Monday, 30 April 2012

Day 6 ~ 14 Stiches

Ok, so I had surgery on Friday, but it is still sore. Come on, 14 stitches in my finger. Ouch.

So, we were sort of lazy-ish today. We had leftover chili for lunch, pasta with white sauce for supper. For a treat, I made raw balls. I'll not allow myself to make them again till Friday. I'm not big into self control, so I pace myself.

I'm so proud of us, we came home from working our soul sucking day job, and did a Zumba workout. Wow, did I really not feel like it. But we did it. Because we are awesome. Ha!

~ Melina

We are still doing fantastically well and the energy I had to do the workout after the job all day! AMAZING! We feel awesome and are definitely going to keep going.

~ Denise

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Day 5 ~ Melina Cooks Again!

Today I was able to cook. After a brief bit of not cooking yesterday, due to very high stakes finger surgery, I was back in the saddle again. I made raw balls (from 'The Kind Diet') late last night. Super yum.

We didn't have a proper lunch today, just snacked on raw balls and hummus and pita.

Supper was going to have to be good. We happen to have a lot of potatoes in the house, so I wanted to make sliced potato roasties. But what to have with it? We did notice it was cold outside. Chilly even. Chilly, chili!!! Awesome.

Didn't really follow a recipe as such. Took some onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, kale, canned tomatoes, canned kidney beans and romano beans. Added chili powder and salt to taste.

For the potatoes I sliced really thin, brushed real lightly with canola oil and sprinkled with salt. I bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes each side. I like them toasty.

Now I'm tired. And my finger hurts.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Day 4 - Smash That Myth Up!

There is a myth out there that I can't cook. Truth is that I do not enjoy cooking at all, but I love coming up with the recipes that Melina tries out. The fact is that she does not like to allow me in 'her kitchen'. She seems to think I am chaotic. But then today she had a minor surgery on her finger and it was either let me cook or starve. Anyone who knows Melina knows she would never choose starvation.

So sit back and absorb the glory of my cooking today, and let the myth die that I am kitchen impaired!

First was a lovely lunch that looked like this:
Ezekiel Wrap pizzas! These wraps are perfect for this recipe because they get nice and crisp. For these I used an organic tomato and basil pre made pasta sauce. Just make sure yours doesn't have sugar. Then I added some onion, mushroom, red pepper, black olives and kale and threw in into the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until the edges if the wraps are crisp. I started my cooking off well, I'd say.

Far be it from me not to provide healthy snacks. Check it out!
Roasted chick peas. Drain a can and rinse well. Spread them out on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Very very lightly brush with canola oil. Put in the oven at 375. Flip them around after 15 minutes. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Flip them around. Repeat this process until they are nicely toasted and crunchy. Season as you like. We like curry powder and salt. 

Now it's time for dinner, the ultimate test. Avocado Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

This may not look as good as it was, because it was sooooooo good, fresh and yummy. And did I mention how easy this was? Put the juice of 1 small lemon and 4 cloves of garlic into a food processor. Swish about. Add 2 avocados and swirl until really creamy. Add 2 cups of raw spinach and a drained can of artichoke hearts. Swish squish and smash in the food processor. I added 2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast, seasoned to taste with salt, lots of pepper, and dried basil. Tossed it up with some cooked whole wheat penne.

What is that I smell? Is it vindication??

~ Denise

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Day 3 - The Day Zumba Could Have Killed Me

For those who don't know, Melina and I recently attempted this challenge recently and made it to day 11 before falling off the wagon. I figure it's a little like quitting smoking; sometimes it takes more than one try.

I am noticing the same things happening this time as the last, which is just further proof that the change in eating is the reason. The first change we both noticed is how much better we are sleeping. Seriously, I am sleeping like a rock! I wake up with actual energy. It's awesome.

The other thing I noticed today was how much food directly affects working out. I love to Zumba. LOVE! I grew up dancing so it is the perfect workout for me. After 11 days of our last challenge, I noticed how different my body felt when doing a crazy Zumba workout. It felt ... clean. Now today's workout, on only day 3 of the challenge, it felt a whole lot less so. You know the full body ick that happens when you hit the point of exhaustion? Yup, it was there. Like my body was trying to sweat out any remaining chemicals and refined sugar from a few days ago. 

Now, about today's food. Breakfast of nine grain bread and almond hazelnut butter. Lunch was the last of the Mexican Lasagna. I love the meal that gives tons of leftovers. :) And can I tell you how much I love a snack of an apple and almond butter? Well, I will anyway. I love it!

Supper was loosely inspired by this. Yes, we had a scramble, but the seasoning was totally different. And Melina very lightly brushed the sweet potatoes with canola oil (very lightly) to crisp them up.
I like my scramble pretty simple. This one had kale, mushrooms, red and green pepper, onion. I was seasoned with lots of black pepper, a pinch of paprika, salt, and a bit of nutritional yeast.  When it was on my plate I sprinkled some cajun seasoning salt on it that Melina doesn't like but I love. 

That's my day. On to the next!

