Posts Tagged smoothie

August Cleanse: Days 15-18

Onward and upward!

Day 15

I was all out of greens on Saturday morning, so my smoothie had banana, strawberries, chocolate hempshake, almond butter, chia seeds, almond milk.  I also took a multi and b complex and had some coffee with almond milk.  For lunch I had a repeat of the Polynesian salad, but without banana and cucumber.  It was a fairly unsubstantial salad, but it was the weekend so I wasn’t too worried about getting hungry again quickly…until I went grocery shopping for an hour and a half and found myself starving at Whole Foods!  I was hoping they would have a selection of juices at the coffee/smoothie/juice counter, but they only had two – wheatgrass, and a ginger refresher with honey.  So I ended up getting a smoothie of banana, blueberries and pineapple coconut juice.  It didn’t occur to me until after I ordered that the juice probably had sugar in it – I got a little buzz from the smoothie.  Oops!  When I got home I had another snack of zucchini slices and red bell pepper with black bean and orange hummus.

I had bbq sauce leftover in the fridge from my grilled Thursday dinner and had been trying to think of a way to use it other than just brushing it on something grilled.  I also had a bunch of tomatoes that needed to be used before they went bad, and my mind went to bbq chili, which I served over brown rice.  It’s really simple, and really tasty.  Along with my chili I had a few beers.  Ahhhh, the weekend.

BBQ Chili

1 Tbs canola oil
medium yellow or white onion, diced
green bell pepper, diced
jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup bbq sauce
2 cups veggie broth or water
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups or 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups or 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
optional toppings:  shredded vegan cheese
chopped green onion
diced avocado

Heat oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add green pepper and jalapeno and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Add all other ingredients except toppings, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium low and simmer at least 30 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and top with toppings.

Serves 4.

Day 16

I didn’t have much time Sunday morning between waking up and rushing out the door to run some errands, so I just ate a peach and a banana, and took a barrage of supplements – multi, coQ10 and spirulina.  I also had some coffee with almond milk.

Upon returning, I prepared this pretty salad.

It’s leaf lettuce, baby arugula and mustard greens, shredded carrot and squash, sliced radish and persian cucumber, Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and goddess dressing.  I was going to make a homemade tahini dressing, but was again pressed for time.  This salad came together really well!  Of course, goddess dressing makes everything taste better.  The shredded squash kind of looked like shredded cheese, which was fun, and it didn’t taste squash-y at all.  I didn’t taste a chickpea on its own so I can’t attest to the cheesiness, but I can say that I really like their texture.  They get kind of chewy, in a good way.

The reason I was in a rush was because we were heading off to Golden Gate Fields to watch the horse races.  Not vegan, I know, but Dave has taken an interest in gambling on horse racing as a hobby, and none of his buddies could go so I said I would go to check it out and see how I felt about the whole thing.  I actually ended up having a really good time and gambling a little, and we placed a large bet on the last race and made quite a bit of money!  However, after doing some reasearch on how the horses are treated, especially the ones that don’t perform, I don’t think I’ll be going back.  I’m a little torn on the issue because I really enjoyed going and it’s a nice time for me and Dave, and I’m sure that some of the horses are treated very well while they’re in racing condition, but I don’t think I can overlook some of the business practices that go on in the horse racing industry.

Oh, while we were at the track I snacked on some peanuts and had a few of their teeny dollar beers.  When we got back I had more bbq chili and brown rice for dinner, and two glasses of red wine before bed.

Day 17

All stocked up on smoothie supplies for the week, this one included baby spinach and red chard, banana, blackberries, amazon acai hempshake, udo’s oil, almond milk, agave nectar.  It was impossible to get a good picture of it.  I also took my multi and b complex.

My morning snack was some grapes and English breakfast tea, and lunch was an exact repeat of the salad from the day before, along with a probiotic supplement.  The afternoon snack of the day was carrot sticks, bell pepper strips and cucumber slices with black bean and orange hummus.

Immediately after work we went to the Coliseum to meet our friend Tom and his sister who was visiting for an A’s game.  Well, she wasn’t visiting FOR the game, she was visting and we happened to go to a game.  A game where the A’s shut out the Yankees!  There were some Obnoxious with a Capital O Yankees fans there, although I probably shouldn’t talk because the game last night went a different way and there’s still one more in the series.  Anywho, I had some peanuts and pistachios at the game, as well as some bbq chili and brown rice that I packed, topped with avocado.  I also had a Diet Dr. Pepper, which is against my cleanse rules.  I was determined not to have any beer, and considering I almost always have at least one beer at every game we go to, I wanted to have a different beverage in my hand so the temptation was lessened.  I also wanted the souvenier cup.

