Sunday, November 23, 2014

I'm Reset and Refreshed.

It's Day 21! So here's a post full of hyperlinks! ;-)

Today is my last day of Ultimate Reset. I couldn't stand the anticipation as I pinned oatmeal recipes all week, looking forward to an oaty breakfast Monday morning. I was so freaking excited about oats--I was like a kid at Christmastime. Can't I just open one present on Christmas Eve?
OK! So I ate oats on the last day! I don't regret it! I pored over recipe after recipe on Pinterest before deciding just which one to have---Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats! I plan on tweaking the recipe a bit and making it my way for my next video.
Who knew a person could get so fired up over oats? LOL

I'll finish the rest of the day according to the plan, but I just couldn't face 3-1/2 cups of fruit for breakfast again. I'm just considering it my weaning back to normal diet a day early. 

I already took my measurements today, too. What can I say? I'm impatient! I'm back to my pre-convention weight and measurements, (scroll down past all the guys in dresses and you'll see me kicking back with my feet up) and according to my Libra scale, I'm down 7% body fat. I'm not quite as light as after my first Reset back in May, but I'm happy with my results. 

My daughter and I are leaving in the morning for a 3-day mini-vacation to the desert. We are looking forward to our annual trek to the Coachella Valley more than usual, since October and November were especially hectic for us.  We will be staying in a beautiful condo at a resort in Cathedral City. I've researched online and found three vegan restaurants that we are excited to try. I'll have to let you know how we like them. I'll also have to be careful the next few days to not flood my body with too many grains and legumes all at once, since i've been on only  fruits, veggies and a little oil for the last week...but just try and stop me from ordering Channa Masala! 

We're also looking forward to visiting The Living Desert. As luck would have it, despite my complaining about too much Christmas before Thanksgiving, their Wild Lights event begins Tuesday and we will attend. We also have a hike planned at Indian Canyons, one of my favorite places. I'll be sure to keep a bird list, and share some of my little-used knowledge of the native ecosystem with the kid. We thought about taking the Tram  but there is no snow yet, I'm trying to be frugal, and our trip is short, so that will be a "maybe." My favorite time to go up there is Springtime anyway.

Please check out my other blog for our travelogues, and general geekiness. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Over the Reset Hump

I'm on day 12 of the Ultimate Reset, a 21 day nutrition and supplement plan. The objective is to balance body chemistry, remove toxins, reset digestion and restore normal intestinal flora, and break some bad eating habits.

I did the Reset last spring with amazing results. Not only did I lose 10 pounds, but I got my cholesterol in the normal range for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE. I also tried new plant foods and liked them (all except for seaweed--that made me cry).

I decided to Reset again in November because I had fallen off track. I was eating vegan, but eating too much, and in the wrong proportions--too many grains and nuts, and sneaking in sugar in the form of maple syrup or coconut sugar. October was busy (an understatement), and I realized I hadn't been treating my body as well as I could have been. I put on about 8 pounds since August and I was feeling puffy and achey.

So I'm just over halfway through the program. It's so much easier this time. Maybe it's because I'm a "seasoned" vegan now, or maybe because I wasn't needing to detox as much this time, since I just did this 6 months ago. Last time I was in the process of weaning myself off of a very low dose HRT and when I started the Reset I just dumped the pills and went cold turkey. I also quit coffee cold turkey last time. I had every symptom of caffeine withdrawal for 4 days and was miserable with headaches, joint pain and insomnia. Even though I was down to 3 hormone pills per week, the combination of quitting them and coffee together may have been the reason for my misery. At any rate, I've felt absolutely fine for 12 days now, and have not experienced any hunger or discomforts of any kind. I also weaned off the coffee in the first few days, just to be sure--1 cup on day one, down to half a cup by day 4. I don't even want coffee in the morning now, but I do enjoy a cup of herbal tea in the evening.

Another reason why this was good time for me to do the Reset is that 2-1/2 weeks ago I broke my big toe. OUCH. So, since strenuous exercise is a no-no on the Reset, and also not recommended for my busted bone, this is a perfect time to chillax. I have been doing some Pilates, & 10 Minute Abs from the 21 Day Fix and some gentle yoga from Some of that yoga is challenging with a broken big toe, so I've had to modify, but I've enjoyed the shorter beginner sessions.

