Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wk 11 - Happy, happy, joy, joy!

It's only Tuesday but I'm still feeling cheerful. According to the calendar I should be starting the downward spiral to PMT hell but so far I've felt like I'm on holidays - not stressing about too much, looking forward to going about my jobs, not fussing too much about the ratbag children and feeling like skipping. I suppose it's the power of looking forward to something. It's only 3 sleeps till we go to Melbourne and I'm feeling quite organised. Maybe I need a few more days to get to that frantic "nothing will be ready in time" feeling. It also helped that my hubby did such an awesome job getting the housework and washing done on Sunday, that I was able to start the week with nary a dark cloud to be seen on the horizon!

Yest, I had to get my head around what to do food-wise without buying too many groceries and using up all the bits & pieces in the fridge and larder. And today, I went to work and have planned almost everything up to the last meal. Monday, I did my Soup of the Week, thanks to Notebook Magazine (great mag that!): Roasted Garlic, walnut and Zucchini Soup.

8 garlic cloves unpeeled
3 lge zucchini, sliced
1/4 olive oil
sea salt
2 med brown onions, chopped
1/2 leek, white part only, finely chopped
2 lge potatoes, cubed
1 ltr chicken/vege stock
2 tbs chopped toasted walnuts

Roast garlic and zucchini in hot oven drizzled with olive oil and salt, till golden (about 1/2 hr). Cool. Heat remaining oil in stockpot and add onion and leek and saute till soft. Add potatoes, salt, stock and simmer till potato is tender. Squeeze out cooked garlic into a blender jug, along with zucchini, walnuts and blend till combined. Add the potatoes and stock and blend till smooth.

It was quite a creamy soup and reminded me a bit of potato and leek soup. The flavour is gentle and it is very filling. I used half chook, half vege stock and also forgot to add the walnuts, so just sprinkled them on top.

One of my kids enjoyed having some for dinner but the rest were using up old sourdough bread in their toasted sangers. I was very unhungry after snacking on this and that, so spent the rest of the night on the water.

Today, I enjoyed my last 2 vegan pizza bases for lunch with some luscious bits of salad and tahini, and a little cheese on top. I enjoyed plenty of fruit during the arvo, including a great smoothee and then cooked up a big batch of spaghetti mince so that the kids could have spag bol tonight and there would be plenty left over for tacos tomorrow night. That was great as I got rid of a heap of odds and ends in the fridge including leftover salsa, passata and cannelini beans. I also made up a batch of apple and cranberry muffins to use up a few other bits.

2 small apples peeled & chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used half brown, half palm)
2/3 cup plain flour
2/3 cup wholemeal flour (I used buckwheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 lge egg
1 cup skim milk
4 tbsp vege oil

Add sugar to apple and sit for 5 mins. Mix dry ingreds altogether and then add apple and cranberries to it and mix through. Whisk wet ingreds together and then add to dry. Stir till combined then fill a greased 12 hole muffin tray. Bake in mod oven for 20 - 25 mins.

Well, my muffin fiend child LOVED them and scoffed two straight off the bat, I quite enjoyed my taste although they weren't crumby muffins, more doughy - actually a little doughnutty.

I also had some fresh ricotta cheese that I needed to use up so I relished making some sweet baked ricotta in my mini loaf tins. I used 200g of fresh crumbly ricotta, and about 75g of smooth ricotta (out of a tub) and mixed it with 1 egg, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon & 1 tbsp of honey. They were baked in the oven for about 20 mins, till golden on top and I am looking forward to having them drizzled with a little maple syrup and some toasted macadamias - the perfect dessert!

So while the kids ate their spaghetti, I used up some prawns in an a decadent red thai curry - saute onion, capsicum in vege oil, add curry paste and prawns and caramelise. Add small tin of coconut milk and simmer till prawns cooked thru. Serve over rice or bean sprouts and top with chopped coriander and basil - mmmmmmmmmm.

So there is a great sense of well-being as I sit here and dwell on the staisfying things achieved. I also got lots of little run-around jobs done and some packing as well, so I am HOPING this continues till we leave. Gym in the morning and another day to get as much done as possible.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wk 10 end

Well, it was Thai takeaway on Friday night and we tried out a new restaurant (highly acclaimed) just up on the Hwy near us. Oh man, it was AWESOME! Had a very delightful green chicken curry and a basil & chilli chicken stirfry. Did not regret a minute of that deliciousness. And felt OK afterwards too.

I had finally made it to the drs on Fri arvo too (to check my ankles) and I've been booked in to have an ultrasound and xray done on both, in 2 wks. The Dr tends to think its my achilles tendon and thinks there may be some calcifaction which may need a cortisone shot, depending on the extent. Will wait and see what it is for definite but thankfully there is no need to adjust my activity. Don't know what I'd do without the gym now! Had a great cardio session on Fri which is def my favourite day of the week. I'm really getting into the boxing, kicking and kneeing and it kills my abs, legs and shoulders but gives you such a rush. I love it whenever the PT remembers more of her Muay Thai to teach me. Don't take me on in a dark alley as I will kick your butt! (as if..........)

Was also chuffed at how much the doc praised all my progress - told her all about my diet changes and she was very supportive. She also signed my daughter's immunisation conscientious objection form without blinking an eyelid - its nice to find (I hope) someone a little more sympathetic than the usual aloof and obnoxious GP.

