Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rethinking my relationship with dairy


I've made no secret to the fact that I love dairy. Milk I can do without ( mahalo soy and rice ) and my ice cream obsession has been conquered ( thank you again, Turtle Mountain ). However, My greatest challenge seems to be cheese. I love cheese. (It might be my favorite thing in the whole world.) For years during my late teens and early twenties I boycotted the creamy greatness because I believed that fat would make me fatter. Once I gave in, not only did I start shedding pounds I also discovered the inner foodie in me. Over the last ten years I became a cheese expert. My first love started with tangy goat cheese, then I discovered triple creme and the great stinky world of blue. THEN, I got into wine....really into wine. But, not in a snobby twirly glass kind of way ( wine people sort of bug me ....and I think nothing is better than finding a great bottle for under $10.) But, I have an impeccable "nose" for it....I dream about an ashy Humbolt Fog paired with a crispy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a spicy Black Bean soup with Shiraz.
However, unlucky for me, my body started to reject my most favorite treat. No longer could I enjoy a artisan cheese platter and not deal with my bloated crampy belly. Already a long time vegetarian I started accepting the fact that going vegan was a no longer an option, it was a must. My struggle with veganism has gone on for about 5 years. I can go several days cheese free but as soon as I'm out eating at a local bistro I always end up with the Feta laden Mediterranean Platter or a colorful raw salad with Gorgonzola crumbles. But, when I eat cheese in this sense (like when the cheese is only an minor ingredient to a dish oppose to a dish devoted to it like a quesadilla or phyllo baked brie ) I do seem to escape all the nasty side effects. So, what should I do about this? Do I give in and enjoy this treat every now and then? But, what about the other issue I have with dairy?? ( like the hormones they pump all the animals with and the rennet that is added as a curdling agent....yuck yuck yuck! ) But, what if I did my best to stick with the organic, local or even raw varieties of cheese? I'm pretty lucky because one of my favorite dairy farms of all time is right here on Maui! It's called Surfing Goat Dairy and it's "Ping Pong Balls" and "Napa Wraps" are to die for! http://www.surfinggoatdairy.com/. Plus, the little goats that make the cheese couldn't be cuter! I've driven by the farm in Kula several times and it's refreshing to see that the little goats seem to be very happy grazing about their huge yard over looking Maui and her neighbor islands. So, when I can... I purchase cheese from this dairy farm. They carry Surfing Goat Dairy at most the health food stores on island. So, not only do I feel great about the happy goats but Goat Cheese has very little effect on my stomach. This is a type of dairy product I think I can justify consuming ( local, free range and low in lactose.)
So, if I decide to give into dairy does this mean I have failed at my quest to become vegan ( or raw vegan?) Well, I think yes and no....First of all, I eat mostly raw dairy free meals for breakfast and lunch. If I eat anything cooked it is usually for dinner and that goes with my cheese treat as well. Several days of the week I consume no dairy at all. So, this is my take.....I don't want to have to be too rigid with my diet. I would say that 90% of time I choose very healthy, organic and whole foods to put into my body. I think people can get too carried away with eating too healthfully. I don't want to stress about things like this. I've read several books, blogs and editorials regarding raw foodism and I'm sorry but I have to say that some of these people sound a bit fanatical. I don't want to be this. What's the point right? Food is meant to be enjoyed and shared...Aloha
Sample of my diet from yesterday
Breakfast -* Berry Smoothie* ( coconut water, juice of 2 tangelos, 2 handfuls of mixed berries like blue, marion and raspberries, 1 large frozen sliced banana, 1 packet of Stevia)
Lunch-(more like a snack) handful of cashews and dried mangoes
Dinner-Spinach and Goat cheese quesadilla ( heavy on the spinach ) with homemade salsa roja
*Mostly Spinach and Goat Cheese Quesadilla* enough for about 4 individual quesadillas ( see photo above ) VEGETARIAN
1 med size package of frozen organic spinach ( when eating spinach always make sure it is organic!)
1/2 Maui onion diced
1 Tbsp organic olive oil
salt ( I used Fleur de Sel ) and pepper to taste
1/2 cup creamy fresh Goat Cheese ( or more for a cheesier quesadilla )
Fajita size whole wheat flour tortillas.
Saute onion in olive oil in a med. size pot until translucent, add defrosted and drained chopped spinach, salt and pepper. Stir fry over med heat until cooked through 3-5 min and mix in Goat Cheese. Next, spread the mixture on a one flour tortilla and top with a second. Place on hot skillet or grill pan until the spinach an cheese mixture is hot and the tortilla is slightly crispy.
Slice into 4 triangles
*Quick Salsa Roja* VEGAN
Two 14 oz cans drained organic chopped tomatoes
1/2 Maui onion
1/2 of a lime squeezed
1 clove of garlic
1tsp Red Wine Vinegar
hot pepper of choice~I used 4 hot Hawaiian peppers
2 tsp organic olive oil
Salt ( I used Fleur de Sel )
Place all in high speed blender for about 30 seconds. Salsa will be thin and creamy orange/red looking

