today's food and last week

Today's brekky was my "dessert" salad. It had spinach, romaine lettuce, a bag of frozen cherries, sliced banana, 1/2 cup edamame, 2 Tbsp spicy pecan vinegar. The cherries and bananas are so sweet, that's why it's like dessert. yummy yummy:

Lunch was banana walnut ice cream for a treat! and some carrots and celery.

Dinner was a "micro-processor" salad, Carrots' invention from the Fuhrman forums. It's a salad where you chop everything in the food processor. This had a bunch of greens I harvested from the garden (came up from last year):
kale, mustard greens, spinach, chives, cilantro
+ some local greens from the co-op:
ramps, arugula, sorrel
+ apple, orange, (pureed in the food processor) and juice of 2 limes
+ 1/2 cup frozen peas (as is)
+ 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds:

I thought for sure this was going to taste horrible. The greens were strong and bitter, especially the mustard greens, and I thought, I really should cook these, but I didn't feel like it. Fortunately the lime, orange and apple made it taste great. Amazing! The lime is key for offsetting the bitter taste of the raw greens.

This last week I was working 16 hours days, and didn't have the time or inclination for cooking, besides the beets, mushrooms and beans I added to my "micro-processor" salads. I mainly just ate salads for brekky (like this), and micro-processor salads for lunch and dinner. Tomorrow for lunch I'll make black bean hummus and lightly steamed veggies for dipping. I'll probably cook more at lunch this week as my collaborator will be joining us I think. And I'll have salad for brekky and dinner probably. That's my guess but I never know when my mood will change.

World's greatest breakfast

Some people spend $5 a day on gourmet coffee drinks. I spent $5 a day on strawberries. I've posted variations of this salad before but I just love it. It is the perfect food.

This has a whole bunch of romaine lettuce, some arugula and sorrel (locally grown), 1 lb strawberries, 6 oz blackberries, a banana, 1 Tbsp hemp seeds, and 2 Tbsp D'Angou pear vinegar.


Tracking my food intake

I've been monitoring my food intake off and on for the last few months. On average, my caloric intake is 1500, protein about 13%, fat 20%, carbs 67%; this maintains my weight. My vitamin and mineral intake is off the scale, except for selenium. I get plenty of all the amino acids (needed to make protein). I'm a 5'9", 50 year old female who exercises 1-3 hours a day. on average I guess it's 1 hour intense, 1 hour light exercise per day. Otherwise I'm pretty sedentary with a desk job. On the days when I go on a long bike ride or exercise more heavily, I need more calories, maybe 1600-1700, I'm not sure yet.

Monitoring my food has helped me understand Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations better. At first I was surprised that I only need 1500 calories per day. But I can tell it's right because if I eat less, or exercise heavily, I wake up at 5 am (too early!) hungry. If I eat more, I wake up full. Dr. Fuhrman says when you eat nutrient-dense food, you don't need as many calories. My Nutritional Sciences book has a formula for calculating estimated energy requirements (p. 40-41). According to that, I should burn about 1900 calories. I ate 1600 calories yesterday and didn't exercise much, and that was more than I needed (wasn't hungry for breakfast today until later than usual). I heard from others on the Fuhrman forums who are experiencing the same thing--less calorie intake than is typically recommended. Two other women who are in their 50s, physically active but quite a bit shorter than I say they only need about 1200-1300 per day.

Another thing that got reinforced to me is that you really need those beans and nuts & seeds to increase your calories. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes also are good for adding calories. I eat a lot of raw veggies which by far make up the bulk of the volume of my food intake. But the beans and seeds and starchy veggies contribute at least 1/3 of my calories even though they are low volume in comparison. Fruit also contributes a substantial amount of my calories, which is my yummy reward. I hardly eat grains anymore because I like the taste of fruit, veggies and beans and seeds better, and they are more nutritious so why bother. The main advantage to grains are that they are a cheap way to get calories. Right now I can afford the other stuff.

I also understand better why Dr. Fuhrman's supplements have the amount of vitamins they do. Unless you eat brazil nuts on this diet, you will likely be deficient in selenium. Since we don't eat salt, we don't have a good source of iodine (added to most table salt). We also have no source of vitamins B12 and D (most people are deficient in Vitamin D). Our other vitamins and minerals are pretty much off the scale. Typically Vitamin A is 4000%; folate 300%; B vitamins 100-200% except B12 which is 0; vitamin C 1500%; Vitamin D 0; Vitamin E 150%; Vitamin K 2000%. Minerals are all higher than 100% except selenium. All amino acids are present.

simply beans

Here's the simplest pot of beans you can make.

