Below is VLOG I made to launch the challenge.
The Reason for the Challenge
The point of this challenge is to reprogram my mind from purchasing and eating packaged snack foods at will and dining out more than 2-3 times a month. While I have successfully cut out frozen processed foods and boxed meals, I find myself justifying eating "healthy" packaged snack foods that meet the requirements of my eating commitment (organic, non-gmo, gluten free) but I find that I overeat because they don't leave me feeling satisfied (and it's healthy, right?). Afterwards, I retain water and my digestion gets adversely affected. Also, I have noticed my skin is being adversely affected as well. And of course, I will be able to further reduce my carbon footprint.
In regard to dining out often (2-3 times a week), well, there's just really nothing good that can come from that even if I only eat vegetarian. Period. Why? Because the vegetables are not organic, the sauces are not fresh, corn, white flour, and salt are heavily used, and I just don't really want to know the quality of oil they use. Let me clarify, I'm referring to Mexican, Chinese take-out, and sub shops mostly. But you can also lump the nicer sit down restaurants in this category too to some degree which is why I set the goal of dining out to 2-3 times a month so that I can attend special occasions that call for meals at these type places. Not
to mention, this will save me a good little chunk of change.
Days 19, 20, and 21 (12/28/2012- 12/30/2012)
Day 21fell on a Sunday which was a very lazy and restful day for me. I made a two egg omelette stuffed with onion, green onion, tomatoes, and mushroom topped with leftover marinara and garnished with parsley. I use coconut oil when I make my eggs whether scrambled, fried, or omelette and I don't notice any change in the flavor. :) So eggs can be a great way to take in coconut oil if that is one of your goals. I use only three different kinds of oil at this time, organic extra virgin olive oil for non heat activated foods such as salads and perhaps mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce (neither of which I have tried but would like to someday!), coconut oil for most cooked or baked items (such as buckwheat pancakes, eggs, cookies, or cakes), and sesame oil for any Asian style dishes I prepare (such as fried rice, bibimbap, etc.). I am interested in venturing out with different oils such as grapeseed, safflower, and sunflower seed oils. I will keep you posted!
Lunch was leftover pasta and dinner was just a bowl of rice and lettuce wraps (wrap rice, fresh garlic, and red pepper paste in a piece of romaine lettuce - so delicious!). I did snack on some leftover sweet treats from Christmas rather late into the evening (smh) but I do have a victory story. I needed to pick up something from the dollar store and I actually perused the snack foods aisles to consider a snack and I just couldn't bring myself to purchase anything! I actually opted for a bottle of water instead! Yea for me!
Here are two types of organic coconut oil. The first is refined and has a slightly higher smoke point that unrefined. Unrefined oils are said to contain more nutrition than their processed counterparts. Basically, heat was used to refine the former, thus stripping the product of some its natural nutritious content. Like I said, the refined oil will start to become more toxic once heated past 365 degrees F while unrefined's smoke point sits nicely at 350 degrees F. Choose according to your cooking needs. Once you click the images, you will be redirected to the site and there is more information there for you to help you make a good decision. Cheers!
On Day 20
which was a Saturday, I believe I skipped breakfast again and snacked on sweet potato mid morning. Lunch was the same leftover lentil soup and it was delicious! For dinner, I prepared a hearty, nutritious, colorful, and organic salad along with a pasta marinara. The marinara was homemade (although I used canned tomatoes and paste), sweetened with stevia and agave nectar, seasoned lightly with salt, fresh garlic, parsley, fresh ground pepper, dried Italian herb blend, and sweet paprika. The pasta was a vegan friendly brand I picked up at the health foods store called Explore Asia Organic Mung Bean Sprout Fettuccine. It was a delightful meal though the canned tomato paste added some unnecessary sodium to the meal.
On Day 20which was a Saturday, I believe I skipped breakfast again and snacked on sweet potato mid morning. Lunch was the same leftover lentil soup and it was delicious! For dinner, I prepared a hearty, nutritious, colorful, and organic salad along with a pasta marinara. The marinara was homemade (although I used canned tomatoes and paste), sweetened with stevia and agave nectar, seasoned lightly with salt, fresh garlic, parsley, fresh ground pepper, dried Italian herb blend, and sweet paprika. The pasta was a vegan friendly brand I picked up at the health foods store called Explore Asia Organic Mung Bean Sprout Fettuccine. It was a delightful meal though the canned tomato paste added some unnecessary sodium to the meal.
