Tomato circle

Tomato circle

Monday, January 25, 2016

Detox Cleanse Take 2 - Days 1 - 7

Here we go again!

The time had finally come - off medications, new year, nice weather - time to start our 21 day detox cleanse for the 2nd time. Truthfully, this 21 day plan is a bridge to converting this to a full time way of eating. Our long term short term goal is to go hardcore for 21 days and then transition to eating this way during the week and then giving ourselves more freedom on the weekend. With Mike's known allergy to wheat and casein, it only makes sense to make this the norm rather than just eating freely and detoxing every other month. This is also what Mike's Dr. suggested we do for long term success.

I don't want to go over the same details as I did the first time I blogged about our 21 day protocol so I skipped taking photos of what I pack for Mike's day of meals. If you want to see what that looks like - go here:

Just to review what our diet plan looks like:
The NO LIST: No milk, cheese, butter, shortening, yogurt, no grains of any kind, no tomatoes or tomato sauces, no alcohol, coffee, black tea, soda, sugar, sweeteners, soy, beef, pork, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage, shellfish, potatoes, corn, fried food & dried fruits
The YES LIST: Turkey, Chicken, Fish, Veggies, Fruit, Nuts, and Beans. 

As you may remember from last time, I skipped the fasting phase while Mike did it for 2 days. I in fact went on a Halloween candy binge while he was fasting. Well after much prompting, I agreed to fast this time for 24 hours. We mixed our lime juice and maple syrup concoction and had to drink it every 15 minutes. We were a funny sight when we went shopping that day and had to carry around a backpack of lime juice with a timer going off. I also visited the ladies room in every store we went into. I unfortunately was fighting with a migraine for a few days before and ended up having to take my medication on the fast day. I cant have that on an empty stomach so I was allowed a cup of steamed cauliflower. It was the best tasting cauliflower of my life. 

As the week went on, the biggest change for me was that my morning turkey sausage and apple had been replaced by a smoothie of some type. This is mostly due to my parents gifting Mike with a NutriBullet for Christmas. Its really awesome and we use it many times a day to make fruit smoothies or protein shakes. 

We love our NutraBullet

I took photos of our dinner this week. Nothing fancy - just mostly a protein and lots of veggies! 

Baked Chicken, Butter beans with Garlic, and Wilted Dinokale

Black Beans, Green Peppers, Ground Turkey and Avocados

Baked Salmon, Zoodles, and Steamed Black Pepper Cauliflower

Pecan Smoked Turkey on our smoker

Smoked Turkey with SWOODLES and Sriacha

We also had some success eating out which is usually kinda tough. This was Mediterranean food from a really great place called Peace Bakery in North Austin. 

Mike's Chicken, Olive Salad and Green Salad. He would want you to know that he separated out all the tomatoes from his salad and also did not eat the garlic yogurt dip pictured because it has dairy. Mike is hardcore.

My meal of Chicken, Green Salad and Hummus. I would like to confess to eating the yogurt garlic dip. Mindy is less hardcore but still pretty frickin hardcore.   

I think overall we are feeling better after 7 days of the program. I feel less puffy for sure. We need to get a new battery for our scale so we can see what weight has come off. We are feeling good about week 2 after making it thru the weekend. Weekends are tough and I will admit to a sad hour about not being able to have a donut. I really wanted a donut. But no donuts were had and now Im happy about that. Discipline is no joke and altho perfect, I feel good about what we did last week and whats ahead. Thanks for reading along with us!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

After the Cleanse to New Years 2016 Detox

Like everyone, Mike and I both had goals of cleaning up our diet even more and doing the 21 day detox again as part of our New Years plans. We ended the last detox protocol the day before Thanksgiving which was both parts wonderful and horrible. Wonderful in the fact that after small portions we got to engage in entire day of eating. Our buddy Bruce recently moved to Austin from Kansas City and Thanksgiving is his BIG holiday of the year. He even stayed overnight so that he could get up before dawn and start smoking our holiday turkey and duck.

