Full of Plants, Free of Gluten

Baby Carotene

Baby Carotene

Hello healthy herbivores! What’s the word?!? I have been happily sucked into MOMLAND for the last couple months. It’s a pretty place where you put your feet up, drench yourself in life’s miracles, and sip organic green smoothies out of martini glasses. Actually, it’s more like Legoland. Bright lights, fast moving humans, and too many colors to count. Too bad it’s not vegetables whizzing by! Or is it?

Not only do we have an amazing new being in our brood (a little girl, born at 8.1 lbs in early May), but life for the other 3 kids hasn’t stopped, nor has the Vitamix! But now I am back, and I am full-on gluten-free-fabulous.

When the new baby was born, I read a neat article about a new study that had just been published in the journal Diabetes: Could a Maternal Gluten-Free Diet Protect Protect Offspring Against Type 1 Diabetes? I read it while sipping tea and quickly inhaling my very last piece of whole wheat peanut butter toast. Sure, the study was done in mice, but when you have 1 child with type 1, even a study done with mice is motivating. Plus, with a few pesky baby weight pounds to dissolve, perhaps GF is a grand idea anyway. Bring it, Stuart Little!

So as I ventured into GF land, I realized most GF snack foods, breads, and muffin mixes are high-calorie, low-fiber, and rich in eggs, oils, and dairy (not so good for the squishy tubular mid-section of which I’m trying to bid adieu). And EXPENSIVE! Am I supposed to diaper the new baby with the GF Flour Mix packaging? Better idea anyway, I’m sticking with a GF plan that skips the processed goods and highlights the whole ones, and am on a mission to make a high-fiber, plant-hearty GF sandwich bread (read on). This mission may take the remainder of my life on earth.

My day at the moment:

First thing:
Huge glass water, then coffee with coconut creamer (I do love me a cup ‘a joe!) while nursing baby
Exercise:
2 mile hilly run/walk, 100 crunches, 50 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, 30 squats, 600 beads of sweat pouring down face
Breakfast:
Green smoothie: 1 scoop Plantfusion vanilla, 2 c dino kale, 1 c frozen fruit, 1 banana, water
Snack:
KIND bar, apple, OR peanut butter on corn thins
Lunch:
Huge green salad with lots of veggies and beans w olive oil-lemon-salt dressing, 2 pc dark chocolate
Snack:
Veggies, hummus, Brown rice cakes (2, 3, 4…), TJ’s Roasted Seaweed or TJ’s Kale Chips
Dinner:
Stir-fry veggies with tempeh or tofu, OR overloaded veggie burrito fixin’s piled on 2 corn tortillas
2 pc dark chocolate
Bedtime snack:
2 chilled sliced apples topped with cinnamon

For baking, I’ve been substituting GF all-purpose flour blend for regular flour and things have come out well. Until I tried my hand at a healthy, vegan GF sandwich bread, modeled after this one (except using King Arthur’s multipurpose GF flour and flax instead of chia). Mine was edible, and bordering on tasty if you like dense, heavy bread. Yum! I mean, HELP!!

Hugs to plants,
Jen

GF Vegan Sandwich Bread, Take 1

GF Vegan Sandwich Bread, Take 1

 

Watermelon Protein Cooler

Well hello! I fell of the earth for a bit and finally find my way back. Phew! And when I say “fell off the earth,” I really mean I’ve been tackling an enormous pre-baby-#4 to-do list (baby due in 3 weeks). Thankfully, I finally reached item #47: Post something new on BitchinDietitian.com! And here it is. A standby since watermelons have appeared at CostCo, and a creative way to get more watermelons in your life if you’re tackling high blood pressure (new research here).

watermelon smoothie

Watermelon Protein Cooler
Serves 3 (or 1 very thirsty pregnant lady!)

