Monday, October 8, 2012

Update with Guest Post

Hi all - wanted to send along a link to Dr. Fuhrman's blog post from today where he refers to G-BOMBS. This is his acronym for the foods to eat to boost immunity.  I had thought it was GOMBS but maybe he added to it while I wasn't watching.  Sorry for any confusion.  Please check out his blog as well as his Super Immunity book for more info.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shifting Gears Once Again

Welcome to our third day on the Dr. Joel Fuhrman "Eat For Health" program.  I encourage you all to check out Dr. Fuhrman's Website as well as his blog: Disease Proof where you can find a ton of information on all sorts of health, medical and nutritional issues.

One of the things I wanted to discuss is Dr. Fuhrman's memory trick to remember what to include in your diet everyday.  He refers to these foods as the GOMBS.  Garlic, Onions, Mushrooms, Beans and Spinach. Very often if I'm making something for dinner I'll just throw in some Garlic, Onions and Mushrooms for good measure whether its part of the recipe or not.

So - now for the gear shifting title.  Make no mistake - I LOVE Dr. Fuhrman and his recipes.  They are all so good and so tasty.  But I'm finding it really difficult to alter them to one serving.  If I wasn't doing the blog and trying to have interesting menus to write about each day I'd just throw the left overs in the fridge or the freezer and take a break the next day.  But, the good taste and the opportunity is encouraging me to over eat these delicacies!  Yikes!  So - once again too much of a good thing is still too much.

Since I have less than two weeks before I head off to meet MSB in Europe I'm going to segue back to the raw / juicing diet I started with last month so I can hopefully shed a few more pounds before I head off to merry olde England!

On to today's menu:
Breakfast: Chocolate Smoothie
Lunch: Roast Veggie Pizza
Dinner: Quick Veggie Bean Medley and Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"
Dessert: Mixed Berry Freeze

For breakfast we had a terrific shake that is perfect for travel called a Chocolate Smoothie  This terrific drink is made with chocolate, frozen blueberries, spinach as banana and some flax seeds along with some Almond milk.  Mix it up and drink chocolate perfection.  It could be a bit more dessert like than one might want for breakfast but I really loved it.  Gets an A from me.

For lunch we had another winner.  Mushrooms and peppers are sliced up and mixed with some Bragg's liquid aminos, balsamic vinaigrette and garlic powder.  The veggies are marinated in this mixture for a bit and then roasted.  Fortunately for me - I have a terrific microwave that has a cooking and browning function.  It's called the GE Advantium Microwave Halogen Oven since it was crazy hot here again and firing up the oven or even the grill was just not going to happen today.

After roasting the veggies, we spread some spaghetti sauce on a tortilla, add some spinach, the roasted vegetables and top with soy cheese.  Pop back in the microwave and eat.  My only criticisms of this is the thinness of the tortilla makes it a little hard to eat.  There's probably too many veggies on top to roll it up and eat it like a pizza burrito but might be a better option if one topped the pizza a little less vigorously.  This tasted really terrific and and it also gets an A from me.

Finally for dinner we have a Quick Veggie Bean Medley with a side of Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. 
The bean medley is pretty uninspired - sort of something one could throw together for a week night meal.  At our house we call this "edible but forgettable".  It's some broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, a few herbs and just sauteed.  OK - but I wouldn't make this again unless these are the only ingredients I have on hand.  It gets a C.

The "Potatoes" on the other hand are quite inspired.  The cauliflower is steamed and then processed in a food processor with some almond milk, cashew butter, garlic, and some Mrs. Dash type seasoning.  I don't think this puree will fool anyone into thinking they are actual mashed potatoes they are very good and quite filling.  I think I'll give these a B+.

The dessert is a Mixed Berry Freeze a frozen dessert made of mixed frozen fruit, frozen bananas, flax seeds and almond milk.  The banana gives the frozen dessert a nice creamy texture.  I used to make banana bread with over ripe bananas but now I just throw them in a zip lock bag and stick them in the freezer.  Yum.  This easily gets an A from me.

