| || |
Today marked the final day of Kimberly Snyder's Avocado Remix Beauty Detox Challenge! The gallery to the left showcases the recipes that I made to include avocado into my diet for the past seven days.
Day One - Stir fry with avocado
Day Two - Quinoa pasta with corn, tomatoes, onions and avocado
Day Three - Eggplant parmesan topped with avocado
Day Four - Half of an avocado topped with balsamic reduction
Day Five - Lettuce wraps with avocado, eggplant, tomato, and carrot
Day Six - Gluten free toast with vegan cream cheese and avocado
Day Seven - Salad with avocado on top and blueberry dressing
I am happy to have completed my second Kimberly Snyder challenge! (after the Glowing Green Soup). It helps me feel more connected with the community and keeps me involved and constantly thinking about how to incorporate more Beauty Detox friendly concepts into my every day life. I have already made habit drinking a glass of lemon water right when I wake up in the morning, and my Glowing Green Smoothie is a breakfast must every day. I've already seen and felt my body slimming down - I can't wait until I can start incorporating exercise again!
Cooking is like therapy for me, I do it to procrastinate my homework, but it also is becoming my outlet of creativity - And there's nothing like sharing a home cooked meal with a friend. Tonight I spent a portion of the afternoon on campus trying to write this philosophy paper (it's killing me!) and decided to invite a friend over for dinner. He was going out to a party so I wanted to make sure he had enough carbs in him to keep him energized through the night. I decided to make a recipe from My Eclectic Kitchen - Vegan and Gluten-Free Quinoa Meatballs! (Thanks to @yvonne_deliciously_vegan #myeclectickitchen)
The recipe was very similar to the veggie burgers I made from Kimberly Snyder's website, but with a few differences. I didn't have any peppers so there are things that I had to leave out of the mix, but I was definitely happy with the result. I grilled the mixture on the stove top in some coconut oil but found that I wanted the meatballs cooked through a little bit more so I put them in the oven to bake for a little while. Next time, I also want to add Tamari to the meatball mix to add a little bit more flavor.
I made homemade marinara like sauce from Finding Vegan - The Best Marinara Sauce. I made a much smaller portion than the recipe calls for and I didn't have tomato paste, so once I finished cooking the ingredients together I threw them in the blender with some almond milk to make a creamy tomato sauce. It worked great all together with the meatballs on top of Quinoa pasta.
I've been having a hard time sleeping well for the past few weeks. Ever since I got my wisdom teeth removed, my body has been functioning with all sorts of drugs and medications in it (clindamycin, penicillin, hydrocodone, ibuprofen, etc.) and I've been feeling very lethargic, heavy, lazy, and tired during the days. At night I would wake up at least two or three times, unable to fall back to sleep, sometimes for an hour, and I would wake up in the morning feeling unrested.
My teeth are finally starting to feel better. I have no pain in the right side at all and the left side is slowly easing - I have a check-up appointment tomorrow and hopefully this is all over with soon enough. I'm no longer taking any medication (thank goodness) so I can focus on eating healthy and mental wellness to make myself feel better.
As a former athlete and having always been an active person, not having worked out for the past two weeks has been difficult. When I got my wisdom teeth out, I didn't have the energy or the pain tolerance to get myself to the gym and it's been a cycle of feeling unwell. Last night, I finally felt well enough to try some exercise so I decided to do some yoga at home with Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior video. I realized instantly how out of shape I was - I had never had that much trouble with yoga before in my life. Right now I'm weak and my breathing isn't steady and I'm nowhere close to flexible. Despite all of this, I couldn't be any happier that I started this last night.
I feel this way because last night, I had one of the best nights of sleep I've ever gotten. I did the workout right before bed, changed into my pajamas and got to sleep. I didn't wake up a single time during the night and I slept so heavily that I don't remember my dreams. When my alarm went off this morning, I was so disoriented that I couldn't think clearly enough to find my phone to turn it off. It was the perfect nights sleep, and I completely attribute it to doing the yoga before bed. If possible, I would like to make a habit of doing yoga before bed every night. Today, I feel much happier, more positive, more awake and just better overall.
This also helped me realize how out of shape I was, but also gave me the motivation to start getting back into the gym. With my strength right now, I don't think I could do the Kayla Itsines workouts, so I will spend this week building myself and my strength so that next week I can start again. I am so thankful that I finally realized my ability to get back into fitness, now that I've got a bit of a hand on nutrition.
I watched a great video this morning from MindBodyGreen that was posted in the Beauty Detox Foods Facebook Group. It was three doctors with different eating philosophies debating the best ways to eat, called Sugar, Gluten, Paleo, Vegan: 3 Doctors Debate the Best Way to Eat (link above also). It was very interesting to see what arguments they make for each way of eating. What it really boils down to is they recommend eating things as close to the Earth as you can get - eat real foods, like things that come from nature. They also burst a common misconception that fats are bad for us - even some saturated fats are good for us (namely the natural ones, like coconut oil). Fats are necessary, and the fact that the term fat is used both for nutrition and as a way to describe an overweight person is inconvenient because the two are not equivalent.
The top tips to remember:
I'm currently in the process of clearing out my fridge to make it more Beauty Detox friendly. I have food left over from before that I don't want to waste (I'm a college kid, everything is about saving money) so I am trying to use it up so I can purchase only BD foods from now on. The foods that I have left over aren't necessarily unhealthy, but they are not vegan or vegetarian. I have chicken, eggs and some cheese that I need to get rid of but I don't really want to waste it, so I will incorporate it in small portions in my meals.
