Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A month of GREENs :D

I want to make an effort for the next 4 weeks to eat some greens at every meal. I started my new plan yesterday, so I'll be making this a priority until July 20th and then evaluate how I did and how I feel about it.

Greens are easy for breakfasts where I do green smoothies - it's a mandatory ingredient! :) If I do a breakfast on the run though, I usually just eat a piece of fruit, so I'll have to be more careful there to try to include spinach or romaine another way. I guess the best option would really be to plan ahead and make sure I'm making a green smoothie before I head out the door.

Lunches shouldn't be too much trouble either. I usually have lunch alone at home, in which case its easy to do another green smoothie or throw together a salad. If I eat lunch out with Mom, then we usually pick somewhere with an interesting salad I can get. The trickiest part will be during weekend lunches with Li. I don't have a good strategy figured out for those days yet. Hopefully just making it a priority will make it happen! :)

Dinners should be pretty easy to handle also. Whatever else is going on, it's always easy to toss together a salad, especially if I can stay prepared with romaine in the salad spinner. Then it's a no brainer.

Yesterday, breakfast was a green smoothie with spinach. Lunch was salad (some romaine but mostly iceberg I think) left overs from Olive Garden. Dinner Li and I had a huge bowl of romaine salad that we shared. Day one success!! :D

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baking Soda and non-toxic cleaning

I cleaned with baking soda for the first time yesterday and I think I kinda liked it! I used it in 3 different ways and all seemed good. I liked it! Here's what I did.

1) My bedroom has seemed a bit stinky the last few days. I'm not sure if it's just because winter's over and we've had the windows closed for a long time, or if it's from years of Max puking/peeing on our carpets, or if it's because I'm just more sensitive to it because I'm pregnant. Maybe some combo of the above, but I haven't been thrilled with how it has smelled. So I started by spreading some baking soda all over the carpet and let it sit for about half an hour. I tested a smaller patch with my vacuum first to make sure that it wasn't going to cause a vacuum problem. Then I vacuumed it all up. I'm not 100% sure if it made a difference or not but it sure didn't hurt. I am going to try it on carpet all over my house.

2) In a further attempt to deodorize, I mixed some lemon juice with baking soda and have left a bowl of it in the room. It is supposed to suck up the smells. Again, not sure it's done anything but it doesn't smell bad. After these 2 bedroom techniques, so far I haven't smelled that bedroom smell I was displeased with. I want to give it a few more days to judge for sure but so far, so good!

3) Then I used baking soda to clean our bathroom tub. It took a LOT of elbow grease. I could really see the allure of scrubbing bubbles, which claim to do the scrubbing for you. But the tub and the faucets were clean and shiny by the time I was done. I had let a lot of dirt build up though so maybe if I do this every week, scrubbing won't be so hard. I didn't notice a huge difference in how clean the grout looked though, but I've heard maybe if the grout is stained, you should try some vinegar first and then baking soda after that, so I still have a shot with that. And it's not like dirty grout is so easy to clean, even with toxic cleaning products, so I will keep trying. After the tub was clean, I filled it with water and soaked a few lemon rinds overnight and left the bathroom alone.

When I went into it the first time this morning, the tub was so sparkily and let me tell you, it smelled pretty darn good too. Sort of like baking lemon bread. I would much rather my bathroom smell like that than some harsh cleaning product (especially Ka-boom, gross!) It's pretty pleasant all around.

My butt is sore from how hard I had to scrub the tub though, so if washing it weekly needs that much scrubbing, I'll either have some great ass muscles, or I'll give it up because it's too much work. But I'm definitely going to look into more non-toxic cleaning methods in the future.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Oh what a difference a Blendtec makes! :)

I just threw together a raw recipe that would not have been possible without my lovely Blendtec blender. I'm eating it right now and it's pretty darn good!

Strawberry Cream
1/2 c almonds, soaked, water discarded
1-2 c strawberries
1-2 bananas

Mix together!

