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Archive for January, 2009

Day 2 of 40

Day 2 of 40 days of yoga, so far so good.  I started off a bit slow, with a snow day yesterday, my yoga didn’t go as planned, but I did get in about 20 minutes, which is all that is suggested, so I’ll call it a success.  I did start the day with an hour on my bike so I’m sure that makes up for it, it was kind of a riding meditation =).  Food has been going well for the most part.  I did have one day last weekend that was completely “forbidden”, at least according to my latest “rules”.  You see, I don’t use these words in my practice, but somehow I naturally move toward them in my life, constant reminder, it’s easier said than done!  Anyway, I decided I wanted a burger, so I had one, and we also got calamari, which was fried, and reallly pretty awful.  And boy did I regret it.  Not because I felt guilty, but because I felt like crap.  Really, the whole rest of the night my belly was not happy with me.  Needless to say, I’m back off the meat.  Some of my meals this week have included spinach with baked falafel and cucumber sauce, black eyed peas (spiced with thyme, roasted red pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic) with onions, celery, collard greens, and brown rice.  I also made some corn biscuits sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar.

This weekend I’m off to NY to see a good friend and her family, so I need to make a huge commitment to wake up and do yoga first thing, or I know it will slip away.  So here it is, in writing, I will do yoga both Saturday and Sunday morning.  Done.  It’s also superbowl sunday, but we plan to watch the game at home and Mike is planning on making some healthy snacks and vegetarian chili, so I think I’d escape unscathed.

Meditation.  It’s hard.  It amazes me not only how thoughts keep coming, but how quickly I forget to ignore them.  I’m sure I’ll get better, I’ve got 38 days!

OOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM,

Be well,
Jess

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All is well.  Still eating healthy, with very little meat and dairy (seafood once a week and goat cheese once or twice).  For dinner over the last week I’ve had pad thai made with store bought sauce, rice noodles, zucchini, carrots, tofu and bean sprouts; forbidden rice with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, shrimp and a little goat cheese; vegetarian chili, and went out for sushi.  Lunches are leftovers and I also roasted vegetables and had that with a Sunshine burger; breakfast has been fruit or a smoothie with sprouted grain toast and avocado or peanut butter.  Snacks include almonds, dried fruit, soup, hummus and fruit.

Exercise has been good.  Snow shoeing, cycling, staining floors, pilates and yoga.  Tomorrow I’m going to a yoga workshop at All That Matters and a then fundraiser for Clean Ocean Access with some friends.

Overall I’m feeling good.  Haven’t lost any weight, but that’s to be expected.  I do feel a little slimmer, and fit into a few pairs of jeans a little better than a few weeks ago.  Progress is good!

Ok, now to the girl talk.  I wrote a lot more the first time, but here’s the summary.  Bascially started my period yesterday which is usually 24-48 hours of bad cramps at least one very sleepless night, and more bad cramps.  Although I tossed and turned a bit last night, the pain was minimal and today I felt good and had much more energy than I normally would.  It’s pretty cool to see how many ways food can effect you.  I’ve read alot about how eliminating dairy and animal foods can reduce PMS symptoms, but now I’m a believer.  Very cool!

Happy Friday, have a great weekend and a healthy, happy week.

40 Days of Yoga starts next week, woohoo!

Be well,
Jess

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This week has had it’s ups and downs when it comes to my attempts to eat and live healthfully.  But I think the biggest thing I realized is that I’m not a fan of deprivation.  I now remember why I encourage my clients to add in the good stuff.  We don’t focus nearly as much on removing the bad stuff, it just happens naturally.  And the more we think about what we can’t have, the more we want it.  For me, what works best to keep me away from things that are not so good for me is to connect doing them to the negative result.  Allowing refined sugar and processed foods (like breads and pasteries) back into my diet resulted in a few extra pounds.  Eating dairy makes me congested and wake up feeling crappy.  Not exercising makes me tired and adds that extra “soft tissue” that I don’t really want!  So that gets me half way there.  The other half is focusing on the good feelings doing the right thing brings.  Exercising gives me more energy, tones my body and makes me feel great.  Eating healthy food keeps my energy even throughout the day and will eventually make my attempts to shed a few pounds easier.  Not to mention, I love the taste of whole foods and experimenting with new recipes.  Eating roasted vegeatables for lunch is a treat, both in taste and the way I feel after.

So, I guess the moral of this post is that I need to continue to practice what I preach, since there’s reallly something to it!

This week, although I didn’t exercise as much as I would have liked, we did set up our bikes on trainers in our new unfinished bedroom and got up to spin two mornings this week.  I know this will continue because (a) it’s easy and convenient, and (b) Mike got into a ride this summer that’s going to kick his butt so he needs to train, so we’ll be able to support each other.  Today I’m going to a yoga workshop at Tenth Gate Yoga Center in Portsmouth.  It’s a hot yoga workshop and will be a great detox and energy boost, I can’t wait!