Our Outdoor Living Room


Over the last week we've been making an effort to beautify our outdoor living space. Our backyard patio is about the size of our living room so we use the space as a dining room because the air flow is perfect and we face west towards the famous Maui sunsets. I've used recycled or "hand me down" furniture from my landlord or from the salvation army and I scored several colorful cushions from Ross and Pier 1. I love the use of lanterns and white Christmas lights outside as well as bowls of local fruit and potted tropical plants. The space is still a work in progress but this is what we have so far:-) Aloha

Monday, March 30, 2009

Farmer's Market~Honokowai




About a mile from my home is a small outdoors farmer's market open 3 times a week. I decided that I needed to check it out but with my work schedule it's always been hard to make. I was finally able to get down there this week and I'm happy I did. I scored some beautiful red and romaine lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, white Kula corn, homemade sun dried tomato salad dressing, sunflower sprouts and a sinful dairy treat....Passion Fruit cream cheese. Yummy!....It tasted like Lilikoi Cheesecake.
Anyways, I've been making a ton of salads lately......It's funny, during the "winter" all we wanted was hot creamy squash or coconut based soups but now with the shift into spring I think I've been making a huge salad every night! I'm pretty lucky my carnivore boyfriend loves veggies....cooked and raw because it really makes meal planning easy
*Hearty Salad* 2 servings VEGETARIAN
4 cups mix of romaine, red leaf lettuce, basil and sunflower sprouts
1 cup grape tomatoes halved
2 ears raw white corn cut from the cob
1 large cubed avocado
1/2 C Garbanzo beans
crumbled Blue Cheese ( optional )
several Tbsp of Paul Newman's Oil and Vinegar dressing ( best simple dressing out there! )
Salt ( Australian Pink Murray River Salt and pepper )
Toss


Friday, March 27, 2009

Quitting the Gym??




After recovering from 2 cases of MRSA staph in 2 months I've taken some time to reflect. I truly believe I am contracting this nasty bug from my gym. I'm pretty bummed about it and I'm really considering getting out of my membership ( which might not be so easy). While I've been pondering this I've been taking advantage of the nice sunny weather and going back outside to get exercise. Unfortunately, Maui has not been blessed with much surf this winter ( although with the Staph I would have not been able to enjoy it anyways) So...instead of surfing I've been hitting the hills and practicing Hatha yoga from a a DVD I have at home ("Yoga with Ateeka" which is excellent by the way...) The more and more I've been doing these activities the less and less I even want to go to the gym. I've actually just returned from another 1.5 hr brisk coastal walk ( again, no swell today ) So, this will make 4 hikes this week alone and one of the hikes we did this week was almost 4 hrs long! So, my partner and I have been thinking this....If we can keep this up.... along with hitting the waves while they come in maybe we don't need a gym membership after all? Oh and by the way, we also purchased some yoga mats, blocks, straps, resistant bands, weights and a pull up bar for the yard.
So, we'll see how long we can stick with this. Besides the workout.... It's also really refreshing to get outside and be around nature again. Even here on Maui it's really easy to forget how beautiful the mountains and the beaches are when you get caught up in the daily grind ( yes, that exists here too! ). It's so nice to see the Plumeria trees starting to fill in after the long winter and the Mango trees starting to load up again with plump fruit. It reminds me how we island dwellers are so sensitive to the elements. You see, the reality is this... when you live on a small rock in the middle of the huge Pacific things like the tides, the winds, the storm fronts and the seasons really do impact your daily life.(Which is actually pretty frickin' cool.....) Aloha.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coastal Walk






















Lately my man and I have been REALLY getting into hiking around our neighborhood. Today we did a coastal walk from Napili Point to D.T. Fleming's Beach. The total hike took just over two hours. It's days like today that we remember why we live on Maui. FYI~check out the cute little tomatoes I found growing all over the trail! Aloha.....

