Wheat Berry Stuffing

Lunch today was so wonderful! I LOVE stuffing but I don’t want to be consuming so much wheat that has been ground face powder thin and then baked at a high heat killing all the nutrients. Plus, it makes me heavy and tired. Anyway, I LOVE stuffing! So, today I took my wheat that I had soaked and low heat cooked and mixed it with some butter, onions, celery and stuffing herbs ( sage, thyme, savory, vegesal instead of salt) and voila! Stuffing that nourishes! I’m so excited. I might eat this every day. 
Today I also had my regular lunch salad with spinach, romaine, shredded carrots, frozen peas, mung bean sprouts, cucumber, shredded broccoli and olive oil, ACV vinegar, garlic, Vegesal dressing. So good. So filling and soooo satisfying. 
I am steadily losing the extra pounds I had put on during my health food hiatus. Yay! There are wins all over the place!

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What I ate Wednesday.

For breakfast today I had oatmeal with maple sugar. I splurged and added some Brown sugar too.
For lunch I made a Red Lentil Dal  and had it over rice. This is a picture of what was left that I will have for lunch over the next few days. No cooking lunch for a while!

Dinner tonight is steamed butternut squash and pasta with a taste of butter  and some parmesan. 

Breakfast is ready for tomorrow too. I soaked 1/2 cup of quinoa today. I drained the water and covered the quinoa in my thermos with boiling water. In the morning it will be cooked and delicious!

Metaphorical Musings on Life/the Park

The water fountain, bubbling over fresh and healthy and clean, is God.

The cars zipping around and hurrying to diverse destinations is the world that has become so harried and as unlike God as it can become.

Often I find myself in the world, hurried and frantic over the next place I need to be. So frequently I get lost in the busyness.

I want to be near, no, I want to be in the fountain.  I want my fears and troubles and pain to be washed away as I calm down and come to peace.  I know there can be peace.  I have felt it.  The question is, how can I have peace and still do what is needed of me in the busyness?

It is officially summer at the park but my life is in the season of spring.

Last year was my winter.  I cleansed and purged the overwhelm out of my space like snow does to an annual flower that has already lived its purpose and glory.

I rested for a season like the soil in my frozen garden.

Now the rains have come, washing away the death of old projects and worries.

New experiences are budding, creating excitement in the air with the freshness of new growth.

My figurative life will be watered from the fountain. God will water my future and I will stay grounded as I have to participate in the world on occasion.

 

 

Watch “July 2016 Tour of our Family Garden” on YouTube

https://youtu.be/1tdoTA3l4xE

Here is a quick tour of how the garden is going this year. Remember as you watch that most of what is grown is done by kids! I just mentor them and they do the work.

This year we are not growing some of the main crops like potatoes and corn. We will be getting that from a neighbor we trade with. I forgot to show the carrots and sunflowers. I’ll have to do that next time:)

Simple Eating, Simple Life

I suppose it is time for an entry though I don’t have any yummy recipes or colorful pictures to post but just a lot going on in my mind. I’ll share some of that here, that which is pertinent to gardening and healthy eating. Things have gone simple for me lately which I have really come to enjoy. I am not fussing over what to feed my family or myself. I am not worried about how I look or how much I weigh. I want to be strong and healthy, don’t get me wrong, I just have a different outlook on the importance of some of the details. I don’t need to spend hours preparing meals that have all of the components I thought necessary  a year ago. I don’t need to worry about calories, how much carbs verses protein or anything like it. I eat to live and enjoy life. I keep it simple and my body thrives and does everything I ask it to. I am happy and content and thriving.

So, what does this look like? How did I get to this place? Well, truly I don’t know if I want to go into specifics about how I got here other than to say that it has been a path of spiritual leadings along with personal insight. I guess the two go hand in hand. I can answer the “What does it look like?” question pretty easily though. I eat when I am hungry. When I am  hungry I eat simple. I wasn’t hungry for breakfast today so I did not have any. I ate a cooked potato dipped in Annie’s Naturals BBQ sauce for lunch. I would have had another but I was in a parking lot eating what I had hastily packed a few hours earlier. My boys ate with me and gobbled the many potatoes I had brought so I was fine with one. After our travels for the day we stopped and bought bread. We ate that and will have something else later tonight if we are hungry. The boys are planning on making pizza. I will probably have a bowl of rice and some vegetables or maybe another potato or 3! I am loving simple eating. I am getting tons of nutrition and I am full without cravings. I base my meals on oats, potatoes and rice in that order, just like people have been doing around the world since the world began. I eat fruit for snacks and in my oatmeal and have some vegetables as they are available from the garden or as I am hungry for from the store. Sometimes I crave some fat so I will follow that craving and have some avocado or nuts. Some will ask where I am getting my protein. I will answer that with asking where a cow, an elephant or a gorilla gets their protein. The answer is plants of course.

That is where I am today. I walk long miles, I do running intervals on the farm road by my house, I do daily Sun Salutations for my stretching, and HIIT intervals for my strength training. I have plenty of energy for all of this and much much more. I have a life full of giving guitar lessons, growing a large garden, volunteering at church, making sure my boys get an education, etc.

May I suggest a simple eating life style. May I suggest paring back to the basics of what is most important to you and go for it with all you’ve got.

