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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pure Decadence Homemade Wheat free gluten free bread

I am technically finished with the Clean Program 21 day detox however I still have plans to live a relatively “clean” life. I have been waiting patiently to make my wheat free/gluten free bread and subsequently the French Toast Sundae that I imagined would playfully dance across my taste buds.

Yesterday I made the bread - it smelled delicious and looked great too! It is mostly clean although I did use eggs to make it so not entirely diary free but I have no problem with eggs. If I decide to give them up I can always use an egg replacer and instead of milk or water I used almond milk in the recipe which was simple.  The flour, yeast, milk, olive oil and 2 eggs. That is it. Mix it, let it rise for 30 -40 minutes and bake. The one thing I’ve discovered is that if making bread is going to be a regular thing I have to either buy a bread machine or a heavy duty mixer like the Kitchen Aid upright. My 35 year old mixer that I inherited from my mom can’t withstand the dough mixing. 


The bread is a winner! It tastes so good and my son obviously likes it. This is major people, my son rarely eats anything. Seriously. But he loves the bread!


I took it a step further and immediately started making my French Toast Sundae. I was inspired by the recipe on the Healthy Tipping Point but as usual I spiced things up a bit. Instead of simply dredging the bread in plain egg, I added vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Between the slices I spread a tablespoon of almond butter and then placed the entire thing in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

For the topping I made this delicious ice cream substitute - creamy frozen bananas. Diary free, lactose free and simply delicious! I had frozen a small cut up banana the other day.  I placed it in my food processor for a few minutes until creamy  and it was so good! I also made a chocolate topping using agave nectar and cocoa powder. 

I said it was decadent! And it was.Totally and completely delicious! Although it is said that this is a breakfast food, it is too rich for me. I enjoyed mine as an after lunch treat. In the future I will probably just use one piece of bread and 1/2 tablespoon of almond butter. It is so rich and I don’t need to eat that much of it. I guess eating this negates all the calories I burned running 10 miles - not! Everything in moderation. Next time I want a sundae I’ll turn to my half-portion French Toast Sundae! 

*Sadly, I checked the ingredients list again and this mix has whey and skim milk so if you are looking for a dairy free mix this is not it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Bright Start!

Giveaway Over - Congratulations to Ask Army Wife, entry number 4.

Becoming a mother totally changed my world. I planned and anticipated my son’s birth from day one. Despite the numerous pains I had during my pregnancy I never regretted a moment and when he was born I was immediately in love. I practiced attachment parenting the first four months of his life by necessity he was born by c-section and I absolutely wanted to feel close to him always since I missed the first few hours of his life on Earth while recovering from my surgery. I also knew that I’d soon be returning to work and needed to spend as much quality time with him as possible.

Of course, this also made leaving him in the hands of a caregiver difficult. Initially I had a difficult time finding a “caregiver”. My first at home place sitter sent him back to me. He was accused to attention and with the toddlers running around she just couldn’t give it to him and he protested - loudly! I was forced to use a daycare around the corner for a week and I was extremely unhappy so was my son and I think they were too! Finally I found a match made in heaven at my local YMCA!

Ms. Hall was a godsend. The room for the infants was bright, airy and full of love. My son was held when he cried and not just put in a swing. He had tummy time and thrived. Ms. Hall became my son’s honorary Granny and we became quite close. As my son’s first teacher she made sure he was exposed to classical music, colors, encouraged to walk and let me know when it seemed like his gait was not right.

When my son moved on to the next class I still maintained close contact with Ms Hall and spent time in her classroom helping out. She truly is a wonderful woman and made my experience leaving my child in someone else’s hands a pleasant one.

It is my hope that when my son returns to school I find another nurturing environment where he can excell in. Clorox has a program to recognize great schools and teachers like Ms. Hall. Power A Bright Future, created by the Clorox Company, will help brighten kids’ futures with school grants to help fund critical programs. Parents and teachers can help kids continue to learn and play by nominating their school programs for a Power A Bright Future grant from the Clorox Company. 


As part of the Power A Bright Future grant program, Clorox is seeking nominations for school programs for a chance to win a $50,000 grand-prize grant or one of three $20,000 grants to help provide critically needed resources to school programs that enrich kids’ lives and create brighter futures. In November, four schools will be chosen to receive grants and the opportunity to impact the lives of children in their communities. Visit clorox.com to nomiate a school and get more information on this wonderful program!

