Thursday, January 19, 2017

Reset & Restore, Day 18

I’m in the home stretch, y’all. Only three more full days left (after today) in the 21-day Reset & Restore program! I’m here for a quick post tonight, and then on Sunday, I’ll check back in with a weekend recap and some summary on my eating plans going forward!

This morning started with another rainy run. Why does it keep raining on my run days? It was coming down pretty hard when my alarm went off at 5 a.m., so I checked the radar and saw it was moving out soon. I hit snooze and slept for 30 more minutes. When I got up again, the rain had slowed significantly, so I snacked on an almond date roll and got dressed for my run. Interestingly, my quote-a-day run calendar today said “No Matter the Weather, Get Your Run In.” Ha!

After my run, I had what has become my new favorite breakfast on the reset — Warm Oats with Banana N’ice Cream. This is hot maple-cinnamon oatmeal served atop ice-cold banana soft serve (with a little Nutiva vanilla protein powder) and drizzled with tahini. Like heaven in a bowl! I'll be eating this all the time, post-reset.

My morning snack was more Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten-Free Kale Crackers with Spinach Hummus. 

And my lunch was leftover Hearty Veggie Chili with nooch and cashew sour cream. I’m glad I made lots of this and have some left for tomorrow’s lunch!

Besides Lacy’s recipes, the Reset & Restore program also includes twice-weekly workout videos by Jessica Wilkins of Mighty Steady Coaching. I’d planned to do her fifth video at home right after work, so I knew I’d need an afternoon snack to power me through that. These Thrive bars (by GoMacro!) are totally within the confines of the rules I’ve set for myself for this reset. They’re made with whole foods (dried fruit, nuts, and seeds) and are sweetened with brown rice syrup rather than refined sugar. This was Almond Apricot!

I did the workout video! And as always, it was a challenging and satisfying workout. But I was pretty hungry by the time it was over. Thankfully, I’d made dinner the night before, so all I had to do was heat up a hearty slice of this Vegan Gluten-Free Kale Quiche and make a quick side salad.

This tofu-based, eggless quiche was AMAZING! Totally as good as it looks. It was loaded with veggies — lots of kale and red bell pepper. And it had an almond flour crust that was super tasty.

After dinner, I ran some errands and realized I wanted to snack on something sweet. So I grabbed some pre-cut Mixed Fruit from Kroger. Then I came home, put on my PJs, and chilled out to some Netflix and snacked on fruit.

That’s it for tonight. See y’all again on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reset & Restore, Day 17

It's Day 17 of my 21-day Reset & Restore intuitive eating program! I'm trying to do whole foods, low-processed stuff, no gluten, low refined sugar, and limited booze. But I'll be honest — I had some gluten today. And some booze. But that's okay. The purpose of my reset is to try and fill myself with nourishing foods as often as possible, but I'm not going to deny myself the occasional treat. More on that in a few.

The day started out on-track though! I had a half a Cherry Pie Larabar and hit the gym for my regular Wednesday morning Butts & Guts class (a circuit training class with squats, abs, free weights, lunges, all that good stuff). After class, I went home and had this for breakfast — Loaded Sweet Potato! This was another of Lacy's recipes — a baked sweet potato with pinto beans, corn, green onion, and homemade cashew sour cream. Fantastic!

I thought that might keep me full until noon, but my tummy was rumbling by 10:45ish. I tend to get hungry every morning around that time no matter what I eat for breakfast. Luckily, I brought an Apple with Nuttzo Peanut Pro (peanuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds).

We typically have staff meetings over the lunch hour on Wednesdays, so I brought my lunch —Roasted Veggie, Chickpea, & Walnut Salad — in a jar! I had this last night as well and packed an extra salad for today. This had herbed, roasted beets, fennel, carrots, and chickpeas with a balsamic vinaigrette, quinoa, green onion, and walnuts. So yummy!

Well, I ate that and then the gluten fest began! Little did I know, some co-workers had planned a surprise tea party for a couple of other co-workers' birthdays! And Courtney wanted to make sure I had a vegan option. How sweet! She made these little Tomato, Basil & Garlic Vinaigrette Tea Sandwiches on Rudi's Bakery bread. Of course I had to eat one with my cup of Darjeeling tea.

And I thought that was it for the gluten today. But then a friend popped by the office with some Homemade Sourdough Bread and Cashew Cream Cheese! WHAT?! Yea, you know I had to eat some of that. I don't pass up homemade sourdough and cashew cheese for nothin'. It was very, very good. After my bread treats, I had some KeVita Ginger Kombucha.

