Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun With Beets :D

Recently I have been on a beet kick. There are so many ways you can eat them and they are soo good for you!!! Plus you can't beet the color! I got mine in the bulk food produce section of Meijer's! For an easy way to keep beets on hand to add into recipes or salads, grate them into bowl or storage container and keep it handy in the fridge!

Beets are a root vegetable that are easy to grow and are a great source of potasium, sodium, magnesium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.

I made a beet orange salad for Thanksgiving that went over ok.
I was really the only one who really liked it...
well I thought it was good. Decide for yourself!

Beet Orange Salad

3-4 Beets grated into a bowl
2-3 Oranges, sliced into rounds and the segments removed and added to beets
1/4-1/2 C raw organic sugar, or stevia to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 drops sweet orange oil

Mix and allow to marinate for a while before serving. The juice from the beets and oranges will be drawn out by the sugar and will sweeten it nicely! If you have left over salad, put it in a salad with a 1/4 C cashews, it's delish!!

The great color of beets gives shakes and salads a wonderfully festive feel! But it does get all over your hands!! If you have trouble getting the beet stains off your hands after using soap, try vinegar or lemon juice!

Beet-licious shake!

2 bananas, one frozen and one fresh
1 1/2 C frozen strawberries
1/4 C grated carrot
1/4 C grated beet
2 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
stevia to taste
dash cinnamon
1 C water to blend

Blend ingredients until smooth and enjoy!

As a spin off of Carrot Ginger soup, I substituted some beets and spices!

Carrot Beet Ginger Soup

1/2 C grated carrot
1/2 C grated beet
1 tbsp white miso
1/2 avocado
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 C water

Place all ingedients into blender and mix until smooth.

I also recently made some refrigerator pickles and pickled beets. The difference is that after you pour the brine over the veggies, you skip the ending water bath and stick the jars in the fridge to picklize. With the beets though, and some other veggies, like cauliflower, it is good to blanch them for 30-60 sec to allow for better flavor absorption.  I found out all the lovely info for this at:

I personally winged the beet brine mixing brown sugar, vinegar, water, cinnamon, and cloves on the stove. We'll see how they turn out!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Last Day of Fasting- Hurrah!!!

So today is day 10 of my fast and it has been an interesting ride. Every fast, for every person is different. I have had fasts that were very easy, sometimes the hardest day will be day three, other times day 5, but surprisingly, this time almost every day was difficult. Granted some days were harder than others, and some days I was weaker than others, and this is to be expected.c

I am so excited to eat again tomorrow!! I have decided to try my hand at following the 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham-- I was shocked to discover that my rinky dinky library actually has it! I have yet to read it but I have become addicted to watching Fully Raw Kristina's youtube videos. I have signed up for Cronometer and I'll see how it goes!

The fridge is a bit bare but I will share some of my attempts on this style of eating! 

So here it is, no more waiting!

Almost Raw Pumpkin Soup/ or Pie Filling!

When it is refrigerated it is very thick!!

1 1/2 C Pumpkin (canned, plain)
1/2 C Apple Butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 C pecans
1 C apple juice
Dates or stevia to taste
1-2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil

I made a couple batches of this soup before I had any apple juice and when I added it OH My!! It was SOO good!!! If there is not enough liquid when blending please either add some more apple juice, water, or a little almond milk.

If you desire to make this recipe but want it 80/10/10 (as I made this a couple weeks ago before my recent decision) remove the nuts, try to find a sugar pie pumpkin- see pic- to cut up and use, cut out the oil and apple butter- add more cinnamon or apple pie spice, and add more dates.

I'm sorry that there is no picture of the soup!! I made it a couple weeks ago and I wanted to make it again so I would have a picture for you, but I have held out soo long in doing this that it is not fair to you- my wonderful readers! So here's the recipe I came up with, sans picture :(

For those of you that try it, let me know which way you made it and how you liked it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

An Update About Myself: Fasting Day 5

Yes the title of this post a bit narcissistic but oh well. I am currently too tired to come up with something more pc!

I first want to apologize for not being more prompt in posting my seasonal recipes that I have created, I have them but just haven't managed to get them up! Life has gotten away from me and that is one of the reasons I decided to go on a fast.

This is the fourth fast that I have done in almost three years. I tend to do one fast a year. 
I am unsure of how long I will go this time. My first fast was 9 days, the second was my longest at 21, my third was 15. I am thinking that I will probably go 10 days. But that is going to be decided based on when my mom comes to visit. I want to be able to do things with her that I would normally be able to.

Most people when they hear that you are fasting go into a bit of a panic, thinking that it is extremely unhealthy not to eat, which is the exact opposite of the truth. Many people have fasted throughout history, and there are many Biblical examples to prove this point. The Isrealites fasted when they needed spiritual guidance, when grieving, and to get one's life in line with what God would have them do.

Is Fasting Healthy?

I do want to caution people though, if you are on medications, or have severe health issues, please consult a doctor, or natural wellness practitioner before commencing a fast.

That said, fasting (I need to be specific- I am doing a water fast)  is a great way to detoxify the body and burn fat. It also helps to clarify oneself spiritually. Before I started this fast I felt that I was being attacked mentally as I was extremely depressed, which for me means overeating, sleeping a lot, crying a lot, and in general not wanting to get out of bed. I needed to restart my system, reboot, which is what fasting does. It helps one appreciate life and remind you of what is truly important.