As for food, I’ve mainly stuck to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  I did sneak salmon in for one dinner, it just sounded really good.  Oh, and I had a chocolate truffle, but for the whole week, not bad at all.  Below are a few of the recipes I made this week.

I’d say overall, I feel good with my choices.  This week I will focus on getting in a bit more exercise and keep an eye on portions.  Sit me down with a container of hummus and its over, so I need to watch that even though I’m eating healthy, I can tend to overindulge in some places.

Have a fabulous holiday weekend.  I will be spending mine painting the new bedroom!

Be well,

Jess

Morning Smoothie

Serves 1
Ingredients:
½ Banana (to reduce sugar further use ½ an avocado)
½ cup frozen blueberries
5-6 almonds
¼ cup rolled oats
1 tbsp high quality raw protein powder (I use a Hemp powder)
1-2 tsp Maca powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1-2 prunes (optional)
Filtered water, 2-3 ice cubes

Directions
Combine all ingredients in blender.  Fill the rest with water (for Magic Bullet, or add water until desired consistency is reached).  Combine until fully blended.  If it needs to be sweeter, you can add some agave nectar or a few drops of stevia or to taste (be careful as this is quite sweet tasting- although has no effect on blood sugar).

Pinto Bean and Polenta Casserole

Ingredients:
1 can Pinto beans
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 cup Water
1 tsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, minced
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 clove Garlic, minced
½ Red pepper, chopped
1-2 Zucchini, chopped
2 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Oregano
½ cup Tomato sauce
¼ cup Water
3 cups Water
1 tsp Sea salt
1 tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Polenta
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.      Place beans in medium pot with garlic, cumin and ¼ cup of water.  Simmer 10-15 minutes.
2.      Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, salt, and garlic; sauté until soft.
3.      Add pepper, zucchini, cumin, and oregano; sauté 5 more minutes
4.      Add cooked beans to the vegetables with tomato sauce and ¼ cup water.  Salt if necessary.
5.      In the pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add salt and oil.  Slowly add polenta, stirring continuously with a whisk.  Lower heat and continue stirring in a clockwise motion with a wooden spoon for 1015 min. until mixture can hold the spoon upright on its own.
6.      Preheat over to 350.  In a lightly oiled casserole dish, spread the bean and vegetable mixture across the bottom.  Spread the polenta on top.   Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese.
7.      Bake covered for 25 minutes.  Remove cover and bake 5 minutes at 400 to brown.

*adapted from Feeding the Whole Family

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So I started out the weekend well by making it to yoga on Friday night and coming home to a yummy baked eggplant meal.  I did have a little pasta, but not much, and since Mike did put the effort into trying to find brown rice pasta, I let that one slide.  Oh, and I also had a small glass of red wine, hey, at least I got some more antioxidents =).  Saturday was good with fruit, sprouted grain toast and avocado, a veggie and Sunshine burger wrap and a veggie burrito and pumpkin soup for dinner.  Unfortunately, the margaritas caught my eye and it was all down hill from there!  Ok, so not downhill exactly, but maybe a few steps back anyway.  Sunday was a nice day of relaxing and painting, and healthy eating…until dinner.  Due to the sheet of ice covering our cars and the roads, we didn’t have the desire to go out to the store, which is when I really broke all the rules and we ordered a pizza!  It was just a cheese pizza and we did get salad, but definitely not on the plan.  The good thing was that when I woke up this morning I was reminded of how dairy effects me with a stuffy nose and puffy eyes, no fun.

Today was good, same breakfast as usual, at lunch I got lucky, the cafeteria was serving curried vegetables with brown rice, I couldn’t believe it.  I was sure I was going to be having a salad, so happy to find something warm and healthy.  For dinner I made sweet potato fries, kale, and a yellow split pea soup with mushrooms.  Below is that recipe which I got from Elana’s Pantry, a gluten free blog I subscribe to.  Yum!  Even made it to yoga tonight.  I’m back on track and plan to remove nuts and seeds tomorrow, and legumes as soon as the soup is all gone.

For exercise I really need to bump up the cardio and get some weight training in.  I plan to start riding my bike on my trainer a few times a week, as soon as we make room for them.  This weekend was a total exercise flop, although I did do a lot of painting, so it was kind of a karate kidesque training weekend =).

I have to say, I had no cravings at all last week, but once I added in alchohol and expecially the pizza, I was dying for some chocolate (which I did manage to avoid).  Pretty interesting to observe how quickly certain foods can throw our bodies out of balance and create unhealthy and hard to resist cravings.  I look forward to being back on track this week.

Ok, off to bed.  Healthy, happy dreams!