And I was totally back on track for dinner though! I made Lacy's Hearty Veggie Chili last night to heat up for a quick meal tonight. This veggie-loaded stew really hit the spot on this chilly night. I tried out a new six-chili powder (made with six kinds of chiles), and it had such a wonderful flavor. I topped it with a little nooch (as suggested by the recipe) and some of Lacy's homemade cashew sour cream (which I'd made for breakfast).

After dinner, Cassi and I went to the Memphis Flyer's 20>30 party to celebrate the release of their new issue, which features 20 young Memphians doing cool things. As you may know, I worked at the Flyer for 14 years before moving over to Crosstown Arts, so I like to pop into all their events. Plus, there was free booze, and it was at the new Old Dominick Distillery (a bourbon distillery). I hadn't had a chance to check it out yet, and I was eager to see it and try the bourbon! I'm not even a bourbon drinker, but I can't resist locally made booze. Unfortunately, the bourbon wasn't ready yet, but I had a couple glasses of wine instead.

I kept it light though — just two glasses. Then I went home to prep food for tomorrow! My vegan quiche — tomorrow's dinner — is in the oven! I'll see y'all then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reset & Restore, Day 16

And here I am on Day 16 of Reset & Restore — a 3-week whole foods-based, intuitive eating program by Lacy Davis and Jessica Wilkins! Are y'all tired of me explaining what this is every time? Sorry! I want to be clear with each post just in case someone new comes along and wonders what the heck I'm talking about.

I woke up this morning around 5 a.m. to the sound of rain coming down outside my window. But I had a six-mile run scheduled, and I live by the postal service creed — "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." I ate a quick Ommie Cherry Chocolate Raw Fruit & Seed Energy Bar (a treat from my last Goddess Provisions box — more on this bar in a future Goddess box unpacking post!). Then I put on my Mizuno running rain jacket and old shoes that I don't mind getting muddy and headed out the door.

Fortunately, it was a warm rain, and it stopped shortly after I got started. After my run, I had Lacy's Hot Chocolate Smoothie. 

This was a heated smoothie made with fresh (not frozen) banana, raw cacao, and greens. I added a scoop of Nutiva chocolate protein as well. I got the bright idea to not only use hot water (as the recipe suggested) but to also blend it on my Vitamix's Hot Soup setting. This resulted in a piping hot smoothie that was like thick hot cocoa, which was awesome EXCEPT I stupidly thought it'd be a good idea to drink the hot liquid through a straw. OUCH! I burned my mouth all over. It's still raw and feels weird hours later. I ended up cooling the smoothie off a little with some cold almond milk and then sipped the rest (without a straw) like I should have done from the start.

My morning snack was Gluten-Free Kale Crackers with Spinach Hummus. So good!

Lunch was my leftover Mexican-Style Savory Baked Oatmeal, which I mentioned last night was one of my favorite recipes on this reset thus far. Great with homemade guac, shredded lettuce, tomato, and salsa verde.

In the afternoon, I had a Pure Doctor Live Kombucha — it's kombucha that tastes like Dr. Pepper! I love this stuff. I took a picture — or thought I did — in the office, but it isn't showing up on my phone. I guess I didn't hit the shutter button all the way. Here's one I stole from the internet! I highly recommend this stuff.

Dinner was Lacy's Roasted Veggie, Chickpea, & Walnut Salad. The base of this salad is roasted chickpeas, carrots, beets, and fennel served over a bed of romaine with some raw grated carrot, walnuts, and green onions. To be honest, I didn't think I liked fennel (because I hate licorice), but I want to like it. So I opted to give it another chance.

And you know what? I really love it! At least, I love it when roasted. The fennel got all caramelized and sweet, the perfect complement to the earthy beets and carrots. The dressing is just a simple balsamic with a touch of Dijon. I added quinoa for some extra carbs and protein. Yum!

After dinner, I snacked on some Addictive Wellness raw chocolate with a glass of almond-cashew milk. Then I found a little time to do the third guided meditation on the reset. Each week, Lacy sends out an email with a new guided meditation, and this week's meditation focuses on positive body image. I don't meditate nearly often enough, but it always feels so nice to set a few minutes aside to just chill.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reset & Restore, Day 15

It's MLK Day! And it's day 15 of my 21-day Reset & Restore whole foods-based, intuitive eating program. My office was closed for the holiday, so I slept in until 8ish and then headed out for a lovely four-mile run in the warm nearly 70-degree weather. Aside from a handful of very cold, snowy days, this winter has been super-mild so far and just perfect for running!