The smoked turkey team 

We had a wonderful time with really fun friends. We Ate! We Drank! We had Sugar! We had Bread! We Drank More! The food spread was truly impressive and we went for it. Bruce made a ton of side dishes. There may have been vodka and native headdresses.

The down side of course was the next day where we felt dead and bloated. And there were many many leftovers - we were hung over, we layed around and grazed all day. So truthfully - two very glutinous days in a row.

After we recovered from Thanksgiving, we ate fairly healthy thru the month of December. The first thing I added back in was Greek yogurt. Mike did not and he has mostly stayed away from dairy since. The main thing I noticed when adding dairy back into my diet was that my chin broke out again which had cleared up completely on the cleanse. We stayed away from most gluten. We bought gluten free bread, beer, and snacks. Mike has also switched to Gluten Free Beer and Scotch when he drank. He favors Austin Beerworks - Fire Eagle - this is considered low gluten - not gluten free. He also tried many types of Apple Cider drinks & Omission IPA - he says it's not bad but not his favorite. The Cider gets sweet on the stomach fast.

We traveled to Kansas City for the Christmas holiday and mostly threw the diet out the window. We ate really good Italian Food, my moms home cooking and holiday sweets. We saw Star Wars and had huge sodas and movie theater popcorn. Mike had holiday scotch.

Our drive home from Kansas City was a white knuckle 15 hour ride from hell. We left ahead of a storm but caught up to it at the Oklahoma border. It started with sleet and quickly turned to ice and snow. Cars and semi's were spinning off the highway every 20 minutes or so. We were in the middle of nowhere so  had to just have faith in Mike's driving skills and go slow. We hit the Texas boarder and the snow turned to rain. By the time we got to Dallas it was monsoon levels with flooding everywhere. I-35 was down to one lane more than a few times. As we hit Waco we could see large storms in the distance along with terrible backups. We decided to take a 2 lane back highway and ran into insane hail!

When we finally pulled into our driveway, our nerves were shot and I could feel myself getting sick. Within 24 hours, I was at Urgent Care with a horribly swollen throat. Long story short - Tonsillitis with 10 days of heavy duty antibiotics and steroids.

This story is only relevant to why we weren't able to start the detox for a few weeks. We have to fast the first day and it makes no sense to "Detox" while taking heavy medication. There were some extra nights of fun and drinks and a few more BBQ meals but we were ready to go on the protocol again! Please follow along with us while we give it a 2nd try. Thanks for the support and happy to answer any questions. Here we go again!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

SWOODLES and The Veggie Spiral Cutter

Sometimes you make a discovery and you just want to shout it from the rooftops - THIS is one of those times! My sweet husband gave me the gift of the Veggie Spiral Cutter this Christmas after many months of me wondering aloud how zoodles would taste. Well let me tell you - they are FRIGGIN WONDERFUL! and we haven't even talked about the best thing - SWEET POTATO NOODLES!! We call them SWOODLES!!

All you do is peel the sweet potato, stick it on the spiral cutter and crank. This model came with a thick spiral, thin spiral and ribbon cutter.

Ribbon Cut Zucchini - Zoodles!

Saute with peanut oil, hot chili's, garlic, green onion and sriracha

Tastes just like Chinese Noodles - so amazing! 

I think a key aspect to your happiness ratio with the product is getting one that doesn't suck - ie: the cheapies. I know they sell ones in my local grocery store for $12. I would invite any feedback from some who HAS bought that "As Seen On Tv" Veggie Spiraler. Mine was $27 and purchased at Target. Here is a link to it on Amazon and it qualifies for free shipping!

This is a super healthy way to get sweet potatoes into your diet. Don't forget that Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

I highly recommend adding a veggie spiraler to your kitchen! Please share your recipes! Thanks for reading along!   