Some of the dishes that I made this weekend are: baked oats, brown rice stir-fry, and apple-banana cakes. I have seen a lot of fitness and nutrition Instagrams make posts about baking oats in the oven. I used to make oatmeal a lot for breakfast and its a great thing that I can keep at work, but I was intrigued as to why baked oats have become so popular. So, I decided to try it out. I found a general recipe online, but I substituted all of the unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones. My oats had:
These were baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes - and they were delicious. I don't want to make them a consistent part of my diet (egg is not vegan), but this is a good, healthier sweet treat if I'm craving cinnamon rolls or something similar (and I always crave cinnamon rolls).
I was feeling a little sad this weekend - being in a long-distance relationship gets to me sometimes, but most of the time experimenting with food can make me feel better. I decided to put together apple-banana cakes. Initially, I wanted to just mush together a banana and very thinly sliced apples with some cinnamon and see if they would cook together like a pancake. It turns out that they don't hold like pancakes do (there is no binding ingredient) but they do make some delicious mush. The last pancake I added some amaranth flour to and it held slightly better than the first two.
Finally, today started Kimberly Snyder's Avocado Remix Challenge. I started off simple by adding it to my stir-fry recipe, but it turned out to be incredibly delicious. My stir-fry was brown rice with red onion, yellow squash, garlic, an egg, and some grilled chicken. I know it wasn't beauty detox at all, but the rest of my recipes will be! The avocado added to the stir-fry added a delicious creaminess and tied all of the ingredients together. I won't post the Avocado Challenge daily here (follow my instagram @fightforthefitlife to see it daily), but rather I will do a post at the end of the week summarizing my Avocado Remix Challenge experience. I can't wait to see what this week has to offer!
I love that Kimberly Snyder posts weekly challenges for her followers, and they make great blogging assignments. I went through all of her blog posts and made a list of all of the assignments so I can get caught up and always have some kind of challenge or goal to accomplish. This recipe for Glowing Green Soup was the first assignment, so I it is the first one that I tried. When I printed out the recipe initially, the zucchini and tomatoes were covered so I couldn't see them on the list. Therefore, they were not included in my soup. I made this recipe on a gloomy, rainy day so I thought soup would be the perfect option. To be honest, I did not really enjoy the taste of the soup, which could be due to the fact that I had the missing ingredients. I don't know if I will try this recipe again.
I was feeling bold today and decided to make a meal with a meat substitute for the first time! I've never eaten or made my own meat substitute so I was excited to try Kimberly Snyder's Raw Taco Mexican Salad! The meat substitute was made with soaked walnuts (I soaked them for 6 hours), some spices and tamari, and I was amazed at how much it tasted like meat! It was a little too spicy for me so I will tone down the spices next time, but I thought it was incredible that it tasted so great and the texture was perfect!
This is definitely a recipe that I will try again. It was satisfying and will definitely satisfy my taco salad craving in the future (I always crave my mom's taco salad). It was a simple recipe to put together, though it does require some foresight since you have to soak the walnuts. I can't wait to go home and make this for my mom! Next time I want to make a creamy dressing with cashews, almond milk, melted coconut oil and seasoning!
I can honestly say that I really am loving the vegan/raw vegan/vegetarian diet (I can't commit to one just yet). I feel like I'm setting a very good base of nutrition to follow up with exercise once my wisdom teeth heal and I can get back into the gym. Nutrition is such an important part of living a healthy life and I feel like I'm really starting to get a grip on that. I used to always put gym first - I would start a workout routine and try to follow that up with good nutrition. Now I've realized that you have to start with nutrition and then add the gym routine. Now I have been eating this vegan/vegetarian/raw vegan/paleo (I know, it's a lot) diet for about two weeks so one more week to make it a habit. I still have some old food to get rid of that I don't want to go to waste (chicken breasts, eggs, etc.) which are relatively healthy but I will try to eliminate along my journey.
With the success of my key lime pie bars, I decided to go for a chocolate raw vegan recipe. I made the Oh She Glows: Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies (http://bit.ly/1jEHyr4) and they were incredible. They were devoured by my friends and I that night, and some of my friends are now starting to understand and accept vegan options. My boyfriend called me yesterday and said he found Gluten-Free Vegan Habañero Chips at the store and he bought them because they made him think of me - and he said they were actually delicious and in the same price range as the other chips. It's nice to know that people are willing to try and understand how I choose to eat, but actually enjoying it as well. Now, I know I can't keep making these raw vegan dessert recipes too often because I just can't stop eating them once they're there - they are pretty guilt free, but still not something to be consumed on the regular. I'll just try a new recipe whenever I'm having cravings.
this morning i made my first, real ggs. i've always made smoothies for breakfast but i would add unnecessary, unhealthy ingredients like honey and protein powder. if you make a ggs the right way, you'll get all the nutrients you need without adding the supplemental ingredients.
my ggs this morning was pretty simple:
- 1 apple
- handful of spinach
- red kale
- some mint leaves (which we have growing in the kitchen)
- cilantro leaves
- 1 cup of water
I'm about to head out to the grocery store to get my ingredients for the week! i've already pulled recipes off of kimberly's website that i plan to make, and now i have a grocery list that reflects exactly what i need.