spinach/berry smoothie

New, favorite, easy. Makes 2 servings

1 bag frozen sweet cherries
1 bag frozen berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, or mixed)
1 bag (5 oz) spinach
1 large orange or 2 small, or 4 mandarine, peel and remove seeds
2 Tbsp flax seeds
2 Tbsp sunflower/pumpkin/hemp seeds
1/2-1 cup water

Blend the supplements, seeds, oranges, water, and spinach until smooth. Add the berries and blend again until smooth.

blueberry/cherry "compote"

This is easy and fast and good.
1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2-1 cup frozen cherries
0-1/2 oz chopped nuts (walnuts are good, so are cashews, brazil nuts)
1 tsp unsweetened coconut shavings (optional)

Combine in a bowl, heat in the microwave for a minute or two. A good winter treat.

New Year's eve

Today I had fun making healthy "treats" since it's New Year's eve.

I made peanut/banana spread. This is healthier than fresh peanut butter, and I confirmed that it tastes better! (I had some peanut butter yesterday with a banana). I like the consistency better too. Peanut butter is too gooey.

I ate it with an apple (no picture), celery,


and carrot:

My favorite was the lettuce and least favorite was the apple. The apple is good on its own so no need to add this--it drowns out the taste a bit. The celery and carrot and lettuce were great.

At lunchtime, I made blueberry/cherry "compote." Yummy:

I was studying for a nutritional exam, and was reminded how good spinach is for you, so for dinner I had a spinach/berry smoothie.

I also ate a pomelo, and too many brazil nuts. The pomelo is a giant fruit that is a bit sweeter than grapefruit. It was a bit dry but good.

dec. 29 food

Today I had berries for brekky (frozen blueberries), plus too much other fruit and too many cookies.

For lunch I had delicious soup, lettuce & bell pepper, some fruit and carrots, and too many cookies.

For dinner, I had yummy butternut squash apple bake, some berries from the freezer (blueberry and cherry), and some carrots.

I ate too much. burp.

butternut squash/apple bake

This is really a version of Dr. Fuhrman's sweet potato apple bake, but I tried it with butternut squash instead of sweet potato, since we get the squash locally for much of the winter.

1/2 large or 1 medium butternut squash
2 apples
2/3 cup raw cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup orange juice (I used mandarin oranges)
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and dig out the seeds and stringy stuff. I found scraping it with a knife first frees up the stringy stuff, and then a spoon can remove it. Peel the squash. I recently got what I think is called a t-peeler. This worked great. Here's a picture showing the t-peeler at top left, and the chopped squash:

Next, peel and chop the apples. Combine everything in a baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, add the cinnamon and remove the foil to toast it a bit.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished project. Here's a picture of a version with sweet potatoes instead of squash:

Note on modifications: I recently tried this with beets and squash and didn't like it as much. It's better just with the squash!

Dec. 28 food

Here's a pictoral view of yesterday's meals.


mandarine oranges, apple, kiwi, carrot.


At top left is house-mate's lunch: brussels sprouts, carrots, corn, edamame, ground sunflower seeds. Mine is at right: brussels sprouts, red cabbage drenched in kale fennel soup. Now I really like that soup. It just took getting used to. dessert was one cashew cookie and banana oatmeal cookie each.

Dinner was salad with my favorite sweet pea dressing. Today's version had peas, flaxseeds, mandarine oranges and d'angou pear vinegar. Here's the dressing before blending:

Here's the salad, and the cookies for dessert.

oops, then I had some more cookies.

Fun weekend cooking!

I decided to make some Fuhrman recipes this weekend. His soups tend to be hearty and rich, which sounds perfect for the winter. I decided I want to make the 3 "High Cruciferous Soups" in the Nov. 2004 newsletter (members only, sorry!). So I started yesterday with the Kale fennel soup (recipe here, my post about it here). It was good, but as I said in my post, I think my modifications made it worse than it should have been. So I'll have to try it again sometime.

Then today, to help me resist those awful SAD (Standard American Diet--namely, sugar, refined grains, and chocolate!) treats that not only are unhealthy, but make me feel like crap when I eat them, I decided to make some Fuhrman treats. Even though I didn't think I needed to be such an extremist, well, I think I do after all! I just can't stand how I feel when I eat that stuff, not only moments afterwards with the hyperactivity, but days afterwards with the grogginess. I think I just have to be 100% in the Fuhrman universe so that I feel normal all the time. The chocolate and sugar feels like a strong drug to me now, as does alcohol and caffeine. And if I'm 98% compliant, that's pretty extremist to most people, so why not go all the way to 100%. No one will notice the difference. They'll notice much more if they see me eating SAD food. Okay, sorry to ramble so much there.

