Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm Back

I'm heading off to bed with a compelling book, but first I want to get back into the groove here:


Breakfast--Smoothie of frozen banana, small cara-cara orange, 3/4-1 cup frozen blueberries, handful of fresh spinach, tablespoon or so of flax seed meal, and water to blend

Lunch--Dry-sauteed large zucchini, half an onion, clove of garlic, and several mushrooms, with a half cup or so of garbanzo beans, several garlic-stuffed olives, and 1/3 cup or so pasta sauce; golden apple with peanut butter

Snack--Small handful (ounce or so?) roasted almonds

Supper--Half grapefruit (in chunks before supper); iceberg lettuce (all we've got!) topped with refried beans, sauteed green peppers and onion (picked out of the fajita mix I made for everyone with beef), a stray sliver of beef here and there, raw onion and pepper and tomato, mix of guacamole and plain yogurt for dressing, topped with some salsa, and a single corn taco shell on the side

Snack/Dessert (because I'm hungry at almost 11 p.m.)--130 calories or so of roasted edamame and another apple (I need to do some grocery shopping soon)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day on the Fly


Breakfast--Smoothie of strawberry, banana, flax seed meal, and lots of spinach--this was greener than I would normally like, and I added a little Crystal Light to it for flavor. If I'd had more time I would have added some more fruit.

Lunch--Leftover CREAMY POTATO-TURNIP SOUP, Giant Eagle Prince Edward Medley vegetables (mine aren't quite what the link has, but close enough, and wonderful!) topped with FUSION HUMMUS--ITALIAN, golden apple

Snack--Roasted edamame, unsalted roasted peanuts (tablespoon), snipped dates (about four), for a total of about 1/2 cup

Supper--2/3 cup canned baked beans with <2 ounces crumbled sirloin burger; salad of spring greens with pear and a couple of walnuts and dijon vinaigrette (homemade by another talented daughter); generous slice of homemade sourdough bread with a bit of butter; orange

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Satisfying Sandwich


South Beach Multigrain Wrap (110 calories, 8g fiber)
small tomato, chopped
small yellow pepper, chopped

Lightly toast the wrap, then spread with hummus and top with tomato and pepper.

Verdict: Excellent. This "sandwich" was especially good to me today--sweet peppers and tart-sweet tomato, spicy-rich hummus (this one is lowfat), and substantial "bread."


Breakfast--Leftover oatmeal with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and pecans

Lunch--Salad lovingly prepared by my daughter, so it tasted great: spring mix, romaine, matchstick carrots, raisins, dried cranberries, pecans, a bit of feta, and low-cal Italian dressing; TOMATO-PEPPER HUMMUS SANDWICH; navel orange

Snack--Apple with peanut butter (about a tablespoon), half cup of lentils/brown rice/quinoa with pasta sauce

Supper--Yellow squash and zucchini with onions (boiled), two ounces pork loin, kiwi and banana.

Plus, unfortunately, the several chocolate coins I had this afternoon and several bites of the buttered noodles I made the family for supper. I shouldn't have expected that easing out of the holiday treat-mobile would be easy!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Good To Be Back

I've really enjoyed my healthy eating today, and I'm experimenting with supper a bit. I went to the Mom&Pop grocery in Grove City (Bi-Lo) and got the best produce they had (which isn't saying a whole lot)--navel oranges, kiwis, the two best green peppers, the half of the zucchini and of the yellow squash that weren't limp, some broccoli crowns, red onions, and three little turnips. The latter were what got supper going for me . . .

Inspiration here

One onion, diced
Four potatoes, cubed
Three small turnips, cubed
8 oz. (about 2/3 of a bag, or 2-3 cups) broccoli slaw
2-3 cups stock (I used chicken)
Teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste
Water for desired texture

Combine vegetables and stock in a pot and simmer about an hour, until the vegetables are soft. Cool a bit and then puree the soup in a blender and return to the pot to reheat. Season and add water to taste.

Verdict: Before the puree, not so good. I am not looking forward to this for supper. After the puree, Very Good! :-) The soup is creamy with a fatty feel, but there isn't more than a teaspoon or two of fat (from the chicken stock) in the whole pot.


3 or 4 zucchini, cut into finger-sized slices
2 small onions, quartered
drizzle of olive oil (I had about a tablespoon at most)
Italian seasoning blend (basil, oregano, etc.)
Montreal steak seasoning
Parmesan cheese to dust

Put the cut vegetables on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the seasonings and toss all around. Roast in 375-400-degree oven for fifteen minutes or so, turning with a spatula partway through. The idea is to get some of the edges browned and a little crispy, if possible, with the rest at least cooked through, but not mushy. To serve, put some on a plate and dust with parmesan.

Verdict: Excellent (and I'm just smelling it!). Still Excellent after eating it. I'd prefer a crisper kind of thing, but wilty is good, too.


Breakfast--Oatmeal with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and pecans

Lunch--Lentils, brown rice, and quinoa (leftover frozen KUSHERIE from last month) topped with pasta sauce (I even picked out the meatballs I'd originally heated into the sauce and fed them to the dog. :-) ) ; salad of spring greens, celery, slivers of bell pepper (all colors), and radish slices, with a dressing of watered-down FUSION HUMMUS--ITALIAN. (Today this hummus as a salad dressing was reminiscent of egg salad.)

