Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook: Friday Recap and Next Week's Cooking

I'm going to be totally frank here: this was not my best week. It should have been fabulous, but it wasn't. Who can predict these things?

But I'm never giving up.

I press on.

This blog helps me to refocus every single day. Refocus on things that are important to me, like health, when I could easily become totally distracted into "real" life problems (which are also very important to me, but tend to take my brain entirely away from balance and into obsession).

So I am forcing myself, even though I really don't feel like it, to get down on "paper" exactly what I plan on cooking this weekend and into next week. It's the right thing to do.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where we are at

Just a quick one because you can understand this is a very busy time�

I didn�t get the job in London, so will be working away for 3 months from Monday (I asked them to put back my start date from today so I could do the house move necessaries and they kindly agreed)

We�re actually moving into the rental property today (we got it � and in under a week, yay!) having spent yesterday with a removal man packing everything we weren�t actually using while he went around the house. Including things we could have done with today actually - when we finish the move in 6 months time we�ll need to give him a better list of things not to pack on day 1!!! He was very efficient but he achieved that by packing absolutely everything, which is obviously quicker than considering each thing as you go around.

Due to the very short notice between exchanging and completing, getting the rental property sorted etc. we will be without phone and broadband until Monday (assuming things go to plan on Monday) so there probably won�t be another update until then unless I find myself in a wifi area with my laptop or the iPad � I�ve never figured out how to post from my mobile.

We�re eating out / takeaway / crap because I literally have no kitchen. For expedience sake I�m even eating sandwiches made with normal non-gf bread, which is not making my stomach entirely happy but so far anyway that�s mostly showing itself as a feeling of bloated fullness all the time rather than anything more intrusive / extreme.

I realised yesterday there�s no microwave in the rental, which M will need once I�m working away. We�re also leaving the Bibo behind in our current house and not replacing it until we�re in a house of our own, so I need to pick up a cheap kettle, water filter jug & microwave this weekend, all of which I�ll be throwing away in 6 months. Sigh. On the plus side we complete the sale tomorrow as early as our buyer can swing it and then the house sale from hell will be over; the house move from hell of course will not be over till we�ve unpacked all the essentials at the other end.

I think I slept about 90 minutes last night, so if this post looks & reads as though it were written in Sanskrit by a 2yr old that�s why�

Roll on (more or less) normal life� I miss you!!!

Reader Advice Day: Your Favorite Salt Substitutes

I've actually been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now. I was hoping to compile a list, with every one's help, of salt free seasonings or salt substitutes that work well to replace the salt in Plant-based soups, stews, casseroles, dressings, etc. While I have been moving towards eliminating the salt in my own home cooked food for many years now, I was still relying on a dash of salt at the end of the cooking process to ensure that the food I made tasted good to me.

When I started The Eat to Live Cookbook Project, I vowed to myself that I would no longer use Kosher salt or table salt in my cooking, but rather any one of the many salt substitutes I had collected over the years. And I have collected many.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Channa Saag

I feel somewhat guilty about even writing a review for a Nutritarian version of Channa Saag. You see, I am a raving Indian food fan and anything that I am going to compare to real Indian food has a huge chance of just coming up really short.

But I don't like to indulge in Indian food except for a few times per year. It's one of the real treats that I sometimes partake in. And of all of the Indian dishes in the whole wide world, my absolute, hands-down favorite happens to be Saag Paneer (Spinach with Indian Cheese). It's got like a bazillion calories in it, so many years ago already I set out to create my own version of Faux Saag Paneer (aka Saag Tofu). I made it over and over and over until I got it to a place that I was really happy with it.

Not only that, I developed a crock pot version when my kitchen was undergoing renovations and I made a Saag Dip for my Plant-strong Superbowl Party in 2012. Now do you understand my obsession with this dish?

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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Eat to Live Project: Broccoli Mushroom Bisque and Upcoming Dr. Fuhrman Appearance in Charlottesville, VA

Have you ever heard Dr. Fuhrman give a live lecture? If so, you know what I mean when I say it's a don't miss opportunity. The experience is unforgettable and totally inspiring. That's why when I received this e-mail I didn't hesitate in sharing it here on HGK, in the off chance that some of you live in or near Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Hi Wendy. Since you're a Dr. F fan - and going thru his cookbook now, to boot! - I was wondering if you might help me promote an upcoming talk he's giving on November 14 in Charlottesville, VA. The talk is on cancer prevention and all proceeds benefit the Nutritional Research Foundation, which is the non-profit he started and is the research director for. (I work for the NRF as their assistant director.) It's a lecture from 4:00-6:00pm for $20. Whole Foods is sponsoring it, and Vitamix will be giving away one of their blenders." Click here to sign up.

I hope that some of you can make it. You can read about my experience hearing Dr. Fuhrman live right here.

Tonight's recipe was a total winner. I'm so happy to share it with you.
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The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Apple Oatberry Smoothie

Hey Everyone! I'm back from a totally amazing weekend with old friends and new. It's a little bit hard to get back into the swing of things cooking wise. I just had no energy left on Sunday night to start making a big pot of soup. I'm probably going to pay the price for that this week, because somehow I'm going to have to fit food prep in for the next few evenings. That's the reality when you want to eat healthy. There's just no hotline for delivery to get me out of this bind.

But let's try to stay positive.
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Hair Diary and Some || My Full Updated Hair + Body Care Regimens

Snapshot of the hair care changes (with links to "why"):
Finger detangle - no more comb detangling
Rollerset to airdry - no more big braids to airdry
Wash weekly - no more biweekly thru monthly
Incorporation of regular light protein deep conditioning (ORS Replenishing Conditioner)
3 weeks in twists + 1 week in resulting twist-out - no more ~4 weeks twists back to back

Official as of 10/2013:
HAIR (Stats: Natural, Type 4abcxyz, Mix of Medium (mostly) and Fine Strands, Normal/Low Porosity, Medium/High Density)


Weekly: Prepoo with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for >8hrs then wash with Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo diluted with water.  Condition with ORS Replenishing Conditioner for 45 minutes, when needed.  After rinsing, seal with my LATEST Shea Butter Mixture (recipe here).

