Join me as a try to feed my family lots of Raw and Superfood. I like to write about the edible garden, exercise, and learning to love my natural expression. I am a Family Practice Physician and believe there are alternatives approaches to feeling your best.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Purslane and Mango

My older boys begged for fried chicken from Publix (not Scott, he wouldn't touch it). I decided to get them a junk food meal. I told them it would be a teaching lesson. I expected they would be sick and complaining through Karate. I didn't touch the junk food, but I felt pretty sick and they didn't (yet). Go figure. Can just smelling grease make you sick?

I am glad I have this blog. I am definitely not an expert on Raw food and I am not all Raw, but it serves the purpose of keeping my mind focused (just like the exercises chart, I wrote about in my previous post) on nutrition. I continue to re-evaluate what I eat, my goals, and my progress. I like looking back at my posts to keep previous good ideas and resources in the front line.

Last weekend, I pulled many more mangoes off my special organically fertilized tree. Scott eats one or two a day. David is little and eats a little. And John talked William into never eating eating them. Mangoes was one fruit, I could get William to eat if we purchased them. I have been slicing and freezing. I think I have enough frozen mango to last until the fruit ripens next year. I will not have to buy any frozen fruit for a long time. I have been making smoothies with frozen mango and banana  and spinach (less fruit, more spinach) and adding various vegan protein and vitamin powders.  I am pretty satisfied with the taste. I'm sure I will be drinking this recipe for a long time. We have fresh fruit from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Robyn posted on about an edible weed. I immediately identified the purslane from the photo. I have it growing all over.  I was intrigued by the weed(?) when I first noticed it at my house months ago. It had a pretty flower and it was in an overgrown pot from previous owner. I couldn't tell if it was intended or not intended and moved some of it to another container and continued to be interested at what a beautiful weed(?) it is. After Robyn's post I decided to taste it. Actually it does taste good. When I googled it, there are many recipes for salads using its leaves. I am going to dedicate a bigger container for it and let it grow where I know its safe to eat. I'll probably pick leaves off to snack as I walk around my yard each day. I am sure John will love it in his smoothies and salads, too.

We have a dragon fruit cactus growing and blossoming in the yard. I like the idea of no maintainence edibles like my mango and purslane. We are hand fertilizing the blossoms. Hope we see some results.

If John reads this post, he would probably leave a comment that my organic mangoes and wild weeds are making me sick (not the smell of fried chicken). I know he's wrong. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

45 x 45

I added weight training into my work out at the end of April.

I did free weights in college and got strong and found that even after all this time, it came easy to me. Don't misunderstand. I am not saying I am or was a body builder or competitive. Simply building strength and setting personal goals in the gym is what came easy. Back in college, I was able to bench the 45 pound bar with 45 pound plates on both sides (Total 135 pounds). I am not sure why I stopped. (Probably met John and got side tracked.)  I often felt some regret for quitting. Through obesity, I never thought I would be able to lift significant weights again. My mom went to the gym with John and I early July and took this photo. I was pressing the 45 pound bar with a 10 and 5 pound bar on each side. Seventy Pounds. Maxed out.

Quickly I noticed each time I came back to the gym, I was able to do more weight on the press. I began wondering if I could ever bench the 45 pound plates again. I went home and made a chart. I noticed my pattern. I extended my chart out for 2 months. If I continue to go to the gym three times a week and add weights and and reps. I should be able to bench the 45 pound plates by my 45th birthday, hence 45 x 45.

It looked far fetched on paper, however, I am sticking with my chart and meet my goals each time I go to the gym. I missed one gym day  last week, yet today, I benched my goal for this upcoming Friday. 110 pounds, 2 reps, 2 sets. Actually just doing it twice was my goal.  I felt strong and went for the extra short set. That was 25 pound, 5  and 2.5 plates on each side of the bar. I am totally amazed how quickly my strength is coming back.

Perhaps as I get to higher weights, my strength won't increase so fast. Who knows what life interference may come my way, but I think I am going to be able to make my goal. Ihave about 6 weeks.  I was telling a Weight Watchers leader my gym routine today and she had a name for plotting out work-out goals as an important motivator for sticking to a weight loss/fitness/ lifestyle plan. I see how it is helping me stay committed and motivated to going to the gym. I also want to consume healthy food and beverages before the gym so I optimize my potential. Lots of people make goals like training for a race or triathlon which is a similar motivator. ( I know lots of people in WW. I did it high school, but I don't do WW, now.) this leader happens to tell me I am doing it the best way with exercise and raw whole food. She says too many in her class want microwavable packaged meals.

