Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 22 - Too busy.....

Hey, I know I missed a week but I'm just unable to keep up at the moment - I doubt it was really missed anyway, everyone has such BUSY lives! 

I'm madly trying to get ready for a trip to Fraser Island in a week - we are staying in an awesome house owned by friends on Orchid Beach which is, unfortunately, no where near civilisation so am having to plan a weeks worth of meals and make sure I bring enough of everything to last us that whole time - Fruit and Veg included.  My son is nearly into his 3rd week of going gluten free so I also have to make that adjustment work too.  Which is why I am trying to precook a few meals before I go - so I have the security of knowing that there'll will be plenty of things for him to eat, and I won't have to spend my whole holidays COOKING!  So far the list looks like this:

* Mini Quiches - caramelised leek, sweet potato and fetta (for adults), ham & cheese (for kids)  DONE
* Spaghetti Mince - full of veges & will take normal & GF spaghetti  DONE
* Apple & Raspberry Crumble - topped with GF oats, GF plain flour, macadamia nuts, a little brown sugar and butter  DONE
 * Sandwich meat - roasted 2 chooks & then shredded the meat for use on sandwiches and in a Thai Curry with Brown Rice  DONE
* Choc chip, Oat Cookies - I will make a stack of these with GF flour, almond flour and GF oats & maple syrup and they will be a big treat to have on their own or as s'mores with toasted GF marshmallows & Lindt 70% Dark Choc - too divine!  STILL TO DO
* Carrot Cake - delish cake with grated carrot, tinned p'apple, walnuts, almond flour & coconut palm sugar.  DONE
* Sausage Rolls - organic sausage meat, grated apple, potato & onion in normal and GF puff pastry.  DONE
* Chicken nuggets - organic chicken breasts cut up and dipped in flour, egg & normal and GF bread crumbs.   DONE

Hmmmm......doesn't look very healthy does it????  But it at least it's not all rubbish prepackaged processed stuff - that's the main thing.  I am going to bring a lot of fruit and veg (esp for me & the kids) as well as some frozen soups and frozen berries and bananas so even at the end of the week I can make good smoothees.  I purchased a stick blender to take so that makes it even easier. So a busy weekend ahead with lots of cooking and the start of packing.  If I can finish all the cooking by Monday I will be able to spend the week packing and picking up groceries as I go.  Exhausting just thinking about it!

AND now for the GOOD NEWS!  Yes, it's official - 12kgs definately gone!  Wow, it has taken for ever, and it did take a bit of a boost to get it moving again.  Last Monday the family went on a great trek around the falls at Springbrook and that extra 5 kms straight after an impressive leg work out earlier that morning seemed to just max out my muscle burning and upped the stakes a bit.  I also noticed that my appetite really diminished that week.  I was able to easily make it thru till lunch without snacking, and was able to easily pace myself throughout the rest of the day with light meals and a smoothee mid arvo instead of those evil coffees.  I need to make the most of these times as I know there will prob be a "starvation" phase coming up where my body just wants to eat again.

I'm already on my way to 13kg, and have started fitting into a few sz 14s.  OH MY GOODNESS - I have not been in a size 14 since before having Amber 10 years ago.  I have weighed less than this but it just goes to show how much my body has changed with that all important gym work.  And, people are noticing!  I've had a few comments lately (all from guys, I must say) and it's just made my day.  My PT says that's the best feedback, when people notice who would never normally say anything about how you look - and it's TRUE.  I have to say, also, that my husband is also way more effusive about the way I look.  Not that he ever dissed my weight, but he was always so encouraging whenever I lamented my heaviness and unhealthiness.  It's so nice that he now comments often about how noticeable the changes are, and it just makes me want to keep going and keep trying. 

With the holidays coming up tho, I am slightly apprehensive of being away from my routine and my securities.  One week of no gym and no access to to shops whenever I need to pick up stuff I need.  I will have to be more restrained and not tempted to go overboard with meals or get lax in my discipline.  That's not to say I won't enjoy myself (you can see that from the menu) but I need to keep control and just eat when i'm hungry and then STOP! 

I've already decided that when I get back I am going to do a juice fast as a 3 day cleanser.  I just want to get my digestion cleared out and operating effeciently again.  I know it's not going to be easy but I'm actually a little excited about it.  I hope this will be beneficial physically and spiritually as well, as I am hoping to spend less time eating, and more time praying, and focussing on keeping an ear open to God.  Anyway, hopefully, you will read all about it after my "restful" holiday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 20 - a Week's worth of Salads!

