|Well, there it is!! GREEN STUFF. It is one of the additions I have made in my quest for a whole-grain, plant-based lifestyle...and surprisingly, it is TASTY. At least to me, it is.
I was so pleased when my mother told me that this was one of the best things I could do for my body...and that she was proud of me for changing my lard-eating, carb-absorbing ways. Keep in mind, my mother lives in California - the land of the healthy. I am languishing in the fried-food heaven of the South, where food must be covered in either batter or cheese to be considered edible. And let's not mention my former addiction to batter dipped and fried cheese. In fact, let's not tell my mom....ok?
My father passed away last August from chronic heart problems, and even though I am adopted, logic dictates that if I continue eating like I have been...I will follow in his footsteps. I can't. I won't. I refuse. I just have to convince my body that it doesn't NEED fat. It doesn't NEED McDonald's french fries. It doesn't NEED bacon. It doesn't NEED those cute little candy hearts that they only put out around Valentine's Day. And over time, I hope to convince my heart that the love of those things will be deadly - because I can't tell you how much I LOVE those kinds of foods.
Week one of "The Change" went well. I had no cravings for beef, cow's milk or soda. None. I didn't cheat once. Since the beginning of the year, the only meat I have had is one boneless chicken breast, one tilapia filet, and a few small chunks of chicken in a quesadilla. I haven't eliminated all the animal products from my diet, but I AM working toward that goal. Yes, I'm getting plenty of protein. No, I'm not tired. I feel better than I have in a long time...honestly! And I am more regular than ever (and yes, I just admitted that on the internet).
So, how do I make this green stuff? Well, it's easy! I usually prepare the bulk of the smoothie the night before in my blender:
1 cup baby spinach leaves (I make sure to rinse them and pack them down in my measuring cup to get a full cup)
1 cup kale (Which I had NO clue was something you ATE. I thought this was just the decorative stuff you put UNDER the meat and cheese on the party tray!)
1 pear (I cut mine into bite-sized pieces before adding)
1 1/2 cups orange juice (Make sure you do NOT get sugar-added juice! Just PURE JUICE!)
1 frozen banana (Bananas need to be peeled BEFORE you freeze them, FYI.)
Now, I put everything in the blender EXCEPT the banana the night before. In the morning, I cut up the banana, pop it in, and blend on the "smoothie" setting for a few minutes, or until the kale pieces are pretty tiny. I like how the orange juice tends to saturate the greens overnight, making their taste almost non-existent.
I had a rude awakening when I realized that I am now drinking more fruits and veggies every day than I had been eating over a two-week period. I'm not ever sure that this smoothie would qualify as half my daily requirements. We hear that "fruits and veggies" business all the time...but have you ever tracked how many you eat? You might be surprised how LITTLE you eat. And if you take away all the "processed" fruits and veggies, with added salt and sugar...you might be even more shocked.
On to a healthier life...and to document the next part of the experiment...tofu.
It's the start of a new year, and I am going to try blogging again! AND...I am really making an effort to start a "new me." Previous efforts to get fit (lose weight) and get healthy (eat right) involved me jumping in 100%, with both feet, and usually ended up with me backsliding and then failing altogether.
However, I'm scared now. I recently watched two movies - "Food, Inc." and "Forks Over Knives." And this time, I'm going to start changing what I put into my body. For real.
This is NOT going to be easy. I love cheese. And cheeseburgers. And ice cream. And cheese. And cheesecake. And cheeseburgers. And fries. This is no one-sided love - these things love my thighs, my butt, and my gut. Unfortunately, they have made their way into my heart that is decidedly unhealthy. Wait...did I mention that I love cheeseburgers? Sigh.
I purchased "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn. It's a primer for change, and I am still reading and learning and scaring myself. Day One involved going to my local grocery store, and being dismayed at what I COULDN'T find. But there was success - I discovered I like the taste of vanilla almond milk. Eliminating cow's milk will be an easy change.
Day Two? I made my own hummus! I am not a fan of plain hummus, but it's healthier than cheese dip or ranch dressing. I want to wean myself off these things, and store-bought hummus contains olive oil or other fat....so I did an experiment with hummus, adapting a recipe from the book.
(That is not my actual hummus pictured. Mine had no garnish, and was in a Tupperware bowl!)
Here is what I used:
1 can chickpeas - rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic
4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
3 Tablespoons of water
5 sun dried tomatoes
1 jalapeno, seeded and drained
I tossed it all in the food processor, until it made a creamy paste. It was fabulous!!! It also tasted a lot better than store-bought hummus.