On Saturday I finally found some sugar-free, wholemeal & spelt hot cross buns at Mrs Flannerys that I could take home in good-conscious for the kids to have (yes, I snuck a half - but that was my lunch.........?) and they were not like massive rocks but almost as light as normal ones. And easily sweet enough with the dried fruit. The kids all had their lunch before we headed off to Brissy for a party. Had hardly eaten all day so hoped there was an OK selection to choose from. It was so nice to have a little break from the kids for awhile and relax and enjoy some good adult conversation. Confession 1: Yes, I had a glass and 1/2 of champagne - and yes, it was very enjoyable but I did have the runs a bit afterwards. But, I was surprised at how little it impacted me, it wasn't some awesome homecoming. However, I still don't really want to get back on the booze wagon as I really am not missing it and can do without all the candida impact as well as the calories.

So back to the food. I nibbled happily on a few bits of apple and cheese, steered clear of the sushi, but consumed a couple of rice paper rolls, had a chicken satay stick with some yoghurt dip, and then ended up (once again) chewing on some ciabatta bread (toasted tho). Was surprised at how much that grazing filled me up for the rest of the day. Confession 2: I also had 3 coffees in total that day. :-( Definately seems I am a social coffee drinker!

Back home and thought I would finish the day off with a nice salmon salad but no, ended up nibbling on kids' garlic pizza, and after hubby had gone to footy, finished off the last mouthful of Thai - hmmmmmmm....... once the resolve is weakened, the resolve is definately WEAKENED.

However, this is not a tale of doom and gloom, because Sunday was a marvellous triumph in not letting things snowball. I happily munched on bananas & pineapple in the morning when hungry, which was a little difficult as I was on sunday school at church. When I got home I was soooooo tired and starving so finally enjoyed that salad with the little leftover salmon, a whole avo, some fresh rocket from the org mkts that morning, slivers of red capsicum, crumbled fetta and a little olive oil & lemon juice. Yum, and very filling.

Had a treat in the arvo - a lovely pedicure where I actively consumed my water and planned dinner. Relished a coffee with my hubby in the arvo and felt really peppy as he'd got the house nice & clean which motivated me to keep on with the ironing and getting into the prep for our upcoming trip. Pear for all while I started dinner - Frittata. Sauteed onion, leftover bits of meat, & corn in a pan before whisking up 8 eggs with milk and then pouring over stuff in pan. Crumbled rest of fetta over top of the adults' size before putting in the oven to grill on top. Went easy on the stuff in the frittata as when my kids are feeling fussy, they are very FUSSY. So served lots of avo, cheese & capsicum on the side and it was one of the most peaceful meals we've had in a looooooong time. And yes, it was very tasty.

And the end of another week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week 10 - 8kgs!!!!!!!

Stoked to see I'd lost 8 kgs this morning. That was a big milestone for me, although I spose 10 kgs will be even better........

The week's been going well and was pleasantly surprised at how much better I felt by Tuesday, other than an occasional hacking cough, I felt great. I was so fired up for gym on Wednesday morning and so enjoyed being back, even tho I'd only missed 1 session. On Monday I really focussed on dosing up on all my minerals, & vitamins, lots of water and only eating when I was hungry. Monday I enjoyed a smoothee in the morning and had some raw vegan pizza bases topped with lots of crunchy salad for lunch (oops, that was after a honey sandwich while making the kids lunches) and then I experimented on some pikelets for the kids in the arvo using Buckwheat flour:

1 cup organic unbleached sr flour

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

2 eggs whisked

1 cup milk

Mix dry, then add liquid till mixture same consistency of pouring cream. Add more milk if not liquid enough. Cook in melted butter in fry pan.

To me they were not as light and fluffy as normal but very similar to the wholemeal flour ones I used to make. Of course they are much better eaten straight away while still warm. I don't butter them (as I cook them in butter) but just spread with sugar free jam and a big dollop of cream, or with a drizzle of maple syrup. The kids enjoyed them as normal (and so did I - was such a wonderful comfort food while sick).

For dinner I was desp enough to delve into the freezer, and reheat some chicken patties and served them with salad for everyone. Easy enough. I then finished off my choc mousse with a dollop of cream and some chopped macadamias - again with the comfort food, but it is nice to have a little treat at the end of the day every once in a while.

Tuesday was feeling on top of the world and was nice to head to the shops for a little while to get a few jobs done, however, the kids had other ideas and came home feeling like I wanted to bang my head against the wall for awhile. I gave the kids baby muffins at the shop for m tea but kept to my water. Home, and i was happy to get stuck into a leftover corn wrap with salad and some steak left over, and then made another wrap using lettuce to fill up on. And at night I'd marinaded some chook legs in 1/2 cup of olive oil and a lemon thinly sliced. That was roasted at night along with a sweet potato bake and rocket salad - how delicious.

And yesterday we were off to the park for a picnic in the morning with friends. I brought with a dip I'd made the day before thanks to Giada again! Spinach & Cannelini Bean dip:

1 bag of organic baby spinach

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 can cannelini beans

1 tbsp lemon juice

olive oil to add

Sautee spinach in pan with oil & garlic till wilted, then add to beans in food processor, along with lemon and puree till smooth. Add oil till smooth consistency and season to taste. When I do it next I think I would add some chilli to the saute as well.

I brought this along with carrot & celery sticks and some snowpeas to snack on, and really enjoyed it. Lots of water too. I didn't need lunch till much later and got all excited at doing an omelette with yummy rocket salad on the side. Didn't need anything through the arvo but relished dinner - dukkah coated salmon fillets with a great corn, avo & green bean salsa. Only blanched the green beans so they were still nice and crunchy, and also added chopped red capsicum, some coriander, and a little red onion and green shallot. If the kids hadn't been eating it (and they didn't really enjoy it anyway) I would have added some chilli and more lemon juice.

