Around the middle of February I started to feel the itch to get my garden planned. I started browsing seed websites with fervor, examining the pros and cons of Japanese black tomatoes versus Big Juicy Red Tomatoes (spoiler, I got them both – plus some). […]
(PDFs are linked at the bottom)
The word ‘detox’ is thrown around a lot. It can mean a juice cleanse, a fast, a whole 30 – and it can apply to all sorts of different aspects of life: exercise, nutrition, inner peace.
I like to think of it as a sort of generic phrase to mean reset. To take into account where ever I am right now, compare it to where I’d like to be, and then to start over, cold turkey with where I want to be, all while throwing in a couple little extras to help me cleanse out some of the ‘gunk’ that may have accumulated in my system from my recent poor food choices, lack of exercise, late nights, etc.
I’m also strongly of the opinion that it’s impossible to only detox one area of your life and have amazing results. I know for a fact, that even if I eat SUPER clean all week long, and drink tons of water, but only get 4 hours of sleep a night, I won’t have the best results possible. Same goes for if I get tons of sleep, drink all the water, but don’t work out once, or eat cake all week. A true detox has to cover everything. I think this rule alone, is why it’s called a detox, and not a lifestyle.
Real life: I work out 2 – 3 times a week, drink all my water about every other day, and have a bag of chips, or a slice of cake AT LEAST once a week. I also average 5 hours of sleep a night. I’d love to live every days in a holistic, happy, well rested detox state of mind, but it’s simply not possible, at least, not without going COMPLETELY CRAZY (and I’m already half way there, lets not push our luck here!) So, instead of striving for something impossible, I will occasionally do a little reset. Typically it’s after a particularly hard week, a long vacation, or a holiday, when I know I’ve veered way off course. I’ll reel myself back in, get back on track, and then slowly go back to my normal-ish life, until I get a bit too crazy again and I need to repeat the process. Checks and balances.
So, all this talk to say that it’s about that time. After a long few weeks of work and mom life, culminating in weekend spent on the road eating combos and drinking red bull, it’s time to get this ship back on the right course!
I have a pretty standard template that I follow. The foods themselves tend to vary, but the schedule is rigid. Breakfast + lemon water, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. I also typically have a mug of hot tea (chamomile or echinacea) before bed to help me unwind faster. I make sure that I get at least 8 glasses of water a day and work out every night. I cut out coffee and added sugars, and I up my fiber/protein. It’s not a HUGE change from my daily routine, but it’s what I need to get myself back on track.
This week I’m doing a white bean dip and red pepper hummus for one snack + a chia cup/oat cup for the other, smoothies for breakfast, Costa Rican, Northern US and Southwest US inspired bowls for lunch, and pumpkin soup, zoodles and cauliflower fajitas for dinner. (Is your mouth watering yet? I know mine is!)
Since I don’t exactly have my life together as much as I’d like, I went shopping yesterday, and I’m starting my detox today. My goal is to get back on track, before heading to Cally next weekend! I’ve linked the meal plan/ingredient list/recipes that I’m using down below so that anyone who is interested can follow along! This has worked great for me in the past, and this time I’ve got my Costa Rican inspired lunch to make things exciting! 🙂 Also, I’ve designed this around veggies and dry ingredients that are convenient to me, and/or staples that I keep on hand, so that this isn’t some kind of crazy expensive week. Feel free to swap things around so that it works for you! Just make sure that you’re still getting enough calories, and from a variety of fruits and veggies! 🙂
I’m not a doctor or nurse of anything of the sort, so please use common sense and talk to your doctor if you have any reason to be concerned about switching up your diet. Let me know if you try this (or any of the recipes!) As always it’s fully vegetarian, and can easily be vegan-ized!
It’s probably a given that I love to bake. And cook. And just about anything else that involves fresh ingredients, gorgeous presentations, and dropping flavor bombs from different cultures and cuisines into expectant palates.
Even above and beyond my love of food though, I love to LEARN. I have a real addiction to learning new techniques, methods, combinations. Anything that can teach me a new or different way to do something in the kitchen. When I first started travelling my mind was blown by the realization that not every one cooks like a Minnesotan!! I know it sounds crazy, and I should have known that, and in some regard I kind of must have, but it didn’t really sink in until I saw it with my own eyes. Other countries don’t even know what wild rice and cranberries are – and our crazy dependencies on dairy and wheat are replaced by completely different staples in other parts of the world!
For example, when I was in St. Malo, France, you couldn’t go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of sandwich bread. IT DIDN’T EXIST. Sure you could buy a baguette on every corner, but squishy white bread? Not a thing. Here even the smallest gas station has it! Or in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica – they would have fresh bread for sale in certain areas, early in the morning, but it wasn’t what we thing of as a sandwich bread – and if you didn’t get there fast enough, tough luck! Come back tomorrow!