And just in time for the school year Clorox is giving one of my readers a bag of goodies including:
· Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
· Dr. Harley Rotbart’s book Germ Proof Your Kids
· Clorox Hand Sanitizer
· Tissues
· Fun stickers
· Crazy cutting scissors
· Markets/pencils/crayons

To enter simply tell me the name of your favorite school and what makes it so special.
For an additional entry you can tweet about this contest - you can tweet up to five times daily with at least an hour between tweets! Good luck!

Contest ends September 7th. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email. Please be sure your email is in your comment if it is not in your blogger profile.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Clorox and TheMotherhood. I was compensated for my time in writing this post and running this giveaway.

Thank God For Everything!

Giveaway Over Congratulations to 1StopMom. 

One of the most rewarding aspects of being an active participant in the social media space is having the ability to make a positive impact on the lives of others. People use social media for many things but I think using it to power good works is one of the best ways to utilize social media. That is why when I was contacted by Hallmark to participate in the Ambassador program I signed up immediately because I appreciated the charity aspect of the campaign combined with the support of early childhood literacy. 


In my first giveaway charities for book donations were chosen by the winners and this time I get to chose my local charity to donate books to - the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. 


When we think of the homeless the image of adults frequently comes to mind
but many of these adults are women - with children. The Atlanta Children’s Shelter provides childcare services for homeless children. Their parents receive guidance on job hunting, skills building, etc to help them on the road to having a stable place to call home. The Shelter serves 40 children and I have to tell you I am so impressed by this National Association for the Education of Young Children certified center that donating the books to them was a total pleasure! 


With the Hallmark recordable books the children will be able to hear the sound of their parent or caregivers voice and be able to take this source of comfort with them wherever their travels take them. The last book that I received to review is titled “Thank You God for Everything!” I can’t think of a more appropriate book for my son and for the Atlanta Children’s Shelter which is housed in a church. I am thankful everyday for the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, my family and friends and am so very thankful that The Atlanta Children’s Shelter exists to help support these families that are in need. 



GIVEAWAY

If you would like to win a copy of Thank You God For Everything simply leave a comment telling me what you are thankful for. If you’d like extra entries you can tweet about this contest.
I’m thankful that God gave me the opportunity to participate in this campaign and share the joy of reading with children. 

Contest open until September 7th, 2010 11:59 pm EST.  

Disclosure: As a Hallmark ambassador I received compensation for my time and a review copy of the book. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ten Miles!


On Sunday I ran ten miles. Ten Miles! Last August I would have laughed for hours if you even suggested that I'd run double digit miles but today I did it with ease. I actually ran for almost two hours straight! I took my time and my only goal was to finish. Since I ran 8 miles last week I figured I'd be able to add two more. Not only did I add two more miles but I truly ran the entire way! I walked to warm up at the beginning and walked to drink some water and fix my iPhone but otherwise my feet were running. I wasn't even tired. 

I think the weather certainly helped, it wasn't humid at all and it wasn't that hot. The slight breeze made a big difference. My half-marathon is on October 17th in San Francisco and I know there will be similar weather conditions so I am actually looking forward to the run - hills and all. Speaking of hills, I tackled every hill today and ran each one! I am still thinking about my race day strategy, I'm not sure if I will do a timed run/walk like 5 min run, 1 min walk or just play it by ear. I'm going to train both running the entire way and doing a combo to see which I like better. Based on today's run I know I can run the entire half-mile but it is entirely possible that I will have a faster time doing a run/walk combo. I'll figure that out later, right now I am basking in completing a ten mile run. Relatively pain free!

I did take an anti-inflamatory before my run because I didn't want to irritate my hip. That was early this morning and I haven't taken another. I have been having a problem with blisters on my feet right on my bunions and when I stopped by the running store they suggested I use Body Glide. This stuff works! No blistering today and I will always keep it in my arsenal! 

After my run I actually got dressed took my son and his best friend to church, enjoyed service and after service auditioned for the choir. Busy day. I did nap when I got home this afternoon but I think my being tired was a result of going to bed late last night with nervous anticipation of my run and the audition at church. 