On Day 19,I ate leftover soup for lunch (see Day 18) and I treated a friend/coworker to dinner that night because this friend will be leaving town soon and for his graciousness in carting me around when I was having car trouble. For dinner, I ate a Mexican vegetarian plate. Not the best of restaurant choices but where I live, there is not much choice!
Day 18 (Thursday, 12/27/2012)
It's a very easy thing to make. I started by creating a little vegetable broth with some leftover frozen broccoli stems, onions, carrots and let those nutrients seep into the water. I scooped out the broccoli stems and added more carrots, onions, tomato, and some fresh garlic and of course the green lentils. I even threw in a little brown rice and some chick peas. I seasoned it to taste with a very small amount of salt, some freshly ground pepper, cumin, sweet paprika, and probably about a tablespoon or two of worcestershire sauce throughout the cooking process which was just a matter of bringing it to a boil and then back down to a simmer for about 30 min to an hour (or until the lentils were cooked and I was happy with the flavor).
There are moments every now and then where I want to slip back into my old ways and it's at those moments when I think about the impact on my health that has and I also reflect on how far I've come and what a shame it would be to turn back now. That pretty much tides me over until I can find some new recipe or great deal or something which gets me excited about my new lifestyle!
Just two more days left in 2012. Wishing you the best now and always! Thanks for reading!
Day 17 (Wednesday, 12/26/2012)
Day 16 (Tuesday, 12/25/2012)
Day 15 (Monday, 12/24/2012)
|Table salt is an unnatural occurring compound|
that is a crystallized substance created from the
fusion of sodium and chlorine that offers no nutritive
value. Sea salt is better because it obviously
occurs naturally and provides more minerals to us.
Day 14 (Sunday, 12/23/2012)
Day 13 (Saturday, 12/22/2012)
Day 12 (Friday, 12/21/2012)
Day 11 (Thursday, 12/20/2012)
I do have to admit I got a mad craving for Papa John's last night (and after I had already eaten dinner) out of nowhere. Honestly, I struggled with this one. I read a book called The End Of Overeating and it explained the psychological effects of restaurant and convenience foods. Basically, our minds are stimulated by fat, sugar, and salt to create a pleasant experience when we eat those foods containing high amounts of those ingredients hence our love for fast food, pizza delivery, and frozen and junk foods. So I have deduced that the craving came as a result of the salt I added to the lentils stimulating that part of my brain that was once satisfied by Papa John's offering. I satisfied that craving by eating a small amount of black beans and snacking on a few olives. A few minutes later, that craving was completely gone and I was able to fully recognize what had come over me and release it from my thoughts. Here is a link to the book. A very informative read. :) I also included a link for emotional eaters (of which I am guilty as well).
Other than that, day 11 was smooth sailing. Happy Holidays!
Day 10 (Wednesday, 12/19/2012)
Day 9 (Tuesday, 12/18/2012)
I've noticed my appetite getting smaller yet my energy is strong. This is telling me that it doesn't take as much to fuel my body as I would have thought. That's good news! I can save money by eating less! I've noticed my habits are pretty ingrained so I think I may just do another round just to make sure I've retrained myself and truly adopted these new eating habits permanently. I don't want to fall off the wagon per se. I feel pretty confident I won't have the same problem with the processed "snack" food but dining out is another beast. I really need to work hard to break myself of that one. Stay tuned!
Day 8 (Monday, 12/17/2012)
Day 7 (Sunday, 12/16/2012)
|Photo Credit: Nagymanm|
Day 6 (Saturday, 12/15/2012)
Day 5 (Friday, 12/14/2012)
Day 4 (Thursday, 12/13/2012)
Day 3 (Wednesday, 12/12/2012)
Day 2 (Tuesday, 12/11/2012)
|Seaweed soup (miyeok gook) by yours |