After my run, I had another R&R recipe — Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Pudding! This was a chia-based pudding with Nutiva chocolate protein powder and peanut butter. Topped with salted peanuts and cacao nibs. Such a creamy morning treat!

Since I had the day off, I figured I ought to at least make good use of my time and tackle the long put-off task of painting my kitchen trash closet. I painted my kitchen about three years ago and fully intended to paint the closet (the one where the trash can goes) shortly after. But I procrastinated — FOR YEARS. So I finally did it today! The walls were really nasty, and now they look quite nice! While I painted, I snacked on some Mary's Gone Crackers Kale Crackers (they're gluten-free) with homemade Cashew Cheese. I am trying to mostly avoid processed food (except for protein powders and plant milks!) on this reset, but I've really missed crunchy snacks. And I've been too busy (lazy?) to make my own crackers, but as crackers go, these are pretty healthy!

I put off lunch until I'd finished my paint job, so it was after 2 p.m. by the time I heated up this plate of last night's leftovers — Hasselback Japanese Yam, Lentils, & Steamed Broccoli with Tahini & Nooch. 

That was such a hearty lunch that it held me over for hours and hours! I wasn't hungry for dinner until nearly 8. And that's when I had Lacy's Mexican Baked Oatmeal — a savory spin on oats with pinto beans, black olives, salsa, and Mexican spices. Topped with a little mashed homemade guac, salsa, lettuce, and tomato. 

Y'ALL!!! THIS WAS EVERYTHING! I've made savory oats on the stovetop for breakfast, but I'd never baked oats. Baking results in this creamy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-edges texture that I absolutely loved. And the flavors here were just incredible. This and the socca pizza from earlier in the week have been my favorite dinner recipes so far! I'd love to experiment with other savory baked oat recipes!

Well, that's it for tonight! Hard to believe next Monday I'll be done with the reset. I'm already planning out my first post-reset dinner! Even though I fully intend to retain the principles of this way of eating 80 percent of the time, I'm also planning to bring gluten (daily) and desserts (occasionally) back into my life.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reset & Restore, Days 12-14

Another weekend recap! I'm on Day 14 of my 3-week Reset & Restore program of whole foods, limited refined sugar, and no gluten. All of the meals I'm eating are made using recipes by Lacy Davis, and throughout the program, I'm doing workout videos by Jessica Wilkins. This weekend was smooth sailing! I did get a little refined sugar treat in though, but more on that in a few.

Friday morning started with bootcamp at my gym. It was a TOUGH class with lots of squats, burpees, plyometrics, and free weights. The one thing that pushed me through was knowing that, as soon as I got home and showered, I could eat this delicious Savory Breakfast Pancake. This is Lacy Davis' spin on traditional Indian pudla — a chickpea flour pancake topped with savory goodness. Mine was topped with sauteed squash, zucchini, and peppers and a drizzle of cashew cream and salsa verde. I've long had a love for pudla, and I'm not sure why I don't make this ALL THE TIME.

My morning and afternoon snack at my desk was Coconut Oil-popped Popcorn with Nooch. I made a big ole bowl of it to bring to work, and I snacked on it throughout the day.

Lunch on my meal plan Friday was a DIY Giant Salad with whatever I wanted on it. The key was to make sure and include some carbs, proteins, and fats. So mine had romaine, maple baked tempeh, brown rice, steamed broccoli, sliced bell pepper, sliced raw mushrooms, and a homemade lemon-tahini dressing.

Dinner was a gorgeous, steaming bowl of Lacy's Ratatouille with Steamed Kale & Brown Rice. This ratatouille was some of the best I've ever had. Tender eggplant and peppers with the tang of balsamic vinegar! It was just perfect with the greens and grains.

After dinner, I stopped by Imagine Vegan Cafe for their grand re-opening party. Imagine moved to a new location (just down the street from their old location and next door to their original place) a couple months ago. This is their third move since they opened in 2011, and it's by far the coolest (and largest) space they've had. Yet it was so packed for the party, and there was a long waiting list for a table. I hadn't planned on dining in, but I had planned on grabbing a quick treat! For at least a week prior, I'd been dreaming of having a Vegan Soft Serve Cone there at the opening party. So I did! Imagine just got a soft serve machine, and they're serving Chicago Soy Dairy's Temptation Ice Cream. It's sooooo good and surprisingly very low-cal.