So, anyway, to help me in the psychological department where I get jealous when I see everyone eating all those treats, I decided I should probably have some treats from the Fuhrman universe of foods. So today I made cashew cookies and banana oat cookies. I actually wasn't sure I'd like either one but I ended up liking both! I think my taste buds have changed over the years, which is also why I find the SAD treats too sweet and artificial tasting. So I'm not suggesting that SAD eaters will like these, but I'm not making these for SAD eaters. However, I was surprised that house mate, who eats a lot of SAD sweets, liked both batches of cookies. In addition to the cookies, I made a bunch of smoothies for house mate (two batches of 3, or 6 total). I love making the smoothies because I nibble on the various ingredients as I make them. I don't make the smoothies for myself because I prefer the flavor of the individual fruits better, these days anyway. But I do enjoy eating the leftovers from the blender afterwards with the help of the spatula, yum. It's amazing how much you can scrape out of there.

Anyway, it was a fun weekend in the kitchen. I love preparing food. I wish I could do this all the time!

kale fennel soup

Even though I can't post this recipe here, because it's on the Fuhrman member site, I'm going to write some notes for myself for future reference. I also forgot to take pictures, sorry.

I modified the recipe a little based on recent advice from Dr. F. to blend up the cruciferous veggies before cooking to allow isothiocyanates to form (they fight cancer). So I blended up the onions, zucchini and kale before cooking. Well, it's not quite as creamy when you do this before instead of after. So next time I will also blend afterwards. In fact, I didn't need to blend the zucchini before, since it's not a cruciferous veggie. I liked the parsnips. The first time I ate parsnips, I didn't like them, but I really like them in this soup. I guess I just had to get familiar with them. Next time instead of split peas and lentils, I will use these heirloom beans that I've been enjoying so much lately. They are so creamy, I think because they are reasonably fresh. After soaking overnight, they only need a few hours to cook so are not that much different in cooking time from the split peas that do not seem to be so fresh and seem to take a few hours also (even though they should take less if they are fresh). Also these larger beans have more resistant starch which Dr. F. says is really good for you. I usually double the amount of beans in these recipes because I love beans.

So my verdict on the recipe: Following the lead of Jana, who grades the recipes, I think I would just give this a B (update the next day: I like this much more today and give it an A-. It's great by itself or on vegetables. I think I just had to get used to it. An A- for texture due to my blending the veggies ahead of time, and an A for taste).

Banana oatmeal cookies

I don't feel right sharing the recipe for these cookies since it only appears on Dr. Fuhrman's member site. But I will show some pictures and describe them. They are pretty low-fat and low-sugar so I was not expecting to like them, but I was surprised that I did like them! I find most SAD (Standard American Diet) cookies to be too sweet, so SAD eaters used to them might find these too bland. Still, house mate, who eats SAD candy all the time, liked them.

The recipe calls for oats, over-ripe bananas, baking soda, cinnamon, and a small amount of sunflower seeds and raisins. That's very low fat and low sugar!

You grind up the oats in the blender:

Puree the bananas in the blender:

Then combine everything and bake. Here's the final result:

It tasted kind of like banana bread. My bananas weren't overripe enough so I added 1 Tbsp of date sugar. Next time, I'll let the bananas over-ripen. The sunflower seeds add a nice accent. The raisins add sweetness. A nice little treat.

cashew cookies

To prevent myself from eating off-plan treats, I'm going to supply myself with healthy treats so I don't feel deprived. These don't make me feel like crap the way the sugar and chocolate and oil in regular cookies do (plus they don't give me all the diseases those other cookies do). This recipe is posted here, which is a public site, so I think it's okay to repost here for my own benefit. Also I did some variations.

The ingredients are:

1 cup raw cashew butter or 2 cups raw cashews
1 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup date sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
Unsweetened strawberry jam

Well, I don't see the need to buy unsweetened apple sauce when you can just cook up an apple in some water and that will turn into apple sauce. So that's what I did:

And I thought, a pear would be good too, so I added in a pear too. I probably had quite a bit more than the 1/4 cup called for in the end (1/2 cup maybe or more, didn't seem to hurt anything). I added my 1/3 cup date sugar and 1/2 cup water to this to let the flavors blend in a bit.

Then I was at the store looking at the ingredients in unsweetened strawberry jam and it was just strawberries and apple or grape juice, and I thought, well, I can make that too. I just happened to be making a bunch of smoothies for house mate anyway, so I took some of the frozen berries---blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and strawberries, and put them in a pan. Then I juiced a pear and apple (helps to have a juicer!). Here they are cooking:

I just let them cook down until it was a mushy jam. I was busy making the smoothies while this was cooking so I was in no hurry.

Next you grind the oats to a flour. Vita-mix has a dry blender container. I think the blades are pointed differently and it works great. Here's the ground oats:

You can use this container to grind the cashews too. before grinding:

And after, in the mixing bowl. It was turning into cashew butter:

Next, mix everything together, then drop onto a cookie sheet, make a well in the middle and add the jam there. I oiled the cookie sheet with olive oil, wiped up with a paper towel so it was just a thin layer.