Day 18

It was also impossible to get a good shot of this smoothie, which had baby spinach and red chard, banana, blueberries, a peach, vanilla rice protein, udo’s and almond milk.  My smoothie-picture-taking-skills seem to be going downhill.  I also took my multi and coQ10.  For a morning snack I ate a pear, some figs and had darjeeling tea.  I think I may have some issues with figs – I got some mad stomach pains after eating this snack, and have noticed headaches after eating a meal with figs before.  I could be coincidence, but I’m kind of scared of figs now.  It seems to be okay if I only have two or three at a time, so perhaps I’ll stick with that and see how it goes.

For lunch I had another exact repeat salad.  Why mess with something so good?  My afternoon snack was more carrot, bell pepper and cucumber with the last of the black bean and orange hummus.

My dinner was the last serving of bbq chili and brown rice, topped with avocado and green onions, which is how I had intended to eat it each time but didn’t.  Avocado is always good, and the green onions really perked the chili up.  Afterward while doing the dishes, I enjoyed some wild sweet orange tea.

I’m starting to have cravings for wheat, especially for a burrito or sandwich.  Every time we pass a taqueria I want a burrito BADLY, but it’s nothing I can’t hold off on for another few weeks.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a big burrito on September 1st though, maybe I just won’t eat the whole thing in one sitting!

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August Cleanse: Days 11-14

Day 11

I started the day off with some repeats from Day 10 – the smoothie of the day was spinach, banana, mango, strawberries, udo’s oil, almond milk and amazing meal, along with a b complex and multi.  My morning snack was cherries and constant comment tea.  Lunch was a repeat of the Greekish salad.

For an afternoon snack, I ate some zucchini slices, carrot sticks and red bell pepper slices with the Black Bean & Orange Hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.  It’s an odd combination, but just like the author says, it goes together really well.  You can taste the black beans, orange, garlic and almond butter without anything overpowering the rest.  It’s very good!

Dinner was leftover tofu vindaloo with buckwheat and sugar plum spice tea.

Day 12

This delicious smoothie had spinach, banana, cherries, chia seeds, chocolate hempshake, almond milk, and I took my multi and coQ10.  I really like using the chocolate hempshake, especially with cherries, strawberries or raspberries.  My morning snack was figs, an apple, and darjeeling tea, and lunch was another Greekish salad except this time with avocado, dried oregano and fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice for dressing.  The salad was so big and filling that I couldn’t even finish it and wasn’t very hungry for an afternoon snack, so I just had a small piece of canteloupe and a few strawberries at a work event.  Dinner was the last of the tofu vindaloo and buckwheat, and afterward I had camomile tea.

Day 13


This green smoothie was made from spinach, half a banana, peach, kiwi, amazon acai hempshake, udo’s and almond milk, and I had my multi and b complex.  I had a snack of fruit at work, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.  I also had some coffee with almond milk.  I must say, soy creamer is one thing I’m definitely missing on this cleanse.

I had gotten an e-mail from VegWeb the day before, and while I don’t normally pay too much attention to their e-mails, this Polynesian Salad with Curry Dressing caught my attention because I needed a salad for the next day, I happened to have all the ingredients called for, and it just sounded good.  I wasn’t too sure about bananas in a salad, but this is one fine salad.  I didn’t have walnuts so I subbed pecans, and the contrast of textures and flavors in this salad definitely makes it a winner.  The only small issue was that it didn’t keep me full for very long.  I ate my afternoon snack of zucchini slices and carrot sticks with black bean and orange hummus earlier than I normally snack.

I had a plan for when I got home to exercise, shower, make dinner and take care of a few things on my to do list.  When I got home I was in a bad mood though, and these were all the last things I wanted to do.  I didn’t even have the energy to take pictures of my CSA delivery, for the first time ever.  I grabbed a handful of dill pickle cashews to appease my growling tummy, went to the store with Dave, and grilled up some dinner.

