Monday, March 28, 2011

Kale, Black Bean and Millet Bowl with Vegan Chipotle Crema

I was going to title this blog entry "Crema: Get On Top" but then I realized that I have been listening to too much damn Prince lately and kale just isn't that sexy to most people. What I should have called it is "Using My Goddamned Leftovers" but that just doesn't sound sexy OR healthy. Since I completed the Kris Carr CSD Adventure Cleanse, I have been experimenting with Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 Diet. Honestly, I like all of the Tex-Mex Austin-style recipes and guy food. I still am getting my green juice and salad on, though.

Whatcha' need for one serving with possible leftovers depending on your appetite:
1 can organic black beans
1 1/2 cups millet
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Vegan Chipotle Crema
2 tbs hemp seeds
2 tbs hemp milk (or any plain, non-dairy milk)
2 tsp smoky chipotle sauce (I used Dan's Prime Smoky Chipotle Seasoning Sauce, in honor of Austin)
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch (you can double this if you want a really thick crema)
1 twist freshly ground sea salt sea salt (or omit if you would like)

Do Work:

Put all of the wet ingredients for the Crema in a blender and blend. Add dry ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed. Let sit for 2-5 minutes to thicken. You can easily double, triple or quadruple this if you want to make more for later in the week or if you just love sauciness. And who doesn't love a little extra sauciness in their bowl?

In a wok or deep skillet, sautee the garlic in water (or oil if you swing that way) for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Keep adding water as necessary to keep the garlic from sticking or burning or both if you're really unlucky. Add the kale and sautee until dark green and tender.

Heat up the millet and beans on the stove top or microwave them if you are like me and don't give a shit about radiation because you live in Nevada. Tip: if you are using leftover millet, either add some water to it in the pan or sprinkle some water on it and cover with a damp paper towel if you are microwaving. This is like CPR for leftover grains. Top with your vegan chiptole crema and dig in!

More blog entries to come....lots of stuff to report this month!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CSD Adventure Cleanse, Day 9: Digging A Hole To China With My Knife, Fork And Spoon

Feeling much better today. Doubled up on my EnergyPlus and green tea with mate and took lots of immune supplements because I felt like I was getting sick. Really have been enjoying the simplicity of my lunchtime salads. I don't have to think or fuss, and I don't feel sleepy after.

B: Green smoothie, 2 E3 live shots, sublingual B12, green tea with mate
S: apple juice with kamut grass
L: big ass green salad, a tangelo (OMG! que sabroso!), multivitamin and extra vegan vitamin D, green tea with mate
S: lara bar
D: quinoa with curried coconut tempeh, asparagus and carrots. I used soy yogurt to make the curry sauce. So good and I have leftovers for tomorrow!
S: mary's gone crackers black pepper crackers, edamame hummus

I barely even considered the Girl Scout cookies piled up under my desk. I gave myself permission to eat them, and then I was like, "eh, maybe not."

In the evening, I sat zazen and ignored the ghostly voice of my ex-boyfriend repetitively  saying, "My vipassana teacher says that practicing zen meditation is like digging a hole to China with a spoon." I love you, dude, but stop talking to me like that! And stay out of my head.

And there was 45 minutes of hip opening, ass kicking yoga, a serious kitchen purging and then dry skin brushing followed by a nice hot shower. I feel so grateful, lucky, blessed, (whatever lingo people are slinging these days) to have the time and space to take care of myself like this right now. When I finish, I will have so much more energy to give to others, and that's the whole point, right? Right.

Monday, February 7, 2011

CSD Adventure Cleanse, Days 7 and 8.5: It's Not Always Easy Eating Green

Today, I feel like ass. Or maybe roadkill that's been backed over a few extra times. To top it off, the girl scout cookies came today to my office. Sigh. This is the part of the cleansing process where I have to rememeber: this is my choice. I can do this. No one is making me do this. When I am done, I will feel awesome. This is not punishment--this is renewal and transformation. And sometimes, trasformation hurts like a bitch and is uncomfortable as hell and it's OK. It's also OK to stockpile my girl scout cookies for another time. Or, give them away to someone who would really love them. It won't kill me, and there will be more next year.

