Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Day in the Life - Day One

A beautiful Tuesday in St. Pete, Florida - saw the sun rising over the bay when I was up too early to walk the dogs.  Chihuahuas must have very small bladders since I just had her out at 1 a.m.  Oh well -- it is a beautiful day to be up and alive and feeling vibrant.

I do start each day with a rich, dark roast cup of coffee.
"Wait," you might be shouting, "I thought to gave up coffee!!"  To which I will calmly reply:  "I did."  And then I couldn't remember exactly why I gave it entirely up, so here is an area of compromise:  one cup a day, period.

Some of the reasons for limiting my intake of caffeine are:

a.  to allow my body to flow naturally into sleep and awake cycles, allowing for a more peaceful sleep and a more active day.  And this limitation has indeed done that.

b.  and to work on keeping a high alkaline level which helps immunity and decreases cancer habitats.  With this goal, even decaf coffee is out since it is acidic, so when I want a coffee like drink, I choose Teeccino which is a robust herbal mixture that has the viscosity of coffee, the sense of "ahh...my friend" that coffee brings to me, and is probably even good for me.

For "breakfast" - I am trying to acquire a taste for what health nuts (ooops, advocates) call "The Green Drink," which is a mixture of many grasses - again, supposed to boost one's immune system and is full of antioxidants.  There are many powder mixes to choose from -- all tasting like juiced lawn mowings, but I am making progress with teaching myself to love this drink.  I no longer have to hold my nose when I jug it.  In fact, I can drink it like a normal person, no longer grimacing, and with each swallow, tell myself how good this mixture is for my body, actually almost believing it at this point.  It is not for the faint of heart or stomach.

I delighted in a great yoga class this morning at Living Room Yoga, taught by Sally -- it was restorative and after the drama and trauma at the hospital last night, and getting up earlier than I would have chosen, it was just what I needed to connect Mind, Body and Spirit.

The Lunch and Dinner Combo Trick:

I always feel so clever when I do the lunch and dinner combo trick, but then for ions, folks have gone out for lunch, had extra and asked for a "to go" box for dinner, so this is not a unique or earth shattering discovery.

Upon returning home from yoga, after greeting my beloveds, two legged and four, I went to the refrigerator and took out all the packages of veggies from my last week's shopping:

the chopped or sliced cabbage, carrots, broccoli slaw, sprouts, lettuce, etc.  For ease, when I can find the veggies already sliced, diced, or shredded, I buy it that way, but in the "ideal world" - getting them whole and doing it oneself may earn one Nature Goddess points, or a sliced finger.

I set up an Ezekiel sprouted grain wrap on a plate in front of me, and right next to it, I set out my large plastic "take to work" bowl.  Onto or into each I add:

1 tbsp of red pepper hummus
1/2 sliced avocado
sprouts and snack sprouts
shredded cabbage
baby romaine lettuce leaves
carrot and broccoli slaw

and over each, I used some great chipolte salsa as a dressing.  Snap the lid on the plastic container and 1/2 my dinner is made; roll up the tortilla and sit to enjoy lunch -- these are called JandiWraps (photo above) in  honor of my dear friend, Jan Small who generously gave of her time to teach me the art of making them after scaring me away from my carnivorous ways by gifting me the book Skinny Bitch.

I still needed to supplement my supper -- the potato/avocado dish last night was scrumptious -- a keeper!  Today I decided to slice some tofu and bread it with Panko Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs and heat it with a spray of olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  I used a spatula to squish the squares flat as they cooked.  Since it was a "to go" dish, I "plated" it on a sheet of aluminum foil upon which I laid some basil leaves, then the tofu, and topped it with some sun-dried tomatoes and herbs (that I made in my dehydrator this weekend -- ever so Martha Stewart! yuck) (yuck to me imitating M.S., NOT to the tomatoes which were yummy).  Photo above.

I think I will toss in another of the "good for you cookies" described below. And that, my friends, should be the vegan food supply for the day.

And remember, water, water, water.

Whatever you eat -- eat it mindfully, grateful that we have food to nourish us.  May you be blessed with good food and a healthy, balanced body.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Ann! {Thanks for the mention! I feel famous!} You REALLY must write a book about all this -- your journey and how you dd it and what you are cooking up and mindful eating and respect and gratitude for the planet and the creatures on it...all that good stuff. Your doctor's comment about her patients need for this is so true. Multiply her by 100,000 physicians who care deeply for their patients but don't have an efficient way to help them figure out what to eat. Dan would love something like this for his patients. He lives this way of eating, but it is difficult for him to give the same talk over and over again. Put it in a BOOK!!!


The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.