Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What I Eat [with Recipes]

I get a lot of questions about what I eat. I work full time like most of you and I understand that it can seem impossible to maintain this lifestyle with a break-room of donuts, happy hours, office pizza parties and no time or energy left at the end of the day to cook or prepare lunches for tomorrow. I have found that the key to success is planning ahead, feeding your body whole satisfying foods throughout the day, and keeping some snacks and teas on hand for when temptation strikes. Practicing these points everyday provides you with the necessary nutrition to curb cravings, the support of healthy snacks and drinks to turn to in moments of weakness, and ultimately the ability to end your day feeling good from the inside out. This does not mean you have to eat the same things everyday - far from it. Unless I'm on a certain "kick", I rarely eat the exact same meal two days in a row. Even my greenks change day to day. To give you a detailed view of what I eat, here is my menu from yesterday:

First Thing | Lemon Water
Every morning I drink a glass of warm lemon water. I started doing this when I began Dr. Alexander Junger's CLEAN Program and the habit stuck. The reason for starting your day with this is that lemon juice is naturally and powerfully detoxifying, especially when introduced to your system, more specifically your liver, on an empty stomach. The lemon juice triggers detoxification in the liver which in turn begins clearing the junk that builds up in your digestive tract. Drinking lemon water each morning has also been know to cause a decrease or even elimination of cravings throughout the day. Get drinking!

After sipping my lemon water while watching the weather and traffic report, I chop up my fruits and veggies for my greenk (two items down). I set out my tea bags, lunch and snacks. Then, I go get dressed and ready for the day.

On My Way to Work | Tea
Before heading out the door, I boil water and prepare a cup of tea each for Jon and me. Jon is currently liking Allegro Organic Indian Chai with some raw honey. While I love that tea I am currently clearing my system of caffeine (almost one month strong now WOO!!), so I prefer Traditional Medicinal's Organic Roasted Dandelion Root or Allegro Organic Happy Tummy Tea (I love the minty refreshing taste of this tea so much I drink it whether I have an upset stomach or not). 

Another habit I picked up during my time doing the CLEAN program was adhering to the "twelve-hour window". According to Dr. Junger and many other experts in this field, it takes about 8 hours from your final meal of the day for digestion to complete. After those 8 hours, your body is notified to enter detox mode. You want to allow your body 4 hours to get a really great detox going. This is so important! If you don't wait 12 hours from your last meal before consuming your first meal the following day, you haven't let your body clean house. That means before you even start your day, your body is already overwhelmed and playing catch up. After weeks or months or a lifetime of toxic overwhelm, your body is going to fight back or give up - when that happens, illness, cancer, diabetes, digestive discomfort and overall poor health take reign. You don't want that. So, if you finish dinner at 8:00PM, don't eat breakfast until 8:00AM the next day. Too easy!

Breakfast | GREENK
When I get to work I get my laptop hooked up to my monitor, fill my water glass and usualy after checking emails, I enjoy my greenk! For a more detailed look at why I drink a greenk every single day see this post here. This particular day I made a double batch and left one in the fridge for Jon. I used organic baby spinach, celery, cilantro, kiwi, chia seed and pink lady apple. Starting the workday off with a giant greenk gives me a steady stream of energy, gets my body fueled up with an intense helping of nutrients and keeps me satisfied. You can find a list of my favorite greenk recipes here.

I've been on a BIG soup kick lately! So much so that some mornings I have been replacing my greenk with a green soup! Some mornings I wake up and all I can think about is how delicious that pea soup was that I whipped up before bed last night. Plus, I get really cold in my office and sometimes I just prefer starting my day with something warm. It might seem strange to you that I would crave veggies first thing in the morning, but you'll find that as you journey further along in organic life your relationship with food becomes completely recolored, and you desire much different things. So, even though I didn't choose soup this particular day, I did start my morning today with some Spicy Pea and Kale Soup and wanted to share my recipe with all of you:

  • 1/2 bag frozen organic peas 
  • 3 Cups Kale, washed, ribs removed 
  • 1 avocado 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce (or half of a small cayenne pepper, if I have one on hand) 
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder 
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • Organic Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock (use to your desired thickness)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil 
  •  Saute onion and garlic in coconut oil, seasoned with salt & pepper. While they cook up, steam the kale and peas together. Once both have cooled a bit, add to blender with remaining ingredients & blend-baby-blend! I like to sprinkle some crushed red pepper over top. Sometimes I serve with 2 Suzie's Thin Cakes, or a couple Mary's Gone Sticks & Twigs pretzels crushed overtop. SO good! 

Snack | Coconut + Almond Butter + Raisin + Crudités
So, as I mentioned at the start of this post, one of my keys to success is having satisfying organic snacks on hand. When I'm traveling in the car I always have some homemade trail mix or veggies with me. At work though, I am a big fan of this simple treat: Raw Almond Butter + Unsweetened Coconut + Organic Seedless Raisings served with Celery and Carrots for dipping. I almost always have some version of this "dip" with me. Sometimes I will swap out the coconut for some cacao powder or chop up some dates instead of the raisins. When I need a little salty crunch I even swap the carrots or the celery (not both, leave one of the veggies!) for some gluten free pretzels. With a sweet and savory snack like this, you never feed deprived - ever! You don't even care about the stale donuts because you have healthy fats from the almond butter, sweet raisins and fresh coconut and cacao powder to indulge in! 