Here's the summary of recipes.  So sorry for those of you that may have been wanting to see what I thought about more of his recipes but I'm looking forward to the break from the regimentation.  Hope you've found some recipes that you'd like to try.  Thanks for reading.

Name Category Diet Day Page number   Rating
Banana Cashew Wrap Breakfast Eat For Health One 111 C
Veggie Garbanzo Wrap Eat For Health One 249 B
Pistachio Dressing Dressing Eat For Health One 138 B
Veg and Bean Soup Soup Eat For Health One 179 A
Strawberry Dressing Dessert Eat For Health One 160 B
Thai Veggie Curry Stir Fry Eat For Health Two 245 A
Chocolate Smoothie Smoothie Eat For Health Three 104 A
Roast Veggie Pizza Pizza Eat For Health Three 236 A
Quick Veg Bean Medley Stew Eat For Health Three 233 C
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Side Dish Eat For Health Three 218 B+
Mixed Berry Freeze Dessert Eat For Health Three 267 A

Sunday, September 30, 2012

ANDI and MANDI...Pretty Dandy! LOL!

OK, I know...what a groaner!  Sorry but the ANDI and the MANDI points that Dr. Fuhrman talks about can get a little dizzying.

So - what is ANDI?  Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.  This is a unique scale that Dr. Fuhrman has devised where all foods are scored on a 0-1000 point scale tallying all the nutrients that are in a specific calorie amount of a food.  This is different then calories per ounce or serving so that you can gauge the nutrient density per calorie of a food.  By this scale the most nutrient dense foods are green, leafy vegetables like kale, watercress and mustard greens.  These three receive the coveted score of 1000. On the other end of the scale is a Cola at 0.7.

The MANDI score is the Menu Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.  What this score entails is the ANDI score of a serving size.  Here's the formula:  MANDI = ANDI/ 1000 X Calorie Factor

The calorie factor is a calorie range from 1 - 69 used for the calorie content that ranges from 1 - 300 of any food.

The purpose of the MANDI score is for people to aim for a perfect score of 100 points per day.  So rather than counting calories for a day or fat or carbohydrate grams - depending upon the diet, this plan has you aim to maximize the amount of nutrients you take in each day.

Each of the recipes in Dr. Fuhrman's book have a MANDI score as do each of the day's plans.  If you get his book you can substitute meals by aiming to find recipes with the best MANDI points.  Cool!

For today's menu we have:

Breakfast: Oatmeal and Fruit Compote   MANDI Score:  6
Lunch: Vegetable and Bean Soup from yesterday - Salad with Tahini Dressing  MANDI: 22
Dinner: Thai Vegetable Curry - Salad with Tahini Dressing   MANDI: 13

Our breakfast is a standard cooked oatmeal with some dried fruit.  I typically make my oatmeal with steel cut oats and throw them in my rice maker on the porridge setting.  I read in a book by Dr. Neal Barnard that eating the processed instant oatmeal causes wild insulin spikes because it is absorbed so quickly. Almost like eating sugary cereal!  Well, that's counter productive!  He cites a case of a patient that he had who had a very hard time losing weight.  One of the things he changed was to get her off of instant oatmeal.  Voila'!  Her insulin levels became much more stable, she had fewer cravings and started losing weight.  Amazing.

Not much to say about lunch since it was left overs from last night.  I know the menu says we're to have salad today but I've been finding that there's just too much food for me to eat at each of these meals. So I opted out of the salad.

Same for dinner but I did make the Vegetable Curry. This is a nice dish with lots of fresh herbs for flavor. In addition to fresh mint, basil, cilantro, garlic and ginger we have green beans, mushrooms, curry powder, peanut butter and cashews. This is all sauteed in some carrot juice and coconut milk with some tofu for more protein all served over rice. This is a lovely veggie stir fry with a light curry taste. If you like more curry it could certainly stand up to more if you added some.  This is a nice dinner dish gets a solid B from me.

