Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Elimination Diet - Day 10 - 13

Yeah, yeah, so I've been away for four days. You know why? Because it's been a shitty four days. That's why. Something went wrong. Somewhere along the line, I messed up and I don't even know where. My stomach has been raging for the past couple of days. I feel really awful, and my mood has sunk below ground level. It all happened so fast, too. One day I was great, feeling really happy and at peace with all things food, and then this. It sucks.

Looking back at photos from the last four days (they're sparse, that's for sure!) I fell upon these:

I made some pancakes using Cream of Brown Rice and Baking Powder. They were good, but it took me a few tries before achieving this level of golden flufiness...

Topped with cantaloupe and blueberries, and agave syrup.

I also went to a BBQ on Sunday, and was able to eat nothing...

"Look at those burgers and veggie dogs!"

And here is the culprit that made me feel so shitty:

A plastic lunch. I woke up late one day this week (can't remember what day...) and didn't make a lunch. "fuck it" I said, I'll wing it come lunch time. And this is what I got. Four bean salad and an arthur's smoothie. Not the worst things in the world, but not made by me. The bean salad has sugar and lemon juice in it, two no-no's on the elimination diet. Could this have triggered such a harsh and lasting reaction?? Gawd, I hope not. And yet, what else could it have been??

Anyway, today I decided to go back to square one, and not take any chances.

I started the day with a smoothie (made at home), had a Larabar as a snack. Lunch was the usual quinoa with steamed veggies (topped with 1/2 an avocado and some balsamic vinegar). Snack this afternoon was an apple and some almonds.

I got home and had a banana and some cashew butter, and set to making some asparagus soup:

I cut up a leek and set it to cook in a saucepan.

Then I cut up some asparagus, reserving the tips.

I added the asparagus, some garlic, and water and salt and let the whole thing simmer for 15 minutes.

I then transferred it to the blender and added what I thought would be a killer secret ingredient:

My leftover 1/2 avocado.

Blend and transfer to beautiful tupperware container for presentation! (oh sarcasm, you most infantile of wit):

Add reserved asparagus tips for texture.

The verdict: BLAND CITY! Yeah, I know, I didn't add any spices or anything, but I thought the asparagus taste would be enough to get me through. Nope. This is bland. But at least it's wholesome, and hopefully will quell the tempest brewing in my innards. Sigh. Will most likely be eaten with quinoa or beans.

That is all. Friday I "challenge" soy. En-garde, Soy!! I challenge you to a duel. Or at least my stomach does...

In all honesty, I don't know what the best way to reintroduce soy into my diet would be. Soymilk? Soya Sauce? Tofu? Edemame? Who knows.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Elimination Diet - Day 8 & 9

On day eight, day EIGHT, I get cravings and start to feel a little fed up with this elimination diet. What's up with that? I thought I was over the hump. Guess not. Here are some things I'm really missing:
  • coffee
  • potatoes
  • paprika
  • chocolate
Weird huh? I mean, the coffee - sure, but the rest...? And yet, those are the things I want to eat!!

Instead, I had this for breakfast:

Leftover chickpea pancakes, made sweet covered in blueberries, banana, and agave syrup. It was actually really good, even though the pancakes were savoury (made with tumeric, cumin, and ginger).

This breakfast also had legs. I only thought about a snack at around 11am, 3.5 hours after breakfast (!!). I had this:

That Arthur's smoothie is SOOOO good. I always balked at the high calorie count, but as I'm not too concerned about that these days, I decided to splurge. Check out the ingredients:

Once I'd finished it, along with the cashews, I was nicely satiated, and so saved the banana for later.

I had lunch shortly after (brown rice pasta with steamed veg. It was bland and boring. Hence no photo) but I ate it outside in the glorious 25+ degree weather. Finally, summer seems to be trickling in!!