Kapalua Fruit Stand




Aloha! I'm not sure who exactly started this cute little stand but it is about a mile from my house in Kapalua on Hwy 30. I've been purchasing fresh organic fruit from it a lot lately! Right now we are in the middle of serious citrus season so it has been plentiful with Oranges, Tangelos, Grapefruits, Lemons and Limes. I've also scored on some Papayas and Avocados. Anyways, it runs by using an "honor box" system which seems to be pretty popular here. The prices are painted on the stand for each individual fruit and you are expected to be honest with your payment. I think it's a pretty cool concept. I'm looking forward to see what the the incoming Spring season will bring in? The Mango and Guava trees on the island look like they are about to explode!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Small Garden


Over the last 2 months I've been trying to put together a garden. I live on the West Side of Maui about a block away from the ocean so I do get a lot of mild to hot humid weather along with some rain. Unfortunately, due to several trees in the yard I don't get a great deal of constant sun. However, we are moving into Spring so the sun is shifting again. Across the channel from my house lie the islands of Molokai and Lanai. In the winter time I lose the sun behind Lanai early in the afternoon but during the Spring and Summer the sun sits in the space between the two islands giving me more intense sun during the late afternoon. I'm renting at the moment so I wanted to keep my garden portable. So, I have everything in pots. Here is my inventory so far
Herbs
Cilantro
Rosemary
Oregano
Mint
Sage
Garlic Chives
5 Types of Basil-Thai, Italian, Lemon, Opal and Cinnamon
Thyme
Arugula
5 Types of Chili Pepper-Thai Dragon, Hawaiian, Cayenne, Serrano and Anaheim
3 Avocado trees that we started from seeds
1 Lilikoi plant ( Passion Fruit ) that we cut from a jungle vine on a hike and propagated
4 Citrus Trees-2 Tangelos, Meyer Lemon and Keffir Lime
I've had incredible luck with my herbs and very little issues with pests. I also do well with my chili plants. I have had major problems with growing Tomatoes. I have no idea why? Maybe lack of sun? I also had no luck getting my Zucchini plants to grow a fruit after the flower blossomed and I had no luck even getting my Japanese eggplants to flower. Now, in the plant's defense....I did try to start growing these in December but I thought being Hawaii maybe it didn't matter? If anyone has luck growing vegetables out here I'd love some tips. I know it's very easy at the higher elevations of the island but down here near the water has proved to be challenging to say the least.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Packing in the Greens!

Ok, I just noticed that my fridge is BURSTING with fresh fruit and veggies! So no excuses!! Last night after our "Sunday Drive" I came home and washed ,chopped and bagged everything I bought over the weekend. I made a "salad base" of baby spinach, red leafed lettuce, baby romain and sunflower spouts. I tossed all of these together and put them in a large zip lock for easy grabbing. I also blanched some of the super fresh asparagus and cut them into 1" pieces. So, for lunch today I grabbed a large portion of this salad mixture, asparagus pieces and added some cubed extra firm Tofu and Black Sesame seeds. I also made a large batch of salad dressing. This was after having a breakfast consisting of a 32 oz green smoothie ( Kale, spinach, ginger, coconut water, apple )....Good start for a Monday!
* Spicy Orange Dressing* RAW VEGAN
Juice of 1 orange
2 TB of raw apple cinder vinegar
2 TB raw blue agave
pinch of sea salt
Pinch of organic Chipotle power
approx 1/2 Cup of organic olive oil
Mix all ingredients and add the oil slowly while stirring:-)

