Sunday, January 19, 2014

Detox Day 11, 12, and 13

Happy Sunday everyone! I don't really have an excuse for not posting for the last 3 days, except that I have been busy. You know, same old same old. Everybody's always busy all the time :). No worries. I still have some pictures and I will catch you up on the the highlights of the last 3 days and celebrate that today is the last day. Chris is very excited for coffee and biscuits with strawberry jam tomorrow morning!

So, when was my last post? Oh yeah, Wednesday. Let me catch you up!

Thursday morning we ate a grapefruit and another omelet with salsa. 

For lunch we ate the last of the roasted carrots. 

We also ate the last of the chicken, carrot brown rice with peanuts and coconut. 

For dinner I made sloppy joes with a carrot added for sweetness instead of honey/brown sugar. I served it with oven roasted potatoes and okra. It was dehydrated okra and it didn't hydrate very well and tasted... well... not good. Kind of like I was eating wood. I think I totally messed it up. I let it soak for 30 minutes and that wasn't working so I put it in a pan with the water and let it simmer for another 20 minutes and that still didn't work. So, I don't know. I will try again some other time when are kitchen isn't freezing and I am not in a rush to get dinner on the table as quick as possible. The potatoes and sloppy joes were great though. 

Friday morning we had an omelet with salsa verde and an orange. 

I went from school to work and ate my lunch in the car. I had packed peanut butter and carrot sticks and some brown rice and leftover sloppy joe mixture. 

I had to go to a second job on Friday and ate my dinner in the car as well (after I got to work, I don't eat and drive!). I had brown rice, chicken, and peas as well as some peanuts and flaked coconut. I got home from work at 9:30 on Friday night and I was really hungry. So, I heated up some green beans to eat as a snack. Then I took a shower and went to bed. Hence, why I didn't post on Friday.

Saturday morning Chris and I got to sleep in together. It was lovely. I made a pseudo crepe out of oatmeal/millet flour, 1 egg, and milk to make it pourable consistency. Then I made a egg/kale scramble and topped it with salsa verde. We ate this with a grapefruit. It was delicious! Chris said it was okay. He thought it would be better with cheese. 

For lunch yesterday I cooked up some brown rice noodles and made a sauce out of wilted greens, sautéed onions, leftover chopped chicken, tomato paste, and goat cheese. We both really enjoyed this. 

For dinner last night we went to my parents house for dinner and had salad, roasted potatoes, gluten free biscuits, and chicken with berries for dessert. It was great to see everyone and we both enjoyed the fellowship and food!

This morning for breakfast we ate another crepe with greens and eggs. 

I have really enjoyed the last two weeks. Realistically the way I cooked during the detox is similar to how I cook on a regular basis. We just cut out all the extra junk and added in lots more vegetables and healthy fats.  As far as feeling different, I have noticed an improvement in digestion and I feel less bloated and heavy which is a big benefit! Chris said he hasn't felt different, but I am curious to see how he feels after he starts to eat all of his 'normal' food such as sweets, chips, coffee, dairy, etc... Even though we didn't notice a big difference, I think it has been beneficial to focus purely on good, nutritious homemade food and to reset our 'sweet' tastebuds. As far as I know, this is the first time Chris has gone this long without sugar. I am hoping that as we transition back, we can be happy with less sweetness and fewer desserts. I truly feel my best when I am eating lots of veggies and minimizing the sweets.

I also really enjoyed this experience for the opportunity to try new things. I didn't get around to trying out all the recipes I had planned, but we still tried new things and I think Chris is more open to the possibility of packing veggies and peanuts with his sandwich as an alternative to the chips and cookies with his lunch. You know, baby steps. I also proved to myself that it is possible and totally doable to eat healthy in spite of busy schedules and little time to cook.

I promise to check back soon and let you know if we feel differently as we transition back to eating some of our 'normal' food and sweets. I have a nagging suspicion that I am overly sensitive to the caffeine in coffee and should keep it out of my diet permanently. But, we will see. 