I know I said I was avoiding refined sugar, but this reset program revolves around intuitive eating. And that means letting yourself have a treat every now and then if you really want one. After two weeks without a serious dessert, my intuition was telling me to eat that ice cream cone. And it was delicious. :-) I didn't hang around long after eating the cone though since they were so busy. Plus, I had to meet up with friends at Billy Hardwick's All-Star Lanes for my friend Shara's 34th birthday bowling party. I considered getting a little wine at the bowling alley, but I talked myself out of it, opting for coffee instead. I figured ice cream was enough of a treat for one night.

Besides, I had a long run planned for Saturday morning! My training plan had me doing 14 miles Saturday. So I woke up early and enjoyed a bowl of Pumpkin Pie Oats with Almond Butter (made with Trader Joe's canned pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice). And then I headed out to the Shelby Farms Greenline to get in those miles.

Post-run, I had some Vega Sport Mocha Performance Protein mixed with a little almond-cashew milk. And then I heated up some leftover ratatouille with brown rice and kale. That held me over for several hours, but later in the afternoon, I snacked on some Apples with PB2, a banana, and some coconut oil popcorn while watching Empire and Sense 8 on Netflix. PB2 (the low-fat peanut butter powder that you mix with water) is weird on sandwiches, but I love it for fruit dip and mixed into smoothies and oats.

Dinner on my R&R meal plan for Saturday was "eat out with friends"! So I met up with my friends Andy and Mike at Zaka Bowl for a healthy vegan bowl. I chose Zaka Bowl — a build-a-bowl restaurant — because it's a totally vegan place where I know I can get one of the healthiest meals in Memphis. Everything there is totally on-board with my reset program, so I could go wild! My bowl had garlic olive oil quinoa, baked tofu (double portion!), roasted herbed cauliflower, roasted carrots, sauteed bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, pineapple salsa, sesame soy sauce, and creamy avocado sauce.

After dinner, Andy and I joined a few more friends at The Pumping Station, my neighborhood gay bar, for a couple glasses of wine. I'm allowing myself a few glasses per week but nothing crazy. So I had my wine and went home around midnight like a responsible adult. Andy and crew, however, stayed out until 4 a.m.! Glad I went home!

On Sunday morning, I slept in until 9 (that's late for me!) and then made Lacy's Flourless Thai Pancakes in my PJs. These were totally gluten-free coconut-ginger pancakes, and they were AMAZING. You'd have never known they were gluten-free. I covered them in maple syrup and enjoyed these while watching more Empire.

Lunch was the last of the ratatouille with more kale and some quinoa. And then later in the day, I snacked on Celery & Spinach Hummus while I cleaned the house. I also had a small cup of KeVita Tart Cherry Kombucha.

I had a little chocolate craving in the afternoon, so I reached for a piece of Addictive Wellness Raw Chocolate, which is sweetened with stevia and loaded with superfood powders. It's also raw, so basically it's as healthy as chocolate can get.

Finally, there was dinner! And it was so yummy! I made yet another Lacy R&R recipe for Hasselback Japanese Yams, Lentils, & Steamed Broccoli.

This was my first time trying Japanese yams, and I was blown away. They're very similar to a sweet potato, but the flesh is white, not orange. And they're slightly sweeter and a little starchier. This one was baked with olive oil, salt, and nooch. And then the whole plate was sprinkled with more nooch and drizzled with tahini. Such a hearty and healthy meal!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reset & Restore, Day 11

Halfway there!! That is, I'm halfway done with my 3-week Reset & Restore intuitive eating program! Usually by this point in a January reset program/cleanse/detox/whatever I'm calling it that year, I'm already dreaming of all the things I'll eat when the plan is over. Pizza, cupcakes, beer, fried tofu, noodles, burgers, bubble tea, etc. But not this time.

I mean, don't get me wrong: I WILL be eating ALL of those things. But this time around, I'm not looking at those meals/drinks as "bad foods." And I'm allowing myself an occasional treat now and then (totally planning to have a vegan soft serve ice cream cone at Imagine Vegan Cafe's grand opening tomorrow night!). Because of that change of mindset, I'm not hyper-focused on those things I'm not eating right now. I'll have them eventually, and when I do, cool. But I'm fine right now without them (and I can have them now if I really want them).

