Saturday, January 27, 2007

The other day Kim asked this question:

"I was wondering if you had tried any of the recipes from the E2L book that weren't soup oriented... I sometimes wonder how filling soup alone can be. Is there a reason why you tend towards a very "liquidy" E2L? Just curious. :)"

I went to post a comment to answer; but I ended up writing a book and thought it would make a half-way decent post, so here goes:

Two recipes that I have tried that aren't soups are the Mexican Lasagna/Enchilada Casserole and an Eggplant Lasagna (using eggplant instead of noodles) from Fat Free Vegan. They were both very good and I would make them again. Other non-soup dishes I have made are steamed veggies with some seasonings and a little bit of Braggs and also wraps with hummus and other veggies.

I realize that I usually make soups and haven’t tried too many non-soup dishes; I have found that I really like soup and it can be very filling. I like to make soups which include beans to get in my daily allotment of beans and make the soup more filling than it would be without the beans. Since I try my best to stay away from grains and starchy veggies soups are a good and easy way for me to get these things in.

Another reason that I have gravitated toward a "liquidy" ETL diet it for ease and simplicity. I'm not a morning person, so putting all of my frozen fruit and banana together on the weekends and making a quick smoothie to take to work with me on weekdays works very well. For me, soup is also easy to make ahead and freeze in individual containers to take to work for lunch. Since I’m the only person in my household who is ETLing, it’s more convenient for me to make one thing on the weekend and eat it throughout the week rather than cooking something every night.

In my early ETLing days I did try to eat all my food whole – whole fruits and big salads and huge bowls of steamed veggies. Over time I evolved into a system that I am very happy with (when temptation doesn’t get the better of me). I prefer to eat a “liquidy” ETL because it’s what works for me. The food still retains all of its nutrients and fiber but is just easier to ingest. I prefer not to take an hour and a half to eat breakfast – but that’s just me. I think that everyone has to figure out how to make the plan work for them. I’m in a place right now where I am very happy with the formula I’ve come up with but it took a while to get here.

I’ve never felt that I have the patience or time to cook a different meal every night… I guess that’s part of the reason that I used to have a vegetarian diet made up of a lot of frozen food and take out. Not healthy! Now I have a much healthier diet that is for the most part just as simple as it was before.

In other news - still trying to get back on track - it's tough but I am getting back into the right mindset. I had a few good days this week and a few not-so-good days too. I've made some good decisions and some not so good. Each day I am trying my best and each day will get better and better.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Been doing ok with this new resolution...

Breakfast: smoothie (spinach, blueberries, banana, strawberries and flax)
Lunch: Blended Green Soup
Dinner: Salad (lettuce, red onion, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, a little bit of blue cheese) and then some of hubby's hot chocolate and some cereal with soy milk

Exercise: None
Fuhrmometer: Lentil

Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: Blended Green Soup and a small handful of popcorn
Pre-workout: small spoon of peanut butter
Dinner: Salad (same as before) and *cringe* ice cream bar

Exercise: 65 min Yourself!Fitness
Fhurmometer: Lentil/Eggplant

Monday, January 22, 2007

cracking down

I don’t really like to admit it; but I am a competitive person. This usually doesn’t come out in the traditional sense, like when playing games or racing or something… for me, it’s about intelligence and success. Where does this tie into weight loss? Well, I guess I am a competitive dieter.

I’ve been struggling to have consistent weight loss for a few months now. I lost my first 50 pounds in just over 3 months. It’s been over 4 months since then and I’ve only managed to get another 20 pounds off. The only reason for this is that I haven’t been strict enough with what I eat. I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted throughout the holidays and then the kitchen remodel. For the past few weeks since we’ve been able to use the kitchen again I’ve been doing better but not great. When it gets to be the weekend it’s been all too easy to just eat bad food and let the “screw it” mentality take over. To add insult to injury I haven’t been working out consistently either.

There are many weight loss blogs that I love to read; not only to learn about the experiences and thoughts of others as they lose weight and learn about their relationship with food but also as a measure of how I am doing compared to others. It’s a stupid thing to do but it does keep me going. I’ve been stalled for nearly two months now and am jealous of the rest of the world who made it through the holidays with losses or successfully got back on track weeks ago. I’m sick of myself and my lack of willpower and discipline. I’m pissed at myself that I’ve let myself lag behind in this self-imposed race.

I want to lose another 50 like the first 50. I want to break out of the 200’s more than anything. I want to have the discipline back that I had in the beginning. I need to crack down on myself.

This all seems like a major contradiction to my last post doesn’t it? I think on the surface it can appear that way; but at the same time – caring more about nutrition now than before and wanting to get the scale moving again can be two very separate things. I have been too laid back about things for the past few weeks and I need to get back to work.

My newest goal – six weeks of nothing but ETL – no ice cream, no chips, no pizza and no wraps from the HFS. My only non-ETL exception? Salad from a restaurant and a little bit of blue cheese on my dinner salads. I know I can do it. Also – I will back to posting daily what I eat and my workouts. Starting NOW!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the inner dialogue

A few weeks ago; I decided to try out bringing my soup with me to have for lunch instead of having it for dinner. I had been bringing salad or a blended salad for lunch since I started ETLing last June and it works out better some days than others. I thought that if I have warm and filling soup for lunch it will help me not make excuses to go get lunch from the Natural Foods store or eat the random junk food that sometimes finds its way into the office kitchen.