Baby steps. I think I will do better that way. Week one - I will eliminate all soda, cow's milk and beef, and do my best to avoid foods that are not whole grain or plant-based. "DO MY BEST" being the key phrase. I have to change my mindset, retrain my taste buds, and realize this is a LIFESTYLE change...not a diet.
And breaking up with cheese? Oh, the agony. You have no idea. Wish me luck.
Okay gang, I know those of you who have followed my blog for a while will recognize this as a previous rant - BUT - spelling errors are rampant on Facebook. I don't ask my FB friends to be particularly articulate for my humble sake - but I am beginning to wonder about our ability to properly communicate the written word. I don't want to believe that Americans are dumb. Reading and writing correctly are important indicators of our society's intelligence! Okay - enough of me and my soapbox...the word in question this time is "definitely." Now, this is a more complicated word than others I've seen butchered...so I'm going to repost a rant I made about a word that should be SO SIMPLE to spell, but eludes so many.
I've really tried to ignore the inability of some people to spell words correctly. I've tried to be understanding that not everyone was privileged to have the secondary education that I enjoyed. But the blatant misuse of ONE WORD IN PARTICULAR is very troubling to me...and I'm afraid that before long, no one will remember how to use this word correctly. It's the word LOSE.
Does anyone remember that word? Because I haven't seen it in a LONG TIME. Seems like people are "loosing" things a lot...and it's driving me INSANE.
So, quick lesson for you all: you LOSE something, which means you have misplaced it or got drunk the night before and flailed it asunder. You didn't LOOSE it...that word means to make something "less tight." Unless, in some strange event, you lose your belt after loosening it, then you are allowed to use those words in the same sentence. Just in that instance.
You are "losing" the battle. Oh, and we seem to have the spelling of the word "lost" down okay - can we maybe draw on that knowledge, to remember the base word has ONE, and ONLY ONE "o?"
You don't LOOSE an election - you LOSE it. I know it's tough, this English language, with all the bizarro rules. You are used to pronouncing the singular vowel in a word structured like "lose" with a STRONG vowel sound, right? It's got that "e" at the end, with that funky consonant right before it. So, it doesn't seem right - "lose" is one of those words that defies the rules.
But that's why I like "lose." It's unique. It doesn't follow the crowd. So, please, for the love of the poor word, use "lose," okay? Please?
Oh, yes...indeed...Tiggerlane seems to have left the dang building. SO WRONG.
I was thinking today that so many of my blog buds followed me over to Facebook, and judging from our continual dialogue in that forum, still enjoy an occasional dose of my insanity. Yes, I'm still FB'ing....but not blogging much. However, you can find me easily on FB at http://www.facebook.com/tiggerlane
Also, based on how many folks alerted me that my Twitter account had been hacked, I still have followers there, too. I'm all Tiggerlane up in there, in case you didn't know.
As I was rooting around the blogosphere today, I noticed many of my old blog buddies aren't maintaining their blogs like before. I haven't visited all of them, but so many have ceased. Why? Are they like me, and have found another forum? Or, have they simply used the blog as a crutch to get thru a difficult time? I wonder....
I promised I would write more here, but haven't. And I am feeling the guilt.
Did you think I had abandoned the blog? I almost did - I almost gave it up. But as much as I'm having a secret, illustrious and gloriously satisfying affair with Facebook, I realize once again that its format does not lend itself to my writing style. Much like Twitter left me longing for just a few more characters - so Facebook can only give me a quick fix, and doesn't do justice to what I REALLY want to share.
Like music. SO...as in the "olden days" of the blog, I have two new addictions to share with you! The first - well, let's just say, I want to BE this girl:
Whew...just TOO FUN! Where are my dancing shoes?? The music just runs thru me...you know? Oh, and here is my other new addiction:
I not only enjoy music that can make me MOVE...but also videos that are visually appealing, which both of these are. No question.
Now that I've gotten the music out of the way, on to a few more things.
The band is on a brief hiatus, but that's okay - b/c Roger is working on a new song that will soon be another addiction. I'm not sure when we will perform again - if you really want to see a video, leave me a message, and I'll send it to you privately.
We are finishing the paperwork with our insurance company on the old house - and we may have found a buyer! I'm so sad that the tornado damaged it so much - but it's time to move on. The new house is starting to gather dust bunnies (are there dust elephants?) and need addressing.
Tell me what you want to know...I miss you guys, and I'm coming back.
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