Did any of you do the detox with me? How was your experience? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Detox Day 9 and 10

Hey everyone! If you are new here, check our my first post where I talked about the guidelines of our detox. We are doing well and enjoying our food. I could have done a much better job with exercising. But, a person can only do so much. I am trying to extend myself some grace when I am tired and not try to push past my limits. You know, life is about balance; which is something I continually need to define and work towards.

Now we only have four days left and then I will make Chris all the chocolate chip cookies he wants. While he eats cookies, I will eat some dark chocolate covered pretzel thins (that I bought in a moment of weakness on the clearance rack at the store). They have sat untouched for the last 2 weeks in our cabinet and I can't wait to eat a few.

Yesterday for breakfast I made oatmeal, an egg sunny side up and an orange. We also drank tea (on left) and oat straw infusion (right).

Lunch is not pictured because I forgot my lunch at home yesterday. I was very sad. Thankfully I had some almonds in my car that I ate at work. Chris still had the carrot ginger brown rice salad and carrots for lunch. 

Since we have been eating so much chili (Chris' favorite food). I decided to make my favorite food last night for dinner. CURRY! I defrosted a jar of red curry sauce that I made during freezer cooking last summer. Then I cut up 3 carrots, 1 onion, 1 bunch of broccoli, and 3 cups of greens and cooked everything in the curry sauce. We served it over short grain sushi rice. Mmmhhh. I could eat that all day. It is my favorite meal!

Then I made prune oatmeal cookies for dessert. 

 Today I had every intention of waking up early and working out. But... it didn't happen. I need to figure out my new routine for this semester at school. It is just too easy to stay in bed and press snooze :). Breakfast was still delicious!

We ate another potato/kale/onion omelet with salsa on top, and an orange. 

I also made chai spice tea with roasted dandelion root instead of black tea. I am hoping this picture gives you a good idea of how much of each thing I put in the pot. I am so bad at measuring ingredients when I am cooking. Maybe that should be my new year's resolution. 

I put the roasted dandelion root, fresh ginger, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan with water and simmered for 45 minutes while I worked on breakfast, lunch and laundry. 

I strained out the tea and added coconut milk, and drank it on my way to school. It was very spicy. Just how I like it. I love how it warms me up :). I kept all the spices in the pan and just added more water to make another pot of tea tonight. Most of the time I can get 3 uses out of one batch of spices. 

I was selfish and took all the leftover curry for lunch. Chris had more of the chicken carrot ginger brown rice salad that I made on Sunday. I did pack a small container of leftover curry vegetables as a side to go with his lunch. So I wasn't completely selfish :). I even found an empty study room with a table to eat my lunch today. I felt blessed. 

I could eat this everyday. 

I had peanuts and coconut for a snack. I wanted to tell you that I get my coconut from Tropical Traditions. They have great prices on 2.2 lb bags of coconut flakes or shreds. Last time I bought a few bags when they had a deal for free shipping. Their coconut tastes and smells amazing!  

For dinner I made baked salmon, steamed green beans and wilted greens with goat cheese. 

We enjoyed the prune cookies so much yesterday that I went crazy and made 4 cookies each for dessert. Of course this doesn't compare to Chris' beloved chocolate chip cookies. But, they were good enough that he tried to steal mine. I guess desperate times calls for desperate measures :). 

No Sugar Added Prune Cookies
2/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tablespoon Coconut oil, solid
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
5 prunes
Coconut milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

I put all of the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and let it blend until the coconut oil and prunes were incorporated and in small pieces. Then I added a splash of milk and let it blend until coming together as a dough. If needed you can add more milk until it comes together. 
Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 12 minutes. 