4 cups watermelon chunks (about 430 grams)
12 frozen strawberries (or 12 fresh strawberries, stems removed, plus 1 cup ice)
2 tsp lime juice (fresh is best!)
8 ounces almond milk, hemp milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 scoop protein powder of choice (I like Plant Fusion vanilla)

Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Each serving has 121 calories, 18 g carbs, and 9 g protein.

See you sooner than later. Cheers! xoxo

Peyton’s Pâté and Super Bowl Bingo

Looking for a way to shock your friends this Super Bowl? Serve this Lentil Pâté instead of wings! I’m positive this is what Peyton Manning eats before every game. Also, enjoy my own personal creation of Super Bowl Bingo. There are 10 cards here for you and your pâté-loving pals. Cheers!

Lentil Pâté from Skinny Dish!

Lentil Pâté from Skinny Dish!

Lentil Pâté
Makes 10 (¼-cup) servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

Spread this tangy pâté on Sesame Melba Rounds, toasted baguette slices, or pipe it into hollowed-out cherry tomatoes or steamed and hollowed-out Brussels sprouts. It even works well as a sandwich spread. Heck, eat it right off the spoon for breakfast. You only live once!

1 (17.6-oz) pkg TJ’s Refrigerated Steamed Lentils, or 2 ½ cups cooked lentils
5 cloves garlic, peeled
12 large pitted black olives
3 Tbsp capers, with juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

1 In a food processor or powerful blender, process all ingredients together until combination is a smooth paste (some chunks may remain).

2 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per ¼-cup serving: 81.5 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 301.5 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4.5 g protein, 0.5% vitamin A, 3.5% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 11.5% iron

Recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe’s: Skinny Dish! by Bitchin’ Dietitian

Detox Day 7: Top 13 Detox Foods

Can you believe it’s the last day? What a super journey this has been! Now that you’re accustomed to inhaling so many of nature’s powerfoods (raw nuts, berries, quinoa, broccoli, kale, spinach, beans, lentils…), I thought a quick list of my top favorite 13 detoxing foods along with their top reasons why they’re so awesome would be a cool graduation gift. Try to incorporate at least FIVE of these every day from now on, and you’ll continue to feel like you have wings.

Wheatgrass Juice from mekonfarm.com

Wheatgrass Juice from mekonfarm.com

1. ALMONDS: Help remove impurities from your intestinal tract. Almond milk is a great dairy alternative to cow’s milk.

2. APPLES: Contain glucaric acid which helps your body get rid of estrogen-like chemicals and heavy metals.

3. AVOCADOS: Rich in healthy monounsaturated fat which doesn’t upset the proper balance of Omega-3’s to Omega-6’s. Contain glutathione which blocks 30 different carcinogens and helps the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals.

4. BEETS: Contain the compound betaine which lowers levels of several inflammatory markers and protects against liver damage. Also contain antioxidant betacyanin, which helps liver detoxify chemicals.

5. BLUEBERRIES: Super-rich in antioxidants including anthocyanins which stop free radical damage (free radical damage can lead to wrinkles and cancer tumor growth). Enhance glutathione production (see AVOCADOS).

6. CABBAGE:  Cleanses the digestive tract and contains powerful cancer-purging isothiocyanates. Eat raw in juices or salads as heat destroys isothiocyanates. Fermented cabbage (kim chi) is rich in natural probiotics.

7. GARLIC: Contains allicin which fights off harmful bacteria. Increases production of glutathione (see AVOCADOS). Garlic also cleanses the arteries, lowers high blood pressure, and cleanses mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses.

8. GINGER: Eases nausea and digestion, but also promotes detoxification by speeding the movement of food through the intestines.

9. KALE: Rich in tons of anti-cancer compounds and flavonoids which reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, but also contains a compound that jumpstarts the liver’s production of cleansing enzymes.

10. LEMONS: Super liver detoxifier and very alkalinizing: help restore the alkaline-acid balance of the body. Add 1/4 lemon to a glass of water every morning.