And as I was out of potatoes, I got Luke to pick up a "small" serve of hot chips which everyone shared at the end (after they'd finished the better part of the meal!). Still trying to give the kids their fruit beforehand but finding that's not going so well with the littlies as they are too distracted. Just need to have more types of fruit on hand to keep them happy.

Oh, and the dandruff has made a reappearance - bummer! However, not getting too dismayed as I have just swapped to an organic s'poo & cond, and apparently it can react with your scalp as it heals from all the other junk you've had on your head before. Most s'poos just "coat" your hair, not actually nourish your hair so finally decided to make the switch. Now to get rid of the proactiv - would be interested to hear what anyone else uses as a "natural" skin cleanser.

Must also mention that I am pretty happy with Neways products I've been trying and if anyone needs anything I can order it in. They have a lot of great safe cleaning chemicals and a wonderful range of personal products too that do not have any of the dangerous stuff in their. I am using their Radiance toothpast and the Eliminator mouthwash which I have also used as a gargle while sick - and it really helped as it is anti-bacterial. Will let you know other products I use and how useful they are. Anyway, must be smoothee time again!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Week 10 - intro

Week 10 and almost 8 kgs gone - I am stoked! It was more than I'd hoped to achieve before Easter and I still have 1.5 wks to cement that 8 kgs before heading off to Melbourne. I am under no illusions that it will be a little harder to stay on track down there but I will be trying. First thing will be a trip to the Vic Markets to stock up on as much fruit as possible, may take a few "emergency" supplies with me too, just in case its hard to rustle up an Organics store nearby.

Have been reading a fascinating book at the moment (other than the Time Travellers Wife which I finished in 3 days, quite interesting) called "The Jungle Effect" by Daphne Miller, MD. Talks a lot about how native/indigenous people in their homelands live extremely healthy lives but when these diets are "westernized" they lose all their health benefits and this leads inevitably to obesity, diabetes and health problems. Makes sense of course, but reading through it once again has shown me the importance of the origin of food and how the less refined things are, the more goodness they retain. It has once again motivated me to get into the beans a lot more - lentils, adzuki, etc. I have a few salad recipes to try with these so hope to gain a few more good ones to share this week. This book gives some very authentic recipes for traditional mexican (and no tacos or nachos anywhere to be seen), Mediterranean, Camaroon and Japanese. Found a few I would like to try that don't infringe on my diet, and score high in the antioxidant, omega-3 points.

But, I am also starting off the week very sick! I seem to have picked up the kids malady, and feel dreadful - being upright is quite difficult, my glands are horrendous, and I have a cough that racks the whole body. Last night I used all I could to give me a peaceful sleep - spray, vicks chest rub, vicks nasal spray, pain killers, vits and mins supplements & throat gargle. I slept like the dead, yay, and even got a sleep in which is so unlike me when I am normally always awake by 5. Will need a very restful day to get better as my hubby is in Brissy for the next 2 days and won't be around to take up any slack. sigh. Will try not to stress out my body with too much food either - when you're sick, your body needs all its energy to heal so it is important to eat the most easily digestible foods as possible - which is of course raw fruit and veg. And lots of water. So that is my plan today, and hopefully, things will look a little rosier tomorrow!

Must add a quick note about my delish dessert last night, of course! Didn't want to freak out everyone else last night with just serving my "alternative" choc mousse and fruit salad so did a compromise. I baked another honey sponge (honey, eggs, flour), sliced it in half, and smeared a thick layer of mousse on the bottom half, covered in sliced strawberries, sandwiched on the top half and smothered it in whipped cream with more berries piled on top. Was delectable and got polished off in one sitting (I stuck to my one small slice) and no one was too turned off by the ingredients in the choc mousse as the proof was in the pudding! We did enjoy the pork roast beforehand - I haven't had pork now for about 3 weeks - no bacon either. So, it was a pretty good wkend and other than being sick, this week looks promising.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week 9 end

Amazing hey! I'm getting in a little early to finish off the week. I have moved onto the 7 - 8 kg mark after a couple of good days. Just need to round off the weekend on a high, even though we'll be celebrating the m-i-l b'day tomorrow evening. Thankfully I'm on dessert!

Let me start off my saying that my mantra didn't work, maybe I should have been PRAYING instead - Thursday night we had pizza and garlic bread - sigh! It really was delicious and I didn't overeat but just very disappointed. But, I girded my loins on Friday to get on with it and started off making a huge Rainbow Coleslaw to last me thru the day and over the weekend. I got out the good ole V-slicer and made quick work of a small half of a white and a purple cabbage, and 1 huge carrot. I also snipped up 2 shallots and the remainder of the kale I had in my fridge. This made a big bowl of salad so keep that in mind with the following dressing ingredients:

1/2 cup of mayo
1/3 cup of nat yoghurt
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

Do it to taste as much as possible and if it is too thick just add a little more lemon juice/olive oil to get it to right consistency. This was all mixed in gently. I added chopped walnuts to the top when eating it, some chopped apple would have been great too.

So we started off with that for lunch along with some smoked salmon & chopped avo - yummy, yum yum! And as a treat for arvo tea (my mum and sister were here) I was able to obtain 3 slices of coconut choc tart - no sugar, gluten and grain free, and dairy free. You can not understand how delectable this is without trying it. Yes, they use coconut oil, avo, dates & agave but they spend so much time getting the proportions right that it does taste exactly like the real thing.

