Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat to Live Day 5

I can't believe I've gone 5 days with no meat or dairy (not to mention sugar)!

Today I actually didn't do any snacking between meals (which is not allowed on this plan)! One thing I like about this "diet" is that I'm not starving all the time. I try to eat big meals so I stay satisfied.

For breakfast today, I had yet another green smoothie with some walnuts on the side. I didn't bother taking a picture. My lunch was a huge salad and some leftover lentil soup:

I was feeling a bit discouraged while trying to make lunch. I used up the last of the white beans I cooked a couple of nights ago making a recipe from the Eat to Live book. I really disliked it (which might not have been the recipe's fault), so I had to toss it. :( I'm struggling to make my salads yummy, since I can't have oil. There are tons of oil-free salad dressing recipes out there, I just have to start trying them and see what works. Today, I mashed up some avocado with some lemon juice and that did the trick.

For dinner, my mom and I went to Fresh for a treat (and because our condo was being shown).

I had the Macro Greens on brown rice. I added chickpeas and tahini dressing (which, according to the menu, didn't have any oil in it). I especially liked the grilled tomatoes that it came with. This meal was so huge that I couldn't finish it! The rest is in my fridge for tomorrow. :)

As for the scrambled tofu I mentioned last night - I didn't get to it today, but hopefully tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eat to Live Days 2-4

I had a busy couple of days, so blogging fell by the wayside! Somehow, I managed to stick to the Eat to Live plan. One thing I've noticed is that my blood sugar levels seem to be very steady. I think my body still misses coffee, though... I also haven't been having any stomach/digestion issues, which I definitely was before (I assume because of my gallstones). And I haven't been hungry! I've been trying to eat big meals so I don't feel deprived.

Here are some of the things I ate the past three days (if you're curious!):

Salad with avocado and balsamic vinegar, tomato and lentil soup (which I didn't love), and some avocado and tomato on toasted whole grain bread. I was SUPER stuffed after this meal.

For dinner on Tuesday, I stir-fried some tofu and veggies in some vegetable broth with Bragg's Liquid Aminos (which is like low-sodium soy sauce). It was pretty good and I had leftovers for lunch the next day!

Another lunch: salad with black beans, avocado, and parsley along with raw veggies, nuts, and some fruit (I wan't able to finish all of it).

Steel cut oats with banana, flaxseed, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and cinnamon. Yum!

 Finally, for dinner tonight, I threw together some leftover red quinoa, corn, and some white beans that I cooked last night. I poured some of the leftover lentil soup on top to give it some flavour - it was pretty good, and very fast to put together!

Right now, I do feel like I can keep this up for six weeks. I am feeling anxious, however, about going out with friends or family. I have a family barbecue in July, and I'm trying to decide how to handle it--should I warn the hostess beforehand, or just show up with my own food? Or just stick to the raw veggies when I'm there? I shouldn't care so much what others think, and I'm sure most people would either not care or be really supportive... but I tend to worry about these things!

I hope you're all having a good week! I may try to make scrambled tofu tomorrow morning. If it works out (or if it doesn't!), I'll be sure to let you know.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eat to Live Day 1

I had a busy evening of chopping vegetables and soaking beans for tomorrow (and maybe watching The Bachelorette), so this post is later than I expected!

Today went really well, foodwise. Breakfast was a HUGE smoothie (it wouldn't all fit in one glass) with spinach, lettuce, unsweetened pomegranate juice, unsweetened soy milk, frozen strawberries, a banana, and ground flaxseed. I also had some walnuts to make sure it would last me until lunch.

I packed a giganto lunch to bring to work, because I wasn't sure how full I would be from the smoothie. I brought a salad filled with red quinoa, black beans (they weren't even canned!), corn, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, parsley, green onion, and avocado.

I can't believe I made this myself!
I also brought some cut up veggies and fruit.

My lunch was so big that I wasn't able to finish all of it. I ate the cut up veggies, about two-thirds of the salad, and some of the fruit. I had some more fruit when I was finished teaching my class.