I came home and had a smoothie, then went on an 18km bike ride. I wanted to go for a long ride, sparked in part by Caitlin's progress with her bike race training, and wondered how long it would take me to bike that length. It took me 51 min, and I burned 219 calories. Guess I wasn't pushing it very hard at all... I chose to follow the bike paths around the city, which was a mistake, because they were CROWDED. I fully blame the crowds on my poor time!!

I came home and had some supper:

I really wanted some onions, so I cooked up half an onion in a pan on low heat for a while until they got nice and caramelized (I usually start with a quick spray of cooking oil, and then add a tiny bit of water whenever the onions threaten to burn). I added them to a bed of shredded raw beets. I made this dressing: mustard, honey, powdered ginger. That's it. It was really good. This is a dessert plate, and I this plus maybe 2/3 again.

Angelo went off to Polo, and I settled in to finish GWTW (I didn't, but I'm oh so close!). I also had a little snack at around 9pm:

Puffed rice, coconut milk (made really thick from being in the fridge for three days!), and topped with mixed nuts and agave. This was so good, but I polished off the remaining nuts as well, which was a bit too much, in the end. Oh well.

Saturday (day 9)

I was hoping to make some more rice pudding today (weekends seem the only viable time to do so because the rice take so darned long to cook) but we were out the door super early, and I had only enough time to inhale this on my way out:

Rice cake, cashew butter, banana.

First thing, we hit up the Island Park Drive garage sale:

By no means as exhaustive as the Great Glebe Garage Sale, this was a nice community gathering, and we found some good deals.

Ange got a mess of records...

Angelo making sure no one's scoring any sweet finds but him!

And I got some bling

Then Ange took me out drivin'. I love going on road trips with him, and this one took us to East Oxford, and then to Manotick.

We took part in the City of Ottawa Doors Open weekend, and saw the Minto Green Home:

Nice Solar Panels! It was impressive

(Angelo stole an apple from the display basket in the kitchen...)

The airflow in the house was amazing. No air conditioning required!! The Minto people also gave us an echinacea plant. Sweet.

Next stop was American Apparel (yes, I am a 15 year old girl) and I bought TWO dresses!!

Then we came home and I made lunch using the first of our home-grown produce: Boston lettuce leaves:

more shredded beets, paired with carrot, cucumber, and leeks. I made the same dressing, but added a splash of balsamic vinegar, which gave it more depth. Mmm m.

Now I get to veg for a few more hours before Roller Derby. Outside practice today... Maybe there will be photos (I have yet to master wielding a camera decked out in derby gear and amid practice drills... Maybe one day).

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Elimination Diet - Day 7

Quickly, here is my dinner from last night:

It was lentil soup (aka leftover lentil casserole heated with a little water, some carrots, and blended). It was a smallish bowl, so I added quite a few cucumber slices.

Now, I gotta say, this little supper only sparked my appetite, and I may or may not have gotten into my stash of mixed nuts while I vegged in front of the TV. Boo. But I didn't let it get me down, and in fact, this morning I was totally pumped to get a good run in - my first since Sunday (!!). (which goes along with my suspicion that I was low on protein, because all week, my leg muscles were screaming every time I even THOUGHT about running).

I was out the door by 6:35 this morning and I ran 4.8km in 22:45 minutes and burned 175 calories.

I was on the verge of being late for work today because I was putting together my lunch:

This is sort of my idea of mac' and cheese Elimination Diet style! I made brown rice elbow pasta, and while that boiled, I whisked together a little rice milk and nutritional yeast. It's a pretty basic "cheese sauce" recipe for vegans, but I usually add some soy cheeze to make it creamy. Since I can't do that now, I pulled out the old coffee grinder again and made some more almond meal. It was just the thing to thicken up my sauce. Served with a side of raw cucumber and carrot. Yum Yum.

After work I went down to the War Museum for the opening of Camouflage. Alas, the opening was for "members only" (what's up with that, btw??) and I wasn't willing to shell out the $85 to see Ryan VJ. It's too bad, though, because I have yet to see his VJ stylings, despite having been his colleague for 2 years.