Sunday Drive


Finally some beautiful Maui weather on my day off! Like any normal Sunday morning at the cottage first order of business is checking the surf report. It looked like Lake Pacific was back so now what do we do? How about jump in the Honda and head mauka? ( towards the mountain ) Maui's "Up Country" is a cross between Northern California's Bay Area but with the greenness of Byron Bay, Australia. Probably NOT what most people expect to find in tropical Hawaii. The area consists of several small "towns" Kula, Makawao, Keokea, Ulupalakua that hug the 2,000 to 4,000 ft elevation line of our huge 10,000+ft. Haleakala. It is mild, volcanic rich, cloud fringed and peaceful. It also boast some of the best views on the island and it's only about 45 min from our house. What's so amazing is what can be grown up there. Has anyone ever heard on Maui onions? We have everything from Wine production to lavender farms to strawberry fields. It's spectacular and always a perfect get away when I'm feeling a sense of island fever or it's just plain TOO DAMN HOT AND HUMID makai ( towards the sea ).
So up Haleakala Hwy we went and the first stop was the Ace Hardware nursery in Kula. I think we ended up in the citrus section for over an hour! They had everything from Keffir lime trees to kumquats. We walked away with a Meyer Lemon and Tangelo Tree full of fragrant blossoms. I also grabbed some cilantro, chives, Anaheim Chilies, Serrano Chilies and Cayenne Peppers to add to the garden. I have great luck with peppers in my yard. My Thai Chili plant has been producing non-stop for over a year now with little care.
After the nursery we headed up the Kula Hwy a little further and stopped at my favorite Fruit/Veggie stand on the island. It sits on a hill over looking the whole island and has a beautiful garden around it including a huge strawberry patch. I bought the most beautifully perfect bunches of red leaf lettuce and Manoa Lettuce ( roots still intact ) I also grabbed 2 large zucchini, 4 Maui onions and a box of strawberries. All this for $13.25 ( FYI-that's a steal here ). I would have grabbed the cute rainbow colored tomatoes and Kale but the stand is cash only (with no ATM near by) and I was cash poor at the moment.
After the mini farmers market stand we headed back in the opposite direction towards Haiku. At this point you start heading down the mountain into more jungle like terrain....Lots of big leafed trees like Banana, Coconut, Papaya, Mango, Banyon, Ginger and Bread fruit etc. We actually dream of the idea of moving to this area someday....within the jungle lie tons of cute homes and some have spectacular ocean views. However, with Lahaina ( work, blah! ) being over an hour away from this Shangri-la it looks like we'll have to keep dreaming for awhile....oh well, I guess we'll just have to settle for the sunset side of Maui with our ocean view......OH the horror! Hahaha

Thursday, March 19, 2009

White Bean and Kale Soup

Just something I toss together this afternoon.........
*White Bean and Kale Soup* VEGAN
1 can of White Kidney or Northern Beans rinsed
4 cups water
2 Vegan vegetable bouillon cubes
5 cloves of crushed garlic
1 white onion chopped
1 TB olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup asparagus cut into 1" pieces
2 cups chopped Kale
In a large pot on med/high heat saute 1 chopped white onion w/ olive oil for about 5 min. Add crushed garlic and saute for another min. Add water, bouillon, lemon and beans. Simmer for about 5 min then add Kale and asparagus pieces. Simmer about 5 min longer. Done!
*I sliced up a small baguette, brushed the pieces with olive oil and sprinkled on Cypress salt. I baked them for about 8-10 at 350 degrees until slightly golden.

