Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

A Raw Diet

Posted: April 17, 2011 in Food
Tags: , , , ,

I know it’s been a week- I’ve been trying to find motivation to write and I just can’t seem to find any. I’m worn out. But here I am… I was down again last week which is awesome although I am getting frustrated because every day that I have weighed myself since then I have gained weight and I don’t know why. I’m exercising more, I’m counting my calories… oh well, slow and steady.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the raw diet and how it’s supposed to be amazing for you- healthy, nutritious, aids weight loss, and makes you feel overall, just better. I did a lot of research this weekend on potential recipes, foods, pros and cons… and I saw that people sometimes follow the raw diet anywhere from 3 to 30 days… and of course, there are those who live on it. I don’t know if I could ever live on a raw diet, but I can at least try it. So, that’s what I’m going to do. For starters, I will follow it from Monday morning until Friday evening (Andrew and I are going out to dinner for my birthday). These 4.5 days will just be a test to see if I can actually do it without cheating. I hope to try to follow it again in the near future.

Today I went to Whole Foods and bought all sorts of fresh produce- veggies, fruits, and hemp seeds. We already have a bunch of vitamins that we’re finishing up as well as flax seeds, so hopefully we’re good to go. My meal plan will be as follows: Breakfasts- smoothies and fruit; Lunches- Salad; Dinners- Tomato and Avocado Stacks, Zucchini pasta with pesto, pad thai, and lettuce tacos. They all sound good enough :0)

Anyway, I’ll try to update how it’s going, what it’s like, if I feel any different, etc. So long for now!

The battle between sleep and exercise is epic. It’s constant, it’s mean, it’s stressful, it’s wrong. I’m not saying you need to give up sleeping for exercise. no no no. I’m saying, given that you get a decent night’s sleep and you like to work out in the morning because really, who has the time or energy to workout after work? Yet somehow, when that alarm goes off, you think of 100, no 1000 reasons for not getting out of bed at that moment. Oh, I’ll just snooze once, I’ll fee better. Oh, I’ll just close my eyes for a minute, really what’s the difference between 5:30 and 5:45AM? It’s a blogroll of reasons… inevitably if you don’t get up when you planned, your morning schedule will be screwed up. Something will have to get cut- either the length of your work out, your shower, or your sit-down hot breakfast. AHHHH!

The worst part is, after you get out of bed, wash your face, put your contacts in, throw on some running clothes, lace up your sneakers, and plug in your headphones to your iphone, ipod, mp3, etc. it’s as if you just chugged a cup of coffee. The energy is there, somewhere underneath the cobwebs.

You take a deep breath, you lock the door behind you, you hit the pavement, walking at first to loosen up, then taking off on a jog, music up, cool breeze, and the day still dark. Somehow over the next 20, 30, 40, 60, however many minutes you choose to devote to running, you go from sleepiness to frustration with your pace to anger with your soreness to gasping for breath to slowing down to speeding up and finally, at long last, to a great big smile. That’s right, you got up early, you went for a run, you’re back and you have time to shower, cook breakfast, sit down and eat it and still be out the door to make it to work on time. If the rest of the day is a failure, it doesn’t matter, because you accomplished more before 8AM then most people do by Noon. Congratulations!

Well, as you can probably guess, I got up early this morning. I fought with myself and in the end, my extra pudge convinced me that I needed to get up. I went for a jog, got in about 1.5 miles. It hurt, but as usual, in the end I was ecstatic that I got up and the shower and breakfast made it all worth it! So just remember, push through the sleeping in and exercise!

My phone is gone, so until I get a new one (this weekend) no pictures, sorry!

Ingredients:
1 Head of Broccoli (about 2 cups), cut into bite-size pieces
1 Can of Artichokes in Water, drained
2C of Cherry Tomatoes, rinsed
2t Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning

Steps
1. Dice the garlic cloves us and add to a medium-sized frying pan with the olive oil. Put the pan over medium heat.
2. When the garlic becomes very fragrant and just begins to brown, add the broccoli
3. Allow the broccoli to cook until soft, about 10 minutes. If the pan dries out, add about 1/4C of water and cover to promote cooking without additional olive oil.
4. Once broccoli has softened, add the cherry tomatoes and cook until soft and breaking down (about 10 minutes). Stir every so often to help fuel the breakdown.
5. While tomatoes are cooking, dice up the artichoke hearts. When tomatoes are done, add the artichokes in along with the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and any other desired spices.
6. Cook until warmed all the way through. Spread on top of pasta.

Enjoy!

PP: 1     Serving Size: 1/2 the recipe

So, on December 29, Andrew and I headed to the Dominican Republic for 10 days of pure awesomeness. One of my best friends was getting married. The trip was absolutely phenomenal and in fact, we created a separate blog for the trip! I need to finish that blog though, but unfortunately my phone is gone thus why I’m behind on those entries (I was hoping to blog as we traveled). So now I have written blog entries which need to be digitzed. Hopefully soon! If you want to find me on facebook I posted a TON of pictures there- the beaches were awesome, the wedding extravagantly beautiful, and the whole trip just so much fun!! We spent 4 days with the wedding party and then headed out on our own for 6 days. We were to see most of the island which was really cool! I can’t wait to go back :0)

On the right you will see one of the highlights (for me) of the trip; rhinocerous iguanas!!! They were bigger than house cats. I’m not exaggerating at all! They were so big and they were abundant especially in one area of the country. We pulled into a parking lot with maybe 20-25 of these guys just hanging out! So cute!!!