~ Denise

The only thing I'll add it that the scramble is super, and the 'fries' were amazing. So having those again. Like tomorrow. Ha!

~ Melina

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Day 2 - Feelings Are Not For Eating

You know those days when you think 'but they were a flaming moron' should be a murder defense? I had one of those.

It started out fine. Had a lovely breakfast of 9 grain bread and almond hazelnut butter.  The bread is a delicious one from a local bakery that is carried by our grocery store. Important as it has no preservatives or assorted other ingredients that are unnameable. And the nut butter is yum. Don't get stuck in a peanut butter rut. I'm allergic to peanuts so I have widely explored the other butters, and they are so amazing. I think my favourite is cashew. So great.

We had leftovers from last night's Mexican Lasagna  for lunch. Might be even better the next day,

Work was tough. Not food wise. I had a  yummy apple on my break. But it was generally crappy. One of those days that can sometimes drive me to eat my feelings. My binge of choice is chips and dip. Oh, how I love the salty goodness. To kill the craving I substituted air popped popcorn dipped in sriracha. I've mentioned before that I won't give it up in spite of the sugar because I love it so much, but I use less than a teaspoon at a time. Craving killed!

Then I wanted something comforting for supper, and what is more comforting than pasta? I'll let Melina tell you how she made it. She's cooking now. It will heal me, I can tell.

~ Denise

I make my white pasta sauce like I would normally, with the exception of using oil to sauté, and there is no processed vegan cheese item of any kind. I just use some organic brown rice flour to thicken. And I usually add kale. So good.

Also, for dessert, I made mochi. I LOVE mochi. I lightly brush a non-stick pan with a drop of oil. put some cut up pieces of mochi on it, cover, flip in a few minutes, cover, and it's done when it looks all puffy.

Maple syrup or brown rice syrup over the top of the hot mochi is heaven. I used maple syrup tonight. Brilliant.

~ Melina

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Day 1 - Ready, Set, GO!

Today has been great. It feels so good to be back on track. And what do two ladies eat on their very first day of a challenge? Morning started with Ezekiel Cereal. Tastes a lot like Grape Nuts, but is even more filling. A little goes a very long way.

Then came lunch.  Melina made hummus from a recipe that came from the Engine 2 book. I should say she adapted it from the recipe, as she does her best work when left to her own devices. I don't think she measured anything, and it was damn good. It is a very light tasting hummus. Taking the oil and tahini out does change the texture, but it was fantastic on my sandwich of whole wheat pita, mushrooms, tomato and avocado with lots of pepper. She had hers with toasted pita wedges. YUM!

Should take a second to note, be careful when buying whole wheat pita. READ INGREDIENTS! I thought the one I always purchased was fine until I read the ingredients and found out there was white flour in it. YUCK! Unlike bread loaves, pita does not usually say the percentage whole wheat and it is easy to assume that it's 100% when it isn't.

Now tonight we are having a favourite, and I am so friggin' excited. I can smell it cooking now. Mexican Lasagna (photos of the process included)! If you love mexican food, then try this. If you have kids, then try this. Just try this!!

Another thing to get used to is frying vegetables without oil. It actually works really well. Just put the water in the pan and add the onions or whatever, and sauté as usual. Add water as it evaporates. It gives the food a nice flavour to do it this way because it makes a quite flavourful brothy base. I think I prefer it this way. Who knew!

On to tomorrow.

~ Denise

30 Days of Whole Food

This is our second attempt at this and we realized that we missed a big and fun opportunity last time. With all of the questions we received, we wondered why the heck we hadn't blogged the entire process? Sometimes we get by on our looks.

One of the reasons we decided to do this is that we watched the amazing documentary 'Forks Over Knives'. For us, the evidence presented was incontrovertible. In the midst of the backlash that has happened, I have read a lot of the criticism, but nothing has managed to debunk for me the entire and vast amount of data presented. And don't get me started about the individuals in the film! There is no denying their improved health. I want to be one of them. And I hope everyone I love watches this, especially if you are worried about heart disease or cancer.

So here we go, embarking on a whole foods plant based diet. We haven't been eating meat or dairy anyway, so one of the questions we got was 'what changes do you really need to make?'  Well, here is a bit of what is meant by this program.

- no processed food
- no refined sugar (think instead of maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup)
- no white flour, white pasta or white rice
- lots of whole grains (for us mainly brown rice and quinoa)
- lots of beans and legumes (black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chick peas ... YUM)
- no / low oil
- lots and lots of veggies and fruit

Tofu, seitan and tempeh are also ok, but the protein is mainly from the beans and legumes. I am personally holding on to my Sriracha sauce. It has sugar in it but damn I love it and frankly I think you use so little in a serving that it can't be awful. It may sound restrictive, but if this blog shows anything I hope it shows that there is so much AMAZING food and you don't have to feel like you are suffering. It is a change of habits, and that is hard, but it's also exciting to find so much new food and feel so amazing!

Gratuitous cute-cat pic to illustrate health and wellness:
~ Denise