Recovering from MRSA


It's been a long week to say the least. Starting with my resurgence of MRSA! This time it showed up on my top inner thigh. This place is not a very convenient spot for walking, sitting and clothing. Anyways, I went on the dreaded Sulfur pills again ( yuck....makes me nauseous) but this time I did 3 other things different. 1. I ingested Manuka Honey 15+ from New Zealand ( about 1 TB a day ) AND put it directly on the open abscess before bandaging. If you google this, you'll see that Manuka Honey is used as an alternative medicine for so many issues ( bed sores, stomach ulcers, etc...)2. I drank Turmeric Tea ( for inflammation ) 1 tsp of organic turmeric powder in hot water ( with agave and a black tea bag ) 2x a day. 3. Also, I did NOT have the boil lanced this time around. I was planning on going back to the doctors to get this done but the swelling starting decreasing so quickly and the pain was subsiding that I decided that maybe I could manage without the knife? I would never recommend but I took a chance.
I'm on day 6 of the infection and I'm happy to say, it looks pretty good and never felt the flu symptoms like last time. I guess I'll never know if it was just a smaller infection or if the homeopathic treatments worked? Who knows, but if it happens again. I'll be drinking the tea and using the honey.
So where am I getting the MRSA? I really have no idea? Apparently, Maui County is riddled with it. We have the highest concentration of MRSA staph in the nation. Awesome....However, I honestly think I'm getting it from my gym. I think it's odd that last week I spent almost everyday at the gym and then this popped up....sort of like last time. Who knows?....Who cares? Either way it sucks.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NOT AGAIN!

I spent the morning in the doctors office....Looks like my dreaded MRSA Staph infection has reared it very ugly head again....I'm devestated. I will know for sure in the next day or two. To be continued.......

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Day 5 ( Last day of Dairy detox )

Log Entry
Exercise-1 Hr. Elliptical machine level 7. 100 ab crunches. 1 hr. Hatha Yoga Class
Diet
Breakfast-Fruit smoothie ( orange juice, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries mango)
Light Lunch-1 Cup quinoa, 1/4 cup Satay sauce, black sesame seeds ( FYI- not crazy hungry but I needed something before work tonight.)
Dinner? Not sure if this even counts as dinner....dried mangoes, cashews, pita crackers and glass of pinot grigio. These were the healthiest items I could find at my gallerie's "Friday Art Night"buffet. Yes, I had a glass of wine tonight ( we serve wine on Fridays for our guests ) but I stayed clear of all the fabulous looking cheeses. It was a long stressful night and I didn't get one second to go grab a real dinner in town. So, all in all, I think I did pretty well over the last 5 days. Recap- I did 4, 1 hour long sessions of cardio and 2 Hatha yoga sessions....A little short of my goal but I was close ( goal 5, 1hr cardio sessions and 3 Hatha classes). The biggest accomplishment was a total dairy free 5 days. I feel good. And yes, I did cheat and had 1 glass of wine at 10 pm on the last day of my detox at work.... oh well...in Hawaii we call that a Pau Hana:-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Day 4


Log Entry
Exercise-1 hr Hatha Yoga Class
Diet
Breakfast-Green Smoothie ( Spinach, coconut water, ginger, stevia, juice of 1/2 lemon, apple)
Lunch-Amy's Soup Organic Lentil soup with added cooked Quinoa, juice of 1/2 of a lemon and Chipotle powder ( I made the same soup for lunch today that I made last night for dinner. I also toasted up some sourdough baguettes to go with the soup. I drizzled a bit of organic olive oil on them, big flaky Cypress salt and organic crushed black pepper. I then stuck them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 min. My man added some goat cheese to his.....lunch was awesome:-)
Snack-Dried mangoes and a small handful of mixed nuts
I have not decided what I will eat for dinner yet so we will see....However, I did make my man a great looking dish to take to work for his dinner. ( see receipt below )
UPDATE-Dinner-since I'm at work and I'm doing my best to eat a ton of veggies this week I grabbed my usual Thai Green Papaya Salad and all raw vegetable summer rolls ~2~(cold rice noodle wrapper, cabbage green onions, cabbage, mint and carrots) from Thai Chef
* Gado Gado Salad* VEGAN
Layer these following ingredients in a large takeaway bowl
1 Cup cooked Quinoa
1/4 Cup Peanut Satay sauce
2 Diced organic Roma Tomatoes
handful of yellow organic cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 Hass local avocado cubed

1/2 diced extra firm organic tofu
2 tsp. Black Sesame seeds
Chopped Cilantro ( optional )
Toss....awesome
Unfortunately, I did not get to my 60 min of cardio today because my work schedule would not allow it. However, I was able squeeze a yoga class in finally:-) As for everything else...no real craving for dairy except when I watched my man each his goat cheese crostinis ( they looked great.....) AND no headache today?! And stomach felt good....flat and calm. As for wine? No big deal.....I'm feeling really good about this one. To be honest I was starting to wonder if I had developed a problem with my wine intake b/c I was drinking a glass or 2 everyday. I still believe that 7 days a week is too much as in empty calories and sugar BUT, I defiantly have no problem not having any either...whew....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Day 3