I am planning on posting tonight about what we ate yesterday and today. However, I had a few minutes before leaving for class and I wanted to post my Mom's chili recipe. I always make chili when I do freezer cooking and it is Chris' favorite meal. He could probably eat it for dinner every day for 3 weeks straight before getting tired of it. Since I feature us eating chili quite often on this blog I figured it was high time I posted the recipe :).

makes 10 servings 
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
29 oz tomato sauce
29 oz crushed tomatoes
29 oz kidney beans with liquid*
29 oz pinto beans with liquid*
2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cups water

Cook ground beef and set aside. Cook onion and jalapeño and garlic until soft. Add all other ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Cook stirring frequently for 2 hours, or cook on low in a crock pot while you are work.
Serve with chips and cheese, or goat cheese, or American cheese and saltines (Chris' favorite).

*I always soak and cook dry beans when I make chili. I found a nice conversion table here. But, you will need 1/2 lb of each, or 1 cup each of dry kidney and pinto beans to equal the amount in the recipe. To soak, I put beans in a crockpot with plenty of water and apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 24-48 hours. Then I drain and rinse the beans. Depending on my timetable I will either put them back in the crockpot and cook on low while I am at work or I will put them in a pot on the stove which will cook a lot faster.

If you feel like you have been cooking your beans forever and they won't soften up, then add a teaspoon of baking soda to the pan of beans while they are cooking. That one trick cut my cooking time in half the last time I made beans! Then when they are done cooking you can add your beans and cooking water to the chili and proceed with the recipe as usual.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Detox Day 8

We are done with the 8th day of our detox! I had a good day at school and I enjoyed my new classes. As far as I know my first test went well too :).

For breakfast we had the potato/kale/onion mixture with an egg and salsa and an orange. 


At school I found a nice chair and ottoman in a study room to eat my lunch. 

I really enjoyed the brown rice salad and roasted carrots that I made yesterday.  

Chris has requested chili every night since we finished our chili last week. So, we pulled another bag out of freezer and ate it for dinner tonight with goat cheese. Instead of eating anything for dessert after dinner we just ate an extra bowl of chili. It was delicious :). I will post the recipe soon!

I felt bad after my post yesterday where I complained about all the things on my to-do list and my stress level going into this week. I thought a lot about it this morning on my commute to school. It made me think about a sermon we heard at church yesterday when our pastor talked about excuses we give for not reading our bible. One of the main excuses is that we are 'too busy'. He said we need to get a reality check and realize we that we are not that important. Everybody has busy lives and I am not special or the only one that is stressed or busy. 

What I need to do is take responsibility for my actions. I can choose to procrastinate on my studies or stay up late wasting time on the internet. But then I can't complain about being stressed about a test that I am not prepared for. Going in the other direction... I can also choose to make prayer and bible study a priority, and stay on top of my homework and eat well. I have to be honest with myself and realize that being 'busy' is not a valid excuse for not taking care of what needs to be done. 

Right now, when I have so many things on my plate, I think a lot about wanting to simplify my life and create more margin. Even though I can't do anything to change my schedule, what I can do is create simplicity in my mind and heart. I create a lot of unnecessary clutter in my head when I worry and fixate on how I wish things could be different. I know I am responsible for my actions. So, moving forward I have to power to choose to live with patience, be faithful with the little, and wake up each morning thankful for another day to live. This year I want to be filled with gratitude and expectation for the challenges and the busy days. They teach me new things and cause me to grow. 

Well, those are a few thoughts that I have been mulling over as I went about my day. You know, 2014 is going to be a great year and I am excited to live it!

Happy dreams.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Detox Day 6 and 7

Hey everyone! I only thought I was going to have lots of time this weekend to cook. It ended up being really busy, and I didn't even take any pictures yesterday. Sorry! 

I will give you the quick run-down for yesterday's eats. We ate our usual orange, oatmeal and soup for breakfast. We ate leftovers for lunch and went over to a friends house for dinner. They served baked chicken, sweet potato, asparagus and kale. It was absolutely delicious and we had a lovely time!

Today, I did a much better job of taking pictures. 

We ate grapefruit instead of oranges for breakfast this morning. My Mom ate her grapefruit like this and taught me how to peel them. Now I love eating it this way too! With a small paring knife you cut the rind off of the grapefruit. Then you cut into each segment with the knife and scrape out all the flesh.  There is very little waste with this method as long as you cut as close as you can to the peel. 

