So I suck at blogging…

…so I created a Facebook page. I’m always on Facebook so it’s easier for me to update there. I will try to keep up with the blog as well.

Otherwise, go to http://www.facebook.com/myrealfooddiet and click “Like” to start following me!

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Blending and Juicing

I was originally going to title this “Blending vs. Juicing” but that implied that one was better than the other. Over the last three weeks I learned that they both have their pros and cons, yet they can both can be used in a real food diet. I’ve also noticed that many people use the two words interchangeably, when in fact they are two totally different things.

Blending is taking the whole fruit or vegetable and putting it into a blender with some form of liquid or ice to turn it into a smoothie. You’ll get the skin (if it is edible), pulp, flesh, juice, seeds (again, if edible) everything. Jamba Juice is an example of blending. Juicing is extracting the juice from the fruit or vegetable, and the skin, pulp, flesh and seeds are discarded (or put into a compost pile or turn them into soup or bake with them). Odwala is an example of juicing.

I admit that I always looked down on juicing. I thought it was inferior to blending because with blending you get the whole fruit or vegetable. I also looked down on juicing because juice causes your blood sugar to spike. I stopped drinking orange juice for this reason. Now I understand that when making your own juice at home you can create a blend that contains two or three veggies for every fruit to help prevent a blood sugar spike.

As I mentioned, they both have their pros and cons. I find it easier to drink a smoothie full of fruits and vegetables than to chew the same amount of food. Plus, because the smoothie has the pulp and flesh, it fills me up and keeps me full longer. Since I stopped eating wheat, I rely on fruits and veggies for my fiber, and this is a great way to get fiber. One of the cons is that you don’t get as much of the nutrients with blending as you do with juicing. From what I’ve read, this is because with blending, our bodies have to break down the fruits and veggies, but with straight up juice, our bodies immediately absorb the nutrients. Plus, there are some veggies that I’m just never going to blend, like beets or cucumbers, and some veggies don’t blend well, but they do juice well.

I’m still learning so much about both, and I’m looking forward to getting the e-book Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies by Kris Carr. It came highly recommended from one of my yoga teachers, and the author is supposed to do a good, unbiased review of the pros and cons of both to help people figure out which works best for them.

Edited to add: One of my friends correctly pointed out that Jamba Juice is not true blending because they use sorbets in a lot of their smoothies. I do not recommend Jamba Juice on a real food diet and was merely using them as a visual example. 🙂

Bread

I loved bread. No, I still love bread. Even though I’m no longer eating anything made with flour, there will always be a place in my heart for a warm slice of bread right out of the oven, spread with some delicious, real butter. Which is why I am amazed at myself that I have gone almost 10 months without eating bread or anything made with flour. A lot of my friends comment about how they could never give up bread. I was the same way just one year ago.

I remember when hubby and I did the South Beach Diet, I agonized over the fact that we could not eat any carbs the first two weeks. I was so happy when we were able to reintroduce bread two weeks later. It wasn’t until I stopped eating flour that I realized how much I relied on bread to fill me up. Everywhere you look something is made flour. Here are some examples of all those yummy things I used to love eating.

Breakfast consisted of eggs with toast or just cereal, and on the weekends I would have pancakes, waffles or french toast.

Lunch would always include bread, especially if it was a sandwich, hamburger or hot dog. I loved getting a Panda Express Panda Bowl of Orange Chicken or if I was being healthy a six-inch sub. One of my favorite places to eat was a Mediterranean restaurant that served their dishes with pita bread. Even a wrap was wrapped in bread. Let’s not forget salads with their yummy croutons.

For dinner I would make a pasta dish which of course had to have garlic bread or bread sticks. If I made a chicken dish I would sometimes bake rolls/biscuits to go along with our dinner. There was always the option to eat pizza, and who doesn’t like pizza? I didn’t fry foods at home, but if we went to a restaurant I’d order a burger or chicken sandwich, maybe some chicken strips with all their breaded goodness.

My favorite dessert came with bread: ice cream with a waffle cone. Cookies, cakes and brownies are nothing but bread. If I baked a cake I would eat some for breakfast. Cookies didn’t last very long, and I admit that I once at a whole pan of No Pudge Brownies when I was home sick. But they were fat free!

So ya, giving up bread wasn’t easy. I didn’t go low- or no-carb with my new diet, but eliminating flour cut out so many carbs. Since I wasn’t filling up on bread, I had to find other things to fill up on. Like more fruits and veggies. Which is a good thing.

I’ve since discovered baking with almond and coconut flours. I’ve made cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, cupcakes and even a cheesecake. They are just as yummy as the conventional baked goods. I have to remind myself that they are still treats and make sure to make them sparingly.

Funny thing is, my body is doing so much better without bread. Interestingly, if I eat anything with flour my body feels like it has a hangover. It’s easy to stay away from breads knowing how my body will react.

Days Eight, Nine and Ten

Whoops! Didn’t realize I went so long without a blog post. It’s much easier to blog when you are home sick and don’t go to yoga because you are sick. Now that I am back to my regular routine I gotta figure out how to squeeze in a blog post.

First things first. This morning when I got on the scale I saw that I am now down four pounds since starting the cleanse for a total of 45 pounds! I have nine pounds left to reach my goal.

Okay, back to blogging. So the beans. Well, the good news is they are edible. I started the beans in the Crock-Pot on low at 8pm on Sunday. By 6 am they were not done. So I cranked it up to high and hoped that they would be done in two hours before going to work. They weren’t. I turned it off, went to work, came home, turned it back on, went to yoga, got back, and they looked done. So I scooped out the beans and put them in my food processor. They didn’t look right; they looked like almond flour. Then I realized I needed to add some of the liquid. That helped a lot, but they were still a little gritty. I Googled “gritty beans” and this happens when the beans were not soaked before cooking. So, next time I will try soaking them first, and then I’ll cook them in the Crock-Pot.

