Sunday, July 7, 2013

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Case and I were both quite please with this tart/sweet salad.  We don't typically care for raw onions, but if you soak them in the marinade before hand for an hour or so, they mellow quite nicely. It tasted refreshing and was quick to make as well. It's an excellent alkaline appetizer which allowed us to better digest the main course.

Cucumber Salad
Serves 2 as small appetizer
Adapted from Plenty (Super cool vegetarian cookbook by a non-vegetarian author [the best kind!])

3 Tb. rice wine
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tb. Olive oil
2 Tb. Sesame oil
1 tsp. ginger

1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, very thinly sliced

Dukkah, to garnish (I ran out of sesame seeds)

Soak cucumbers and onion in dressing for an hour, then serve. The original recipe calls for crushed ginger and garlic, as well as cilantro, which I did not have. However, we were quite happy with my simplified (read: faster) version.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Accidental Cherry Jello

Awesomest accident ever! I will feel so silly if everyone knows this but me. Apparently, if you blend cherries, strain it, put it in a cup you will get jello in under five minutes. I kid you not. No added ingredients, just blended, pitted, fresh cherries. Is there something I am missing here? This might not be a big deal. I mean really, why not just eat the pitted cherries instead of going through the extra work of blending it? But if you are like me and you just had your wisdom teeth removed and chewing anything causes excessive pain (because you are pretty sure one of your surgical sites has dry socket), then this is freakin awesome. Having also just had my braces removed, this is an excellent treat if you want something soft. Lastly, it's also fun to eat! So yeah, get some cherries. Toss them in your blender. Strain, pour and wait five minutes. It doesn't even need to go in the fridge. Woohoo!

My bowl of pitted cherries


Cool Tomato Buttermilk Soup

It's been awhile since I've made something I did not like. I blog about it because this flavor profile may be to someone else's liking.

I had to blend this soup with a different vegetable soup I made to eat it. :( That said, I made two versions of this and one of them was just the tomato confit blended with vegetable broth and that was much more enjoyable. However, if you like the tangy taste of buttermilk I highly suggest this soup. I think the dairy was just a bit much for me. My new favorite vegetarian cookbook is herbivoracious by Michael Natkin. I have over a dozen bookmarks in it right now of recipes I want to try. He offers a lot of extra helpful tips throughout the book and has excellent pictures. My dislike of this particular recipe is not a reflection of his book at all. It's just a reflection of the fact that I apparently don't like buttermilk and didn't know this until now. Or I made it wrong.  Either way...

(I linked his general site as this recipe is only available in the cookbook)

Cool Tomato Buttermilk Soup
Adapted from herbivoracious

1/2 cup tomato confit (save extra for garnish)
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup veggie broth

fresh chives

To make tomato confit I halved cherry tomatoes and cooked them at 300 for about 2 hours. The book say's to peel the skin and remove the seeds, which I did not do. I'm wondering how the affects the taste...

After the confit has cooled, blend the ingredients together and pour into a bowl. I used a mixture of raw tomatoes and confit tomatoes for the garnish along with lots of chives.



Saturday, June 29, 2013

More Lovin'

Immediately after our watermelon salad we indulged in a delicious pasta salad. This was loosely based off of Martha Stewart's Orzo Pasta Salad.

Pasta Salad with Fried Zucchini and Corn

2 corn on the cob, kernels cut off
3 small zucchini (I could have probably used a more)
Cooked, refrigerated pasta (I used a gluten-free corn pasta [no - I am not going gluten free])
1/2 Thinly sliced onion
S & P

Heat a pan with EVOO and add zucchini and onion and cook on high heat until soft. Add corn and cook until heated. Add to cold pasta with additional EVOO and stick in fridge until cold. After cold, eat.

Summer Lovin'

Yes! Binging on fruit this summer has been much too pleasurable. I'm trying to stuff my face as much as I can to really take advantage of the bounty. This might actually be the first summer I am doing this. I didn't use to fully appreciate or understand that there was a season for produce unless it was asparagus or fresh peas because I'm pretty sure you can't buy that shit out of season. Stores are stocked all year long with what I want so why only buy during certain months, right?

But now, now I am tasting a huge difference in when I buy produce. It's kinda sad it took me so long. But I'm catching on to what I feel like most people already know.

