Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jelly Donut Cupcakes

On New Year's Eve we planned to have a couple of people over and I was making some snackables. I decided to try the Veganomicon's Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes. Basically, these are a vanilla cupcake filled with preserves or jam. I had some fresh cranberries on hand, so I cooked some up with a little Splenda for my filling.

They cooked up fine, but they stuck to the paper a bit. I had replaced the oil with applesauce, and I think this was one of the cases that applesauce won't cut it. Still, they tasted just fine and he cranberry filling was a nice touch.
I hit them with some gross-for-you-yet-delicious sugar free processed frosting.
These were cute. Our plans got cancelled, so in the trash these went. I couldn't have them in the house. I would like to try them again some time with grape or blackberry preserves and peanut butter frosting. PB&J cupcake! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rachael Ray Saves the Day

For Christmas, I was gifted with Rachael Ray's Stoneware Set of 4/10-oz. Bubble and Brown Singles.
I might have squealed when I opened them.

 New Year's Day, the personal pot pie making was on.

Mr. BB30 and I each made two. I went with traditional and a Mexican inspired one with soy chorizo and black beans. By far, my favorite was my more traditional one. I cooked up some carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and mushrooms, and crumbled in half of a veggie boullion cube. I added a little flour (technically it was vital wheat gluten flour-lower in carbs; have it around for making seitan roast) and let it cook for a couple of minutes so the flour wouldn't taste raw (I think I actually learned that from Rachael long ago). Then I added a little water to create a gravy consistency. I threw in some defrosted green peas.

I covered it with a thin layer of homemade dough and baked.

 So comforting and delicious. We were obviously winging it, and the takeaways from next time are:
  1. Add more flavor to the dough with herbs.
  2. Brush the tops with Earth Balance when done.
  3. Add dough on the bottom as well.
 I love the portion control that the singles offer. They'll also be so cute to make little cobblers and crumbles!

TMI: I also learned over Christmas and New Year's that my belly and overly processed fake sausage aren't friends. What foods hate you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse: The Days After

I've been trying to stay aware of any effects the Kaeng Raeng cleanse had on me.

Here is what I've found.
I am interested in caffeine. I've had some decaf coffee for the taste and warmth, but I didn’t feel like I needed a boost. I also haven't been craving diet soda. I have some long tech nights coming up in the near future, so I can't say I won't dabble, but it's a great feeling not to need it right now.

The first two days after the cleanse I missed my sweets. I had been so overloaded with fruit that I had become accustomed to constant sweet boosts.

My salt addiction was broken. I really became mindful about putting too much salt on my soup and in soups and biting something too salty was just gross and didn't feel good.
I wanted the lighter feeling to keep going and have craved a raw veggie salads for lunch. I've been snacking  on daikon and cucumber and other watery veggies. I feel very satiated.

After going back to my morning breakfast cereal I realized it was making my belly bloat. I think I eat enough veggies and don't need the extra fiber, especially if I have an apple or pear for a morning snack. This morning for breakfast I ate some rolled oats with blackberries and cinnamon and a little scrambled tofu. I felt great.
I realized that I appreciated not having to think about protein grams while on the cleanse. I knew I was getting 45 grams a day minimum through the smoothies. Although it’s pretty much second nature to stay aware of my daily protein intake at this point, it was nice to have a break from that. I actually kept track over the past two days and I get more than enough protein from vegetables, tofu, beans, and homemade seitan. Do you know that a cup of cooked spinach has about 5 grams of protein in it?! Yay veggies!

I think I actually was, in fact, cleansed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse: Day Four

This morning I started with a Day Break smoothie and a bosc pear.

By the time I got to work I was already hungry. Yesterday I only wanted my smoothie for breakfast, but today I'd added a piece of fruit with my smoothie and was hungry two hours later. Hmmm.

For a snack I had an apple and six raw cashews. 30 minutes later, I was still hungry. It was a hungry day. I wondered if it was my body telling me, “I’m all clean. Please feel free to return to your normal life.”

For lunch I had the Into the Blue smoothie. I watered it down more and it was easier to drink. Since this one is my least favorite, I wanted to be done with it as soon as possible. Later I had a salad.

By 3pm my belly was grumbling again. I had a banana.

I feel like the whole day was about keeping hunger at bay. So weird. I felt very annoyed. I wanted some Chex Mix.

