Posts Tagged ‘Food cleanse’

Side effects may include…and for me they do!

April 28, 2010

Have you ever listened to a drug commercial and after hearing the possible side effects wondered who would take the drug? The tone of the commercial or insert would lead you to believe that the side effects are rare.  I question how rare they can be.  After all, a side effect is like a weed.  It is only a side effect because it isn’t the reason you are taking the drug–just like a weed is a weed because it isn’t growing where you want it.

For a complete explanation, you can check out this Medterms website

Let’s use Aspirin as an example.   Aspirin does a lot of things in the body.  It makes the blood thinner and decreasing clotting, it relieves pain, it lowers fever, and it decreases inflammation.  If you are taking an aspirin a day for heart health, you are taking it to decrease clotting.  If you are taking if for head ache, you are taking it for pain.  However, the aspirin doesn’t know you only want it to relieve the pain, so if you are taking it for a headache, it still decreases your clotting and decreases inflammation.  Those are the side effects.

It turns out, I seem to notice and experience side effects of almost every medication I have to take.  But, you know, those side effects can be sneaky and subtle and can easily be confused for another problem.  It takes diligence to read the inserts and know how the medication’s side effects can be experienced.  Too often, the side effect is treated as a separate problem and a new medicine is prescribed to relieve the symptom, when really it only required a different medication in the first place.

This can be tricky, though, if a person is taking a number of medications, like I am.  As I was reviewing my recent symptoms (thank you to all my friends for pointing out that I have been complaining of them for a while and needed to do something about them), I have come to realize that the side effects of several of my medications are all the same.

All I can say, is Good Luck Docs, in figuring out which ones to change.

In the meantime, I am doing everything in my power to take my health back and do away with all these unhealthy chemicals called drugs.

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Eating out doesn’t mean eating unhealthy.

April 19, 2010

Eating out doesn’t mean eating unhealthy foods, or giving up on the cleanse.  Eating on the cleanse has been fun and pretty simple and easy the past several weeks.  And with minimal appearances by lettuce during that time.  But, there comes a times when eating out is on the agenda and it can seem daunting to eat out, enjoy the meal with others and still eat healthily.  That was my challenge this past weekend.

With family visiting from out of town (and one of them is a chef, so knows good food) and a schedule that was a little on the time constraint side, it might have seemed a challenge to eat foods on the cleanse without eating lettuce salads. But, most restaurants offer something that fits the bill.  Now, I will admit that in some smaller towns, finding vegetarian fare that isn’t based around salads might be more challenging than in a big city, but you can always ask for what works for you.

Friday evening was a stay-home-finish-laundry-get-the-house-ready evening.  And after a full week of work, the food needed to be easy and comforting.  So, what is easier than vegetarian fried rice and my favorite fast food, spring rolls.  Warm and flavorful rice and cool and easy spring rolls with a rich peanut sauce.  My idea of a healthy take out meal.  Yum.  But easy to make at home also.

Then, lunch out at a wonderful, local, Interior Mexican cuisine restaurant here in Austin–Sázon. Lots of healthy choices on the menu, but how could I pass up Calabazitas Rellenas–steamed tender squash stuffed with roasted corn and serve with fresh roasted tomato salsa. Light and healthy and delicious.   Then dinner that evening at Kerbey Lane with potato flautas, guacamole and pico de gallo.  While the flautas are deep fried, they are far from greasy and it was wonderful warm food during a cool thunderstorm.

Finally, Sunday morning brunch at 24 Diner for divine slow cooked steel cut oatmeal with apples and brown sugar and vegetarian sausage (made from beets and lentils and rice and flaxseed).  I am going to search for this recipe.  It was delicious.

Then back to cooking at home again last night.  A rainy, cool day just begged for a warming hearty stew, so it was time for Green Chile Stew and garlic toast (wheat free bread of course).  How warming and comforting and just plain good.

Now, on the third week of the cleanse, it might be time to add in some lettuce.  But, then again, maybe not.

Kale Salad–how to play with your food without getting into trouble!