I came home and got inspired to make something new...

I found a bag of chickpea flour in my pantry, and thought it was about time I had some sort of doughy food. I found a recipe online for chickpea pancakes, and modified it to make these cuties:

They were super easy to make and not a one was wrecked in the pan. They're nice and fluffy, and tasty too!!


1/3 cup chickpea flour
dash tumeric, cumin, ginger
1-2 tsp baking powder (I didn't measure, but I think that's about right)
1/2 cup water
oil for frying

Mix dry ingredients. Add water and mix well. Heat frying pan, spray with oil, and ladle batter into pan. Let fry for a couple minutes (bubbles will appear on your pancake). Flip once, and remove. Start over till all your batter is gone.

Easy as pie!!

For dinner, I had two pancakes, a little tahini mixed with agave syrup, and some steamed asparagus from the Parkdale Market.

It was way tasty, and just what I wanted. I ate the whole meal with my hands, in front of the TV. Sometimes, it's just how I roll...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Elimination Diet - Day 6

I can't believe it's already been SIX days since I started the elimination diet. On the one hand, it seems like it's only been a day since I changed my diet, and on the other hand, I can't believe how much my body has reacted to the change in so short a time!

I definitely had caffeine withdrawal headaches for the first three days. The first day was the worst, I think, especially since it was a workday. I also have very sore muscles, and I have not been running nearly as much as I'd like. I have, however, had enough energy for things like swimming and derby, so it's not a matter of fuel.

I do eat enough in a day, though the last couple of nights have been too hectic for me to stop and have a real dinner. But these mini-meals are keeping me full throughout the day, so I'm not so ravenous first thing in the morning. I never thought I'd be able to make do in the morning with just a smoothie. But I do:

Don't be put off by the colour - it tastes really good. It contains 1 cup ice water, 1 container applesauce, equal amount puffed rice, 1 scoop of Vega, 1 banana.

The banana makes it really creamy, and most mornings I omit it and add flax meal instead, which I think I prefer. It's more liquidy without the banana, and easier to chug (nice when I'm really thirsty).

I had a Larabar a couple of hours later (apple pie) and 45 grams of cashews about 2 1/2 hours after that.

Then I headed down to Jean Pigott Hall for Vélo Vogue. It was super fun, and everyone loved the clothes. Here's one of the outfits I modeled:

It's a super cute jumpsuit and everyone thought it was H-O-T. It's from Victoire, if anyone's interested, and they only have a few left!! Big ups to Nancy for putting on such a great fashion show!

Also, check out the bike I'm riding: it's a Kona Africa, and Kona was giving away one bike for every two sold to Aid workers in Africa. These bikes are delivering ARV drugs to HIV/AIDS patients in Africa. Pretty impressive!

When I got back to my desk, after all the photo ops and posing and primping, I had my lunch. It was pretty ho-hum:

I fried up a whole leek this morning, and added it to some leftover quinoa. I seasoned it with nutritional yeast (who's a little camera shy - it's hiding behind my bowl) and some balsamic vinegar and garlic. It was good, but not much to write home about.

When I got home, I had this:
I am always SO THIRSTY these days. That tall drink of water was just what I needed. The nuts and bar were pretty good too...

I'm looking forward to cooking a real supper tonight, and taking 'er easy... More GWTW (I'm well passed page 800 now... I'll be done that book in no time!!)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Elimination Diet - Day 4 & 5

Yep, that's it. After two days, this is all I have to show you... No time to take photos, no time to charge my camera battery... I tell you, it's only Tuesday and it's like I've worked a full week!!
I have been negotiating the elimination diet fairly well during the work week, though I did skip a meal on Monday due to extreme busy-ness. Wow, huh, when was the last time I skipped a meal??

I will say that I am eating well, feeling full, and enjoying the relief this diet has brought.

