Monday, March 03, 2014

A Different Direction

This weekend totally got away from me.  Considering I spent the entirety of Saturday (with a brief 4 hours working) watching the entire first season of Bates Motel.  It snowed most of the day.  Don't judge.  (I feel no regret!) :) And a very large section of Sunday was wasted trying to add a 'print' feature for recipes on the blog (apparently not possible) and a dedicated recipe page without pictures that someone became digital soup after about 4 hours of work! <grr>'s this weeks receipts:

I spent $106.86 (minus a couple of nonfood items like Kleenex that you might notice on the receipts).  

Here's what it bought:

I was running late, so didn't do what I usually do of a Sunday for a full-on prep for the week.  Here's what I made.  It took me about an hour and a half:  

  • Cut 3 pints of strawberries.
  • Cut a papaya.
  • Cut a coconut (those suckers aren't friendly!!!)
  • Made a batch of Oatmeal Cupcakes to Go for Rik.
  • And 3 Omelette Muffins.  
  • A jar of Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Cooked 2 salmon steaks for Rik's lunch.
  • Cooked a pot of barley.  
  • Baked some tofu for me to snack on this week.

You might notice a lot of produce this week and a lot less meat.  I've decided to do a week of just juicing/whole fruit smoothies.  I did it for a few days last week and felt fantastic.  This is something you may want to consider doing yourself.  There aren't many of us who are fortunate enough to say we take no pharmaceuticals (not the fun kind), and giving your kidneys and liver a nice clean out can go a long way in helping kick start your body into weight loss.  Or just make you feel super energized!  It's also a nice cop-out if you're a little short on grocery money one week as fruits and produce without a lot of extra stuff is pretty cheap!

Here's the difference between juicing and whole fruit smoothies:

Our Juicer, about $70 at Amazon

Juicing requires a juicer.  You basically chop fruits and vegetables whole, place them in your juicer, and what comes out is all that liquid goodness.  It's a great way to take a break from what your body has become used to.  And it's like mainlining nutrients.  Your digestive system doesn't have a lot of work to do to process this food, and all of those concentrated nutrients can immediately give you all the goodness they have to offer.  

Whole fruit smoothies are the same concept, but you use a blender.  Any blender will work.  Rik found this great little single serve blender by Farberware on sale at Walmart right now for $19.99!  It came with a number of small and large cups and is perfect for him to make a smoothie before work, pop on the lid, and toss it in his bag for later in the day.  It's also perfect for portion control.

I prefer this method of "juicing" for a couple of reasons:  
  • There's really no waste in that you're using every bit of the fruit and vegeable with no left over pulp to throw away from your juicer.  That used to bother me, though you can find uses for the pulp in soups or even adding some to your dogs dish for a little added nutrients for him.
  • They're a lot more filling than just juice.
  • You get all that fiber from your fruits and veges that you throw away when you're juicing alone.  

So here's what you should be eating anyway.  It's good to be clear on what you need when you start juicing or doing whole food smoothies to make sure that you're meeting your nutrient needs.  The old 'Food Pyramid' that we used as children is no more.  You'll notice that half the plate is the fruits and veges we've talked about, the other is protein and whole grains.  For just a short period of time, I'll be cutting our grains altogether.  For protein, I'll use things like kale, nuts or almond butter, or tofu added to my shakes.  Healthy oils will be a tsp or two of coconut or olive oil added to a shake, and I'll also use things like hemp seed and flax seed to make sure my brain gets the oils it needs to keep functioning.  

If you don't live close to a store that makes it convenient to run by after work on your way home, you can totally do this with frozen fruits, though I'd suggest using fresh vegetables.  Just a quick note:   If you're not able to use your fruits fast enough and you notice they're becoming over ripe, cut them up, lay them on a cookie sheet (so they don't stick together), and pop it in the freezer over night.  Then bag them in Ziplocks or in bowls with tight lids, and you've got smoothie fodder for later in the week!)

When choosing frozen fruits, they're NOT created equal. Read the packaging.  A large number of fruits contain added sweetener.  You'll want the unsweetened all natural varieties.  My favorites are peaches and sweet cherries (naturally sweet, not sweetened).  You can get a bag for $3.99 which will last you well over a week.  

And during this week, I'm not going to be militant about doing just smoothies or juice.  And it isn't about eating "Three squares a day".  I'll eat when I'm hungry.  If some days that means a shake/juice every 3 hours, then so be it.  I've found that doing this though I only eat 2 or 3 per day and feel completely full.  Snacking generally occurs when A) I'm bored, or B) I just want a little something without an entire 'meal'.  If I feel the need for a snack, I've got the baked tofu, and tons of fresh fruit cut up and on hand to snack on if the urge arises.  It's about having a plan but being flexible within that plan.

If you're doing T25 or P90X/X3 with Rik, I'll be introducing some new recipes this week since I'll be cooking more for him and not so much for 'us'.  There will be more higher protein meals and more meat recipes.  

I'm looking forward to this!