This post is one that has been floating around on the internets in some version or another. I actually based this recipe off of Plenty - the book I mentioned in a previous post. The only thing I would change about how I did it would be to let the onions soak in some kind of marinade before hand to take the bite out. They were a tad strong. Also, the original recipe called for feta but I am trying to limit my dairy and it tasted awesome without it. Again since this is my own recipe - use the portions appropriate for the amount of people you are serving.

Balsamic Vinegar (I used two kinds)

Cut up the onion and let sit in olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper for about an hour to soften. Cut up watermelon and chop basil. Mix with onion dressing. Eat. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shrooms, garlic sourdough, and fried egg

I'm pretty much addicted to the library these days. Books. For Free. FREE. Plus music, movies, and the internets too!

That should really be the end of my post because that is awesome stuff right there. The Seattle Public Library System is also extremely vast. I like to support it by turning in my books late and paying fines. Is that tax deductible? 

My new favorite thing to do is to look at highly rated and popular books and put them on hold. I always come across things I wouldn't typically seek out on my own, or pay for. I recently got the book Plenty which is a vegetarian cookbook written by a carnivore. My kind of book right there. He happily mentions which dishes are good with meat and is liberal with his use of cream, egg, and cheeses. I know - I feel like I just posted about limiting dairy in my diet. I am. No more milk. Very little cheese. But eggs - I am totally down for eggs. Hardboiled, softboiled, fried, poached, scrambled. It's all good.

I've been craving them lately. Literally thinking about them during the day. So I made this phenomenal mushroom ragout liberally adapted from Plenty. The original recipe called for a poached duck egg, so if you can find duck egg and you can poach it - go for it!

Sorry - this will be a vague recipe. Just measure the ingredients based on what you like. 

Mushrooms (I used oyster, portabella, and shitake) 
Diced onion
Truffle oil
Sour cream
Garlic, minced 
Olive Oil
Sour dough bread
White wine

Cut up the sourdough into cubes and mix with garlic, oil, and salt. Bake in oven at 400 until brown & crispy. 

Soften onions in a large pan with the truffle oil. Add 1/4 cup(ish) of white wine. Let the wine cook off. While it is cooking off fry your egg. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. I cut the mushrooms up in different sizes to get different textures. Add parsley and sour cream. (I used yogurt instead but it broke on me so I recommend using sour cream as the original recipe calls for). 

On a plate put the sourdough on the bottom, cover with ragout, top with fried egg. Add a little more parsley and cracked pepper to make it look pretty. 

If you like mushroom this will rock your world. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pumpkin Bars

Frankly, I'm not even sure what to call these. Cake? Cookies? Bars? Brownies? Awesome!? All of the above might be best. One Sunday I decided to bake red velvet brownies (didn't turn out) and these guys. Good thing one of my recipes turned out okay. I definitely did a lot of adapting from the recipe I found, mostly because I could not find all of the ingredients so I just did my own thing. You can find the original recipe here.

Basically - I didn't do the filling and instead just folded in white chocolate and semi-sweet milk chocolate chips. And it worked out perfect for me.

What to do with the leftover pumpkin puree? Freeze it in your ice cube tray to make delicious protein shakes.

Two eggs + One banana

My last post contained four ingredients. This post will have even less! Two! Well..kinda. I might be cheating. The toppings will make it five. We don't need to dwell on that.

I found this on Pinterest (aka my new addiction):
  • One large over-ripe banana 
  • Two eggs
I am specific about the banana because I had a small slightly-less-ripe one and it tasted a little too eggy for my taste.

For the "extras" you can add vanilla extract, syrup, and powdered sugar. I wouldn't normally add powdered sugar but it makes the pictures look so pretty! :) It didn't cook very evenly for me so I folded it over to make it an omelet and I loved it. This breakfast is perfect.

The "simple" things

I thought it was an interesting comment on our food system when Haagen-Dazs launched their Haagen-Dazs 5 ice cream line. I never realized most ice cream had more than five ingredients. Turns out it usually doesn't. Haagen-Dazs didn't change their ingredients at all, they just starting marketing it differently. Consumers are going back to the basics and buying a "simple, pure, and authentic" product is super appealing. There is nothing simple and pure about a cow being hooked up to a machine for 10-12 hours a day. Authentic? Sure.