And for dinner there was a large array of bbq goodies to share with my parents - chorizo sausages for the others, some nice rump steak, chicken breasts marinaded in olive oil, rosemary and salt, and some yummy veges - red onion, baby eggplant & red capsicum. And all to have with my famous coleslaw! Really enjoyed it all and it made it easy for the rest of the weekend having leftover meat and salad to lunch on.

Saturday, I did not give in to my aching desire for scrambled eggs but just stuck with the coffee and a banana while on my way to the Chiro. Instead I saved the eggs for lunch with shallots and remainder of smoked salmon stirred in - more salad on the side, perfect! I also got to go to the movies in the arvo with my husband (saw Blind side and highly recommend it) and the smell of popcorn was so overpowering that I had to get some .......... NUTS! Just as fattening I know but a slightly better choice. Yes, I had a couple of L's chocettes but did not go overboard.

And now for the gourmet delight on Sat night. We had picked up some incredible scallops at the fishmongers and I used a slightly deviated Wolfgang Puck recipe: Scallops with Apple. All it was (and this is for just 2 people): half a lge granny smith apple peeled and sliced into thin batons, and then sauteed in a hot pan with 1 tbsp of butter till golden and softened. Remove and then add a dozen seasoned scallops in a bit more butter and caramelize them on one side before flipping and cooking another min. Then add a splash of cream and a squeeze of lemon juice, simmer 30 secs before serving over the apple. Totally divine. I actually made some corn fritters to go with it as well using buckwheat flour, 1/2 tin of corn kernels, 1 whisked egg, some coriander & cumin powder and 1 sliced shallot and some fresh coriander too. Just fiddled with the consistency and they turned out lovely and crispy with a little avo salsa on top. I now want scallops EVERY NIGHT! Can see the scallps over a little rice or quinoa and then a julienned raw vege salad with carrot, snow pea, etc. Will def do it again sometime.

I've had all manner of aches and pains in my neck and back and I know its the detoxing flushing out thru my back. My chiro has been a great help. However, my throat is very sore today and I've been coughing quite a lot. I'm keeping up my glandular fever spray and the immuno, as well as my Feroxin (from Neways) minerals supplement. Hopefully it won't hang round. I'm also having Melrose Vit C powder and hoping that this all boosts my immune system a bit more. Anyway, off to bed now as I'm quite tired after a busy busy day - and more cooking to do for dessert tomorrow. Have tried the choc mousse suggested by paulvik in the comments section of Week 8 pt 3, and so far so good, it tastes lovely and chocolatey but the raspberries really make the difference. Will decide how to use it tomorrow. Now, to bed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Week 9

Got to get back on track!

Started the week feeling strong but starving! SO wierd when you screw up all your good habits and immediately your poor body can't figure out what it needs and how much of it. Decided I would eat well but eat lots. Kept to my fruit smoothee and coffee in the morning (with lots of water) but started my lunch early - sauteed half a bunch of kale in garlic and olive oil, then added a full tin of sugar-free baked beans, and ate with a lovely green salad on side. Was sooooo what I needed and I scoffed it all down. Found myself resorting back to a decaf coffee in the arvo, just for that "full" feeling and still managed to pick a little at the kids' buns for arvo tea. Had 2 organic chooks roasting in the oven and put on a magnificent spread of roast veges to go with it. Was cleaning out my vege drawer at the same time so had a lovely org vege stock simmering at the same time, and then made up a crunchy salad of julienne celery & snow peas, and thinly sliced radish. Was to go with a lamb dish the next night but instead had some of it with the roast dinner. Instead of gravy I just used some of the pan juices with some apple juice, and reduced it in a saucepan. Just added a little depth to the dinner. Delish and ate my fill.

On to Tues and I had lots of leftovers to use for my dinner. Grilled some lamb steaks marinaded in morroccan herbs to have on wraps for the kids with salad. I had my lamb sliced up on a lovely salad of leftover crunchy stuff from yest, quinoa, cranberries and toasted macadamia nuts, all topped with the leftover tzatziki from last week. Can I just tell you, it was delightful, and I had to stop and save some for the next day as it really filled me up - all that chewing and crunching. Was still finding the bread the hardest thing to avoid during the day and had some of the kids fresh bread at lunch............. and a hot cross bun the next day. Where has all that self-control gone???? (Could maybe explain the slight scratching starting up on my head again???)

Made the banana cake as muffins for bible study again on wed morn but really enjoyed a platter a girlfriend put together with sliced tomato, avo, smoked salmon and cheese that I willingly brought out my buckwheat crispbread for! Made do for lunch, altho I finished my quinoa salad later on as well. And I had dinner all ready from the night before when I used half the chicken stock I'd made after the roast, to make Chicken noodle soup:

Saute 1 chopped onion and 1 carrot in 2 tbsp of olive oil for a few mins. Add 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tsp finely grated ginger & 1 small chilli chopped finely and stir till fragrant. Add 3/4 litre chicken stock along with another 1/2 cup of water & simmer for 5 mins till carrot almost cooked. Add 1 cake of vermicelli noodles and wait till softened in soup before adding 2 tbsp tamari, a cup of chopped roast chook, 1/2 tin of corn kernels and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust with water if too thick, but if too runny whisk in a beaten egg before serving to give a bit more texture.