~3 weeks: Undo my twists and finger separate thoroughly.  Prepoo overnight then wash as usual.  Coat each section with Tresemme Naturals (the old formula) OR my Avocado Detangling Mix (recipe hereand finger detangle.  Rinse then deep condition using ORS Replenishing Conditioner.  Rinse then airdry (70-90% of the way) in 12 jumbo rollers. Style my hair in twists.  For my twist routine, check this label.  

PREVIOUS REGIMEN (pre-2013, got me far in my journey):

Weekly/Biweekly: Prepoo with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for >8hrs then wash with Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo diluted with water.  Condition with Suave Naturals Conditioner for 15 minutes.  After rinsing, seal with my Shea Butter Mixture (recipe here).

~4 weeks: Prepoo and wash as usual.  Then deep condition using Suave mixed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or my Avocado Detangling Mix (recipe here).  Comb detangle on damp, conditioner-soaked hair.  Rinse then airdry (80-90% of the way) in 8 braids. Style my hair in twists.  For my twist routine, check this label.  (If my hair has been flat-ironed, I detangle on dry, lubricated hair prior to washing.)

BODY (Stats: family history of diabetes, stroke, etc.):

Supplements: I take One-A-Day Women's multivitamin daily.

Food: I eat a balanced diet consisting of mainly organic or natural ingredients.  I also largely eat whole wheat instead of whites and chicken/fish instead of red meat.  I aim to have each meal consist of 50% fruits/vegetables or more. I rarely eat fast food, junk food, fried foods, and canned foods.

Beverages: I mainly drink water, almond milk, and organic cranberry juice.  I refrain from 'fake' juice cocktails, sodas, and coffee.  Every other day, I drink a homemade smoothie (see my smoothie recipes here.)

Exercise: I work out (high intensity, 10-30 minutes) 3-4x a week.

Healthy Eating || How to Eat Healthy Without Spending Too Much

Eating healthy can sure be expensive ... but it doesn't have to be.  Check out these inexpensive options from Chef Marcus Samuelsson's blog:

Best Fresh Fruit: Banana
If you get hungry mid-day, a banana is the best snack at your desk, after a workout, or in between classes. Fruit is a very good snack in general. An apple will give you 14 percent of your day�s Vitamin C and 4 grams of fiber, but a banana, at half the price per pound, offers more Vitamin C and just 1 less gram of fiber.
Best Frozen Fruit: Frozen Blueberries The price of fresh fruits out of season is significantly higher than when they�re in season, due to transportation costs. And if you want to get your money�s worth, you�ll need to eat them within three days of buying, so they don�t spoil. 1 cup of frozen blueberries gives you just as much fiber as the raw variety, and a handful fewer calories. While fresh blueberries offer 18 percent more Vitamin C, that difference isn�t worth the extra cost. 
Best Vegetable: Broccoli Nutritionally, a half-cup of cooked broccoli delivers 24 percent of your Vitamin A, 84% of your Vitamin C, and 3 grams of fiber. This versatile vegetable is a great bang for the buck and packs a great nutritional punch. 
Best Salad Base: Cabbage The leafy greens in your salad can really vary in their nutritional content-iceberg lettuce, for example, is significantly less nutritious than romaine, which is yet again less nutritious than cabbage. In fact, 1 cup of cabbage gives you more than half of your daily vitamin K requirement-and it�s $1.29 less per pound than Romaine. Try using cabbage in a soup as well!

For the rest of the list, go to Chef Marcus Samuelsson's blog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Last day in the office

I had no real work to do so I had no distractions from stewing as I waited for the letting agent to get his references and things to confirm we get the rental property we want.
I have an interview for the second contract - the one I really want - but its not until Tuesday morning so too much time for worrying about that too. I'm starting to feel mildly ill about it all in fact, my stomach is churning fairly constantly and I'm still waking up in the middle of the night - generally about 2:45 am. I'm overeating and I've regained the weight I lost on the whole30 plan as a result, so now I plan to repeat it once this upheaval is out of the way and I have the chance to take control again. And at 2pm I was hiding in the ladies at work having a very small weeping fit.

Four people are leaving our office today so everyone (including me) brought cake &/or cookies in today. I admit I ate a cookie to destress this morning (no, obviously it didn't work) but only one, and at lunchtime, when we all went out for lunch, I ordered the only gluten free meal on the menu (with a diet coke).
As my order arrived a colleague who'd ordered the same thing commented that they hadn't skimped on the Cajun seasoning and he was right - spicy!!! Too bad my stressed out stomach had me feeling slightly sick as I walked back to the office (not a comment on the food I assure you)
I'm sorry to whinge and whine so much today, I know everything will probably work out but I'm so tired and so uptight I can barely see straight, and certainly can't think of anything positive to write. I wish I could hibernate for a month and wake up to find everything had just happened without me... Except even if I could try to hibernate I'd just wake up at 2:45 and lie there worrying Smile

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with cooked gf sausage, mushroom & leek
Lunch: Cajun chicken skewers (a whole chicken breast I think) with side salad
Dinner: Bolognese sauce on courgette noodles
Snack: nuts & a cookie

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The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Better Burgers

And last, but certainly not least, this week is my review of Dr. Fuhrman's Better Burgers. I enjoyed them for lunch one day and dinner the next with a side of Cauliflower Spinach Mashed "Potatoes."

It's been so long since I have actually tasted a real live cow burger that I have no idea whether or not these would satisfy a meat eater. But they might. If you have made these and tested them out on your SAD eating relatives, please let us know what their impression was!

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The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Blueberry Pomegranate Dressing

Before I head out for my girls weekend, I want to finish up my recipe reviews for this past week. This project has been hugely inspirational for me, and I hope you are enjoying being along for the ride. Please let me know in the comments section if there are any recipes from the Eat to Live Cookbook that you have enjoyed. That helps me choose what I will be making in the coming weeks.

