Some Winter Re-boot recipes

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If you happened to read Winter Re-boot   then you are aware I am doing a two week winter “cleanse” so to speak, getting back to the basics of eating and nourishing my body. Which means, introducing new, healthier food options. Since I will be working the next four days (ugh, 4 12hr shifts in a row….), I decided to make my meals today and will make breakfasts the day of. I must say, I used to think quinoa was a bland food. What I have come to realize, it is so versatile, and if you are unfamiliar with it, SUPER healthy. For vegetarians/vegans, it is high in protein and gluten free (win win food, if you’d ask me).

For the next four days, here are the meals I plan on making (well, I already made the dinners and lunches).

Instead of coffee, I will have hot water with juice of one lemon, some raw apple cider vinegar, and honey (or stevia). I’ve already tried this, and it may taste strong at first, but it is addicting (in a good way!)

Breakfast

(For the smoothies, just blend everything together)

Super Green smoothie a la Molly:

  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp of each of the following: chia seeds, supergreens (spirulina) and ground flax seeds
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 c. kale or spinach
  • a couple ice cubes

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Chocolate Berry Protein shake (from Superfood Kitchen)

  • 2 T raw cashews
  • 1.5 T hemp seeds
  • 3/4 c. blueberries (Frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1 T hemp protein powder (optional_
  • 1.25c cold water
  • ice
  • stevia or desired sweetener to taste

Spinach & Pumpkin Seed power smoothie (from The Nourishing Seed)

  • 1c water, almond, hemp or coconut milk
  • 3 T pumpkin seeds
  • 1small banana frozen
  • 1c. frozen blueberries
  • 1c spinach
  • 1 T of each: ground flax and chia seeds
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • stevia to taste
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Fig Power smoothie (from Nourishing Seed)

  • 1.5c milk of your choice
  • 3-4 fresh figs, stems removed (i could not find these, so opted for dried instead)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1c. spinach
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 3-4 ice cubes (optional)

Lunch/ Dinner

Homemade Miso Soup a la Molly

Full of healthy ingredients!

Full of healthy ingredients!

Parsnip Cream Soup (to die for!)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large celery ribs,
  • chopped 1 small onion,
  • chopped 4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 vegetable seasoning
  • 2 cups broth (vegetable) or water
  • 1/2teaspoon sea salt,  1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 c. cup rice milk (or dairy-free option)

Assemble the soup base. In a large pot, add extra virgin olive oil on medium flame. When the pan is hot, add the celery and onion. Sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsnips, poultry or vegetable seasoning, and broth (or water) along with sea salt and black pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then lower the flame and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. When the parsnips are tender, remove from heat.

Make it creamy. You can use an immersion blender to make the soup smooth. You can also blend the soup in batches using a standup blender. When the soup is blended, pour it back to the pot and add the dairy-free milk. Reheat the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Quinoa with Secret Pesto and Sun Dried Tomatoes(From Superfood Kitchen)

Making the pesto

Making the pesto

Just a FYI, this is delicious! Crazy that it is vegan and nut free. With the quinoa and hemp seeds, it has almost 17g of protein!

  • 2 c. (packed) basil, fresh
  • 1/2 c. hemp seeds
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. EFA oil
  • 1 tsp freeze-dried wheatgrass powder (I omitted this as i didn’t have it on hand)
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 4c. cooked quinoa
  • 2c. packed baby spinach, cut extra thin
  • 1/2 c. packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

To prepare: place the basil, seeds, oils, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt in a food processor and process into a pesto sauce. Then, add the sauce to the quinoa and then add the tomatoes and spinach.

Massaged Kale Salad (Adapted form The Nourishing Seed)

  • 4 cups of kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 avocado, chopped (I omitted this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt  and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pomegranate seeds (top top), sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

Prepare the kale. Add kale, parsley, lemon juice, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to a large bowl. Massage the kale and other ingredients with clean hands. The kale should turn a bright green and become softer. Massage until well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Add remaining ingredients. Add your chopped apple and shredded carrots to the kale mixture. Toss.

Sweet and Spicy Collard Slaw (From The Nourishing Seed)

  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1bunch collard greens, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red cabbage thinly sliced
  • t/1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Dressing

  • 2 naval oranges, juiced
  • 1/4c. braggs raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2c olive oil
  • 2 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Prepare the dressing. Preparing the dressing first allows the flavors to intermingle before using it on your salad. Add the orange juice, Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, olive oil, cumin, the pitted date, garlic clove, sea salt, and black pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Allow the dressing to sit for at least 15 minutes before dressing your salad.

Toss the salad. Add your thinly sliced collards, red cabbage, and carrot to a large salad bowl. Add enough dressing to coat the salad, but not drown it. Add red pepper flakes if desired. Mix thoroughly. Enjoy!

Lemon Basil Quinoa with Lentils(Adapted form The Nourishing Seed)

  • 2 cups lentils, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa  cup raisins
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  • Sea salt to taste

Cook your lentils. Drain your lentils and add them to a pot. Cover the lentils with water and cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. When lentils are cooked, drain and let them cool and pour olive oil on top. Add cooked quinoa, raisins, chopped basil leaves, and sea salt to taste. Stir all the ingredients in a large bowl and add olive oil.

I rolled the quinoa up in a collard green for a wrap

I rolled the quinoa up in a collard green for a wrap

Pre-bed (or any time of day) snack options

(I am one of those people who has to have a little snack before bed.)