The flavour of this soup def depends on the quality of your chicken stock - whether homemade (which I def recommend), whether organic (incomparable flavour) and how long its simmered as to how concentrated the flavour will be. Once you've simmered the chicken carcasses for an hour or so, remove the bones and then you can simmer longer and the stock will concentrate more and taste heaps more "chickeny". However, it will reduce your quantity dramatically so may only get 1 litre from it. (I also make sure I skim the icky scum off the top as it simmers and I strain the stock thru a sieve lined with a clean chux to get out any other bits.)

I also made my own garlic bread to go with the soup (fresh bread spread with garlic butter - butter, crushed garlic & salt) as the pre-packed garlic breads are atrocious for all the additives they use. However, once again too tempting to me and had to have a slice or two. Had to laugh later when I kissed all the kids good night and they all had "garlic breath"!

Sigh! So much bread - what to do?

Still on the cusp of 7 kgs off, and I still feel frustrated that I can't seem to feel it in my clothes. However, i feel I could drop a size in my underwear - undies & bra, even tho my back is so much more solid from the workouts. I spose next I should get some measurements to compare - arm, thigh, belly & chest. May make it a little bit clearer for me to see what's going on. My upper arms are still big if not bigger thanks to the muscle building but I know that's a temporary thing (how long is anyone's guess). As my personal trainer explains it, the more muscle you build, the more it will start to burn off the fat around it - but it takes time to get to that stage so will have to suffer it for now. And that's why sore muscles are a good sign, because it shows you they are still contracting and utilizing all the energy stored around them. (I am no expert on this and I know my PT would explain it better if not correctly but this is just how my mind thinks or "justifies" the work.)

My chiro has thankfully worked on the weak spot in my back and I haven't had the resulting headaches I was getting from my upper back workouts at gym. Hopefully it won't return. My ankles are still sore and altho the massage she has done on them has been great, I am still struggling in the mornings. I am learning to give them a good stretch and flex in bed before getting up though so they are a bit looser.

And that's all for now, must try and think of what to have for dinner tonight. (And repeat my mantra for the day - stay away from bread, stay away from bread, stay away from bread.......)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 8, pt 3

Got hammered Wed with headache after headache. I just can't understand why? I keep putting it down to the weather and the pressure in the air because I can't see where it could be from my eating. I am drinking heaps of water at the moment as well - gallons & gallons (well, 3L at least I'd say). Maybe it is more toxins coming out of my system as I continue to up my raw intake.

And the next kg has disappeared to who-knows-where - 7 in total now but I would be interested to know where its gone. I don't feel that different in my clothes, they prob feel a little bit more comfy than usual and I spose my muscle building may be affecting that as well. I'm a bit underwelmed at the moment I spose as it seems to good to be true that I am enjoying what I am doing and yes, I'm losing weight as well. God is gracious - that is all I can put it down to.

So, still feeling good except for having the headaches and having to rearrange things so I could flake on the couch for the arvo instead of taking all the kids to gymnastics after school. Had made an awesome banana cake for the ladies & kids that came over for morning tea - the recipe for which I'd found in the Aldi catalog - Banana & Coconut Bread.

1 3/4 cup sr flour
1/4 cup plain flour (I used brown rice flour to add a nutty touch)
2/3 cup brown sugar (I used half brown sugar, half coconut palm sugar)
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 lge bananas, mashed
2 eggs, whisked
50g melted butter
100g frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Sift flours and sugars together in bowl. In a separate bowl, combine bananas, eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir in thawed raspberries. Pour wet mix into dry and stir till combined. Pour into greased loaf tin and cook for 45 mins - checking after 30 to make sure it isn't overbrowning on top. If it is, cover with foil for remainder cooking time.

Was deliciously moist and disappeared by the end of the day. Yes, I had some which was the result of my stoopid headache making me crave anything to snack on, but managed to control how much I took.

For dinner I had made the lamb tagine again (def a fave of mine now, not so much the kids tho) and had sauteed some capsicum, red onion, zuchini, chilli and garlic to mix in with some quinoa simmered in chicken stock. Also roasted off some sweet potato and it was a glorious dinner - however, def lacking in the raw sector! Still been giving the kids their "dessert" 1/2 hr before dinner (fruit or avocado) and also trying to feed them up on fruit first thing in the morning. Man, we are going thru so much fruit it is ridiculous - so off to Wrays again.

Thurs was rather frantic too with no babysitter so speech therapy was rather frustrating with 2 kids. Felt like a reward afterwards but just snacked on some of the hot chips that the kids shared with their sandwiches. Dinner was vegetarian night so I roasted some old tomatoes in the oven along with some onion and garlic and then blended it up to make a really delish sauce for the kids pasta. Luke and I had another lovely omelette with a big salad on the side.

Friday I spent the day organising some amazing desserts. Tried to make a "good" choc tart - no flour, no refined sugar but altho the base was so yummy, the topping didn't set, and I'm not sure why. There was still a lot of cream in it but you could swap that with coconut cream so it was a good healthier idea. In the end I made a wicked, wicked choc mud cake with a choc ganache - but don't worry, it wasn't for us. We had friends come over to have it for supper to celebrate a mates' b'day, and I honestly didn't need a piece, altho I had picked at the mixture a bit while making it. Enjoyed my green tea but even more I enjoyed laughing my head off till very late that night - amazing how a good hysterical evening makes you feel better.

And must put down the recipe for the meatballs and tzatziki I had made for tea.