This is bbq tempeh and eggplant with portobello and steamed broccoli, all over a baked potato.  The bbq sauce was an on-the-fly concoction of tomato sauce, agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup, vinegar, onion and garlic powder, allspice and ground red pepper.  For throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl, it turned out pretty well – it even got all sticky on the tempeh while it grilled.  I also “cheated” a little bit and had two glasses of wine on a Thursday night (I’m supposed to only have alcohol on the weekends), but at the end of the day I felt much better than I would’ve forcing myself to do things I didn’t have the energy for.  Sometimes it feels good to have a plan, then completely ignore that plan and do whatever you want.

Day 14

My smoothie on Friday had half a banana, blueberries, plum, orange, vanilla rice protein, udo’s and almond milk, and I took a coQ10, multi and probiotic.  It sounds like an odd flavor combination, perhaps, but it actually worked quite nicely.  Orange and vanilla are a natural match, and the blueberries and plum just kind of joined the party.

We had a large event at work that I knew was going to keep me busy all day, so I didn’t bother to take any snacks because I knew I wouldn’t have time to eat them.  I should’ve known that this was a silly move, because by lunchtime I was starving and the salad I brought alone wasn’t going to cut it.  I ended up eating a veggie dog on a bun from Top Dog, who was catering our event, and it was pretty much entirely made of wheat.  So, I cheated (again), but I had to make a decision and having food in my belly was a better choice than being out in the sun all afternoon running on just a salad.  It was another Polynesian salad, by the way, and again it was very tasty.

After work Dave and I went straight to the Coliseum for the A’s game.  I had brought leftovers from the night before (bbq tempeh, eggplant, portobello, baked potato and broccoli) to eat as dinner in the parking lot before we went in.  I also had a few beers – the beers inside the game are EXPENSIVE so we like to have some cheap ones before we go in.  Watching the game, I ate some peanuts and pistachios as a snack.

So I had a few missteps this week, but all in all I feel I did pretty well.  The food prep is getting easier; I’m getting used to putting a salad together every night before work.  I actually gained 0.7 pounds this week which I don’t understand since I’ve been eating well and exercising, but maybe I can make up for it next week.  Until then!

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August Cleanse: Days 8-10

Day 8

Saturday was a day of much repeated food, finishing up leftovers before cooking some more.  I started the morning with a smoothie of kale, banana, strawberries, peanut butter and udo’s oil, along with my coQ10 and multivitamin.  I love the cute little bubbles on top of this smoothie!  I also had some chai tea to wake me up before a big grocery shopping trip.  I tend to sleep in on weekends when possible, so no morning snack was required.

Upon my return from the grocery store and unloading what felt like a massive amount of groceries, I had a salad with leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, red pepper, sauteed cajun tofu and non-honey honey mustard, and brewed some cinnamony coffee then added almond milk, cause the tea just didn’t do it for me.  My afternoon snack was two apricots, half a cantaloupe and some pistachios, and I also had a few beers because Dave and our friend Tom were brewing in the kitchen, and how could I NOT have beer while the whole house smelled of it?  For dinner I ate the last of the brown rice ‘n’ beans jumble-aya and steamed green beans.  Due to getting up later on the weekends I also tend to stay up later, and I became ravenous a few hours after dinner so I popped some no-oil-added popcorn in the microwave.  I tried to stick some seasoned salt and nutritional yeast on the popcorn with a new olive oil sprayer I got, but it still didn’t work!  Most of the seasoning ended up in the bottom of the bowl.  Anyone have a trick for getting seasoning to stick to popcorn other than dousing it in Earth Balance?

Day 9

This nice purple smoothie contained kale, a whole container of blackberries, a peach, udo’s, almond milk, mixed berry rice protein powder and agave nectar.  The taste was good, but I put in the whole packet of rice protein powder which I shouldn’t have done since it made it kind of powdery.  I normally use only half a packet in each smoothie.

My lunch salad was inspired by trying to figure out what to do with the cherry tomatoes provided by my CSA.  I reeeally don’t like cherry tomatoes raw, either whole or halved.  There’s something about the taut nature of the skin, with the juicy inside and how they pop and all the raw tomato flavor.  Blech.  I remembered reading somewhere that you could slow-roast tomatoes, so I found this instructional online.  With as much as the author raved about them, I figured I couldn’t lose.

before…

…and after…

…and a close up.