Blueberry Pomegranate Dressing
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 84

Did I like it? Yes, but it is not for the faint-of-heart or newly Nutritarian. It's pretty out there.

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The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Friday Recap and This Week's Cooking

Great news! I am losing weight. Hooray for The Eat to Live Cookbook Project!

But just as wonderful as that is, is the fact that focusing on cooking from one cookbook and one cookbook only has really simplified my life. Meal planning is so easy and quick and there is always healthy food in the house, ready to eat. It seems like this project might add stress to my already hectic life, but the reverse has actually happened. My life has gotten easier and better.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Written (started) yesterday

Today we exchanged contracts on our house finally - such a relief after all these months! I also discovered I'm still in with a chance on the more local contract I interviewed for yesterday afternoon after all. So the stress hasn't ended, but it has moved on a bit.

I spent a somewhat embarrassing amount of time on the phone to various people and institutions about moving along the process, and then when we got home we went out for a celebratory dinner & drink

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with cooked gf sausage, spinach & leek
Lunch: leek & sweet potato soup
Dinner: Starter: Baked potato skins with chorizo sausage & cheese. followed by Lamb & Beef fajitas (minus the tortillas) with sangria
Snack: nuts & roast turkey slices

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Cauliflower Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Hey guys. I'm back here this afternoon to talk about one very tasty dish from the Eat to Live Cookbook. If you have ever used cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, you wouldn't be the first. Something tells me that I have tried doing this in the past, without much success, but this recipe was a different story--I really enjoyed it!

I also want to report back about something amazing that has been happening since I started this journey almost three weeks ago. I have not used salt once in my cooking the entire time and I haven't missed it at all. Having a selection of salt-substitutes has been the trick, and the one that I used for this recipe is perfect. It's called Table Tasty by Benson's and it has a cheesiness to it due to having nutritional yeast as one of the ingredients, along with a lot of other herbs and spices. You can check out that product through the Amazon link that follows, it's great to have it in your Nutritarian arsenal. I was lucky enough to be gifted a large bag of Table Tasty the last time Chef Aj visited my home, and I'm quickly working my way through it with all of this Eat to Live cooking.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Fuhrman Fudgesicles

I feel so badly about my last review, that I thought I needed to follow it up with something that was a success in our household: Fuhrman Fudgesicles.

I went into this recipe hesitantly, because of the sheer volume of nuts used: 1 cup of cashews for 3 Popsicles. That's 5 ounces of nuts for 3 servings. Way over the 1 ounce of nuts per day recommended for the weight loss version of Eat to Live. Let's just say, this is not a dessert I can indulge in if I want to lose weight. My plan was to make these and give them to my kids as a treat.

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Wasted day

I worked from home today because we were supposed to be exchanging on our house and I had private phone calls to make as a result. Except we didn�t exchange, its now supposed to be tomorrow but who knows�

That was followed by a phone interview for another job (yes, I have one already, but this one was much more convenient. It didn�t go too well though, so I�m still expecting to be working away from next week. Sigh.

I consoled myself with cashew butter. Sigh again. But at least it was gluten free

Food today:

Breakfast: hard boiled eggs, bacon & avocado in homemade mayonnaise
Lunch:leek & sweet potato soup and a bag of dried fruit, nuts & seeds                               
Dinner: chicken thigh stir fry with sunshine sauce

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: "Cheesy" Kale Soup

Good morning! I'm so curious . . . has anyone out there made this soup? What did you think of it?

"Cheesy" Kale Soup
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 149

Did I like it? yes, but . . . the name of the soup is very deceiving. Maybe it should be called "Tomato Mushroom Kale Soup"? There's really not much cheesiness to it.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Thanks Joy & Diane for your nice comments that didn't call me for being a dumbass - which I was. I should have avoided the prosecco, celebrations or not, and left my judgment unimpaired. (though far from good as we've all got reason to know...) Sigh. Ah well, I did feel better very soon because the one advantage of diarrhea is the way it quickly clears the toxins from your body Winking smile

I was back in the office today and booked the removal service first thing. M & I have agreed that I will spend the weekend directly following the move at my dad's as agreed since I'd be useless after the exertions of Thursday & Friday anyway, and with me working away there'll be no-one there wanting to cook or get at my clothes & stuff anyway, so it can wait till the week after, (when I will have to pull my weight.) Thank god. The stress response has fully kicked in now with the obligatory 3 am mental wake up call to allow me an extra couple of hours building mental to do lists while my brain spins uselessly in place at 200 miles an hour. In fairness that would have happened anyway with the new job coming up, but possibly not quite as early as this.

This afternoon at work I was terminally bored and desperately trying not to let myself go into a tailspin. I found myself standing in front of the vending machine with cash in hand staring at crisps and chocolate, chocolate & crisps, my hand moving towards the coin slot� I wasn�t hungry and didn�t even particularly crave chocolate either, and when I realized these small yet important details I put the money away and walked back to my desk sans chocolate, sans crisps, sans regret�

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: leek & sweet potato soup, mini chicken satay and strawberries
Dinner: venison (roe deer loins) pan fried, with jicama chips & saut�ed mushrooms & onions
Snack: nuts & homemade pork rinds

Protective Lookbook ... and Some || 5 Simple Funky Updos

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Nyla K

Difficulty level: 4/5

Description: Five simple updos (3 of which are protective) on an old twist-out or braid-out.

Mixology || Egg Oil and Amla Hair Serum with Argan Oil, Etc.

Are you interested in mixing your own hair serum?

This recipe originates from The Natural Beauty Workshop:

1/2 ounce Egg Oil
1/2 ounce Amla Oil
1/2 ounce Argan Oil
1/2 ounce Broccoli Seed Oil
1/4 ounce Jojoba
10-20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Combine the oils in a small beaker and stir well. Add the essential oil, then stir again. Transfer carefully to a dropper bottle.