Here they are after baking:

I liked them! They taste kind of like peanut butter and jelly. House mate liked them too, which surprised me, because she also likes the standard cookies with lots of sugar and butter. This container is going in the freezer, and another in the fridge:

Great new blog

Jana started a new blog patterned after the Julie/Julia movie. She's going through Dr. Fuhrman's Eat for Health book, making every recipe and blogging about it! It's great! Here's the link.

holiday eating

I had an enjoyable holiday season. However, I did go off the healthy eating plan on 3 occasions over the course of 2 days, at a party and at two restaurant meals. I rationalized it as follows: I’m thin and healthy (knock on wood) and Dr. Fuhrman says 90% compliance is enough to maintain health. So I’m well within his parameters. But I have to say, I don’t think it’s worth it! The effect of unhealthy food on a healthy body is too much of a shock. I felt hungover for 3 days after this, and what fun is that? And I didn’t even eat that unhealthy, compared to normal standards. At the party I had small servings of lentil salad, chick pea salad, hummus, tempeh, chocolate pudding (made with tofu), chips & salsa, and a few vegan cookies. I have to admit I enjoyed the salt a lot. But I hardly slept that night from the sugar and chocolate. At one of the restaurant meals I had a tofu scramble burrito, fried potatoes, toast with earth balance (margarine), and a decaff soy latte. At the other restaurant meal, I had hummus & pita bread, a couple of small falafels (deep fried!), and baklava (very sweet! and, yes, good). It all tasted good, but mainly due to the salt—try eating that stuff without salt and it’s bland, I guarantee. Again, I was surprised by my attraction to the salt. But then I paid for it. My hands got uncomfortably swollen, and my nose bled a little. I suspect this is harmful to the body to go from no salt to a ton of salt in one day. And the same goes for a body not used to sugar, caffeine, and chocolate. I’m glad I didn’t try the alcohol.

One thing I noticed is that I am more fun and interesting when I’m on these drugs (sugar, refined grains, caffeine), and I have more fun at the parties. When I went back to healthy eating and went to another party, and I found it dull and I was probably dull too. When you think about it, everyone else is on drugs from the sugar, refined grains, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol (all at the same time!). So they are all hyped up and I’m not. I come across as boring and tired, and I have to admit, it is kind of boring to stand around and watch everyone else eat and drink.

After going back on plan, I wasn’t very hungry for 2 days, and mainly ate veggies and fruit. I’ve been eating cabbage & apple (no onion or raisins) for brekky. I had my favorite simple salad a couple of times: lettuce and sweat pea dressing. When I ate that I thought it was as good as anything I had on the “splurge”. So why bother?? I was sort of back to normal on day 3. That was today, Christmas Day. I was planning to visit relatives but the weather prevented it, so a friend and I did some volunteering at a local church and Christmas dinner. That was lots of fun. Afterwards I gave my friend the option to go over to another friend’s house for a traditional dinner, or to eat the last of the veggies in my refrigerator. He chose the veggies. I made my usual veggies & beans & seeds dish (had some beans in the freezer), with broccoli, carrots, potato, corn, cabbage, and hemp/sunflower seeds. My friend loved it. That’s such an easy recipe and it’s a hit with SAD (Standard American Diet) eaters. I think the reason is due to the carrot juice in the beans. It gives it a little sweet flavor. The ground seeds are also key because they thicken the cooking water up a bit and make it into a sauce with some fat in it. I made a mango-mandarine-coconut sorbet, which was good (1 cup frozen mangos, 2 small mandarine oranges, 1 Tbsp shaved coconut).

Tomorrow I will have to go grocery shopping, though it would be fun to see how far I can go with what I have in the fridge. It’s now mostly carrots and some cabbage and oranges, and one cup of beans. Hmmm. Well, that combo would probably taste good too!

Blog update

I took a little break from blogging over the holidays. I'm hoping to start up a new hobby soon, so I think I will have to cut back on blogging to fit it in. I’ll probably cut back on the daily food logs and just post recipes or rants. I did the daily food logs to provide examples for how to eat healthy on a daily basis (when I do it right!). There are plenty of old posts if someone wants to see that still. Just click on the “food logs” label at right to see hundreds of posts.

dec. 20 food

Today I didn't feel well thanks to yesterday's escapades with the chocolate chip cookies. I hardly slept last night, and had a stomach ache today. I just ate a big bowl of veggies at dinner time: brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, and a couple of raw carrots. Housemate reminded me that I did the same thing last year during the holidays. When will I learn? I'm amazed chocolate affects me so much. I really have to avoid that completely!

smoothie time

I like making house-mate's smoothies on Saturday morning. I make 2 batches of 3 smoothies each, and freeze them. Here were today's ingredients:

vitamins & DHA, bananas, mandarin oranges, pears (local), blueberries, pineapple chunks, raspberries, strawberries, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. I didn't have spinach, and decided to let house-mate have a Christmas treat this week so I put the lettuce (top right) back in the fridge and these were just sweet fruit smoothies. yummy!

last few days

I had to go to out of town for a funeral this week. I brought my food with me, some servings of beans & veggies, some lettuce and fruit (mandarine oranges and apples). I wasn't that hungry because of the sadness of the event. For some people, this kind of stress makes them eat more; it makes me eat less, but as you'll see, it's the happy events that make me crack. After I got home, I have been going to parties nonstop, full of sweet treats. I finally cracked today and had several vegan chocolate chip cookies. Then I decided, let's make a day of it, so I got a couple of non-Fuhrman foods at the deli at my co-op, some red curry tofu and a quinoa salad, and a falafel. It was small servings and not too far off the plan, except for the oil and salt. As usual, I didn't think it was as good as my food and realized again that I'm not missing anything. I satisfied my urge to splurge so I think I can resume healthy eating tomorrow. I think the last time I went off plan was in September so that's not so bad (though I have over-eaten on plan several times). But I would like to kick the sugar habit completely. It just feels too much like an addiction, because it is. I never thought sugar would be harder than coffee or alcohol to give up. Pretty interesting.