Log Entry
Exercise-1 hr. elliptical machine level 7. 150 abdominal crunches, whole body stretch-FYI I have to admit that at around 50 mins on the elliptical I started getting dizzy? I have no idea why? I was reading a magazine and it was getting dark in the room so maybe that was the issue? I don't know but it was strange. I was ( once again going to do a 1 hr. yoga class afterwards but I passed ( because of the dizziness ) Once I drove home I felt normal again...who knows? maybe I didn't drink enough water today?
Diet-looks like I got through another day Dairy Free!
Breakfast-Green smoothie ( coconut water, spinach, half a lime, apple, stevia, ginger )
Lunch-Veggie avocado sushi roll from Foodland. Not my first choice however, I needed to give my favorite Thai Papaya salad a break and on Front St. in Lahaina I don't have many vegan options-:(
Dinner-Lentil soup by Amy's Organics, I usually like to make my soups from scratch but I didn't feel like lugging out all the equipment this evening ( I cooked for just me tonight too ) so Amy's Soups are always a nice vegan organic option. I almost always spruce up canned soups with something. To this I added a about 1/4 C of the cooked Quinoa left over from last night and the juice of 1/2 of a lemon. I also had about a handful of low-fat Wheat Thins....( whatever, processed I know...but, it was really only a handful.)
Dessert-So my sweet tooth craving from last night spilled on today so I remembered to grab a carton of my new favorite sinful treat. It's the only soy based "ice cream" I've been able to find that actually tastes like real ice cream. It's called Purely Decadent by The Turtle Mountain Co. and it is fabulous! I had Dulce de Leche again which is amazing. I saw on their website that they have about 15 other ridiculously good looking flavors but this is Maui and my the health food store down the road only carries Dulce de Leche. Good thing I like Carmel...even my Argentinean carnivore dairy loving boyfriend gave it his stamp of approval too:-)So, it must be okay?...Aren't Argentines supposed to be Dulce de Leche experts?
A few notes about my dairy/wine detox week......I woke up this morning with a bit of an upset tummy? Nothing major but it's been bothering me all day. However, it wasn't so bad to effect my appetite or workout ( I don't think the dizziness was linked to it )
Also, my head ache appeared again at the same time this a.m. as yesterday...interesting.....it almost feels like a sinus headache too? Who knows...we'll see if it's back in the morning.
Anyways, it's now Chocolate mud mask time......I've been using Organic Chocolate Mask by Ecco Bella about once a week. It's great when my face is feeling a bit dry...It smells so good I want to eat it.. haha!

Finding Peace


I've been doing A LOT of thinking lately ( well actually, I do this all the time....sometimes too much ) But honestly, I feel that the country, hell the whole world is going though a major shift in values and awareness. Now... I understand that being a pro-Green girl already might make me more sensitive to noticing these types changes. But, I've taken note that so much of my "late night after work" discussions with my partner seem to revolve around this very topic.
Anyways, my point being this.....where are "we" shifting? I do find it extraordinary that at the same time we are going through this historic economic downturn the Green movement is becoming very mainstream. Why is this?? I'm looking at my own spending as well. I use to shop like crazy! Especially on clothing, jewelry and house furnishings. These days most of this "stuff" has very little value to me. In fact, I'm getting rid of it like crazy! Now when I "treat" myself the money usually goes towards good food or something like a massage. I seem to have very little issue spending $100 for a spa treatment right now. But, spending $100 for a shirt seems ridiculous. I've looked at my bank statements and besides my usual rent, utilities and gas the rest of the money seems to go towards health food stores ( Mana Foods in Paia in particular ) and to spa treaments at Maui Zen Day Spa (an excellent new Spa in Lahaina. )I'm also looking into joining a sort of fresh local food co-op on the island that delivers fruit and veggie baskets to your door! Check out "Kula Fields". I also make quite a few purchases at our new Barnes and Noble store in Lahaina where my focus of interest seems to be all things Green, vegan and organic beauty. Speaking of Spa treatments....they fascinate me. Nothing feels better than being pampered like that. Even with money being a bit tight this days, I still go and I get a pedicure about every 2 weeks as well. I have just cut back on most everything else I used to spend my money on. So, I'm wondering how many other people are thinking this way? Where will spending shift? Bling Bling seems to be gone so what does the anti-bling world look like? I know I posted something on this topic a few weeks back but these are the questions that keep ringing in my over stressed head. I now crave peace in the home and out. I want my living space to be sunny, quiet and clean. I want it to be a sort of a sanctuary from the world outside. However, what if the world outside is peaceful as well? I'm starting to discover that maybe I need to shift my thinking too?? Maybe a future in the world of nutrition, teaching physical fitness or working at a spa with a skill I acquired?? I'm truly trying to focus on the positive. I'm thinking this downturn in economics might actually be the best thing that ever happened to us? So, here's to pushing the "reset button" and making things better this time around!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday Day 2


