicious local apples this time of year, and are still getting local salad greens and bell peppers.


salad greens
apple, cut into pieces, leave the peel on if organic
chopped 1/2 large red bell pepper or 1 small
1/3 - 1/2 cup frozen edamame (thaw 1 minute in microwave)
1/2 - 1 oz walnuts, chopped
1-2 Tbsp raisins

Smash the salad greens into a bowl or plate to get as much as possible. Add everything else on top. It takes a while to eat if you chew carefully, and is very satisfying.

Yummy Acorn Squash Supreme

This is taken from the Fuhrman recipe site but I modified it and want to remember my version, so I'm posting it here (Dr. Fuhrman will never know, right?). My version has more filling and more nuts. So if you are trying to lose weight, you probably should go for the recipe site version.

1 medium acorn squash
5 Tbsp cut up dried mango
chopped fresh pineapple or 1 bag frozen (thawed in microwave)
2 Tbsp raisins
1/3 cup chopped raw pecans

Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake face down in 1/2" water for 45 minutes at 350 F.

While that's baking, take half the pineapples and puree them in the blender. I was too lazy to finely chop the mango, so I threw those into the blender with the pineapple pieces and pulsed it (blended for a second or two a few times) to dice the mango and pineapple some more. Easy peasy. Then I combined them all together with the raisins and nuts and let them soak while the squash cooked.

Once the squash is done, add the filling into the squash pieces' centers. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Place back in the pan and bake for another 30 minutes. Let it cool some before eating. It is yummy!

It looked better than this picture shows. I'll try again next time...

Oct. 12 +

This week is going to be busy so I may not be blogging much. My meals will be pretty simple too. My garden is full of kale and collard greens since I've been gone for 2 weeks. And I've got a bunch of fresh local apples and carrots from the co-op.

So brekky will probably be smoothies.

Lunch: I'm rotating kale and collards. I cook them up with onions. They are great. We've had cold temperatures and that's supposed to make them sweeten up a bit. Then I'm rotating having them with beans and tomatoes, or that refrigerator soup I made before leaving town (turned out pretty good). Sometimes I put frozen corn into it, usually for housemate.

Dinner: salad made from lettuce greens, apple, nuts or avocado, few raisins, orange and green bell peppers (one left from the garden), some edamame or sweet peas, a little vinegar. This is simple and really good. I'm going to a dinner party tomorrow night and will probably bring everything but the lettuce as a topping to put on the host's salad. They already know I'm crazy. It's kind of fun when people have to put up with you. hmm, I might make an apple, raisin something dessert to bring too.

and the usual carrots, celery and fruit before and after the meals.

I'll go grocery shopping Wed. night and then will probably do new things with my new produce.

oct. 11

Back home, back to pretty normal eating.

brekky: smoothie

lunch: salad + raw carrots (local ones are back!). the salad was local greens, local apple chopped, chopped walnuts, and edamame. Very good. love the local produce.

snacking, oops: was at a reception all afternoon and they kept refilling the fruit plates with tons of fruit. so I kept eating it, grapes, pineapple, kiwi, strawberry. I told people I'm a grape-aholic. They said the first step is to admit you have a problem. We agreed I made it to the first step.

dinner. wasn't so hungry but still managed to eat a banana and fresh-ground peanut butter (just one Tbsp at least), a small apple, half an orange, a carrot, and the main dish which was kale and the veggie soup thing I made before going out of town. I ate a relatively small serving since I was kind of full by then.

Oct. 10

Today was the last day of my very fun trip. I made these salads for brekky and lunch:

That's lettuce, apples, strawberries, raisins, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds. Very yummy. Also had fruit: banana and pluot, at lunch. Then some carrots too. I had a strenuous bike ride, so when I got home I wanted beans and greens--these were collards and chopped onion, (cooked on high in pressure cooker for 4 minutes), then added a can of tomatoes, and a can of adzuki beans. That was very satisfying. Had some carrots, a small apple, pluot, half an orange too. That was a lot of food, I probably overate a bit, but I want to build some muscle too.

Oct. 8,9, 10?

The good produce from the small-town grocery stores has been apples and pluots, so I'm going with the flow. Brekky and lunch are salads with lettuce, cut up apples, sunflower and/or hemp seeds, and sweet peas (bought frozen, they last about a day or two), and fruit: pluots, oranges, etc. Tomorrow my bananas will be ripe so they'll take us home. Dinner is beans and whatever, frozen veggies, usually cooked up together in the hot pot or microwave. and fruit. and lots of raw carrots with lunch and dinner. I had to buy conventional carrots today. They are pretty tasteless. Even so, I am a carrot fanatic. No wonder I have orange skin. It matches my new orange sweatshirt.