Dec. 15 food

Brekky: blueberries & mango. The blueberries were frozen and thawed in the microwave. The mango was a small yellow one. I also had a small delicious ripe pear. Brekky was late, about 10 am, and merged with an early lunch, finished by noon.

Lunch: beans on chopped spinach & arugula. 1/2 butternut squash. 1 banana.

Dinner: snacked on carrots and peas while making a salad with lettuce & arugula & red bell pepper and sweet pea salad dressing. Dessert was 2 small apples.

Total calories: 1651, protein 52 g (10%); carbs 362 g (81%), fat 15 g (8%). I was more in the mood for fruit and veggies than nuts and seeds today.

What was I thinking?

Warning: if you are easily tempted by sugary foods, don't look at the picture below! Just ignore the whole post!

I bought a bunch of vegan chocolate junk food for housemate from Vegan Essentials. My reasoning was as follows: A close family member recently died of cancer, and I recently listened to the audio of the China Study and was reminded again how animal protein, especially casein in dairy, is a major cause of cancer. Housemate eats mostly vegan food, except for her chocolate candy which is things like m&ms, reese's peanut butter cups, candy bars, etc. I thought, I'll get her a bunch of vegan chocolate candy and let her taste test them and there's bound to be something in this pile she will like. The rest I can donate to a young vegan college kid I know who likes to eat. Here's what I bought, arrived in the mail today:

Now for a repeat of my question: What the hell was I thinking? Here are some reasons why this was a stupid thing to do: 1) I'm concerned that house mate will get diabetes due to her love of candy. So here I am buying a ton of candy for her! 2) I forgot about the temptation this could have for me. I have no trouble saying no to non-vegan anything. But I'm as susceptible to vegan treats as any food addict. If I started eating this stuff, I wonder how much I'd eat before I'd stop. Would it be like an alcoholic on a bender?

Still, if I can survive without touching this stuff, the experiment could work. If housemate finds a treat she likes, it will probably be better than a snickers bar. Then the goal is to get her to limit them to smaller quantities than she normally eats. And regarding my temptations, right now, this stuff doesn't look appealing to me. It doesn't look like food. Last week I made apple sauce for some family members and I used sugar from the basement fridge that was 2 years old. I thought, is that really food? No, that's a chemical. Also, I don't like how chocolate affects me because it makes me hyperactive. But that knowledge doesn't always stop me.

So we'll see if this was a great or really dumb idea...

dec 14 food

brekky at the co-op: large grapefruit, small pear, 10 brazil nuts.

lunch: beans & veggies & seeds. The beans were yellow-eyed peas I described cooking yesterday. The veggies were local napa cabbage and local brussels sprouts. I didn't add seeds today since I had the brazil nuts at brekky. I ate a bunch of raw local carrots while preparing.

dinner: salad with...no, not the sweet pea dressing, I finally tried something else: blueberry sesame dressing. The greens were lettuce, spinach and arugula. I also added a yummy orange bell pepper and 1/2 cup edamame. In retrospect I don't think I needed the edamame. Dessert was a small pear and a banana.

A yummy day overall.

total calories was 1728, protein 60 g (11%); carbs 327 g (70%) and fat 37 g (19%).

Dec. 13 food

Today was back to my "rut" as of late. I can't help it, I enjoy these meals.

Brekky was blueberries and mango. I used frozen blueberries, warmed in the microwave. The mango was a "fresh" one from Mexico I think. These are the small yellow ones. I also ate a small apple.

Lunch was beans & veggies & seeds. The veggies were cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. Oh, I forgot the brussels sprouts (...tomorrow). I made a different lunch for housemate: potatoes, peas, broccoli and corn. I tasted it and it was very good and sweet due to the corn (still using our frozen corn which is much sweeter than the store bought). This was just cooked up in the pressure cooker for a few minutes. I also ate some raw carrots and some more blueberries, finishing off the bag I started at brekky.

Dinner was salad with sweet pea dressing. It was just lettuce, as I had no other veggies to add but it was really good. Dessert was a small apple, small pear, and small kiwi. yummy.

I also made another big batch of beans for the coming week. These used yellow-eyed peas, carrot juice, onion and a can of tomatoes (from our garden). Should make for a yummy week.

Total calories: 1520; protein 57 g (12%); carbs 301 g (74%); fat 23 g (14%). hmmm, it felt like more than that...