My sister directed me to exercise blogs with videos, that have helped me with my form and give me  exercise ideas.

Trainer Mom

Live the Fit Life  ( I could not do this circuit when she shared it with me, but I am much better at it now!)

I also like watching the videos from the local

Sampson's Gym   ( I am not much for classes, but one day I want to do the ladies get-fit boot camp).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Super Simple Sprouting

There are many seeds and nuts that can be sprouted and eaten. Sprouting activates the seed or nut and awakens the the dormant enzymes which gives the seed the full potential to become a plant. For us, this means the seed has full nutrient potential. Sprouting is simply soaking the seed in water a couple of hours to activate it. Most of us eating cooked, dead food are deficient in the enzymes obtained from sprouting. I've tried sprouting several varieties of seeds. For now, I prefer, seeds that activate in a short time.

The few seeds and nuts I've had great success with is:

Raw sunflower seeds-- I soak raw sunflower seeds 6-8 hours in filtered water. At this point you get the nutritional benefit and can eat them or use them in recipes. Often, I do rinse them well and put the seeds in my dehydrator  (<115 degrees)and make them nice and crispy. The dry very quickly.  I store them in a glass jar. My favorite way to use them is on salads.

Raw almonds-- soaked 8-12 hours in filtered water and they are activate. Sometimes I use them as is. Sometimes I put them in my dehydrator to make them crispy and they go on to other recipes. Crispy, sprouted almonds makes a nice trail mix with spouted sunflower seeds and raisins.

Lentils are also activated after 8-12 hours. There are several varieties of lentils you can use to make colorful batches. My favorite use is to add them to a salad with sunflower seeds. If I soak mung and adzuki beans, the mixture is even more colorful and makes a beautiful salad topping. The latter two seeds, need a little more soaking time to get soft.

With soaking times under 12 hours, nothing gets moldy or nasty. I do like to rinse often. Actually I cover the above seeds with water for a few hours before rinsing and draining. You will not see a "sprout" or "tail" with such short soaking times. But the seed is still activated.

I've sprouted alfalfa and clover, but prefer the short soaker fore ease. I've never done any sprouting with soil trays. I haven't had much luck with quinoa sprouts, but I keep trying.

Addendum Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder is sprouted brown rice. I don't have to do any soaking! I have been adding it to some of my smoothies. PLUS, there is no soy or whey based proteins in it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Thoughts

It's cool that two of my followers with googleconnect are using photos I took of them! Can you guess which two? The pregnant one and the breastfeeding one. The later photo should look very familiar. :) Thank you all for letting me know you are following.

I changed the header. No more BBQ grill. Now you get another view of the river with the bird feeder. Some days I feel like all I eat is bird seed. :). My mother took this great photo. All the times I've been out there with my camera, I never thought to go to the other side and look back.

I also uploaded the chili photo in the post below.  I served the left over chili over barely steamed green beans and cooked spaghetti squash. I made a leek marinade per Kristen's Raw. Topped the rest with leeks. John enjoyed it all and said I can make this again. Don't be fooled. He ate almost everything else  processed  in sight, too.  

I keep lots of fruits on the counter. Right now I am having a fruit fly problem. I really don't know how to get rid of them. Any suggestions?. Will burning a candle help? I did light one and it seems to help today. Not sure if the success will last.

I have not wanted to contract with a bug control service. I don't want spray on the inside or outside of house. What do other people do?  Ants, spiders, cockroaches, and mosquitoes are problems around here.

One of the reasons I moved this topic to a new blog, is because I found it very hard to take care of small babies, work, exercise and concentrate on nutrition and finding good food.I really don't want to create unrealistic expectations for anyone with small babes. One BIG difference now since William was a baby was how fast we can obtain information via Internet especially good sources of nutrition.