Not much to write about today more tomorrow. Hope you had a nice weekend. It's starting to heat up again here and should be in the 90's again for the next few weeks. Yikes!  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Welcome Dr. Fuhrman!

Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to our first day of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book "Eat For Health". This is really my "go to" book when I'm telling people about the benefits of adopting a vegan way of eating for health reasons.

The term Vegan is packed with a lot of meaning that some people get pretty emotional about. Technically veganism means living a lifestyle that does not impact upon animals in anyway. True vegans eschew leather, honey, wool - anything that is considered to use or exploit animals in anyway. Those that are more in line with eating a veggie diet only at times find themselves to be offensive to those that feel just avoiding meat is a cheap imitation of what a vegan really is.  Since there is so much emotion attached to being a vegan Dr. Fuhrman has coined a term he uses to describe his diet - Nutritarian. I like this term since it emphasizes the point of eating this way as maximizing the nutritional value of eating vs. the avoidance of harming animals.

One of the many things I love about this book is that it comes in two volumes.The first volume explains the reasons for eating or not eating certain foods. The second volume defines the four phases of his program that takes one from a diet slightly removed from the standard American diet to one that is almost entirely vegan / nutritarian. Phase one has 8 servings of animal products / week, starches twice per day and olive oil in the diet. The phases progress to much higher nutritional value, 2 animal product servings per week, 7 starches per week and minimal oils.

We'll discuss his way of rating foods and meals in future posts. Since the diets I've followed for the past 3+ weeks have been very low fat and of high nutritional value I'm starting with phase 3 this week and then next week we'll do phase 4.

Today's menu is:

Breakfast: Banana Cashew Wrap
Lunch: Veggie Garbanzo Wrap
Dinner: Green Salad with Pistachio Dressing and Veggie and Bean Soup
Dessert: Strawberry, blueberries and bananas with Strawberry Dressing

For Breakfast we have a most unusual breakfast consisting of romaine leaves spread with cashew butter and dotted with sliced bananas that he calls a Banana Cashew Wrap. I've always really enjoyed Dr. Fuhrman's recipes and was quite surprised by this first offering of the week since it was kind of strange. Fortunately the combo of cashew butter and banana is not too bad so it was edible so it kept it out of the horrible category so it gets a C.

Apparently I didn't read today's recipes well enough since I fell a bit short with some of the ingredients. This is quite obvious for our lunch of Veggie Garbanzo Wrap. This is a lovely salad of tomato, avocado, cucumber and garbanzo beans. I ended up not having the can of garbanzo beans I thought I had tucked back in the pantry. I substituted a can of lentil which wasn't too bad. So, the plan is to spread a thin coating of tahini on a tortilla and then scoop the veggie mix on the tortilla. It was quite delish so I will give it a B.

For dinner we have a lot to eat!  Dr. Fuhrman is not an advocate of snacking as he contends people eat way too often and almost never experience real hunger. It was hard to eat all of the food on the menu for tonight. All the recipes are for 4 to 8 servings so I've tried to reduce them to one to two servings and hope I'm not over eating. So for dinner there's a nice green salad with an unusual but very nice tasting Pistachio Dressing made of pistachios, lemon juice, flax seed, mustard, soy sauce, garlic and a date. I give this a B.

While downing the salad we have a wonderful vegetable soup cooking made of tomato soup, carrot juice, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, onions, basil and garlic. A trick that Dr. Fuhrman uses with a lot of his soups is puree of cashews as a thickener vs. using cream to make soup thick and creamy. Garnished with a few pine nuts- this is a terrific, terrific soup. Very, very tasty and I'll definitely make this again and again. It definitely gets an A from me.

Finally, for dessert - and I hardly felt like I needed anything more to eat - there is Strawberry, blueberry and bananas with something he calls Strawberry Dressing.  The dressing consists of some strawberries, a couple of dates and some almond milk. Pretty much a strawberry shake. It tastes good but seems superfluous to me to put something sweet on a bowl of fruit. But that's just me - if you usually sugar your fruit perhaps you'd like this as a substitute that's more healthy. I give this a B.