Technically, Dr. Fuhrman does not allow snacking between meals (he gives a long explanation for this that seems sensible to me, at least to try--I may elaborate on this in a future post). My work schedule is a bit awkward this summer. Monday through Thursday, I teach one class in the middle of the day. I might stray from the guidelines and eat part of my lunch before class, and part after. Hmmm!

For dinner, I started with the remains of my lunch salad.
Not the most attractive...
Then I had some of the soup I made this weekend. I added in a handful of black beans, too.

I should mention that this soup is not EXACTLY within the rules. I'm supposed to be cutting back on sodium as much as possible, but I used a small amount of packaged vegetable broth when making this soup. It was low-sodium, but as still above the Eat to Live guidelines. Since it was spread throughout a huge amount of soup, I'm not too worried about it. I'm just doing the best I can to follow the guidelines and maintain my sanity. :)

Dessert was some more fruit. Delicious!

Thanks everyone for your comments about my new experiment! Andrea is also starting a new eating challenge today (although it's kind of the opposite of mine, haha), which I'm excited to read about. Her pictures are also much better than mine are!

I have a big day tomorrow so I'd better be off to bed! Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Tomorrow, I plan to start the Eat to Live program for six weeks. I am really excited to be eating healthy foods and feeling healthy again, for the first time in a long time.

This weekend, I abstained from coffee (and I think the headaches are gone) to prepare. I also ate some Eat to Live meals and made a HUGE batch of soup.

There is SO much kale in there.
I planned out my meals for tomorrow and I made up a calendar to track my progress for the next six weeks.

I will report back to you tomorrow night! Have a great Monday!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Good News and a Good Start

Remember that job interview I had last week? Well, I guess it went well... I've been hired as a supply teacher for the school board I want to work in! I am SO excited (and surprised that I found out so quickly!). I have to bring in a lot of paperwork next week (trancripts, police checks, and the like), so I hope that all goes smoothly.

As for easing into summer? I have not been eating well at all... until today. I've been doing a lot of reading and a LOT of thinking the past few weeks, and I have decided that I need to do something more extreme. I have real trouble with moderation. I have gained back most of the weight I worked so hard to lose. I think that sugar and junk food have a strong hold over me, and I feel certain that if I don't make some serious changes in my eating habits, diabetes and heart disease are in my future (not to mention the fact that I already have gallstones and suffer occasionally from painful gallbladder attacks).

Some of the books I've been reading (mostly from the library) are Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Neal Barnard, The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Veganist by Kathy Freston, and Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. All of these books advocate a plant-based diet (quite convincingly).

I've actually thought for a long time about one day trying to transition to a more plant-based diet. A little over a year ago, I read Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet and Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet, which are the books that first put the idea in my mind.

After all of this thinking, I've decided to try Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live program. There is a good description of the plan here, but essentially I will be cutting out animal products (meat and dairy), sugar, salt (as much as possible), coffee, and oil for six weeks. I will be eating tons (and tons and tons) of veggies, fruit, and beans, as well as whole grains.

After the six weeks, the goal is to try and eat this way 90% of the time, and eat other foods (like meat, dairy, sugar, or oil) 10% of the time. If I make it that far, I'll assess how I'm feeling and what I want to do next.

I don't think I will ever become 100% vegan... I don't even know if I'll make it through the six weeks! I just have to do something, and this feels right for me right now.

This weekend, I'm planning to eat mostly Eat to Live-style (I had pizza for dinner tonight, and I'm going to a barbecue on Sunday), and begin the plan in earnest on Monday. I'm also planning to blog about it all (maybe not every day or every meal, like with Joshi, but fairly frequently!). Here are some of today's eats:

For breakfast, I had a green smoothie with almond milk, bananas, strawberries, flaxseed, and lettuce, along with some walnuts.

I had lunch in a food court - a delicious salad with avocado, tomato, red onion, kidney beans, and chickpeas, followed by some fruit salad.

I also went grocery shopping. I don't think I've ever bought so many vegetables at the same time before!

All those groceries meant lots of food prep could be done. I'm planning on making soup tomorrow that calls for two bunches of kale, three leeks, five pounds of carrots, two bunches of celery, and four onions. I got it ALL washed, chopped, and ready to go. I also got some dried beans soaking. (You should know that I did all of this with a crazy caffeine-withdrawal headache.)

