Sunday, 28 October 2012

Juicing Day 29

Today is Day 29. I'm still juicing. It's hard to believe that I've gone almost a month without eating solid food. Drinking juice is starting to feel normal, although I am very much looking forward to eating solid food again. I've lost almost 20 pounds on this fast so far, which is almost 2/3 of the way to my goal of losing 30.

The ironic thing is that even though I'm not eating, I've been spending a HUGE amount of time in the kitchen - at least 2 hours on most days! Juicing itself takes a good amount of time, at least an hour every other day. The produce has to be washed and cut before being juiced, then there's the cleanup afterwards. We've discovered that the leafy greens have to be juiced slowly and in very small pieces (salad sized) otherwise the juicer will get clogged up; so they take FOREVER to juice.  Yesterday, we all had a treat-we juiced pomegranates, navel oranges, and red grapes that were all on sale at Walmart. Yummy goodness :) I think I was most impressed by the grape juice - it was INCREDIBLY sweet and smooth.

In addition to juicing, I've been cooked and prepping a lot of food for the freezer. I've made a lot of soup recently. Also, we've been finding great deals on a lot of produce that I prep and put in the freezer. Recently I have cooked and cubed or pureed a 25 pound pumpkin that we got for $4; seeded and chopped almost 20 jalapenos that were 50% off; chopped 3 pounds of white onions that were $1; and chopped and cooked bags and bags and bags of mushrooms that were 50% off.

I've also been making vegetable broth to drink on the fast. It's not strictly a part of the fast, but it's still healthy and really helps with the craving for warm, savory comfort food in the cold weather. It's super simple to make-I just throw some onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms in a big pot of water with whatever seasonings I want, simmer it for an hour or two, and at the end, I strain out the vegetables and add a spoonfull of miso. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed the broth. Yum! :)
Mom mentioned yesterday that we had a squash in the pantry if I felt like cooking today. (When do I NOT feel like cooking? LOL) I originally thought about making a simple pureed soup with roasted garlic, onion, and squash. However, I started getting more ideas, and made a hearty southwestern-flavored soup with lentils, black beans, salsa, and corn. I tried the broth and it was DELICIOUS! Can't wait to eat it!

Southwestern Squash and Black Bean Soup
1/2 cup dry brown lentils
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 small carrots, diced
1 no-salt added vegetable bouillion cube
9 cups water
5 cloves roasted garlic, mashed*
1/4 cup chopped jalapeno (about 2 peppers)
3 cups cooked cubed squash
1 (15oz) can black beans
1 cup prepared salsa**
1 (8oz) can corn

Combine lentils, onion, carrots, bouillion cube, and water in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Add garlic and jalapenos and continue to boil on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Add squash, black beans, salsa, and corn. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, preferably more to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream and sprinkle with vegan cheddar. Enjoy!

*If using unroasted garlic, used 2 very finely chopped cloves
**used mild, medium, or hot based on your preference

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Juicing Day 10 and Pumpkin Soup Recipe

I feel good today. I'm down a total of 9 pounds so far =D I'm not that hungry anymore, which is great, but I have to remind myself to drink my juices. I had a beet and tomato juice today and I actually liked it, which is amazing because I used to HATE beets. To me, the smelled like dirt, and tasted like dirt (not that I've eaten dirt before lol). They still smell like dirt to me, but the juice was yummy and sweet. My taste buds are definitely changing! This former vegetable hater is starting to love them <3

Yesterday I made Pumpkin Soup with the pumpkin half that I used for stuffing. The cooking time for stuffing was about 30 minutes, but the pumpkin was still hard, so I stuck it in the oven for another good while, probably about 45 minutes, until it was nice and soft. Then I cut it into slices and peeled the slices, and cut the slices into cubes. I wanted to experiment with the spices in this soup. I know that, of course, pumpkin pie spices would be good, and also that curry would go well, so I combined the two spices. I'm still fasting, so I didn't get to taste test it yet, but it smelled yummy, and Mom liked it.

Pumpkin Soup

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
3 cups water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp.cloves
1/2 tsp.  cloves
2 tsp. curry
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 salt-free vegetable bouillon cube
3 cups cooked cubed pumpkin

Combine the onion, carrots, water, and spices in a large pot. Boil on  high for about an hour, until the liquid is reduced and beginning to thicken. Let cool.

Add the pumpkin to the soup. Puree, in batches if necessary. Pour back into pot. Heat and enjoy. :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Juicing Day 9: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!! It's been awhile since my last blog post-my only excuse is that I've been busy.