The reason I say all this, is because recently I’ve been really working on tweaking my methods for making curries, and proper Indian spice blends (spoiler: they don’t come in a glass jar marked ‘curry powder’). I feel that a good curry should be amazing on it’s own, and even better over a bed of rice, or scooped up with a chunk of bread. Naan has always been my go-to accompaniment to my curries, and I do love my Vegan Naan recipe – but as I’ve recently learned, it’s not the only Indian bread. There’s naan of course, and roti. But there is also Phulka, Paratha, Poori – the list goes on and on. Each one with it’s own variations and methods that set it apart.
I can’t even lie. The more I researched it, the more excited I kept getting. I totally food-nerded over these breads. The list went on and on – so I started taking notes. Writing down each type of bread that I needed to try. Some of them turned out to be just variations in terminology, like Chapati and Roti. But many were completely unique. I found puffy flat breads, flat flat bread, puffy puffs of amazing-ness, biscuit-y breads – you name it! The best part was almost everyone of them can be mimicked with my cast iron grill pan and a direct flame.
So I’m going to do it. I’m going to bake them all. Of course it won’t happen over night, and I’m sure certain recipes will take longer than others, but my March 5th (as good a day as any to make a resolution, right?) resolution is to make all of these breads. Of course after making them I’ll be uploading the perfected recipes to my site, so that everyone else can benefit from them too! I’ll try to westernize them where possible, but I have found that changing ingredients often also looses the heart of the recipe. Subbing coconut yogurt in my naan works well, because it stays in the correct flavor profile, but what is even a proper substitute for dried mango powder? I can promise that any ingredients I get, if not easily accessible at the grocery store are only a click away on Amazon (a.k.a. my lifesaver!)
I already have a pretty amazing recipe for naan (with a garlic variation!) that I am planning on getting up sometime this week, so make sure to check back – or subscribe to my email list so I can shoot you a message when it’s up!
If anyone has experience cooking Indian breads (or breads, or Indian food in general) chime in! Let me know how you do it and what your favorites are. I’m not a beginner to making bread, but I am to most ethnic cuisines! All the help I can get is appreciated!
Oh, and Happy Monday! 🙂
Did anyone see that coming last night!? (If you don’t watch football, let me suffice with saying that the underdogs destroyed the other guys. That’s about my level of football understanding most days anyways haha!) We had a great night, even though our team wasn’t in the game we still managed to enjoy watching the Eagles take the title of Super Bowl Champs in our home stadium here. Even though I’m not a huge football fan, I still felt a little proud that my state got to host one of the biggest sporting events in the US! Go Minnesota! 🙂
For our game-day fare I served up a full taco bar which was 100% Whole 30 compliant with the exception of the taco shells, refried beans and cheese! We had lettuce, tomatoes, two kinds of salsa, guacamole, olives, onions and ground beef with taco seasoning. I also made Teriyaki wings(with coconut aminos!) and buffalo wings (minus the blue cheese sauce=also compliant!) So whether everybody knew it or not, they were all happily munching on Whole 30 goodness! 🙂
Then of course there was dessert. Not so Whole 30 friendly haha! I made THIS amazing, triple chocolate mousse cake from America’s Test Kitchen. I have been itching to make something in a spring-form pan ever since my amazing hubby got me the Williams-Sonoma GoldTouch one for Christmas. Every other spring-form pan I’ve ever known has been such a hassle. From leaking out everywhere, to not closing right, to snapping apart. I normally wind up having to wrap the bottom in foil, and then set it on a sheet pan just to make sure I don’t burn the house down! Maybe I just have horrible luck with spring form pans. Is it just me? Anyways, the Williams-Sonoma GoldTouch is AMAZING! It’s got a little lip around the outside that makes it super easy to pick up, and the mousse didn’t stick at all. The hubby nailed it again. (He’s getting pretty good at this whole gift-giving thing lol.) Totally not sponsored, but highly recommended! Check it out HERE. Best $40 you’ll ever spend I promise!
In addition to the Whole 30 friendly taco bar, I also had a large veg and fruit platter set out. Of course there was the typical plethora of yummy and oh-so-un-compliant chips and dips that you could expect at any Super Bowl gathering, but I surprisingly wasn’t even tempted. At one point I actually grabbed a blue-cheese-stuffed olive, and then took another look at it and set it down. Other than that, I have to admit that it wasn’t as hard as I’d thought it would be! Even the chocolate cake (my guilty pleasure!) didn’t call my name half as hard as I expected it to. And the drinks? Wasn’t even interested. I sipped my sparkling water and enjoyed the suspicious lack of cravings. I snacked away all night at the fruit and veggies, and did refill my salad plate several times, but not once did I slip up!
I’m still not sold on all aspects of the Whole 30, I doubt I will ever be, but now, officially in my third week, I do have to admit it’s getting easier. I actually got dinner prepped for this week over the weekend, in addition to lunch and snacks, so I’m optimistic that maybe I won’t run into so many of the slip-ups and skipped meals that plagued my first two weeks. I’m going to try to start getting back into my workout routine that I have been sadly slacking on these last two weeks as well. I’m hoping with the addition of dinner I’ll have enough energy to get back at it. (Eating dinner=more energy – Who’d have guessed lol -*queue rolling eyes emoji*)
I hope no matter who you were rooting for last night you had a good time and enjoyed your weekend. Time to slay another week! 🙂