 The abuse that goes on in dairy farms is gross and disgusting. This is coming from a carnivore who is still trying to cut out dairy from her diet, by the way. I'm not standing on my soap box talking about something I cannot relate to. Having taken a few classes on media literacy and critical thinking I can only summarize by saying that the image their commercials present of glorious mountains, tiny wild raspberries, and hand wrapped vanilla is blown insanely out of proportion. So ridiculous.

On the lighter side of things I made sorbet! AND it has just four ingredients. Recipe found here.

1 c. Water
1 c. Sugar
4 cups frozen raspberries raspberries
1/4 c. Thyme

Make simple syrup with water, sugar and thyme. Let cool. In blender, mix 1/2 c. simple syrup and raspberries. Put in bowl. Stick in freezer. Serve when frozen.

If you make it right it will look pretty. If you don't, like I did, it won't look so good. I added all of the simple syrup to my recipe and it hardened...too well. So...that's why it looks funny. But still good!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dear food: we're breaking up

I am continually obsessed and fascinated with the relationship people have with food. Mostly, because I am obsessed with my own relationship with food. Mostly because I am obsessed with food. I am constantly thinking about what I have eaten, what I am eating and what I will be eating. I mock the quote: "Don't live to eat, eat to live". I do. I love being food/eating centric. It brings me a lot of joy. It challenges me. I broadens me. Food is unique because you need it to survive, and because it can give you so much pleasure.

I am constantly surprised and confused when people go on these radical diets. I am the first person to admit I do not know everything. But, the evidence seems to indicate that yo-yo dieting is bad news all around. It's like, people cut out an entire food group, lose weight, add back the food group and expect to keep it off. I'm no nutritionist but even I know that's not the way it works. It is so seductive to feel that way, though. Even I succumbed to it after initiating a 6-pack food and work-out plan. I vowed to add more meat back into my diet for a time because animal protein is more easily assimilated in the body. I had read about actors needing to create some serious muscle for movies (wolverine) and body builders eating nothing but chicken before the big event. After achieving my desired results,  I would back off meat and simply maintain the body I had so painstakingly cultivated.

Yeah...that's not the way it works.

Dieting and fitness is a lifestyle. It's something you have to do week by week and day by day. There is no grapefruit-cayenne beverage that will melt fat and give you the physique of your dreams. It takes time, it takes effort. Whatever body you want - make sure to eat the food that you will like for a lifetime.

Prosciutto and cantaloupe

Pairing flavors such as bitter cappuccinos and sweet cupcakes are my come-to-jesus moments. Prosciutto (one of the few meats in my diet) is a particular weakness of mine. It really doesn't compare to the thick cuts I was exposed to in Switzerland but it certainly satisfies my cravings. One of my local delis sells cheap "prosciutto ends" that are mostly fat but have just enough meat to bite into. Combining prosciutto and cantaloupe is my new favorite post-work out snack.  Sweet, salty, and juicy!

[Affordable] food is awesome

And so it is! I've never considered myself a baker but the truth is, baking is sharable! Cakes, pies, cookies, and candies are easily transported and served. They don't need to be reheated and sugar makes everyone happy. The fabulousness of baking is that once you have the essential items, you can make most anything without having to go to the store. Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, butter, eggs and vanilla extract and you can make a dozen recipes right there! These ingredients are also cheap and that makes it truly magical. Mix, whip, beat, pour; add some heat and you can feed a dozen!

In the past couple months I have discovered pinterest. It's like foodgawker on crack. I can't seem to stay away from it. I have discovered a well of untapped inspiration in addition to bananas-awesome food bloggers & vloggers. Heather from SprinkleBakes is a bitchin' awesome blogger with an equally bitchin' cookbook. I am sadly intimidated by baking so I tend to go for the easy pickings (for now!).

I decided to try her yema candy recipe. Her pictures are definitely cuter than mine in her book but these kinda do justice...There is only supposed to be yellow sanding sugar but I ran out and had to use the orange and the red too. They are a nice, creamy, nutty, buttery candy. I did like them a lot - maybe even ate most of them before my coworkers could. If you get a chance, definitely get this book. It has super cool nerdy information about baking for all levels, cute pictures and fabulous recipes.