Will there be room in the fridge for all this kale?!
We also listed our condo for sale this week, and the showings have begun. The next few weeks will be interesting, to say the least!

I will absolutely be posting again soon with more on Eat to Live. I'm very excited!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Busy Times

As you know, I started June with the best of intentions. And while I am striving to eat well, I've faced a few obstacles.

Last Monday morning, painters descended on my condo (we only found out they were showing up the night before). They were here all day, every day until Friday evening. Every single room was being painted, which means every single room was covered by a thin layer of paint/plaster dust. Not only was I avoiding being home at all costs, when I was home, I was not too keen on preparing food in my kitchen. That led to some unhealthy eating...

Deep-fried ice cream (which is necessary when you have no kitchen access, right?).
There's definitely bacon in there.
Anyway, I haven't gone completely off the edge...
Yay, healthy (and blurry) oats!
Last Wednesday, two noteworthy things happened. You may recall that I have gallstones. It took a lot of patience, and two cancellations by the doctor, but I finally had an appointment with a general surgeon. Good news: I'm not having surgery anytime soon! Since my gallbladder attacks are very infrequent (about twice a year), I have decided to live with them for now. I am planning to make an appointment with a naturopath, as well (I will tell you all how that goes!).

While I was in the waiting room for my appointment, I got a very important phone call... I have a job interview this Thursday with the school board I want to work for! This is very exciting, people. First order of business: finding an interview outfit. No easy feat, seeing as I have a LOT of clothing that no longer fits...

I also go back to my old job tomorrow (teaching college math). So this weekend I have been cleaning up, packing tons of stuff into storage to make our condo look huge and desirable to potential buyers, preparing to teach again, and trying to get ready for my interview. You may not see another post until next weekend...

Happy Monday everybody!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Crazy Day

I had every intention of blogging last night to update you all on how my Ease Into Summer Challenge is going, but my day took a crazy turn. Hearing about the Eaton Centre shootings was unsettling enough, and then my mom and I were in a small car accident. Fortunately, we're both totally fine.

When trying to merge onto the highway, my Mom had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of us (which had suddenly slowed down), and we were hit by the car behind us. After exchanging info with the other driver (in the pouring rain), we were able to drive home. Unfortunately, my Mom's brand new car (the first new car she's ever owned) is quite damaged... Anyway, these things happen, and it could have been a lot worse!

I think I've been doing well with the challenge so far. On Friday, I was volunteering at a high school math-a-thon to help the Grade 9 Applied Math students prepare for the EQAO standardized test happening on Monday. It was a lot of fun, and involved a pizza lunch. However, right as we were diving into our pizza, the fire alarm went off and we were all outside in the pouring rain for quite awhile. Since everyone was soaked, they actually ended up dismissing all the kids early! So Friday was rather crazy, as well.

On Saturday, I started my day with some delicious oatmeal, a la Kath Eats Real Food.

I cooked it with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, a banana, some cinnamon, and vanilla extract. I sprinkled some ground flaxseed on top. This is rapidly becoming my new favourite breakfast!

I can't remember what I had for lunch--I think I had a few snacks instead. I went to the gym, even though I was STILL sore from the workout I'd done on Wednesday. After the gym, I made myself a green smoothie. We were out of spinach, so I used arugula.

Note to self: In future, do NOT use arugula in a green smoothie. It will taste like arugula.
 For dinner, I made some black bean burgers. So simple and delicious!

Everyone was a fan! I put mine on yeast-free spelt bread with avocado, tomato, and arugula (I later remembered that Joshi doesn't allow tomato. Oops!).

Unfortunately, I went a tiny bit off-track when I got home after the car accident. I was really hungry (and shaken up), and in the mood for eggs. Eggs are allowed on the detox, but I had them with whole-wheat bread, as I had eaten the last of my yeast-free bread... A minor transgression, in my opinion.

This morning, I got myself to the grocery store.

 Lots of goodies, including bananas, black beans, and brown rice sushi for lunch!

I wanted to mention, also, that I was so thrilled by the comments on my last couple of posts. Thank you, everyone! I'm so happy to be back to blogging. :)