April 16, 2010

I love salads and have no problems with lettuce, but there are so many other wonderful leafy vegetables to enjoy.  One of my favorites is Kale.  There are several varieties available, each with a slightly different taste.  My favorite is curly leave Kale.  However, it can sometimes have a bitterness to it’s taste if not cooked or treated correctly.  My favorite recipe for kale in a salad type dish comes from my friend Sylvia, who is an awesome raw-foods chef.

When my energy is low, or I am just feeling tired and fatigued, this recipe always perks me up.  It is easy to make and I love it because you really get to feel and play with your food while making this dish.  Don’t let the instructions scare you–you get to become a kid again, play with your food and not get in trouble:)

Click here for the recipe for Mediterranean Kale Salad.

My new favorite fast food–spring rolls with peanut sauce.

April 14, 2010

Still no lettuce, but lots of good veggies.  It was time to make portable food for lunch and dinner–eat in the car kind of food.  While it isn’t hard to buy spring rolls already made, they often have meat or tofu, which aren’t part of the cleanse or my diet. I decided to make my own. They are so easy and yummy!  And portable. And inexpensive!  And everyone can choose what they want in their own spring roll.  I love it when everyone gets to “have it their way”.

The peanut sauce can be modified easily to fit your taste and to not run down your arm while you are eating it:)

Still feeling great, lots of energy and ready to enjoy some really good, gooey cheesy tex-mex soon!  And a glass of wine. Looking forward to a big get together soon at a favorite Mexican food restaurant.  Suggestions for THE BEST place in Austin to eat gooey, cheesy Tex-Mex?

Continuing with the brief presence of lettuce

April 12, 2010

Ok, so lettuce once again appeared on the menu, but only in passing.  It was once again time for a junk food fix–but of course, it had to be healthy junk food (is that an oxymoron?!) so, what could be better than Mexican food.  Yep, good old fashioned tex-mex.  But easy and healthy and inexpensive which are all really good things on a Saturday after cleaning house all day.

So, Chalupas and spanish rice–yum. So easy and so filling.

Sunday was one of my favorite comfort food days–kale with chickpeas and nuts over mashed potatoes and fruit salad.  Easy, so good for you and I love the creaminess of the potatoes with the wonderful rich taste of the kale.

This cleanse has been so easy.  While we did add a little cheese to the chalupas, with the avocado it was creamy and rich enough i would have been just as happy to leave it off.  And, I feel really good.

So, what about favorites like hamburgers?

April 9, 2010

One of the hardest things for many people is giving up the comfort foods, the familiar foods, the high fat, high sugar foods that we are used to to satisfy our mouth hunger.  I am fortunate to live in a city where veggie burgers are often on the menus and almost every hamburger place in town offers a veggie burger option.  My challenge is that many vegetarian options are made from soy–tofu or Textured Vegetable Protein, which I cannot eat.  But, there are some options available that are made from whole grains and just vegetables.  And, there are some wonderful options for vegetarian burgers at home, either commercially prepared or home made.

Morningstar Farms

My favorite commercially prepared veggie burger used to be  from Morningstar Farms called the spicy black bean burger.  It can be grilled, broiled or fried. But, unfortunately, it contains soy and wheat gluten.

But, you can easily make your own that doesn’t include those ingredients if you want.  If you make the bean patties yourself, they are easy, freeze well and can make a healthy, hearty quick meal or snack.  Plus they are cheap. Put it on a spelt or gluten free toasted bun with tomato, lettuce, avocado and mustard, it is delicious. Add some potato chips and cabbage slaw with vinaigrette, a few pickles to top it off, and it is wonderfully satisfying.

I love Chinese food, but some of my favorite dishes can be challenging because of the noodles.  Fortunately, there are many alternatives to traditional wheat pasta, especially in the Oriental food isle.  I love fried rice and but Lomein is also a favorite.  And, it can be made with soba noodles (which are made with buckwheat, which really isn’t related to wheat).  It is easy, and best of all, inexpensive.  

Like most of us, I eat on a budget, so easy, inexpensive dishes are great for me.  It is important that I be able to eat healthy, still afford the food and support our planet.  These meals do that.