Yema Candy
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes *

1 Tb. butter
1 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 c. pistachios
Sanding sugar (it should be yellow but I ran out)

1. Melt butter in a medium pan
2. Add sweetened condensed milk and heat for a minute.
3. Add egg yolks, stir.
4. Keep stirring until it forms a thick paste and pulls away from sides of pan (this did not happen for me, so .... I may have over cooked it.)
5. Remove from heat and let cool completely
6. Once cooled, shape into 1 inch balls and cover in sanding sugar.
7. Serve and enjoy!

*This recipe is not on her website but is in her book (which is awesome)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pea, Radish, Crostini

I have been playing with vegetarian meals. One of many pet peeves is substituting synthetic meats where traditionally a dead animal would be used, such as using a soy patty instead of ground-up cow for your meal. There is no need for that nasty business. For a long time, I heard about the evils of soy. I knew if I ever crossed the vegetarian threshold, I would not take up soy to fill the hole of rotting flesh. No, I would fill that hole with vibrant and fresh foods that are unique and creative, and bring me joy to make. I've tried to cook with tofu and it's like cooking a canvas. It does not bring a lot to the meal...but takes on the flavors around it. Consider me unimpressed. I am stoked to get my protein and texture needs elsewhere, thank you.

Growing up we paired a lot of things with bread such as foie gras, pate, saucisson, and prosciutto. I hear cool people make crostini, so I wanted to try my hand at it.

I don't eat peas accept to reheat the canned or frozen kind and serve it as a side dish. Sometimes I get really crazy and add shallots and butter to them. Once, Casey and I had mashed peas in Ireland. It wasn't something we ordered again.

But, I was really intrigued by the flavor profiles of this dish. I adore radishes. They are crisp and fresh and a nice contrast to the creamy mashed peas. Add in some pesto and I am sold. I got the recipe from here.

The recipe I found was a little more labor intensive that I intended. Instead of making my own pesto and combining it with the peas, I just bought store bought pesto, diluted with high quality EVOO and brushed it onto the crostini. I layered it with mashed peas. The mashed peas had olive oil and a little salt. After, I layer it with radishes and crush salt and pepper over it. The hubby and I were quite pleased.

Aguas Frescas - it's the new cool thing

I totally did not die in Maui. Really.

Look, we're married!

The Jan-Apr detox was a resounding success. I eventually got Kimberly Snyder's book and completely overhauled my diet and have seen positive results. Her book is super nerdy with information and a ton of resources, references, and citations. (Can you tell I am in college? Citations, wooo!) This is definitely a book worth checking out.

This totally looks like sherbert

Every morning starts with her green smoothie. Spinach, romaine lettuce, apple, pear, celery, and lemon juice. It's pretty flipping good. My skin is happy. My body is happy. I guess there is happiness all around. I have my (now) husband hooked on it too! More importantly I'm not crazy tired all day long! Seriously. This is the girl who had a pastry and a cappuccino every morning. Less coffee more energy, what?! No fooling.

Now that I am married, I guess I should keep up this being healthy business, right? To be successful at this I need to make it fun. Otherwise, please pass the vodka because that is waaay fun. Just kidding. Not really.

So frothy!

But seriously, I did a little research (aka Google) and found out about Aguas Frescas and thought, hey, that's like an alcoholic beverage without the alcohol. I can dig that. There are so many choices out there too. Lately my go to drink has been freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with club soda. So obsessed. But these drinks are a little more involved. The one I made today was watermelon and grapefruit with club soda. It's got a whole 'nother ingredient. Whoa.

Grapefruit on the left, watermelon on the right

It was pretty tasty if I do say so myself. The flavors blended well and created the perfect summer drink. (along with, like, 50 other perfect summer drinks, I'm sure).

I bought half of a watermelon which is dirt cheap! Put it through my blender and strained it. Please - you don't need a cheesecloth like the recipe says. Than you juice a bunch of grapefruit. Mix it together and add club soda.

On the awesome side of things - Casey brought me back a kithen aid from Illinois. Literally packed it in his baggage and brought it home. His wonderful grandmother gave it to me. So...I am crazy stoked to get-a-bakin' with this piece of heavy machinery.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

$250ish and counting

Casey and I do something called "PBR Month". A couple years ago during the summer I suggested that we do a crazy frugal month where we buy only items that are on sale and any alcohol that we buy has to be the cheapest of the cheap (PBR, Rainier, Bud etc.). I am overly fond of really good beer and luckily, in the Northwest, we are awfully spoiled by the number of local micro breweries in the area. It's incredibly enjoyable to take advantage of but also very expensive. So I suggested we call this frugal month of no eating out or shopping from PCC or Metropolitan Market (because they easily cost twice as much) PBR month. (Pabst Blue Ribbon anyone?)