I trudged home in the snow. It's been snowing all day in Chicago. By the time I got to my door I was hungry...again. I sat on the couch and contemplated all of this. Then I decided that I was done and ate some steamed Brussels Spouts with a little Earth balance and a tiny sprinkle of salt. They were the best steamed Brussels Spouts ever.

When I got home from rehearsal I ate a piece of seared tofu, some lightly sauteed spinach, and some black beans.....and it was clean and blissful.

7am Day break smoothie, pear
10am Apple and six raw cashews
12pm Into the Blue Smoothie
1:30pm Salad
3pm Banana
6pm Steamed Brussels Spouts and an apple
9:30pm Tofu, spinach, black beans
Hot tea and water all day.

I am feeling a little failurey, but hey, I would be a huge success if I had just tried the three day cleanse right? Right.

My Take-Aways from the Kaeng Raeng Cleanse Experience

1. I feel a little cleaner and lighter.

2. I feel a little less tired by the end of the day.

3. I broke some bad habits that were forming like extra and not so healthy snacks (damn you Chex Mix) and too much added salt. I also don't desire diet soda.

4. I would suggest doing it in the summer when raw veggies and fruits are more desirable.

5. If you already have a pretty clean vegan diet, this isn’t for you. I think I would have cleaned out just as easily by watching my processed foods, diet soda, alcohol, salt, and striving for clean whole/real foods, and drinking lots of water.

6. If you’re a junk food vegan or are overloaded with meat and/or dairy and/or alcohol and/or rarely eat fruits and veggies you may find this helpful to get back on track.

7. Three days is enough.

8. Perhaps the most important take-away. I realized I was already doing great. After a year of weight loss, followed by a year to committing to the gym, over two years as a vegan, and sadly, over two decades of yo-yo dieting and weight gain/loss, my body and system have been through a lot.  Maybe there are some trouble spots that I will always obsess over (who doesn’t have those), but I am in great shape and I am a really healthy person. These are things to be proud of. I knew I worked hard, but I gained much more appreciation for what a good job I'm doing.

Maybe this cleanse didn’t do oh-so-much for me, but I am glad to sort of reset and break some bad habits. I think I needed to experience it so I could be certain and know for sure that I was where I needed to be and there was, in fact, nothing magical about it. I'm a Taurus. I'm stubborn. And now I know. And knowing is half the battle. GI Joe!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse: Day Three

Yesterday was the first day in a few weeks that at some point in the day I didn’t get a bloaty belly. That’s good. I suppose I feel a little cleaner, but I am still confused at how so much sugar via fruit (albeit natural sugar) can be great.

Last night while I already had the blender out and making a mess for dinner, I blended up my breakfast and lunch smoothies. Once prepared, they are good for 24 hours. It definitely helped in the hustle bustle of the morning.

I started out with the Daybreak smoothie. I wasn’t really feeling the need for anything else.

I was ready for a snack around 10am. I had an apple. I would have preferred a huge cup of coffee and ten blueberry pancakes with syrup (but perhaps that comes from being blessed with a visit from Aunt Flo.)

At 11am I needed more snacks and had some daikon and cucumber slices. I was also dying for the taste of coffee and since my throat is feeling less sore and could handle it, I went for a cup of decaf. I don’t know if that’s a big deal or not.

For lunch I had a big salad (romaine, spring mix, tomatoes, snap peas, cucumbers) and an Into the Blue Smoothie. It’s my least favorite. I feel like its consistency is different. It definitely thickened up after being refrigerated overnight and at Dayjobland, so I diluted it with water and splash of 100% apple juice. I drank it much faster. I think with this flavor, I need to make it as watery as possible.

I wondered if today would break me. I felt quite hefty as only Aunt Flo can make a girl do and just wanted some warm food.

I thought I would be craving salt like mad, but not really. I am craving steamed kale crisped with a little olive oil and some toast. Maybe I am not as over-salted as I thought. If anything this cleanse will make me want MORE salt or give me a sugar dependence. It’s so sweet.

After doing a ton of walking to and from an appointment, I needed a little nourishment before going to workout and popped 6 raw cashews.

Dinner was a big salad (romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash) followed by a Joyful Smoothie (with added frozen strawberries)

7am   Day break smoothie and hot tea
10am Apple
11am Daikon and cucumber slices, decaf coffee
12pm Into the Blue Smoothie and Big Salad
2pm   Banana
5:30pm Raw Cashews
8pm   Big Salad
9pm   Joyful Smoothie

Hot tea and water throughout the day.