For more details and where to purchase the ingredients, check out The Natural Beauty Workshop.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Eat to Live Project: Red Velvet Sorbet

Do you want to talk about the perfect dessert? Then let's talk about Frozen Banana Soft Serve. It's easy to make, has two ingredients, tastes amazing (rich, creamy, cold, and sweet) and it's healthy. It's perfection. And it's hard to improve on perfection.

This recipe is a very creative take on Frozen Banana Soft Serve. Give it a great name like "Red Velvet Sorbet" and who wouldn't want to at least try it?

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Things are moving along, we�ve found a rental property so long as no one steals it out from under us (they should only have 2 more days to that so it probably won�t happen) and the removal company is currently available for the dates we want. I�ve been signing documents and getting sorted � but although I should feel better I�m still feeling antsy about the actual move. My father in law has said he�s let the guys in and out of the houses, since M & I should both be in work on those days. That means I should feel totally relaxed about it happening without me, but all I can think about is having to start a new job with long drives on the Thursday & Friday, then come home to lug boxes all weekend before dragging myself back again. (on a weekend I was planning to visit my father in his new home). Am I horribly selfish because I would really like to visit my dad as planned and let it go till the following weekend? I probably am, but that�s just the kind of person I am�

Today I worked from home so that I could make lots of phone calls as and when needed without having to go out to a quiet spot in the office. It was very productive I suppose, not a fun day, but I did get the work done as well. Foodwise I did Ok today due to being too busy for anything else. I kept thinking I�ll get a drink and then pop to the bathroom, and then 20 minutes later realised I didn�t do either�

At the weekend the same was not entirely true. M and his father were going to Brands Hatch yesterday for  motorbike racing day. As they had to make an early start his dad came to visit on Saturday, and we wen out for lunch to celebrate the progress we�ve suddenly been making on the house move thing. At the meal M ordered Prosecco, which is my favourite sparkling wine so I drank it even though its fairly high carb. My first two courses were fine, marinate Northern Herring followed by pan fried halibut, then it got to dessert and I was going to order cheese just to join in� but I didn�t fancy the cheeses on offer, and then I saw the Rhubarb & Custard Cheesecake with white chocolate ice cream� and I broke


After lunch my father in law and I went for a 5 mile walk and then I drank a few beers, not a huge number but like the cheesecake not gluten free or low carb either. On Saturday night I woke up around 2am with a splitting headache and agonising cramps in both calves. I took pain killers and managed to go back to sleep eventually, but in the morning I had an upset stomach with diarrhea. So once again I prove I have to think harder about whether things are good ideas. On Sunday I got things much more under control � a good breakfast and dinner, only a little bit off at lunchtime, and no snacking at all. I did have a couple of beers again, but they didn�t have any untoward effects.

Food today:

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with a gf sausage & a rasher of bacon                        Lunch: soup made with homemade chicken stock, another gf sausage and a ton of veg Dinner: Beef casserole with veg

Guest Post: Health Coach Sharon McRae on Successfully Getting Kids to the Nutritarian Level

As many of you know, it has been quite a challenge for me to inspire my two younger children to "eat their veggies."

Chef AJ keeps telling me, "You have to talk to Sharon!"

After last week's Reader Advice Day on Whole Food Plant Based parenting of young children, I knew I had to get in touch with Sharon and ask her to share her story on Healthy Girl's Kitchen. Along her journey, Sharon became a Certified Health Coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her website is Eat Well, Stay Well.

After reading her story, I highly recommend listening to this wonderful podcast interview of Sharon that provides inspiration to all aspiring Nutritarians, with and without kids at home to care for. It's about half-an- hour and worth every minute of your time.

So now, after reading this guest post and listening to a podcast of Sharon's story, I finally feel like I know Sharon! Thank you Sharon McRae for sharing your story with us.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Cremini Ratatouille

I have found that if I do a lot of cooking on weekend mornings, that I still have some time in my weekday evenings to try out an additional recipe from the Eat to Live Cookbook. It is for that reason that last week I was able to pull off one additional cooking session of Cremini Ratatouille.

This dish was a necessary addition to our food for the week and made for a really nice sit down dinner with my family on Friday evening. I served it with cabbage soup given to me by a girlfriend, a big salad with the dressing leftover from this salad (which has been a HUGE hit with my girlfriends) and a pot of whole wheat linguine with no-salt pasta sauce (so there was something on the table for the little kids).

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oats are not a new invention. In fact, they are an Internet sensation made popular by countless bloggers, the most notable of which might be Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows fame. Her creativity with this simple idea knows no bounds. If you are not familiar with them, I will explain: you basically take rolled oats and soak them overnight in a liquid. No cooking involved. What you add to that mixture is what makes them so wonderful. I even like overnight oats more than cooked oatmeal.

I'm very happy to see a recipe for Overnight Oatmeal in Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live Cookbook. Why? Because I really like the taste and texture of overnight oats, the fun you can have creating different flavor combinations, and the magic of having breakfast practically made for you on a busy weekday morning. They might just be my single favorite breakfast.

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Friday, October 18, 2013


I have a lot on my mind at the moment, mostly house sale / move with a hefty dose of new job coming up soon and working away. So I feel unsettled - we are unsettled - and I'm not training again. Once the new job starts that will change - what else am I going to do with myself alone in a hotel room every evening? But right now I'm firmly held in the trap of 'I'll do it when...', 'I'll start when...' 'It'll be all right/easier/more productive when...' Sigh. I see the trap but can't find the energy to pull out right now, and I'm trying not to be too annoyed with myself about it since I'll still not train while hating myself if I do.
This morning the solicitor for our house sale informed us that the purchaser wants to exchange on next Wednesday - the 23rd - and complete on either the 31st of October or the 1st of November (aka the first day of my new job or the 2nd day of my new job). We've been waiting for this since July and now we might be moving on the same day I start a new job!!! Because we've been so convinced that everything was going to fall apart for so long we haven't yet found a rental house to live in while they build the one we're buying - and of course once we do find one we'll have to go through the process of references, credit checks etc. We asked for 2 weeks between exchange & completion to let that happen; they're proposing 1.5 weeks. Cue phone calls to letting agencies that don't call you back, removal firms & a (non gf) white chocolate chip cookie. Or 2.