Here's today's summary:

Name Category Diet Day Page number   Rating
Banana Cashew Wrap Breakfast Eat For Health One 111 C
Veggie Garbanzo Wrap Eat For Health One 249 B
Pistachio Dressing Dressing Eat For Health One 138 B
Veg and Bean Soup Soup Eat For Health One 179 A
Strawberry Dressing Dessert Eat For Health One 160 B

Friday, September 28, 2012

Out From Under the Weather

So sorry for my sporadic posting of late.  In addition to connectivity problems with my lap top I ended up succumbing to a nasty migraine late Wednesday night.  Most of yesterday my head was a bit loopy from headache medication so today I'm finally out from the fog. 

The other reason my posting has been less than enthusiastic is I'm not as happy with this Raw Detox diet as I have been with the others.  In going over the menus for the rest of this week and next I noticed that not only is there a lot of repetition but next week there's barely one recipe per day that is new for us to try.  Hardly worth the time for blogging.  So, I've got a plan B and I'll discuss it more tomorrow. 

Now I'll try and remember each of these dishes and how they taste. 

On day 3 of the Detox our menu is:
Breakfast: Green Lemonade
Lunch:  Power Soup
Dinner: Creamy Asian Salad

The Power Soup  is made with strawberries, honey a beet and some romaine.  Although it is a very deep red color that makes one expect a very "beety" type of juice the strawberries and sweetener gives this a very sweet taste.  It's a nice drink but probably not one I'll make again.  I give it a C. 

For dinner we have a Creamy Asian Salad. This is yet another slaw type salad however I liked this much more than any of the other slaws we've had thus far.  In addition to cabbage there's a bell pepper, mushrooms, snap peas, cilantro, basil and some garlic.  Lot's of taste to this salad but the real star is the drop dead amazing dressing that goes with this.  It has ginger, garlic, miso, dates, soy sauce, sesame oil and lemon juice.  This is dressing is so good I will not only definitely make it again I think I'll probably use it as my go to dressing from now on.  This gets an A.

For day 4 of the Detox the menu is:
Breakfast: Green Lemonade
Lunch: Classic Chopped Salad
Dinner: Ambrosia Salad and Simple Pasta Marina

I love a good Chopped Salad and this one is rather nice.  In addition to green beans, corn, carrots, grape tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers.  She doesn't list a dressing to put on it so I added the Liquid Gold that we had a few days ago.  Nice salad - I give it a B.  One of the things I like about making a chopped salad is getting to use the Chopped Salad Shears I bought awhile ago. 

Finally, for dinner we have another great Ambrosia Salad and main course of Simple Pasta Marinara. The Ambrosia has bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, beet, apple, ginger, Serrano chili, dried cranberries, with walnuts, ginger, garlic, mint, basil and cilantro.  Yes, this is one very involved salad!  It is supposed to be dressed with her Liquid Gold salad dressing but I only had the Asian dressing left over but since it is way better than the Liquid Gold this is a really good salad.  I give it a solid B. 

The main course is a raw marinara sauce on spiralized zucchini noodles.  The sauce has basil, bell pepper, oregano, a date, ginger, garlic, onion and a sun dried tomato in addition to tomatoes.  If you recall we had a raw marinara sauce in the 15 day Fat Blast that I wasn't real crazy about.  Well - this is the reason right here.  This sauce is, in my opinion really much, much better with a lot more taste.  It is just as good as I remembered so since it had such staying power in my memory I'll have to give it the highly coveted A.  Plus, I love getting to make those zucchini noodles again.  Cool! 

So - before we kick this diet to the curb let's go back and finish up the last three of the five steps she lists for detox.  Step #3 is to Infuse our Bodies with Live Enzymes.  We've mentioned this before in the other raw diets that one of the reasons for eating raw is keeping the enzymes contained in the raw foods intact for our body's use.  Clearly food that is cooked is in a different state that it is when eaten raw but I don't subscribed to the enzyme bit since all proteins as denatured when they hit the hydrochloric acid we have in our stomachs.  Granted they aren't heated but the proteins are definitely broken down from their natural state. 