January was originally supposed to be PBR month but I kept on accidentally calling it a detox month and Case suggested that maybe I should detox to since I kept on saying I would. And that is how the "beauty detox" was conceived.

I had every intention of being cheap this month but it's very stressful for me to worry about two (big) things. So if I am going to eat absurdly healthy I might as well relax about spending money. That being said I still am not eating out during the week for breakfast or lunch - and I'm pretty sure my morning smoothies are insanely cheap so I might actually be saving money in the long run. I definitely do not feel like I am spending more anyway.

The picture above is my first small shopping trip about a week before the detox, costing roughly $25. I was reading about the awesomeness of veggies and protein and antioxidants and stopped by Bartells to stock up on some decaf green tea, a protein shake that tasted pretty awful, yogurt, coconut water, hand lotion, and a face scrub. If you have ever made drinking the recommended amount of water a goal in your life you will make friends with your bathroom, the sink and some soap. Invest in a good hand lotion. 

Above is my first day FAIL. I start my day with a full tank of water, hot green tea, and a smoothie chock full of vitamins, minerals and a ton of other shit. I crammed so much into this smoothie, including a packed cup of mixed greens, kefir, frozen fruit, almond milk, protein powder and ginger juice. I've put greens in my shakes before and it's totally fine. But this was so pulpy and I put too much ginger in there so I only drank half and called it good. Regardless, everyday starts with an absurd amount of liquids. Trust me - they keep you full. 

Above is my nextshopping trip, at PCC. I managed to spend (as you can see) a whooping 84 bucks on not very much food. Mostly I bought beverages to keep me satisfied a home. It's easy for me to drink a glass of wine (or three) and so to avoid doing that I get to drink other flavorful (and expensive) drinks. The coconut water in the picture is so amazing. It is the best. It's raw so it actually tastes like coconut water instead of the coconut waters you see in the Bartells picture (the first one).

The second shopping trip was at TJs - around the same amount. Three bags worth of food.

 As part of my detox I am doing two shots of aloe a day. I've had crazy bitter aloe but this stuff tastes like water. The company has a "special" process that removes that flavor. I didn't quite think it would taste like water and neither did Casey. In fact, he thought it would be funny to trick me on New Years Eve to give me a shot of aloe (which we had not yet tasted at the time) and I joked that it was probably water in the shot glass (when I actually thought it was Vodka). I guess the joke was on both of us when we did the shot. Ha ha ha. I know, that was really funny. Anyway, aloe has a host of benefits including stabilizing blood sugar, encouraging weight loss, and easing digestion.

These are my drugs. This is my second bottle of these multis that I am taking. Very pleased with this brand. Omega 3's are incredibly important to have in your diet. The western diet is horribly lopsided in terms of Omega 6's v. 3's. We should be having a 1:1 ratio but it's typically more like 10:1 and that encourages inflammation, sebum production, and therefore acne. It's also very nasty if you have arthritis. There are many studies out there that support this - I highly encourage you to look them up.

My dinner tonight was a BLT! Hell yeah! True. And I'm dieting you ask? (I'm not trying to lose weight remember)? I actually bought turkey bacon which I previously turned my nose up at. What? Gross! I want REAL bacon! But it was really, really tasty - no joke! (Look at all those exclamation points!!!)

It has the consistency of a lunch meat, like bologna, but the flavor of bacon, it is applewood smoked after all. It's, like, a super hippy turkey bacon, too. Trader Joe's brand (of course) 94% fat free, non-antibiotic, no artificial ingredients, blah blah blah. Anyway, right - the turkey is still dead so...yeah. (But I saved a pig and their, like 2 times as big, right?)The only down side is that one slice has 180 g. of sodium (8% Daily Value)! Holy cow. I had four slices.

I put an assload of spinach in there and I totally used mayo. To do otherwise would be a sin. Mmmm...mayo. It's also on sprouted whole grain bread.