It was really yummy! 

We had to be at church early this morning for rehearsal so we packed our oatmeal to-go. 

We got back at 12:30 and ate leftover steamed cabbage and spaghetti sauce with goat cheese for lunch. Chris even said it was good. Of course he firmly believes that noodles are better than cabbage for eating spaghetti but I am really proud of him for having an open mind! We each had two bowls. 

After eating I made preparations for packed lunches this week. I roasted another whole chicken and cut off the meat. I chopped up the meat, and put the chicken bones into the crockpot with water and apple cider vinegar to cook all night into delicious chicken broth.

Chris enjoyed the sweet potato/kale/onion mixture in his omelets this week, so I made it again except used white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes for variety. Cooking them on low in the dutch oven works really well! I chopped the onions and potatoes and put a little chicken broth in the bottom of the pot and put them on low heat with the lid on. I stirred it every 20 minutes and 1 hour later I added in the greens to wilt. Then I added in spices and it was done. Easy peasy.

I also made a chicken, carrot ginger brown rice salad for our lunches. I shredded several carrots, 2 onions, ginger and sautéed them until soft. Separately, I cooked brown rice and added the pan drippings from the roast chicken into the cooking water (it makes the rice SO flavorful!). Once the rice was done I added it to the veggies, along with frozen peas, chicken, chopped cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, pepper flakes and salt. 

I think it turned out really good and I look forward to eating it for lunch the next couple of days. 

To go with our lunches I also made roasted carrots. I cut up 7 carrots and roasted them at 350 degrees until soft and seasoned them with salt, garlic and cayenne pepper. 

It is nice to have a fridge full of prepared food for the week. I know it will be crazy! Due to some misunderstanding and miscommunication I had to withdraw from two classes on Thursday last week and register for 2 new classes on Friday. So, tomorrow I will be in two new classes where I have already missed the first week of lectures. In one of my other classes I already have a test that is tomorrow morning as well. I am also cleaning 5 houses next week. Admittedly I am looking at this week really overwhelmed. But at least I will be eating well :)!! That will make everything else more manageable for me. This is a season of my life where I really can't afford to not eat well. If you know what I mean :).

I appreciate all my readers and I hope you are able to enjoy the rest of this lovely weekend! We are headed to small group (they are making soup and I can't wait!) and I will check back in tomorrow. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Detox Day 5 (Chris has started negotiations)

Hey everyone! We are finished with day 5 of our detox. I can't believe it has already been 5 days. I think things are going extremely well considering how busy and stressful our week has been. It is funny because Chris has started trying to negotiate stopping earlier or giving me the many reasons why we should make cookies. I think he is regretting the moment he said he would do this with me. But, it is too late now and he has already committed. *cue evil laugh. For now we are sticking to the plan and will be done next Sunday. 

He also gives me many reasons to laugh when he tells me all the things he wants to eat as soon as he is done with the detox. Such as going to go to the Mexican restaurant to order the biggest bowl of cheese dip and chips he can buy, along with eating a whole pan of biscuits, and lots of cookies. I guess we will see about that. I keep telling him the purpose of this detox is to retrain our minds and tastebuds to appreciate and crave healthy foods instead of unhealthy foods. haha If not, at least we ate A LOT of vegetables for two weeks. That should count for something, right? 

Now I will show you what we ate today!

I had a whole orange and a cup of soup (same from yesterday) that I drank on the way to school. I added some chicken broth so it would be drinkable consistency. 

Chris made himself breakfast after I left for school and ate the rest of the kale/sweet potato mixture with 2 eggs and a whole orange. 

For lunch we had the usual brown rice, peas and chicken. I packed carrot sticks and peanuts and coconut for a snack. 

I have gotten into the bad habit of letting dishes pile up for a day or two before I wash them. 