16 oz beans (Rancho Gordo heirloom beans are the best I know of)

Soak the beans in water overnight. Or quick-soak by boiling in water for a minute and letting sit for an hour on the stove.

Cook in enough water to cover + an inch or so for a few hours until tender. Add more water as needed. If you want less water at the end, just let it boil down to the top of the beans but you have to monitor it so the beans don't burn. Smaller beans may only need 1-2 hours, larger beans 2-4. Older beans will take longer.

You can also cook in the pressure cooker. Here you need to add a lot more water. I think it's a 6-1 ratio. See your pressure cooker instruction book. Bean typically need about 10-12 minutes in the pressure cooker after soaking. Again, see your instruction book. They often say to add oil but mine works fine without it.

today's food

Today I just grabbed stuff from the freezer for brekky and lunch as I was out all day.

I had a blended salad for brekky, along with a pear and some sips of housemate's smoothie as I prepared them.

Lunch was a spinach mango smoothie, some carrots, a grapefruit, and a cup of beans. Yesterday, I made plain old beans with nothing added. The rancho gordo heirloom beans are good just plain (and I didn't have time to make a more flavorful concoction).

Dinner was a delicious salad of lettuce, spinach, ramps (!), strawberries, bananas, hemp seeds, and d'angou pear vinegar, similar to the one posted here. Ramps are wild leeks. They look sort of like green onions with leaves. The leafy part is peppery. They only appear for a couple of weeks around here. They are wonderful.

Now that spring has hit, I'm probably not going to be doing weekend cooking marathons like I was last month. So I'll make the smoothies and food as I need them on a daily basis.


Here's a good post from leangreenmama about allergies. My allergies have gone away since changing my diet. yea! I have a post about all my health improvements here.

today's food

sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been super busy. Today's food is typical of what I've been eating lately so I'll post that. It's only 6:30 am but I've been up for 2 hours preparing since I'll be gone all day! I didn't have to do this, because I've got some food in the freezer but I woke up early and was in the mood for salads so I got up. Hopefully I'll take a quick nap after I finish my brekky.

brekky: yummy yummy spinach berry salad. mmmmmmmmm, I'm eating it now. spinach and lettuce, chia and ground flax seeds, spicy pecan vinegar. I mixed those up first. That tastes quite good as it is. Then I added sliced bananas, frozen cherries and blueberries. It's like having dessert for breakfast. YUM.

Lunch and dinner: Carrots' micro-processor salad. Carrots is a member of the Fuhrman forums and she invented this. It's basically raw veggies and fruit chopped up in a food processor. Yesterday I started adding cooked veggies too after I listened to Dr. Fuhrman's latest telecon and was remind how good cooked mushrooms are for you. So today I cooked up some shiitake mushroms and beets in the pressure cooker and then cooled them and added them to the salad. I also discovered another advantage of using frozen kale. First is that it's good to have when you run out of lettuce. Second is that it tastes better after freezing--gets sweeter. Third is that right when you take it out of the freezer, it will shatter into little pieces when you squeeze it with your hand, so you don't have to chop it. Cool! So today's salad has kale, asparagus, brussels sprouts, little bit of leek, few beet greens, a pear, apple, and orange, red bell pepper, juiced lime, cooked beets & shiitake mushrooms, and cooked pinquito beans (from Rancho gordo), and 1 Tbsp each of hemp seeds and sunflower seeds. and 1 Tbsp spicy pecan vinegar. Here's a picture in a large mixing bowl before adding the beans (they are still cooling):

today's breakfast

It's taken me a while but I finally got tired of my orange blended salad for breakfast. Maybe it's because we had our first batch of local spinach at the co-op yesterday, and strawberries from California were still on special. And I generally prefer to chew my food and taste the flavor of the fruit separate from the greens. However, it did take longer to prepare and eat, and cut into my work day as a result! Here's what went into it:

5.5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
16 oz box strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup edamame (frozen, thawed in microwave for 45 sec)
1 Tbsp flaxseed, ground (I use a coffee grinder)

Total calories was 446; protein 18 g (13%); carbs 81 g (66%); fat 10 g (20%); a hearty breakfast for me!

