Today’s food! March 4th

Jolted out of bed at 6:45! Woah. Ran 2.5 miles today. Made Kegan’s batch of hemp milk, and cleaned up…all before my breakfast date!

Brunch with Carmelina at Handlebar!

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Yum!

Tonight’s dinner:

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And tonight’s labor of love…

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2013/03/04/dairy-free-immunity-boosting-turmeric-milk/

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I made the poppyseed milk from YU. It was kind of messy. I had to soak the seeds for a few hours first, then strain them. Then, I puréed them with water, sea salt, honey and a bit of vanilla. Then I heated it on the stove with the turmeric and other ingredients. I had to repuree, because I think I had the heat on too high and the solids started to curdle and separate from the water. Fortunately it didn’t burn! I added some cardamom jaggery to sweeten it up! I think this will be my new favorite sleepy time treat! Night!

Day 31?

So, my food challenge officially ended yesterday. But I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself and this is just the beginning!

A few things:

I don’t drink enough water

My portion sizes are often bigger than my body needs.

I need to stay out of the kitchen at night, because I sneak food in, and eat unconsciously.

Sweets at night usually end in trouble for me.

That’s just a couple of things.

So, lately I’m drinking more water; putting smaller portions on my plate (just to see how I feel, I can always have seconds); and trying to stay out of the kitchen at night! I’m too weak at the end of the day to have any kind of self control, so that’s my plan.

I made the rest of the nuggets this morning that I had made a few days ago. And I also made these cookies:

http://www.enjoythisorganiclife.com/chocolate-banana-oat-cookies/

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The cookies were yummy! To rewind, I started drinking a huge bottle of water this morning while doing all this stuff in the kitchen to hydrate before eating anything. I drank a ton, and felt really energized. I also ate a grapefruit and two small cookies.

I drove partway to work, and parked and walked to get in some exercise. I had another cookie at work, because my friend made the same recipe last night! Yum! I had chickpea buckwheat nuggets with quick steamed kale and some quinoa. My energy levels were great today!

We made a Mexican feast tonight. I took the crema from YU’s black bean soup recipe and made that to serve over my pintos that I sautéed in some Mexican spices with red peppers and onion. Kegan made a pot of brown rice, and I whipped up some guacamole.

I made a smallish looking plate, and I savored each bite.

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It was all I needed! We chatted on the phone with Kegan’s parents and cleaned up. I made a cup of chamomile and will start a new book!

Day 30 – Out With A Bang!

Today was one of those days that reminded me why I strive to eat the way I do. I felt so balanced. Despite the chaos of a crazy day at work, I really handled things well.

The morning started out great. I had my basic Taffy Apple Smoothie (that I have not tired of yet), and Kegan drove me to work! It was one of those Saturdays where everything hit at once. Absolutely nothing happened for the first three hours…and then all of a sudden, it was a madhouse! I was about to go to lunch, and my dear friend Katherine (who I call my “muse”) texted and asked if she could come by in ten minutes to get her make up done. She used to work with me, and is now at a different retailer and I miss our make up sessions. She really helped build my confidence, because she always loved the way I did her make up and always put her complete trust in my hands. I gladly accommodated her, planning to go to lunch after that. Then an old client who I hadn’t seen in a long time walked up! I knew I had to work with her because she needed quite a few things, and I didn’t want to send her away. So, by 3:30 or so, I was finally able to go to lunch! I had been chugging my water all morning, and I think it kept my balance in check.

I brought a big bowl of rainbow quinoa and pintos, topped with avocado, lime juice, and salsa. It was the perfect fuel to keep me going. Reminding myself that I didn’t need to eat any of my other “emergency snacks”, that I wasn’t going to STARVE, I read some more of my book, and digested. The rest of the day went great, I kept myself busy, cleaning up, and preparing our work stations with supplies to be ready for a “smooth operation” with our make up appointments. We made our bonus, by the way! Hooray! And we went way over, with an extra day to spare!

I told Kegan not to pick me up, because I wanted the fresh air and a bit of a walk during my commute home. I knew he had been cleaning the apartment all day, and would appreciate a break from battling city traffic on a Saturday night to pick me up. I wasn’t tired, so why bother him?! Usually on Saturdays, I’m wiped out. But, I found the energy to whip up dinner when I came home!

Thankfully, most of the work had been done. I warmed the chickpea buckwheat nuggets on the stove, made the ranch dressing, heated up some wild rice, and steamed up some kale!

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Delicious! I feel like this way of eating has really helped me manage my stress levels. It’s an awesome feeling. I’m going to relax with my honey and a cup of tea, and retire early for another vibrant day! One more day of work until my “weekend”!