Jess

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Paprika

1 cup yellow split peas
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 quart stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 cup kale, chopped and steamed
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

Directions
1. In a medium sauce pan, bring split peas, water, bay leaves and paprika to a boil
2. Reduce and simmer for 1 hour, until peas break apart
3. Remove peas from heat, discard bay leaves and place peas in blender
4. Puree peas on high speed, until smooth, then set aside
5. In a large sauce pan, heat oil and sauté onion over medium low until translucent, 10- 15 minutes
6. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until tender
7. Stir pureed peas, stock, kale and salt into onion, mushroom mixture
8. Warm and serve

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So, I’m not sure what happened to yesterday’s post, sorry about that.  It was my best one yet!  =)

Today was good, although I found myself a bit hungry.   I’m not feeling a whole lot different, but am not having any cravings and therefore having an easy time making good choices and avoiding the foods I’m trying to.  No exercise today.  I made my best attempt to get to yoga, but was going to be too late, so skipped it.  I promise to make up for it this weekend.

Breakfast: clementine, sprouted grain toast and avocado, detox tea, kombucha

Snack: clementine

Lunch: roasted veg with a Sunshine burger (I had this yesterday too)..Sunshine burgers are my new fav, they’re just brown rice, sunflower seeds, carrot and herbs, but sooo yummy!  I had roasted a bunch of vegetables on Tuesday night while eating dinner to have for lunch the next few days (zucchini, butternut squash, onion, carrot), so for lunch I just filled a pyrex with the roasted veg and grabbed a sunshine burger from the freezer and put it on top, then at work just heated it all in the microwave.

Snack: hummus and carrots, bannana chips

Dinner- kale(same way as the other night, steamed and lightly sauted, this time with shallots and garlic), lentils and arame (recipe below), brown rice and salad.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to eliminate nuts and beans, but I have left over lentils and bought stuff to make trail mix, so I’m just going to hold strong where I’m at for another day.  If you’re wondering what’s left, it’s a lot!  Fruits, veg, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts, and seeds.  This weekend I think I’ll go down to just fruits and veg for a few days.

Time to clear the clutter!

“Do not keep anything in your home that you do not know to be useful of believe to be beautiful” William Morris

I’d suggest applying the same logic to your body.

Be well,
Jess

Red Lentils and Arame
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
2 cups red lentils
¼ cup arame  or hiziki (sea vegetables) *If unavailable try chopped spinach
1 medium chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups water
¼ tablespoon dried basil
¼ tablespoon dried cumin
1/8 tablespoon turmeric
1/8 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
Directions

1. Soak arame in cool water for 15 minutes.  Drain
2. Wash and drain lentils
3. In a medium saucepan sauté onion, garlic and cilantro
4. Add lentils and arame
5. Add water and bring to a boil
6. Add spices, tamari and umeboshi vinegar, cover and simmer for 10 minutes
7. Uncover, stir and cover again for another 10 minutes
8. Stir and simmer vigorously uncovered for 3 more minutes
9. Serve with brown rice and greens

Variation:  You can cool lentils in refrigerator and form into burgers.  Just toast in a broiler or toaster oven and serve.

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Nothing too exciting today, here’s the menu if interested.  I also swung by the gym for 30 min. on the elliptical.  yeah me!

Breakfast: yogurt, granola, and fruit (bought at caf, so probably has sugar in it, but was best choice that wasn’t processed); Eater’s Digest tea, kombucha

Lunch: cup of veg chili and black bean burger with guac and cucumbers on rye

Snack: homemade trail mix with almonds, sunflower seeds, goji, cacao and raisins; apple

Dinner: tilapia, kale (steamed then quickly sauted with lots of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil at the end…thanks for the recipe dave!), sweet potato fries

Tomorrow, bye bye meat.

Sweet dreams,

jess

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Day 1 Success

Well, day 1 was a success.  I started the day with a meditation of yoga nidra for 20 minutes, then proceeded to get ready for my first day of work.  I found getting myself out of bed to meditate wasn’t too bad when all I had to do was move myself from one room to another to lay back down!  Hey, you have to start somewhere.  First day of work was good.  I’m still not fully sure what it will be like, but all the people I’ve met have been very nice and I started with two other people who will be working on my same project, so that was nice.  I basically spent the day getting up to speed on the project and getting set up with a laptop, office supplies, badge, etc.  Also checked out the cafeteria, which wasn’t bad, but will definitely not do for my cleanse!

So for food I had:

Breakfast: I start each day with a glass of water and lately, some kind of fruit, today an orange.  Then I had sprouted grain toast with peanut butter (2 pieces) and burdock root tea.  Lunch was a turkey wrap with cream of broccoli soup, and dinner was a nice surprise when I came home to a roasted veggie and chickpea wrap with potato/sweet potato chips ready and waiting.  I finished off the day with a square of dark chocolate and one spoonful of Ben & Jerry’s!

I also managed to go to yoga after work.  So far so good!

Tomorrow I will eliminate all processed foods (refined sugar (aka, no more Ben & Jerrys), white flour, etc.)  I will need to start planning soon, or lunch will be a challenge!

Health & Wellness,

jess

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