Eating Animals

I'm reading this book "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. I thought I knew everything about how animal food is produced in this country and in the world. I thought it couldn't be any worse than I imagined. But it is. I'm horrified and disgusted all over again. Not only is it horribly unethical, it is just downright gross and disgusting. If you had any idea what is in your chicken (and ham and everything else), you wouldn't go near it with a 10 foot pole. It's bad enough that it's full of antibiotics, and bacteria, but it's also full of shit. It is so horribly disgusting. I'm going to have nightmares. I don't even want to finish the book. I'm already a vegan so why the hell am I reading this book? Because he's a good writer and I was curious to see what he would conclude after researching the topic. As he points out, we vote with our purchases. If you eat meat prepared this way (99% of available meat), you are condoning this immoral, unconscionable system of factory farming. I'm sorry to say but it makes you unethical too. It makes me want to throw up just thinking about it. I can't wait to finish this book and move on to something happier. This doesn't sound like a good recommendation but it's actually a really good book, probably the best book I've read on the subject, because the writing style and story are interesting.

Dr. Fuhrman's Eating Plan

I realize I never posted what Dr. Fuhrman recommends you eat on a daily basis. It's pretty simple.

Eat at least:
1 lb raw veggies (e.g., leafy greens, snow peas, raw peas, cucumbers, sprouts, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes)
1 lb cooked veggies (e.g., leafy and non-leafy greens, including string beans, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, kale, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, okra, swiss chard, turnip greens, escarole, beet greens, spinach, dandelion greens, broccoli raab, cauliflower, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and water chestnuts)
1 cup beans, beans sprouts, or tofu
4 servings of fruit

Eat limited amounts of these foods:
1 cup or less starchy veggies and grains (e.g., winter squash, corn, potatoes, rice, cooked carrots, sweet potato, bread, cereals).
1-2 oz nuts and seeds (0.5-1 oz if you need to lose weight, more if you need to gain)
dried fruits (1-2 oz or less), fruit juices (1/2 cup or less), none if you are trying to lose weight.

salt, oil, caffeine, alcohol, refined grains, sugar.

I find I get plenty to eat with the veggies (including some starchy), beans, fruit and nuts and seeds, and those are my favorite foods anyway. I think grains taste boring, except I do like barley in soup occasionally, and I like oats occasionally too.

butternut squash

Last time I made this I added in pineapple and raisins and pecans and that overwhelmed the taste of the squash. So this time I stayed simple and it was perfect.

1 butternut squash
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice or 1 orange (remove seeds) or a few mandarin oranges
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, place halves upside-down in a large pan with about 1/2 inch of water to cover; cook at 350 F for an hour. Let it cool a bit, then scrape out the squash, and blend it up with the oranges and cinnamon. Very yummy. It's probably good with nuts too, like walnuts or pecans, but it's yummy without

dec. 12 food

Today I had unusual but enjoyable meals. I made a big batch of smoothies for housemate. I usually turn that into a meal as I eat the ingredients. For fun, I boiled some peanuts to include in the smoothies. I blended that up with bananas to make peanut/banana cream, for the smoothies, but I also ate a bunch of it myself wrapped in lettuce leafs. That was yummy. I ate about 3/4 cup of peanuts, which is a lot but it was a treat. I also ate some berries and pears that went into the smoothies.

Then for dinner I ate a butternut squash, and some raw carrots and arugula and an apple and kiwi. I enjoyed the squash. That was a nice treat too. Last year I was into sweet potatoes, but we don't get those locally much, whereas we have butternut squash all winter long. So I'm going to eat that instead.

I was curious if the peanut indulgence made for excessive calorie intake so I added up my total calories, which were: 1850 calories; protein 49 g (8%), carbs 323 g (62%), fat 61 g (29%). That's a little more than usual and my fat intake was also a little higher than average, but no big deal.

dec. 11 food

I'm still in my happy rut. brekky was late, 11:30 am, after yoga class. I was hungry, ate a giant grapefruit and a kiwi. then made lunch right away, which was beans & veggies & seeds. The veggies were broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage (local). I ate a few raw carrots. I ate too much, oops, so then wasn't hungry for dinner until 6:30 pm. had salad with sweet pea dressing. I ate raw carrots and the red bell pepper while preparing. Then the salad was just lettuce and dressing. It was huge and delicious. Finished off with 2 small apples (local).

I'm trying to buy local food where I can. Nowadays we are getting cabbage, beets, rutabaga, carrots, and apples. All of them are really good, better than the stuff shipped from far away.

I'm watching my nut/seed intake. I like 2 Tbsp with the big beans/veggie meal, and 2 Tbsp with the salad dressing. So that's about 1.5 oz. That's sort of a baseline, then I can eat more when the opportunity arises, like I'm at the co-op eating lunch and decide to get a handful of brazil nuts, or if I want some peanut butter/banana dip, etc. But if I keep the intake fairly low, that lets me fill up more on veggies and fruit, which I like a lot. And it seems easier to digest my meals and not feel overfull.

dec. 10 food

I'm in a pattern of eating that isn't varying much these days so I don't really need to post every day about it. Here it is:

Brekky: beans & veggies & seeds. I eat this after exercising and am usually very hungry. This is hearty and satisfying.

Lunch: fruit. depends on what looks good from the co-op. Lately I've been eating grapefruit and pomegranates. Today I ate the last of my poms, a pear, and a kiwi.