It's not always easy eating green. There's a lot of pukeyness involved for me. Then again, I have to remember how far I've come. Two years ago at this time I was binge eating burger king, cheetos and quarts of ice cream. So hey, I am doing freaking awesome right now by comparison. This morning after I crankily finished my green smoothie (I was wishing it would transmogrify into vegan waffles with strawberries and vegan whip cream with a side of sage apple field roast sausage!), I noticed my tongue was a lovely shade of light green! Luckily, it went away. I was feeling like Kermit's angry doppleganger for a couple of minutes.

Ironically, Day 6 and most of Day 7 I felt amazing. Seriously, ecstatic wellbeing just oozing out of every pore. I had so much energy yesterday that I went hiking for the first time since my ankle surgery in 2008. And nothing bad happened!  I did not wrench my ankle on a rock. I did fine, although I hiked very slowly and carefully and kept it to about 45 minutes since I was also fasting that day. The fasting ended up becoming kind of difficult, which I was surprised by. I felt fine and dandy until about 8pm, at which point I became ravenously hungry, angry and totally unwilling to drink anything green, period. The eating disorder voices started yelling in my head, and I don't want to trigger that kind of behavior so I need to come up with a better plan for the next fasting day.

I must be better prepared if I want to fast, and I should probably end the night with something warm, like miso soup with vegetables so that I don't feel like beating someone's ass by the end of the day. I probably shouldn't juice fast all the way through until the next afternoon unless I feel very, very OK with that. I definitely didn't last night. Visions of Uncle Eddie's vegan cookies were dancing in my head.  Although hiking was amazing, it was probably a little too much activity. I'd be better off with yoga and a nice long sweat in the sauna at the gym on fasting days.

What I ate and did today:
Breakfast: green smoothie, green tea with yerba mate
Snack: apple juice with kamut grass powder and activated barley powder
Lunch: humgo green salad with carrots, purple cabbage, tofu crumbles and dressing
Snack: 2 ounces of wheatgrass and a handful of almonds
Dinner: sunshine burger with pickles and a little vegenaise, baked sweet potato fries with truffle salt and asparagus

In AM: meditation and affirmation
In PM: yoga, dry skin brushing, sinus flushing.

And yay, my 2oz of wheatgrass didn't make me almost hurl today! Progress, not perfection.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 3, Kris Carr's 21 Day Adventure Cleanse

Well, it's been a little rougher than I thought it would be so far. I keep meaning to write, but I have been feeling really nauseous for the last 2 and a half days. Actually, I've been feeling so physically crappy that I didn't exercise for the last two days. I did get up extra early and meditate, which has been awesome! I never have been a good morning meditator, but I actually find that I am getting more out of it for some odd reason.

Today I was less hungry, which was fantastic because I was really hungry on days one and two. I haven't done a cleanse for almost 2 years, and the last one I did was Kathy Freston's Quantum Wellness Cleanse which I really enjoyed. CSD is a little more hardcore with the greens, and you are basically eating a 2/3 or more raw vegan diet if you do it strictly. I can't wait to get my juicer on Friday!! Also, I love Kris Carr's daily words of wisdom for the cleanse. She really makes me feel strangely giggly and motivated. I hope by the weekend I will be feeling better physically.

Here's how my day went today:
Breakfast: yerba mate and green tea with peppermint,
No. 9 Dream Green Smoothie (named in honor of the David Mitchell book, not the song):
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
squirt of agave and a splash of apple juice
1 tbs of Barlean's vegan 3/6/9 EFA blend
filled rest of blender with raw spinach and kale
blended, and then added rice protein powder, chia seeds, fiber aktivated barley powder and powdered barley grass
finally, added cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
Snack: apple juice with kamut grass and aktivated barley powder
Lunch: big green salad with shredded carrots and cabbage, savory baked tofu and vegan "honey" mustard dressing, vanilla coconut rooibos tea
Snack: lara bar
Dinner: big salad with hemp seeds, balsamic dressing, southwest sunshine burger with daiya cheese and a pickle, baked sweet potato fries with truffle salt (OMG!!), teeccino with stevia and unsweetened almond milk for dessert.