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These are the toppings for our lunch rice today. Braggs liquid aminos, bell peppers, celery, olives, pineapple, red in ion, and a cashew sauce. Here is the recipe for it. It is soooo good!
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup non dairy milk
2 Tbs. Nutritional yeast
2 Tbs. Lemon juice
1 Tbs. Dijon
Dash black pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic powder or 6 cloves roasted garlic
Optional: 2 Tbs. Parmesan
Blend it up and use as a Caesar dressing or like I did on rice!

FREE Quick Meal Planner

I have been spending a lot of my time the last two months working on a food planning project. I have uploaded one of the pages I’ve made so you can benefit from my work.:) In the planning that is not shown here I am working on a file of Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Salads, Treats and Sauces which are all Whole Foods Plant Based. I work on these projects to make food planning seamless for my family. We know what foods are available in the pantry and always have plenty of healthy vitalizing foods to make. I like sharing these things with you!

Enjoy some simple healthy meals with this planner. It uses up what is in your pantry, fridge and garden if you have one growing, or what you have stored from last season.

Quick Meal Planner

Food Journal January 25th Day 3 of a Detox Diet

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Today I had my daily smoothie at 11:30. I was going to stop doing intermittent fasting but I was not hungry until 11:30 and I did not want to force myself to eat. I’d have to see some major evidence that eating when you’re not hungry is good for you before I would do it. I already have issues with food, why would I want to start another one. Half an hour after my smoothie my 13 year old boy made baked sweet potato fries, so I had some of those. He did a good job seasoning them with olive oil, salt and Italian seasoning. Next time I suggested he cook them at 450 degrees for 20+ minutes to get them a little more crisp but the way he did it was fine too.

I ate again at 7pm. I meant to eat earlier but it just did not happen. I spend time canning the tomatoes that we had run through the food mill and froze last summer when we were being over run with fresh food from the garden.  I’ve got another 5 gallon bucket to do still….

canning tomatoes

For dinner my 12 year old boy and I cooked tilapia for those in the family who want animal protein and a salad with lots of greens, cucumbers, mushrooms, avocado slices and a few olives. We also heated up the rest of the Lentil Soup from yesterdays dinner. Yummy food. The avocados and olives are great sources of fats. I doubled up on veggies to make up for not eating the fish. Veggies have the right amount of protein our bodies need if we eat enough of them!

salad januarylentil soup january 2016

When we were through eating, there were leftover mushrooms so I sauteed them with some onions, salt and olive oil. I don’t love mushrooms raw but I adore them when they are cooked. Mmmm. I didn’t take a picture of them before they were gone, ha ha!

So, all in all a pretty good eating day. I have been 3 days without any form of sugar other than what is in berries and apples. I am also staying away from the other 6 foods that most people are intolerant to. They are eggs, soy, gluten, dairy, corn and peanuts. I’m doing this for 21 days and then slowly I’ll add those things back in to see if I am intolerant to any of them. Day 3… done.

P.S. I have felt terrible for 2 days. I know it is detox symptoms so that is encouraging. Detox symptoms can range from fevers to cold symptoms to the flu. Mine is a headache, stuffiness and being tired. I drank a bunch of water today that will help flush out the stuff my body is trying to get rid of that is making me sick. So anyway, I did not exercise today because I don’t feel good.

 

JJ Virgin’s Book

I’m re-investing some of my time each day into researching health topics to keep up my good health momentum. I ran across JJ Virgin’s book called the Virgin Diet. I have skimmed through the book and found many good points, advice and ideas that will help me stay on track.

Some of the information, such as the down sides to plant based nutrition, I don’t agree with because of the experience of growing up with an extremely healthy vegetarian mom. I agree with most of the other premises based on the research, experience and training I have.

JJ Virgin wrote a very comprehensive, well thought out and doable plan that I will be incorporating into what I do.

I wanted to know what JJ thought of Intermittent Fasting and found this article.
http://jjvirgin.com/fat-loss-fast-metabolism-intermittent-fasting-fast/
She has some concerns about it but also sees the positives. She suggests doing IF in an altered manner which I resonate with and will try. The object of IF is to cut your eating window down to about 8 hours so your body can take a break from digesting and heal and rejuvenate. We can still keep that span quite closely if we stop eating earlier in the day. JJ suggests having breakfast at 8, lunch between 12 and 2, and then dinner around 6. After 6 you would stop eating until the next morning at 8 which would give you a fasting window of about 13-14 hours. This is totally doable. Another suggestion is to skip dinner once in a while for a longer fasting window which I like better than skipping breakfast because breakfast is usually my most health meal.

I will try out what I am learning, compare it to what I have learned in the past and figure out what works best for my body. That is all we can do, right? Do the best with what we know until we know better.

Travel food

I am driving 10 hours to California today to drop my boy off at college. Part of the drive is for my 16 year old to get hours in for his driving license so part of the drive is kind of stressful!

We are on a budget with food, so we packed snacks and stuff for sandwiches with zero fast food in the plans. We are eating celery sticks, baby carrots, hummus, guacamole, reduced fat triscuits, pickles, apples, oranges, orange juice and I brought my Sun Warrior protein powder. The boys are putting mayo, cheese and meat on their whole grain sandwiches and I had guacamole and some cheese on mine. As I work on getting back to eating Whole Foods Plant Based I won’t add the cheese. I also snacked on some valentine candy hearts and felt sick afterwards so it taught me a lesson. I have a sweet tooth that I am constantly fighting. When I go about a week with no sugar the cravings go away. I need to get back to that point again.

Gardening and Whole Foods

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