Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eat to Live

Run to the Finish did a Vegan Challenge in March but I had already planned to do one in April so I decided it would be great to read up on the posts of everyone who tested the vegan waters in March and I'd have some new recipes and skills already in my pocket. April will be an experiment in Dr. Fuhrman's Eating to Live. Vegan with a large focus on nutrient density. Lots of raw and cooked vegetables, especially green ones, fruits, mushrooms, and (my favorite!) beans along with smaller amounts of whole grains, nuts and seeds.

I read the book Eat to Live and when I renewed our PBS membership this year, I requested the 3 Steps to Incredible Health Combo as my gift so I'll be getting a 3 month subscription to his website. I can't WAIT to access all those newsletter archives and recipes! I'm not particularly interested in loosing any more weight, maybe 10 pounds at the most. I mainly would like to lean up a bit in the middle, avoid heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. I love that his plan is written in such a flexible manner, he understands that you will have a treat every now and then, or that you might want to have an egg at breakfast or an ice cream cone when you go on vacation. I will not be calling myself vegan as I don't want to offend those who make it their life to completely abstain from all animal products. I still knit with wool, I still use honey, I still use beeswax lipbalm. I'm a vegetarian doing a vegan experiment and if I decide to adopt Eat to Live for a while, I'll still be a vegetarian, just one that eats VERY little eggs and dairy.

The last couple of weeks I have been transitioning so that it's not such a shock (and mainly to use up the eggs and dairy I had in the house). I have been eating 1 serving of dairy or eggs a day and really don't foresee any issue with giving that up on Sunday. I'll be making my own almond milk to use in smoothies and having fun coming up with new salad dressings. Today's was frozen apples, blackberries, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice blended smooth, fantastic!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Protein Powder Review #7 BSN

BSN Lean Dessert-This is another more mainstream powder with some ingredients I'm not particularly happy about. It's got Sucralose AND Corn Syrup. Why both? Apparently to make it taste AMAZING, just like SEI Max! It's got quite a complex blend of protein: Whey Protein Concentrate, Micellar Casein, Whey Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Calcium Caseinate, Milk Protein Concentrate], and Glutamine Peptides so if you're interested in a tasty bedtime snack, it would make a great, slow-burning solution, though a little higher in carbs than just a plain casein powder. It's a little on the expensive side as well, but most say they are willing to pay that for the excellent flavors.

Calories per scoop: 150
Protein per scoop: 21g
Carbs per scoop: 8g

Whipped Vanilla Cream-My first attempt with this was in a shake made with ice, water, and a little SF caramel syrup. And it turned out terrible, too much ice and it separated into a thin vanilla liquid and something like snowcone ice. Completely my fault but it turned me off of wanting to drink this. So I ate it instead. And lat me tell you, this powder has just the right vanilla flavor and sweetness level to make some a-MAZE-ing protein cookie dough! I used 1 scoop powder, 1/2 cup quick cook oats, 1 Tbsp crunchy natural peanut butter and a TBSP or so of dark chocolate chips. And that stuff was AWESOME! I rolled it into a log so I could eat it on the go and it was like eating PB Oatmeal cookie dough straight from the mixing bowl.

Then I made it into a successful Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie which consisted of 1 scoop powder, 4 frozen banana slices, 3 strawberries, 2 drops Capella NY Cheesecake flavor, 1/4 cup cottage cheese and some water. It was absolutely fantastic, so fluffy and rich!

Chocolate Coconut Candy Bar-This is MUCH more coconutty than I thought it would be! Which is nice, if you like coconut, which I do. I've used it in shakes and of course, it's fantastic. But I've also made it into protein cookie dough and homemade protein bars and it's equally tasty!

$33.49 for 18 servings=$1.86 per serving or 9 center for gram of protein

Overall Rating: Mix (7 out of 10) As great as this stuff tastes, I just don't like that it has such a long list of ingredients and includes corn syrup AND sucralose in it. And it's sort of high in carbs for my liking.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Tidbits

Random list, everyone's favorite post type!

