Sinus Smog

I feel like I’m trapped in some sinus induced smog.  Its yucky and all of my food tastes like cardboard.  There’s nothing worse than trying to eat food when everything tastes like mushy gruel.  Enough gross out language for today…. I’m going to quit my whining and leave you with this beauty:

011.JPGThis is the only thing that’s tasted good to me in a few days, and boy does it taste good.  This was my first time trying the Cashew Milk “Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert” aka ice cream, and it was lightyears better than the coconut or almond milk based equivalents.  It was so much creamier that it didn’t have the mouth feel of being dairy free at all.

Highly recommend.

What’s your go to when you’re sick? I know soup is the biggie, but when you can’t taste anything my brain is pretty convinced I’m trying to ingest dirty dish water.  Blerg.  Escarole and Bean soup from Pelham Pizzeria is the exeption; this has been one of the few things that has tasted incredible to me the past few days.  Mister had the foresight to order me extra when we were there this past Sunday, and I’m milking the quart for all its worth.  Its definitely made in house and I think even assembled per order because even if you ask for it to go, there’s a bit of a wait and it comes out crazy hot.  There’s tons of oil, garlic, pancetta, and goodness.  Plus there’s greens, so its healthy.  I promise.  Only a few days after my botched juice cleanse and I’ve devolved to ice cream and pancetta.

I tried pasta, but the mush in my mouth without flavor was hard to stomach.  Same goes for steamed veggies.  I’ve snuck some veggies into my system via Garden Lites chocolate chip banana muffins, which come frozen and are made with zucchini and some other good stuff.  Man those are really good.

 

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Modified Juice Cleanse, Final Day

Yesterday was the last day of my juice cleanse attempt, but I still have a handful of juices leftover that I’ll spread over the next few days.

The one benefit that I noticed from both this cleanse and my last one, is that I don’t crave junk food anymore.  The past few weeks I was scarfing popcorn, chips, and snacks like it was my job.  Eliminating all processed foods for three days helped me refocus my cravings, even if it was only a placebo effect.

Most of yesterday’s juices were the same as Day 1 and 2, with the addition of Formula #6: Carrot, Apple, Ginger.  This one had a crazy strong ginger finish, but in a way that it felt like it was kicking the cold and germs right out of my system.  Definitely prefer this one to the carrot and apple plain version.

Dinner last night was the same as Day 2, with the addition of some za’atar dressing.  If you haven’t had za’atar, its a savory, middle eastern spice mix.  I picked up an adorable little mason jar of the mix combined with olive oil at the Bronxville farmer’s market a few months ago and always forget to use it.  It adds depth of flavor to basic veggies by adding just a drizzle before eating.

Hopefully this week, and next, I’ll be able to stay on track with more nutritionally dense foods, and stay away from the tortilla chips.  Keeping my eye on the prize, this belly has to be bikini ready for Mister and I’s trip to Puerto Rico next weekend!!

Modified Juice Cleanse, Day 2

Since being prescribed antibiotics for a sinus infection, my original plan for a three day juice cleanse was derailed.  Trying to see the positive in this situation, I refocused my efforts on eating only whole foods, nothing processed, no meat, no dairy, for a minimum of three days, in addition to about half the juices.  I theorize that my body can use all the extra vitamins and nutrition it can get to help me feel better.

In addition to my morning Formula 2, I had the following juices [All juices from Pure Food and Drink in Tuckahoe, NY]:

  • Formula #13: Carrot, Apple
  • Formula #8: Green Apple, Cucumber, Grapefruit, Mint
  • Formula #14: Pomegranate, Orange, Beet

The #13 didn’t do too much for me taste wise, I almost wish it was thicker and I could’ve heated it up as soup.  I’m sure that defeats some of the nutritional benefits of pressed juices.

The #8 felt like a refreshing cocktail, I would definitely grab this in the summer.  Unfortunately, the combination of snowy winter weather and being sick has left my bones feeling cold, so I’m craving more hearty and comforting versus refreshing.

The #14 was terrible at first sip, then it grew on me and I actually finished it pretty quickly.  The beet flavor is very overwhelming, but in a weird way, hit that comfort food feeling I was craving.