Today is the last day of my Clean Program. My meal today was dinner since we were out this afternoon and making a shake was easier for lunch because I had to defrost the salmon for my meal. After my nap I prepared the salmon by adding sea salt, juice of half a lemon, Mrs. Dash, rosemary, garlic powder, and other spices. I let that marinate for about ten minutes and then broiled it. I also made quinoa - it packs a ton of protein , and seasoned the water to add great flavor. Finally, I prepared collard greens with onions, apple cider vinegar and spices. The meal is completely clean and so delicious. I look forward to leftovers tomorrow.

Although technically my Clean detox is over, I do plan on having at least one protein shake daily. Most likely for breakfast but maybe for lunch or dinner. I am keeping to the no wheat or gluten and trying to really limit my soy intake. In addition to the shakes from the Clean Program I've been introduced to the SoCal Cleanse shakes made from hemp protein which I think I will try too! Or maybe I will win some from Mamavation!
I just want to leave a word of wisdom with you - the only limitations we have are the ones that we put on ourselves. You can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to doing. I never believed I could run double digits, complete a half-marathon or stay committed to being wheat and gluten free. And I certainly never though I'd lose over 50 pounds! I've done or am in the process of doing all of these things. Removing the emotional clutter and self-doubt has enabled me to do great things. And you can too!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NO EXCUSES!

I have been very public about my journey to healthy living. The good, bad and the ugly. I find that being transparent helps me and others to understand that it ain't easy but it can be done. I post updates here,  on facebook, twitter and the dailymile. I have so many people and places to keep me accountable and honestly I don't know how many people pay attention. Sometimes I get big surprises in my inbox - check out what I received yesterday:

August 25th
Subject: Hello
From: Ethel


You are making me wish I was young again and running them paths along with you(lol) But you can still give me credit for working out at the gym twice a week while looking 97 in the face as of October 15th and yes I get on them exercise balls and mats right along with the 60 year olds. We even go to the strength machines and no you don't hear me huffing and puffing. I am proud of you take care and be blessed Ethel

---------------------
Re: Hello
From: Renee

Hi Ms Ethel!
I wish you could run with me. You certainly are an inspiration! You get major points for exercising with the 60 year olds and wanting to run with this 40 year old!

You truly are an inspiration and proof that you are never too old for exercise. Young people these days have no excuses.

Do you mind if I quote you in a blog post? I think you words can inspire so many people!

-----------------------

Re: Hello
From: Ethel
Not at all I am a firm believer that "age is just a state of mind and if you don't mind it doesn't matter" I also still drive myself to my four Senior organizations and my current driving license is good for 5 years so I can still drive until I am 100 yrs old.I thank God for being in good health. My aunt passed at 104 and my sister just passed on Christmas day 3 days short of 100 . Be blessed

 -------------------

I had to share this with you. Ms. Ethel is my childhood friend's grandmother and we are friends on facebook. Yes, she is 96 years old and yes she still EXERCISES, DRIVES and keeps up with the 60 year olds. What is your excuse? You have none! If she can do it, so can you. Now get out there and MOVE!!! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Best Sports Bra ever!

On Monday I went to my local running store and purchased a water belt and I also purchased a Sports Bra. I've mentioned in the past that my girl's need serious support and as I've been shrinking - well the girl's have too. But they are far from small - I wear a 32 or 34 DD so I need serious support. Most of my old sports bras don't fit and since I was in a running store I figured I'd find a bra that works. I was NOT disappointed!

I found Moving Comfort and fell in love. The first bra I tried on - Juno- it was immediate love. The girl's DO NOT MOVE! I also like that there is no underwire - this means I will probably only use it for exercise but that is okay with me. I have another sports bra with underwire that I like and can wear when I want the girl's to be especially perky! LOL

The bra is $52.00 and was 25% off, I was just about to lay down the cash when I looked at the sale rack and found a Fiona bra for 40% off.

Needless to say, Fiona is now in my collection! I think I'm going back before the sale ends on Saturday to get the Juno and in the meantime I've been entering Carolyn's giveaway to win one!

Down and Dirty in 30 - week 4 (vlog)



This week has gone really well. I’ve been fluctuating with 1-2 pounds of extra weight (I’m a chronic weigher, I weigh myself daily many times more than once) but I am not worried because it is water weight. I am on my third week of the Clean program and am proud to say that when I traveled to Birmingham this weekend I stuck to the program!