Oh, you want pictures of the juice from the last couple of days? Okay, here are days eight and nine. I had so much of it that it lasted two days:

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And here is day ten:

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Men, you may want to skip this paragraph. Don’t say you weren’t warned. An interesting thing happened while on the cleanse. My period started five days earlier than normal. (I told you to skip this paragraph!) After speaking to a few friends, they reminded me that any major change to my body, such as diet or exercise, can have that affect. I wasn’t expecting that, but no biggie. Surprisingly, though, I did not experience any cramps! Before I started eating real/clean food I had terrible cramps. Really painful. After I started with the real/clean food, I noticed an improvement, and my cramps didn’t seem as intense. This cycle, absolutely none!

I’ve also been doing research on juicers. I’m going to write a separate post about juicing and blending, so keep an eye out for that.

Day Seven

Holy cow, what a weekend! I spent so much time in the kitchen these last three days. I think I need to invest in those professional gel mats because my back is killing me. I make sure to wear my Birkenstocks when I spend that much time cooking and baking because other wise I would be a real mess.

This weekend I made:

  • Irish Car Bomb Cake – a chocolate Guinness cake with a chocolate whiskey ganache and Irish cream frosting
  • Baked Ziti with a sauce from scratch
  • Rosemary Drop Biscuits, a double batch from scratch
  • Salsa – thank goodness for my Kitchen Aid food processor
  • Chicken Cheddar Quinoa Bake
  • And of course, the stuff on my cleanse

I think I dirtied every pot, pan and bowl in my kitchen. There was a lot of hand washing and three cycles in the dishwasher, with a fourth to come shortly.

This was the first time that I felt a little sad that I couldn’t eat what I made. The cake I made for a friend’s birthday party. It was one of two cakes there, the other was a white cake with strawberry filling (I think) and white frosting with huge frosting flowers. I loved frosting flowers. When I ate these kinds of cakes I always wanted a piece with a big flower. I just love butter cream frosting. In my past life I would have eaten a slice of both cakes.

The baked ziti I’ve had before and it’s very good. I’m not a big fan of pasta, so I don’t miss pasta dishes very much. What I did miss were the rolls. I loved bread, and I made these rolls often in my previous life. They are so tender, and buttery and just so freaking good. I sniffed them longingly. We had a house full of people and everyone was digging in. And there is me, in the corner, eating my own thing. It made me feel like an outsider.

Back to day seven. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of today’s juice. We were up until almost 1 am yesterday, and I slept in until 10 am (can you tell I don’t have kids). I skipped the juice and went right on with my day. I thought about making it a few times during the day, but I was so tired I wasn’t up to it. Instead I’ll make it tonight with tomorrow’s juice and have a little variety for a tomorrow.

Today I did something that I should have done last week: buy the stuff for this week’s cleanse! I’m so excited about this week for one reason: TOSTADAS! I love beans, and I have a confession to make. I, having been born into a Mexican family, HAVE NEVER MADE REFRIED BEANS! I know, right!? (And until recently had never made my own salsa). I don’t know how my mother and grandmother can stand the shame I brought onto our family. I kid, of course! I am going to try the slow cooker refried beans from the 100 Days of Real Food. I’ve got everything sitting (but the water) in the Crock-Pot now. I’ll add the water just before bed and by morning I should have beans!

Day Five and Six

Sorry for the two-in-one; yesterday was a busy day. Got home late from work, went grocery shopping and baked a cake (a traditional one, too, which I sadly cannot eat).

Here is a picture of the juice for day five. No beets today, so of course I liked the flavor a lot. When all mixed together it was very dark red.

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And here is a picture of the day six juice, which I am currently enjoying for my breakfast. We’re back to swamp water green and of course I prefer the flavor over the brightly colored juices.

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When I first started the cleanse, I was worried about how juice would keep me full until breakfast. Then I realized that I am sipping juice all morning long. I can’t chug it like water, so it takes me a couple of hours to get through all the juice. Plus, some of the recipes make a lot of juice! Anywhere from 24-36 ounces of juice. Today’s juice almost filled up an entire Harkin’s Theatres cup. During the week I drink one glass of juice while I am getting ready for work, and then I take the second glass of juice to drink while at work.

The other thing I’m thankful for is that this cleanse is not strictly juice. I realize I’ve only been posting pictures of the juice portion of the cleanse, but we also get to chew food. There is no way I could go 30 days on only juice. I need to start taking more pictures of the salads. My amazing yoga teacher is taking some awesome pics of all the meals and you can see them on the Yahweh Yoga Facebook page.

One final note: yesterday I received the Week Two grocery list and recipes. I am so excited for this week! We get desserts! We get TOSTADAS! Who knew you could eat tostadas on a cleanse?! Not me!

I was a hypocryte

I was (okay, maybe still am) a self proclaimed makeup and skin care junkie. A bit of a snob, too, because I wouldn’t use drug store brands. I bought most of it at Ultra, Nordstrom’s and of course, the Mecca of all beauty stores, Sephora. At some point I decided that I only wanted to wear makeup and use skin care that was as natural as possible and didn’t contain a ton of chemicals and preservatives. I didn’t want my skin absorbing all those nasty chemicals.

Then it hit me. The irony. The hypocrisy. I didn’t want to put chemicals on my skin, but I didn’t have a problem shoving them down my gullet.