I picked up some of these Mary’s Gone Crackers “Super Seed” crackers at Stop&Shop on my way home from work, along with some dinner ingredients.  I only had a few, but the texture is much lighter than I was anticipating and they have a great black pepper/sesame flavor that was perfect after all the juice.  I’m not sure if everyone would qualify these as an unprocessed food, but for me, these are “cleanse approved.”  Especially since I’m pretty much making up the rules as I go along.

I was craving something warm and flavorful for dinner, but wanted to stick to meat and dairy free.

A very ginormous baked potato went in the toaster oven for about an hour or so, while I got started on the veggies.  A container of mixed baby kale and baby spinach, a few sliced baby portobella mushrooms, a yellow pepper, and a shallot were cooked up in a scoop of coconut oil.  I added the kale/spinach a handful at a time, intermittently while the whole thing was cooking to vary the texture; leaving some barely cooked, and some cooked all the way down.

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The game changer for this meal, slathering the baked sweet potato with roasted red pepper hummus.  I got the idea from Googling vegan, vegetarian, and cleanse related recipes.  Personally, the idea seemed weird but the texture and flavor worked so well that I can’t wait to have it again for dinner tonight.

Juice Cleanse Day 1, Hiccup

Juice  #1 (Formula 2) Kale, cucumber, Lemon Apple, Basil012.JPG

Review: This is so much better than Formula #1, and  so yum.  It doesn’t taste super sweet, or too much like grass.  It feels healthy though, light and refreshing. Great start to the day.

 

Juice #2 (Formula 4) Cucumber, Celery, Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne

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Review: NOPE.  This one was a nope.  It was like trying to drink a spicy salad that someone liquified.  Awful.  I love all things ginger (ginger chews, ginger kombucha) and I don’t mind the Cayenne/Lemon drinks, but this whole combination was just awful.  Seriously.  No.

Juice #3 (Formula 3): Apple, Pear, Pineapple, Mint, Wheat grass

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Review: I could drink this baby all day.  So much sweeter than Formula #2, but I totally get that its basically all fruit juice so that’s to be expected.

About ten minutes after finishing this one the nausea hit.  And the headache.  I figured this was all part of the mystical detox that people warn you about.  But then the lingering sore throat I’ve had for a few days ramped its vengeance up and attacked full force.  I felt dizzy and all around gross.  I figured I wasn’t going to get much done at work, so I visited my local walk in urgent care just to be on the safe side.

Diagnosis: Sinus infection.  The doctor specifically said, “Eat a ton of food with this medicine or you’ll regret it.” Jerk sinuses.  So I have no idea if my plague made me feel like butt, or the cleanse; what was helping and what was hurting will be a mystery.  But I didn’t want to just throw my positive choices out the window, especially with a beach trip coming up next week.

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So I ignored my fourth juice, ate some almonds while waiting at the doctor and then came home and fixed this simple salad up.  I was afraid that eating anything too heavy might be worse than eating nothing at all, so this seemed like a really safe compromise.

Shredded romaine, steamed sweet potato, avocado, pico de gallo.  I did have juice #5 (coconut water, pineapple, lime) with this, and some antibiotics.  Unfortunately, the doctor was right about regretting not eating a lot with the meds so I forced myself to eat a handful of Ritz crackers for dessert.

Today I’ve decided to stick with eating the best I can to help my body heal, and to work on improving my nutritional intake at the same time.  I know I need to focus on eating more whole foods, and limiting processed items, sugar, and snacks.

I started Juice Cleanse Day 2 with half a cup of oats, cooked with cashew butter.  Followed by my meds and a Formula #2 juice.  So far so good.

 

 

Juice Cleanse: Pure Food and Drink (Tuckahoe)

Having done a juice cleanse from Pure Food and Drink in Tuckahoe before, I was totally on board with joining a friend whom mentioned she was doing a cleanse (from a different source). From my first round, I knew it would be nice to have someone to push you along, and remind you that you’re not crazy for ingesting nothing but juice for a few days!

Before I say anything else, I want to disclaim that I’m not a medical or health professional in any sense; I just like trying new things that help my body be at its best.  I like the idea of using a juice cleanse to kick sugar/carb/processed food cravings and or habits, and after my past few weeks of cookies, meatballs, and junk I need this.