Dinner: salad and dressing. Lately my favorite dressing has been sweet pea, but I'm planning to mix in blueberry sesame dressing soon. Today my salad was a simple lettuce and delicious red bell pepper topped with sweet pea dressing. I also ate some raw carrots while preparing. I do that a lot.

Of course, these meals could be switched around depending on your schedule. Most people would probably switch the breakfast and lunch.

beans & veggies & seeds

It's time to write up this recipe since I eat it practically every week day and it will save describing it. It is easy and good. My SAD (Standard American Diet) friends like it too. Today my friend wanted to eat my food instead of the food he was eating at a restaurant. And that was loaded with salt and oil which is usually hard to compete with.

steamed veggies
0.5-1 oz ground seeds

The secret is in the beans which are cooked in fresh carrot juice. And we get really good locally grown carrots most of the year. Man we are so lucky. I go through a 5 lb bag every week. I have orange skin.

I have 2 main variations on the veggies. The first is greens (e.g., collards, kale, bok choy) and root veggies (e.g., rutabaga and/or beets). I steam them all up in the pressure cooker (3-4 minutes on high; or 20-30 minutes in regular pan). Then I blend the root veggies with sesame seeds (1-3 Tbsp), the water from the steaming, and juice of a lemon, in the vita-mix. This makes a sauce that I mix in with the beans and greens.

The other variation is to just steam a bunch of veggies (2-3 minutes on high in the pressure cooker, 20 minutes in regular pan). Today was brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots. Then grid up some seeds (hemp, sunflower, and/or pumpkin) in the coffee grinder (2 Tbsp works for me). Stir the ground seeds in with the leftover water from the steaming, then combine that with the beans and pour over the veggies. You can taste the sweetness of the veggies and the beans.

Yum, both variations are loved by my lunch guests.

peanut/banana spread and boiled peanuts

According to Dr. Fuhrman and others, roasted peanuts aren't that good for you because they have acrylamides which are carcinogenic. Also, most store-bought peanut butter has extra oils and sugars added in. I've tried raw peanuts and don't like them. Our co-op sells raw organic spanish peanuts (shelled), so I thought, why not boil those and make peanut butter from that? I boiled them, then ground in a blender. I made peanut spread, and peanut/banana spread. I decided the peanut/banana spread was best so I'll describe that. Also the boiled peanuts on their own are very good too; they are sweet-tasting.

1/3 cup raw peanuts
1 large banana

Boil the peanuts in water for an hour, or in pressure cooker (with 1.5 cups of water) for 10 minutes. Let them cool. Eat a few of the peanuts--hey are good! Blend the rest of the peanuts, some of the water they boiled in (1/4 cup or so), and the banana until smooth and creamy. The spread tastes good on lettuce, celery, raw broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Here it is with lettuce:

Nutritional info for full recipe: 406 calories; protein: 15 g (13%), carbs 32 g (29%), fat 27 g (59%).

dec. 9

darn it, I ate too much today. namely too much fruit, too many nuts. Well, I probably didn't eat more than 5 oz of nuts so I could have done worse there. But too much fruit! It's been a gradual crescendo the last few days with the fruit. Well, I don't want to spend time logging my excess fruit/nut intake because we're watching Mary Tyler Moore. We had 17" of snow today. I shoveled snow for 4.5 hours!

dec. 8

We're supposed to get a blizzard tomorrow so I harvested the rest of the kale and collards from the garden today. I'd never find the kale under a foot of snow. Here it is under just a couple of inches:

Here are the collards before harvesting, looking under the weather, but I have confirmed that they taste sweeter after being frozen.

Here's a trimmed plant afterwards. I wonder if it will keep growing.

After cleaning and chopping there were about 2 lbs of greens! I steamed them and made a big batch of my usual beans & greens & seeds and blended root veggies. The root veggies were a rutabaga and a beet. They got blended with 1/4 cup sesame seeds and some lemon juice and the water from the steaming. Oh I also added juice from a small fresh pomegranate. That plus the beans (cooked in carrot juice) made a nice sauce. These particular beans are really good. They are big and hearty and meaty. They are from the Rancho Gordo store. I think these were the Ayocote Morado Beans (purple runners). I don't see them on the website now. I like their big beans the best. They are creamy. Anyway, this was yummy, and this was confirmed by my collaborator who ate a helping. He's a SAD eater (Standard American Diet), so if he likes them, probably other SAD eaters would too. House mate is eating some now too, even though she says she doesn't like beets. I told her they are such a small component, it shouldn't affect the taste.

Since brekky was late, I wasn't hungry again until 5 pm. Actually even then I wasn't hungry but that didn't stop me from going on a fruit binge again. I had a large grapefruit, small pomegranate, banana walnut ice cream (1.5 bananas, 0.5 oz walnuts, water blended until creamy---amazingly good!), a pear, oh and I made this carrot-pineapple drink I read about on the Fuhrman forums: 3 oz carrots, 10 oz frozen pineapples, some lemon juice and water blended up. It was very refreshing, though I like carrots and pineapples on their own probably just as much.