One of thing, I have been thinking about. Just about all friends coming to my house have enjoyed the smoothies and raw concoctions I make. I only have one or two guests at a time. I want to figure out how to handle larger crowds and at least keep raw options open. The occasion I have in mind is when the boys have their double Bar Mitzvah in February. I have plenty of time to think about it. Catering and putting someone else in charge would be ideal. I wouldn't think pot luck would work for this kind of event. I'll have people in my house for celebration for the weekend. Thoughts?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sprouted Raw Chili

I came up with an interesting lunch today. I got this idea from Eating without Heating by Sergei and Vayla Boutenko and followed their basic recipe with my subtle and improved substitutions.

I happen to sprout way too many lentils, adzuki, and mung for my salads. I like them with under 3 days old and knew on my own I couldn't finish them. Disguising them in this recipe for my family was a perfect solution.

In the Blendtech (since I got my 96 ounce container I use it--and fill it--nearly every time)...

1 cup water
Fresh tomatoes ( I did not have/use 1/2 sun-dried tomato as in recipe )
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup grapeola oil
handful mushrooms (they suggested dehydrated mushrooms)
center of a celery and leaves that may have otherwise been wasted
Sunfire salt (instead of Bragg's)
2 plus TBSP of fiesta mole (instead of spaghetti seasoning)
squeezed lemon
Rita's Hot Pepper (can't think of what kind Rita gave me from her garden, it's been sitting drying for a while now)
3 cloves garlic
Basil from my containers

Blended and poured over a bowl of spouts. Served with dry parsley that recipe suggested and I had available. If I had cilantro, I would have liked that even better.

The amazing thing about this recipe, is that I've been wanting to come up with a Raw tomato based sauce. Now I have this and the tomato soup, I posted about before. I have a pretty good feel for how this versatile soup/sauce comes out and a pretty good idea how to improvise depending on what I have on hand. This could have easily been soup on its own had I not had spouts. In fact I tried to keep some liquid hidden for me to slurp on later, but John asked for more liquid.

John said it was better than expected (he liked the pepper in it). He licked his bowl literally. Still,  I know he was dreaming about a hunk of pepperoni to it.
Scott and David did ok with it. Scott said he'd of liked more liquid, too.
William wouldn't touch it.
4/5 ain't bad.

I am going to serve the little bit that's left over some more veggies tomorrow.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vital Stats

I feel super silly posting photos of progress over at the sidebar because I knew I hadn't lost any weight. In any case I am glad I did. I wouldn't have believed I made any progress if I didn't look at the photos side-by-side. I KNOW to put the scale away and look at other  measurements. But I seemed to have put the tape measure way, also. Nor did I get around to cutting a piece of string to mark my waist, hip, etc.... size. I am still hovering 167. I must admit, I do notice the difference in myself in the photo from May 2 compared to today's photo. With John being more eager to have smoothies first thing of the day and last thing, it's going to help me a lot.

Besides photos other measurements and vital signs to note.

One big difference between May 2 and now is the weight lifting. From Jan to May, I was doing heavy cardio. After my (end of April) Age Management conference, I came back eager to do more intense intervals and weight lifting. Some weeks I only did two days of weights. Now I am doing 3 days. I consider bench pressing a vital sign. Yesterday I was able to lift the 45 pound with 25 pound plates on each side 5 times. Total 95 pounds pressed. It really didn't take me that long to build up to that weight. In college I could do more. :) I expect to see my strength increase fast.  John and I enjoy working out together. William is going to come with us to the gym when he is not in karate.

I noticed at my highest weight, I had trouble fitting into flattering shoes. I have a big and wide foot, but now it hasn't been as difficult. I notice it in my wedding ring also. I did have it sized up at one point. I am almost ready to get it fitted again.

Another measurement I will  have soon -- John wants to renew my insurance (life/health) policies. With a new physical and labs I can get the current rate extended. I am certain, my chol, blood pressure, sugar, etc.... will all be normal. I am certain my weight is less than when they came by last time.

Since last photo, I started taking the extra vitamins. I have also added some variety to my nutrition with sunfire foods (chocolate bliss, fiesta mole, pristine sea salt) which all happen to be quick and easy to prepare! Rawkin' Trish is having a give-away on the sea salt.

Let me end with a funny story (not nutrition related) about the shorts I am wearing in both photos.  I like the style of shorts ALOT. I am not often comfortable in pants and shorts. I like the length on these-covering my thighs. I originally bought them in two colors: Grey and Black. I kept going back to the store in May looking for another color.  One day, I didn't see them, next time, in a rush...  Last week I am looking through my closet and I see the khaki pants (in the photo). I thought, "I don't remember buying those. I guess I did and put them away."