11. PARSLEY: Rich source of chlorophyll, a natural detoxifier. Raises glutathione levels (see AVOCADOS). Contains the volatile oil eugenol which is a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent.

12. SEAWEED: Binds to heavy metals and radioactive waste (from medical tests and food grown in contaminated soil) for elimination. Rich source of iodine which is essential for thyroid hormone production and your body’s metabolism.

13. WHEATGRASS: Potent detoxifier, and richest edible source of chlorophyll which rebuilds bloodstream, nourishes tissues, and purifies the liver. High in oxygen which helps brain and body function at optimal levels (a pregnancy must!). Grow and grind your own, or buy as frozen cubes or powder, and add to juices or smoothies.

Good thing you’re going grocery shopping today! Thank you thank you for joining all of us on this better-you health trip. You are all shining green stars! xoxo

Detox Day 6: What Happens on Day 8?

Quick Breakfast Staples

Quick Breakfast Staples

What’s your pie in the sky for Day 8? Is it pie? A piece of bread? Elbow macaroni? 13 shots of espresso? For me, it’ll be pretzel rods dipped in mustard. Washed down a green juice of course. Don’t laugh people, I’m pregnant!

Now that you’re a Detox pro on Day 6, it’s a perfect time to start thinking about what happens the day after tomorrow. Will you go back to your pre-Detox eating? A modified version? Take today and tomorrow and make a plan for what you’d like to do long-term. Here are some popular, healthy, and realistic post-Detox modifications to consider:

1. Go back to drinking the morning cup of coffee you missed, but with vanilla almond milk instead of cream and sugar. Try this creamy, dairy-free concoction. Or, enjoy green, white, or black tea as your morning caffeinated beverage. Check out this amazing version of Starbuck’s green tea latte. Oopsies, guess I should’ve told you coffee lovers that one of those this week was *ok* if you were really jonesin’ for some jo!

2. Continue eating the level of fruits and veggies with a giant heaping of cooked veggies at either lunch or dinner, and a giant serving of raw veggies at the other meal. Shoot for HALF your plate being veggies (either raw or cooked) at mealtime.

3. Continue with shakes or smoothies in the morning, but add a protein powder such as this hemp seed one from Trader Joe’s. High in protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, and makes your morning drink more filling. Another fave powder was created by superstar triathlete Brendan Brazier: Vega One French Vanilla. It’s got 10 grams protein per scoop, is fortified with lots of different vites and mins (including calcium), and is sweetened with stevia. My morning power smoothie is Vega + Frozen Banana + Handful of Kale + Water. Filling and sweet! Try these two too.

4. Add a more substantial morning meal such as gluten-free oatmeal (Trader Joe’s has amazing gluten-free oats that seem exactly like traditional rolled oats) with a handful of dried cranberries for sweetness, raw cashews, cinnamon, and cooled down with a dash of unsweetened non-dairy milk. And here’s a Baked Oatmeal version you can make ahead of time for oatmeal-on-the-go. Or heat up a cup of cooked quinoa from the previous night’s dinner with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk.

5. Enjoy a raw food bar in the afternoon to satisfy your sweet tooth–they’re easy to keep on hand, easily survive life in the bottom of bags, and can be stepped on without changing shape. Examples: Larabar, Pure Energy, and KIND. These can all be found in any old grocery store, TJ’s, Whole Foods, or natural health food store.

6. Continue with the Detox as your constant (developing your own menus using the guidelines), and veer from the Detox for special weekend days, when you go out to eat (trying your best to keep with the guidelines, but allowing yourself those treats you may have been missing), have potlucks, or attend parties.

7. Do the Detox 1-2 days per week or 7 days a month, and a modified version on the other days.

What else will you do to carry on the healthy changes you made once the Detox is done? If it’s only more water and more veggies, you still won! xoxo

Detox Day 5: So Much Pee, So Little Time

Gavins Point Dam Release, Photo by: Omaha USACE

I know you’ve been saying it… “Didn’t I *just* pee?” You did! And you love it! Happy Day 5, potty partners. How did we get here so fast?!?

