How Toxic are You?

“…tough choices become easier when we think about them in terms of doing the right thing, and although it may hurt initially, it invariably makes things better in the long run.” ~ Robert Vaux

 body cleanse

It’s not often you’ll find me speechless but that’s what happened this evening.  As part of my “Spring Cleaning” campaign, I made a commitment to complete a 3-day Detox Cleanse; what a perfect way to “spring clean” my body I thought.  Although not a fan of “quick-fixes,” I’ve done research on this particular plan and it’s the healthiest I’ve found.  I’ve wanted to do this program since last summer.

 The reason I’m speechless is that I actually convinced my husband to join me in this quest.  For the life of me, I can’t understand how I talked him into acquiescing.  Of course, he was adamant about proceeding at first; after all, he is NOT a fan of fruits and vegetables, no less those blended together in a drink.  He can handle a banana smoothie on occasion but only if I add some peanut butter or chocolate syrup.  Not this time!smoothies

 

Four drinks a day plus some supplements and a nice Detox Bath at night for three days – almost like being at a Spa!  I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy drinking fruit & veggie beverages daily, forgoing solid food for 3 days.  One thing I know for sure; I’ll have to be the best cheerleader in town if I hope to encourage my hubby to tough it out with me.  Hopefully the nice, warm, relaxing bath at the end of the day will help entice him…key word being “hopefully.”

Oh and then there’s the exercise.  I showed him the TurboJam workout video I attempt to do daily.  He gave me one of those “are you kidding me” kinds of looks and said “good luck with that one.”  I’ll have to find another way to get him to do some cardio with me….hmmm,  60 minutes?  Maybe I can get him to do at least 30!

detox bathThis ought to be interesting.  I’m heading to the grocery store tomorrow for all the necessary ingredients.  I’ll also be tweeting and posting our progress on Facebook.  I’m thinking, if I tell my DH “others” are following us for the 3 days, maybe he’ll feel too proud to back down.  Oooh, I can’t wait!

 

My goal is not really to lose weight, although I’m sure I’ll lose a little water weight one way or another.  I really just want to get rid of excess garbage and toxins in my system so I’ll feel more motivated about continuing to eat healthy and exercise regularly.  Here’s hoping the results will be well worth the effort. 

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”  ~ Henry Ford

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Eager for Spring: Fresh Omelets and Salads

“Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

IMG_0355The past few days have been hectic but for no particular reason.  Ever have those kinds of days where you do LOTS of NOTHING and by the end of the day, you’re exhausted but feel you didn’t get anything worthwhile accomplished?  Made me long for the peace and serenity of Hawaii.

I can’t wait for Spring and am tired of making the same old meals every day.  Checking the fridge I found lots of fresh veggies just calling out to me. I usually don’t buy such a variety, since it’s only the two of us now and I’m the only one who really eats vegetables.  But I’m very happy I had them on hand.

These meals were healthy, tasty, satisfying and best of all, easy to make. 

 Egg White_Spinach_Mushroom Omelet

Egg White, Spinach and Mushroom Omelet

Ingredients:

·       3 egg whites

·       1 tbsp skim milk

·       ½ tsp Italian herbs (or your choice)

·       Freshly ground black pepper

·       1 cup chopped fresh spinach

·       ¼ cup sliced fresh mushrooms

·       1 tbsp reduced-fat cheese, shredded (I used Sargento Low Fat 4-Cheese Italian; can also substitute Parmesan if desired.)

Preparation:

1.    Whisk egg whites, milk and herbs together in a small bowl.

2.    Spray small skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium heat.

3.    Add mushrooms to pan and sauté 1-2 minutes.  Add spinach.

4.    As soon as spinach begins to wilt, pour egg white mixture over vegetables.

5.    When edges of mixture begin to set, lift sides and gently tilt skillet to allow remaining liquid to flow underneath.

6.    When egg white mixture is fully cooked, sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

7.    Fold omelet in half and serve immediately.

Avocado_Tuna Salad

 Avocado and Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

·       1 avocado

·       1 can ( 5oz.) tuna in water, drained

·       2 cups romaine lettuce

·       6 grape tomatoes, halved

·       1 cup sliced, peeled cucumber

·       2 hard-boiled egg whites, sliced

·       1 peeled carrot, grated or julienned

·       ½ lemon, squeezed, juice

·       2 tbsp. lite honey mustard dressing

Preparation:

1.    Slice avocado, remove pit and scoop contents into small bowl.  Add drained tuna and blend both together with fork.

2.    Add tomatoes, cucumber, hard-boiled egg whites and carrots over lettuce. 

3.    Mound avocado and tuna mixture on top.

4.    Sprinkle lemon juice and dressing over top as desired.

 Enough for 2 servings.

I hope you try one of these for your next meal.  They’re a nice change and make me eager for Spring!  Bon Appetit!

Some Food Fun on Valentine’s Day

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to all! 