Oct 5-7

We're having a blast on this trip. Food is not the emphasis, as long as I get my nourishment, which I need a lot of because of the unexpected opportunities for mountain biking that I've had. But it's been fun and easy to eat the food I enjoy. Here's a quick summary of yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's food

oct 5 brekky:
salad made from lettuce greens (spring mix I think), strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and orange vinegar.

Lunch: same salad + carrots and a big delicious apple and a kiwi.

Dinner: leftover chili from the previous day. To extend it I added chickpeas and hemp seeds. Also ate some carrots and an orange. and celery.

oct 6 brekky: the salad greens in the fridge froze so I had to eat twice as much as usual. When salad greens thaw, they are really gross. So I ate a huge (slightly frozen) salad with the same berries as yesterday, and hemp seed and vinegar.

lunch: no more salad so had fruit (apple, lots of carrots and celery, orange) and pumpkin seeds.

dinner: went to the store and got some groceries for a couple of days. got some frozen broccoli and cauliflower. cooked that up in the hotpot, added a can of pinto beans (I brought several cans of beans, soup, and nuts and seeds as my staples). split that with travel companion. To hers I added her salted peanuts. To mine I added hemp seeds. Oh, and while cooking I added some cumin, pumpkin pie spice, and fines herbs. I was hungry and this was satisfying. I also had a delicious ripe organic plum and some carrots. The store I went to didn't have a big selection of produce but what it had looked pretty good and some of it is organic. I've been able to get organic carrots on this trip (taste way better than conventional), and the plums are good.

Tomorrow I won't be on the internet. Here's the plan.

brekky: a weird salad with salad greens and asparagus! the asparagus is frozen but I expect will thaw overnight. I'm not sure what the consistency will be. But I love asparagus. The store didn't have any berries. and I'll add seeds and vinegar to the salad, as usual. and I'll probably want a plum, yum.

lunch: salad with greens, apples, walnuts, raisins (if I remember, I keep forgetting we have raisins), vinegar. some fruit. plum, or orange or both.

dinner: I'm thinking black-eyed peas with sweet potato and the last bell pepper from the garden. Hopefully that won't take too long to cook in the hotpot if we are late arriving. fruit. I got some bananas today but they'll take a couple of days to ripen.

Oct. 4

still on travel.

Brekky: salad--greens, blueberries, raspberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, orange vinegar. banana.

Lunch: salad--greens, chopped apple, chopped walnuts, orange vinegar (made it at brekky). 2 carrots.

Dinner: 2 carrots (yes I love carrots), 1 celery stalk, hotpot chili, some pineapple while preparing, pear for dessert.


hotpot chili

I made this in my hotel tonight and thought it was very good. I got this recipe idea from Lynne on the Fuhrman forums, especially the pineapple addition. Hers has more ingredients for a bigger batch. This has to fit into a hot pot so I cut out the mushrooms and onions. Feel free to add those in too.

1 green bell pepper
1 shredded carrot
1 small potato (optional, I just had one that needed eating)
1 16 oz can tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
4-8 oz pineapple (8 oz is to much for most people but I love pineapple)
1-3 tsp chili powder
other spices you might like (I added some cumin, fines herbs, and pumpkin pie spice)

Cut the bell pepper, carrot, and potato into small pieces so it will cook faster. Add everything to the hot pot but the pineapple and and beans, and cook for 20 minutes on medium setting. Add the beans, cook some more. Add the pineapple. Cook until tender, probably 30 minutes total.

Here's a picture after dishing out 2 bowls:

more thoughts on Dr. Fuhrman's Life Plan

I'm still thinking about incorporating Dr. Fuhrman's Life Plan, where only 90% of your calories need to include his healthy foods, and 10% can be off-plan. I think I still want to avoid sugar and refined grains as much as possible because I don't like how they affect me. And I think it's easier for me to just stay on plan all the time rather than keep track of when I'm off it. So I think overall I will probably follow the 100% plan, but there's three areas where I'll allow myself to relax:

1) If I eat more nuts than I'm supposed to, let those count as the 10%. The 10% amounts to 1000 calories a week. That can be some fun overindulgence. Fresh-ground peanut butter can fall in this category (I like it with a banana). It's not as healthy as raw nuts, but Dr. Fuhrman doesn't forbid it.
2) Every few months when I get a cupcake craving, just go for it, eat one, and then stop there and don't worry about it.
3) Every few months if I find myself at a restaurant and there is some reason I can't just be my usual crazy self and bring my own food, or maybe I really want to eat the food there, just go ahead and do it, and don't eat too much of it, and don't worry about it.