So the plan has been working well and today I had a breakthrough. I've talked before about the delicious but not necessarily healthy wraps at the Natural Foods store which is coincidentally right down the street from my office. In the past I have had trouble staying away from these wraps. I get the idea of them in my head and sometimes its hard for me to say no and eat my planned lunch. The thought of them just tortures me until I give in and go get one. Sometimes I feel guilty about it; sometimes I feel icky after eating it; and sometimes I enjoy it. But I always know that I'm not eating as healthy as I should.

Here's the part about the breakthrough. Today I brought some of my blended greens and lentil soup (two posts down) with me for lunch but I thought in the back of my head that maybe I would get a wrap for lunch and save the soup for another day. Usually this is the point where I can't get the thought of the wrap out of my head and have to go get it to stop torturing myself; but today the inner me said "No, I really want to have delicious and nutritious green soup for lunch." instead of going on and on about the wrap. BREAKTHROUGH! The soup for lunch technique works!

I think that I am *finally* getting to a point in my ETLing where I am out of the diet mentality and am more focused on just eating good healthy food. I am more concerned with making sure that I get in as much raw and leafy greens into all my meals rather than how many pounds I am going to lose this week or when I will hit my target weight. It took 7 months to get to this point; and for a long time I didn't think that I would. Now I can really say that Eat to Live is a lifestyle for me and not a diet tool. Once I do reach my goal weight I will surely keep this up for life. It feels so good to be able to say that and really truely believe it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Picture Pages: Kitchen

DISCLAIMER: The pics aren't formatted correctly right now but I will update with better ones. I just had to post some pics!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting As much of a before as I have... note the hole in the sophet (sp?) and the already peeled wallpaper amongst other destruction :-)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Before - left. Yes, I did pick out the ORANGE orange paint and no, I don't know why.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Before - right. We have a small and narrow kitchen so I have to stand in the dining room to take the pictures.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting View into the kitchen from the dining room through the old (narrow!) doorway and the useless little window thingie. We got rid of the window and widened up the doorway.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting My Grandpa (he's 87 and still helping with the construction proejcts) with the cabinet-less kitchen.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Just the studs.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Another view of the gutted kitchen.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Back to looking like a "real" room again!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Finally I get to paint!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Cabinets back in, new countertop in, pot rack is up... VitaMix back in it's rightful place. It's gonna be so nice!

We still have to tile the floor and backsplash and finish the cabinets. It took us a while to decide how we want to finish them but we've finally made up our minds. More pictures as things get wrapped up!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


We are STILL remodeling the kitchen! Right now we do have use of the sink and stove and I have some counter space so I have been back on ETL as of the beginning of this week. With the holidays and a week of eating nothing but fast food and cereal, I gained more than I'd care to say. The good news is that since Sunday I have lost half of what I gained and am feeling SO much better now that I am eating REAL food again :-)

Here is the recipe for an easy soup that I made. I needed something that had minimal prep and could be cooked in one pot. It also had to include veggies and beans and I really wanted to make something with Kale and a lot of other super-nutritious greens in it. Here's what I came up with; it's actually a lot better than I was expecting - although I think it needs more garlic!
Nicole's Green Soup
Yield: 6 (generous) servings

4 c Veggie Broth + 2 to 4 c water
1 head of garlic, cloves crushed
1 lb green lentils
1 bunch kale, rinsed and thick stems cut off
1 bunch collards, rinsed and thick stems cut off
1 bunch bok choy, rinsed and broken/torn into pieces
Some frozen spinach
1 14.5 oz can no-salt canned tomatoes

1. Heat veggie broth and water in soup pot while cleaning and trimming all of the greens and crushing all of the garlic.
2. Put the garlic and the lentils in the pot and bring to a boil, add the greens to the top to steam.
3. Simmer until lentils are tender and greens are soft.
4. Blend in batches, add diced tomatoes to a batch or stir them in at the end to leave them chunky.

I like to add some Bragg's Liquid Aminos to this at meal time; it adds a nice dimension to the soup.

More soon; especially pictures of the kitchen!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Under Construction

By The People, For The People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943Happy New Year everyone!

I am not quitting blogging or Eat to Live - but I have been on hiatus from both due to the holidays and a complete remodel of our kitchen (that we are doing ourselves with some help from my parents and Grandpa). We ripped everything out and are in the process of putting things back in. Right now we have new lighting installed and the wiring and drywall are in. Our refrigerator is the only appliance that is still running (and it has been doing so in the dining room). I plan to get right back into things as soon as I can use the new kitchen - and I really can't wait! I was laying in bed last night wishing that I could wake up and make a smoothie to bring to work with me this morning; I really miss them and my blended salads. I hope that we will have a useable kitchen by the end of the upcoming weekend. We've been taking pictures - I'll post them sometime soon.

My New Year's Resolution is to be more positive and not let the negativity of others (this is mostly at work) bother me as much. Do you have a New Year's Resolution? What is it?