Anyway, a Dominican trip later, here we are again trying to get back to eating healthy and exercising more! It’s good to be back and sad at the same time! Next stop, Andrew’s brother’s wedding in May!

Homemade Basil Pesto Sans Pine Nuts
We really enjoy pesto and decided to try to make some of our own since the types in the store are completely oil and very high calorie/fat/etc wise. This version of pesto sauce does not use any pine or other nut. We used the amount of sauce this recipe made with about 1lb. of pasta. It gave the pasta a light flavor which, when coupled with artichokes was simply delicious. You could easily increase the pesto-pasta ratio if you are aiming for a stronger taste.

Fresh Basil in a Food Processor

Ingredients:
2C Fresh Basil, stems removed
1/2 Lemon
2T Olive Oil
1-2 Cloves Garlic (garlic powder will work if you’re in a bind)
Salt and Pepper

Steps:
1.Place the basil in a food processor along with the juice of the lemon. Process until basil is well chopped up. This may require stopping to scrape down the edges of the processor bowl a few times (does not have to be perfect).
2. When basil is chopped to specified size, add in garlic, salt and pepper. Process until well mixed.
3. 1/2 Tablespoon by 1/2 Tablespoon, add olive oil to the basil mix, pausing to blend between each 1/2T.
4. Once all olive oil has been added, blend for about 10 more seconds. Scrape down the sides of the processor and mix pesto.
5. Add pesto to whatever dish you are eating. Enjoy!

 

Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/4C

Notes: We mixed this pesto (1 recipe’s worth) into 1lb. pasta and served 2 cups of pasta (we were really hungry) per serving. We also tossed in some quartered artichoke hearts. The final product was an amazing healthy pasta dish. You could easily use less oil than this recipe but it wouldn’t make as much. We used all the basil we had, otherwise we probably would have put more in there! You could also add in some Parmesan cheese to mix things up!

Twice baked potatoes are delicious. They also, usually take a really long time to make. We were trying to multi-task last night with baking and centerpiece creating (for another post) and so we wanted to make a “twice baked potato” without spending 45mins. waiting for the potatoes to bake. Enjoy this recipe but keep in mind that any add-ins could be substituted for what we used! The taters were served with “Wild Rice Sans Chicken Salad” and a Roasted Stalk of Brussels Sprouts.

Quick Fix Twice Baked Potato

Ingredients:
4 Medium Baked Potatoes
2C Fresh Broccoli
4T Salsa
6T Fresh Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Steps:
1. Place the broccoli in a sauce pot and add water until it just covers the tops of the broccoli. Place over Medium-High Heat and steam/boil/cook until green color darkens and broccoli is extremely tender (you should cook it longer than you would if you were just eating it as a side). Drain broccoli and set aside
2. While broccoli is cooking, prick potatoes a few times with a fork then wrap each potato in a damp paper towel. The paper towel will help keep moisture in
3. Place potatoes in the microwave and either use your potato button or cook for roughly 16 minutes or until potatoes are soft when you squeeze them
4. When potatoes are cool enough to touch, cut in half length-wise. Using a spoon scoop out the “potato guts” and place in a medium bowl. Be sure to keep skins intact (helpful to leave a small sliver of potato in)
5. Add the drained broccoli, Parmesan cheese and salsa to the bowl with “potato guts”. Mash and mix well (the broccoli should be mashed up and mix will turn a greenish red due to salsa and broccoli)
6. Scoop even amounts into each potato skin. You will probably have to pile up more “guts” past the rim of the potato skins.
7. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and place in oven on medium broil until tops turn light brown (only about 2minutes or so) ENJOY!

Servings: 4

Serving Size: 1 Potato with Filling

Note: You could easily substitute any other fillers for the broccoli, salsa, Parmesan cheese mix. We used FF salsa for 0 points and then the Parmesan cheese was 3T for 1 point, so the taters were very point friendly.  They turned out really well and it was nice to not have to wait an hour for the potatoes to cook! I would definitely make them again.

Last night was Day 4 of “environmentally responsible” eating… aka no meat that isn’t local and grass-fed, what have you.  I’m amazed that I was able to make it this long without meat. I miss it a lot but the meals we’ve been making have been fantastic. Last night’s menu was pasta and salad. The salad I made was similar to one I made before (post further down). The salad had romaine lettuce, pieces of baguette, tomato, fresh mozzarella and then a dressing of olive oil mixed with garlic and Italian seasoning. The pasta was made with the following ingredients: olive oil, pasta, lemon juice, artichokes, carrots, red chili pepper flakes, garlic, fresh thyme, Italian seasoning, and salt.

To make:

1. Make pasta according to box directions (just water and pasta- we made about 1 lb.)

2. Peel and dice as many carrots as you’d like to add (we used four large). Place carrots in a skillet with about 1/2 C of water. Cover and cook until slightly softened. Drain any excess water and return skillet to stove.

3. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add along with 2t of olive oil to the skillet with the carrots. Mix and allow to cook on low for 5 mins.

4. While garlic/carrots are cooking, slice artichokes into slivers. Add to the skillet along with the rest and stir well.

5. Clean pieces of thyme off (we used about 3T fresh thyme) and add to the skillet along with 2T of lemon juice.

6. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and a few shakes of red chili pepper flakes.

7. When veggies are to desired taste, toss with pasta. When ready to serve, spoon pasta into bowls and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves: This made about 12 Cups of Pasta, so- 12- 1 Cup Servings