Total calories: 1734, protein 72 g (9%), carbs 359 g (76%), fat 28 g (14%).

I feel that I overate both yesterday and today so I think that means I need fewer calories than may average of late of about 1770. I'll try to eat what feels right the next few days and see how many calories that amounts to.

dec. 7 food

Yummy brekky: made a new pot of big fat red beans yesterday. I had my usual beans over veggies--collard greens from the garden. I steamed a beet with the collards, then blended the beet, steaming water, and 1 oz seeds (my usual hemp, sunflower,
pumpkin) in the blender. mmm, good and filling.

Here are pictures of the collards in the garden:

They taste good after a freeze. They aren't growing as fast as I'm eating them anymore, and will be gone in a week or so from the eating.

Here's the kale. I need to harvest this tomorrow or the predicted snowfall will completely bury it. I just don't know when I'll be home tomorrow...

I was out shopping at lunch and ate fruit at Brennan's. This is a produce/meat specialty store. They have produce samples all over the place, so I was enjoying that. It was fun because one pear tasted way better than all the others so in addition to eating lots of samples, I bought some of those pears. Same with one of the apples and one of the bags of grapes and one of the melons. I also ate lots of pineapple samples without buying any. But we spent tons of money on cheese and sausage for Christmas presents so the store made out fine. We went to Chipotles' afterwards and I ate the bag of grapes while housemate ate her burrito. She commented that it tasted too salty. I'm hoping she's getting closer and closer to falling under my spell. Overall, I ate a lot of fruit at lunch!

Dinner was more fruit--I guess all that sweetness made me want more---and some raw veggies. I had a large grapefruit, one of those delicious pears, some dried mango, carrots, lettuce and yellow bell pepper. I got a little too full from that. oh well, it's not as bad as overeating nuts.

Total calories was 1787, protein 45 g (8%), carbs 388 (82%), and fat 20g (10%). The protein is less than yesterday because of all the fruit replacing veggies and seeds. Interesting that my calorie intake has been so similar the last few days.

dec. 6 food

brekky: huge grapefruit, small pomegranate

lunch: lima beans over steamed broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower with ground nuts mixed in with the steamed water. I ate this at an event where lots of middle eastern food was served. I'm sure that tasted great but it was really oily and salty. I cleaned up the pans and they were really oily. A friend tried out my food and liked it. I was surprised because I thought after eating all that salt my food would taste bland to him.

Dinner: savoy cabbage, yellow bell pepper and sweet pea dressing. The dressing had pomegranate juice and pineapple in it. It was really good. But I ate it at a dinner event our co-op put on appreciating local farmers and "owners" who bought lots of local produce. I thought it was humorous that I'm one of their big purchasers. Anyway, they served some vegan food and it looked pretty good and, for the first time in a long time, I cared that people probably think I'm weird. In particular one person at my table also was at the lunch event by coincidence so saw me bring both meals of my own. I wondered if she thinks I have an eating disorder. Usually I don't care what people think. I also had a bunch of raw carrots while preparing this and beans for next week. And a friend brought over dried mangos and I had one, which was yummy.

Total calories: 1763. Wow, protein was 72 g (13%); carbs 332 (68%); fat 37 g (19%). I have a muscle building workout tomorrow morning so hopefully that protein will still be around.

Now I'm curious where the protein came from: grapefruit and promegranate were 3 g each, brussels sprouts 6 g, cauliflower 2 g, broccoli 4 g, carrots 2 g, cabbage 4 g (so that's 18 g from the veggies alone), seeds 11 g, beans 18 g, peas 6 g. The other stuff was less than 1 g, so probably adds up to a few.

dec. 5 food

Today was smoothie day (making a week's worth for housemate), and I tend to eat a lot of the "profits" as they say, while making them. It's fun and pretty harmless as long as you watch the nut intake. So it was a high fruit day and I have no regrets.

Late brekky: grapefruit, 2 carrots, 1 small apple, a few grapes.

lunch (smoothie prep): 1 oz cashews, 3 cups grapes (yeah, I love grapes), bite of a banana, few berries, and about 1/2 of a smoothie leftover from all the batches. and a small pomegranate (didn't need it, but it called to me). yummy. very filling.

Dinner: beans over about a pound of collards and kale from the garden. I'm still harvesting this from the garden, in December! Awesome. And the legend is true: kale and collards taste sweeter after a hard freeze! I also steamed a carrot and half a leek with the greens (in the pressure cooker). And did my usual grinding up 1 oz seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin) and mixing them with the leftover water from steaming. The flax made it a bit gooey. Flax is better in the cold dressings since it doesn't get gooey as quickly. Oh, I added 1 Tbsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar. It was very good. yummy! dessert was an orange.