Frequent peeing is good. REALLY good. Here’s why: You’ve been dehydrated. When that happens, your body holds back water like a Dam. It thinks you’re in a drought situation, so it clings onto as many ounces as it can as a means of survival. This translates into a slower metabolism (body panic mode), inefficient kidneys, bloating, water retention, and a really bad holistic poker hand.

SO, by scarfing down tons of raw foods rich in H2O and drinking herbal tea and water all day long, every cell of your body celebrates. The Dam is lifted and away goes the bloating, body sadness, and the toxins that are purging themselves from your person while you detox. Guess I shoulda put toilet paper on the Detox shopping list!? You’ll also note that your pee is very light in color. Another reeeally good sign. You’re hanging on to the good nutrients and flushing your system of the bad. Hurray!

For more hydration excitement, check out one of my most popular posts from the past: The Water Solution: Younger Skin, More Energy, and Less Flab.

So, drink up. Tomorrow is the 2nd last day! Keep up the fabulous treatment you’re giving your precious body, and keep sharing your experiences! xoxo

Detox Day 4: pH Fun

You’re halfway there!!

Tahini Dressing for Veggies, in SKINNY DISH!

Only a few days now until a piece of bread. That will be the best toast you’ve ever had!

For Day 4, I thought I’d bring back an old alkaline goodie…

You may or may not have caught the acid/alkaline breeze in the last few years. Well, here’s the deal: Our blood and tissues love to be at a pH (measure of acidity/alkalinity) of about 7.35-7.45, which is slightly basic/alkaline. This is where your immune system is an immediate bad-guy destroyer and your overall health is sky high. As you loved learning in high school chemistry, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 0 to 6.9 being acidic, 7 being neutral, and 7.1 to 14 being basic (alkaline).

Contrary to what you may think, foods that are more acidic do not make your blood and tissues more acidic. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Oranges, tomatoes = acidic. But shocker, they make your blood and tissues more alkaline. As you could have guessed, pretty much all veggies, fruits, dark leafies, unprocessed grains, and other healthy foods help to make your blood and tissues more alkaline, while meats, dairy, eggs, sugary goods, highly processed foods, coffee and alcohol make your blood and tissues more acidic. One reason loading up on healthy fluids, fruits, and veggies, and avoiding all the other foods is so good at helping you detox, is because you’re working the alkalinity. For more on pH, check here and here and here.

Now for some extra credit: Want to check your very own pH? Using your SECOND urine of the day, pee on one of these test strips (or ones similar). Is the Detox working? Hurrrahh!

Keep sailing along and I’ll see you tomorrow! xoxo

Detox Day 3: 8-Minute Chili

Breezin’ into Day 3, are we? You should already be feeling lighter, smarter, and more energized. If not, it’s right around the corner!

While tonight’s Veggie Pupusas are surprisingly awesome, here is another superfast dinner or lunch to try this week if you’re in a cold climate. It’s actually one of our household staples, and just happens to be detox-worthy. While it adds another minute of prep, I usually toss in a generous amount of kale, torn into small pieces. Give it a quick spin, and see you tomorrow! xoxo

Chili Cook-Off from Skinny Dish!

Chili Cook-Off from Skinny Dish!

Chili Cook-Off

Makes 7 (1-cup) servings
Prep and cooking time: 8 minutes

Everyone’s got a favorite chili recipe, but this one is soon to become your favorite and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and better yet, it’s detox-friendly! Serve alongside a gigantic green salad for the total package. 

2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cubes frozen crushed garlic, or 2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces (preferably organic)
1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn or other frozen corn kernels
Juice of 1 lime (optional)
Hot sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, or avocado chunks for garnish (optional)

1 In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, sauté onion, garlic, chili powder, and cumin in oil until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

2 Turn heat to high and add tomatoes, pepper, beans, and corn; continue to cook, covered, until heated through, about 3 more minutes.