Winter Garden 2015 and Ripening Tomatoes in a Box

As Ive said before, one of the best aspects of living in the South is 2 growing seasons. I love my summer garden and all that comes from it but I must admit a winter garden is so much easier to maintain. Mostly due to sun, heat and water issues in Texas. Since its the year of the El Nino - Austin has had much more rain than usual. All winter, the garden has been taken care of my nature as much as myself. Its a great partnership. ;)

First week of the winter garden

Once December rolls around, its best just to pick your green tomatoes and slowly ripen them indoors. This still preserves the flavor and give you months of fresh ripe tomatoes way after the growing season is over.

December Tomato Plants

Good yield and size - I forgot the name of this plant variety but they were med sized

The Harvest of Two Plants 

There are a million ways to ripen green tomatoes, this is my preferred method. I'm a photographer at heart so I will just show you step by step what to do in photos. Once youve packed all your tomatoes, simply unwrap a few at a time and only those will turn red. I do two at a time. Keep in a cool dry place like my pantry.

Hooray! Tomatoes for months!! I will eventually riped all these and then roast them in the oven to make marinera sauce. Ive done a few blog posts about my sauce before you can search for.

Now that we are in Mid January 2016 - the collard greens, cauliflower and herbs are all doing good. We haven't had a true frost yet so all is green and happy. The sunchokes have run their lifespan and I am digging them up as I use them as they wilt very quickly.

Collard Greens and Cauliflower

Sacred Geometry in the collards

Sunchokes from one plant! Hurray!

 I planted some kale late in the season that I have yet to see sprout. It may be too cold. Our weather this month has swung from the mid 70's to the 50's during the day. There has been some overnight temps around 33 but no real freeze. I was reminded today by Scott at the farmers market that if you want to grow potatoes and garlic, it planting time!! Get on it ! Thanks for reading along.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Misson Complete Detox Protocol Days 15 -21

Looks like we made it ........

Hello friends! Well we have officially made it to day 21 and we have completed the whole detox protocol. Im amazed by how fast it went - that is until the last 48 hours. I think it must have been all the holiday food and Thanksgiving commercials that got to me. But alas we powered thru and stayed true to the end.

This final week we allowed meat again which was pretty exciting!

We naturally roasted a turkey first thing

Turkeys are a great option because they are easy to cook and have lots of leftovers.Its hard to beat any veggie thats been roasting next to a big turkey too!

Breakfast is Turkey breast with ground turkey, onions and green peppers with Pineapple 

Mid morning snack of strawberry and almond milk smoothie and sunflower seeds 

Lunch was more turkey, carrots and spinach salad 

Afternoon snack - Strawberry and almond milk smoothie and Cajun Pecans 

Dinner was Chicken and steamed broccoli

We had some success with eating out!

Tinos Greek Cafe - salad, chicken, hummus and veggies. I cheated with a tomato and some yogurt sauce - Mike did not.

 Bob and Mikes grilled chicken tenders and side salad - we had to bring it home tho so we could use our own salad dressing

We also had great success with a modified chicken chili that our friend Melissa Homer found for us!
It was really tasty and something that will work its way into our regular rotation. I didn't miss the dairy at all. Here is a link to the recipe. We left off the cheese and I added garlic salt. It tasted extra good the 2nd day!

Chicken Chili with Green Chili's 

We had snacks of all kinds

Lovely fruit

Kiwis were super sugary to us

Nut Butters were our best friends 

We dove into the world of dairy free, soy free, casein free, lactose free, gluten free, cholesterol free cheese. The "cheddar slices" eaten cold were kind of gritty. No so great. We've been told that's its pretty good once melted so once we eat bread again, we will give it a second try. The Mac and Cheese was much better. The pasta is a rice pasta that tastes a lot like wheat pasta or low carb pasta Ive had before. The cheese is much more believable but I think you have to eat it hot. Once it cooled off I found it unappealing. Mike at it at as leftovers the next day and liked it both times. At $5 a box, it will be a sometimes food. Cheese is pretty much out for Mike due to his casein allergy. I would like to try to make a cashew cheese. Ive had that before and was blown away of how much it tasted like cheese. 