Boy, do these tomatoes deliver!  All the weird texture that I dislike disappears and leaves a chewy, tasty little tomato.  I went for simple and left out the garlic and herbs called for, spraying the baking sheet and tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning simply with a little kosher salt and fresh black pepper.  These guys really don’t need a lot of help to taste good.  I took the smaller ones out of the oven after 2 hours but left most of them in for 2 1/2.  This will probably be what I do with any more small tomatoes I get from my CSA this summer!

To use my tasty tomatoes, I made what I am calling a Greekish salad.

This lovely plate has leaf and romaine lettuces, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onion, artichoke hearts, slow-roasted tomatoes, Sunflower Feta from Yellow Rose Recipes and an herb vinaigrette.  I’m not a huge fan of this feta.  The texture is feta-like and worked in the salad, but the taste alone just kind of tastes like tofu, lemon juice and sunflower seeds.  I think I’d like it better with cubed tofu that marinates or brines for a longer time.  Along with lunch, I took a spirulina tablet that I bought on Saturday to start taking a few times a week.  My afternoon snack was a pear and half a cantaloupe.

For dinner I made Tofu Vindaloo from Vegan Planet.  In the spirit of trying new grains, I cooked up some buckwheat.  Good news – I like buckwheat!  It has no actual relation to wheat, is ready in 15-20 minutes, and is quite good for you nutritionally.  I think I overcooked the buckwheat just a tad, so I’m looking forward to trying it again soon.  The vindaloo was just okay.  I liked the large amount of fresh ginger and spicy kick but hoped that there would be more of a sauce.  This was more like well flavored tofu and veggies with some juice in the bottom of the bowl.  After dinner I had two beers, to kind of say goodbye to the weekend.

Day 10

This was a great smoothie that I couldn’t get a good picture of:  spinach, banana, mango, strawberries, udo’s, almond milk and amazing meal powder (original flavor).  Using spinach as my green resulted in a MUCH smoother consistency than using kale gave me.  I also took coQ10 and my multi.

I was so excited about my morning snack that I took a picture while packing it up – figs and cherries.  Yum!  To perk me up, I drank some darjeeling tea.

For lunch I had the same exact Greekish salad as above, with some added capers and a probiotic supplement on the side.  I wanted to include capers the first time but couldn’t find them in the fridge!  My afternoon snack was an apple with peanut butter, and dinner was tofu vindaloo with buckwheat and chilled camomile tea.  It was much, much too hot for hot tea.

Well, that’s days 8-10.  I’m not hungry all the time any more, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m unwittingly eating more calories or if I’m getting used to lightening up my diet.  Jessy told me she wasn’t hungry all the time after her first week on ACT, so perhaps it’s psychological!  I haven’t seen any more weight loss, in fact I think I may have jumped up just a bit, but it’s only part way through the week so we shall see.

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August Cleanse: Days 5-7

My cleanse is still going strong!  I’m still almost always hungry, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Day 5

My breakfast smoothie on day 5 consisted of banana, raspberries, kale, udo’s, almond milk and chocolate hempshake.  Very tasty.  I also took my multi and b complex supplement.  For a snack I had a peach, a pear and blueberry green tea.

For lunch, I topped the quinoa salad with black beans and mango with some perfectly ripe avocado, all served over spinach.  The avocado greatly improved the quinoa salad in my opinion, but really, what doesn’t avocado improve?

Afternoon snack was carrot sticks, cucumber and green pepper strips with more roasted eggplant and garlic hummus.

For dinner I made Brown Rice ‘n’ Beans Jumble-aya from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan with steamed green beans.  I bought the suggested file powder, but was worried that I wouldn’t like it when I smelled it cooking.  Luckily it balances well with the rest of the ingredients and I liked it just fine.  I don’t think I’ll be going crazy with the file powder quite yet though.  Also, the brown rice didn’t cook all the way in the 45 minutes cooking time called for.  I let it cook for 10 extra minutes and the rice was still quite al dente.  Overall, this is a very good dish that I would definitely make again.  After dinner I had peppermint tea and called it a night.

Day 6

This smoothie had basil, kale, blueberries, peach, chia seed and amazon acai hempshake.  Basil – weird, I know, but I had some basil wasting away in the fridge and nothing else to do with it so I decided to experiment.  I wouldn’t call basil in a smoothie good necessarily, but it wasn’t bad either.  The basil flavor was definitely big but not overpowering.  I want to continue experimenting, maybe with fresh ginger and some spices.  Along with the smoothie I took coQ10 and a multi.