Apr. 6 food

Today's meals were pretty much what I predicted on Sunday. I had a hard bike ride planned this afternoon with some young athletic types, so I wanted to make sure I ate enough. I'm amazed how much great food you can eat on this diet with the calories being low. I'm finding it's good to monitor my food intake because it helps me eat more.

Brekky was a blended salad, and a banana and walnuts.

Lunch was 1/2 raw sweet potato sticks (I really like these), lots of snacking on my veggie salad while preparing, and a bowl of the veggie salad with berry dressing. The veggie salad had spinach from the garden (it grew on its own from last years plants), garlic chives and cilantro from the garden, romaine lettuce, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower. The veggies were finely chopped with my mandoline which I'm still learning how to use. The garden food was sooo good. Fresh picked beats the grocery store by a longshot! My berry salad dressing had a whole bag of cherries (10 oz), and a half bag of blueberries and raspberries, and 2 Tbsp hemp seed, about 2/3 cup soy milk, and 1 Tbsp orange vinegar. It was a huge portion. And I enjoyed every bit of it (most of it eaten on my dinner salad).

Dinner was beans before the bike ride, and a giant bowl of the veggie salad & berry dressing afterwards.

You'd think that would amount to a lot of calories but the total was only 1500, with 65 g protein (14%), 278 g carbs (67%) and 33 g fat (19%). Since I finished dinner late, I'm not hungry but I wonder if I'll be more hungry tomorrow. It seems like I should be after that bike ride.

This week's food

Yesterday, I made the usual 7 smoothies for housemate, 7 blended salads for myself, and bean soup divided into 7 servings.

I've been following my food intake again with CRON-o-meter. I'm finding it actually helps me to eat more, which is fun. I eat so much high-volume low-calorie food that I have to make sure to eat enough beans, nuts & seeds, and fruit to fill out the calories. The fruit is the best part. Both yesterday and today I ate a 16 oz box of fresh organic strawberries from California. They were good. Today I had them blended with a banana and some walnuts into a milkshake. I think I would have preferred the strawberries fresh from the box actually. But the milkshake was still good.

I've had to adjust my eating meal plans to my new schedule. I exercise at 4 pm now and I don't want to be over-full from lunch. Last week I experimented with beans at brekky and even that was too close to exercise time. And I'm into veggie slaw salads. So here's what I'm thinking I'll do this week.

Brekky: blended salad. banana (1/2 or whole) and walnuts (1/2 oz) if still hungry.

Lunch: prepare a large veggie slaw salad. Nibble on veggies while preparing--today it was raw sweet potato sticks and an orange bell pepper which was yummy. Split the salad into two bowls for lunch and dinner.

Dinner: 1 bowl veggie slaw salad, and bowl of bean soup.

today's pear-veggie mandoline salad

I got a mandoline food slicer for my birthday:

It's easy to use, reasonably fast, quiet, and easy to clean up. I can use it to make veggie slaw. The pieces are bigger than what the food processor makes, so I think I prefer this. I'm really into these veggie salads, suggested by Carrots on the Fuhrman forums. Today's salad had kale, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, arugula, cabbage, 2 ripe pears, 1 Tbsp spicy pecan vinegar, and 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds. It was yummy! The pears, vinegar, and sunflower seeds were a wonderful combination to add to the veggies and make it taste very yummy. I had frozen my kale (which quickly thawed after chopping); it is sweeter, more tender, and therefore more palatable raw than unfrozen.

this week's beans

This week's beans are some pink/red bean from rancho gordo (Rosa de Castilla), carrot juice (about 4-5 lbs juiced carrots), juiced swiss chard, onion, shiitake mushrooms, rutabaga, and turnips. I cooked the rutabaga and turnips in a separate pan, blended them up, and added them to the soup. Note: it doesn't really matter what veggies you add if any, except the carrot juice which I really like. I thought this would have a bit of a bite with the turnips and rutabaga (not exactly sweet veggies!), but it was really good as usual. I'm not sure you can ruin this dish. The rancho gordo beans hold their shape and are really creamy. I divided the beans into 7 serving dishes and froze most of them for the rest of the week. Each serving has 307 calories, 19 g protein (21%), 59 g carbs (77%) and less than 1 g fat (2%).