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.