The rest of Thursday was less interesting.  My morning snack was a plum, two apricots, almonds and coffee with unsweetened almond milk.  Lunch was more quinoa salad with black beans and mango, topped with avocado and served over spinach.  Afternoon snack was carrot sticks and cucumber with the last of the roasted eggplant and garlic hummus.  Dinner was leftover brown rice ‘n’ beans jumble-aya and steamed green beans, followed by wild sweet orange tea.

Day 7

Friday morning’s smoothie was kale, banana, blueberries, kiwi, orange juice, almond butter and flax.  Another odd combination, perhaps, but I was out of almond milk and this worked okay.  Also had the b complex and multi.  I poured up some coffee soon as I got to work, with unsweetened almond milk.

I took a morning snack to work and didn’t get a chance to eat it because we were having new student orientation.  It’s a pretty intense day for me, I basically answer questions non-stop and have to be “on” and smile all day.  It only happens twice a year though, and it’s fun getting to meet all the new students.  I finally got a little break at lunchtime, so I ate my snack of a pear and a nectarine, then had lunch, the last of the quinoa/black bean/mango salad over spinach.  Afternoon snack was carrot sticks, cucumber and celery with non-honey honey mustard dressing.  For dinner I had more of the jumble-aya with green beans.  I had intentions of exercising when I got home, but I was so beat after work that I quickly settled onto the couch with a beer, and had a few more as the night went on.  While watching a movie a few hours after dinner I realized I was absolutely starving, not the kind of hunger I could ignore.  I wanted some plain popcorn but didn’t have any, so I settled for a handful of dill pickle cashews.

One week of the cleanse done!  Other than time spent on food preparation it’s been easy so far, and I haven’t really experienced any cravings.  One noted benefit is that my skin seems to be clearing up.  Also, I lost just under three pounds!  In one week!  That’s really good for me, normally I have to be happy to lose ONE pound every TWO weeks.

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Announcements!

1.  I have been accepted to, and am officially enrolled in the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College in Berkeley.  Yay!  Starting in late September and going through February I will be attending classes nights and weekends while holding down my 40-hour-a-week job and hopefully still cooking at home a bit (other than homework assignments).  Sadly, I probably will not be able to pay much attention to my blog during this time.  But at the end I will be a trained natural chef!  I am hoping to turn this into a career change sooner than later.

2.  With my crazy schedule impending, I’ve decided to take the month of August to clean up my diet through a “cleanse”.  It’s not a diet, per say, but my feelings won’t be hurt if I lose a few pounds in the process.  I lost 8 pounds between the beginning of this year and April, then went and gained it all back on my vacations in May and June.  Doh!  Mostly I want to focus on nutritious whole foods, and NOT CHEAT!  Details on the rules and first four days below.

3.  This one is inconsequential, but I feel like listing it anyway.  I’ve always referred to my boyfriend as bf on the blog because I thought he would prefer it that way.  It turns out he doesn’t care one way or another, so from now on he shall be called Dave, which is his name.

Now, here is the outline of my cleanse:

– first thing upon waking is a warm glass of water with the juice from a quarter of a lemon
– breakfast is a smoothie including fruit, greens, Udo’s DHA oil blend or flax or chia seeds, protein powder or nut butter and unsweetened almond milk, a multivitamin and either a CoQ10 or B complex supplement
– green or black tea or coffee with stevia at work
– morning snack is fruit or nuts or both
– lunch is a salad including some form of protein (open for interpretation – veggies salad/grain salad/bean salad, etc.) and a probiotic supplement a few times a week
– afternoon snack is raw veggies and hummus or nuts
– dinner is whatever I want, as long as it all fits in a normal dinner-sized bowl and is not high in fat
– decaf tea with stevia before bed
– minimal, if any, processed food
– no wheat (grains that may contain gluten are okay)
– no sugar or artificial sweeteners (stevia, agave and maple syrup are okay)

This is my own design, but I was inspired by a number of things including Jessy’s Adventure Cleanse Tune-up and re-reading Gillian McKeith’s You Are What You Eat.  Jessy did so amazingly well sticking with her cleanse, but I’m not making mine quite as intense.  She cut out everything I am, PLUS coffee, alcohol and gluten.  I generally only have coffee two or three times a week and tea the rest of the time, so I think it’s not that bad.  And I do like my beers on the weekend, so I’m keeping them but watching my intake.  (Geez, that makes me sounds like an alky!  I’m not, I promise, but I have to be honest about it if I’m going to detail my intake day by day.)  I will not be drinking any wheat beers though.  Speaking of wheat – I say “no wheat” because I’m not worried about gluten so much, so I may eat oats or other stuff that may contain gluten.  I just want to take a break from wheat and kind of force myself to eat other grains.