Must find a better way to handle stress.
Must find a better way to handle stress.
Must find a better way to handle stress....

Rental house viewing #1 tomorrow morning. It would be nice if that were the only one we needed. Even though we can't sign anything until we exchange in case it all falls apart leaving us owing 6 months rent... There's no way this is all going to just fall into place...

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables & gammon
Lunch: gammon & veg soup, Greek yoghurt & a snack pack of grapes
Dinner: chicken stir fry with sunshine sauce
Snack: nuts & cr�me fraiche with summer berries. And a cookie... or 2

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Purple Monster Smoothie

I've made four of the smoothies from the Eat to Live Cookbook so far this week. The Apple Oatberry Smoothie, the Chocolate Cherry Smoothie, the Orange Creamsicle Blended Salad and now this, the Purple Monster Smoothie. Actually, I've now made the Purple Monster Smoothie twice.

The first time, I used Romaine lettuce instead of the Boston lettuce that the recipe called for, because Boston lettuce is not something that I stock in my refrigerator. The smoothie had a very off putting taste and I decided I needed to make it again with the Boston lettuce.

So I did, this morning. The good news? I found out that my eight year old daughter LOVES Boston lettuce! I've been giving her bowlfuls and will now keep it as a staple green in our house.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Eat to Live Cookbook: Warm Spiced Butternut Squash Salad with Winesap Apples

I love a good fancy salad. That's probably why the recipe for Warm Spiced Butternut Squash Salad with Winesap Apples caught my eye and became one of the first recipes that I wanted to test for The Eat to Live Project (Is that the name for what I am doing? Do you have a better name for it?).

I really eat a lot of salads, so I like to keep them interesting by throwing in fruit and roasted vegetables, both of which were featured in this recipe from the new Eat to Live Cookbook.

Based on a reader's rave review of the dressing for this salad, I decided to triple the dressing portion of the recipe thinking that I would love having the extras for salads during the week, also wanting to use up more of the specialty ingredients (shallots, apple juice, parsley and sage) that I bought for the salad knowing I would have no other use for them but this dressing.

Did this salad fulfill all of my expectations? Read on to find out . . .

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The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Recap and This Weekend's Cooking

I'm already gearing up for week 2 of The Eat to Live Project, which will really be week 3 for me of eating almost strictly Nutritarian. You see, a week before I started the project I began to carefully watch what I was preparing and consuming and gearing it to Nutritarianism, rather than a more loosey-goosey version of a no-oil Vegan diet that included things like whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta and other non-Nutritarian foods.

What happened in week one (when I wasn't cooking from the new Eat to Live Cookbook)? I lost 3 pounds.

What happened in week two (when I was cooking from the new Eat to Live Cookbook)? I gained 1 pound back.

Could it be the nuts? I'm thinking it might be. Dr. Fuhrman recommend no more than one ounce of nuts per day if you would like to lose weight. That's the equivalent of 160 calories or 22-24 whole almonds, 16-18 cashews, 14 walnut halves, 49 pistachios, or 16 pine nuts.

I have been preparing the recipes from the cookbook with the exact amount of nuts as indicated in each recipe, but I am starting to wonder if the nuts in the smoothies, followed by the nuts in the salad dressings at lunch, and then topped off by the nuts in the soup are putting me over my nut allotment for the day.

Read more �

Still chocolate free

(but I ate dried fruit) and stuffed full of fat & protein. I've been researching hotels for my new contract and if it works out, may go to stay at a serviced apartment block with a full kitchen and fitness room - fingers crossed that works out!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: curried beef mince soupified with homemade chicken (paws) stock.
Dinner: courgette noodles tossed with a 'pasta sauce' of gammon, leeks, mushrooms & peppers with cr�me fraiche
Snack: biltong, cashews & coconut cream with summer berries

Eat to Live Cookbook: Orange Creamsicle Blended Salad

Orange Creamsicle Blended Salad
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 55

Did I like it? yes!

Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? Mostly. The recipe calls for Dr. Fuhrman's Blood Orange Vinegar. I don't own any of the Dr. Fuhrman vinegars, but my local Trader Joe's happens to carry an Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, which I used instead.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Healthy World Cafe will be open for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 23!

Take a break from your day and head down to Healthy World Cafe for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 23. We'll be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. serving up healthy, locally sourced eats at First Moravian Church, 41 N. Duke St., York.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user fotografeleen)
Here's what we're planning:
-- Vegetarian chili
-- Turkey corn soup
-- Cheese quiche with winter greens and mushrooms
-- Baked winter vegetable and bean falafel with creamed pesto sauce on a pita
-- Turkey and cranberry salad
-- Baked apples in cider
-- Salad bar
Of course, our menu is always based on what's available from our farmer friends, so stay tuned for updates!
At Healthy World Cafe, we always feature our "eat what you want, pay how you can" philosophy. The ability to pay should never be a barrier to accessing delicious, unprocessed, healthy food.

Items worth noting:
-- PARKING: When coming to the cafe for our Wednesday lunches, please DO NOT park in the private lots surrounding 1st Moravian Church.  You may park on the street (metered), or you may park at First Presbyterian Church at E. Market and N. Queen Sts., and walk one block west down Clarke Ave. to First Moravian (enter on north side).

-- TAKE OUT: Take out orders for lunch are available by e-mailing your selections (by 10 a.m. Oct. 23) to healthyworldcafe(at)gmail(dot)com.

-- VOLUNTEERING: Don't forget our switch to volunteer shifts for Wednesday's lunches: In order to better respect our volunteers' time, we'll be splitting the Wednesday lunch into two volunteer shifts: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and noon to 3 p.m. Feel free, of course, to sign up for both shifts, if you wish.