Exercise for this week is:
Tuesday Strength Boxing
Wednesday Yogalates
Friday Cardio Step Up

I don't feel deprived necessarily since I can eat, but I miss cooked food and bread. I am not quite noticing a huge difference.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse: Day Two

After a sleepless night due to the cold I am fighting and possibly a little anxiety about this cleanse, I started the day with the Daybreak drink (Mango, Peach, Pineapple). I added some frozen peaches, a little natural orange juice, and 32 ounces of water. I had tried the Into the Blue (Blueberry, Blackberry, Banana) and the Joyful (Strawberry, Raspberry, Pineapple) flavors yesterday, and I think Daybreak is my favorite. Since the flavoring is made from all natural dried fruit, you get some seeds from the Raspberries and Blackberries which I don't love.
A little after 10am I started to get a bit hungry, but really, my normal morning snack is usually around 10:30am, so that's great. There is a LOT to drink with these smoothies, and they are thick, so your belly really does get full. I was getting a little headachey, which I assume are those first twinges of caffeine deprivation (although I didn't get one yesterday). On the other hand, it's a little hard to tell since I am battling the onset of a cold. I'm on it with my zinc lozenges.

For lunch I had the Into the Blue Smoothie. After learning my lesson yesterday, I knew I needed to pre-blend it at home. I added frozen peaches, a little handful of blueberries, a bit of apple, a splash of natural orange juice, and 32 ounces of water. I put in the fridge when I got to Dayjobland and I guess it chilled too much or it was thicker than I realized when I made it, because it was too thick to sip. I had to eat it like applesauce. It wasn't terrible, but it took a long time to get through. Finally, half way through I added a little 100% apple juice and some more water to loosen it up. It took me over 2 hours to drink it. I just wasn't feelin' it.

By 4pm I was feeling headachey again, so I took two ibuprofen. Yeesh, I never think caffeine effects me, until I don't have it. I also really wanted a piece of toast at that point. My certainty of completing this cleanse wavered.

If you are new to cleanses the website says you can have a few raw nuts. I didn't have rehearsal, so before heading to Strength Boxing class, I stopped at a Whole Foods and got a little handful of raw cashew pieces from the bulk bins. I've never love cashews more. I had all the energy I needed for a challenging class.

For dinner I had the Joyful smoothie with added frozen strawberries, a little Coconut Dream, and water. I also made a big salad with spinach, romaine, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, and bean sprouts splashed with lemon and lime juice.

7am Daybreak Smoothie, celery sticks, and caffeine free green tea
10am Celery sticks, an apple, and caffeine free peppermint tea
12pm Into the Blue Smoothie
3pm Mixed green salad with raw zucchini and squash
4pm Celery Sticks
8pm Joyful Smoothie and big salad

Throughout the day I sipped on either water or caffeine free tea. I'm one of those people who always has a beverage, always have been.

Tonight I am going to try pre-blending my breakfast and lunch drinks to save time in the morning and not have to leave a mess behind.

Thoughts of the day are:
1) This hard. 
2) This would be easier in the summer when it's warm.

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse: Day One Part 2

I decided that I would go ahead and start after my cleanse FINALLY arrived this afternoon. I had eaten a little tofu and about a fourth of a cup of black rice that I bought at work, but since since everything else I had during the day was raw, I felt like I may as well go for it. I am bummed that it's not going to be a perfect six days, but a solid five days should be good too. Now I can enjoy my Sunday night dinner with Mr. BB30.

The smoothies are a little chalky, but I have just been using water and little almond milk. I think trying different amount of water, juice, and ice will be key. You definitely can't just add water and shake in a bottle like they say. I tried that and it was so thick and wouldn't blend. I had to wait until I got home to blend it. I drank one before rehearsal and am drinking one now.

I am anxious to see how a full day goes tomorrow.

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse: Day One

Since my package arrived at Dayjobland over the weekend, I woke up and had some caffeine free tea, some apple, and blueberries to tide me over.

*A note to understand this story: Dayjobland is on one floor of a large building and deliveries first come to the main building mailroom, before being sent up to our floor.