Supplements: multi, B12, E3 Live Renew me!, EnergyPlus, Candisol (thanks, surgery and antibiotics! Thank God for this stuff or I would go crazy).

I am going to wait an hour or so and see if I feel well enough to do some Kundalini yoga with Ana and Ravi. Sat nam, bitches!

PS. Speaking of Kathy Freston, I watched a clip from the Oprah vegan episode yesterday. Good for you, 378 staffers who are willing to try vegan! And I loved the clip on her website where she talks about Steadman asking if things are vegan on the plane. So cute! Good for Oprah for getting the word out to more people, although I wish the clips of the slaughterhouse had more impact. It was all a little too peaceful and sanitized compared to most of the undercover video that's been in the news in the past few years. It was very telling that they didn't let them film the actual slaughter part. Imagine that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Get Ready...

I am getting ready to do the Crazy Sexy Diet 21 Day Cleanse, so now is the time to phase out the coffee and eat my way through all of my protein bars, primal strips and fake meat in my fridge and freezer! I love how Kris Carr refers to meat substitutes as "methadone". Honestly, I am more worried about 21 days without seitan than I am about 21 days of no sugar and juicing like a motherfucker! Some one's got a fake meat problem...but to quote a sticker I once saw, "Fake Meat Saves Lives". So there! By the time I transition for a week and then do the 21 days, it will be time for my birthday and then I can roll around in a trough of seitan if I so desire.

Today's eats and drinks:
AM: grande soy latte, toasted cranberry luna bar
snack: coffee with soy milk
lunch: tofu pad thai, green juice, fresh strawberries
snack: spinach artichoke hummus on 2 multigrain rye flats, watermelon juice with green kamut powder, jasmine green tea
dinner: gardein turkey breast, big organic salad with cucumbers, soy bleu cheese and vegan ranch dressing.
dessert: fresh strawberries
snack: vega protein powder with hemp milk
2 liters water

Sadly, a large latte piggybacked with a cup of coffee is actually less coffee than I usually drink! I was laughing my ass off reading all of the outraged posts on Twitter about Starbuck's new Trenta. Really? More than the human stomach can hold? Not this human stomach, baby. I've been drinking coffee like a Cuban viking with an axe to grind for years. I'll see your Trenta and raise you a 24 oz Dunkin Donuts black coffee. Starbucks is tame by comparison. God, my adrenals need some TLC.

Crazy Sexy Diet: book review

Yes, I am an unabashed fan of Kris Carr. I've read all of her other books, so when Crazy Sexy Diet came out, I rushed to get it despite my recent moratorium on all books with "Diet" in the title. Even though there's so much in the book that I've come across elsewhere, I just love the way she puts it all together. Not only is the information well organized, but the layout of the book is awesome. Everything is attractive and accessible, right down to the font, pictures and colors that she uses. All of the "guest columns" in the book are informative. I especially liked the Frank Lipman piece on Vitamin D, and her suggestions on supplementation were right on. Her writing style makes me giggle. She actually *motivates* me instead of making me want to starve myself in a cave. Any "diet" where I don't starve, I don't have to eat meat and dairy and where I am strongly suggested to meditate is A-OK with me.

There are some studies briefly mentioned in Crazy Sexy Diet. The nerdy little researcher in me would have liked foot notes and research/study citations, but we can't always get everything we want...maybe next time, Kris? Pretty please with yacon syrup on top?

I also would have loved more recipes, although the ones she included look pretty tasty. I am especially excited to try the vanilla chai tapioca pudding.