The fourth step she touts is to "Take the Garbage Out".  By this she is referring to our system for eliminating waste from the body.  Apparently just being regular is not enough for her as she is a huge proponent for colonic hydration or irrigation.  Yup - this lady is way into the high colonic.  Me, not so much.  I will agree that the longer waste is stuck in your colon the more opportunity there is for you to absorb whatever toxins may be in the stool.  Having one or two stools per day should be enough for anyone.  I'm a firm believer is keeping things the way God intended for them to be.  So, if an orifice is meant for things to go in - like one's mouth - when things are launched OUT of it we call it a bad thing.  Like vomit, you know.  Not a great thing and too much of that not great thing can cause you some real, life threatening problems. Keep the innies as innies and outies as outies I say.

Finally we've already dealt with detox step #5 which was determining your detox transition number so you can determine where to start on your raw detox journey.

So - that's it for the Raw Detox.  If any of you are interested in the recipes from these few days that I raved about send me a private message and I'll send you a copy via e-mail.  I think that's OK and not violating a copyright as far as I know.  See you all tomorrow - Internet willing.  Here's the recipe summary for this portion of the diet. 

Name Category Diet Day Page number   Rating
Green Lemonade Drink Raw Detox one 48 B
Raw Rainbow Salad Salad Raw Detox one 125 B
Raw Chocolate Ice Cream Dessert Raw Detox one 164 A
Guacamole Salad Salad Raw Detox two 128 B
Thai Coconut Bliss Soup Raw Detox two 156 A+
Cranberry Beet Medley Salad Salad Raw Detox two 158 A
Power Soup Soup Raw Detox three 103 C
Creamy Asian Salad Salad Raw Detox three 118 A
Classic Chopped Salad Salad Raw Detox four 122 B
Ambrosia Salad Salad Raw Detox four 123 B
Simple Pasta Marinara Pasta Raw Detox four 133 A

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Teaser Reveal - Best Soup Ever!

Hey there to all of you working to detoxify.  I've been having some electronic challenges and it's beginning to look like my laptop computer is edging its way to becoming more and more of a door stop.  Argggh!  It's the wi-fi that is the main buggaboo so in order to get this blog out I have to endure the toxic waste dump that is MSB's home office.  Luckily for him my cleaning projects have not gone as smoothly as I fantasized because I did threaten to take a back hoe to this room if I ran out of things to do while he was gone.  So far he is in the clear but he would fair better if my wi-fi card would work better. 

But we drive on to the task at hand - DETOX!  Natalia Rose's book - Raw Food Detox Diet not only has five different levels of diet to get you closer and closer to a completely raw diet she also has a five step plan for detoxifying your insides so that you move closer to optimum health. 

The first step is: Stop Poisoning Your Cells!  This make a ton of sense, hmm?  One of the ways to do this is to not only stop eating junk foods but to also read the labels of anything that you eat that is a processed or boxed food.  She gives some recommendations of brands of foods like bread, pasta, granola that you might prefer to buy vs. make yourself that she feels are reputable and free of the bad stuff that our bodies don't have a method for using or eliminating. 

The second step is something she calls: Eat Quick Exit Foods. This is exactly what it sounds like - food that don't hang around inside you have less time for you to absorb breakdown products that could be harmful.  In this area she gets into a philosophy called by many "Food Combining" wherein certain foods when mixed together are either compatible or incompatible.  They also can either speed up or slow down the digestive process.  Some of this is completely physiologically sound and some of it has a touch of "magical thinking" thrown in for good measure.  Suffice it to say that the more you mix up different types of foods the longer your digestive process takes.  If you have something easy to digest mixed with a hard to digest - well chances are excellent the easy stuff will hang around longer than if you'd eaten it alone.  I suppose we could re purpose the phrase "Never Mix, Never Worry" here. 