Remember, I've been going through test preparation brain-fry or is it Alzheimer's?

I get dressed with my new pants and go about my day. My friend Mary who helps with the boys and a million other things calls me and asks me if I noticed anything different in the closet. I am thinking, she sorted belts or organized with the boys. I go to the closet and am looking all around while she is on the phone. I seem to not be noticing anything new. I am not getting "hotter." She tells me to look where my pants hang. I see nothing new. She finally gives and asks me if I see the khaki shorts. I AM WEARING THEM. duh...She liked my original shorts. She said she bought herself shorts and decided she didn't like them on her as much as on me and she hung them up in my closet when she had the boys. Well, Mary, I love my new shorts. Blush.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to Basics

It's amazing how mentally relieved, I feel after an exam compared to before. These past few weeks have been so busy, for the first time in a long time, I feel like my plate is relatively clean (no pun intended). Typically in the past, exam time would be a time of snacking and binging. Food would be the source of entertainment to keep me in the books.

Today a patient commented that I am disappearing. Fortunately (for the patient) the last 10 pounds takes as long to lose as everything before it, so I am not vanishing that quickly. I certainly stuck to a sensible eating program most of the time before exam  and did not gain weight. I continued to work out in the gym while my boys attended karate class and see my strength improving.  But I want to get back to the basics.

From the Green Smoothie Girl 12 step manual:

At the conclusion of 12 months, you should find this daily diet easy:
1. 2 lbs of vegetables, 60-80% raw, half of them above the ground green
2. 3- 5 raw fruits
3. 1 cup whole grains (cooked and/or sprouted)
4. 1 cup legumes (cooked and or sprouted)
5. 3-6 T of fats found in vegetables, seeds, and the highest quality oils that are antioxidant- and lignan- rich with Omega fats (3, 6, 9) and essential fatty acids
6. Organic, free range animal products minimized to 5 % or less of the daily diet, with processed refined foods and concentrated sweeteners minimized or eliminated.

This past week, I've been taking mental notes,noting  if I eat this way. This is what I've come up.

1. I eat a lot of vegetables, but I am not sure I eat a whole pound of green leafy's everyday. This week, I've made sure I've had a big salad and packed with green's smoothie. I've been using Vitamineral Green to get more greens.

2. I probably have waaaay more fruit than 5 servings a day. Do I really need to cut back?

3 & 4. I may have been slacking in this department. Of course this week, I've made sure I kept fresh batches of fresh lentils, mung, adzuki, sunflower, and almonds. I've got sprouted brown rice protein powder to add to smoothies. Being sure I get my 2 cups worth may help with my B vitamins. I eat a lot of chick peas, both cooked and sprouted. Occasionally we have cooked brown rice or barley. These, I have listed are the easiest for me and I'd like to increase my variety. The toco's in my chocolate bliss contain a grain (right Trish?). While I am thinking of the bliss, where does bliss fall into this, fruit, grain, any veggies?

5. Fats and oils. I probably go way overboard here, too. Do spouted sunflower seeds and almonds count as 3 & 4 or 5.    5--that's what I thought. Leaves no room for coconut oil, EVO, nut oils, avacodo which I enjoy all to frequently. Hemp goes in this group too? No wonder I don't lose weight faster!!!

6. No problem for me.   I love the flexibility of the goals of GSG program, but I also love that she teaches you to do more Raw if inclined. I am inclined, but there are certain situations (<5%) I'd rather not challenge. Perhaps with more experience at this Raw thing, these times will be less and less.

My! How times change. Most people who come to visit me at my house, love trying smoothies and chocolate bliss. MY HUSBAND IS EVEN ASKING FOR THEM NOW!!! I also had a wonderful chance to make green smoothies (spinach, frozen banana, strawberry, hemp powder, and toco's from Rawkin'  Trish.) for a group at my office. I wanted 2 proteins. I chose the toco's for my demo because they are a bit sweet and wanted to make sure it would be palatable and I chose the hemp for the novelty of "Dr. Punger gave us hemp."

One other chock bliss question for Trish. Do you know how it and the ingredients would count on a weight watchers program? I am not doing ww, but I would like to properly counsel others who are successfully making their transitions through ww.

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