The better of the two for sure

We will try this one again before a finak verdict 

So now that the 21 days are over here are my overall observations:
I noticed having more energy in general and also slept well thru the night. My problem acne areas on my chin have all but cleared up which I was beginning to think wasn't even possible. Ive had no headaches and almost no PMS. On the down side - I was hoping to see an improvement in my hip and foot pain since my inflammation was down but it still bothered me. I'm going back to my physical therapist on Tuesday and possibly going to get my foot x-rayed to try to get back to healing. 

As for the diet, I was surprised how we adapted quickly. The first day of each week took a bit of getting used to but by Friday we were in the groove. I have a new love for some foods I didn't like in the past like brown rice and nut butter. I never really took to Almond Butter but did fall in love with cashew and macadamia butter. I didn't even mind the vegan week with mostly eating beans and rice or sweet potatoes for dinner. With Mike's hypoglycemia Ive always been worried about cutting out meat but now I know he can do well on proteins like beans. I probably wouldn't have gotten thru all 3 weeks without my holy trinity of turkey, apples and nut butter. And sparkling coconut water. Working in a grocery store was its own battle. The smells and the temptations were everywhere. I found myself salivating when walking by the sample tables - especially when they cooked smoked sausage. That smell is dreamy!! The down sides of the diet is that its expensive. And that's mostly because you are going thru so much fruit and veggies that you end up buying more almost every 2 days. The amount of almond milk consumed has to be around $40 alone. Of course you are saving money by not buying meat and not eating out but a lot of grocery replacement was a real struggle. The other down side is that eating this way makes you feel a different kind of "full". I'm not saying its good or bad but you don't stay full for long so you must make the time to stop and eat every few hours. Thats a lot of prep work and effort. I think its worth it but you must have a plan. 

The best side effect from this plan is the weight loss and puffiness loss. Let me just say that the scale is a fickle beast. And now I get why you should only do it a few times a month. We would drop 3 lbs and gain it back the next and down again. The final numbers for the 21 days was Mike lost a total of 9 lbs and I lost a total of 8lbs. But more importantly, I lost the puffiness and swollen areas in my face, boobs and my arms. Shirts that were too tight on my arms are down right roomy! I will admit to having two times of pulling out old shirts that I haven't worn in 3 years and trying them all on. Most all of them fit great and no sausages arms! Yea! My husband is already skinny so losing almost 10 lbs took off any lit bit of fat he had on him. He looks great and Im happy to rock some old retro shirts.

Room to spare - I love sausage dogs but not sausage arm shirts     

Modeling my KC Royals World Series shirt - thanks Mom and Dad!

So now that the protocol has ended and we know we can do it, we are going to be making it more of how we eat day to day. Less meats, less dairy for me - no casein for Mike, gluten free, lower sugar intake, less carbs, more fruit and veggies, fat from nuts and avocados, no sodas, etc.  

Its funny to say but Thanksgiving almost feels overwhelming because its so much food for 1 day and we have a very enthusiastic buddy who is cooking enough for 20 people. We've been so limited with smaller portions for so long, our stomachs might explode if we overindulge. :) 

The plan moving forward is to have a splurge week and then eat limited but not as strict and then every 3 months, go hardcore and do the 21 days over again. We also will start doing more exercising which will also help to stabilize Mikes blood sugar and drop some more lbs. 

I wanted to thank our friends and family for being really encouraging and helping us thru. We are happy to make another lifestyle choice that will improve our health and hopefully lead us to some things we really want to see happen in our world. If anyone would like a copy of the exact food plan, Id be happy to share and I will ask if anyone wants to join along on the next 21 day plan.