8:45am Dayjobland mailroom has not seen my delivery. I'm told that most deliveries come up around 9:30am from the main building messenger center. I'm annoyed but wait a bit and eat some cucumber slices and drink peppermint tea.

10am Mailroom STILL has not seen my delivery. I head down to the building mailroom.

10:15am Main building mailroom STILL has not sorted the WEEKEND deliveries and I am told they will get to it later.

10:16am BB30's head explodes baffled at their utter laziness and inefficiency!

10:30am BB30 pouts in her cube angry with the world.

I am so bummed and frustrated that I skipped a nice solid breakfast thinking that I would get my delivery and could start my cleanse this morning. I am lunchless other than raw veggies! 

I have dinner plans with friends on Friday Jan 20, so waiting to start next Monday isn't an option. I must start it tomorrow and unfortauntely do a full weekend on it which I really wanted to avoid.

Perhaps it will be a good thing since my throat starting hurting last night and was on fire when I woke up. I suppose fruit smoothies and raw veggies wouldn't feel great on a sore throat. Hopefully a day of tea and zinc lozenges will be the key to banishing it quickly!

This has been your Cranky BB30 Broadcast. I need a sammich.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

She Done Lost Her Mind

Cleanses. They seem to be all the rage. Arguably, I have a pretty clean diet as is, but I am feeling the effects of less time to exercise, the Chicago cold finally setting in (I swear it makes your body hang on to everything to stay warm and this article kind of agrees), and some of the extra salt and processed junk I put in my system the last couple of weeks. I am interested in cleansing my system, but I refuse to only drink water, cayenne, syrup, and lemon juice for any amount of time (can we say dangerous!!!!) I want something safe and good for me.

Enter my pretend friend Alicia Silverstone. Recently on The Kind Life she did a sponsored post about the Kaeng Raeng Cleanse. At each meal you make a drink from a powder full of protein, dried fruits, and vitamins. You may also eat as many raw fruits and veggies as you want. Your daily intake of protein will be over 45 grams (awesome).

The Kaeng Raeng website states that it helps to:
-remove toxins and chemicals from the body
-jumpstart weight loss
-improve overall digestive health
-improve clarity of mind
-improve mood and decrease irritability
-clear skin
-repair damaged hair
-decrease flatulence, constipation, bloating, or excess water weight
-decrease cravings for salty and sugary foods
-make you feel better!
I would enjoy all of those things.

There was a discount given (because cleanses aren't cheap), and after thinking about it for a day, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it. I really think the best plan for me is to start on a Monday and go through a Saturday. Luckily, I checked the tracking and it was delivered to Dayjobland this weekend. So, I will start my day tomorrow with raw fruits and veggies to tide me over until I can get to work and make my breakfast drink. With rehearsals in full swing in the evenings I actually think it will come in handy! If I feel under nourished in anyway or off somehow, then I'll stop. If I really feel the need for hot food and want to lightly steam my veggies, then I shall. My health is really important to me. I am excited to clean up my system and get rid of all the processed sugar and salt. I made sure to stock up on different veggies at the produce store so I have some variety and am not eating the exact same things everyday.

I plan to update daily on how it goes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

No Spoon Required

Much to your disbelief, there are many times that my food does not require the use of a soup spoon.

Behold, things I've eaten recently that aren't soup.
Homemade seitan roast with sauteed mushrooms, garlic parsnip mash, and steamed green beans dressed with fresh lemon juice and cracked pepper 
Whole wheat rotini with portabello mushroom sauce and steamed vegetables
Gorgeous Fresh Steamed Brussels Sprouts (kissed with Earth Balance and Garlic)
I eat well around here.

To keep myself somewhat on track while I was off between Christmas and New Year's, I engaged in The Shred Level 2, and invested in Billy Blanks' Taebo Cardio Explosion. The Taebo DVD is great and scratches my kickboxing itch. It really gets your heart rate up and I noticed that the format is very tabata like and has 20-30 second bursts of moves. I am really glad that I will have it on hand for pinches and when I need to get in a workout on the weekend. I have been contemplating leaving my current fitness center, because the classes have changed and now there is only one cardio kickboxing option when there used to be three each week that worked for me. Sorry, Turbokick, you aren't the same. With rehearsals many days during the week, I need the days I have off to be good ones class-wise and I find that I am typically left with options I truly dislike. It's frustrating.

Happy New Year to everyone! I wish you all health and happiness in 2012!