Log Entry
Exercise
-1 hr elliptical machine level 7, whole body stretches
Diet
water with lemon upon waking
Breakfast-Green Smoothie ( coconut water, lemon, fresh ginger, apple, spinach, Stevia )
Lunch-Vegan Thai Green Papaya Salad, 2 small vegan rice noodle wrapped summer rolls ( cabbage, cucumber, mint, bell pepper ) and some sort of light dipping sauce ( Mirin, hot pepper, carrots? )
Snack-small handful of mixed nuts
Dinner-1 Cup of Quinoa, 1/2 Cup of stir fried asparagus ( sesame oil, lemon juice ) 2 small slices of firm Tofu, a few tablespoons of the Satay sauce from yesterday, Good sprinkling of Black Sesame seeds.
several glasses of water through out day
I really wanted to do an hour of Yoga as well when I got home from the gym but I was way to hungry so I ate instead...so, I think I'll just stretch now......I can't do Yoga after eating. I hate the way that feels on a full tummy. As for everything else, I developed a mean headache around 10 am. I usually take 2 Excedrin pills upon waking and I skipped that today because I really want to ween myself off them. The headache never went away........Other than that, I had a fairly strong craving for some goat cheese and crackers after work so this is why I cooked Asian food again for dinner. I feel if I'm eating Asian then I don't think about dairy. It's a rare case to ever see dairy in a Asian dish so I think many of my meals will start looking like this. As for wine, I skipped it last night and I plan on it again this evening. I feel fine with this, no want or need for that. However, now I am craving something sweet. I almost bought a container of rice or soy based "ice cream". I sort of wish I had now:-( Oh, well....I'm full anyways

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Day 1


LOG ENTRY
Cardio- level 7 on the hand head elliptical machine at the gym. 1 hour followed by leg stretches.
Diet
Breakfast-Green Smoothie ( coconut water, spinach, ginger, stevia, apple )
Lunch-Vegan Thai Green Papaya Salad, 1 tangelo
Dinner-Baked tofu, small stir fry of sweet peppers, asparagus and vegan satay sauce
Chai tea ( no sweetener ) several glasses of water through out day
Feeling good, no headache, energy high

Last minute colorful dinner

Last night my boyfriend and I were about to drive down to Lahaina and get Asian food. We were being lazy and didn't want to cook and clean the kitchen. However, we made a commitment to each other to eat our groceries and spend less money going out. We decided to eat at home and make due with what we had in the fridge and pantry....We should do this EVERY NIGHT!
So, for veggies I had a bag of small sweet peppers in red, orange and yellow. I had sliced fresh shittake mushrooms and asparagus cut into 1" pieces. I also had fresh tangelos, limes, ginger and lemons from a local fruit stand.
For protein I had firm tofu and sesame seeds. For grains, Jasmine Rice
*Tofu Satay with Stir Fry * serves 2 VEGAN
3-4 Cups of fresh veggies of choice
1TB oil for frying
1TB chopped fresh ginger
juice of 1/2 lemon
2TB nama shoyu or soy sauce
1 hot chili diced
Black sesame seeds and cilantro optional
Put rice in rice cooker
preheat oven to 400F, line cookie sheet with tin foil

