Wednesday, March 18, 2009

food = health

I have been feeling a little sluggish lately and since we have been so busy these past few months, our good eating habits seemed to have evaporated.. So, in a commitment to feeling good, I've been wanting to do a cleanse/sugar break/diet clean up. Somehow, I managed to talk Don into joining me on a 4 week cleanse! This is huge for my meat and potatoes, give me butter or give me death husband. I guess he has been feeling a bit sluggish as well.

Well we are now in the middle of week 2. The first week was pretty intense - no dairy (yes no butter!), no wheat/bread, no sugar including natural sweeteners like honey, and only lean proteins like chicken or fish. I am so completely amazed that both Don and I totally took this on and we are both saying how great we feel! We've been eating TONS of fresh veggies and fruit.. TONS!

I am feeling super satisfied and incredibly energized. I am so reconfirmed in my belief that food is medicine and effects everything...So what have we been eating?

Each day looks something like this:

Breakfast... either oatmeal with fruit and almond milk or eggs with lots of veggies and maybe some turkey bacon.

Lunch... Usually a big, super yummy salad with tons of good stuff in it. We have been dressing our salads with olive oil, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Oh, and don't forget the garlic! Lots of chopped up fresh garlic mixed in. If not a salad, then some homemade soup or leftovers from the night before.

Dinner... This is what was on the menu last week:
Sunday - Grilled veggies wrapped around some brown basmati rice "sushi style" with leek soup.
Monday - Albondigas, a mexican soup that is so delicious I've typed up the recipe below.
Tuesday - Vegan Stew
Wednesday - Left over Albondigas, seriously so good I could eat it everyday!
Thursday - Garlic Chicken with rice and veggies
Friday - A huge salad topped with tempeh
Saturday - Turkey burgers wrapped in cabbage leaves, served with a salad

Dessert.. yes, we have been having dessert! Without sugar and flour... crazy! Don made some sorbet with nothing but fresh fruit and a little stivia. So good. One other night, we made a little fruit tart with a hazlenut/oatmeal crust.. delicious!

This week we are adding in a few things like yogurt and a little cheese. But Don and I are feeling so much better I think we are going to keep our eating pretty much like this most of the time... I am so proud of us, especially Don. I never EVER thought I would see him eating so healthy and LOVING it!

Here is the recipe for Albondigas.. this was so good, it is now one of my favorite things:

Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Stew)
Serves 4-6


1 teaspoon olive oil
3 large garlic cloves (fine chop)
1 medium onion (diced)
Kosher salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 large carrots (1” chunks)
1-2 medium/small sweet potatoes (large dice)
¼ head red or green cabbage (cut into bite size pieces)
½ leek (slice thin)
4 green onions (sliced thin)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 zucchini (large dice)
2 yellow squash (large dice)
13 cups water (or fill the tomato can 4 times)
1 teaspoon dried cilantro (if using fresh, be careful cilantro is powerful stuff)
Dash of cayenne (to taste)
Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
Pinch of dried cilantro
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place a large stock pot (5 quart or bigger) over medium high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onions. Give a couple of stirs to coat everything with oil. Add a pinch of salt and half the cumin. Sweat (bring out moisture) for about 3-5 minutes. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, leeks, green onions and tomatoes. Let simmer 5-7 minutes. Add zucchini, squash and water. Bring to a boil then add spices. Let it roll for 10-15 minutes then reduce heat to simmer.

Prepare meatballs:
Combine all ingredients except oil in a bowl. Mix by hand until it starts to stick to your hand. Form 1 inch meatballs. On medium, heat oil in sauce pan. When hot, add meatballs and cook until golden brown on all sides. Turn the meatballs often to avoid meatballs burning and falling apart.

Add cooked meatballs to stew. Return meatball pan to heat and add about ¾ of a cup of the stew broth to pan. Stir the broth around to lift the “stuck on” flavors left from cooking the meat. Poor the stew liquid back into stew pot.

Let stew simmer until vegetables are good and soft, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with fresh cilantro, corn tortillas and lime wedges.


Kristi March 18, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

You guys are totally inspiring. I cannot give up sugar. No way. :) But I do agree that food can be great medicine! This coming from the person who ate too many Boulder Potato Chips and has a raging migrane today.

Have you ever tried mint in your meatballs for Albondigas. I hear it's awesome. Thats how Dani's grandma makes them. Plus mint it great for digestion! My friend puts mozzarella cheese in her Albondigas. So good but totally not jiving with dairy free eating.

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