travel, travel, travel!

I planned a few too many fun and work trips this summer. Even fun trips can get tiring. Next year, I'm going to stay home all summer, because I really love where I live. My recent trips have been by car so I've been able to bring my electric cooler with me, and can shop whenever and wherever I need to (having a car). Here's the cooler in my hotel room loaded up with greens, veggies, and fruit:

















Here's a typical meal I had this week: lettuce & spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, lime juice, ground seeds (I ground up a mixture of flax, sunflower and hemp to bring with me), apple, pear, orange, black beans. This was usually lunch and dinner. Breakfast was snacking on carrots, kohlrabi, and sugar snap peas while preparing lunch and dinner. I packed lunch and dinner and ate with people at various places, all informal enough not to matter that I brought my own.















This week I've been in Minneapolis where they have a great co-op grocery store. Today I ate the best raspberries I've ever eaten (local and fresh!). oh my god. When I ate those, I thought, you couldn't find anything more delicious than this in a restaurant! For one thing, they wouldn't spend the money on fresh, organic, local berries! I have another box waiting for me tomorrow. I'll have that for brekky along with some blackberries and a banana. I had some great local strawberries today too.

(to the burglars: there's someone at my house during all these trips--really).

Last weekend I was at a family wedding. It was quite easy to be my crazy self. I met my parents in a restaurant for lunch after I ate, and just had herbal tea. The wedding reception was buffet style and it was easy to sneak my own salad on my plate while the others at my table were at the buffet. The only thing that made it less than discreet was how tall and overflowing the salad pile was on my plate. My tupperware bowl held quite a lot!

Next weekend I go to NYC. That will be more of a challenge but I'll be with a friend who is trying to eat healthy and says she wants to copy me. Our other friend will just have to put up with us, me anyway. I think we'll go to some fancy vegan restaurants so I suspect they won't let me bring my food with me. I'll just have to drink tea, and eat before or after. I'm willing to compromise if it's me who wants to compromise, but I'm not willing to do it for others. So if I feel like compromising okay, maybe I will. However, I haven't eaten SAD food (refined grains, oil, salt, sugar) since Jan. 20, so I may not want to break the streak. Plus the following week I'll have an appointment with Dr. Fuhrman at his Health Getaway. So I'm kind of inclined to eat healthy right now.

Date nut balls

I was riding my bike the other day and stopped at an organic grocery store for a treat: a few dates. Well, they are very sweet and they gave me quite the energy boost--I wasn't tired but I did enjoy the sugar rush (even if that is probably not good for your health) and it made me ride faster as a result. It got me thinking this would be a good high-calorie, low volume food to have on a long bike ride. Add some nuts and seeds and you get even more calories--plus it might not be as gooey as dates alone warmed in your shirt pocket. So today I made some date nut balls. These are similar to Dr. Fuhrman's date nut pop'ems but these have a higher date to nut ratio (I was thinking they might be easier to digest with fewer nuts, plus I like the sugar buzz--I know, any buzz is probably bad for you).

The basic recipe is twice as many dates as nuts and seeds, by weight. Grind the seeds beforehand, then process everything in a food processor. Roll into balls. Okay, here's a more detailed description of what I did, but don't feel you have to follow this exactly. Vary it based on how many dates you have, how sweet you want them (date to nut ratio), what nuts and seeds you want, whether you want to add cocoa powder or carab powder, etc etc.

Ingredients for today's batch:
9 oz dates (happens to be the size of the bag I bought)
2.5 oz raw almonds
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp flax seed
1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla (I didn't measure, just squirted from my bottle)
optional: 1-2 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder

Pit the dates and set them aside. I blanched the almonds (boiled them for a few minutes), drained them, let them cool a bit, and popped off their skins. Here are the dates and almonds:



















I ground the seeds in the "dry container" of my vita-mix blender. You can use a coffee grinder too. Here they are:




















Then I stuck everything in the food processor and ran it for a few minutes. I was in the mood for chunky nuts so stopped. Run it longer for smaller pieces:



















Then roll them into little balls. This made 20 balls. A small spoon is shown for scale:




















I stuck these in my freezer to take out for a bike ride. These are definitely high-calorie treats so 1-2 is about all you want. I ate one and it was yummy!

I put this recipe into cron-o-meter and came up with the following:
For one of the 20 balls, total calories is 72, protein 1 g (8%), carbs 11 g (56%), fat 2g (34%).

This week's beans and meals too

This is similar to my usual beans, (without the parsnips which I often forget to buy), but these were pretty and I took pictures.

Ingredients:
16 oz (two cups) dry beans
juice from 5 lbs carrots
2-4 cups water, more as needed
1-2 onions
1/2-1 lb mushrooms

Juice the carrots; chop the onions and mushrooms. Combine everything in a pot, soak overnight, cook the next morning for 2-4 hours. (I usually do this on the weekend)

Today's beans were "yellow-eyed" beans from Rancho Gordo. Aren't they pretty?
















Here they are ready to go in the fridge:



















I haven't cooked them yet but they'll look a lot like the ones in this post. I'll store these in containers to freeze and take one out each day to eat with salads or veggies. These are very flavorful so they add nice flavor to the salads or veggies. It's really easy to turn this into a quick meal. For example, cook up a bunch of asparagus or brussels sprouts and/or other veggies, add these beans, and some ground seeds, and you have a healthy, filling, caloric rich, high protein meal. I haven't posted my "savory" microsalad but I'll try to remember to do that tomorrow. I add these beans to that too and it's again very filling and flavorful. These meals are pretty much a staple for me during the week because they are quick and nutritious. I'll have those and then another meal of fruit and I'm set for the day.

This week's salsa

My salsa recipe varies depending on what I have in the fridge or garden, which was not much today. But it turned out quite quite tasty.

Ingredients:
16 oz can tomatoes, drained (or 2-3 medium fresh tomatoes)
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 2-3" chunks
juice of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 lime
some cilantro and dill (and/or other herb)

I used the carrot for thickening. I used a high-powered blender instead of food processor in order to pulverize the carrot. So in the blender, put in the carrot, tomatoes, and juice, and blend until smooth. then add the cilantro and dill and blend just a bit until they are chopped but not pulverized. Tastes yummy.




fame and fortune

I got interviewed for Dr. Fuhrman's blog diseaseproof. You can check it out here. What fun! And I see I've got more visitors to my blog since then. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to ask questions!