Moral of the story? You can spend as much or as little as you want if you're going on a diet/detox. I say, if you can afford it - why not spend a little extra to reward yourself and buy fun things to eat and drink. For me, they keep me on track and motivated and excited to try new things. Every time I come home and open a Kombucha I know I am drinking something delicious and good for me. I have detoxed and been miserable and crabby because I did not invest ahead of time in tasty food and drinks. Plan way ahead, buy a mixture of things you know you like and new things to try, and stock your house full of healthy food. You not about to let it go bad are you?!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Kill an Orangoutang and the Ethics of Purchasing Food Without Dooming all of Humanity

I prepped for the detox the way I typically prep for all of my detoxes - I purchased a vegetarian magazine. And this time I took it a step further and purchased a vegan magazine. Whoa. I know.

A side note which you can totally ignore: I am scared of the the internet. Seriously. I am a little freaked out at people ripping my writing to shreds. People are mean out there! I saw a Jenna Marbles video about the ethical repercussions of being a slut and people ripped that video in half! I watched that video, and thought "Wow, Jenna, those were some good points" and went on my merry day. But people literally responded by making their own videos and called her a dumb blonde bitch who was sad and lonely because she broke up with her boyfriend. Whoa! Wow! I think that both frightened me more and emboldened me. My writing will be torn up and taken out of context no matter what. Plus there's only, like, 10 people that read my blog.

So, right. Orangoutang killing. In VegNews I happened upon an article about how palm oil is destroying the environment. (No link - they haven't posted on their website - google it). I was surprisingly impressed with it. I thought it would be this fluffy piece about saving our rain forests but I was really moved by the destruction that this oil has wrought through ignorance and greed. It is violently destructive to the environment and to the animals where these plantations are created. Animals are cruelly beaten and set on fire, and land that is critical to combating green house gases is being destroyed because palm oil is the hot new thing. I am always taken aback by the casual disregard for the habitats that sustain our planet.

My point here is twofold. When deciding where to put your money there are a gazillion logistics to take into account. Do you save the planet, the animals or your body? Vegetarian diets are typically higher in soy consumption which is mostly GM'd, requires an assload of toxic chemicals to grow and increases your estrogen levels. You save an animal, but you aren't helping the environment and is questionable for your body. My 3% Glycolic Acid face wash which is amazing for my skin - has palm oil in it. Good for my body - not so good for everyone else, including my wallet. I would imagine there are very few products out there that are good for all three - including cleaning supplies, clothing, and beauty products.

For a long time I encountered a vegetarian brick wall, so to speak. I would be really turned off by the way some vegetarians treated their lifestyle like a religion or cult for which they had to recruit people for. I felt like people would try to convert me - and I wanted nothing to do with it. There is still a lot of that going on - and I still feel that I encounter a lot of preachy judgmental people who vehemently and vocally disagree with my carnivorism.

In doing this research, I realized that I wasn't necessarily any better. I would look for reasons to find fault with certain logic. I would scan labels of cruelty free 100% vegetarian products looking for palm oil so I could say "ah-ha! you are still killing animals and destroying the environment!" How awful is that? The truth is that I found this article in a vegetarian magazine - and while vegheads may not be cutting out palm oil from their life at least they are bringing attention to this.

We live in a world where I think it is possible to live a life in which everything (or most of) you purchase has been sustainably created and does not harm body, planet or animal. It takes a lot work and some amount of sacrifice - but there are people that do it. I think it is important to try to be aware of what you are buying and what you are putting into and onto your body. I think it is important to think about someone besides yourself. You won't be seeing me handing out pamphlets anytime soon, but I am learning to be more open minded about information that I read instead of paranoidly wondering if someone is trying to brain wash me.

All this being said here are other names for which palm oil might be listed on any number of products in your household:

Elaesis guineensis
FP(K)O Fractionated Palm Oil
Glyceryl stearate
Hydrated Palm Glycerides
OPKO (Organic Palm Kernel Oil)
Sodium dodecyl sulphate
Sodium isostearoyl lactylaye
Sodium laureth sulphate
Sodium lauryl sulphate
stearic acid

I would definitely avoid these products until the palm oil industry is able to find a way to become less destructive.

Thanks for reading!

Save the animals!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let the diet begin...

...and by diet I am changing what I am eating, not trying to lose weight. I've done a couple detoxes before, some more successful than others. Part of the problem is that it is really easy to get bogged down in the insane and unverified amount of information that is out there. Detoxing can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people and so the information is at times conflicting depending on what the ultimate goal is. 