Feta & Eggplant meatballs

400g eggplant (finely chopped & roasted in 2 tbsp on olive oil till soft & golden)

500g beef mince

1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped mint leaves 2 cloves garlic crushed,

1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind

200g feta crumbled

S & P

Place all ingredients in bowl and mix will. Roll tbspn of mixture into balls. Heat up olive oil in pan and cook until browned. Then place on oven tray and cook through (5/6 mins).


2 cups greek style nat yoghurt

1 lebanese cucumber grated

2 tbsp chopped mint leaves

1 clove garlic crushed

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp ground cumin

S & P

Stir altogether to combine. (I only made 1/2 the recipe and that was heaps!)

So they went great loaded into pita pockets with lettuce & grated carrot, drizzled with the tzatziki. (I didn't have the bread). Kids were a bit fussy about the "bits" in the meatballs but they got over it!

And the weekend was a LOSS! Felt so defeated at the end of it, and sabotaged. Saturday started off OK taking Bella to netball and snacking on apples. Then off to Bunnings and the smell of the sausage sizzle was tooooooo much and we all scoffed them down for an early lunch (minus the bread for me). Some leftover tagine and sweet potato later on and a smoothee for everyone before setting off for friends for dinner. Cheese, salami & quince paste for nibblies; and ate way too much. Thankfully stuck to Appletiser instead of wine (1 small concession) and for dinner there was a lovely prawn & vege stirfry - tried to avoid the rice noodles but was delicious. However, totally caved for the piece of cheesecake and altho it was heavenly was very low when I got home, knowing I could have easily not eaten it but had lost all willpower by then.

Woke up Sun and headed off for Organic Markets and caved a again for some heavenly sour dough croissants - smeared with some Chocolate by the Spoonful (coconut oil, agave and cacao powder). Also bought a lot of fruit and veg and some more raw vegan pizza bases. Lunch was some leftovers and a coffee (*gasp*) and dinner was some crisps - HELLO, IS ANYONE HOME! I had a green tea while doing the ironing but not only is there nothing redeeming about what I ate, I wasn't eating enough either, so was snacking on rubbish. However, I shall not be thwarted and will regain equilibrium this week. Needless to say I have been seesawing between 6 and 7 kgs off and need to definately cement that this week.

I have been dwelling alot on this passage from Titus ch 2:11 - 14:

"For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds."

I don't want to be a slave to sinful pleasures and I want to be cleansed - not just in my body but in my mind as well and I don't need all this junk that tries to cling to me and drag me down. Now, for a green tea and a little relax before planning some more meals (very jealous of those who are already ahead of me in that dept!).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 8 - pt 2

Wow, still cheerful - amazing isn't it! Prob cause my weight is still dropping and I think that has a lot to do with the morning fruit thing! I do have to confess that I still do have my coffee first thing in the morning, which i know does nothing to help but it is still one thing I really enjoy and treasure. However, it is now the ONLY coffee I have throughout the day. Any other urges I get for a coffee, I counter with a smoothee or a green/peppermint tea. Both are exceptional at stifling food cravings.

I am in the process of making sure there is plenty of fruit cut up ready for the mornings. I am trying to encourage the kids to eat some fruit first thing in the morning, and then later if they are still hungry, they will have their toast or egg. In the evening I do the same thing. They have their fruit fix a half hour before dinner instead of afterwards. These habits, of course, are great for me too; because, then I fill up on fruit a bit before dinner and (in theory) shouldn't need as much to eat at dinner. It is so difficult to stop eating for the sake of it and I find I do that mainly at night - esp if I know I've eaten enough, but as I am putting away the leftovers, or making the kids' lunches, I have a little nibble here, a little nibble there - no real self control in that department. :-(

I am trying to put the most emphasis on lunch. Mid morning I make a smoothee for all - I blend the fruit with water, take out my glassful, then add milk and cacao for the kids. I still want to get my hands on some of that Supergreen powder that is full of the best green stuff and can be added to juices or smoothees. By lunch I try to fix a nice big lunch - omelette and salad or raw vegan pizza with salad toppings, or a big salad with meat on top. Yest, I popped out to mrs Flannerys after lunch and scored a ROAR chocolate crackle from their fridge section - what a treat, so delicious and once again, all raw vegan ingredients!

Was preparing a feast of wilted spinach and kale sauteed in garlic, chilli and ginger last night for dinner but for some reason I could not stomach the idea (boring........) and ended up slack and eating the fried rice I'd made for the others - oops. But that was it. Today I am getting ready some tandoori chicken (marinaded in spices and nat yoghurt) to bake in the oven for dinner which will be lovely with a nice big salad so I will report at how that goes later in the week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 8

Well, there was much rejoicing in the house yest when I finally broke thru that 5 kg barrier. This is always were my weight loss stalls and has taken me over 2 wks to break through. Yep, 6 kgs gone but of course I still must be on my best behaviour to make sure it is a permanent thing. My PT commented on how good I was looking this morning and that always makes me smile.

My other good news is that after seeing my Chiro on Sat, she thinks she can help me with my ankles. And after a bit of massage on Sat, they are already heaps better. She thinks they are not getting enough rest after all my gym sessions and so are just tightening, tightening, tightening - yes, I know - it is worth a grimace! Will hopefully see her again today to have a full session devoted to them. That is such a relief as I was really starting to worry about how long I had to live with feeling so crippled in the mornings........ my whole thing is wanting to live life to the optimal, not having to feel like I'm "just making it through". If only I would keep learning this with my faith too - why do we live such half-hearted lives when we could invest all our trust in Christ, switch off our own destructive selves and let Him bring about such awesomeness. I need more quiet time with Him.