~Marinade and Satay Sauce
Combine in small bowl
Juice of 1 Tangelo ( or orange )
Juice of 1 lime
1 TB apple cide vinegar ( or 1 TB Mirin )
2 TBNama Shoyu ( or soy sauce )
1 TB dark sesame oil
2 TB blue agave syrup
2 crushed garlic cloves

Marinate 4 1/2" slices of Tofu in this...we only had about 20 min but several hours would be even better. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 20-30 flipping once or twice until golden brown.
In the meantime in a wok or large skillet, add 1 TB oil ( canola ) and stir fry about 1 TB chopped fresh ginger (I min) then add sweet peppers, mushrooms and asparagus ( about 1 Cup to 1.5 Cup for each vegetable ) and one diced Thai Chili. I added about 1/2 of a lemon (juice) and about 2 Tb Soy sauce and about 1 TB black sesame seeds for some liquid. Stir fry until hot, remove before the veggies lose color and too much crunch.
Next, I did something sort of spontaneous. I put the remaining marinade in a sauce pan on med heat and I added....
3 heaping TB of creamy peanut butter - use more if you want a thicker sauce
1 TB Thai red curry paste
2-3 Tb or more full fat coconut milk
Arrange the plates.....add 1 large scoop of rice, topped with 2 slices of baked Tofu and veggies. Then, spoon on the warm "Peanut Satay" sauce and add a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and maybe some chopped cilantro. I think the peanut sauce made the dish. It was excellent!

Falling off the Wagon

Well, I'm struggling right now with my diet and exercise routine. It all started with my MAC crashing ( still down ). In turn, I was no longer "blogging" daily and soon everything started to slip. To make matters even harder, I had a very emotional set back last Wednesday. I ended up not eating until about 6pm and when I did it was a few crostinis, goat cheese and 3 glasses of wine....I hate that when I have an emotional breakdown I loose all sense of self. I'm still searching for a way to not let this happen.
What next......I'm starting my work week with a sort of cleanse.......What I would like to do is commit to 60 minutes of cardio everyday. I know this sounds aggressive but I think what I need to do is sweat....A LOT! I turn 33 April 2. I want to feel healthy, clear and strong by that date. I think I can do this with some discipline.
Besides the cardio, I need to make a commitment to Yoga. I'm shooting for 3 classes a week this month.
Surfing, This is the first time in about 5 yrs that I've been slacking in this area. I so much want to improve and be more confident in the water. The only way to do this is to get in the water and surf....plain and simple. It has been very chilly on Maui lately so honestly this has been a huge reason for my lack of water sport activity....I plan on working on this. I don't know...maybe surf in long underwear?
Diet, I keep saying it over and over......Dairy, Dairy Dairy!!! I'm having a hell of a time giving it up! Coffee, sugar, meat etc....no problem. Walking out on dairy has been harder than walking out on my ex-husband. LOL! Seriously though! What is it???Am I addicted? Can I be?? Whatever it is, I need to work on it. Why would I continue to put something in my body that my stomach rejects?? I seem to have a pattern of this....
Starting today, I've decided to clean things up a bit. I would like to, if I can...eat mostly fruit and veggies until Friday the 13th. I would also like to leave out wine and all dairy products. The other bad vice I have is 2 daily Excedrin pills....These for some reason are like my addiction to dairy and they MUST be eliminated. I'm giving myself 5 days on my sort of detox diet, If I can go more I will. However, I'm assuming that I would like to enjoy a bottle of wine with my man and friends come the weekend. Stay tuned:-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spicy Squash Soup

Aloha, I'm having a really difficult time these last few days updating this site...My MAC notebook is still down:-( However, I would like to share a quick recipe I made today...yum
*Spicy Butternut Squash Soup* VEGAN
2 Cups of Veg. broth
1 Can full fat coconut milk
1 large Butternut squash roasted
1/2 of a lime juiced
1/2 of a chipotle chili with about 2-3 tsp of adobo sauce
1 clove of garlic...optional.
Slice and roast Squash at 400 degrees until tender 35-45 min
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until mixed and creamy.