Here is a quick synopsis of Days 3-8

Day 3. I went for a 30 minute swim. It wasn't as intense as I normally swim, but I didn't want to do too much. Since I'm only consuming juice, I want to make sure that I don't over exert myself.

I'm feeling much better physically today than the past two days. My headache is continuing to improve, although it's definitely still there. However, MUCH better than Sunday.
I was quite hungry, and also just wanting to eat something. But I drank my juice, and had some hot Tazo peppermint tea and got through it. 
Day 4. 
I went for a run as part of the Couch to 5K program. I was supposed to run 3/4 mile, walk 1/2 mile, and run 3/4 mile. But I felt like I could run farther so I ended up doing a solid 2 mile run!! No stopping! The farthest I'd ever done was the one mile run a couple weeks ago! I was suprised that I could have the energy to run while consuming only juice.

Day 5. Things started to get easier. I made a really good apple-carrot juice. I boiled about 1/2 cup apple juice with a ton of cinnamon and added it back into the juice. Soooo good.

Day 6-7. Ran 3.1 miles (5K) in 48 minutes on Day 7!! It seemed to take forever, but I did it! It's amazing when I think that about 7 weeks ago, I could barely run two minutes at a time. 48 minutes is pretty slow, so now my goal is to work on improving my speed by the 5K race on November 16.

Day 8. Things continued to get easier and become "second nature". I was still hungry a lot, but I would just take a drink of  juice and keep it moving.

Day 9 (Today): Well, today was Thanksgiving, but there was no turkey for me! This morning I made a Cranberry-Apple juice which was \AMAZING. Tart and delicious. For Thanksgiving dinner, I made a Pumpkin-Apple-Spice juice and drank that while the family ate dinner. It was kind of strange to not be eating Thanksgiving dinner; but my juice was really delicious, and I savored the delicious smells of turkey and fresh herbs.

I also cooked the stuffing for dinner today. It was a recipe that I pretty much made up as I went along. I didn't taste it, but everyone said it was good, so I'll just have to take their word for it LOL. I did set some aside for myself and I'm going to freeze it so that I can have it when my fast is over :) I still had half a pumpkin left over from my pumpkin juice, so I scooped out the seeds and baked the stuffing in the half pumpkin.

Herb Stuffing

3/4 loaf of whole wheat bread, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tbsp. olive oil
 1/4 cup chopped fresh poultry seasoning herbs, divided
1/4 tsp. salt*
1 cup no-salt-added chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup margarine
2 eggs, beaten (optional)
1/2 small pumpkin, seeds removed

*If you are using full-salt stock, omit the added salt.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. 

Toss the bread cubes and 2 tbsp. poultry seasoning in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, celery, and mushrooms, and stir fry until vegetables are soft. Add the remaining poultry seasoning and salt. Add vegetable mixture to bread mixture and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, melt the margarine in the microwave. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and eggs(if using). Pour liquid mixture over bread and vegetables and mix until evenly coated.

Spoon the stuffing into the pumpkin half. If all the stuffing doesn't fit in the pumpkin, spread the remaining amount in a greased glass baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Juicing Day 2

So today is Day 2. Yesterday, Day 1, was very hard. I woke up with a slight headache that progressed through the day to an almost full blown migraine. Around 9 am, we  had a family emergency, and all went to the hospital. Thankfully, I had made juice the night before and was able to just grab it and bring it with me. I worked a closing shift last night, 2-10:30. Of course, there's a lot of temptations working at Starbucks: there's coffee everywhere and it smells AMAZING lol. I really wanted something delicious to eat, and someone even offered me one of my favorite pastries. But I didn't cheat and stuck to my juice and water.

Today I went for my Couch-to-5K run, which I haven't done for almost two weeks. It was hard, but it felt so good to be working out again.Only 61/2 weeks until the 5K on November 16th!! =D =D =D

I'm working again tonight, so I juiced this morning for Tuesday and Wednesday. I made three juices again like last time, 2 liters of green juice, 2 liters of vegetable juice and almost 1 liter of fruit juice.

Left: Green Juice (apples, cucumber, kale, celery, ginger, lime)
Middle:  Mixed Vegetable Juice (carrots, beets, beet greens, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, ginger, and a dash of sea salt and Tabasco sauce)
Right: Melon-Grapefruit Juice (honey dew, grapefruit, and ginger)