All that being said, I had a plan in place to start the cleanse off right on the morning of August 1st.  I was going to go grocery shopping and buy everything I needed for the first week on Friday night so that I could get going on Saturday.  I had planned my first few meals and written out a huge grocery list, and as I headed out the door I realized I didn’t have my keys!  Through a series of unfortunate events, Dave had gone to band practice in San Francisco with my keys in his pocket, so I couldn’t leave the house.  So much for being prepared!  I ended up going Saturday morning, but it left me a little stressed and wasn’t the way I wanted to start.

Day 1

Since I didn’t have my special smoothie making supplies yet or any greens in the fridge, I had a pear and some cantaloupe for breakfast along with my multivitamin.  Not exactly a power meal, but it’s all I had.  I also drank some blueberry green tea on the way to the store.  By the time I got back I was ravenous, so I ate some apple slices with peanut butter.

The first day presented me with a challenge because we were tailgating for the A’s game.  Normally I would have a veggie burger or dog and do some grilled veggies on the side, so I had to figure out how to fit grilling into salad form.

My solution was to take a salad of iceberg, tomatoes, shredded carrot and sunflower seeds and top it with grilled mushroom and squash and a squeeze of lemon.  (I only used iceberg because I had it leftover from a work bbq.)  This salad didn’t have as much protein as it probably should’ve and didn’t really fill me up, so I had some pistachios as a snack soon after.  I also had a few beers.  Told you I was going to be honest!

We didn’t end up actually going into the game (long story), and instead went to Dave’s uncle’s house for some chatting and board games.  On the way there I ate some carrot sticks, celery & cucumber slices with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Hummus from Yellow Rose Recipes as “dinner”, and then had two glasses of wine at their house.  So my dinner didn’t exactly fit into the dinner rules, but I felt it was the best I could do since we were very rushed that morning.

Day 2

Sunday went much more smoothly.  Dave took off to go fishing with his buddies (blech) and I slept in a bit.

My breakfast smoothie had a banana, strawberries, mango, kale, udo’s and almond milk and despite being a bit thick and me forgetting to add the protein powder, it was very tasty.  I also took my multivitamin and CoQ10.  The smoothie kept me full all morning, so no snack.  I also had some coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch was a second take on the salad from day 1 with iceberg lettuce, carrots, squash, mushrooms and chickpeas and a dressing of balsamic vinegar, mustard and agave (there was already oil on the grilled veggies).  It was more filling this time with the chickpeas – I couldn’t even finish it!

My afternoon snack was more of the roasted eggplant and garlic hummus with carrot sticks, bell pepper and cucumbers.  I have to say that this hummus is kind of weird.  It tastes really good and blended up smooth, but after sitting overnight in the fridge it had kind of gelled together, as if it had agar agar or something.  I had to stir and mush it up with a fork, and it was never again as smooth as when I first made it.

For dinner I made the Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango from Veganomicon and served it over spinach.  My first impression of this dish is that it was just a bit oily.  I get what the recipe is going for, and it tastes good and is easy to make, but it didn’t blow me away or anything.  After dinner I had camomile tea, which I’ve never had before, and was pleasantly surprised.

Day 3

My Monday breakfast was this tasty banana, cherry, kale, udo’s, almond milk and amazon acai hempshake smoothie along with my multivitamin and b complex.  It was actually more brown than red, this picture makes it look much nicer than it really was.  My morning snack was a pear, almonds and darjeeling tea.

Lunch:  leaf lettuce, green pepper, carrot, red onion, snap pea sprouts, cherry tomatoes, sauteed cajun tofu and Honey Mustard Dressing from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, and a probiotic supplement.  This dressing is wonderful!  I never would have though to use lemon juice in honey mustard and it gives the dressing the perfect tang.  No actual honey is involved – it calls for agave nectar instead.  The tofu was just sauteed in a little bit of oil and sprinkled with a cajun spice blend.