Yes, i am feeling very upbeat this morning (may it last all week) but it really helps to have had a good weekend where I managed (other than a hot cross bun) to stay focused for nearly all of it. The fruit in the morning is working well and feels very cleansing. Beautiful omelette for tea with rocket salad (even the hubby loved it) and it was very filling. Yest, we had breaky at a cafe and it was seriously the first time I sat there and did not want what everyone else was having - BACON INCLUDED! I had a fruit antipasto platter where I got to try grapefruit for the first time (I know, pathetic hey) and dragon fruit - very interesting & def not sweet. I also attended a baby shower in the arvo and brought a magnificent fruit platter (star fruit, kiwi fruit, melon balls, orange slices, grapes) which I enjoyed sharing. I'd had a big lunch at my sister's place - roast chook, huge green salad with fetta (yum, yum, yum) and some potato bake (naughty but soooooo good). So it really filled me up for the arvo. Some rice paper rolls for tea and a little crispy chicken stirfry (very sweet chilli sauce) and that was that!

Have had a few more headaches along with my glands still being sore but am now looking for a connection between my little lapses with the bread devil! Anyway, this was just a quick start to the week, and am praying that next entry will still be just as positive.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

week 7

Really Week 7 - ha, fancy that!

Started the week with another cooking day - this Monday thing is working well for me! Used up last weeks' leftovers of salmon, rice & veges and used them in a creamy rice casserole. Started with a bechamel sauce and then added leftovers and heated thru before putting in a casserole dish topped with grated cheese. Baked in oven till cheese golden for tea and all the kids enjoyed it. I only had a little & filled up on my quinoa salad - this has to be my fave quinoa recipe so far and will make this again and again. It came from Georgina (who works at Wrays Organics), whose boss cooked it for them at a work get-together.

Quinoa salad with cranberries & macadamias

Heat 1 1/4 cup of chicken stock in saucepan, then add 1 cup quinoa & simmer gently till cooked. Just before ready add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (I get organic ones sweetened with apple juice) for last few mins to soften and lend their sweetness to quinoa. Meanwhile toast 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts in oven and chop roughly a big handful of parsley. Mix into quinoa and squeeze over some lemon juice. Eat warm or cold.

Yum, I wish there was more now! Also soaked all my nuts, seeds & fruits for another granola (recipe on Day 3 Blog) - this time using the cranberries instead of raisins, adding dates & apricots, and using some walnuts as well as almonds and macadamias. I didn't add the peanut butter or any agave this time as I knew it would be sweet enough with the dates, and I did add coconut but you wouldn't know it. Not as happy with this batch - still not that crunchy, but has made a massive glass jar full so will enjoy it as best I can.

And then there was the mango mousse. Not entirely happy with this recipe - my M-I-L has gone away so had to search the internet for something close enough, but wasn't too happy with how it turned out - didn't set very well and I think it tasted a bit too eggy still. However, the taste of mango and lime is very delicious. Kids weren't impressed but served some up for Luke & I with some orange slices and was a nice light dessert. Put the rest in the freezer and will see if I can get away with using it as an icecream!

Was burgers for tea on Tues night - I find that the kids really love this and it makes me happy that they eat so much salad with it. I make small patties for me to have between my lettuce leaves and it keeps me very happy as well. The raw food is a pretty big deal and I must make more of an effort to make it a focus in our meals. If I have a soup, I have to put a lot of raw salad in it (which I do enjoy) - bean & sunflower sprouts, grated carrot, & herbs. And make sure there is plenty of fruit salad available at breaky and a big raw salad at night.

The Soup of the Week was Sweet Potato Soup: fry off one chopped onion and 1 tsp of ground coriander in 1 tbsp sunflower oil. Add chopped 700g sweet potato (I used orange & white kumara) and brown off a bit before addding 3 cups of vege stock and simmering till soft about 15 - 20 mins). Blend or puree till smooth. Now this is quite a plain soup (if I did it again I would add a bit more garlic or other curry spices to amp it up a bit) but this being one of KG's recipes, it comes with a salad to eat on top! Some baby spinach leaves, chopped chilli, toasted sesame seeds, splash of sesame oil & soy sauce - really freshens up the soup and I reckon you could do alot of experimenting with the type of salad you put with it. I love rocket, grated carrot & sprouts - nice and peppery and crunchy!

This soup worked well for me on kids' pasta night again. And on Stir fry night I used a delicious Chicken Basil Curry recipe. It was really easy and you can do all the prep for it in the morning when you are lost less rushed.

1/2 tsp each of ground cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, salt & pepper
1/4 tsp each of cloves, turmeric
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lge red onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 small red caps sliced
1 small zuchini sliced
1 can light coconut milk
1 tbsp ginger grated
5 tbsp fresh basil snipped

Mix dry spices altogether in a bowl, place in chicken and coat well with spices. Cover bowl and put in fridge for at least 30 mins or leave overnight. Heat oil in pan and saute onion, garlic, & veges till soft. Remove veges, add chicken and brown. Return veges to pan and add coconut milk and ginger and simmer till chicken cooked. Add fresh basil just before serving.

I served this over brown rice for the rest of the family but I really enjoyed mine over sunflower sprouts (wish I'd had some bean sprouts too - yum). It was a delish and easy curry and better than using a paste where you're not sure what's in it. And coconut is such a great anti-bacterial food, esp good to use when everyone has colds. I have started adding a tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil to our smoothees too.