 Many couples celebrate this day by going out to eat at a fancy restaurant, however this year we decided to spend some quiet time at home, just the two of us.  Our daughter is away at college.  I sent her a nice “care package” last week filled with lots of goodies for the holiday to let her know we miss her. 010

 

Since we were staying home, I thought I’d have a little fun with food today.  Instead of making the same old thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I thought I’d play around in the kitchen.  Okay, so the food wasn’t really gourmet fare, but it was fun to make, healthy to eat and totally satisfying (especially the dessert!)

 Happy banana strawberry smoothie

A strawberry-banana smoothie was perfect for breakfast.  Even the food was smiling (before I wielded my paring knife!)  Made with non-fat yogurt and a drizzle of Agave, this frothy breakfast was delicious, filling and less than 300 calories (based on an average serving.)

 

By the time lunch came along, we weren’t that hungry.  I had some cantaloupe chunks and walnut halves while I made my husband a nice little turkey sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread with a mug of hot skim chocolate milk.    

 

???????????????????????????????For dinner, I decided to make a Shrimp and Broccoli dish which was delicious, easy to prepare and wholesome.  I served the shrimp over a bed of brown rice and a small green salad with lemon squeeze on the side to round out the meal.  Before marinating the shrimp for about 15 minutes in a mixture of soy, garlic and ginger, I put together another heart-shaped happy face for the holiday!

 

???????????????????????????????Being Valentine’s Day, I decided to splurge on dessert and make some of my husband’s favorite cookies, Mint Chocolate Chip, as I spelled out a loving message.  A couple of these delightful chocolate sensations with a nice warm cup of tea really hit the spot.  We plan to spend the remainder of the evening relaxing by the fire. 

 I hope everyone gave and received lots of love today.  And if you have pets, I hope you gave them lots of extra love today too!  Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, you know…

From CameraPhone 008

“We love the things we love for what they are.” ~ Robert Frost

On a Roll (hold the butter)!

Day Four (4) of my Low Cholesterol Meal Plan is going well.  The three areas of concern are cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrate, in that order.  Fortunately, I’m finding many foods which can be easily prepared, depending on specific criteria.  My biggest challenge is hiding the leftover Halloween candy which looks so pretty in its festive holiday bowl.  I try to reiterate, “A minute on the lips; a lifetime on the hips” each time a Snickers catches my eye.  Damn willpower!

I’ve discovered it’s more challenging to prepare a low cholesterol meal that is also low carbohydrate than one with merely lower fat and sodium.  Last night, I prepared Sea Scallops with Broccoli Rabe, Sautéed Mushrooms and Garlic.  The dish was served over brown rice. 

It was a quick meal to prepare and only required a few ingredients.  Recipe follows:

Sautéed Scallops with Broccoli Rabe and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms (baby bella or button)
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Hot cooked brown rice

Directions:

  1. Bring several quarts of water to boiling. Remove any tough or damaged outer leaves of broccoli rabe and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Peel thick, lower stems and tear into large pieces.
  2. Blanch broccoli rabe by pouring boiling water over it while it is in a colander.  Drain well and set aside.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper.  Sauté garlic about 30 seconds, being careful it doesn’t burn.  Add mushrooms and broccoli rabe to the pan and toss to coat with garlic/pepper mixture.   Heat thoroughly, about 3-4 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
  3. In a separate pan, heat about a tablespoon of rice bran or extra virgin olive oil.  Meanwhile, season scallops with black pepper and a pinch of salt.  When oil is hot, add scallops and sear 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful not to overcook.  Watch carefully.  When nicely seared (browned) on each side, remove from pan and serve over mushroom/broccoli blend and hot cooked brown rice.

This was a tasty meal.  Although the directions I posted call for searing scallops in a separate skillet, last night I cooked them in the same one as the vegetables.  (See Photo)  I do not recommend this as they were a little overcooked and slightly dry and the vegetables were a little too tender for my liking.  Separate pans are the better way to go with this dish.  That being said, it was a very tasty, satisfying meal and I would definitely make it again.

Tonight I made sautéed chicken breasts, seasoned with lemon and garlic, served over a garden salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

The salad dressing recipe follows:

 Low Sodium, Low Cholesterol Salad Dressing (I adjusted basic recipe from Cooks.com)

  • 1/2 c. oil (I used rice bran but you can use olive, canola, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar (I used raspberry wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. sugar (or equivalent sugar substitute such as Truvia®)

Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Refrigerate in covered jar. Shake well before use. I added 1/8 tsp. dill and marjoram for added flavor.  Yield: 3/4 cup.

For dessert, I had a small bowl of cantaloupe chunks with fresh blueberries and several walnut pieces.  Delicious! 

Breakfast and lunch have been pretty much the same since I began this meal plan:  oat cereal or light English muffin with fruit and coffee or tea for breakfast; yogurt with fruit or salad with hard-boiled egg white or tuna for lunch.  Snacks are low cholesterol, low carb chips, fruit, nuts or the occasional piece of dark chocolate (am I bad!)

Remember to drink at least six glasses of water daily.  Buon Appetito!

 “Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”  ~William Shakespeare