Total calories was 1771; protein 52 g (9%); carbs 368 g (77%); fat 27 g (14%).

dec. 4 food

Brekky: beans & ground seeds over steamed broccoli and cabbage. I mixed the ground seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sunflower) in the leftover water from steaming, to recollect the vitamins lost from the steaming. This was yummy of course. I ate this after exercising and while meeting colleagues in a coffee shop.

lunch: 1/2 butternut squash + 1/2 cup chopped pineapple (used frozen) + 1/2 oz walnuts + 1/8 tsp cinnamon. I cooked the squash by cutting it in half, turning it upside down in a pan with a little water on the bottom, at 350 F for and hour. The squash was good by itself. I think the pineapple overwhelmed it. I think next time I'll just have squash + cinnamon, and maybe a few walnuts if I think I need some nuts.

Dinner: small pomegranate and cabbage salad (unlike the posted recipe, I just made a large single serving, by chopping up stuff on the cutting board). I ate the salad at a restaurant with friends, on my way to another event.

Dessert: at a get-together with friends, the host made baked apples with cinnamon and walnuts, with all the toppings on the side. Without the toppings, it was healthy and yummy! Good to remember for the future.

Total calories 1831; protein 57 g (10%), carbs 319 g (64%), fat 54 g (26%)

Dec. 3 food

I've started logging my food again in cron-o-meter. It's kind of fun and is a good guide.

Here was today's brekky:

I'm loving this big meal for brekky. I usually eat a late breakfast after a hard workout so am quite hungry. This was lima beans over steamed broccoli and carrots and raw spinach, and 1 oz hemp, sunflower & pumpkin seeds. I ground up the seeds and mixed them with the steamer water (about 1/2 cup) which made a creamy sauce. This was yummy and filling.

Lunch was a big grapefruit and a small pomegranate.

Dinner was my yummy cabbage/greens salad using kale, bok choy and cabbage (all raw), and sweet pea dressing. I added a small mango and small pear to the dressing instead of oranges. It was yummy. I had a few carrots and a small apple for dessert.

My calorie intake was only 1544 today which seems a bit low. But it felt like plenty of food--maybe that's because I ate more yesterday. I got lots of protein today, 62 g. I had 2 oz of nuts and seeds. That seems about right to me. It allows me to eat more of the other things I like and to feel very satisfied.

Here's the breakdown:
calories 1544. Protein 62 g (13%); carbs 280 g (67%); fat 34 g (20%).

Dec. 2 food

Brekky (10:30 am) cabbage/bok choy salad

lunch (1 pm): some fruit (banana, grapes, small pomegranate).

I was out with a friend during the dinner hour, so we stopped at the co-op and I got a grapefruit and some brazil nuts. Then when I got home I snacked a little bit on the smoothies I made for housemate. But not too much.

This doesn't look like that much food but here's my nutritional breakdown:
calories: 2022, protein 53 g (9%), carbs 311 g (55%), fat 82 g (36%).

The nuts and seeds add up the calories! It was mainly the brazil nuts at dinner. It's hard to get a 1 oz size portion from the dispenser at my grocery store. that's my excuse, ha. so I ate closer to 3 oz.

cabbage/greens salad

There is a big advantage to this salad compared to lettuce: If you pack this up to eat later on, you can add in all the ingredients and it won't get soggy. In fact, the dressing will help marinate the greens a bit.


any kind of cabbage (green, purple, savoy), chopped
another green you might like: e.g., kale or bok choy, chopped
1/2 cup edamame (optional)
sweet pea dressing or other dressing

Mix everything together. I really enjoyed this--the greens felt more substantial than lettuce. I made the sweet pea dressing with pomegranate juice and it was just a little tart which was a great flavor.

back in town

I'm back from my "holidays". I was taking care of a sick relative so I wouldn't call it fun, but it was worthwhile. I ate well, though less than normal, due to the sad circumstances. I summarized some of my meals here. I came home and got some more supplies halfway into it. I loaded up with all those pomegranates I've been socking away. And made a really good collard greens & root veggie sauce that I used to extend the beans another three days. The root veggie sauce was very simple: rutabaga, onion, beet, lemon juice, and sesame seeds blended up. I really like it. I had that mixed with the beans over lettuce twice a day and then fruit for the third meal (pom, apple), and raw carrots too.

New housemate's smoothie

Another version of housemate's smoothie. I think I like this best of all and it will become mine too when I have one. Though I would add more spinach and different kinds of greens, and a little vinegar.

Ingredients for 3 x 16 oz (large glass) servings:
1.5-3 oz nuts and/or seeds (today I did hazelnuts and almonds, blanched first to soften, yum!).
3 cups grapes, or 1 bag frozen cherries
1 cups fresh pomegranate and/or orange juice (prefer pom)
0-1 cup water, as needed
1 banana, fresh or frozen (peel before freezing, break up and put into individual bags)
2 bags frozen berries (usually 1 blueberry, and 1 strawberry, raspberry, or mixed berries)
5 oz fresh spinach

Put the nuts, seeds, vitamins, DHA, and some of the juice in the blender. Add the spinach on top. Start blending, letting the bottom stuff blend first. Then smash down the spinach with the plunger and let it all blend together. Then add everything else and blend until smooth. This makes 3 ~16-oz servings. Freeze the ones you don't drink. Take out one each night and put in fridge. It thaws overnight.

Calories per serving: 374; protein 7g (7%), carbs 63 g (61%), fat 13 g (31%).