During the week I went to a Phillip Day seminar where he talked about food being the medicine to help us heal our bodies. I must include his metabolic checklist to help optimise our health as much as possible:

* loads of water and 1/2 tsp of good Himalayan or Celtic salt a day (NOT table salt as it is so processed that its been stripped of any nutrients and is regarded by the body as a poison because it cannot be broken down & used by our body)
* Diet (recommended 60% raw, 80% Plant based organic)
* Supplements (esp Vit C & Vit D)
* Exercise (rec 40 - 60 mins/day - quickest way to get oxygen in your body to help healing)
* Stress m'ment
* Detox (when you stop putting the junk in, it will start coming out)

Lots to work on there!

The other thing I found very interesting was finding out about our body's natural digestive cycles (from "food for thought" by PD):

Noon - 8 pm Appropriation of food (eating and digesting) - this is when we need to eat, our body craves nourishment during this time but it is important to only eat when your body is hungry.
8 pm - 4 am Assimilation of food (absorption and use) - this is when the body is resting and the digestive system cranks into gear and can do its thing with minimum of interruption. Because we are usually horizontal during this time it is important to finish eating 3 hours before bed so that your food will have already have left the stomach and is not fighting against gravity and causing all sorts of reflux and fermenting.
4am - Noon Elimination (excretion of waste products) - your body has sorted through the food it has processed and satisfactorily metabolised it into constituent nutrients for further use, while the rest has been rejected and needs to be eliminated. This stage is the most thwarted as it is almost always being sabotaged by us unwittingly eating big, badly combined breakfasts preventing the body from the necessary function of getting waste out of the body.

Apparently the rule for this Elimination period is, if you can't fast it, only eat fruit as it is the quickest and easiest to digest (in the intestinal tract not the stomach), without disturbing the processes going on.

When I read this it blew me away because it goes against everything we are taught about having a good big breaky to start off the day. But, to me, it makes so much more sense, and I believe is so much easier to do. Because I am so busy in the morning, I am easily distracted from eating and it is so much more sensible to focus on snacking on fruit (only if you need to) than trying to fit in a big meal. To me, I would be much happier trying to have a big lunch instead! So, I will definately give this a go - I know it won't always work but I am happy to see what happens.

A few rules for this "perfect food" raw fruit: Only eat it on an empty stomach and 1/2 hr before any other food, otherwise it can get held up in the stomach and ends up fermenting and putrefying and causing all manner of problems from being "stuck"; never combine fruit with any other foods; and never end a meal with fruit (which is what I always did with my kids for dessert, now I have to get it the other way round!).

Well, on those amazing revelations I will leave you all, so you can digest all the info, hopefully to the benefit and not the detriment of your body!

Monday, March 1, 2010

End Wk 6

Staying pretty constant with the weight but had a BAD last few days........

I have been trying hard to stick with the homeopathic spray which should get rid of the leftovers from the EB virus in my system. Unfortunately it makes the symptoms worse before getting better. I was really feeling it by Thurs - couldn't understand why I was sooooo sluggish at gym and just so tired - I felt like I was sleeping enough, but couldn't explain it until my glands popped up big time that night. Oooooooh, the pain - had to go on the nurofen because they were sore and I was finding it very hard not to collapse. All thru Friday I was a misery guts and was all out of will power to try very hard with anything else. Feasted on crackers and leftover sundried tomato pesto for lunch; and for the kids arvo tea, I had made a yummy banana sundae with the last bit of icecream in the freezer and a delicious choc & cream sauce - which I happily finished off myself and then felt rather nauseous for the rest of the day. Luke took the kids out to dinner at Subway while I was horizontal on the couch and after they were in bed, I then gave in to all my cravings and had some pizza - 1 1/2 largish slices.

I didn't care. I was too tired and ick to care. Saturday, I had to give myself a kick up the backside and was happy to just snack on a banana for breaky while I took No. 2 to netball. Was feeling a bit better by then and popped into the shops for some nice roast chooks and some fruit. Had friends with us the rest of the day and enjoyed some chook and salad for lunch, some mexican dip (layers of salsa, smashed avo, grated cheese, sour cream) with corn chips for arvo tea, and then bbq meat with a gorgeous salad - rocket, thin slivers of pear, radish & parmesan cheese drizzled with olive oil and lemon and topped with some walnuts simmered in honey and then put in fridge to cool for awhile. Ok - so not a perfect day but its always hard when you're busy and haven't spent enough time preparing. :-P

Sunday was another yucky muggy day and still feeling uninspired but stuck with fruit salad and yoghurt for breaky. I was on Sunday School at church so got home so worn out & with a very sore throat and scoffed down 2 salami sandwiches - AND YES, THEY WERE GREAT! Was bummed after but by then also realised it was that time of the month again and so everything was piling up on each other and I was losing the fight to regain control. To top it off we got Indian for dinner and I am still feeling the repurcussions. Bleh! I won't even check my weight because after that blow-out, and the bloating etc - it's not worth making myself any more miserable. Will look forward to going to the Phillip Day seminar tomorrow for renewed inspiration and getting back on track.

Must add, did not have a massive freak out with the PMT - was just an undercurrent of irritability for a few days which wasn't made better by the glands and tiredness. Have also been focusing on praying a lot more for loving my kids and beating away the anger. It's like waging a war in a way and I need to be persistent in the prayer and then entrusting my emotions to God's control (now to keep doing that with the food......).