Much better! Though I admit I am also bad about putting dishes away. I normally let them air dry and then empty the sink only when I have to to put more dishes in to dry. I guess how I do (or don't do dishes) shows my procrastinating side. 

At any rate, after cleaning the kitchen I made another mess making dinner. It was so worth the dirty dishes! We had skillet roasted okra, roasted sweet potatoes and spicy chicken and onions. 

You can find my recipe for pan roasted okra here. Chris and I both LOVE okra and it is always the first thing gone from both our plates. Chris will even steal okra from my plate when he has finished his. Not bad for a vegetable :).

For the roasted sweet potatoes I either dice them up or slice them into 'fries'. Then I put them into a pan with coconut oil. I season them with salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. I bake at 350 degrees until the potatoes are soft, then I turn up the toaster oven to 450 and let them get browned and a little crispy around the edges. This is how I always do my sweet potato fries and they turn out fabulous every time. 

The chicken was a complete experiment, and we both really loved it. Chris loves buffalo chicken dip and I was trying to recreate something similar so he would stop thinking about the gallons of cheese dip he wants to eat. I roasted another chicken last night so we would have more for lunches. So, I pulled some chicken off of the roast (about 8 oz) and chopped it up. Then I took 2 tablespoons of my habanero hot sauce, a chunk of goat cheese, and 1/3 cup salsa and added everything together into a pan and heated over low heat. Then I sliced a whole onion and let it cook down and caramelize in a different pan before adding it to the chicken mixture. Then I mixed the chicken mixture and onion together and added salt to taste. 

Now my sink is full of dirty dishes but in return we have full bellies and we are headed to bed. 

Happy dreams!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Detox Day 3 & 4

Hey guys! Sorry I didn't post yesterday. It was a long day and by the time I got home from school, made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and worked in the office looking for paperwork I was ready to fall into bed. Of course we have continued to eat and I will show you the pictures I took from yesterday's and today's meals :). 

Yesterday morning we both ate a serving of oatmeal (cooked with water/coconut milk, cinnamon, salt, coconut oil), a half an orange, and an omelette with sweet potato, kale and onion. It was delicious!

Today for breakfast, I made plantain pancakes (1 plantain blended with 3 eggs, salt and cinnamon) topped with peanut butter. Chris ate his with veggies and half an orange. 

I ate my plantain pancakes with a half an orange and a cup of soup. I took the roasted veggies we didn't like from two days ago and cooked it in some chicken broth and greens and pureed everything together. It is really good and the mug keeps it warm while I eat :). 

Yesterday I got to eat my lunch in front of a window at school. I enjoyed the bright sunny day and people watching.

I had steamed cabbage (seasoned with garlic oil and salt). 

I also had a tupperware of brown rice, peas, chicken, olive oil, salt and pepper. Unfortunately even by lunch time my peas were still frozen and it was really cold. I choked down the meal but I admit it is much better warmed up :). I also had the usual peanuts and coconut as a snack later on in the day.

Today, I used leftover steamed broccoli and green beans from dinner last night and put it with brown rice and chicken, olive oil and spices. I had access to a microwave at work to warm it up and it was much better than yesterday :)! We had peas as our side vegetable, and the usual peanuts and coconut. 

Yesterday for dinner I made baked salmon topped with cajun seasoning, with steamed broccoli and green beans (topped with tallow, salt and pepper). 

Tonight I made spaghetti sauce, with gluten free brown rice noodles and steamed green beans. 
We were both really hungry at dinner so we ate 2 bowls of spaghetti and green beans. Chris was still hungry after that so he ate an apple and peanut butter. 

Things are going well. Trying to do a detox where I have to cook everything from scratch, while starting a new semester at school where I am taking 16 credit hours, trying to buy a house and working a lot is proving more difficult than I thought :). I find myself falling into bed exhausted by 10PM. But, I love how I feel when I eat like this and Chris has been a champ! I am really glad we are doing this! I am also glad it is almost the weekend, and I look forward to having more time for cooking and taking a break from brown rice/chicken lunches :). 

Thanks for reading!