I am definitely going to give the 21 Day cleanse a spin, as I am feeling particularly gross after all of the vegan junk food I have been indulging in while I've been recuperating (read: sulking) from my hand surgery. Definitely letting my lack of mobility be the excuse for living on Uncle Eddie's vegan cookies, Tofurkey vegan roasted veggie pizza, organic popcorn with Earth Balance and english muffins. WTF? Some one's going to have to roll me out of my apartment soon, like Violet Beauregarde in Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory: "Would you roll the young lady down to the juicing room immediately, please?"

Here is a link to an excerpt from the book as well as a video appearance from Kris Carr on Good Morning America:

And here's my personal favorite green smoothie for newbies recipe, straight from my test kitchen:

Mo' Greens, No Problems Smoothie
1/2 cup organic apple juice
1/2 cup hemp milk
three handfuls of spinach or 4-5 dinosaur kale leaves
1 tbs chia seeds
1 scoop plain or vanilla vegan protein powder
2 tsp E3 live blue green algae flakes or Crystal Manna flakes
1 tbs vegan EFA blend or flax oil (Barlean's vegan berry 3/6/9 blend is ridiculously good in this)
agave or stevia to taste (optional)
handful of mixed organic berries

The trick to not getting chunks in your green smoothie, even if you have a crappy blender on its last legs like mine, is to put the fluids in first, including the oil. Then add the greens, and if you are using kale, de-stem it and tear it apart with your hands. Blend until everything looks smooth and green. Slowly add the powders one at a time and blend after each one. Add the fruit last and if it gets too thick, add some water to thin it out. I usually don't sweeten mine, but if you have a sweet tooth do what you need to do, OK? If you want a super green colored smoothie, you can also substitute half of a banana or peaches for the berries---the color will be much more intense.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When Zombie Fingers Attack

I can't stop watching Bollywood movies. The entire time I've been recovering from surgery, I've been hanging out in my bunny slippers watching anything Bollywood that I can get my hands on. They make me happy. Complete escapism. And I'm obsessed with Shahid Kapoor (see lusciousness above), who is possibly the hottest man on Earth and just so happens to be a vegetarian.

I can finally type with both hands without crying tears of pain! My hand surgeon took my splint and bandages off today and I am flying my freak finger flag high. Not a pretty sight, but I'm just grateful I didn't hack the damn thing off. Yeah, it hurts like hell and looks like a zombie Caucasian Jimmy Dean sausage (complete with Latina jaundice from being bandaged for over a month), but it's my fat little zombie finger and I love it. So grateful I have insurance and access to good medical made me sad today to see that the health care bill was voted down. Everyone needs equal access to health care, period. If I hadn't had insurance when I had this accident, I would have been so screwed--and I was washing dishes for chrissakes, not doing extreme sports or anything dangerous.

Had the best lunch today: roasted golden beets, sunshine kale salad and lemon tofu. I have been jonesing for kale. And green juicer will be coming here soon. My brother is having the contents of our storage shed moved out here to Vegas---can't wait!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Superior Catholic Finger

Can't type much right now as I had surgery on my finger due to a dishwashing accident. No, I am not kidding. So I'm resurrecting another oldie but goodie from one of my previous blogs in honor of my Superior Catholic Finger:

Books Ever Recovering/Ex/HalfAssed/Angry Former Catholic Should Own
May. 26th, 2008 at 2:10 PM

I found this in a folder I brought with me from Florida (why this folder and not the 20 other ones in my trunk? Don't know) of stuff that I wanted to put into my 'zine, Superior Catholic Finger. There's a ton more books that could be on this list, but there are only so many hours in the day... I re-wrote a lot of it since it's over 10 years old, written in sharpie on legal paper. Man, I loved sharpies and legal paper back when I was a zine freakazoid.

1. Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence
Found this in college and spent many hours hidden under the covers in my freshman dorm room so that no one saw me reading it. Recently, I saw the beginning of an episode of the L Word that starts off with a bus full of nuns. One of them is reading this, and then proceeds to get it on with another nun on the bus covertly. Hells yeah.
2. Eunuchs For The Kingdom Of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church by Uta Ranke Heinman and Peter Heinegg.
I remeber that I got so angry when I was reading this that my skin felt hot. Catholicism still has that effect on me. Scary.
3. Saints Preserve Us!: Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You'll Ever Need by Sean Kelly.
I believe this was the little gem that introduced me to Saint Bibiana, the patron saint of hangovers. So *that's* who I was invoking all of those times I spent draped over my toilet bowl! I think I should go into business making Saint Bibiana toilet seat covers. Bet they'd go over great here in Las Vegas. Every casino should take stock in them immediately...
4. Any Jesuit conspiracy theory book (no, Foucault's Pendulum does not count!)
5. Discipline and Punish:The Birth Of The Prison by Michel Foucalt (but Foucault himself does count, ha ha)
"On 2 March 1757 Damiens the regicide condemmed 'to make the amende honorable before the main door of the Church of Paris', where he was to be 'taken and conveyed in a cart, wearing nothing but a a shirt, holding a torch of burning wax weighing two pounds'; then, 'in the said cart, to the place de Greve, where, on a scaffold that will be erected there, the flesh will be torn from his breasts, arms, thighs and calves with red-hot pincers, his right hand, holding the knife with which he committed the said parricide, burnt with sulphur, and,on those places where the flesh will be torn away, poured molten lead, boiling oil, burning resin, wax and sulphur melted together and then his body drawn and quartered by four horses and his limbs and body consumed by fire, reduced to ashes and his ashes thrown to the winds" No, he's not talking about the first day of Catholic school, but sometimes I think he really might have been...givien the Church's longstanding history of support of torture and imprisonment (Inquisition, anyone?) I think this absolutely belongs on the list.
6. The Coming of The Cosmic Christ by Matthew Fox.
Any book that causes the Catholic Church to officially silence you is defintely worth reading and probably worth living. I love the review on that calls it "tired heresies." Catholics love that fucking word, heresy. When I was in school, my teachers (nuns and lay teachers) seemed to always refer to Martin Luther as "Martin Luther, The Heretic." I swear they never said the man's name without that appellation.
7. The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
Heroin and Catholic school boys, oh my.
8. The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor:
Because sometimes, Catholicism is actually a force for the good and genius.
9. The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out Of Darkness by Karen Armstrong
Kind of like a really erudite Catholic version of Escape From Witch Mountain, only with nuns and academia and epilepsy.
10. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Yeah, yeah, I know---it's so not a good book. But anything that causes Catholics to nearly riot on the streets should be on this list. They even protested here in Las Vegas when the film was playing, how ironic. I loved the South Park parody of this with the Bunny Pope. It made me happy.
11. The Last Temptation Of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
Boy, this really got the Catholic's goat when it came out as a movie. I still love the power of Mary Magdalene to piss off overzealous Catholics everywhere.
12. Justine by the Marquis De Sade
Holy blasphemy, batman. Despite all of my initial nascent feminist teenaged misgivings (actually, more like hatred) about De Sade, I found this to be wildly amusing when I re-read it as an adult. WWDSD?
And last but not least---lucky number thirteen:
13. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum
What would a list of books for "bad" Catholics be without a book that tells you exactly WHAT to read because it's heretical, blasphemous and immoral? Thanks, Vatican! Although this hasn't been around since 1966 or so (gotta love Vatican II---taking all of the fun out of being Catholic. No more Latin Mass, no more banned books...damn you...), it's still pretty interesting to check out what made it into the Index and what didn't. Who did: Voltaire, Nikos Kazantzakis, Pascal, Flaubert, Simone de Beauvoir (that's my girl!), Andre Gide, Jonathan Swift and John Milton, just to name a few. Who didn't: Hitler's Mein Kampf. Figures. I mean, look at the current Pope. I rest my case.