I thought this would work best in a food processor so I started there with the almonds and ground them up finely. Then I added the fruits (using the bigger sizes listed) and I processed away.

Well, after a minute or two, I realized the almonds just weren't getting crushed up enough. So basically it was straw-banana mash with ground almonds. Er, not what I was looking for. I tasted and the flavor was pretty good, but the chunks of almonds were really a deal breaker. It was just unpalatable.

So now I was trying to decide what to do. Throw the whole thing out and chalk it up to another raw recipe that just isn't for me, or throw it in the Blendtec on the off chance that it could do the job the food processor wasn't? I didn't really want to dirty up two appliances that are hand wash only, but I also didn't want to waste all this food! So Blendtec it was.

The Blendtec did an awesome job whipping this into an actual cream like substance. It's still a bit gritty but 100% better than what the food processor was doing to it. I probably could have tried letting it blend longer but I'm still getting used to the blender and I wasn't sure if it was going to be heating up my food. Warm strawberry cream didn't really appeal to me all that much either! But this is really good the way it is and I'm so happy that the Blendtec came through and saved the day. I can't believe what a difference it made.

After I eat this, I was going to try another raw recipe to throw in the dehydrator and I was thinking the food processor would be best, but now I'm throwing things straight into the Blendtec. Plus the Blendtec is so fast and easy to clean that it's really painless. It's not like the dang food processor that is going to be sitting around waiting for me to hand wash it. Yay!

This recipe filled a cereal-sized bowl completely to the top. It is way, way too much for one person to eat. At the minimum, I need to cut it in half next time and even that is still going to be a lot. I'm not sure how well it will save but I'm sure I can't eat it all. It's good though. It tastes almost like the filling from a strawberry jello pie or something. It's kinda fluffy though mine is runnier than a pie filling would be.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I got a Blendtec Total Blender for Christmas!! AHH I'm so excited!! It works like a dream. We've already made 8 things in it and we've only had it for one day. It's so easy to clean that it makes me want to cry with the amt of time I've spent cleaning my other stupid blender. Green Smoothies and raw recipes - here I come!! :D

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Start of a new RAW week!

So my husband has agreed to do all raw dinners this week - Monday through Friday. I'm planning on giving him a green smoothie for dinner and then hopefully find some raw desserts to make for him too. I don't want him falling back on cookies or candy or ice cream or anything not raw for this week. It's an experiment to see how we can help his heart burn at night. It's doing way better with the fruit juice for breakfast but we still aren't up to 100% with it. He says he wants to try to have it under control without meds by October when we go to Disney World. I really, truly believe it will help him a lot, but the real question will be if he will have the will power to do the raw dinners. He's going to have his choice of whatever he wants for lunch at work. If he wants to go out, fine, if he wants to bring stuff from home, fine. It's all up to him.

But breakfasts will be juice (strawberry, pineapple, grapefruit, romaine, tomato, cucumber, orange, pear, plum, watermelon mix). For the green in my green smoothies, I picked up a collection of kale, collard greens, romaine, and a spring mix. Fruits will probably be just bananas, strawberry and honeydew melon. Everything else is a little too much for my cruddy blender and we'll be left with ickie chunks. I'm so excited for this week and I'm going to be STRONG and not give in when he pouts and wants other food. This is just an experiment for one week! We can make it through one week without cooked dinners. I'm also hoping for no wine! No alcohol! No beer! That one is always a mighty big struggle. Wine just makes dinner so much more enjoyable.

But I don't care how much he pouts, how much he begs, whines, makes sad faces. He's eating the danged green smoothies and staying raw after work. It's just one week! We can do it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Menstural Miracle?