In the first week I did lose 4 pounds, but week two I'm holding steady. Week 3 is the most restrictive, so perhaps I'll get the rest off then. If not, I'm sure getting back to regular sweaty workouts and dialing in my nutrition will get me back to my goal.

Some things are the same as my first Reset. I feel the need to purge--I've started a cleaning/purging project in my office and went through the clothes closets again. I've also had vivid dreams this week, but I am sleeping well.

If I'm missing anything during the day, it's oats. Breakfasts on most of the days are huge servings of fresh fruit. I want OATS! Guess what I'm having for breakfast on day 22? THIS:

In the meantime, I'm enjoying recipes from the Reset, and I'm going to share one with you now!

From The Ultimate Reset
1 Serving

1 cup water
1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and cubed
¼ medium bell pepper
1 tsp fresh ginger root
1-1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Miso paste
1 cup vegetable broth
Bragg Liquid Aminos or Himalayan salt to taste
Bragg Herbal Seasoning Blend to taste

Roast bell pepper on grill or gas stovetop. Turn frequently until skin is evenly charred. Pace in a medium bow and cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes. Peel skin under running water. Remove seeds.

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; add sweet potato and cook 5-7 minutes. Drain.

Place sweet potato, bell pepper, ginger, oil, miso, broth, aminos and seasonings in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If too thick, add a bit of broth or water. Heat in saucepan if necessary.

Cinchy, right? Also, perfect for a chilly autumn lunch, paired with a big salad!  

Let me know if you have any questions about The Ultimate Reset. I'm loving it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'm Grateful for Healthy Eating!

Oh my gosh it really almost the second week in November?! All of the stores are already pushing their holiday stuff, including sugar-filled candy and box mixes. Are you tempted?
I'm not! As a matter of fact, I'm well into my first week of the Ultimate Reset, a 21-day program for  detoxing, improving digestion, and restoring overall health without starvation or harsh "cleansers."  I did the program last spring and shed 10 pounds and 2 inches and felt absolutely fabulous. So far I am loving the food and the regimen. I know exactly what to eat and exactly when to eat it--and the portions are huge! 

For more info on the Ultimate Reset, click here: Ultimate Reset (hot tip: it's $30 off this month!)
This will be our first Vegan Thanksgiving. I've been trying to decide what to make. It will be just my husband, daughter and I, so simple and no-fuss seems the way to go. I may buy a small turkey breast for my husband the carnivore, and maybe try a grain roast for me and kid...unless I go with a lentil dish.

I thought I'd share a couple of side dish recipes that would go nicely on a vegan or traditional table. They are healthy alternatives to the butter and sausage saturated bread and Campbell's soup bean casserole that I grew up eating on Thanksgiving.

Speaking of healthy eating during the holidays, my coaching group has a 21 Day Holiday Survival Success Group on Facebook starting on November 17th. We want to help you with your your holiday-time needs with tips and recipes plus quick workouts to keep your health and mindset from getting too far off track with all the hustle and bustle. Here's a link to the invitation: 

And now for those recipes:
Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts

from Whole Foods

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups uncooked wild rice or wild rice mix
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in wild rice, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes. 
Stir in basmati rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir in cranberries, parsley, thyme, and walnuts, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste. 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Transfer rice mixture to dish and bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tahini-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

from Whole Foods

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover pan, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, return potatoes and garlic to pan and add tahini. Mash with a potato masher or large fork until very smooth. Place over low heat and stir in soymilk, lemon juice and salt; add a little more soymilk if potatoes are too thick. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with sesame seeds.

5 Minute Cranberry Relish

from Forks Over Knives


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • Zest and fruit of 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup pitted dates (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk (optional)

In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process all ingredients until the desired chunky texture is reached.

Balsamic Green Beans

  • ½ C pine nuts
  • 3-4 C water
  • 1 lb. Green beans
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced or ¼ C chopped scallions
  • ¼ C balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ C. olive oil
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • slat and pepper to taste

Toast the pine nuts for about 10 minutes at 350 until golden brown. While the nuts are toasting, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the ends of the beans. Boil the beans for about 3-6 minutes, until just tender.
Combine the shallots or scallions, vinegar, oil and herb of your choice in a medium bowl. Drain the beans thoroughly and immediately add them to the bowl, tossing them with the dressing. Stir in the toasted pine nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chill for 20 minutes then serve.
Let me know if you try any of these, and what your family thought of them! 

All the best,

Christine Rideout
(760) 855-5571