Sadly, when I went to the movies on Monday with my son I had popcorn and candy so I did falter but I dusted myself off. The lesson learned - always have snacks on hand so I am not tempted! I really am going to take the wheat-free gluten free plunge. I cannot wait until next week when I make my first batch of WF/GF bread! I picked up some at Whole Foods - pricey so I am going to investigate making my own blend at a later date.

I finished up my vanilla Clean Shake so now I am on chocolate. OH Em Gee! Why didn’t I start with the chocolate? It is delicious! I mix it with coconut milk and a few blueberries, it is so good. I was a little afraid because chocolate is not my favorite but am pleasantly surprised that I like the chocolate more than the vanilla.

I know after the Clean detox I will be making shakes for breakfast. I just like the feeling of being light but also full. Protein does that for ya. As far as my weight goes, I am at 149 same as last week and I know I have to get better at drinking water. Getting in the water on a daily basis is my biggest challenge.

Speaking of water, on my 6 mile run this morning I used my new water belt. It went pretty well. There was no moving, I was able to store my iPhone and chapstick in the pouch and with 3 bottles full I didn’t find it heavy. I positioned the bottles on my back - two horizontal and one vertical. I actually think I like the vertical placement the best. I still have to get used to removing the bottles from the holders but once I master that I think I will be golden. No more parched mouth on my runs!

This weekend I am running 10 miles. My longest yet. I am not sure if I will be able to keep up with my running friends but I am going to try. I know they are going to push me with the six minute run one minute walk intervals but I will be sure to let you know how it goes!

And that is my update for this week. Oh and it is official, I have my ticket for Miami so I will be wearing that bikini on this blog very very soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Big C



Cancer. Not a very popular topic of discussion. The idea of cancer is simply quite depressing. Last year when I was asked to become a member of the American Cancer Society’s Blogger Advisory Council I agreed with a bit of trepidation.  Yes, cancer has touched my life but it hasn’t always been “my cause”. However, when I thought about it cancer has more than simply touched my life, my grandfather, my aunt, my cousin all succumbed to cancer. I went through the process of the initial diagnosis of breast cancer to mystectomy with my roommate in South Africa. She survived but another South African friend who wasn’t even thirty did not. My best friend’s mom has beaten breast cancer but our close friend’s mom did not. The list of people in my life with cancer goes on and on. I realized that given the opportunity to raise awareness about cancer I had to take it.

Little did I know that this would open the floodgates - I soon became a blogging ambassador for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Aflac Cancer and Blood Diseases center. And shortly thereafter I was referring my friend Jennae to their services when her four year old Ja’Naya was diagnosed with leukemia. And now of course, I’ve successfully raised over $4000 for the Leukemia and Lymphomia Society with team in training and will be running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in honor of Ja’Naya and in memory of my Aunt Helen and cousin George.

When I was in New York I visited the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge which provides free housing for patients undergoing treatment. What a remarkable place and meeting volunteers and residents furthered my resolve to raise awareness about cancer.  I was also inspired when I visited the set of the Today Show and while awaiting my interview for Today’s Moms, I met a woman visiting NY currently undergoing treatment for leukemia. We talked about her trip, dealing with her illness and her children’s desire to protect her. We bonded - I as the child of a person with a chronic disease and she as a mom.

With all of these touchpoints in my life, it is clear that the message needs to get out. There are things that we can do to reduce our risk of getting cancer and also get an early diagnosis. Diet and exercise, self-breast exam, mammography at 40 are all things that we can do. This evening Mom It Forward’s Girl’s Night Out #GNO is all about cancer. I hope that you can join the discussion - we have members of the ACS Bloggers Council, a staff member from ACS and one of our members currently undergoing treatment.

Monday, August 23, 2010

8 miles!



This is me after finishing my 8 mile run yesterday ..did you hear me? I ran (okay walked and ran) 8 miles yesterday! I've never gone that far in my life. But as the date of the half-marathon approaches, my weekend long runs are becoming longer and longer. This Saturday I'm scheduled to run 10 miles. Double digits! Am I ready? Of course. Worst case scenario I walk some. I can tell you that as I add miles the thing that I notice is my calves get tight. I am sure to stretch after my runs so that I don't experience any unneccesary pain. 


Overall I felt pretty good during my run however the one thing that kept me from running longer was the fact that I was quite thirsty. I mean so thirsty that my lips were dry and I was trying to make moisture with my mouth. I was hoping for water fountains around every corner but I was teased because it seemed like every fountain was broken! 