If you can't volunteer for an exact shift, hey, we understand that, too! We love that you're still eager to help out when you can. We would just ask that, after signing up through VolunteerSpot, that you'd send a quick email to sarah.e.chain(at)gmail(dot)com and let us know when to expect you. That makes it easier for us to plan out volunteer duties.

Check out a calendar of other upcoming events as well

Crawling back from the edge

Stuck to allowable foods again today, with noticeably less inclination to eat sweet things, thank God. Still over eating but I'm more focused on getting back to eating the right things, I'll work on quantities next. I spent the whole day thinking about food - but not in an obsessional 'what can I eat, when can I eat it' kind of way, more in a 'how can I most easily eat Paleo while working away & living in a hotel?' way. I know the easiest answer would just be 'buy a roasted chicken breast / whole rotisserie chicken and bag of salad every day' 3 meals a day, but I wouldn't last a week if I tried to do that so I need a little more of a plan. I'm going to be working in the centre of the city so shopping should be easy enough, but unless something amazing happens I won't have storage or cooking facilities. I am considering buying a small electric rice cooker (obviously not to cook rice, but most of them will also steam veg and meat / fish as well.) Assuming there's a microwave & fridge in the office I may be able to keep things interesting at lunchtime & possibly breakfast without too much effort (interesting may be an exaggeration, but not too tedious anyway) and maybe make the evening meal more snacky. It's all just speculation until I can check out the situation anyway, and luckily the very first week I'll only be at the hotel for one night anyway. If anyone has any ideas for really portable Paleo friendly snacks or meals that don�t need refrigeration or cooking I�d be very grateful� don�t ask for much, do I???

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: pork & ham soup. Last portion finally!
Dinner: grilled chicken thighs with stir-fried veg & sunshine sauce
Snack: biltong, cashews, pork rinds & cr�me fraiche with summer berries

Eat to Live Cookbook: Golden Austrian Cauliflower Cream Soup

You guys must be sending some really good vibrations my way because our family's new Healthy Bucks program seems to be making a difference! My daughter is willing to try vegetables again and even did some healthy activity on her own yesterday and filled me in on it when I got home from work. Today she promised she would try orange and yellow peppers for dinner. Whoo hoo!

Today I'm here to review an outstanding soup from Dr. Fuhrman's new Eat to Live Cookbook that we've been enjoying all week: Golden Austrian Cauliflower Cream Soup. It's hearty and healthy and oh-so-yummy. Once you try it, you are going to wish that you had some on hand regularly.

Read more �

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Developments and discoveries

I worked from home today because I was due to get my central heating boiler serviced. Due to a problem with the online appointment booking offered by British Gas this didn't happen... I called to check the time mid-morning, but they had no record on their system, and the nearest appointment they did have was not possible for me, for reasons that are about to be made clear...

Development #1
9 days before the end of my current job, I have been offered and accepted another contract. This one sadly is over 130 miles away, so I will be working away from home during the week; however I won't have the soul destroying experience that is searching for a job for months, and I will be working only an hour away from my Dad's new home, so I will have opportunities to visit them much sooner than I expected if I'd been working full time around here.
Development #2
It looks like our house sale may go through after all the drama!!! All of a sudden, out of the blue, things seem to be falling into place and we may actually succeed in moving somewhere much more convenient for M's work - which is a huge relief
Discovery #1
When I was doing the Whole30 I survived unsickened when surrounded by man infected with the plague - including my own husband. I was whiny and whingey I admit, but my body laughed at cold germs and I suffered nothing worse than a slight sniffle. Since deciding to treat myself to evil sugary chocolate on too many occasions following the plan, I had developed an annoying tendency to sneezing fits and have a massive - MASSIVE!!! cold sore outbreak on my lip. Coincidence? I'm not so sure... SO I AM DETERMINED... proper low carbing (with the inclusion of dairy unless I continue feeling sub par) is BACK!!!

Happily today I ate too much of the good stuff, but apart from dairy, which is open to interpretation, nothing at all that isn't at least Primal - a step in the right direction!

Food today:
Breakfast: Lettuce wraps filled with a salad of hard boiled egg, gammon and avocado in homemade mayonnaise
Lunch: Pork & vegetable soup
Dinner: Thai coconut beef heart with cauliflower rice
Snacks: Toasted coconut flakes, cashews, creme fraiche with summer fruits (partially defrosted), biltong

Reader Advice Day: Whole Food Plant-based Parenting of Young Children

For those of you that are new to HGK, newly here because of The Eat to Live Cookbook Project, welcome! Today I am bringing you an installment of something that I feature regularly here on my blog, which I call reader advice day. These posts are inspired by a letter I receive, asking for advice. Being no expert, I feel more comfortable engaging the whole plant-based community in finding the answer and seeing what we can come up with collectively.

It's also way more fun that way!

So here goes . . . a letter that I received just the other day:

"Hey Wendy,

I was telling my husband tonight that I feel like i need to see a therapist or something about being a SAHM [stay at home mother] to young kids, about them and food specifically. Because it's overwhelming and confusing, and right now, my least favorite part of parenting!

I then wondered as he asked me what's in those awesome banana zucchini muffins that are now a staple in our house, if perhaps you've already blogged about this or have some thoughts on the matter. I need ideas...I need guidelines...I need a philosophy.

My current m.o. has been to buy little to no "junk" food, an almost useless term because everyone defines it differently. So ok, no cookies, cake, or candy except a small amount on Shabbat. Although we'll take him for froyo with all the various candy toppings fairly often, probably 2-3 times per week. I try not to make dessert contingent on eating or finishing regular food when that kind of situation comes up.

