Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 1 Wrap-Up

Well, week one certainly had its challenges, but I made it through. It was a particularly difficult week in my life personally, so the food challenges weren't really all that bad in comparison. I am proud of the fact that, being out of town (and away from all the factors I think I can control), it did not force me to cave. I packed a cooler with breakfast and snacks, and asked a friend about tasty vegan restaurant options. I ate out twice (Greek and Mexican) and though I probably did get a little gluten here, and a little animal product there in the greek food, I did really well. I was thrilled to find so many protein options in mexican vegan food - tofu, soy chorizo, "mock shrimp" ... and it was especially nice to have kombucha as a beverage option. There's something about mexican food, I just have to have something bubbly to wash it down with!

Not to beat a dead horse, but the caffeine withdrawal was brutal. Brutal! And abstaining from alcohol was also rough. The social aspect of abstaining from these two substances was expected of course, but still a bummer. I did make it through unscathed, mostly because I avoided going out at night (no extra caffeine intake to help me stay up late). I guess I'm proud of the accomplishment of sticking to the program. And I was especially tired, and seriously needed to recuperate from the week and get some rest. But generally speaking, saying NO to fun gatherings just because there will be too many temptations, well, that blows! That's just not me!

Knowing that this way of eating - this cleanse- is only temporary, for a finite period of time, this will keep me on task for a few more days. I have done well, and I think I can make it for a few more days.

Week two: I'll be honest, I am ill prepared. There are still some veggies and other items left from last week's massive shopping trip. But they've seen fresher days, so the pressure is on to use them up before it's too late. I strive to be one of those chefs that needs to use something up, and is able to whip up a delicious meal on the fly. I thought of just pulling out everything and making soup, but cucumber, spinach, celery, tofu and bean sprout soup just doesn't sound right. Another personal challenge in cooking and eating awaits.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Balsamic glazed shitake mushroom with quinoa and a killer green salad

Santa Maria style BBQ!

Here's a fun diversion ....
We had a traditional Santa Maria style barbecue a couple weeks ago, and I'm now finally getting around to posting. I made my own rub for the Tri-Tip, homemade salsa, garlic bread, and pinquinto beans with terroir-appropriate wine (in my opinion). Was fab!


And I also made Apple Crisp. Only one pic before baking and devouring...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just a little dirt

OK, so it turns out that giving it all up at once was B-R-U-T-A-L!! It's the caffeine that I had to add back into my world to get through this week. I have had much less for sure, and that's a good thing. I'm proud of myself and feel very accomplished. I even went to a rock show the other night, and merely had club soda to drink! I've NEVER done that!
Today is Day 5. My energy level is OK, and I haven't felt terribly hungry or weak, so that's good. I have done well.
This weekend will be a challenge in that I will be away from home, and even worse, in the land of the best taco shops on the planet. I'll do the best I can. Not that I'm planning to falter, BUT, if it proves to be too insane to resist, I will make the best choices and return to the cleanse at the very next opportunity. My vegan friends are pretty easy-going when eating/drinking out. They call themselves vegan at home, and vegetarian when they're out. That seems reasonable, I'm going to go with that plan.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Waves of nausea, pounding, beating pressure in my head, light hurts my eyeballs, wobbly vision, woozy-feeling, foggy, no concentration, fumbling around, clumsy, impatient, CRANKY, hunched shoulders, dizzy. Craving silence, no activity, darkness, being horizontal.

Wow- I spoke too soon yesterday about Day 1 going well. WAY too soon. Before lunch I had a slight headache, but after lunch it basically sucker punched me. I figured I might feel some caffeine withdrawals, but nothing like this. This was like food poisoning/migraine/worst-hangover-ever. Was yesterday essentially drug detox? Could I really be that addicted to caffeine, gluten, sugar, flour, alcohol and animal? I'm reminded of that Queens of the Stone Age song "...nicotine-valium-vicodin-marijuana-ecstacy-and-Alcohol.."

I started a "21-day" cleanse yesterday where I would give up all of these things (referring to the caffeine, etc. list). And really, I am taking it one day at a time, maybe a week is all I can do right now, we'll see. My goal - to get rid of some toxins, feel better, more energy, and do something really good for my body. I read up, shopped up a storm, selected smart, easy and delicious-sounding recipes, and mentally prepared. But wow- I had no idea how difficult it would be to go through that kind of sickness, at work none-the-less. Funny, I wasn't hungry.

Well, it's day 2 and I'm still hopeful, but I decided to not be a hero. I started the day with half a cup of strong tea this morning. The goal here is to feel better, and maybe weening myself off of caffeine slowly while abstaining from all the rest is a better plan. I reserve the right to not be perfect on this thing, but to do well. And recognize every accomplishment.

Please, please Day 2, treat me nice.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cleanse. Day 1.

So far so good (knock on wood- where the heck did that expression come from anyway?). I have only been awake for about 3 hours, so oatmeal, fresh apple juice and herbal tea are feeling just fine. I am all packed up for lunch, multiple snacks, and I have a plan for dinner. Feeling good. Feeling strong. Not feeling deprived.
More on all this later...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Farmer's Market - Chiles are in!

AND I also bought Anaheim chiles and poblano chiles. I had a recipe for salsa that required California green chiles. I wasn't sure which to use, and when I asked I got some sarcasm... "well, those are green, and we're in california.." yeah, thanks. I used mostly anaheim, will post salsa pix later.

What to do with all these tomatoes?

Bánh mì with friends on a Sunday afternoon

lemongrass beef bánh mì, where have you been all my life?