I'm finding that I'm eating more often, though small snacks rather than large meals. This pictured above is actually quite a large snack for me, as I had a smaller lunch today and no 2pm snack. Honestly, I'm tracking what I eat and when, and I'm basically eating a little something every 2-3 hours. It's fine, I guess, because I'm not feeling overly full or bloated AT ALL, which is pretty much a godsend. Clothes are also starting to loosen their deathgrip around my midsection, so that's always nice.

Though last night I had my swimming lesson, and I swallowed a lot of chlorine water, which gave me the sharpest pains in my stomach. I had to go to sleep with a hot water bottle. It was bad bad bad.

Okay, I'll sneak in another picture:

I managed to salvage my "larabars"!! They're quite tasty now, and stay together a little better without gooping up everything they come in contact with (namely my fingers, hands, face, and clothing). I took a 1/3 cup of almonds and subjected them to my coffee grinder. They turned to almond meal almost instantely, and I then added the powder to the bars, added a bunch of cinnamon, re-mixed the whole thing, and re-flattened them in the pan. Back to the fridge, and the next morning, they came out like this. The texture is good, and they're not SO sweet anymore. Yum. They don't look as cute as the Larabars, but they'll do. Especially with a side of banana and 1 tbsp almond butter.

Tonight I have Roller Derby practice. I haven't gone for a run since Sunday, but I figure it's okay because I had swimming on Monday and Derby tonight. I'll get back on the ball tomorrow. And that means more food photos too!!

One last note: the new dharma arts is out. I think they're really cool. You should take twenty minutes and go read it right now.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Elimination Diet - Day 3

Breakfast was more Rice Pudding:

It was tasty, but a little dry. Luckily I had a side of juice cantaloupe:

It was good and held me over while I ran some errands, but I certainly needed a little snack before my long run. I had a banana with almond butter, and it was so damn good.

Here are my running stats: (I ran pretty hard, and pushed it despite the wind and the cold)

Length: 6.27km
Time: 33.8 min
Max HR: 174 bpm
Calories burned: 262

I was hungry when I got home, and so served myself a helping of the lentil casserole from Thursday:

I had a little dessert I concocted out of puffed rice, almond butter, and honey:

Yum Yum. I actually made these yesterday, and they were really crunchy then, but today, the crunch from the rice was all gone today. Sigh. So much for making a big batch to snack on during the week...

I also tried my hand at making some Larabars. Thanks to the comments from oftheearth I decided to give it a shot. I bought this stuff from the Bulk Barn this morning:

Now, most of these date bar recipes call for a food processor. But this is my food processor:

So I needed to help the dates along before throwing them in there. I heated them slightly on the stove:

And then was able to get a pretty good consistency in the processor:
Next were the almonds. In they went:

And this is how they turned out:

Hmm... This was after about 6 minutes of blending, and my arm felt like it was about to fall off. So I just went with it. Into the bowl they go:

Then I added some coconut, and some pepitas:

And mixed together:

Flattened into a pan:

And the result??

Well... Too gooey. I think I added too many dates, and with the almonds so coarsely chopped, it turned into more of a pan of goo than a bar. So I'm letting it go back to room temperature, and I'm going to add some more ingredients and see if I can't get a better consistency.

All in all, it's a pretty easy concept, but it sure needs some tweaking (and cinnamon).

I washed everything, and started on dinner. I went super simple again. Raw beet and carrot salad.

Shredded beets and carrots mixed with coconut milk, some herbs (cilantro would have been best, but I didn't have any, so I settled for some savory and thyme) and the star ingredient, roasted nuts. I just put 1/4 cup nuts in the microwave for 1 min. and they were nice and roasted. So easy!!

So tomorrow the work week begins again... I'm a little worried about eating enough, and eating well at work. Especially since I have some meetings and other things planned in the evenings this week... aheirygaogahga;fdfgshdks (thanks Angelo for that contribution... Hm, maybe that's my cue to stop blogging and enjoy the rest of my Sunday evening...)