Read more �

Monday, October 14, 2013

Busy weekend

My brother visited as planned and on Saturday we went into London for the day. The forecast was heavy rain while we were planning the trip, but in the end it was not just dry, but also sunny some of the day, so we were lucky there. First thing on arriving at Paddington we went down to the underground bit to get the tube out to Whitechapel. As we went down the first thing I saw was a little shop - almost just a kiosk - selling South African specialties such as biltong, droewors, and boerewors. I tasted some biltong, then bought some for a snack while we traveled, and at the end of the day went back for more :-). According to Carol, the lady working there, they make the biltong themselves, from grass fed Aberdeen Angus beef.
Whitechapel has a market on Saturday which is well known for its Asian ingredients, fruit & veg (fabrics too, but neither of us was interested in that) so we walked up and down the High St a bit and I bought some fruit / veg without knowing what they were... Here they are, I eventually worked out that I have (from right to left) 2 kaffir limes and one bitter melon gourd, but I still don't know what the other two are - any ideas?


When we left Whitechapel we walked down to the Thames and followed the Thames Path to Tower Bridge. We had lunch in a bbq place called Bodeans and thoroughly logged out on excellent, unpretentious food. If you like bbq meats and you're in London I recommend it! Then we walked over Tower Bridge, and along the South Bank of the Thames to the Borough Market, where we both went slightly nuts (but mainly me!) at a stall called The Spice Mountain - this is their website, and I bought quite a few types of flavoured salts there as well as a bag of Long Peppers.
Finally we went to Whole Foods Market on Kensington High Street so I could buy some more jicama and then walked back to Paddington.
Sunday it rained all day, but my brother & I were hardcore walkers and went out anyway - about 3 miles around town first, then we caught a train into Reading and walked around some more, before going home for lunch and then walking another approximately 4 miles to a garden centre with a good farm shop. In Reading I went to an oriental supermarket and bought a bag of chicken feet to make stock with!!!!



I've been meaning to try that for ages and intended to get them from Chinatown in London but we ran out of time. After that even we were glad to get home and sit down, watching multiple episodes of the wonderful 'Parks & Recreation' till it was time for my brother to leave and me to go to bed :-)
The only downside to such a busy, active weekend is that the time flies by, and 2 minutes after leaving work on Friday evening you're already getting woken up on Monday morning to go back to work Sad smile Absolutely worth it though, and we're already planning his next visit!

Now a question: why is it that its impossible to eat sweet stuff then put it aside again? I need to get back to low carbing it, but so far its harder than it was to start it in the first place... failed miserably today as you will see below�

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: pork & ham soup
Dinner: prawn salad
Snack: carrot cake & chocolate

Eat to Live Cookbook: Ten Thousand Island Dressing

I'll be honest, when I first looked at this recipe I thought it was odd. The reason I chose to make it was because I had all of the ingredients on hand. Since I have committed to making each and every recipe from the new Eat to Live Cookbook, I will be preparing a lot of food that I otherwise would just skip over--you know, things with names that don't resonate with me or lists of ingredients that just seem far too long, or even just one ingredient that I don't particularly love.

That's one of the points of this project for me personally--just make there recipes and block out the noise. I'm sure that I will be surprised by many of the dishes that left to my own devices I never would have tried in the first place.
Read more �

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Eat to Live Cookbook: Eggplant Cannelloni with Pine Nut Romesco Sauce

Well, as you can see from my photo above, this didn't exactly turn into a "cannelloni" with stuffed and rolled slices of eggplant smothered in Romesco Sauce. It ended up as an eggplant lasagna without the noodles. Why? Because the eggplants available to me on the day that the shopping was done were on the smaller side, not long enough to be able to stuff and roll. So I improvised and laid the ingredients out as you would a lasagna.

But who cares?

This just might be the most delicious Nutritarian entree of all time.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Eat to Live Cookbook: Mango Pudding

Not only did we enjoy this pudding for dessert last night, we had fun tasting it while we were making it and also were thrilled to have leftovers today.

Edited to add: Day 2--When the leftovers were gone, we decided we needed another batch. And half of the second batch was gobbled up within minutes of making it. I think we are on to a new family favorite dessert.

Mango Pudding
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 294

Did I like it? yes

Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? Absolutely. I used frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe's, instead of the fresh which the recipe called for, which made making this dessert so much easier. Plus, I didn't have to refrigerate it for two hours before serving, because the mango was only partially thawed when I blended the pudding. The only downside to using the bags of mango chunks are that you have to guess just how many chunks would be the equivalent of two mangos. But it would be hard to mess this up.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Binge :-(

So, no post yesterday because I had a stinking headache and was avoiding all computers. I'd been contacted by an agency the day before arranging a phone interview for a job working away and I guess I was stressed about it, because Wednesday night I got no sleep. So I didn't go to work, dosed myself with caffeine to get through the interview, then spent the day alternately resting - trying to nap - or taking short, slow walks to try to work the headache off before I ran out of energy. Not my favourite kind of day home from work!
Today I woke up feeling groggy from painkillers and medicinal whiskey, still knackered, but went back into work.
Yesterday was dry and fairly sunny with a strong cold breeze,so that every time I went out my head did feel clearer and I actually in total (across multiple attempts) walked about 5 miles I think. Today it was wet, cold and windy as I drove into the office, with more rain forecast, leaving me wondering why I got out of bed. The decider was probably realising I wouldn't want to go out in the horrible weather so I might as well get paid... Especially as this contract is nearly over and I might have a gap before being paid again...
Foodwise yesterday the meals were good bit the snacking not so much - as usual when I'm that lacking in energy I tried to eat energy, in the form of large quantities of cashew butter. Yes, I know I said I wasn't buying it any more. I was right to say that and wrong not to stick to it. But at the time it cheered me up, so I'm not (very) sorry...
This weekend my brother is planning to visit and we intend to go into London tomorrow. Of course the forecast is for heavy rain all day... Left to myself, and because I live in such a convenient place, I'd put it off until the weather was better but my brother lives much further away and works a funny shift pattern that rarely gives him weekends off, so when he has the chance he's taking it no matter what... He also firmly believes that 'there's no bad weather,just bad clothing choices' so we'll be tramping around in the rain... If its as bad as the forecasts say I may insist we get tube passes and don't walk everywhere as we usually do, since I'm such a delicate blossom... :-)

This afternoon I binged. I binged on chocolate and crisps, neither of which I should have touched. I don�t feel ill but I do feel regrets.. DON�T EAT THE FIRST BITE then you can�t binge�

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: curried pork & ham soup
Dinner: leftover Paleo Bolognese sauce over courgette noodles
Snack: 85% dark chocolate

HGK's Eat to Live Cookbook Project: This Weekend's Cooking

Quite a few readers have asked for a preview of what I plan on blogging about during the Eat to Live Cookbook Project.