You have to assume that any detox you undertake will affect your mood to some extent. Any wiggle room of doubt as to why you are giving up certain foods and you are sure to find yourself giving up on the detox entirely. Remember the end objective, have a clear plan and remember why you are sticking to it. Is there enough data to support giving up a food group? If there isn't, maybe you shouldn't be giving it up. That way every time you are craving something you can remind yourself very specifically why you cannot eat it. "I really want a [delicious food] right now but I can't eat it because [really good reason]". This helps me stay focused. 

The diet/detox I have decided to take on this January is one of the largest organ: the skin. This is just a really nice way of saying I am going on a "Beauty Detox". Woohoo! My inspiration for this diet came about because Casey and I, one day, will get married - and it would be nice to have really healthy skin blah blah blah. I have been encouraged by what I have read - and during my "prep days" I have learned so much. 

In a nutshell - the focus on this detox will be about eating more not less. Awesome, right!? There are a few things I have to cut out of course - some of my own volition, most for skin purposes. I am cutting out coffee, added sugars, and refined carbohydrates. I am keeping alcohol and meat to a minimum. The purpose of cutting out refined carbs is that it spikes your blood sugar, and therefore your insulin levels, which in turn creates androgens (are you seeing this cascading effect- it goes on...) which in turn promotes sebum (oil) production, and your skin gets clogged and you break out. Truth! Follow the link to an article from The Journal of American College of Nutrition. If you google Acne + Insulin + Androgens you will also turn up with a ton of stuff. Additionally, this diet will focus on foods with a low glycemic index. Eating foods that don't spike my blood sugar will give me stable energy throughout the day, which is a bonus. Woo. 

I started off with a load of books (Don't laugh at the Sephora book, there is actually a chapter written by Dr. Perricone who is a renowned derm [is that how the cool kids spell it?])

My goal is to begin everyday with a workout and smoothie (pictured below). I would like to consume (and will be keeping track of) 94 g. of protein, 22-26 g. of fiber, and less than 25-50g. of sugar (not counting natural sugar from fruits). Additionally, I want to drink the recommended 64 oz. of water which includes green tea (decaf or caf) because that is probably the absolute best thing I could do for my skin and my body.  The nutritional ranges are due to the fact that, unfortunately, there is still some fluctuating information out there. The focus is on eating foods with loads of antioxidants, omega 3's, and have anti-inflammatory properties. I am giving up all meats with the exception of chicken and fish. I am also giving up dairy with the exception of yogurt. 

This is my daily smoothie:

1/4 c. frozen cherries
1 c. original greek yogurt (might be kefir in the future)
1/2 c. spinach
1 t. Chocolate Syrup
1/4 c. almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla CryoSport Protein Powder

I haven't actually begun the detox yet - hence the chocolate syrup. But I don't know if I can give it up. I know - lame! But I can pack way more spinach into this sucker because the chocolate masks the flavor of everything. And it's only like a teaspoon, come on!

The awesome salad that I am totally in love with. There is actually spinach on the bottom of this thing - it is just covered up by other goodness :). The egg is way better if you boil it at home instead of purchasing store bought eggs - it is awesome still warm on this salad. No joke. I did cover this salad with sesame seeds but the picture was no good. Albino turds. :(

The salad:

1 Boiled egg
Cherry Tomatoes
Beecher's Cheese (because I really need to use it up)
Some kind of vinaigrette (I can't spell that word for the life of me). I just bought a champagne vinaigrette from TJ's and it only has a gram of sugar!

I have, so far, found it especially hard to maintain my protein and fiber levels at what I would like them to be. I am no holds barred giving myself clearance to eat whatever I want to maintain these levels - still takes work! The first two days of prepping I got 50 and 61 g. of protein - compared to the 94 that I want. I also consumed 9 and 2 g. of fiber compared to the 22-26 that I want. I think I will probably just get some kind of fiber powder and add it to my smoothie.

As for my lifestyle I am full-time college student & full-time employee. I am exhausted by the time I come home! It is really difficult for me to find the energy after a long ass day to make any sort of complex meal - hence why my blog dropped off the face of the earth - fucking busy. (and probably lazy too). I need to find and make meals that are super quick and do not require a lot of clean-up. So detox or no - easy meals are fun to read about, yes ?

Detox/diet (not sure what to call it) is set to potentially take place January 7-18. Super.