That sounds like a pretty good Life Plan for me.

more thoughts on fasting

I was studying my nutrition book tonight and just happen to get to the place where it discusses Feeding and Fasting (by coincidence, this is 3 days after I tried a fast). The first 4 hours after eating is the Absorptive State, where dietary nutrients are absorbed. Glucose is the body's major source of energy.

Then from 4-24 hours is the Postabsorptive State. Here dietary nutrients are no longer absorbed. The body's source of energy is supplied by the breakdown of store energy, primarily glycogen supplied by the liver (about 75% of the glucose is supplied this way). Also some fat is burned. "Some scientists believe that maintaining the human body in the postabsorptive state may have health benefits." This is based on studies of monkeys and rats that show that calorie restricted (not starved) animals live longer, and look younger and healthier at a given age than the normally fed animals.

From 24 hours to about 1 week is the Acute Starvation stage. Here I think body fat supplies most of the energy, but muscles (lean tissue) also contribute to the production of glucose (by supplying amino acids, lactate, and glycerol). Ketosis also starts up. This is where the muscles, brain and kidneys can convert fatty acids and some amino acids to glucose.

Then you go into Prolonged Starvation, where the body relies on fat and ketones for energy.

During my 48 hour fast, The first 36 hours were fine. There were 2 night's sleep in there so lots of rest. I felt much weaker after that. That must have been when the liver-stored glycogen ran out, and the Acute Starvation phase started. I didn't enjoy this phase and can't say I have any interest in repeating it, unless I have some health reason and am in a position to completely rest during the fast. My muscles felt tired for a day after I started eating. They must have been depleted of energy even 24 hours after I started eating. Also I wonder if I lost lean muscle mass. I don't want to do that. I guess I'll have to reread Dr. Fuhrman's fasting book. I don't recall what the benefits of fasting for more than 24 hours are if you are healthy. I can see where 12-24 hour fasts are probably beneficial, and doing a daily fast between dinner and breakfast of, say 15 hours, is probably beneficial. That sounds good enough for me.

Oct. 3

Now the business portion of my trip is done and I'm on vacation. yea!

We had brekky at the B&B. Today I didn't want the home-made peach cobbler and blueberry bars because I didn't want the sugar and probable butter (not vegan). I was satisfied to eat the very nice fruit (strawberries, bananas, pears, and more) topped with my sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. I also finished the can of soup I had opened yesterday so it wouldn't go bad or to waste. That was good.

Lunch was 2 carrots, an apple, and lots of almonds, walnuts and raisins that my friend Gail brought (no salt). We went mountain biking so I didn't worry if I ate a few more nuts and raisins than normal.

Dinner: 2 carrots, a salad with lettuce greens, sweet peas from a can, a green pepper from our garden, and some orange vinegar. okay, not gourmet, but I was happy eating it. Travel companion liked it too. Dessert was an orange.

Comment on the organic vs concentional produce: I find that organic carrots taste so much better than conventional. Fortunately, the grocery store we stopped at had organic carrots and they are really good. (another comment: I love carrots). I also got organic apples and they were good too. I was pleasantly surprised since the store had very little organic produce. Fortunately the salad greens are organic too. Tomorrow's berries are conventional (blueberries, raspberries), as are the oranges.

Oct. 2

Today I tried out the "Life Plan" where 10% of your calories can be off Dr. Fuhrman's eating plan. So at breakfast at my lovely B&B, I decided to try a little bit of the homemade fruit crisp and granola. Well, the fruit crisp tasted like butter which meant it wasn't vegan, so I didn't like that I ate a few bites of that. Also, I don't know if I want to get back into eating sugar. I don't like how it affects me. The granola was good and didn't seem to have too much sugar or oil. I didn't have much of it. I think tomorrow I'll just eat the fresh fruit (which was very good today) and top it with my own raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Lunch was at a brewery where there were no healthy options. I brought some soup in a small container and used that to dip the pieces of my salad I was willing to eat. I also ate an apple and orange I had brought. That was plenty.