Homemade cashew milk mmmm

Homemade cashew milk mmmm

  • 1 c. warm homemade cashew milk (I can now scratch it off my 30 before 30 list!)
  • Chia seed pudding
  • Apple with sunflower seed butter
  • One roasted sweet potato with 3 tablespoons hemp seeds, garlic & sea salt, or opt for a sweet treat and drizzle your sweet potato with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, cinnamon & nutmeg.
  • Raw protein seed balls

On a separate, non food note, my house is officially ready for Valentine’s Day! I am pretty sure Martha Stewart would be my best friend if we ever met.

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Winter Re-Boot

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. ~ Jim Rohn

Truth be told, I’ve been having a lot of GI issues as of late. Abdominal cramping, feeling bloated, horrid gas, and the rest of the issues that goes along in that category. There is no such thing as TMI for a nurse. And skin issues. I’ve been breaking out more than I have since I was a teenager. And lack of energy….The list goes on.

The stresses of work and working a ton has reeked havoc on my healthy eating attempts. No time for lunch at work, or too little to eat during the day lead to a ravenous person once I got home after my long 12+hr shifts. Of course, eating a large meal late at night (by the time I usually get home it is after 8pm), enjoying a bottle of beer to help unwind after a stressful day,  and then heading to bed right after did not encourage a very restful sleeping pattern, either.

This cycle seems to have continued for the past couple of weeks. I started off January feeling quite pumped up about getting back on a “healthy” eating regime. I did not want to start the year off only eating healthier, but actually listening to my body– taking days off from exercise to give myself time to recover from either long days at work, or hard workout days. Instead of watching movies or TV shows on the internet right before bed, I wanted to start reading again instead; have a more solid, restful way to relax prior to sleep.

And, even though I might be physically fit at the moment, my body feels unfit. In a nutshell, I feel “gross.” I know my past demons have lots to do with how I feel about my body and body image. But those few couple of days that I nourished my body, I did feel more positive about myself. Now, after weeks of chaos, I yearn for that positive feeling again. Enough with this “Ohh, I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow,” and continue to eat junk food and highly processed foods believe that the next day I would “start” again. The longer I go treating my body with disrespect (which includes not eating when I probably should be eating, or eating junk food instead of food that my body needs in order to function), the more negative my body image becomes.

So, for the next two weeks (heck, I may feel so amazing at the end that I want to keep on with this way of eating), I am going to give my body a break from the havoc I have caused. I am convinced my GI issues and skin problems, etc, stem back to what I have been eating (okay, maybe stress might be another trigger). I’m going to nourish my body. Re-boot it. (I dislike the word “cleanse” as it resembles juice cleanses).Treat it the way it should be treated: like a temple. If everything I put in your mouth ends up being used by each cell, why would I want my cells to be fed chemicals, heavily processed, and unhealthy foods? If everything I eat eventually becomes a part of me, I want the foods to be highly nutritious; high in minerals and vitamins. Foods that help the body cleanse itself naturally from the toxins I have been consuming.

No, I am not saying I am going to go start drinking juices all day. I’ve figured out that juice cleanses are just overpriced ways to help people think they are being healthy, when in reality, for three days of drinking juice only, you are depriving yourself of healthy fiber. Okay, maybe some people like juice fasts, and good for them! I am simply not a fan. I think it helps those eating disordered thoughts that tend to plague my brain at times. I will attempt to have normal meals, and listen to my body. When I am hungry, I will have a snack. When I am not hungry, I will not eat. Easier said than done for someone who tends to ignore her body’s cues. Before a long, hard workout, I will fuel my body the best way I can. And after, I will have a post-workout snack. The little voices in my head may not like to hear this–“you cannot have a post-workout snack if you have something before the workout,” but, you know what? Screw them. In order to properly train for this half IM in June, I not only need to be well trained, but I need to be well nourished. That was one of the reasons why I was unable to finish my last half IM– I had no knowledge of nutrition and was not giving my body the fuel it needed in order to complete a race of that distance. I guess I feel I have become unaware of my body and what it is telling me. I want to become in tune with it again.

This will not be easy– it takes time to unlearn habits I’ve developed. But I am going to try. I know many out there say that it takes thirty days to get rid of a bad habit. Psychologically, it will be difficult as I will have to find other ways to de-stress after work (how have I come to believe that I “need” a bottle of beer after a stressful day at work in order to relax?) However, I am going to stick with two weeks at first, because I’ve found in the past I can become quite fed up with myself if I mess up or slip up (back to my black and white thinking: you either succeed at something, or you fail at it) and I do not want myself to get discouraged or overwhelmed with the thought of doing this for three weeks.

What exactly does this re-boot involve? Basically, it involves eating whole, clean foods. No sugar or artificial sweeteners like splenda. No alcohol. No coffee (I figured out I will actually save money by not going to Dunkin’ Donuts for my “Large black coffee with one Splenda” everyday that I go to work). No gluten (in hopes to dissipate this GI distress). No dairy (pretty easy for me, since I do not eat much dairy anyway–but the no ice cream will be difficult).

And when I eliminate these, I will introduce new healthier alternatives.

I figured I will post more frequently with how the weeks are going (and to keep myself accountable) and supply recipes of my favorite meals 🙂 Whatever works, right?

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“…life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” Paulo Coelho

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