And, finally, my favorite party or large gathering dish (but it can just as easily serve one).  It is made up of whatever sounds good to you at the time and/or you have leftover in the frige.  I call it the Baja bowl (but Sherry eats it in a tortilla too.) Add some chips and guacamole and you have a meal fit for a restaurant!

So, while lettuce made a brief appearance, and it will come back occasionally, it is so exciting to me to realize I can healthy and have a huge variety of foods in my diet.  I hope some of you will share some of your favorite healthy recipes as well.

Eating out is fun and healthy–even on the cleanse

April 6, 2010

Two weeks of cooking and eating healthy has been wonderful.  We have had a variety of foods, lots of ethnic diversity and I feel great–not so sluggish or bloated.  I have plenty of energy to work out 5 days a week (well, the workouts are kicking my butt, but not due to lack of energy) and I have lost 6 pounds.  But, I love eating out too.  It is such a treat to eat foods, made by someone with skill and time, that I don’t have the equipment, time or desire to make for myself.

Last night was one of those nights.  The big dilemma became–where to go?  And we chose Mama Fu’s. Yummmmm.  Veggie Basil Spring Rolls with peanut sauce and Spicy Thai Basil Noodle Bowl with veggies.  So much food, I get to have it again today for lunch!  What a treat.

Now, tonight it is back to cooking, but have a great menu planned. Check back tomorrow for tonights recipes. (P.S. still no lettuce tonight).

OK, finally, some lettuce–but only briefly!

April 5, 2010

Days 4, 5, 6 & 7 have come and gone in the cleanse with barely a leaf of lettuce on the menu.  I do have to admit, though, that I like lettuce and salads, so I am glad to see it make an appearance.  I hope you enjoy these recipes.

April 1, 2010:  Baked potatoes with sauteed mushrooms and onions topping and Green leaf lettuce and fresh vegetable salad with olive oil vinaigrette.  I love baked potatoes and this topping is rich and meaty tasting without all the fat and calories of normal toppings.

April 2, 2010:  Black bean nachos with guacamole.  What a great way to use up any leftover black beans, plus they are high in iron and it feels like eating junk food (a great way to trick the mind so it doesn’t feel deprived!)

April 3, 2010:  Potluck!  I have no idea what was in some of the dishes–still waiting on recipes.  But I can tell you, grilled plantains are absolutely delicious, as is baby eggplant, yellow squash, red bell peppers and portabella mushrooms.  Marinated in a basic oil and vinegar dressing before grilling, it was hearty and flavorful.

April 4, 2010:  Slow cooked creamy oatmeal with crushed pineapple for breakfast.  Filling and creamy and wonderful (and the odd thing is, while they are cooking, the whole house smelled like bacon!)   For dinner, Jambalya inspired kidney beans and potato/cabbage hash cakes. How delightful and delicious (and really filling).

Two more days of recipes–and still no lettuce in sight!

April 1, 2010

Continuing with Day 3 and 4 of the food cleanse.  The food is delicious, I feel awesome and still not lettuce in site.

For March 30, 2010:  Cuban Black Beans, Sprouted Corn tortillas with Guacamole, and Orange & Pineapple salad.  Sprouted Corn tortillas have a wonderful texture, are easier to digest that regular corn and taste great.  They don’t last as long in the refrigerator as regular corn tortillas, but so worth it.

For March 31, 2010:  Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) Curry, Morrocan Carrot Salad and Home made Garlic toast (with real garlic, olive oil and Ezekiel bread).  It turns out, this week has been very international in its variety of foods, but that certainly keeps it fun!

Recipes for day 2 of 28 day cleanse–no lettuce here!

March 30, 2010

Still no lettuce, but some really yummy food.

For dinner last night, we made Spicy Thai coconut soup (and although the recipe usually calls for tofu, since I can’t eat it, we made it without tofu but feel free to add it if you like.) It also suggests serving the soup over cooked quinoa to add additional protein, but I don’t care for quinoa, so I substituted another dish with beans (White Bean and Black Olive spread)  instead.