The other thing that really slows down the digestive process is fat.  As we all know - from our Never Mix, Never Worry days - that a slug of fat before a night of drinking will slow down alcohol absorption.  Seemed like a good thing then.  Well - in contrast - a bunch of fat in your meal will slow down your food transit and increase exposure to some potentially bad actors travelling with your food.  See how much physiology you were learning as a young'un during your drinking days?  So - keep the fat out of your diet - for a bunch of reasons! 

She gives a hierarchy for quick exit foods.  1 - is the best group....down to 11 being the worst.
  1. Raw fruits and veggies.
  2. Lightly-steamed, low-starch veggies; pure maple syrup, agave nectar
  3. Raw nuts and seeds
  4. Raw stone-pressed or cold-pressed plant oils - olive oil especially.
  5. Cooked starchy veggies
  6. Raw unpasteurized dairy products
  7. Whole grains
  8. Pasteurized dairy and animal flesh
  9. All non-whole grain flour products, sugar, etc..
  10. Cooked animal fats/ hydrogenated oils; soy products
So - the closer you try to stay near the lower numbers of this list the easier it is for your system to digest and eliminate the foods.  Worth a try. 

So - what was on yesterday's menu? 
Morning:  Fresh fruit
Mid-Morning: Green Lemonade
Lunch: Guacamole Salad
Mid-Afternoon: Green Lemonade

Dinner:Thai Coconut Bliss, Cranberry-Beet Medley Salad
Dessert: Raw Chocolate Ice Cream
Chemicals, artificial coloring and sweeteners. 

For the morning things were just like yesterday.  Although it's boring to read about I know that for me - eating the same thing pretty much every morning keeps it simple and do-able.  How many of you just ate whatever cereal was in the cupboard each morning for breakfast for years and years?  I know I did.  Kept it simple until the rest of you actually woke up and could think about the rest of the day. 

Lunch was a lovely Guacamole Salad with several firm, ripe tomatoes in the avocado with some garlic and cilantro.  Pretty typical guac.  This is served on some greens. It could also be rolled up in a nori sheet or collard leaf as well and be really satisfying.  I give this a solid B rating.

So now for the dish we've all been waiting for -Thai Coconut Bliss!  Ms. Rose prefaced the recipe by stating this is her favorite soup recipe.  It will rank highly in my recipe box from now on as well!  This terrific soup starts out by marinating some thinly sliced mushrooms with lime juice and chopped basil.  The the soup is made with coconut meat, minced ginger, dates, some soy sauce, ginger, EVOO and coconut water.  Once all this is blended it is served either over the mushrooms or with them used as a garnish on top.  It taste spectacular!  Since I didn't slice my mushrooms that thin they were not terribly marinated so I opted to put everything back into the blender and pulse it a few times to mix it all up.  This was the complete ticket for me, now!  I could probably down a gallon of this stuff.  Hopefully - if you like coconut even a just a little you will try this recipe.  A+ from me - enjoy! 

The soup was served with a Cranberry Beet medley salad. A Beet, some fennel and a parsnip were very thinly sliced and marinated for a few hours in her salad dressing called "Liquid Gold".  This was then served over a bed of greens and garnished with dried cranberries.  This is a really wonderful salad with a lot of flavor and crunchy texture.  I want to give it a B since it clearly pales next to the Coconut soup but since I'm sure I'll make this salad again I think I'll give it an A so I don't forget about it in the future! 

Let me sing the praises of the Mandolin for thinly slicing food as well as making julienne slices as well.  Such a simple tool but so useful!  If you are considering making vegetables your main staple for food I highly recommend purchasing one. 

Here's the spreadsheet:

Name Category Diet Day Page number   Rating
Green Lemonade Drink Raw Detox one 48 B
Raw Rainbow Salad Salad Raw Detox one 125 B
Raw Chocolate Ice Cream Dessert Raw Detox one 164 A
Guacamole Salad Salad Raw Detox two 128 B
Thai Coconut Bliss Soup Raw Detox two 156 A+
Cranberry Beet Medley Salad Salad Raw Detox two 158 A