Here's my plan for Week 1:

Eggplant Cannelloni with Pine Nut Romesco Sauce, p. 194 and here (but please note, in the online version one ingredient has mistakenly been omitted, the 2 Tbsp pine nuts in the Romesco Sauce). We'll be eating this for dinner tonight with a big salad.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Q and A re: the new Eat to Live Cookbook Project

I'm stunned. Overwhelmed. Your response on Facebook and the blog to my announcement that I was going to cook my way through Dr. Fuhrman's new Eat to Live Cookbook was nothing short of amazing. THANK YOU ALL. (The only time I get response to a blog posting like this is when I host a giveaway!)

Many of you have questions. Really good questions. You brought up a lot of things that I had considered, and many that weren't even on my radar. In an attempt to let everyone know what the plans are, I am going to answer most of the questions that have come up so far right here in this blog posting.

This is going to be one of my longer blog postings, so if you are interested, please grab a cuppa decaf tea and get comfy!

Read more �

Hair Diary || New Twists + Length Boredom

Apparently, I was too "rush rush" in doing these new set of twists, so they are aging fairly quickly ... faster than they usually do.  However, I'm sticking to them for the full three weeks and will have to manage.

In other news, I'm having "length boredom" at the moment.  My hair is in a shrunken state (whether 80% shrunken or 40% shrunken) almost 24-7, and for the most part I don't mind it ... I like the ability to switch up my "length" and style via shrinkage.  However, once in a while, I go through this phase where I want to wear my true length.  In the past couple of years, that usually meant flat ironing.  I'm contemplating doing that next month ... but the maintenance of keeping my hair straight while I exercise 3x a week will be a challenge ... and twists are just so much easier.  We'll see what next month brings.

In the meantime, here are some more pics!

After my last set of twists, I wore a twist-out for a few days.
This photo is the result of finger separating/detangling the twist-out.
Since I was too tired to wash, I wore this for another day or two.
Rollerset to stretch my hair for the next set of twists.  (This was done after a wash and deep condition.)
Within minutes, my hair reverts to more of a blow-out, but that is fine by me.
I initially wanted to do flat-twists into a twist-hawk, hence what you see here.
However, I decided that I didn't really want to commit to the look for 3 weeks.
The back was left this way and I did regular two-strands for the rest of my hair.
Stretched for twisting.  I *heart* roller setting.

Study || Turmeric vs. Prozac for Depression

A recent study has demonstrated that curcumin, which is found in turmeric, may be an effective treatment for individuals with major depressive disorder (without "suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders"[1]).  The blind study evaluated three groups - those taking fluoxetine (also known as Prozac), those taking curcumin, and those taking a combination of the two.  Hmm ... could the day be near when turmeric is widely used to treat depression?  Check out the study for yourself:



The New Eat to Live Cookbook, Healthy Girls Kitchen Attempts Julie and Julia Style

Many years ago, when I first read Eat to Live and Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I was lucky enough to stumble on the blog of a woman who had challenged herself to cook each and every recipe from Eat for Health and blog about it. Her name is Jana and I scoured her blog over and over for anything I could glean about which recipes I should attempt to make. You can check out her amazing story here.

Fast forward about three years. I got wind that Dr. Fuhrman was on the verge of releasing a brand new cookbook, called The Eat to Live Cookbook (you can peruse some of the content here.) It immediately occurred to me--what if I made every recipe from that cookbook and blogged about it?

And then I dismissed the thought as certifiably nuts.

Why would I even want to do something like that?

Selfishness, really. It would be motivation to cook all of this Nutritarian food, even when I'm tired and lazy. Plus and an infusion of fun on my blog. A challenge. And just to see what would happen.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cooking - Experimenting

I've been reading yet more books regarding ancestral / traditional foods and their benefits since finishing the whole30. First it was The Perfect Health Diet - I like them, they'll let me eat white rice & potatoes and drink beer for silicon supplementation - and now Nourishing Traditions, which allows you to eat most things except modern refined foods so long as you're willing to prepare them traditionally. This book reminded me of one of my favourite foods that I haven't had for ages - yoghurt cheese made by straining the whey out of plain yoghurt until its so thick and firm you could eat it with a knife & fork if you wanted to. There is a batch setting up nicely in my fridge as I write... In the past when I made this I used to throw the whey away (or at most add it to smoothies) but the book also describes using homemade whey (not processed whey powders) to make lacto-fermented foods and drinks, so I'm considering making some 'pickled' veg with some of it, and adding some to my next batch of mayo to extend its fridge life. Watch this space...
At lunchtime today I walked my usual 2 mile walk, to a massive Boots superstore. Since reading The Perfect Health Diet I've been trying to find some Vitamin K supplements - all the books on low carb dieting, if they support supplementation at all, agree everyone should be taking it. So why is it impossible to find anywhere except on the internet at massive cost??? Ah well, the web to the rescue again...

I intended to train after work but got swept up into the never-ending house sale screw up and didn�t have time. So the sale is making me cranky, stressed and fat�

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with vegetables
Lunch: salvaged slightly curried soup - actually turned out pretty nice!
Dinner: Korean style beef short ribs cooked on the hob per one of the comments, and made with blackberries and apple (I followed your example, Diane, and found the ribs at a semi-local butcher after striking out at every supermarket I tried) with salad
Snack: cashews

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