Anyway, onto today's eats! I had a 4-mile run this morning in beautiful 70-degree weather. It's basically spring in Memphis right now. But I'm sure we'll have more cold days ahead. Remember last Saturday when I nearly froze to death running outside in the snow? Winter in the South is so weird. After my run, I had these Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Oats. I used Nutiva chocolate protein powder and a raw superfood cacao mix (with mesquite and lucuma), banana, and PB2 for these!

That was a very filling breakfast! But I was hungry again by 11:30-ish. That's when I had a Fuji Apple with Nuttzo Peanut Pro (peanut-almond-cashew-Brazil nut-sunflower seed butter). Few snacks are more wholesome or delicious than this.

Lunch was a leftover Macro Bowl! Brown rice, maple tempeh, avocado, kale, blackeyed peas, kraut, peanut sauce, and sesame seed.

I'm trying to drink lots of booch to aid with digestion since I'm eating so many beans and legumes. After lunch, I cracked open this bottle of Simple Truth Organic Blueberry Ginger Kombucha. I'm having a small 8-ounce serving daily since storebought booch is so pricy. Starting a new batch of homebrew this weekend. I also had a small square of Lakanto monkfruit-sweetened almond chocolate in the afternoon because I had a little chocolate craving. I'm avoiding refined sugar as much as possible (except in booch!), but monkfruit, stevia, and other such sweeteners are just fine right now!

Tonight was PIZZA NIGHT for dinner! YES! Lacy included a recipe for gluten-free Socca Pizza in her Reset & Restore meal plan. This was sooooo good.

It had a crispy, cracker-like, chickpea flour crust and was topped with some jarred kale marinara (from Fresh Market), cashew cheese, black olives, mushrooms, and bell peppers. This was definitely my favorite dinner recipe from the reset thus far (warm oats/banana soft serve would be my fave breakfast). I made a single serving pizza by cutting the recipe in half, but now I wish I'd have made the whole recipe so I'd have leftovers.

Have a great weekend! I have some fun things/meals planned, so I'll check back in on Sunday with a recap.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reset & Restore, Day 10

Back with my daily recap of what I ate on Reset & Restore — a 3-week, vegan, whole foods-based intuitive eating program! This morning started with a half a Cherry Pie Larabar (I got a bunch of this one flavor on sale at Kroger in case you're wondering why I'm always going with cherry pie) and a trip to my usual Wednesday morning (6:15 a.m.!) gym class — Butts & Guts! It's a circuit training class with lots of squats, lunges, abs, and arm stuff.

After class, I had the breakfast on my meal plan today — Strawberry Dream Smoothie.

Y'all, this smoothie really was a DREAM. I don't think I've ever had a smoothie this creamy! Lacy Davis (who is co-moderating the program with Jessica Wilkins) created this recipe to mimic her favorite smoothie at Harlow in Portland. Rather than my usual banana, this smoothie has soaked cashews (I didn't soak mine because Vitamix!) and avocado, as well as frozen strawberries. I've used avocado in smoothies before but never with cashews too. The combo makes this smoothie something akin to cream pie in a glass!

My snacks today were the same as yesterday. I had Carrots and Spinach Hummus in the morning at my desk. No internet again today!! My boss brought a hotspot in that worked for awhile, until we had too many people needing to get online at once.

I went home for lunch again and had leftover Thai Red Curry. This was so good, and I'm sad it's gone now. And a small portion of the remaining Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Soup from Monday night. Also very good. I love leftovers!

In the afternoon, I went back to Otherlands — the coffee house where I worked yesterday morning too — to steal internet and have some tea. Double Bergamot Earl Grey Black Tea this time. (By the way, I'm happy to report that, as I'm typing this at home, my internet is back up and running!).

My afternoon snack was another Sweet Potato with Nut Butter. I opted to have this again today because I had a yoga class at 6:15, and I knew this would keep me full until I could get home and eat a proper dinner. But today, I went with Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter rather than almond butter just because it sounded good. And it was!

Dinner was Lacy's Macro Bowl (inspired by her favorite bowl at Portland's Prasad). This is the same bowl that was featured as the cover photo on the Reset & Restore Eventbrite page when they were selling tickets for the plan. And I drooled over that pic for weeks before the reset started.

Mine isn't quite as pretty as Lacy's, but it was oh-so-tasty. Bowls like this just make me feel so good for hours. This had baked maple tempeh, brown rice, blackeyed peas, steamed kale, sauerkraut, homemade peanut sauce, avocado, and sesame seeds. All my favorite things! I can't wait to eat this again for lunch tomorrow.