Of course, I had to ask my running friends what they suggested for long runs. Some folks like handheld water bottles and others like belts. I really don't like to hold anything in my hands so I've decided to try a water belt. I went with the amphipod RunLite 


I'm going to try it out in the morning and I'll let you know how it goes. I am pretty sure that it will work for me the belt is bounce-free and you can change the bottles to a horizontal orientation. Plus I can hold my iPhone in the pouch. I am hopefully that I've found my solution for hydrating on the go. Since this baby costs me $40.00  I am going to make it work!  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My tips for Healthy Weight Loss

After posting my before and after photos yesterday I’ve had numerous people ask me how they can experience the same success with weight loss and healthy living. Beyond the usual advice of exercise and diet. This is what I’ve come up with.

1. Get Your Mind Right!
You have to be in the frame of mind to make a difference in your life. This means different things for different people. Many of us say we are ready to change our ways but after a short period of time quickly fall back into bad habits. The turning point for me was when I decided to deal with my depression. After seeing a professional for therapy and taking anti-depressants I had the energy needed to stick to my plan. For you it may be finally acknowledging that you need to put yourself first and make time for yourself a priority. Only you know what your roadblocks are and it takes hard work but take a careful look at your mental and make changes.

2. Babysteps

Once you have a handle on your mental and emotions, next it is time to get on a program. Many people want to jump into the latest fad diet, exercise 5-6 times a week and lose the weight overnight. I’m here to tell you, this method might work for a month or two but not for the long term. Remember that New Year’s Resolution you made to get healthy and fit? I advise looking at this as a lifetime of healthy living.

Start by making small changes. If you don’t exercise at all make it a goal to exercise 3 days a week. Buy a pedometer and track your steps, challenge yourself to walk more steps daily.  Add an additional glass of water to your diet until you are drinking at least 64 ounces a day. Add an additional fruit or veggie each day until you are up to five servings a day. Cut out sugary drinks and get your calories from food.

This changes are small and can be implemented over time but you will see changes.

3. Accountability Partners - Identify someone or several people that will hold you accountable. I have documented my entire journey to healthy living on my blog, facebook, twitter, and recently added the dailymile to track my exercise. Knowing that I have to check in regularly keeps me honest.

4. Find a friend - Get someone that wants to make a change to take this journey with you. I have multiple friends that I can call on to workout with. We don’t always get together but my phone call is encouraging and seeing me out and about motivates my friends to do so too. I also have a group of people that I don’t know but see on my usual running path and believe it our not, they will yell out words of encouragement when I am jogging or walking along the path.

5. Be like Nike - And just do it! No more excuses. No - I’ll wait until next week or after that time of the month or anything. Start today. It can be as easy as adding ten minutes of movement to your day or adding the extra glass of water. How about doing both?

I’ll end by saying there is no magic bullet. Weight loss takes time, persistence and commitment. You have to ask yourself are ready to commit to living your best life? Then start today!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Down and Dirty in 30 - Week 3


I'm Down w/the SisterhoodToday I weigh 149 pounds.  Do you know what that means? This is the first time in ten years that my weight has been in the 140s. It also means that I have met my goal of losing 50 pounds, I’ve lost a grand total of  53 pounds! I know it sounds like a lot of weight because it certainly is. If you had asked in my younger years if I ever thought I’d be able to lose 50 pounds I would have said no - because I’d never thought I’d gain that much weight. And then, life happens. I think the magnitude of the weight loss is best seen in pictures

This is me in May 2009.




This is me the first week of December, a week after I started my journey to healthy living (I’d already lost 8 pounds in this picture).





And this is me today, wearing the same clothes that I had on in December. A size large yummie tummie and a size 16 pair of jeans.








Look at all this space!









And, and! Here I am today wearing my current size 6 jeans by Miracle Body (they say they make you look 10 pounds smaller) and a medium top by BCBG.

I am thankful that I have friends that love fashion. 


Audrey and Vera had the Getting Gorgeous Event at BlogHer and I was given these jeans there. This is important to note because my size changes so frequently that it is difficult for me to shop and not feel like I am wasting money. I have a pair of pants I bought while at BlogHer that no longer fit! I don’t see myself going smaller than a size 6 - the Miracle Body jeans are forgiving (love that spandex) and suck in the jiggly bits but I certainly need a wardrobe improvement. Luckily for me I have clothes coming from Haute Look (my top was only $19 originally $44) an online store that sells discounted designer clothing. I won a $100 giftcard from them at BlogHer! 


