Thursday, 25 July 2013

I'll do it! (Apart form the bits I don't like..)

Isn't it fabulous that we are happy to wholeheartedly accept an idea until an aspect of it makes our life more difficult.

Like religion: Yes, I'm a Christian, but no, I don't agree with their thoughts on gay marriage. You may make the point that religion is open to interpretation and there are so many ideas out there so what else can we do, really?

But what about our health? 'Yes, I won't eat sugar, except in chocolate. And fruit. And the odd piece of cake. Every night. '

I've done this myself with the idea of eating for your blood type (see: Eat Right 4 Your Type). I am blood type O. I have read the type O food recommendations list and was pretty motivated whilst I read the sections that said I shouldn't eat wheat but spelt and rye are ok (my preferred grains). And the columns for dairy and eggs say we should avoid all - well that's ok with me! This list is so relevant - absolutely I should avoid all of the foods they suggest!

And then I reached the nut and seed column. Peanuts are bad. Hmm, is this really right? Lentils are bad. This information probably hasn't been well researched.. No avocados. Nor cinnamon. Ridiculous! This list is rubbish and of course I shouldn't follow it!

I have seriously had this conversation with myself about 5 times over the last year.

I read it again tonight and laughed at myself for my silliness. Hang on a second - sometimes lentils make my stomach hurt. Corn irritates my skin..

Why do we only like to take part in convenient things, ignoring the clear facts in front of us? Interesting.

Friday, 5 July 2013

My Home

I have been inspired by a post on Mrigank Warrier's blog titled 'Home Alone'.

Home is where my brother and I may hate and love each other simultaneously. Home is were the last biscuit or control of the remote (me-mote) allows us to strangle each other, and where we can snuggle in front of the heater when our favourite cartoons are on.

Home is where you can run outside to the washing line in nothing but your underwear, and where it is acceptable to wear your pyjamas from morning to night. Home is where it's ok to yell out "I NEED MORE LOO PAPER!!" and expect someone to come running.

Home is dropping a piece of food on the floor and letting the dog clean it up. Where you can tell the cook you don't like your dinner and them tell you to suck it up and eat it anyway. Home is where chores are dreaded, result in shouting matches, but somehow always get done.

Home is freshly brewed coffee, ready when you crawl out of bed in the morning. Home is the place you can ignore everyone around you when you're overtired and hunting for breakfast.

Home is a place you can cry and be held. Home is where you can be ANGRY and hate people and that be ok. At home you can be rude and short. Home is where you're forgiven.

Home is snuggles on the couch under a blanket for Friday night movies. Home is hugs for no reason at all.

Home is no boys in the bedroom! Doors open at all times! Home is keep your room clean (no one ever sees it!).

Home is rushed dinners as family flys in and out of the door. Home always has dinner ready, set aside and ready to heat. Home is sharing. Home is calling everyone to ask who would like a lift home. Home is notes on the table when you wake up - Hang out the washing! Don't eat my cake! Have a nice day! I love you!

Home is flowers picked from the garden. Breakfast in bed of cold coffee and too much vegemite. Home is playdough. Home is the colouring tin. Home is made up games that you make your brother play with you.

Home is creeping into each others bedrooms to steal a pair of socks. Home is sharing jumpers and trying to figure out who's shoes are who's.

Home is always open. Always welcoming, and always warm. Home is saying grace before we eat, and having enough for drop-ins. Home is forgiving and forgetting. Home is where you can be yourself. Home is where we belong.

Juice Cleanse!

A juice cleanse can be quite controversial - is it really necessary? Or a good idea at all?

Recently I have battled my third year uni exams, then took a week away to recuperate. What did this mean? That I have eaten a whole lot of crap over the last month. I felt heavy (had put on more than a couple of kilos), my skin was protesting, I was exhausted (ok, that's probably not food related with the hours I've been doing) and just felt yuck. I looked into some detox ideas to get myself back on track and was convinced to give a juice cleanse a go.

I've been considering getting a new food processor for a while now and came across the Philips 3-in-1 Kitchen MACHINE! Not only is this glorious piece of equipment a food processor, but a blender and JUICER all in one! (Well.. not all in one. But you get all three attachments for the single motor - which I figured is a great space and money saver).

