I have a confession– I have a really wasteful habit when it comes to groceries. What usually happens is I purchase things with lots of ambition and I have all these ideas of dishes I will make with the grains, vegetables, fruit and herbs I buy. In reality, I usually made 2 big meals and the rest of the time I default to salads and smoothies. I know this about myself. With what is left, I feel bored and uninspired. Some things spoil, and others sit around in my pantry till they call to me again.
Can you relate, or am I alone on this?
This past Sunday I was looking online ta my grocery list to have them delivered, and realized, there was nothing I had to have– I just wanted new food. Instead if clicking purchase and having my groceries delivered, I challenged myself. What was already in my fridge that I could make and enjoy? I needed to find a way to repurpose what I had and turn it into an all new meal to keep my attention.
I needed something with protein, fiber and a good balance of color and variety. I remembered I had veggies leftover from a stir fry I made, half a bag of noodles, an opened jar of tomato sauce, a can of kidney beans and yogurt cheese.
I grabbed an oven safe container and got to work on what turned out to be an effortlessly delicious meal. I’ll buy groceries later when I’ve actually run low on food. In the long run this will save me loads of money and help me be more disciplined about my consumption.
1.5 cups dry pasta
1.5 cups cooked veggies. I used lightly steamed broccoli and frozen peas
1/2 can or 8 oz of cooked beans (use more if you like)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil ribbons
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste if desired
Set pasta to boil and cook to al dente. Noodles should be firm.
Mix cooked pasta with veggies, beans tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and 1/2 cup cheese
Add casserole mixture to baking dish and cover with 1/2 cup cheese.
Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes till cheese has melted.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been dragging my feet with keeping my flare ups in check. About 2 years ago, I found out that I had a laundry list of foods of which I was highly reactive to and it’s been a journey.
When inflammation happens anywhere in the body, it is sort of like an alarm. Lately there has been a lot of medicine that reduces inflammation, but I am interested in understanding why it is there in the first place. I know certain foods, lack of sleep, and even emotionally tough times can cause my body to react poorly. As a result, I am implementing more mindful eating.
I’ve made a goal of eating at least 2 raw meals per day to boost my energy, reduce inflammation, and keep my metabolism boosted. I intend to share all the recipes I create with you. The first is spirilized cucumber noodles with creamy avocado pesto that is sooo to die for! If you do not have a spirilizer yet, it’s worth the purchase, but you can also use a julienne peeler to get a similar effect.
2 large cucumbers
4-5 basil leaves
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
sea salt as needed
Spirilize 2 cups of cucumber per serving.
To a food processor add avocado, basil, garlic, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of sea salt, and slowly add grapeseed oil until mixture is smooth.
In the month of January, a lot of people start the Daniel Fast on their own, or with their church. I’ve done it many times now, so I want to share some tips that have been very helpful for me. Whether your’re doing the full 21 days, or you chosen set of days, it’s all about planning and preparation.
Read The Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis. This book is extremely helpful and it happens to be a quick read.It breaks down the difference between fasting and abstinence and gives biblical reference for the reasons for doing it. When you truly understand the purpose of your actions, they are easier to commit to.
Meal prep. Since you’re eating in a way you are not as accustomed to, it is best to prepare meals ahead of time. You don’t want to wait till you’re super hungry and then have to scavenge for an appropriate meal for yourself. What will likely happen is you will find yourself breaking the rules and guidelines you set.
Do your research. What types of meals do you want to eat each week? Look for recipes and get an understanding of what plant-based substitutes will work best for you.
Try to minimize your refined sugar and salt intake. This is up to you, but I use this time as an opportunity to cleanse. Removing meat isn’t the main point– the point is to remove rich foods from the diet. I commit to drinking more water, getting more sleep, and eating no refined sugar. There are lots of other options, but generally I use bananas and dates to sweeten just about anything,
Remember that it’s not about food. Some days might be harder than others. Whenever I fast, I get people offering to buy me lunch, or bringing me treats. It can be hard to turn down. I have to remember the focus is supposed to be taken off of food. It gives me an opportunity to see food simply as sustenance and to focus on my relationship with God. Some days, I kept it really simple– for breakfast, hot cereal sweetened with berries and dates, lunch a kale salad with nuts and homemade dressing, and for dinner a nourishing bowl of brown rice, black beans, salsa, and avocado.
Raspberries have so many wonderful benefits– they boost your metabolism, are high in antioxidants, keep your glucose levels low, are a source of fiber and are high in vitamin c. This time of year, adding them to smoothies, salads, or having as a snack is a great way to ward off the cold and flu. If you’re trying to keep your weight in balance, raspberries can be very helpful.
Check out my easy recipe and video for a delicious raspberry metabolism boosting smoothie!