Overall I am happy to celebrate this milestone.  I still have my bikini that I plan on wearing to South Beach in October and I will be sure to post those pictures too. In the meantime I am going to bask in my success, thank you for all of your wonderful support because really, none of this would have been possible without you.You’ve kept me accountable. You’ve cheered me on. You’ve cheered me up when I felt down. You called me beautiful even at my heaviest. You are golden!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

True Confessions Tuesday





My confessions this week are all positive. I love that! 
  • I ran 18.3 miles last week, my longest run was 6 miles and I did it painfree!
  • I have been sticking to my Clean program and haven't had the desire to veer off of it. 
  • My sweet tooth has diminished considerably, the sweetest think I have now is fruit. I don't even like stevia to sweeten my tea. 
  • I am seriously contemplating living a Clean lifestyle after the detox is over. Specifically, I think I am going to give up wheat, gluten, and dairy forever. I'm saying this here so I stay accountable. I know that this is a difficult decision because I love bread, cheese and greek yogurt. 
  • I have found some great resources for wheat free/ gluten free recipes and I know I can make my own bread easily so I have no excuses! 
  • When I finish my cleanse, I am going to eat this French Toast breakfast sundae because it looks so delicious (I'll be using WF/GF bread of course!)
  • I've raised $4060 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! My goal was $4000 but now I want to keep going. My new goal is $4900 I'd love it if you'd donate here.
  • I am wearing my size 6 Miracle Body jeans comfortably (thanks to Audrey & Vera of Getting Gorgeous I got a pair at the event) and I feel great! 
And those are my confessions for this week. Check in with me tomorrow, I have something big to announce!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Official! I'm down 50 pounds!


Good News! I’ve officially lost 50 pounds!!!! 

I need to let that sink in for a minute, 50 pounds is a huge accomplishment. I think I need to channel the “Biggest Loser” and try carrying around 50 pounds. I have a hard enough time carrying my son and he only weighs 32 pounds. When I have difficulty putting my weight loss in proper perspective I think of things like the carry the weight challenge. I admit despite my weight loss I actually feel bigger now than I did when I weighed over 200 pounds. I am now paying more attention to things like my jiggling cellulite and my abs that are not toned.  I Need to stop with that negative thinking and focus on the positive. 


I’ve been doing the Clean program for almost a week and I feel so good.  I am preparing healthy food that is totally free of things like wheat and gluten that I know are allergy triggers for me. Although I do not have a severe allergic reaction to wheat and gluten, I have more mucus, less energy and I believe more inflammation when I eat these things. 


My hip feels wonderful, after several months of hip pain I am finally able to run on a consistent basis to train for the Nike Half-Marathon on October 17th. I am fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and thanks to my generous donors I have almost raised my goal of $4000 - notice the “almost” you can donate here.


Because I’ve been eating Clean I’ve been preparing more home cooked meals. I want to share my meal for the day -  grilled portobello mushroom, brown rice and lentil soup. 
Delicious! 

The soup is basically an empty the refrigerator soup. I had leftover lentils and added carrots, bok choy, onions, flax seeds, cilantro, garam masala, ginger, cumin, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash original, salt, mustard seeds and black pepper. I just kept adding things until I liked the flavor since I used plain water as the base I need to ensure it was seasoned well.

The portobello mushroom I lightly coated with cold-pressed olive oil and flavored with garlic and rosemary. I placed it in the broiler and it was done in about 8 minutes.

I admit it takes time to cook but I am finding that I enjoy it and my family seems to enjoy my creations too. There haven’t been any leftovers! And my refrigerator is filled with so many fresh ingredients that I am always on the lookout for interesting and new recipes to try. Unlike other detoxes, this one has been great because there is food involved- I like to eat! After I finish Clean I think I am going to continue maintaining by having a shake for breakfast as suggested by Dr. Junger. I enjoy the shakes for breakfast and I want to life as  “clean” as possible. I already have thoughts of baking my own bread so that I can avoid wheat and gluten. I’ll keep you posted!

*I received the Clean Program for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Team in Training - We can make a difference!