Dinner was a really big and good salad at a restaurant that had a few vegan options. The salad probably had more salt and oil than optimal but it was pretty good. I probably could have eaten half of it and been satisfied. Dessert was a delicious vegan four-berry crisp, which we shared 3 ways. That was good. It didn't taste too sweet either and was mostly berries (probably a lot of sugar though).

I bet more than 10% of my calories were unhealthy today. How do you know? It seems like work to keep track. I suppose you could plan to stay on-plan except for one meal out per week. That would be relatively easy to keep track of. In some ways, though, I think it would be easier to be an extremist (100% on plan). My salad was good, but not as good (to me) as the ones I make at home. In this case I was being treated by my hosts, in exchange for giving a talk this afternoon, so it was convenient that I obliged them and ate the food. I guess the 10% rule was good for tonight's situation. I'm not in this situation often so it could be a 1% rule if I wanted.

Dr. Fuhrman's Life Plan

I was briefly listening to Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live audio tape (studying for my Nutritional Excellence Trainer certificate), and was reminded of the Life Plan, the plan you can follow when you are healthy and at your ideal weight, which is the situation I am fortunate to be in. So in the Life Plan, Dr. Fuhrman says you only need to eat 90% of your calories as healthy food. The other 10% can be whatever you want. He says the typical woman should eat 1500 calories a day, and the typical male 2000. So that means I can eat 150 calories of unhealthy food per day, or 1000 calories per week. Now that's a fair amount. My unhealthy obsession is still the cupcake. There is this restaurant in my town that sells what look to be really good cupcakes. They are small. I can find out how many calories they have but I bet it's less than 500 a piece. So I could eat a cupcake (or two) a week! Or go to a restaurant and eat 1000 calories once a week. Maybe I should try this out. Then I wouldn't get into that weird psychology where you say, oh I want to splurge today and go back to eating healthy tomorrow, and then you eat a whole bunch of unhealthy stuff because it will be forbidden tomorrow, instead of just eating one little cupcake.

Oh, Dr. Fuhrman suggests a good way to track your 10% off-plan calories. Write it in your calendar. Then you know how many days you have left until you earn your next splurge. He also says that after a while you probably won't even want this stuff. But as long as you know it's not forbidden, you won't be as likely to binge when you go offplan (thinking, okay, I'll start over tomorrow but in that case I'd better eat all the good stuff I missed).

Fasting review

Today I ended my fast at 4 pm. That was about 48 hours after starting. I was definitely more tired and low-energy today. I was tired driving so didn't think that was so safe (I'm on a road-trip with a companion). I only drove 2 hours, and that was after working 2 hours, so I needed a nap. After driving I napped and felt fine, so I could have worked it out with better planning. Still, I'm not sure you should drive after fasting more than one day. Driving on day 1 seems fine.

After settling into our B&B, I decided it would be good to end the fast. I was tired and weak, and wanted to get some food in my body so I'd have energy tomorrow. I didn't want to start breaking the fast tomorrow when I'll need energy right away. Plus I need to eat more tomorrow and get even more energy for mountain biking on Sat. For breaking the fast, Dr. Fuhrman recommends steamed zucchini or other easy-to-digest vegetables. Well, I didn't have the energy to go out and get veggies to steam (in the microwave), so I just ate an apple. It's not like I fasted for 10 days, and need to learn to digest again. It was just 2 days. A few hours later I had half a can of soup: Dr. Fuhrman's Morrocan chickpea soup. Beans aren't the easiest thing to digest, but it was a small amount and I feel fine. I'm not eating again until breakfast so there will be plenty of time to digest the beans. Then I think my options at breakfast will be oatmeal and fruit. Lunch and dinner will probably just be fruit or salad, because I'll be at restaurants. But I'll bring another can of soup and eat that at the office if I need to. Then tomorrow night, I plan to go to the grocery store to get food for the weekend. If I need to eat then, I will.

Oh, so what do I think of fasting? I don't know. One day is easy. Two days is kind of painful for me. I don't like feeling tired and weak. You definitely have to stay home and do nothing after day 1. I could see fasting from 6 pm one day to 7 am 1.5 days later, so 37 hours. That feels good and cleansing I guess, and doesn't impact my life too much. I could see skipping meals on travel days when you are just sitting on airplanes or in the car and not doing much, and there is no good food to eat anyway (unless I bring it myself). I could see skipping meals when you are out and about and there is no good food to eat anyway (unless I bring it myself). So I could see incorporating shorter fasts when it's inconvenient to eat anyway. That means you can get away with less planning. But if I'm doing something physically active, I need to bring food.