My afternoon snack was more of the eggplant and garlic hummus with carrot sticks, green pepper & cucumber.  Beginning to notice a trend?  A whole batch of hummus lasts me forever if it’s just for snacks.

Dinner was precisely the same as Sunday (quinoa salad with black beans and mango over spinach) with sweet wild orange tea to follow.  I thought the quinoa salad might be the kind of dish that improves overnight, but it was still just kind of “eh”. The orange tea, however, is awesome.  It’s by Tazo.

Day 4

I’m into this green smoothie thing.  This one had banana, mango, kiwi, kale, udo’s and almond milk, and I forgot to add the dang protein powder again.  This used up all my mangos – I got five small ones for 99 cents at Berkeley Bowl that were all ready to go mushy, so I didn’t want to let them go to waste.  I took my multivitamin and CoQ10 and had a pear, a plum, cashews and earl grey tea as my morning snack.

The lunch salad was much like the day 3 lunch salad, minus the onion, sprouts (they went bad) and cherry tomatoes (I don’t like ’em!), and plus sunflower seeds.  Also had a probiotic supplement.  Afternoon snack was celery, green pepper & cucumber slices with more roasted eggplant & garlic hummus.

Dinner was a challenge.  I was going to the recently re-opened Souley Vegan in Oakland to meet up with some PPKers and was hoping they’d have enough decently healthy options for me.  I meant to take my camera and forgot it like a dufus.  I ordered a three-item combo plate with collard greens, black eyed peas and yams.  The collard greens were very good, and different from any greens I’ve had – they were quite spicy and had a combination of spices that I could not put my finger on.  It drove me a little crazy that I couldn’t figure out the spices.  The black eyed peas were also good.  The yams…were incredibly sweet.  I’m fairly sure there was about a ton of sugar in them.  But I tried to stick to the cleanse, and I think I did pretty well for being at a place that has delicious chicken fried tofu and mac n’ cheese, and life goes on.  When I got home I had camomile tea.

(Souley Vegan’s Yelp page says they’re closed, but they’re not.  They are very much open at 301 Broadway, near Jack London Square.)

I hope that this style of posting doesn’t bore you all to death!  I want to post everything I eat, day by day, to hold myself accountable and to show anyone who may think I’m crazy that it’s completely do-able.  I’m hoping to post every two or three days, as opposed to four or more, so that there’s not so much redundant content.

So far I haven’t noticed much of any change in my energy or anything like that.  I do feel more hungry in general than before I started, but it’s not the kind of hungry where I HAVE to eat something, it’s just a little lingering hunger that tells me I didn’t totally fill up my tummy.  I’ve been cooking less in general but spending more time preparing food, which I guess is what happens when you eat more raw foods.  The only way I can make it in the mornings is to prep everything the night before, including putting the greens and fruit in the blender jar in the fridge, which kills a good amount of time at night.

Here is my latest CSA delivery.

cherry tomatoes, cherries, pears, an eggplant, tomatoes

pattypan squash, onions, peppers, basil, a cucumber,
a crookneck squash, grapes

And just because I can, some pictures of Jake from this weekend.  He’s taken to squishing his face on the arm rest when he’s trying to nap on the couch.

Kitty paws.

I love how his body looks humongous from this angle.

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Mexican/Mexican-ish

I posted a review of Las Margaritas about a month ago with one of the meals I order there.  We went again last night (we really do go once a week), so here is a camera phone pic of the other meal I get.  It’s the “Veggie F no cheese”, a burrito with grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms, rice and refried beans.

las margs

I am needing to slim down my eating a tad, so earlier this week I wanted to make a great salad.  Back when I was just out of college and working very hard at weight loss, I regularly ate a salad that included lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, black beans, canned corn, shredded cheese (I was ovo-lacto at the time), maybe a few crumbled tortilla chips and a dressing of Kraft fat-free ranch mixed with store bought salsa.  It was a good tasting throw together salad and did the trick at the time, but it was very bottled and canned, if you know what I mean.  I was wanting a more grown up, sophisticated version.