Day 29 – Date Night!

I woke up this morning and made my Taffy Apple smoothie with collards because I thought I’d try something different. I was worried that I had ruined the smoothie, because it tasted a tad bitter. But, I kind of got used to it, and I liked it just fine! I felt like my energy level was good throughout the day. I made myself really conscious of drinking water today, and it always amazes me what a great feeling it gives me to do that! I feel more balanced, and I feel like it staves off intense hunger pangs when I do get hungry. I had my leftover creamy kale millet, which I just realized tastes like cheesy grits and greens! So good!

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Business was slow but steady, and I was excitedly anticipating a date with Kegan tonight! I took the train to meet him at a pizza place called Dimo’s. We had heard that it had fun vegan pizza options, and were excited to try it for the first time. We were naughty, and ordered some drunk food without being drunk!

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We ordered a BBQ Steak & Fries – mozzarella teese, Italian sausage seitan, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, and crinkle cut French fries; and the “Dimo Florentine” – chopped tomatoes, sautéed spinach, and artichokes on a marinara base, topped with mozzarella teese. They were a delicious treat. I have to thank Kegan for helping me to stop before I hit the downward spiral. I had three generous slices, and could have easily had another or two. Something alerted me that I COULD stop, and I told Kegan. I always know that point with “pig out food” when I should stop, but I usually ignore it and keep going. He said, “Wait a minute and just see if you could stop there.”

It was just the push I needed. (He doesn’t care how much I eat, he just has to listen to me complain about how I “should’ve stopped sooner” and “I don’t feel well”; so he’s just looking out for me). We sat and enjoyed each other’s company and talked excitedly about future projects around the apartment and such. I felt like I was in a perfect place, and hopefully I can better remember to be conscious of that food voice next time it talks to me.

I finally got those buckwheat chickpea nuggets in the oven, so I’m looking forward to enjoying them tomorrow!

Day 28 – Plugging Along

Well, prepare yourself, this is what I woke up to in my kitchen this morning:

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Sorry to gross you out. At least you didn’t have to smell it! This is what once was the starter for my Injera. It has now become a mold colony. So sad. I definitely pushed it too long, because I didn’t make the time to cook it up. That had been soaking since Sunday night. Maybe if I would’ve popped it into the fridge, I could’ve prevented that. Oh well, these things happen. I’ll try again on my days off, perhaps. Today was another Taffy Apple smoothie breakfast. I love getting my greens in at breakfast.

Moving along, I cooked up my pintos in a pot of water with kombu, chopped onion, and a dried pepper. I also made a large pot of quinoa. My lunch was ready since I made the creamy kale millet last night, so these could be possible dinner components. What I’m learning during this challenge is how to make maximum use of cooking time when I am at home. I like to use my morning window to cook up grains and legumes. They don’t require much “hands on” time; so I can throw them on, and I’m close by to keep an eye on them while I’m eating breakfast and getting ready for work. I am much more productive in the morning than at night, anyhow.

We had a good day at work today, we’re getting closer to our goal! Hopefully we can get it in sooner than later, since we only have through Sunday. I’ve been squeezing in my book at lunchtime (Born To Run), and it’s so fascinating! I’m at the part where Christopher McDougall talks about studies of Bushmen…the only remaining hunter gatherers still in existence. He talks about their eating and drinking habits. How they would chase around for food and how they always had to be prepared to race for their meals, etcetera etcetera. I’m probably not going to explain this as well as the book did, but it made me think of myself as a modern day hunter gatherer. Sometimes I get busy at work, and I can’t eat for a while…then I am ravenous, and I gorge myself. I feel like I need to remember to eat small amounts of food to never get up to that point. These are some of the pitfalls that I am noticing in this month of self reflection.

I went to my yoga class tonight, and this teacher does a nice balance of challenging and restorative poses in her classes, so it was just right for me after a long day at work. I needed to find my own way home tonight, because Kegan went to a Bulls game. I took the train home, and started walking home, only to panic that I couldn’t find my keys! I must’ve left them at home…fortunately, Kegan wasn’t too far from home. I was proud of the way I handled it, I didn’t take my frustration out on Kegan (because it wasn’t his fault), and I didn’t have a complete breakdown over it. I only had to wait a few minutes for Kegan, and fortunately one of my neighbors was coming home and let me into the building!

I was pretty hungry for dinner at this point, so I ate a few of my amaranth poppers, and heated up my beans and quinoa with some avocado and salsa. It was a very late dinner for me, but I didn’t stuff myself.

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Anticipating that things may not always be under my control is definitely helping with my stress management and thus helping me from my overeating situations. Everyday is a new battle, but I’m getting better at handling it!