Lunch | Arugula + Asparagus + Wild Salmon
Again, I'm on a really BIG soup kick right now. If I'm not eating it for lunch, you can bet I'm eating it at lunch time. However, this particular day I had beautiful wild alaskan salmon from Jon's Alaskan relatives, marinated in my soy lime marinade and grilled asparagus all leftover in the fridge. So, over a bed of arugula they went with a squeeze of lime juice and some salt and pepper and there was lunch! Too easy. Too yummy (if there is such a thing).
Soy Lime Marinade

  • 1 large fillet of wild salmon (our was alaskan sockeye)
  • 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos (you can use soy sauce, if you're eating soy but be sure it is Organic / GMO-Free)
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey 
  • Bring everything but the salmon to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Once cool, marinate salmon in shallow dish for an hour or two (or over night). Bake at 425* for 20 minutes.  

*I'm sorry I don't have a photo - next time I make it (which will probably be soon!) I will upload one!

Snack | Grapefruit
I don't always snack in the afternoon. It really depends on how I was able to space my meals, whether or not I got good fats and proteins at lunch or breakfast, and just my appetite that day. Again, for this reason, since snacking is not a necessary part of my eating plan, but is, instead, a common occurrence, I like to keep myself stocked with good choices. This day I had a nice large organic red grapefruit and I enjoyed it around 3:30PM. I think I also had a few raw walnuts (I can't remember!). Especially on days when I am working out immediately after work, I like to get a little extra fuel in before the end of the workday. A nice combo of raw, low-glycemic fruit or vegetable and some protein (nuts, seeds, tuna) gives me the perfect amount of energy to get the most out of my workout (and the rest of my workday).

Dinner | Bacon Squash Frittata + Sweet Potato Pancakes + Fresh Fruit
For dinner, Jon and I had an awesome take on a breakfast favorite: Bacon, Eggs and Hash Browns! Seriously!! When we were at the farm this weekend, Jon was thrilled to find local organic pastured bacon. I knew he was probably dying to try it out so I incorporated it into a summer squash frittata, prepared with diced onions, tomatoes and pastured eggs. I wanted to recreate hash-browns in a body-friendlier way. At first I thought to make my grain-free zucchini cakes, but since the base of the frittata was summer squash, I decided to try it out with some organic sweet potatoes we had also picked up at the farm. Paired with some fresh kiwi and blueberries, it really hit the spot for both of us!

| Bacon Squash Frittata
  • 1/2 large summer squash
  • 4 slices pastured nitrite/nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/2 medium tomato
  • 1/4 small yellow onion
  • 4 pastured eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp pastured butter

| Sweet Potato Pancake
  • 2 cups grated sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped or grated yellow onion
  • sprinkling of cinnamon

| Instructions
Cook bacon in large skillet. Remove when crispy and place on paper towel lined plate (to soak up grease and leave extra crisp). While the bacon cooks, combine potato pancake ingredients in mixing bowl, use your hands to really get in there and make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout. Once you've removed the bacon, leave grease in pan over medium heat. Form small patties with your hands and place sweet potato mixture into the bacon fat. Bacon fat is a natural and stable cooking fat. Unlike olive oil or vegetable oil which can ruin over a certain temperature, bacon fat is a stable, pasture-animal-based cooking fat perfect for these little cakes. If you just can't get down with cooking with bacon fat, use coconut oil. Cook the cakes 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove and place on paper towel lined plate. 
While they cook, thinly slice your squash, and dice your tomato and onion. When the sweet potato cakes are finished cooking, if there is a suitable amount of bacon fat remaining, you can continue using it. I chose to clean the pan and add 1/2 Tbsp of organic pastured butter (time to get over your fear of butter, it has been around much longer than the carcinogenic counterfeit varieties). Once melted, form a layer on the bottom of the skillet with the squash. It's ok if its a double layer or they overlap. Once they begin to soften and brown a bit, whisk together 4 pastured eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the squash. Add your tomatoes and onion. Reduce heat to low / low-med and cover. After a few minutes, as the eggs begin cooking through, crumbled your bacon overtop. Cover again and let cook through. I usually know mine is done when a nice air bubble begins to form or when you slide the pan back and forth and the egg is no longer liquid. You're ready to serve up!

Drinks | Water & Tea
I drink large glasses of water and cups of tea all day long. I used to drink a lot of coffee but recently quit cold turkey. If you're still drinking coffee, see my recommendation here.  It is extremely important for detoxification that you flush your system regularly. If you're not peeing every hour - get drinking! Here are some of my favorite teas (all organic):

  • Traditional Medicinal's Roasted Dandelion Root
  • Yogi Green Tea
  • Allegro Indian Chai
  • Allegro Happy Tummy
  • Allegro Feel Like Zeus
  • Traditional Medicinal's Ginger
  • Yogi Comforting Chamomile
  • Yogi Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin (I can't speak to the skin benefits but it is mighty yummy! For clear skin, I recommend trying an elimination diet, drinking lots of water and eating lots of veggies. But again, this tea is tasty.)

I hope this gives you a good idea of the kinds of meals I prepare for myself. I do not follow vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb, low-fat or any other particular "diet". I focus on eating whole raw organic fruits and vegetables, sustainably raised meats and marine animals, raw grass fed dairy and some organic sprouted grains, legumes, nuts, seeds etc. I listen to my body. What works for me may not work for you on a nutrient to nutrient basis. However, if you take anything from my sharing my meals with you, I hope it's that IT IS POSSIBLE. It is possible to live an organic lifestyle amidst an extremely inorganic world, amidst stressful and tempting environments and despite what may seem like days without enough hours in them. I will try to do this more often, to provide you with lots of examples and inspiration for your own meal plans! If you have any questions at all about the recipe, please leave them in the comment section below or over on my Facebook Page and I will answer them all! 

Keep it Real,


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