Snack--Large pink and gold apple


Party--Yes, another party. :-) I had the smallest slice of chocolate cake available (I cut it myself) and a small serving of ice cream.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fusion Hummus

I have a party to go to this evening, and I have a refrigerated container full of what's left after you take two or three cups of garbanzo beans out of an institutional-sized can of the things. So I'm doing hummus. I have been looking at the things on my shelves and getting some inspiration recently for an Italian take on hummus, so here it is:


3 large cloves garlic
3 cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
9 garlic-stuffed green olives
white wine as needed to blend (I used 1/3 - 1/2 cup)
one whole jarred roasted red pepper (no oil), snipped into small pieces

Whirl garlic, garbanzo beans, olive oil, pine nuts, and olives in blender, adding white wine as needed for proper consistency. Remove to bowl and stir in snipped pepper pieces. Option that might be pretty--reserve olives or some olives to snip into the blended mixture at the end.

Verdict--Excellent. This is more "fancy" or indulgent (read: contains more fat) than I'd want to use for everyday, but I have leftover garbanzo beans still and can puree them with this hummus for my own use in the days to come. Does hummus freeze well?


3 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup tahini (mine was heavy on solids, light on oil, at the end of the jar)
3 cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed
half a lemon, flesh and all, with the zest from the rind
tablespoon Garam Masala (mine is homemade and on the dark side, but not strong because it's been on the shelf for a few months)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
water (I used about 1/2 cup) and olive oil (I used a tablespoon, I think) to blend
dried parsley
salt to taste

Whirl garlic, tahini, garbanzo beans, lemon, and spices, with water and oil to proper consistency. Then turn out to a bowl and stir in parsley and salt as needed.

Verdict--Excellent. Hummus is just plain good, and I love the variations on it. I wanted a "warmer," sweeter version for this one. I think a fresher garam masala or some good coriander (mine was too shelf-old) would be good for it, maybe even a touch of cinnamon or cloves.

Simple Start and Progress Report

No, I don't have any exciting progress to report from my holiday hiatus. In fact, I'm not going to weigh in officially until next Monday, so I have a week of "recovery" and a new starting point. I need it.

Today it all starts simply with a big banana for breakfast. I need to do some snow shoveling so the mail carrier can get to our box, and I need to do some video lectures to get our homeschooling week started. But I wanted to report my blood work results from last month:

I'm afraid I don't have spectacular details of blood work to show the benefits of nutritarian eating, as my numbers are pretty similar to those of two years ago, when I weighed about thirteen pounds less and was exercising more vigorously than I have been lately. But two years ago I had also been on Wellbutrin for the previous nine months and that threw my blood pressure up higher at that time and may also have had some effect on blood work. (When I got off the W. my weight shot right up almost 30 pounds in six months.) Three years ago, though, I weighed 30 pounds more than I did when this latest blood work was done, and that provides an interesting comparison. Here are all the numbers:

Year (within 2 mos. of December) . . . 2006 . . . 2007 . . . 2009

Weight (compared to December 2009) . . . +30 . . . -13 . . . 0 (after losing about 18 pounds in under three months)

Regimen . . . None . . . Wellbutrin, small portions, and vigorous exercise . . . Nutritarian and light exercise

Blood Pressure . . . 135/82 . . . 140/80 . . . 120/80 (I had the same reading a few months ago)

Fasting Glucose . . . 91 . . . "Fine" . . . 92

Total Cholesterol . . . 194 . . . 181 . . . 181

HDL . . . 39 . . . 48 . . . 39

LDL . . . 137 . . . 123 . . . 121

Triglycerides . . . 89 . . . 51 . . . 105

At age 48 I'm happy with my blood pressure and LDL. I can get the HDL higher (best above 50) with more exercise and perhaps some red wine, as well as getting off more weight (though I understand the HDL can be suppressed during and soon after weight loss). I don't know a lot about triglycerides, but even though they're elevated they're still good numbers.


Breakfast--large banana, two tiny clementines, half ounce roasted edamame

Lunch--Campbell's Healthy Request Italian Wedding Soup (about a cup) with added red kidney beans (about 2/3 cup) and a big handful of fresh spinach wilted into the soup; gala apple


Supper--Appetizer party at a friend's. I had a lot of good fresh veggie and fruit choices, but I had several other sorts of things, too. We had some car/snow trauma this evening that set me up with few resources to deal with temptation in the aftermath of stress. But still it was better than it could have been, and I had a lovely time with old friends.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! Inspiration

At the blog Deanna noted a new blog (like mine on steroids), . Jana Diedrich is working her way through Dr. Fuhrman's recipes in  Julie/Julia (great movie, so-so book) style, with beautiful photos of her everyday experiments. It's a great documentary of sorts of what Dr. F's nutritarian principles look like in real life, albeit carefully-created real life.

Now since both Jana and the Vegan Epicurean Alicia are ladies in their forties, like me, but without the four-child household I manage, I see them as inspirations and refuse to be discouraged by the many ways in which I find it difficult to keep up the daily excellence at the table that they can manage. But I am nevertheless inspired and want to inspire you, too!

If you're interested in taking the nutritarian plunge ala , I am considering joining the Member Center there but don't need the e-book that comes as part of membership. If you'd like the e-book at a discount, please contact me and we can arrange for me to pass on my "license" for it to you. I bought the book last year.

I'm still in holiday mode here and will hit the ground running on Monday, but I plan to be back in the swing of nutritarian eating and cooking in the first full week of the new year.

Blessings to all!