Many people will say that fasting makes them sick- which is understandable and normal, if you know what the body is doing. Your body will transition to burning the fat stored in your body into fuel and depending on what you eat, your fat can be full of toxins! Artificial sweeteners, built up aluminium, mercury, etc, from overly processed food, and chemicals in our body products, house hold products, and the environment, all get stored in our bodies! YUK! So when your body is breaking down the stored fat, it is also working on detoxing all of those chemicals, which makes you feel pretty lousy. Your face will probably break out initially, you may have headaches for a few days, you may even experience symptoms of past infections.

One really cool thing about fasting, is that all of the energy that your body has can go to rebuilding damaged areas. When we eat, our body has to process the food etc, and all of that takes energy. When we don't bombard our system with tasks to do, it focuses on getting rid of that last bit of cold virus that was suppressed to the point where we think we are totally healed. Old bone fractures may ache as the body "reinforces them". I have felt like I had a cold for days, had  my lungs hurt as they were being cleaned out, had my gut hurt and feel like I have a fever. All this is part of the healing process. 

Since I have been doing fasts fairly regularly, this one has been very easy. I broke out a bit from the Halloween candy I ate but other than that I have been good to go!

What does one experience when fasting- a day by day look

Day 1: Going without food is easy, you stay busy and don't think about it until the evening when your tummy  starts to rumble. You sleep fine. All systems are normal.
Day 2: You are still okay, but more hungry. Your body is now transitioning to consuming fat. I like to tell my body to eat the stored fat, it sounds silly but I think it actually speeds up the transitioning process. You will have your last bowl movement today or tomorrow. Your breath turns sour from the detox, brush your tongue regularly! You still sleep okay.

: Your bowels will shut down after a couple days of not eating. To eliminate feces to prevent excess toxic buildup from the decaying matter, it is a good idea to give yourself an enema. Once for a fast of 6-10 days, and a second for a fast going to days 12-18.

Day 3
: Your tummy is really rumbling today! But you stay busy and make it through. Overall you feel okay.
Day 4: You feel weaker today, you move slower and you have to take your time standing up and bending over otherwise you get dizzy. Watch the shower temperature, make sure it's not too hot. Excess heat will start to make it harder for you to breathe- you feel weaker when too hot. Sleep will come slower as your body craves food.

: Day 3-5 may be your hardest before your body stops constantly pestering you for food. I find visual eating- looking up recipes, helpful. Playing facebook games also is a great distraction.

Day 5
: You feel weak, and don't want to do any excess movements. Try not to carry anything very heavy.
Between day 5 and day 9 you will essentially stop feeling hungry as your body finally realizes it is not getting any food.
Around day 15 or so, your energy levels return. If you have stairs, you will no longer feel winded climbing up them.

Fortunately I don't have a high impact/activity job. I have done a fast and been a waitress before, but the restaurant was rather small, but it was still difficult. Thankfully I was able to sit between serving tables. If you have to work a higher impact job but still want to do a water fast, add a tablespoon of unsweetened juice (like cranberry or cherry) to 1 liter of water. 1 tsp to a 12 oz bottle.

After completing a fast, of whatever length, one feels more energized, more in control of one's body and emotions, thinking is clearer and more focused, the bowels function better/more effeciently, and your skin glows with health.

What would I normally be able to do that is hard when fasting?

-Carrying a gallon of milk more than 15 ft. I barely managed to get 2 gallons of milk into the house yesterday with out dropping the one under my arm that was holding a bag of groceries!
-Standing up quickly(this only applies after 3-4 days)
-Staying warm!!!
     You should have seen me on my 21 day fast- half of it was spend bundled up in my pjs, a robe, a blanket, 2 pairs of socks and my slippers!!

Benefits of Fasting  

Mental clarity is improved and brain fog is lifted. 
Rapid, safe weight loss is achieved without flabbiness 
The nervous system is balanced 
Energy level and sensory perception is increased. The longer the fast, the bigger increase in energy and vitality. You normally need less sleep.
Organs are revitalized  

Cellular biochemistry is harmonized
The skin becomes silky, soft, and sensitive
There is greater ease of movement
Breathing becomes fuller, freer and deeper
The digestive system is rejuvenated and becomes more effective; the peristaltic action of the intestines (the cause of a natural bowel movement) is stronger after fasting.
Fasting retrains your tasting sense back to more healthy food as acute sensitivity is restored. 
Fasting can increase confidence in our ability to have control over our lives and our appetite, and that our body is self-regulating and a self-healing organism capable or establishing balance when given the possibility to do so.
Normal metabolic and cell oxygenation are restored.
Detoxification - as soon as the body realizes that it's fasting it will begin to eliminate those things that cause disease, such as fat cells, arterial cholesterol plaques, mucus, tumors, stored up worries and emotions.

This list was so good I copied it from
I have found that all of these things are true, especially with long fasts. I read over falconblanco's page on fasting and it is fantastic!!! I highly suggest reading is as I can't copy the majority of his work here!

I hope this article and the information from encourages you to take control of your eating, and clarify your spirit through a good fast!

Additional reading:  An excellent resource!!