So juicing was not only likely to help cleanse my body of the toxins that fast food and laziness has put in over the last few weeks, but give me a fantastic reason to buy this beautiful piece of equipment ;)

How does a juice cleanse work?
Most information I found suggests 3 days of juice fasting, not to be done more than four times a year.
Alternatively, juice 'till dark: consume only juices until dinner time, then eat a full (smaller than usual as your stomach will have shrunk) meal, consisting of mostly vegetables.
So for these three days consume only fruit and vegetables in the form of juice. You need to give yourself some nutrients every 2-3 hours, which means about 6 juices a day.

I selected the following guide for my juice planning:
Breakfast: Green juice
Morning tea: Green juice
Lunch: Fruit based juice
Afternoon tea: Coconut water
Dinner: Vegetable based juice
After dinner: Cinnamon-spiced nut milk

Because I'm in the lovely world of uni holidays I've been sleeping until 11am each day, so I omitted the second morning green juice.

And how did I go? What did I actually eat?
Day 1
Breakfast: Basic green juice
2 cups spinach
5 stalks celery
1 cucumber
1/4 lemon

Lunch: Strawberry Limeade
1 cup strawberries
1 lime
1 cucumber

Afternoon tea: Coconut water

Dinner: Radish juice
3 carrots
4 tomatoes
1 radish

Supper: Almond milk with cinnamon

To encourage my detox I had a sauna in the evening to sweat those toxins out!

Day 2:
Breakfast: Spring green
1/2 lemon
1 apple
1 bunch kale
4 celery sticks
1/4 bunch parsley

Lunch: Appleberry
1 cup mixed berries
1 apple
1/4 cucumber
1/4 lemon

Afternoon tea: Coconut water

Dinner: Pumpkin Pie Juice - My new favourite juice!!
1/2 a raw butternut pumpkin
1 apple
dash of cinnamon

Supper: Almond milk with cinnamon

Day 3:
Breakfast: Grapefruit-Zuc Juice
(I had left my celery, cucumber and spinach at a friends house so I got creative)
1/2 grapefruit
1/2 apple
1/4 lemon
1/2 zucchini (yep! they're great!)
bunch of greens, mostly endive

Lunch: Blueapple Juice
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 apple
1/2 zucchini (if I had a cucumber I would have used it here instead)

I had lunch on day 3 at about 3pm, at 5pm the sun had gone down and I felt ready to move into solids.
I had a teaspoon of pumpkin puree that I was using to prepare something for later in the week, and gave that an hour or so to process. Then I was drawn by some cupcakes that I had made to give my sister tomorrow.. probably not the best idea but they were vegan and sugar free cupcakes, and I only had a small one - promise!

For dinner I'll have a small veggie pattie and some celeriac lentils. I've made sure to keep this meal small as I don't want to overload my shrunken stomach!

How do I feel now?
Good. Clean. Lighter. My skin actually looks happier even after three days!

Pulp Patties
What to do with all that juice pulp?!
When you juice fruit and veggies you're left with a whole lot of pulp - the fibre you're giving your body a break from. I couldn't bring myself to throw these away - although they would make fantastic compost if you're happy to do that - so I got creative.

Pulp Patties
Combine about 2 cups of left over veggie pulp (from green or veg juices are best) with about a tbsp of olive oil, 1 tin of lentils, salt, pepper and cumin. Mix together with your fingers, then spread into a baking dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes at about 180C, until just brown around the edges. Let cool a little, then cut into round patties. If not eating straight away cut into patties just before eating fry (no oil should be needed) until heated through. Serve with a luscious garden salad or in a small burger bun!

Pulp Cupcake
Combine 1 1/2 cups SR flour with 2 tbsp oil. Add 2 mashed bananas (frozen and defrosted work well) and about 1 1/2 cups of fruity pulp (from berry juices work great - I used the pulp from my Blueapple with Zucchini Juice). Add 2 tbsp of almond milk to make a wet cupcake consistency, pour into patty pans and bake at 170C for about 20 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. Eat as is, or combine a little icing sugar and lemon juice to glaze the tops.

Pulp Soup
Add left over veggie pulp to soups to thicken them
and add some nutrition!