The day or two leading up the cleanse, I wanted to make sure I set myself up for an easier transition.  This meant focusing on getting in lots of veggies and doing my best to limit processed foods.

Yesterday I managed to score a Groupon for Pure which made me that much more excited to get started.  I called a few hours ahead of time, to make sure I would be able to pick up what I needed, and they were great at packing everything up for me when I arrived.

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There are six juices per day, and the folks are Pure make sure to label each bottle, then put each set of six in a labeled bag so there isn’t too much guess work.  I did know from my last round, that I really didn’t like the taste of one of the formulas, and they were gracious enough to make sure to leave it out this time. For the record, it was the Formula 1: kale, cucumber, celery, parsley.   I’ve decided I like my juices better when they have some fruit in the mix, even if they’re not the *best* for the overall game plan.  I subbed the Formula 2 for the Formula 1’s this time around, and when I cracked the first one open this morning I was very glad I did!

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Its got enough sweetness that it doesn’t taste like grass clippings, and its not so sweet that my sugar levels get spiked.  The juices are ordered in such a way to control any sugar spikes, and to keep energy levels on point throughout the day (i.e. high sugar mid day, then low before bed again)

I love that the label says, “You are your #1 investment!”  The price of juice cleanses, and the hipster/fancy pants mystique, tend to turn people off of the idea.  They are expensive, yup, I’m totally on board with you there.  With the Groupon it was $125 for three days.  But, I look at it as an investment.  For $125 I’m focusing on my health, and I’m realigning my nutritional goals.  Think about all the money you’ve spent at the bar, or on shoes lately, or even add up all of those morning bagels and coffees.  In all honesty, spending $125 on the cleanse makes me take it more seriously, and want to really commit to creating better habits.

Okay, rant over.  Phew.  I’ll post an update tomorrow on how Day #1 went!

Meatball Meatball Meatball

I’m a big fan of meatballs.  When I was introduced to the world of home made meatballs my love only deepened.

The problem in our house has always been, however, that Mister prefers softy and bready, and I prefer a nice crunchy exterior.  I think that’s why we’re always experimenting with different recipes trying to find the perfect compromise.

119 I’m very pleased to announce that we found that perfect compromise.  We both loved the flavor (lots of sausage was a plus for me) and the texture (crockpot gave them that softness Mister prefers).  This is definitely looking like a long-term recipe relationship, which is why I’m posting it here to be saved forever.

I’m always an advocate of making your own sauce, but let be real; if I’m using the crockpot I’m sure as heck not making a real pot dirty.  I’m all about easy clean-up.

I had gifted some of this local sauce (available at Hannaford) during the holidays, so I wanted to try some for ourselves.  (that is probably horrible gifting etiquette, I’m sorry to everyone who has ever received an untested gift from me)

The ingredients were honest, and the taste was spot on.  The sausage, meaty, cheesy goodness smothered in this bright tomato flavor was so good.   Of course we added to the gluttony by toasting up some ciabatta from Sam’s Club (we were there for other things, I just happen to like buying bread in bulk), covering with meatballs, Parmesan and mozzarella and broiling.  Then adding more sauce.

128.JPGI wish the computer had taste-o-vision….for me just as much as for you right now.

Weekend of Little Things

This past weekend was all about appreciating a few days of little blessings, bonuses, and benefits.

  1. We found an incredibly soft blanket at Sam’s Club that I couldn’t stop raving over like a total lunatic.  Mister wasn’t as enthusiastic, but hey, we can’t all be in the blanket enthusiast club.                                         076
  2. The weather was so warm and sunny on Sunday that we had a really pleasant walk at the golf course, and had to actually take off some layers towards the end.  This is not something we usually experience for January.091
  3. We had two very tired, complacent bulldogs after said walk whom immensely enjoyed the previously described new blanket.

     

    4. Found a new snack from Trader Joes: Sour Gummie Ts & Js with no artificial flavors or colors.

    5. Tried out the Flight Fitness class at Flight Trampoline Park in Colonie AND got to spend time with a friend.084