1. I'm feeling a little out of the loop about Hunger Games. It seems EVERYONE but me has read the book and is super jazzed about the movie. Until this morning, I thought it was a new tv show that was starting up.

2. First 5K of the year for me this weekend! Penguin in the Park which I did in 2010 and 2011. It's a really fun race and who doesn't love a 5K that gives you a medal?!

3. Just for fun, I thought I'd show you my old company directory photo and my new one:

4. A new experiment for April! The last half of March I am transitioning to a vegan diet, based on Eat to Live. Yes, I saw the infomercial-like show in PBS. Yes, I must try out every single fad I come across! So, say goodbye to the whey protein powder, 6 eggs a day and mass dairy consumption of Body for Life and say hello to green smoothies, huge salads and lots of beans and fruit! Oh, I am loving the fruit!!

And with that, I'll end with a question. What's your favorite fruit? I really and truly love a good tart, crisp apple. I think I could eat 2 a day for the rest of my life!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Protein Powder Review #6 Nutribiotic Rice Protein Powder

Nutribiotic Rice Protein-This brand is, for the most part, unsweetened. The chocolate is sweetened with rice syrup. I enjoyed these in baked goods and no-bake bites but NOT for drinking, they were too chalky.

Calories per heaping Tablespoon:60
Protein per heaping Tablespoon: 12g
Carbs per heaping Tablespoon: 2g

Chocolate- This was darn tasty! It made my protein mug cake a little crumbly instead of it's normally chewy texture. Good, light chocolate flavor and I liked how it wasn't overly sweet.
Vanilla-Good, natural vanilla flavor, but this was SUPER chalky in an orange-vanilla smoothie (an orange, protein powder, cottage cheese, water and ice).
Plain-Mildly chalky, but I used it in a no-bake oatmeal protein cookie and it was passable. About as flavorless as protein comes.
Organic Vanilla-I made protein balls (Protein powder, peanut butter, shredded unsweetened coconut, raisins and pinch of cinnamon) with this one and they were delicious! I may just be a rice protein aficionado for recipes and baking (but NOT for drinking straight up or in smoothies)! I loved the flavors, the vanilla was so subdued and NOT overly sweet or fake-tasting.

$14.97 for 40 servings=$0.37 per serving or 3 cents per gram of protein

Overall Rating: Mix (7 out of 10) This is a great vegan option for protein powder, fairly low carb and with great natural ingredients. I wouldn't drink it straight-up and it even made my smoothie a bit chalky but in recipes it is a nice source of protein.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New toy-Bosu!

Even though we said no gifts this year, Mike got me a present for our anniversary. I felt bad for sticking to the rule but I didn't feel bad for very long because it was a Bosu!Now I can add all kinds of fun moves to my workouts!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My fallen salad

I made this most excellent salad the other day for lunch. It had this creamy Cilantro-Lime dressing made with tofu. And sprouted lentils, and some tofu "bacon" I had made as an experiment for a mock meats class I'll be giving this fall. And I took a picture because it looked so mouth-watering! And then I tried to walk into the living room and CRASH! The whole thing fell onto the floor and I wanted to cry. And scream, because how do you even clean that up?? It was not fun.

Garden starts

It seems a little early to be staring seedlings but it's just so green outside!My peppers didn't ever really get a very good start last year so I started them a little earlier this year, then the eggplant and tomatoes followed this past weekend.

Seeds started so far:
Pepper-Las Cruces
Pepper-Green Bell
Pepper-Grand Bell

Eggplant-Little Fingers

Tomato-Chocolate Cherry
Tomato-Big Rainbow

Next will be a few annual herbs, broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jelly Bean 5K

Run with Jess is back with her virtual race (or real-life if you happen to be in Peoria!), the Jelly Bean 5K! It's free! There re prizes! You choose your distance! Sign up here. There's a prize for best photo/costume, what should I wear?