3 Squeeze lime over chili and top with hot sauce, fresh cilantro, or avocado chunks if desired.

4 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or as individual servings in the freezer for up to 2 months.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per cup: 205 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 438 mg sodium, 38.5 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 9.5 g protein, 28% vitamin A, 65.5% vitamin C, 6% calcium, 34.5% iron

Recipe reprinted w/ permission from Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook – Skinny Dish!, by Jennifer K. Reilly, RD,
(c) 2011, Brown Bag Publishers http://www.cookTJ.com

Detox Day 2: A Simple Sample Detox Day

Green Machines!: Believe it or not, the worst part is over! Day 1 Survival is a REAL accomplishment, especially around the hours of 9 and 10pm…. CONGRATS! Even if you went off-course a tad yesterday, steer yourself back on that gravel mountain path. You can still do this!

So, for Day 2, I thought I’d post for you MY Day 1. Use this is a guide for upcoming days when you don’t feel like tackling another new recipe or if you’re rushed with food prep. A couple disclaimers before you see how the dietitian detoxed yesterday: 1). I’m 5 months pregnant with baby #4, thus the AM avocado, 2). I fought a nasty stomach bug this past weekend and wasn’t able to shop for all the ingredients I wanted, and 3). While juggling Day 1, I was taking care of my 4 year-old (the one with type 1 diabetes) who got the aforementioned nasty stomach bug, which involved doing TEN loads of laundry—thankfully, I don’t work on Mondays! So, believe me, I know how hard all this food prep/ detox concentration can be in a busy world. Hoping to get to the store after work today!

Photo by: The Press Democrat

Photo by: The Press Democrat

Simple Sample Detox Day
(Filtered water throughout)

Upon waking
Water with lemon (skipped the cayenne for fear of going into early labor)
Peppermint tea

1 Hour Later
Green Juice: 2 organic cucumbers, 6 leaves lacinato kale (pictured, and my favorite to juice with), 1 large green apple, 1/2 lemon (peeled)

Mid-Morning
1 avocado with a touch of iodized sea salt
1 orange (not organic)

Lunch
Giant (HUGE!) green salad with: mixed greens, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 block cubed tempeh (uncooked, rich in gut-healthy probiotics), 1 tomato, shredded carrots, raw pumpkin seeds, 1 cucumber, and dressing of rice vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and iodized sea salt

Mid-Afternoon
Hummus (lots) with celery and baby carrots (lots of those too)

Later-Afternoon
2 rice cakes with raw almond butter
1 large honeycrisp apple
Leftover green juice from the morning

Dinner
2 large bowls of “Refrigerator Soup”: water, vegetable bouillon, organic frozen mixed veggies, red potatoes, garbanzo beans, dash of thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper
10 rice crackers

Later Evening
Large handful raw almonds
Chamomile tea

Enjoy Day 2 and the new and improving you. One of my FAVORITE recipes is for dinner tonight: Carrot Ginger Soup. Perfect for a record low temperature day! xoxo

Detox Day 1: The Green Juice Formula

Happy Day 1, Detoxers! How was that cayenne pepper water this morning?!? I bet you’re already feeling like you can move mountains, right?

As you jump into Day 1, I wanted to jump into a couple quick and easy juicing tips. Here’s last year’s Day 1 post where you can see my Green Apple Juice-making video from a few years back, and also learn about juicing vs. blending. In addition this year, I wanted to throw you Kris Carr’s Green Juice Formula pictoral (click on it for a bigger brighter view). It sums up juice recipes so beautifully.

Formula by Kris Carr

Formula by Kris Carr

Now put on your lab coat and create some winning juice combos. Let us know which ones you love! And for a great juicing and smoothie e-guide, check out this one. See you tomorrow! xoxo

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