I started with the dressing.  I wanted a Mexi-ranch feel similar to this recipe from a certain chain restaurant.  (Although, a post from someone who claims to have formerly worked at said restaurant says it was literally just ranch and salsa mixed together.  Seems more their style.)  I had cashews leftover from making the quiche last weekend and figured that rather than using sour cream or mayo, they could provide me a creamy base.

I sauteed mushrooms and green peppers until soft, then added black beans, fresh corn off the cob, chili powder and lime juice.  Chili and lime is one of my favorite flavor combinations to go with corn.  In the bowl went chopped romaine, diced cucumber, shredded carrot, the warm sauteed mixture, avocado, cilantro, scallions, lime zest and finally the dressing.

mexi-salad

I will admit that I also tried to make polenta croutons.  They failed, probably for a number of reasons.  I considered sprinkling on some pepitas for crunch but didn’t want to add more fat as the avocado and cashews in the dressing seemed like enough.

The dressing totally made the salad.  Here is the recipe, but please let me warn you that it is SPICY.  It’s not burn your mouth, run for water spicy…but it’s pretty hot.  If you can’t stand the heat you can use less chipotle pepper or replace it with a dash of cayenne.

Spicy Mexi-Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tbs non-dairy milk
2 Tbs water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 chipotle pepper
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp dried cilantro
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
dash onion powder
dash freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs finely diced onion
1 medium tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 large jalapeno, seeded and minced

1. In a food processor or blender, process cashews until they are a fine meal.
2. Add the next four ingredients (milk through vinegar) and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
3. Add the chipotle and seasonings (parsley through black pepper) and process until smooth.
4. Add the last three ingredients and pulse a few times to combine.

Makes about 1 cup.

I pulsed my dressing a few more times than desired because I was still tasting for seasonings, that’s why it kind of looks like pink baby upchuck.  I was going for a more creamy dressing/chunky salsa ingredient texture.  Also, if your not using the dressing on something with cilantro I’d recommend adding some in with the onion/tomato/jalapeno, because I love cilantro.

Speaking of pink baby upchuck, here is my breakfast from this morning.

smoothie

In my quest for adding grains and protein to smoothies, I played on this idea from Chocolate Covered Vegan.  Mine was more of a normal fruit smoothie (strawberries, pear, kiwi) with oat bran flakes blended in at the end, nothing fancy.  I really like the texture of this.  It’s like a chewy smoothie.  I tried to drink it with a straw but it was too thick so I ate it with a spoon.  And it kept me full until snack time, yay!  Also, I think I’m going to drink all my smoothies from mason jars now.  They’re very pretty, and easier to clean than a pint glass.

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Carbalicious Smoothie

Okay, so maybe I built up my breakfast a little too much in my post last night.  I was excited, whaddayouwant?  It’s just a smoothie.  But there’s an extra ingredient that I’m hoping might solve my smoothie crisis.  See, I love smoothies, but they don’t keep me full.  Even when I make sure to add protein like yogurt or peanut butter, after about an hour and a half I’m ravenous again.  And I make big smoothies, so it’s not for lack of calories.  Recently I saw a “banana bread smoothie” on someone’s blog (I really need to start keeping notes on these so I can link), and there were oats in it!  Silly me, it had never ever crossed my mind to put grains in a smoothie.  If the blender can pulverize ice, it can surely do oats, right?  So last night I put some oats in almond milk to soak overnight, and chunked the fruit into the blender so that this morning all I had to do was whizz it up.

smoothie

The fruit ingredients were mango, kiwi, pineapple and strawberry.  They were so ripe and sweet that it definitely needed no extra sweetener.  I could taste the oats but they weren’t overpowering, and the smoothie had what I might call a toothsome feel, I chewed each sip just a bit before swallowing.  I don’t mind a thick smoothie though.

It’s been just over an hour and a half and I’m feeling a bit hungry, but not any more than I would having eaten a “normal” breakfast like cereal, so I think I can call this one a success.  I’ve got a strawberry shortcake smoothie in mind for tomorrow.

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Breakfast Smoothie

I decided last night before bed that this morning I would put everything I could find in the kitchen that was smoothie-worthy into the blender.  And so I did.

A whole mango, banana, strawberries, kiwi, canteloupe, lime juice, oj, and a handful of baby spinach for good measure.  I spared a peach and a pear for later consumption.  Thought that might be going overboard.  I also had some apple pie coffee that I bought on vacation at The Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, TN.  A very nice breakfast for a spring morning…err…early afternoon.

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