I get horrible menstrual cramps. It's been a problem since I was around 13ish, so definitely a big, huge, long-term problem. In my quest to become more healthy, eat more raw, eat less junk and crud and synthetic stuffs, I have cut out Ibuprofen. Previously, I was taking 3-6 every day, starting right when I got up in the morning and then as needed through out the day. I started this routine at the recommendation of my doctor who was trying to help me control my cramps. She said if I built up drugs in my system, it would help during that time of the month. And she was right, it was helpful. It didn't solve the problem but it helped. I also tried pretty much any other cure anyone said might work and bought all sorts of products and pills. Nothing was great. I also tried a bunch of prescription drugs over the years. One of them prescribed to me was Vioxx (now pulled from the market) and I had a horrible reaction to it. Basically, I've been suffering for years and trying every possible thing under the sun, and still in pain every month.

Except for this month.

What changed? Well, I'm not 100% sure yet. I've been struggling with my amount of raw food intake. I'm down to about 30% at this point and some days I'm not even making that. I'm planning on making a big push starting next week to be near 100% but these last few weeks were just a bit of a struggle. I was expecting raw food to help reduce some of the pain for me, but last month, where I was at a much higher raw %, I am not sure I've never had more pain. I knew giving up the Ibuprofen was going to be difficult but I had no idea it was going to be that bad. So last month raw was definitely not helping me. But it is possible that with another month of more raw foods that it's finally starting to help.

The other thing I changed in the last week or so was to start taking pH pills. I recently finished a book called The pH Miracle for Diabetes. I'm not worried about diabetes, I was just interested in the pH part of the book. It pretty much goes hand and hand with raw foods. The more raw you eat, the better your pH level should be. Your pH should be around 7.3 ish. I tested my pH this past Friday and was at 5.5. I thought mine would be way, way better after several months of so many more fruits and vegetables than I usually eat. The book recommended adding pH drops to your water but I couldn't find them in stores, so I got pH pills to take in the morning and before bed. I want to wait a full week of the pills to test my pH again so I don't know how it's changed, or if it's even changed at all. What I do know is I have no pain and it is so unusual and wonderful.

I'll keep updating about this pH situation as I learn more about it and how my body feels. No woman should have to suffer through what I've been going through for days out of every month for the last 15ish years and if I could find a cure for it, I would love to share it with everyone! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 2 of my Green Smoothie Fast

Day 2, completed! I'm kinda getting ready for real food again. Part of the reason I was so interested in doing just green smoothies for a week was because I was fed up trying to make raw recipes that took me forever, seemed to dirty every dish in the house, and didn't really come out tasting all that good to me. But now, I'm ready to try some again, hahaha I miss avocado... and onion... Mmm...

Today I was really successful because my mother wanted to go out and about and go try fun places for lunch. I told her up front what my dietary requirements were and said that I'd be happy to go with her but I'd be drinking my green smoothie. She fussed about it at first but when I didn't back down she gave in. I made my smoothie, put it in a pitcher and packed it into an ice chest. We went out and did stuff, she picked up what she wanted for lunch, and we had a lovely picnic in a forest preserve. Her sandwich did look really good though. Mine was another from Green for Life. It was an orange, a banana, a cup of grapes and romaine (and sprouts, not part of the recipe). It was actually really tasty, but again, due to owning a poor blender, it had scary chunks in it that made it kind of unappealing. At least I chewed my smoothie a lot!

For dinner, I made a smoothie with half of a honeydew melon and a head of romaine (and sprouts, not part of the recipe again). I tasted after blending and it was wayyyy too green for me still. I added a peeled lime.. now it was just bland nothing... some pineapple for sweetness... not much change... I gave in and added raw agave :P It was pretty good then, but chunky from the lime/pineapple additions. It would make a very refreshing drink on a hot day though. My husband (thankfully feeling better today!) made his wonderful, delicious, tasty, yummie homemade fried rice. It's really just amazingly good. I grabbed his bowl a few times and inhaled deeply but didn't taste! Yay for willpower, haha. I really want to complete this whole week raw though so I didn't let it stop me from my green smoothie drinking.

I hope some of this solid food cravings go away for tomorrow though.