Oh yes, my Salad Fetish has returned, and I've found some goodies lately.  Now they may not all be your cuppa tea but I really hope you find one out of all these to give a go.  Raw Food Rocks!  In this season of yucky sickness and flus and germs, raw food is sooooo important to boost your immunity, pump your body full of needed vitamins and minerals and give your gut a good cleanse so it works better. 

DAY 1:  Adzuki Bean salad (thanks to Gillian Mc Keith)

1 400g tin of organic adzuki beans (a jap bean that has great healing qualities and has the least amount of calories, with the most amount of nutrients - minerals & B vits - I get mine in the Organics shop)
1/2 red onion diced finely
1 125g tin of corn kernels
1 handful of parsley chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
Add a little olive oil and S & P to taste.

OK, my kids would not eat this but I enjoyed it as it really was a "meaty" salad.  I served it with lamb chops for my dinner (instead of rice) and then had the rest for lunch the next day - very filling.  I could not eat this every day, but really enjoyed something a little different.

Day 2 - Beetroot & Apple Salad (with Grilled Haloumi) - from "Delish" on 7two

1 beetroot (simmered in boiling water till tender - about 40 mins, then sliced into batons;  I'm sure you could use tinned)
1 apple (unpeeled, sliced into batons)
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup whole almonds toasted (in a tbsp of s'flower oil in pan)
1/4 cup currants (I used chopped cranberries) - optional in my opinion.
S & P
juice from 1/2 a lemon and olive oil

Mix all together and serve with freshly grilled haloumi (we used 1/2 of a pkt for 2 people).  I cannot tell you how heavenly this salad was - I wanted to eat it allllllll day.  I served this with steak and it was a divine meal.  I finished the rest of it the next day for lunch and it still tasted terrific (with more freshly grilled haloumi). 

Day 3:  Orange and Fennel Salad (thanks to Jamie Oliver)

1 bulb of fennel (very thinly sliced - I used a V-slicer)
2 oranges segmented (very fiddly but worth it if you cut them out between the pithy bits)
1 handful of parsley (boy, you'd want a lot of parsley with all these recipes)
1/2 red onion, very finely sliced
dressed with S & P & olive oil
apple slithers, toasted almonds - OPTIONAL EXTRAS.

This is a very refreshing salad and the sweetness of the orange really compliments the aniseed of the fennel.  I squeeze out the juice of the leftover orange carcass to add to the dressing too.  So simple, but so effective.  Serve with any grilled meat or roast chicken (which is what I had it with).

Day 4:  Brocolli Salad 

1 head of brocolli (cut into florets and lightly steamed or m-waved for 2 mins, still needs to be crunchy) 
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 red onion (finely diced)
2 rashers of bacon (fried till crisp)
Dressing: 1/2 cup of mayo, 2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp honey OR traditional viniagrette (olive oil & lemon juice, tsp mustard, tbsp honey, S & P)

This definately isn't the healthiest of salads but it's an oldie and a goodie in my book!  Not one you'd have every day but nice for a change - the crispness of the brocolli, with the sweetness of the raisins and the saltiness of bacon, is too great a combination to miss out on.

Day 5:  Salad Sushi 

I love a bit of sushi, but I really struggle with how gluggy the rice is and just hate the thought of how hard it must be to digest being so sticky and starchy.  So this is my "better" option:

Instead of rice I use mashed avo with lemon juice, seasoning and a tbsp of horseradish cream (or sweet chilli sauce) spread all over the sushi sheet.  Then, along the centre, goes strips of julienne carrot, cucumber, and capsicum and add some ribbons of smoked salmon, sunflower sprouts (or bean shoots) and coriander leaves.  It gets rolled up as normal but just sliced in 2.  It doesn't need soy sauce either as there is enough flavour in the avo mash.  I saw this done on a raw food dvd (minus the salmon of course), and was skeptical that it would taste as good as normal sushi - but it was great - very satisfying and tasty.

Day 6 - Moroccan Carrot Salad

2 cups shredded carrot
1/3 cup raisins
1 cup chopped oranges
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/3 cup chopped coriander
Dressing:  1/4 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp cumin, pinch cayenne or paprika, salt.

I know this seems to be a recurring theme:  but it really is the season for oranges, and good flavour combination means that sweetness really enhances the goodness of these salads.

Day 7 - Salad in a Smoothee 

1/2 avo
1 banana
1 cup frozen berries
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups of cold filtered water
1 tbsp flaxseed oil
1 tbsp cacoa powder
1 tbsp raw honey

Yummy - the avo adds real smoothness and there's plenty of goodness in this with the berries and spinach.  So many things you can do with these recipe - a cup of grated carrot would be yummy too or chopped orange - delicious and so very nutritious.....

I will be interested in hearing if anyone tries any of the above.  Sorry it took so long to finish but will try and blog again a bit sooner!