One of the most moving things about training for the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon with Team in Training is my teammates.  We all have our own personal motivation for running the race and fundraising, ultimately we are all doing it to make a difference. Although I have not experienced a race day yet I highly anticipate Nike because the entire race benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This means that there will be an extremely large number of people running with Team in Training. On that day San Francisco will be filled with a sea of purple (the official color for TNT and my favorite color). I know it is going to be amazing.

During my training I’ve seen some of the TNT shirts that members have personalized with the name of their honored hero and/or the person(s) they are running in memory of. I plan on having my shirt embroidered this way:

In honor of Ja’Naya
and
In memory of Aunt Helen
and cousin George

Just typing that brings a well of emotions for me and I know more than a few tears will be shed this coming October. Good tears - for the fight and stamina of Ja’Naya and the countless people that I’ve met that are fighting and winning the battle against cancer. 
 Ja'Naya

My TNT mentor is one of them and I’ll be running beside Carol. Our team honored hero Mitzi is another and she will be running too.
Me and Mitzi after my 6 mile run on Saturday, she made treats for us.


Cancer affects so many of us and I would like to run in honor or memory of your friend or loved one too! On race day I wear a ribbon with the name of your special someone that has been affected by cancer.  All you have to do is a minimum donation of $5 and I will make and wear a ribbon for you. Just click donate on the left and in the add comment section provide the name of the person you’d like me to wear.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about the race and the fundraising, I know together we can make a tremendous difference! Did you know that a $5 donation provides information about services and resources to newly diagnosed patients - including info about financial support services? I’d love to wear the name of your loved one during my half-marathon - donate today! And if you’ve already donated and want me to wear the name of someone please send me an email and let m know (cutiebootycakes(at)gmail)!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eating Clean

I am currently doing the Clean program that was designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger, MD. It is designed to detox the body. The methodology behind Clean is outlined in the book of the same name and you can do the detox at home by purchasing all of the ingredients locally. I have done the one week at home version of the program with success but wanted to try the 21 day detox using the shakes and supplements available on the Clean website. I have two shakes one for breakfast and one for dinner. For lunch I prepare a Clean meal (free of processed food, pork, beef, most seafood, eggplant, oranges, diary, wheat, gluten etc.) and if necessary I can have my main meal for dinner but it is encouraged not to do that often. After dinner, I fast for 12 hours this enables the body to cleanse itself at night when it is least active. 

You may be thinking this doesn't sound like enough food but trust me, I truly haven't felt that hungry over the past four days. The shakes are made from rice protein and are very filling, I drink tons of water and if I want to snack I'll eat fruit or nuts. I wanted to give you examples of some of the clean meals I've prepared.
Felafel! I am a big fan of falafel and was so happy to find a recipe in the Clean Support Community for these. I made them with lentils, chickpea and millet flour, and various herbs and spices. The homemade tahini sauce is to die for. Although traditional falafels are wrapped in pita, I wrapped mine in romaine lettuce to stay "clean".
Today I made homemade roti, I was again inspired by the same member of the Clean community that made the falafels. For my roti I used lentils, chickpea and millet flour, baking powder, and herbs and spices. Basically, roti is a flat bread that is enjoyed in India and many countries in the Caribbean. It was delicious!
Next I made a filling that is a curry. I used baby spinach, chickpeas, almonds, coconut slivers, coconut milk and herbs and spices. This has a kick! I really didn't measure anything and since I'm not really familiar with Garam Masala I may have been a little heavy handed but the curry was still good. 


I served the curry and roti together, it was absolutely delicious! Since I am practicing mindful eating I had to remind myself not to eat too much. It was just that good. You will notice that although there is no meat in my meals, they are protein rich. On the clean program you are allowed certain fish and poultry - I just don't eat poultry but I did make a fish curry on Monday. 

Everything so far is going well with the Clean program for me. The first couple of days I did have a headache but I know that is from the toxins leaving my body. I've been able to exercise as usual and overall feel great. I've lost 9 pounds (now I'm just 3 away from my maintenance weight) and I know most of it was water. 

I'll give you an update on how things progress over the next couple of weeks but if you are looking for a detox I recommend Clean. You can try it out on Goop.com, a one week home version of the Clean program is available there, complete with recipes!



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Disclosure: I received the Clean program for review purposes but my opinions are 100% my own. 

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